Cecil Papers: May 1604, 16-31

Pages 99-120

Calendar of the Cecil Papers in Hatfield House: Volume 16, 1604. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1933.

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May 1604, 16-31

Sydney Montagu to the Same.
1604, May 16. Your lordship's servant Mr. Nycholis has offered me a price for my estates in the parsonage and vicarage of Brigstock and consideration for my brothers the patentees, which I am content to accept. My suit is that you will procure me that place about the Prince's Highness, for which I have already moved your lordship.—M. Temple, 16 May 1604.
Holograph. 2/3 p. (105. 55.)
Lord Cecil to Sir George Harvy, Lieutenant of the Tower.
1604, May 16. Because there will come a warrant from his Majesty unto your hands to-morrow morning for stay of that lewd Puritan committed by the Lower House, which you must show unto the House, I have thought good to desire you, that as you come to the House to-morrow morning, you will call on me at the Court, by which time I will deliver you the warrant signed under the King's own hand for stay of the said party.— Whytehall, Wednesday night, 16 May 1604.
Draft signed: Ro. Cecyll. Endorsed: "My Lo. Cecill. To come unto him for the Kinges warrt. for keping of Br. Bridger." ¼ p. (188. 111.)
Relics restored to the Papal Nuncio in France.
1604, May 16/26. Receipt by Innocentio del Bufalo, Bishop of Camerino and Nuncio in France, from Sir Thomas Parry, ambassador of the King of England to France, of an Agnus Dei with relics, three pictures (two large and one small), a crown with the croslet and three other crowns, restored to the Nuncio by order of the King of England.—"In Parigi questo di 26 di Maggio 1604."
Copy. Italian. ½ p. (188. 119.)
Henry Lock to Lord Cecil.
1604, May 17. Not only has his private estate been ruined by unconscionable creditors and debtors, his family dispersed and his credit failed, but in one month God has deprived him of his only sister and by her death (through intemperate grief) of Robert Moile her husband. They have left between them six young children who are, as he understands, to be disposed of by Cecil as wards. In behalf of his poor nephews, leaving his hope of Thomas Kennis's wardship, craves that such a course may be taken as suits their former entrance in religion, virtue and learning, and as the estate, left very plentiful, may afford. Although to crave any particular respect or interest in the benefit of the same is far from his hope and fortune, prays that if any grace may remain for him it may herein appear.—17 May 1604.
Holograph. 1 p. (105. 56.)
1604, May 17. Two papers:—
(1) Presentment made by the curate, churchwardens, &c. of the chapelry of Farnworth within the parish of Prescott, Lancashire, of all the recusants within the chapelry that were in the days of the late Queen; also of such people as have revolted from the chapel, and what other disorders have been committed.
pp. (141. 282.)
(2) Answer to the presentment of the Vicar and Churchwardens of the parish of Prescott, and of the curates and churchwardens of the chapels of Farnworth and Rainford belonging thereto, exhibited to the Bishop of Chester in his inquiry since Oct. 1603, and by him delivered to the Archbishop of York. There follows a brief of the state of the Diocese of Chester.
1 p. (141. 281.)
Sir Horace Vere to Lord Cecil.
1604, May 17. The 12th of this present the fort of St. Clare was by our army approached. The 13 their captain that commanded desired to treat with his Excellency and the same day surrendered it into our hands. The enemy's strength that was in the place was 120 soldiers. They had such conditions as they required. The fort is of no such strength that it could have made any resistance against an army. The 14th we began to approach the Sluse toward the north side of the town. The enemy held himself without the town on this side of their haven upon a ground of good advantage which had sometimes been a fort but now altogether decayed, nevertheless made strong by certain creeks of the sea. So that his Excellency understood it difficult to remove them any other way than by the spade. The same night it was put in execution. Before morning came Sir William Edmundes, who commanded in chief in the trenches, sent to discover that ground which the enemy held and found they were retired into the town. Only one soldier of theirs that was let behind asleep, who reported they were 1200 men. Upon that ground those that understand the wars do make this judgment of the enemy, either to want wit or spirit, esteeming the ground so advantageous for them, that they might have made resistance many days. It hath brought us so near, that naught parts us from the town but the haven, which as it yields us such commodity for the planting of our ordnance, that we shall be very offensive unto the town before it be long. The haven is esteemed in breadth 500 foot and of such depth that it is at no time passable. His Excellency must seek other ways than have been in use heretofore to assail this town, which itself is of no great strength, but the sea and the drowned lands about it, make the seat of it to be very strong. Since our coming before this town at three several times are gotten into the town 2000 men and the last that came went in at noondays in the view of our army, which were reckoned 600 men and for their countenance they were accompanied with 3000 foot and 8 companies, who after they had seen their succour safe in the town, retired themselves to the town of Dam. Thus they will be relieved from time except means be found to fortify upon all the avenues, which will be a hard work. The country is very low and even at spring tides it is for the most part under water, that it yields no manner of means to fortify itself. To bring materials to raise forts will require much time and a greater force than we presently have. What course the general will take to encounter with these incommodities as occasion shall be offered I will present them to your lordship.
The Archduke is in person at Bridges. His troops that have hitherto attended his Excellency this day marched towards Hardenberg. It is conjectured the enemy will undertake the regaining of those places the States are become masters [of] since their coming into Flanders.
From Ostend there hath not come any news this 6 days by reason it hath been so stormy weather.
The Mutineers we say are reconciled to the Archduke but so that until they be fully satisfied, their master will have no great service of them. The States have deputed two of their College to understand upon what terms the Archduke and the Mutineers are accorded and to receive the town of the Grave into their hands. Most of our horse which were fifteen companies that were joined with the Mutineers in their Brabant voyage are sent for to the army and likewise as many such as may be spared out of the garrisons. Five more shall be added to the 24 companies we have already in the field. The States have now retired themselves into Holland.—From the Camp before Sluse, 17 May 1604.
Holograph. 4 pp. (188. 112.)
Sir William Browne to Lord Cecil.
1604, May 18. I will not stand to explain my errors. I will rather confess the fault, though my meaning was only to do you service and not to serve the turn for conveying any other man's letters. My desire and endeavour shall be by my services to be continued in your favour. Even now I received the enclosed from Sir John Ogle to be sent unto your Honour and this morning Mr. Winwod embarking for Holland sent me also the enclosed from him to you. From the camp and from the State you shall receive the occurrences at full, so it were superfluous for me to add anything.—Flushing, 18 May 1604.
On cover in Sir W. Browne's handwriting: "Haste post haste for his Majesty's service, directed to the postmaster of Sandwitch."
Postal endorsements.—"At Sandwiche the xxth of May 1 of the clock afternoon. At Cantorbury past four. Seattingborne past 6 o'clock at night. Rochester at 8 o'clock at night. Dartford at 2 o'clock at night."
Holograph. Seals. ½ p. (105. 57.)
Ralph Winwood to Lord Cecil.
[1604], May 18. Your lordship's letter of the 5th came to my hands the 15th at the army before Sluce, from whence that morning I was departed and after driven back thither by contrariety of wind not without a miraculous escape of a dangerous shipwreck. My desire was after the army was settled to retire from thence with the first, and now that the States General with the Council are upon their return into Holland, I do purpose, by your lordship's favour, with them to return. Matters of fact for the proceedings of the army in this siege Sir Horace Vere will not omit to advertise you, but the knowledge of matters of greater consequence cannot be understood but from thence where the deliberations and resolutions do hold their resiance. The siege in the opinion of those who best understand the practice of this art, is so far advanced that if his Excellency would go roundly to work, the town might be gained in one month, which as the hopes now are will be sooner than Ostend will be lost. On Wednesday night the enemy did quit a work of great importance, which abutteth on that part of the haven which answereth to the watergate of the town, wherein the principal galleys are now lodged and lie open to the spoil of the cannon, but that it is purposed to preserve them for better service if the enemy (which is doubted) doth not prevent it by fire. In this work were lodged 1200 men by the confession of the sentinel, who only was found there asleep, for all the others were fled into the town; which argueth the general fear which possesseth the forces of that part, since the place is of that strength, that it held good against the Prince of Parma 5 weeks. Unless his Excellency do alter, his purpose is to beat the town in this place and in meantime to prepare a float which shall be made of the masts of ships of that breadth and strength, that his army shall march and enter into the breach under the favour of his cannon. This week there came forth at one time a whole squadron of Italians, who demanded passport and so departed. They deliver that there is great scarcity of victual and ammunition in the town. The want of both will bring it into present difficulties. My last to your lordship were of the 15, which I mention because it is doubted that the gentleman, who did carry them, by misfortune on the sea did miscarry.—Middlebrough, 18th May.
Holograph. Endorsed: "1604." 1½ pp. (105. 58.)
Sir John Ogle to Lord Cecil.
1604, May 18. Here is this day come to the Army a captain of horse who brings tidings of the return of the Mutineers to the town of Grave and of the treaty had betwixt them and the Count Harman, which was brought so far as that they had once received the livery of the K. of Spayne taking all red scarves, which upon some disagreement since and suddenly apprehended, they have abandoned and wear their green again. He reports for certain of an absolute breaking off at his departure from thence. This news is well entertained here in hope it will partly cause a general diversion from Ostend, their troops already being begun to be severally dispersed, as 3000 here about Damm, others say as many at Blankenburch with Count de Trevulci. It is suspected they have a design upon our troops in Aerdenburch, where I think they may sooner receive knocks than anything else, the place being of that strength and the number of men such as shall be very well able to make a head against the force they can bring to surprise it, and if they will come with cannon they shall warn their best neighbours, who in two hours and less can send succour unto them. For our proceedings here I wrote lately to your lordship and can give no probable guess to what issue it will yet come, for the difficulties are as many as the likelihoods. Colonel Vander Node is gone this day with certain troops drawn out of all nations to work upon the drowned land and to lodge there. What effect that course will take I shall better be able to let you know hereafter. Our approaches are as near to the water as we can go, our batteries wrought on but not hastened, for we attend provision for a float, till which be ready, I think the cannon shall be kept most silent.
They say with us that the Infanta hath assured herself in the Castle of Gent upon some discontentments with those of the town and of them towards their "Altezaes." Those of Bridges have received the Duke and some few of his train into their town but his guards they keep without. These reports go here for current in such fashion that divers of ours believe and affirm whole Flanders to be so amused with our late successes and the Dukes doing nothing, as that a little more help would bring them to a revolt. Very probable it were (as your lordship can well judge) the loss of Sluce at this time would stagger them much. But to gain that (unless we should work miracles, saith the Count Morice), there is little appearance of it in a short time.—Camp before Sluce, May 18, 1604 veteri.
PS.—About 5 of the clock this evening the enemy sallied out of the town about 2000 strong towards the passage through the drowned land there to receive certain provisions (as we imagine) brought thither with waggons and convoyed by horse from the Dam, but returned frustrated of their purpose both by reason of certain ships of war, which we have now lying on the drowned land, as also by the view of great troops of ours drawn out towards them. To-morrow half the Army shall draw out towards the Sluce, which is near Dam and is the strait which if they had kept, we had not passed, or if we had kept, they had not had means to send in succours (as they do). There we shall attend to cut off the enemy's convoy, which we imagine will attempt to-morrow again, to effect that whereof he hath failed to-day.
Holograph. Seal. 2 pp. (105. 59.)
Fr. Heyborn to Sir Henry Bronkar, Lord President of Munster.
1604, May 20. I know you had many things to think on at your departure out of England, which might make me forgotten concerning your promise to certify me of the day and place, where your lordship had appointed to pay the 100l. to me with such charges as were agreed on for Sir Griffith Markham, in discharge of his bond, his father's and his brother's to me. I now pray you to advertise me of the day and place appointed for the payment of that money.—20 May 1604.
Holograph. ⅓ p. (105. 61.)
Sir John Ogle to Lord Cecil.
1604, May 21. (fn. 1) On Saturday the 19 (fn. 1) of this present stylo Angliœ, I wrote to your lordship of certain troops sent out of the town by the enemy and of a purpose of the Count Morice to draw out half his army the next morning to do something whereby the enemy might be impeached of the free sending of succours into the town. The troops that were sent out of the town were only for convoy of their galley slaves, being in number 1600 and were to be carried to Bridges, from thence to Dunkerke, and so to be shipped for Spain. Two troops of horse came from the Dam to attend and receive them at the entrance of the passage into the drowned land but their passage was hindered by the troops lying in ships upon the same drowned land under the command of Colonel Vander Node, who giving amongst them with his artillery from the ships caused them to retire. They of the town refused to receive them in again, so that yesterday they were all remaining under the wall of the town. This is the report of 70 of the slaves who have escaped and rendered themselves on this side, desiring to be entertained into pay in these troops. Yesterday in the morning being the 20th of this month and Sunday (which day hath been observed here to be still ominous on our side), the enemy with a convoy of 3000 men, whereof 1400 came the day before from Ostend, the rest being of the troops that attend hereabouts, and certain new bands of ordnance, attempted to have put in a supply of meal, powder, and lead into the town, which was laden upon some 30 waggons in sacks fitly made for the purpose to be carried on men's backs upon their unlading at the entrance of the passage. We judge every waggon had on it 60 sacks and every sack to contain the weight of 20 lb. weight of those several provisions. But the Count Morice was somewhat early with them in the morning, having in the night before appointed three field pieces to be carried that way, which were there undiscovered by the enemy, who notwithstanding the sight of our troops coming towards them, budged not, but attended us in the same re-entrenchment (where they were once well beaten before by the English), which is upon the Sluce, the straight and only passage by which they must go to succour the town, and by which also we must pass to give any let or hindrance to them at any time. Their convoy with their waggons marched forward and they left only 400 men (a sufficient number, had it not been for the artillery, which it seems they thought not of to be there) with a competent number of horse to guard the passage. But those field-pieces raking amongst the stand of horse made them give way and so gave they likewise way to our troops to fall on upon them that were in the work, who seeing themselves abandoned by the horse (after a volley of muskets shot once or twice), took every man his best way for himself. The other troops that were before with the waggons (for they were not far advanced), seeing the passage gained by us, took likewise in great confusion their flight into the woods and morasses. Here was a general defeat but a small overthrow. For our vanguard, which consisted of the French, some few Scots, and many Frysons (but the French had the vanguard of all) thought it (it should seem) no good Sunday's work to shed much blood and so they took (amongst them the horse and foot) about 200 prisoners (the certain number I cannot yet so suddenly learn) but killed not two men on the place. In so much that the Count Morice at his coming up thither said: "Yet are the English other manner of fellows; they leave a token (when they have the vanguard) of their being there; now, a General cannot know that his troops have encountered an enemy." Not to trouble your lordship too long, their main troops retired and hid themselves in the morasses, were pursued but missed by the Count William and those that had the vanguard under him, sought further and found at last by some troops of the English and of the new Scots, who were drawn up from the rearguard to give them chase. But by that time the enemy had recovered a passage (unknown to us to follow) by which he brought off his men in grosses unto the town of Dam. Some skirmishing there was and they were followed but our men could not come near them by reason of rivers and morasses. Some say there was too much slackness in the pursuit at first, and I dare boldly affirm to your lordship, that if the English troops had been in the vanguard, the Duke should have found one thousand men less in his next musters, than he is now like to do. By these accidents are our hopes of gaining the Sluce a little increased and till they shall show us the contrary, we let ourselves think that their means of succouring the town is intercepted by the troops lying with Vander Node on the drowned land, being lodged in ships where they have good store of ordnance.—From the camp before the Sluce, May 21, 1604 veteri.
Holograph. Seal. 2½ pp. (105. 64.)
Sir Ferdinando Gorges to Lord Cecil.
1604, May 21. There is a daily expectation of the arrival of a carrick taken by the Hollanders in the East Indies laden with Chinese commodities as gold, raw silk, cloth of gold, musk, and such like. If your lordship think fit to deal with them for anything they have, you may make use of my name and service. Neither shall you need to be farther seen therein than yourself please. What your pleasure is I desire may be sent with all convenient speed and to the end I may be the better able to perform what I would, I beseech you speak to my Lord Treasurer that such moneys as is due to me may be delivered to those I have given order for the receipt thereof.—Plimouth, 21 May 1604.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (105. 62.)
Sir William Browne to the Same.
[1604], May 21. On Saturday last at night the enemy with a convoy of 100 sought to convey out of Sluce 1000 "forzati" to deliver them to such as should have met them from Dam to have received them, but our ships that lie in the drowned land discovering them shot at them, whereupon they retired back to Sluys and more than 60 slaves got from them and came to us. The convoy that was with them was to receive out of waggons, which are fallen into our hands, meal in sacks to carry on their backs into the town, by which and by sending away the slaves it is presumed that they are in great want in town. Many of the slaves in hatred of the Spaniards, remembering how cruelly they have been handled, desire to serve against them. His Excellency upon this the next morning being Sunday, with a great part of the leaguer marched towards Dam and almost in the same place where the last defeat was, put the enemy again to flight. The enemy lay in some sort entrenched upon a little Sluys not far from Dam and were strong some 1000 horse as it is guessed, but his Excellency, discharging only once or twice the field pieces he had with him, put the horse in rout and made them take their retreat to Dam, which the foot that were in the entrenchment perceiving stayed not long after. Our men followed and took some 130 prisoners which were seen this day brought into his Excellency's camp but they killed very few. Among the prisoners there is one Dutch and one Italian captain. His Excellency caused another troop of the enemy, who were gone towards a place called Moorekirch to be followed, but they gained their safety by flying, having the help of thick woods. But yet they were fain to leave behind them 18 waggons laden with little sacks of meal, which were to have gone into Sluce as is aforesaid. Some of the slaves who are taken affirm that of 600, who the 14th of this month quitted the outworks over against the town, above 100 were saved but were drowned in retiring. But for my part I cannot believe this so well but so it is written to the States of Zeland by one of their deputies at camp.—Vlushing, 21 May, at night.
On the cover: "Haste, post haste, for his Majesty's affairs. From Flushing sent to the postmaster of Margett."
Holograph. Endorsed: "1604." Seal. 1 p. (105. 63.)
Lord Chief Justice Popham to Lord Cecil.
1604, May 22. I do now understand there is one Water Chester a man of some twenty-five years of age who is a seacaptain and a man of some shrewd spirit. Happily it may be that man and not Charles Chester, whereof I will learn more certainty as soon as I may. And since your lordship did appoint Sir Thomas Chalynor to come to you, it may please you to give order for the warrant, which I would have drawn for you, if he had come to me.—Serjants' Inn, 22 May 1604.
Holograph. ¾ p. (105. 69.)
Gentlemen of Lancashire to the Same.
1604, May 22. Forward by Richard Haryson examinations of certain persons mentioned in an examination, of which a copy is sent herewith, taken before Sir Thomas Aston, knight, in Cheshire upon intelligence of some intention of practices by seminaries within the county of Lancaster against the state and peace of the realm.—Standishe, 22 May 1604.
Signed: Thomas Aston, Ed. Rigby, John Wryghtinton.
Endorsed: "Gentlemen of Lancashire to my Lord with an information touching seminaries." ½ p. (105. 68.)
Sir William Browne to the Same.
1604, May 22. Having yesterday wrote this my letter enclosed and assuring myself of the shipmaster's word, who promised to depart upon an instant, he breaking his word and staying till this day in the afternoon and in the meantime this bearer bringing letters to your Honour from the camp from Sir John Ogle of the business, I was once determined to have torn mine in pieces, yet after a pause I held it better that it should accompany his to show my diligence and the rather because the matter in it was not of report but out of a letter sent by one of the States called Alleman, who is at Sluce, to the States of Zelande. I hear that we shall not yet batter these 8 or 10 days. I presume that his Excellency attends the bridge on the float of masts, which is to be sent out of Holland.—Vlushing, 22 May 1604.
Holograph. Seal. ½ p. (105. 70.)
Sir Anthony Sherley to King James I.
1604, May 22. I have received a letter from my Lord Cicil, which hath delivered unto me your Majesty's commandment concerning Doctor Thornel, with whom I have spoken at large and find him strong in his opinion that the matters which he hath to relate are of great importance for your Majesty's service; that he could discover real and essential grounds of great purposes and withal the ways of preventing them; and would present your Majesty within few days with a discourse by which you should receive the taste required of his end and intention. The overture I made of his repairing into England proceeded from a good purpose in me.—Venice, 22 May 1604.
Holograph. 1 p. (105. 71.)
The Same to Lord Cecil.
1604, May 22. Doctor Thornelle I sent for presently upon the sight of your lordship's letter and have largely spoken with him. His opinion is strong of great service which he can do and his affection likewise strong to do it. To you particularly he bears infinite honour and respect. His answer was punctually this; that the opinion which he took that his Majesty could not refuse him the grace to be heard upon such a public and natural occasion as to visit his friends (for that pretext he took also for his own security here) made him move his Holiness for his licence; whom he found difficult in it through suggestions of persons who had got news that he was seeking a way to go into England; yet his zeal for his Majesty's service was such that he would labour out that obstacle; his speech which he was to use neither touched past matters nor present, such receiving no discourse, but future machinations which were great and might be well prevented being known in the foundation; that his Majesty had no cause to doubt any prince in his power, but in his practice, which because of his greatness would be the more violent, because he was fearful to some in many circumstances. To come publicly as sent for, he desired not, having no ambition but a true good meaning; neither was it his thought to ask any other safe-conduct but under the pretext to see his friends and being heard he desired no other remuneration of his service, but to be well thought of, which he has ever endeavoured for by continual good offices done to all sorts of his countrymen, which they can witness. And because his Majesty desires a taste of what he would handle, he has set himself to make a discourse, which being finished he will deliver me to send to your lordship and to be presented by you to his Majesty. This is the sum of what he said to me, out of which you can gather his end and intention. For myself I judge that this new calling of the Jesuits into France is a main point of what he will treat of, and of Presentinis (?) and Parsons, their working to make the King of France take the Catholics into that title and terms which the King of Spain did in her Majesty's time; and withal will declare to his Majesty the preventions of many mischiefs and how to overthrow utterly the faction or commonwealth of the Jesuits and seminaries. Because these are great points I think his Majesty will vouchsafe his coming over with such a pretence as you mentioned in your letter and himself desires no other. The occurrences in these parts are only two of importance; one the league concluded between the Switzers of the Catholic cantons and one of the Protestant, offensive and defensive, with the State of Millane, which with the assurance that is received here of his Majesty's peace with Spain has closed a ready way which was open for a war in Italy. The other, the Turk's extreme ill case and the Persians' great proceeding. For other designs of princes against the Turk I hear of none but of some small thing which a certain conjunction of the galleys of Naples, Sicily and Florence give discourse of, except the Emperor's wars in Hungary, which certainly continue.—Venice, 22 May 1604.
Holograph. 2 pp. (105. 72.)
Sir Roger Wilbraham to the Deputy and other Officers of the King in the Isle of Man.
1604, May 23. As the King is desirous of granting a lease in reversion to John Sorlett, servant to the Lord of Orckenay, of Cornay Mills and Kervins Mill in the Isle of Man, commands them to deliver to the bearer a true and well testified copy of the old lease and to certify to his Majesty the annual rent and other circumstances. The former lease expires at Michaelmas next or thereabouts.—From the Court at Whitehall, 23 May 1604.
Signed. ½ p. (105. 73.)
Lord Say and Sele to Lord Cecil.
1604, May 24. For the matter I craved your favour in, I mean not to proceed, but finding myself the last time at the session of the subsidy for the Lords far higher rated than my poor estate can bear (albeit then I made no suit to be abated), and now having a letter that I am increased from paying 20l. a year to 40 marks, I beseech you be a mean that herein I may continue at 20l. as I was, being more (my son having now 500l. per annum out of my living) than I can well pay. My loyal service shall in lieu of any increase be ready to perform all supply in duty therefor and it is known to your lordship that out of a right of descent and not an ability of estate, as to others, his Majesty recognised the honour in me.—24 May 1604.
Holograph. ⅓ p. (105. 67.)
Sir Henry Brouncker to Lord Cecil.
1604, May 24. I was in good hope to have found your letter at the Mayor's of this town. I am persuaded it would have stood me in great stead because the Deputy's favour may make many things passable and I need some extraordinary help to countervail the disgrace of my letter as well in the want of sufficient words as in the abatement of the value, which after so absolute a grant I suppose was never seen. I thank God I cannot be discomforted with any thing but the loss of your lordship's favour.—Chester, 24 May 1604.
Holograph. 2/3 p. (105. 74.)
Lord Harington to the King.
[1604], May 25. If the King should take it ill that he has not hitherto informed him of the state of so dear a jewel of his Majesty's in his charge, he must humbly crave pardon. But the assurance of her Grace's health so well confirmed by her own letters to the King and his Majesty's important affairs made him rather offend by silence than by unnecessary writing. Her Grace is very healthful and every way a child of such hope that when the King shall be an eye-witness it will be much to his comfort. The infection of the plague is now very lately come into the city of Coventrie which is within three miles of his house and is feared will grow dangerous, the time of the year and so populous a town considered. It is also in a market town called Rugby five miles off on the other side. Divers towns and villages near his other houses are also infected, so as to make it very perilous. Has thought it his duty to inform his Majesty of this.—Combe, 25 May.
Signed. Endorsed: "1604." 1 p. (105. 75.)
Sir William Browne to Lord Cecil.
1604, May 25. The encouragement that you give me to write any special news that I hear, whether certainly true or no, emboldens me now to acquaint your Honour with the general rumour that goeth here. The first came by a tent-maker of his Excellency, who said he heard it at his Excellency's that by a horseman of the enemy's, news is brought to the camp that the enemy in assaulting Ostende on Wednesday last lost 1500 men and that Spinola should be slain. A merchant of Middlebourgh hath given money out that Spinola is slain and that he doth upon a report of a messenger that should be sent from Grave Williams into Friesland, Grave Williams bidding him make haste for the tidings were so good that he should have a good reward. The wind hath been so vehement at north and by east that not one boat could this day put out of Sluce Haven to bring us news from camp of it. I do doubt it yet because it is so commonly received here I would not leave your Honour unadvertised, lest rumour coming before my letters you should not know how to judge whereupon it should arise. It is likely that there was some assault on Wednesday at Ostend by reason that they shot continually that day with 36 pieces.—Flushing, 25 May 1604.
PS.—God grant it be true but I fear it.
Postal endorsements: "From Vlushinge the 25th of May sent to the postmaster of Dover. Dovor the 28 at 2 o'clock in the afternoon. Canterbery at 5 of the clock in the afternoon. Seattingbourne past 6 o'clock in the afternoon. Rochester at —o'clock at night. Dartford past 2 o'clock at night."
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (105. 76.)
Sir John Ogle to Lord Cecil.
1604, May 25. There is news come to the camp that the enemy hath lately given an assault on Ostend and that he hath lost there a thousand men, amongst whom it is likewise reported that the Marquis Spinola is slain with the shot of a cannon. The stronger belief is given to it in regard the report hath been twice or thrice seconded both by such drums of ours as have returned from them as also by their own messengers sent to us, who though they do not directly affirm it yet very faintly deny it, and their heavy looks with their Spanish shrugs do bewray that all hath not happened well of late with them. If it be so, as it is very probable, the Duke will feel the loss of that ill husbanding of his men by bringing them to such desperate services, where there are so many hands to make resistance. For we esteem that there are 3000 men within the town, who are able to make him buy it dear and to let him know (till his business were further advanced) that he makes much more haste than he should (in reason) have hope of good speed. The Count Morice (I believe) will use another course with Sluce, intending rather to famish them than force them out. For the first he hath these inducements; first, we presume that all means of sending succours to them is taken from them, Vander Node being (now) strongly fortified on the passage; and secondly, because that they are many men in the town (2700 soldiers and 1700 slaves) and, by the report of such as daily come over to us, very much scanted of provision of victual, the private man or soldier being three days since put to a bare allowance of bread and nothing but bread; some few beefs and muttons there are among the chiefs, which are so few, as they are but for some few men and that for a small time. Their other provisions of war are likewise said to be very scant. For the latter of forcing them he may be dissuaded (in my poor opinion) with these two reasons; first, though he have the fortune by his floats and bridges (in which there is much casualty to be expected) to land men on the other side the haven, yet is there great difficulty in keeping any ground there by reason of the scarcity of earth, which should be our only help to fortify us being over. For I judge the earth which we can take to our use not to be above 60 foot from the water to their wall. And for the wall itself, it is of no importance to us, being stone and little earth adjoining to it. Besides, the same earth is already possessed by them. But for the gaining of the ground (if it would much advantage us) there might be order well enough taken to make them quit it, it being nothing but a long running trench cast up in fashion of a counterscarp at the foot of the wall. My second reason is that he would not assault them, though his floats were laid and breaches made that he might well come to them, because he must look to receive great loss to his army, where so many hands must fight desperately for their lives. If he be repelled (as the die of war is doubtful) he is weakened and discouraged, (as is now the Duke, if it be certain that is now credibly reported), and they within encouraged and strengthened by their own further works and our loss. Besides he were much the worse provided (having but a small army to make head against the enemy, his troops lie so divided and scattered) either to encounter the enemy upon any attempt or to proceed with any design of his own. I speak this to your lordship because some that would seem to know something are of opinion that the Sluce were easily gained by assault after the floats are laid over. What the issue will be of our businesses here your lordship upon view of the circumstances can in your wisdom better conjecture but our hopes of getting the town are not small, especially if Ostend hold yet out and that the Count Morice intended it de bon escient. Our floats and bridges are preparing and platforms for fifty pieces of cannon ordained and most of them finished, but I see no great speed to proceed to battery. The Archduke hath been very lately at Dam. He sent word to Count Morice he would be with him within seven days, it is to be doubted that he will scarce keep his word.—From the Camp before Sluce, 25 May 1604, veteri.
The news of the overthrow is this afternoon again confirmed by a drum sent from the citizens of Brugghe for the ransom of certain of their peasants taken in our army. He addeth that there are (according to the speech amongst them) 2000 slain and hurt. The Spaniards are brought into Brugghe, the rest of the hurt men sent to Antwerp. He saith that the Archduke is retired to Gent and that there is a general distrust and discouragement amongst them. He relates also the particularity how the troops assailed the town, as namely, that the Spaniards had the advance guard, the Italians seconded them, after them the Burgognians, next the Wallons, and last of all the Almanes; they were on the wall but repulsed with the loss above mentioned. In an almost perfect assurance that some great discomfiture must have befallen them, have I thought fit to send this express messenger to bring your lordship (if it be possible) the first tidings. We can yet hear no certainty from Ostend by reason the wind hath been long so high and being northerly, boats nor ships can stir out of the haven.
Those of the town have this day put out a float in the haven, it is to be thought either to hinder our floats and boats that might be brought in to annoy them, or to stay that by any practices their galleys which are sunk in the haven should not by us be carried out, which practice some of the slaves come from them have propounded to be feasible, but is not as yet undertaken.
Holograph. 2¾ pp. (105. 77.)
Lady Elizabeth Kytson to Lord Cecil.
1604, May 26. Has with great charge and care brought up her sister's daughter and married her to one Mr. Edward Greye, with a great portion in respect he was seized of a good and convenient living. The title thereof is since called in question by one Mr. Typper and the said Greye summoned by letters from Cecil and others of his Majesty's Commissioners, entered into composition and has engaged himself and the writer and many others of his friends to procure a great sum of money to be paid to his Majesty's use and to clear the pretended defects in his title to the possessions of the late monastery of Bildwas, all which are in jointure to his mother and his wife. Now one Sir Robert Vernon, knight, contrary to the common usage and justice of the said commission made and exercised for the benefit of the tenants in possession, seeks to impeach the composition of Greye already made by pretence of some far-fetched interest, the said manor being lineally and by good conveyance descended to Greye. Prays that her nephew Greye may enjoy the benefit of the said commission and that Cecil will think, that as Sir Robert Vernon and his predecessors have spent their money in vain these forty or fifty years in law and have been three times cast out of the High Court of Parliament, so he is least of all to be relieved against the tenant in possession by way of concealment.—26 May 1604.
Holograph. 1 p. (105. 79.)
W. Fowler to the Same.
1604, May 26. Shunning importunity in soliciting your powerful favour in my own affairs, I fear I shall incur misconstruction by your censure of her Majesty. So it is that her own adoes and the suits of her auditors' and receivers' patents, being in the custody of the women, are yet unsigned, and with your lordship's own writ and attestation, rejected or at least to this hour suppressed, and other suits of smaller importance but of more prejudice to her Majesty are daily by them without conscience or discretion preferred and by me with much vexation deferred. Therefore I am forced to trouble you in this advertisement, after the expostulating of her Majesty's Attorney both against my negligence and too much diligence, or otherwise when you and the rest shall sit in Council, to be thought to proceed too favourably with yielding too much to importune procurers of her Majesty's extorted hand writ and direction. I would entreat that her Majesty might be persuaded to give no cause of reproof nor confusion in her servants' charge and offices by the continuance of more abuses and errors by a Margarete, who usurping too much authority, commands and directs in her Majesty's name with insolence which with reason cannot nor shall not in any wise be obeyed.—From my chamber this 26 May 1604.
Signed. Endorsed: "Mr. Fowler the Queen's Secretary to my Lord." 1 p. (105. 80.)
Sir Jo. Heigham to Lord Cecil.
1604, May 26. The inhabitants of Bury, Suffolk, labour for a corporation and the obtaining in fee farm of certain lands of good value lying in the bounds of Bury and amongst other things the fee farm of 50 or 40 (sic) acres there in the farm of several men. Prays that on account of his services to the King in most uncertain times he may have the fee farm of these 50 or 60 acres, whereof most part is in lease for sixteen years. In his thirty-three years' service of the late Queen he obtained nothing but a stewardship in Bury of the fee of 10l. a year by the grant of Cecil's father.—From my lodging in Cheapsyde in London, 26 May 1604.
Holograph. 2/3 p. (105. 85.)
Sir William Browne to Lord Sydney.
1604, May 26. Yesterday I wrote unto your Honour and sent them to the port of Dover with a letter for my Lord Cecill. That uncertain news I wrote was of an assault that the enemy should have given to Ostende and that Spinola should be slain and that the enemy should lose 1500 men, which report by boats that are come to-day from the camp continues still. But the news came by a drum of Colonel Lambart's who commands Ardenbourgh, who brought such tidings from Dame. His Excellency sent out yesterday four or five cornets of horse towards the Sluice, where the enemy was beaten, to discover what the enemy did there, for it was said he meant to make a fort there. We say that the Mutineers will play the honest man as well in delivering the Grave as in giving the States good warning before they show any act of hostility. They are, as I hear, solicited to come into Flanders with 1000 horse and 600 foot, but till they be paid will not stir, and after they are paid will not stir in fifteen days, and when they march will give the States fifteen days warning. In the Grave shall be put five companies of foot and two of horse and some "stoop schieteres" besides. It is said that the reason that the Mutineers were so soon agreed with by the Archduke was because that they of Artois and Haynault sent him word that he should agree and take order that they might live in greater security or else that they would seek, instead of him whom they had acknowledged for their prince, another protector, who could and would defend them from such oppression.—Flushing, 26 May 1604.
Holograph. 1 p. (105. 86.)
Sir Horace Vere to Lord Cecil.
1604, May 26. The business that is chiefly intended by our army at this present before Sluce is the fortifying ourselves upon those passages that the enemy had upon the drowned lands. The enemy hath not attended anything that way not since the 20th of this present of which day's work I have by a former letter particularly acquainted your lordship withal. Before 3 days be expired it is hoped our works will be so sufficient for strength, that the enemy will hardly find way into the town.
Soldiers and the slaves that come daily out of the town report that their provisions to eat are very slender and that only bread. The slaves that were wont to have for their allowance 22 ounces of bread are now brought to the half.
From Ostend there hath not come any news to the army this 7 days. Upon the 22nd there was heard much shooting with artillery, that it was believed amongst us the enemy would assault the town that day. Drums of the enemy that daily come into the army and some of the country people acknowledge so much that the town hath been assaulted, the enemy repulsed and to have lost, some say 1000, others 1500. The Marquess Spynnola it is said is slain with a piece of artillery, of whose death all from whom this news is gathered speak doubtfully. No certainty can be delivered of that encounter at Ostend before we hear from thence. By all circumstances it is understood for true that there hath been an attempt given and that the enemy hath been well beaten. When I have particular knowledge of what hath passed, with the first commodity they shall be sent to your lordship.
Many villages of Flanders have agreed with the States to pay contribution to be freed from the incursions of the soldier. If his Excellency be able to settle himself here the greatest part of Flanders will be drawn to contribute to the State. It hath been demanded of the people of the country how they will answer it to the Archdukes this coming into the States. Their answer is in general since he (sic) can provide no better for their securities they must and will take care for themselves.— Camp before Sluis, 26 May 1604.
Holograph. 3 pp. (188. 117.)
William Palmer to the Same.
1604, May 27/June 6. Laus deo in Bayon, 6 June 1604. My last unto you was from San Sebastians of the 31st May, enclosed in which I sent you two letters received from Valadolid, which I directed to Mr. Roger How of London. Since which time this present day I have received another letter for your Honour, which I send to you here enclosed. The party writes me of a former letter sent me for you, which never came to my hands and therefore I doubt that it is intercepted, of which I have advised him.
Directed: "To the right honourable my very good Lord my Lord Cecill deliver at the Court per the way of Rochell."
Holograph. 1 p. (105. 93.)
Sir William Browne to Lord Cecil.
1604, May 27. I send your Honour the enclosed from Mr. Winwod which I received this day. I presume that you have some longing to hear a confirmation of that which I writ in my last touching the business of Ostende, whereof I can only say thus much that the confirmation holds still from the camp by several drums of ours who have been at Dam and Bruges. This day came a boat from before Ostende but the passengers were come out the Tuesday before this happened but lay 3 days at anchor before the town in the road and tried to have sent in a sloop to have understood the news, but the water went so high that none could go in or come out. That which they can report is only this, that to their perceiving they might see a mine blown up which they suppose to have been in the Polder bulwark. The guess that may be made that we have received no harm in the town is that the enemy after that shot not at all, but that from the town some shot was made, they heard the volleys of shot which continued almost 2 hours together there and this is all I can advertise you of that matter. At Sluce we do nothing more of late but fortify the avenues and prepare out batteries, and those batteries wait for the bridge of masts which by conjecture will not be ready these 3 or 4 days.—Flushinge, 27 May 1604.
At foot: Some that come even now from the Leaguer say that it is thought that the bridge will be ready this night or to-morrow but no certainty.
After all this I spake with a Frenchman who came from the Leaguer who saith that this good news of Ostende is not true and that only the mine was blown up and they within lost a sergeant and 2 corporals and 4 or 5 more but that neither Spinola is dead nor that the enemy hath sustained any loss. He saith likewise that our bridge is in no readiness yet.
Holograph. 1 p. (188. 120.)
Sir George Carew to the Same.
1604, May 27. On behalf of the bearer Mr. Read, who spent some time in Ireland under him in Mounster. He, having a kinsman in Paris of his own name, was desirous to have seen him and to accompany him there for a few months. Being on his way as far as Dover he was for want of a passport there stayed and after his trunk was scarched for letters and none found (as he alleges) they permitted him to return but forbade his passage until he had procured a pass. Prays that he may be licensed to perform his intended travel into France, as the writer never knew any ill in the gentleman worthy of suspect.— "Savoy this Whitsonday 1604."
Holograph. Endorsed: "Sr. Geo. Carewe vice-chamb. to the Queene for a passe for Mr. Reade." 1 p. (188. 127.)
Lord Chief Justice Popham to Lord Cecil.
1604, May 28. Ever since my speech this morning the case is changed. There were before so many hopes given, whereof nothing fell out too opportune, as I was desperate. But this morning I put it to the uttermost issue and now at my return I find these beginnings of effects, as I looked now only to find out his trunks and papers, having the party though by a contrary name and upon the charge of a clear contrary matter, so as he nothing deems of the mark that is shot at, which to-morrow I shall more particularly acquaint you with and the course I hold to come to the knowledge of all.—Serjeants' Inn, 28 May 1604.
Holograph. 1 p. (105. 60.)
Thomas Allison to Sir Thomas Chaloner.
1604, May 29. The course held to me (it seems by the Lord Chief Justice) has been so violent that in the late service about taking of Davies (had not Mr. Wright carried all things with discretion) I had been discovered, discredited, and never been able to have done the King or State any further service. If I had not been put out of my bias, I intended for the night last past another manner of service, more material to be known, both for the King's present and future safety; viz, to have had some of those taken to whom the oath for secrecy was ministered by the Archpr[iest], which service within short time I hope to effect, with the taking of some others likewise, if I may have you and Mr. Wright only to be dealers herein, and that you can stay in town for some 14 or 16 days; otherwise I must be forced to give over doing any good in this kind for ever. As to the having the aid of a privy councillor for warrants upon occasion, I pray you make choice of such an one as will be moderate, and let me have my own course and time; for my Lord Chief Justice little knew what was a doing when he would have Davies taken so suddenly, who was a great means unto me to come to the knowledge of many matters. Touching the swearing of Mr. Wright the King's servant, I hold it very much material, for as I have and can let him see from time to time divers villains, so I think him the fittest to discover them on occasion, if he see them press near his Majesty. Touching means to go through which service (dum est in fieri) I pray you draw down moneys into your hands, or Mr. Wright's, that I may be supplied, for I live at a great rate, and even now I want. For his Majesty rewarding of me, I will ever refer that to himself; and thus having occasion to go about the getting notice of divers trunks of Davies this morning, I end.—"My lodging this Whitsun Tuesday morning, 1604."
Holograph. 1½ pp. (108. 30.)
Edw. Darby to Lord Cecil.
1604, May 30. Has seen the brief of Mr. Stileman's account, which is a reckoning only of what he acknowledges to have received and not of all that he ought to have received, which according to Mr. Amice's book is nearly 600l. On showing this book to Mr. Paddon the Auditor and to Mr. Stileman to reconcile this difference, a paper of rents not received amounting to 530l. or thereabouts was brought forth. For the residue, they excepted divers things set down in Mr. Amice's book but in the absence of Mr. Amice nothing further has been gone into. It has not yet been seen how Mr. Stileman's demands and allowances are justifiable and it is likely that Mr. Paddon will advise him to submit himself to Cecil's favour rather than to proceed in accounting upon hope to gain the supposed surplus of 8l. 6s. 0½d.—30 May 1604.
Holograph. Endorsed: "My Lo. Auditor Mr. Darby." ½ p. (105. 87.)
Sir Francis Darcy to the Same.
[1604], May 30. May I stand clear from any imputation of neglect in this unfortunate stay by a continual contrary wind. Here were certain men having his Majesty's letters to the King of Denmark to have licence for fishing. I showed them, until I had instructions from your lordship, I would not receive and until then charged them not to proceed in the delivery of their letters, supposing a request, with this present now from his Majesty, would not at one time well consist. They returned, saying they would understand your pleasure but what course they have taken I hear not. May it please you to give some order for a supply of some more imprest. I should be much bound to you for myself, the rider and grooms, since the time of the former imprest is already expired; my estate not able to endure any present charge. How long we shall be here fast-bound, God knows.—Lees in Essex, 30 May.
Holograph. Endorsed: "1604. Sr. Francis Darcy . . . . being in his journey towards Denmarke." 1 p. (188. 121.)
Sir G. Carewe to the Same.
1604, May 31. Moves Cecil on behalf of certain poor men who have long since exhibited a petition to his Majesty for recompense of their bank which they lost in Spain, when by commandment out of England the writer had sent Captain Edney thither. Prays that they may be helped with a speedy dispatch to avoid their utter undoing which a long suit will draw them unto.—Savoy, this last of May 1604.
Holograph. ½ p. (188. 122.)
The Countess of Northumberland.
[1604, ? May]. Ten papers relating to the Countess's suit for the overplus of Sir John Perrott's lands. These consist of letters from the Countess to Lord Cecil (or Viscount Cranborne), one of which encloses "Reasons to move the granting me the overplus in my particulars": one from her to the Earl, and one from the Earl forwarding it to Cecil: and a paper describing the lands desired by the Countess, with the Lord Treasurer's answer thereto. The latter contains some particulars with regard to the coalmines of Pembrokeshire.
Endorsed: "1604." 10 pp. (2414.)
[See Cal. of S.P. Dom.: 1603–1610, pp. 114, 201.]


  • 1. sic ? rectius Friday 18 May.