Cecil Papers: October 1597, 16-31

Pages 433-459

Calendar of the Cecil Papers in Hatfield House: Volume 7, 1597. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1899.

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October 1597, 16–31

Henry Maynard to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, Oct. 16. In the latter part of your letter which this day my lord [Burghley] received from you, you signify that her Majesty is desirous to understand his opinion for the bringing up of Buccleugh near London. His lordship, not being himself at this time through the pain of his head, hath willed me in his name to let you understand his opinion, which is, that for a time, until it may be seen how the English pledges shall be used in Scotland, he would not have him to be removed from the place where he is; but afterwards he may be brought either to Hertford Castle or any other place thereabouts as her Majesty shall best like.—From my lord's house in the Strand this 16th of October 1597.
Holograph. Seal. ½ p. (56. 27.)
The Queen to the Earl of Essex.
[1597, Oct. 16.] Since we received first advice of your arrival at the Islands (by a letter bearing date the 17 September directed to our Secretary) we have heard by another general letter of the 27 of the same that you had been on land in some of those islands to refresh yourselves; and, when that messenger parted, you were purposed to take in St. Michael, and after some part of October spent in that height, to begin to set sail for England to avoid the danger of our Navy by tarrying on till the depth of winter which is ever subject to storms and darkness. We cannot deny but we do wish the safe return of you and our fleet under your charge as a prince that knows the value of such our dear and beloved servants, neither can mislike these second cogitations of yours concerning the returning; but, when we do look back to the beginning of this action which hath stirred so great expectation in the world and charged us so deeply, we cannot but be sorry to foresee already how near all our expectations and your great hopes are to a fruitless conclusion. And therefore, seeing neither the action at Ferroll could not prosper nor the carrick be taken, if now the Indian fleet should be missed in regard of your being forced to return before that fleet should come homewards, we should think ourselves in much worse case than when the action did begin; not only in point of honour and charge but also for safety; as in all this time that fleet in Ferroll hath had his time for gathering and reinforcing, thereby fully accommodated for the pursuits of any of his former malicious purposes at such time as he shall please, since you can well consider that our navy under your charge must needs be far out of repair and so of far less power for our defence when time shall require. And therefore, seeing it shall not be wisdom, now so much is done already, to leave anything undone which carrieth probability of good success to grace the work begun, as having lately understood that order was sent from Spain to stay the fleet of treasure for coming home until December, and then to be transported in twelve small galleons, without any other wasting we have thought good to request you, upon receipt of this letter, immediately to call a council of war and to consider with their advice how to draw out of your whole fleet some few of our own ships, accompanied with some other of the merchants' ships, and to devise to see and send out of the whole victualled. Which being done, we do require you to direct so many as you shall think fit to tarry out as long as possibly they can for intercepting those ships with treasure; a matter wherein the enemy will use no precaution when they shall know that our fleet is returned. And therefore our meaning is not, in regard of the necessity of the great care and circumspection which is to be used in bringing home of our fleet and army, that either you or any of those great officers under you should tarry abroad, yet may you find others, principal gentlemen of quality and experience that have especial charge under you, to command that fleet and to proceed according to such instruction as you shall leave them. To whom now that we have represented careful thoughts both for the satisfaction of the world's expectation, not only in the sender but in the actor, we do refer all further consideration to your discretion, to whom the particular state of all things there is best known. And to this only make this further addition, that we have some advertisement that the Spanish fleet intends to lie for you in your return with hope to cut off some part of the stragglers from our fleet, though haply they dare not encounter with the gross. And therefore we request you to bethink yourself both to prevent the same in the bringing home of the fleet which shall come in your company; and, in directing those ships which you shall leave behind you, to be watchful of any such practice against themselves. More we have not at this time but to wish you as good hap as our most careful heart hath hourly begged at God's hands for all their safety that have exposed themselves to danger out of their zeal to do us service.
Endorsed :—“16 Oct. 1597. The copy of the queen's letter to my Lord of Essex.”
Draft, corrected by Cecil. 4 pp. (133. 172.)
Sir Anthony Ashley to Sir Ralph Horsey.
1597, Oct. 16. The title of the Priory of Cramborne, which Horsey passed to him, is absolutely void and not good in law. As to proceedings to be taken in consequence.—London, 16 Oct. 1597.
1 p. (204. 38.)
Henry, Lord Norreys to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, Oct. 17. Will receive the Governor of Dunkirk into his custody, as required by Cecil's letter. Prays a warrant to take up horses for conveying him to his house in the country : has appointed his son Henry Norreys to have the charge of conveying him to his house.—London, 17 October 1597.
Signed. Seal. ½ p. (56. 28.)
Sir Thomas Wilkes to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, Oct. 17. I have received your letter of the 15th of October with a petition to her Majesty by Arthur Higham, supposed to contain matter against me, and that her Majesty should have a conceit that some wrong is done him by me. I do not find any matter in the petition to charge me with any wrong done to him if he have delivered no further matter in speech to her Majesty. But to the end you may understand the causes why he was removed from the office of commissary at Flushing, I must repeat more of the condition of his service there than I was willing to have done, fearing to hurt him in that point.
The Council after many complaints of the abuses and lack of capacity of Higham in this service gave order to remove him absolutely, whereupon I, out of very charity, knowing him to be an old man and poor, besought the Council to give me leave to see if I could find out some able man to serve the place that would allow him for a time (until he might obtain something by suit from her Majesty) forty or fifty pounds by the year. Whereunto their lordships condescending, I procured one James Tomkins, a gentleman, a younger brother, who may dispend one hundred pounds by the year, to take upon him the execution of that office and to give to Higham fifty pounds by the year out of that entertainment of commissary : which hath been performed to Higham three years and more, even until Michaelmas last.
And whereas Tomkins hath within this year and more made suit to the Council not to be constrained to pay that fifty pounds any longer to Higham, my lords about Midsummer last thought this very reasonable. Higham then entreated me earnestly to persuade Tomkins to continue the same unto him, but only till Michaelmas now past, and that longer he would not require it. Tomkins, at mine intercession, was contented so to do; and now it seemeth strange to me that Higham should entreat her Majesty to command me to cause Tomkins to continue unto him the payment of that allowance from henceforwards. So to conclude, I neither removed Higham nor placed Tomkins, and if any fault be committed it is that I procured fifty pounds yearly from Tomkins to be given to a man unworthy thereof, for the which I am well and gratefully requited by his complaint, if any such be by him made to her Majesty against me.—At Rickmansworth, the 17 of October 1597.
Signed. Seal. 3 pp.
Subjoined :—Flyleaf only of a petition from Higham to the Queen. (56. 29.)
Henry, Lord Norreys to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, Oct. 17. I have received notice from the Lord Cobham of the weakness of the Governor of Dunkirk, whereby it is thought he is not able to travel far that night; I shall receive him into my charge at Lewisham, except I should lodge him at Lambeth. I entreat you, therefore, that I may lodge him at my own house at Charing Cross, where he shall be carefully looked unto until his health shall permit him to travel; and then he shall be presently sent down unto my house to Rycot under the conduct of my son Henry Norreys.—London, 17 October 1597.
Postscript.—The reason that moveth me for his stay at my house is that I received direction from you to receive him on Thursday at Mr. Anslowe's house; whereas now my Lord Cobham mindeth to deliver him unto me upon Tuesday next, by reason whereof I am unprovided to receive him so suddenly by means of the alteration of the direction. And he may land at my stairs without being seen of any man.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (56. 32.)
Matthew [Hutton], Archbishop of York, to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, Oct. 17. The answer to the Lords' letter of the 11th of this inst., you shall receive here enclosed. If the under-sheriff had followed mine advice to choose first one and then the other, no doubt Sir John Stanhope had been the one, for he is generally well thought on in all this country. Sir Thomas Hoby, a gentleman of very great hope, is not as yet so well known, and was hindered especially by a rumour (true or false, I know not) spread abroad in the clothing towns in the West Riding, which yield the greatest number of freeholders. The speech was that in the last Parliament his brother Sir Edward Hoby did prefer a bill against northern cloths, which they thought did very much concern them. The two letters were sent immediately, the one to Sir Thos. Hoby, the other to Knaresborough.—From York, 17 October 1597.
Signed. Seal. 2/3 p. (56. 34.)
The Archbishop of York and John Ferne to the Privy Council.
1597, Oct. [17]. Your letters of the 11th of this month were delivered to us the 14th at 8 of the clock in the night, and according to your pleasures we did early the next morning send a pursuivant to the house of Sir John Saville to require him to make his present appearance before this Council of [York]; that we might have proceeded, as by your said letters we were advised. But the messenger doth return for answer that he took his journey towards London on the 12th of this month, so that he could not be met withal. Therefore we refer the consideration of his offence towards this Council to such further order as shall seem best to you, yielding our most humble thanks for your regard to the maintaining of the credit of this authority here established. Concerning the under-sheriff we did presently at the receipt of your said letters call him before us and admonish him to do nothing in return of the knights for this shire contrary to the law, because that the same would be further examined, who answered that he had returned Sir John Saville and Sir William Fairfax knights, and had sent up the indenture to London the day before; wherein he said he had done nothing but that he might lawfully justify.—At York, this [17] of October 1597.
Signed. 1 p. (56. 82.)
Sir Edward Hoby to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, Oct. 18. The nature of my suit from the beginning hath without mask puth on an iron face; therefore, without blushing, I persevere to beseech you to pardon my presumption and wrap me within your care. Let your patience give me leave to project the preciousness of time, the jump which by your means it is come unto, and so to move that to-morrow afternoon when Mr. Attorney cometh from Star Chamber, you will take time to send for him and conclude with him. I will then be ready to wait on you if you think good, not else.—Canon Row, late this Tuesday night.
Holograph. Seal. 2/3 p. (56. 35.)
Thomas Windebank to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, Oct. 19. For answer concerning Mr. Saville, her Majesty's pleasure is that he be called before my Lord Keeper, Lord Buckhurst and yourself to answer for his demeanour and for the contempt shewed to him against the bishop; that order be taken by their Lordships and yourself that he be committed, and that such gentlemen of Yorkshire as you think good be produced to confront him. Her Majesty wished that my Lord Treasurer might be one, but she doubted that his pain of the gout (whereof she had heard this morning) might let him, and therefore if he cannot be the fourth you three should suffice. This her Majesty would have done out of hand. I told her, after her pleasure thus known, that I had some three or four letters to be signed, but her Majesty willed me to attend for them at night, being now past 3.—This 19 October, 1597.
Signed. ½ p. (56. 37.)
Lord Keeper Egerton to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, Oct. 19. I will attend you to-morrow at the time appointed. I have given order to my pursuivant to seek for Sir J[ohn] S[aville], but having no knowledge nor guess whither to direct him, I see little hope of his finding. I have appointed him to repair to Gray's Inn to Mr. Ed. Stanhope, and also to Mr. D. Stanhope at the Doctors Commons, and to take from them such instructions as they can give. I am glad to hear of your forenoon work to-morrow; I pray God send you as much honour and contentment in it as ever any had.
Endorsed :—“Concerning Sir John Savyle.”
Holograph. 1 p. (56. 36.)
The Earl of Essex to the Privy Council.
1597, Oct. 19. I do dispatch away Sir Tho. Jermyn to carry the news of the coming of this fleet upon our own coast, as also to inform her Majesty and your lordships of the state of my charge and of all things happened since my last advertisement. I beseech your lordships to give credit to him and to think that I have now no greater ambition than that my poor endeavours may be graciously accepted of by her Majesty and well censured by your lordship,—favourably I would say, but that I promise myself to be approved by your justice.—From aboard her Majesty's good ship the Due Repulse, 19th of October.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (56. 38.)
Sir Horatio Palavicino's Affairs.
[1597], Oct. 19. In 1578 Sir Horatio Palavicino financed the States, under a bond from the Queen amounting to 16,636l. 7s. 3d., part of the whole amount. The States sold this obligation (assumi) to Baptista Spinola, and with that money set free the pledges, which the Queen holds, which before were in private hands. At the same time Spinola was dealing for another party, who also held the Queen's bond; and when this was come to maturity, he came to this country to collect it. But as it was not convenient for the Queen to pay, Sir Horatio in 1580 settled the matter himself, having been assured by the Lord Treasurer, Mildmay and Walsingham that to do so would be doing the Queen a service. In 1583 he followed the same course in another case.
It is well known that the pledges which the Queen holds from the States were given on the ground of these transactions. Now it has pleased the Queen to write to the States that she has given these pledges to Sir Horatio in part payment of his debt; and he now hopes that she will execute this purpose, and also take some order to assist him in recovering the rest due to him.
Italian. Draft of a petition. In Palavicino's hand.
(175. 116.)
Thomas Eaton, Surveyor of the Queen's Rasses and Studeries, and Ralph Slyfeilde, yeoman of the Rasse, to the Queen.
1597, Oct. 19. Petition for a lease in reversion in reward for their long services. Note by Essex that they are ancient servants, both very poor and very honest.
Note by J. Herbert that the Queen grants the petition.—Court at Richmond, 19 Oct. 1597.
1 p. (548.)
Sir Ferdinando Gorges to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, Oct. 20. By your letter of the 16th of October I am required to see Mr. Osborne accommodated with all things necessary to hasten him unto the sea; the which I am ready to perform and have procured them to bespeak and cause all things to be provided in a readiness, attending only your answer unto their letter for their direction how money shall be received. For my own part I protest I have it not; besides, I am in a manner discouraged for that I have so often disbursed my money, and I rest yet unpaid. Wherefore I am enforced to be a troublesome suitor unto you to be my means for recovery thereof. I have written two letters unto my lord your father, but can receive no answer where or from whom I shall receive it. [P.S.] If this wind holdeth in this quarter I beseech you to remember that our friends will have hungry bellies, and it were to be wished that they had 3 or 4 flyboats with victuals to help them home withal.
Signed. 1 p. (56. 39.)
Sir Ferdinando Gorges, John Trelawny, Mayor of Plymouth, and Chr. Harris to the Lord Admiral and Sir R. Cecil.
1597, Oct. 20. By your letter of the 16th of October we are required to give assistance for the impressing of any bark or pinnace to enable Mr. Osborne to repair unto the fleet; all the which we are most ready and willing to perform, and have taken order for the performance thereof. But by your lordship's letter we find not unto whom we are directed for money for the satisfying of those poor men from whom we take their goods. We therefore pray your pleasure in that behalf, for the poverty of the men is such as they will not deliver anything without present money or order from you of whom they shall receive it. There is neither of us but if we had money of our own, we would most willingly have forborne to have troubled you at this present; as for our care for the ease of her Majesty's charge, we pray you to be assured of our diligence to discharge our duties in that behalf.—From the fort by Plymouth this 20th of October 1597.
Signed. Seal. 1 p. (56. 40.)
Richard Hawkins to the Earl of Essex.
1597, Oct. 20. I have been certified by some of my countrymen that your Lo. hath favoured me in my absence, in speaking to her Majesty and procuring some prisoner for my wife to redeem me. Well do I know that if you had been amongst the fifteen ships which had us in the midst of them, 3 ahead, 3 astern and 9 on the broadside, I had been your prisoner with 12 millions that came in six ships of 250 and 300 tons apiece, and in all the fleet besides there was but two ships more of above 100 tons. But God delivered them, otherwise see I not how it was possible for them to have escaped. I now await the coming of the King's armada. Our order for the plate here landed in the island to go with it to Spain. I humbly beseech the continuance of your favour and furtherance in helping my poor wife and working my liberty, which, once procured, I hope you shall have cause to think the same well employed.
Till my imprisonment I had whereof to sustain my estate, and to give and lend to others, and therefore could not frame myself to beg of her Majesty, though my services go beyond many that have received honour and reward, mine being ever performed with continual toil and hazard of my life, and that without penny pay or recompense in any of them. The Queen's sea-books will show that I never went in this saving in the service of her Highness, and never did I her Majesty the honour and service that in this, as my miseries sustained do testify, the most of which came upon me for maintenance of the same, for it is manifestly known that I rendered myself upon condition of liberty for me and all my company.
If it should be that contrary to right they should retain me and not consent to ransom or free me, I humbly beg that in such occasions as shall be offered you will avenge my injury and of those my poor company that remain in Lima, as you did of those in the galleys of Spain. I write not more largely, for not being able. This I have done by stealth and in continual fear and am forced abruptly to end.—From the Tercera the 20th of October 1597.
Holograph. 1½ pp. (175. 117.)
Instructions of the Earl of Essex to Sir Thos. Jermyn. “Instructions for Sir Tho. Jermyn.”
1597, Oct. 21. My purpose in despatching you is first to give her Majesty and my Lords account of all things passed, and by you to solicit her Majesty's resolution and gracious pleasure what I shall do with my charge and the several parts thereof. In giving account you will let her Majesty and my Lords know that immediately upon my coming to the coast of Spain, after I saw our enterprise of Ferrol overthrown by the St. Matthew's return, the St. Andrew's loosing company, the Wastspite's breaking her mainyard, and the bearing away of 30 sails with her whilst I lay by the lee thwart of the Groyne to stop a desperate leak, then I say I despatched my uncle Robert Knollys from under the Cape Finisterre that her Majesty might know what became of us. And afterwards when upon the message that Captain Scobbles delivered me from Sir Walter Ralegh it was resolved amongst us in council to go for the Islands, I despatched Osborne, my servant, to acquaint her Majesty with our course, as also by the Admiral of the Low Country Squadron off of Flowres, and by a man of my lord of Cumberland that was captain of one of his lordship's pinnaces from Fioll, I did still from time [to time] advertise what had happened. Since which last despatches you will give account of all things : as when we were disanchored from Fioll and stayed by calms and contrary winds thwart of Feradiosa, how that island paid a tribute of such things as the place afforded to the Q[ueen] of the Ocean. How unhappily in our passing from thence towards St. Michael's, we missed the Indian fleet. How we strove upon the news of their being in Tercera road against all possibility to do somewhat upon them. How when God drove us off from them by contrary winds, I was forced by the importunity of my companions and the want of water in all her Majesty's ships to bear for St. Michael's. How in my way from St. Michael's to the Tercera the three prizes, part of the Indian fleet, were taken and ordered for their safety and her Majesty's best profit. How at our second coming to St. Michael's our chief end was to water, without the which we could not live, but withal we could have sacked that island if we could have landed near the chief town. But we being driven to seek a landing in our boats and small ships to the eastward, you know we were put to leeward as far as Villa Franca, where we found a better road and watering place than any other which that Island affords; which together with the tempestuous weather that drove many of her Majesty's ships from their anchors at Pontalgado to Villa Franca, and the impossibility of the ships and boats going up to Pontalgado to meet us as the wind stood, these things I say made me draw all the fleet to that place and resolve to water, and so from thence to set sail for England. To draw me to which resolution all our seamen protested that if the wind did give but two points more southerly and blow up, the fleet and army were severed for this year; which could not be without the manifest destruction of them both, the one having no drink to carry them home, and the other no means to plant and fortify themselves in the island; and I having a double charge should have thought my soul and body torn asunder if I had been with either and abandoned the other. Which counsel of labouring to preserve her Majesty's fleet and troops, and preferring it before mine own private ends or ple[asing] the multitude, I hope her Majesty will allow. And if the counsel be not condemned, I trust also that when her Majesty by you shall hear the circumstances of our retreat, she will not blame us for it. You can also inform her Majesty of Sir W. Ralegh's taking a small Brazilman in the road of Pontalgado while I left him to command the fleet in my absence and my Lord Thomas's, who desired to go aland with me; as also how unhappily a carrick that came in there likewise fired herself rather than she would be taken. Of which I pray you assure her Majesty that I found by very straight examination that Sir W. Ralegh and those with him could not prevent it if their lives had lain on it. And in concluding this relation I pray you protest for me to her most excellent Majesty that as I acknowledge myself infinitely bound to her Majesty for honouring me with this charge and reposing such trust in her humblest, faithfullest, and more than most affectionate vassal, so do I hold it a second high favour that her Majesty sent me out so nobly accompanied and so strongly assisted both in counsel and execution by land and sea. Of all which I will yield particular testimony when I shall have the happiness to come to her royal and dearest presence. And for my further direction you must solicit to have her Majesty's pleasure sent to me what I shall do with the Low Country troops, the prizes, and her Majesty's own ships. For the first, if they stay any time both sickness will increase amongst them and victuals spend, which will draw on a new charge of transportation; and therefore if I be not countermanded I purpose to send them home in the Low Country ships. For the prizes I think it were fit that the great prize should be unladen in Plymouth or Portsmouth and the goods brought in some good merchant ships such as the Prosperous and the Mistress to London. Mr. Darrell is in the Mistress and he may take charge of the goods; but till her Majesty's answer come nothing shall be stirred. With her Majesty's ships I mean, God willing, to anchor under the Isle of Wight and there to attend for direction : and I do humbly beseech her Majesty to think how dangerous it will be for her great ships to go about the Sands this ill-time of the year, especially for the St. Andrew, and Portsmouth is as good a place for some of them to winter in as can be. And for as many as shall go about you must put my Lord Admiral in mind to send boats and a press for some fresh men. I pray you commend my service to all my Lords and let my hasty despatching you excuse my not writing to any of them particularly.—From aboard the Due Repulse, in the height of 46, this 21 of October, Essex.
Holograph by Essex. 4 pp. (56. 41.)
Sir Thos. Leighton to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, Oct. 22. I have received your letter of the 4th of October, by the which I perceive that her Majesty's good pleasure is that the 50 soldiers appointed for this place should be returned, the which accordingly I have sent them, with their armour and furniture. But her Majesty did amiss understand me that I should say, when I persuaded her to fortify this castle, that she should not be put to any farther accidental charges; for Sir, what should a place be fortified and so left without soldiers and munition. And you know but that three years since her Majesty was pleased to send hither 300 soldiers, as I likewise in all time of danger have demanded soldiers and victuals. And where you write that you trust I will play the good husband and come to the Court to my wife, who is unwilling to be kept there, but that her Majesty will in no sort spare her, but rather wisheth my coming over into England; for the trial of being a good husband I have so often made proof thereof as I am not now to be doubted of, though I pass not the seas now in this dead time of the winter. Nevertheless, if her excellent Majesty's wish had been but the least commandment, no storms nor seas could have stayed me from coming, if any ways I might do her Highness service : but I guess it is but in respect of my wife, of whom I must for this time pray to be excused, trusting to see her here before Lent. And I yield you most humble thanks for your noble dealing in the behalf both of my wife and myself.—Guernsey, 22 October 1597. [P.S.] I am at this present occupied about the Commission which your honours sent hither for Her Majesty's service, which will hardly be ended this six weeks.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (56. 43.)
Lady Russell to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, Oct. 22. Quid voveat dulci nutricula magis alumno
Quam sapere et fari posse quae sentiat et cui;
Gratia fama valetudo contingat abunde.
Et mundus victus non deficiente crumena.
Gloria Patri Filio et Spiritui Sancto.
Unsigned. Undated. Seal. ½ p. (175. 118.)
Sir Ferdinando Gorges and Chr. Harris to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, Oct. 23. You shall by this bringer be advertised the particulars of what I should write unto you at large. Notwithstanding, I thought fit to give an account of what I purpose presently to do in discharge of my duty in this place, which is instantly to put into the Island 200 men with victuals for 14 days, to take in 200 more into the fort out of the country, making for that place the like provision. If it be her Majesty's pleasure not to make allowance of this, that I may presently by you receive notice of it, that they may again be discharged and the provision be redelivered. Likewise I do take in all the ordinance and munition that I can possible, and how it also pleaseth her Majesty to make allowance of that I pray I may understand; with warrant for what I have done or shall do upon this necessity. This advertisement I have sent unto those of authority in Devon and Cornwall. I hope I shall not need to write any more, but do refer the rest unto your wisdom.—From the fort by Plymouth, this 23rd of October 1597.
Endorsed :—“Sir Fa. Gorges (sic) to my master. Orders by him taken for reinforcing the fort and island upon an allarum of the approach of the Spanish fleet.”
Signed. Seal. 1 p. (56. 44.)
Mr. E. Stanhope to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, Oct. 23. My knowledge in this case for the burgesses of Doncaster extendeth no further than this. My Lord Chamberlain that last was, being high steward of the same town as your honour now is, before I was recorder there, had, as they told me, once before the nomination of two burgesses under the town seal, and that their town anciently had made burgesses. Whereupon, at the last Parliament before this, I being then in office there, they sent me up their seal and an officer of their town with this direction, That if I being recorder would be one, to put in mine own name for the one place, and to refer the other to his lordship. But I then having occasion to go down to attend her Majesty's service in the north, went with their officer to my lord and left them both to his nomination, who put in two, and I think one of his sons for the one; and I know not to the contrary but that they were allowed and served that Parliament for Doncaster. Whereupon I thought it my part to present the like to your honour now from the town, and in the morning I will call at the clerk of the Crown and likewise send to the clerk of the Parliament to see why these should not be allowed as well as those were.—Gray's Inn this 23rd of October 1597.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (56. 45.)
Frances, Countess of Essex to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, Oct. 24. You have made me of late many ways beholden unto you in matters concerning myself; I must now desire a like “beholdingnes” in a case that concerns my very friend and near kinsman (both by my father and by my first husband), one Mr. Harry Sydney of Norfolk. He is, as I hear, sent for by warrant to answer before the Council certain objections for engrossing of corn; a fault very unworthy of favour if it be not urged rather of spleen than desert. The gentleman hath been ever reputed honest and religious; and as I hold myself tied in honour to procure him the best friends I can in these times of troubles, so indeed, to be plain with you, I know he is very dear to my dearest brother Sir Robert Sydney, for whose sake I would rather be thought cumbersome and importunate than any whit remiss in supplying that mediation which I know my absent brother would use were he in England. For these reasons let me entreat you to favour my cousin Sydney thus far as to draw the whole matter into your own examination, and as much as may be to defend him from public disgrace; which I do the more earnestly request because I hear that Mr. Cooke, the Queen's Attorney, doth urge the matter with some vehemency, and threatens to bring it into the Star Chamber, which I pray you as much as you can prevent by your wisdom and authority.—Walsingham House in London, the 24th of October 1597.
Signed. Seal broken. 1 p. (56. 46.)
William Treffry to Sir William Bevill.
1597, [about Oct. 25.] There arrived in Fowey this instant a Fleming of Enkhuysen [Ancusan], who descried yesterday seven leagues south-west of the Lizard 4 galleys and a great Biscayan (Biskiu') ship, shot sundry shot unto them. Also here arrived a ship of this town, who 20 leagues off the Lizard saw 6 of our army.—Fowey, Monday, 4 of the clock in the afternoon. P.S. Advertise Sir Ferdinando Gorges.
Holograph. ½ p. (55. 93.)
C. Lord Mountjoy to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, Oct. 25. Being arrived here at Plymouth this 25th of October before my Lord General [Essex], I think it my duty by your means to give her Majesty account how I left him and her fleet. The Indian fleet being put into the Terceras, we found by a very exact discovery that the uttermost to be done upon them was to attempt the burning of them; and the wind standing as then it did, that impossible to be performed. Whereupon, extremely distressed for water, we made for St. Michael's, left most of the Queen's ships before Ponte del Gada and attended the General to Villa Franca : where we landed, watered and somewhat relieved the fleet. In the mean time there fell into the road amongst the fleet left behind at Ponta del Gada a carrick, who presently ran aground and fired herself. The 10th of this month the whole fleet “disinbogued” from Villa Franca. The 17th I was aboard the General and left him well. The next morning in a great storm I saw a ship very far to the leewards lie by the lee, which we all making to be the Admiral and thinking her to be in distress I bare roome with her, but coming near found her to be the Mary Rose and to fill all her sails again. Since, I never saw the Admiral, the storm growing extreme, nor any of her Majesty's ships till my arrival, except the Rainbow on the 23rd of this month I overtook, having spent her foremast and bowsprit, and so fitted my sails to attend her hither, where we find the Garland, the Nonpareil, the Bonadventure, the Swiftsure, and hear that the Hope is put for the Downs. This, Sir, is all that I know fit for me to give relation of before the arrival of the General, whom we assuredly expect this night or to-morrow, being left by Mr. Vavasour 40 leagues off the Lizard sounding the 22nd of this month. I know not one gentleman of name lost or dead in the fleet; and of the reasons of these proceedings the General is able to give her Majesty an account, I doubt not but to her gracious approvement. For myself, being arrived here and, under the General, Lieutenant of her Majesty's forces, I think it not my duty to quit this place, the Spanish Armada being without all question at the sea, and so assured presumptions that their purpose is for these parts, until I receive farther commandment. The ships that be here are thought fittest to ride in Hammose because from thence they may put out with the same wind that will bring the Spanish fleet hither. We will put them in as great readiness as we can against all occasions. Sir Ferdinando Gorges hath this night sent out a pinnace to discover on the coast of his own, and by his own provision, and hath drawn in 500 men for the guard of the town and forts, and ordered the rest of the forces of the country to very good purpose. I will presently send some commanders of good worth to Falmouth to give assistance there on the sudden, and be myself in a readiness to be there with the first. Sir F. Gorges complaineth on so great an occasion of his want of munition and artillery, and of the unwillingness of the magistrates upon these services to send out either shipping or victual for them to discover. The Guiana, a pinnace of Sir Walter Ralegh's, is even now arrived and affirms he fell amongst the Spanish fleet on Sunday night last 50 leagues off the Scillies; and this day Sir F. Gorges received a letter from Mr. Trefrye which I send you with this. I will endeavour to do her Majesty here all the best service I can till I farther hear her pleasure.—25 October 1597, Plymouth.
Holograph. Seal. 2½ pp. (56. 47.)
Sir Gelly Meyrick to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, [about Oct. 25]. Being but a bad writer I rather chose to send this gentleman who will acquaint you by what accident we left my Lord [Essex] and the fleet, and what happened before our departure and the likelihood of that good that was to come. For the satisfying of her Majesty I do leave it to my Lord Grey who is best able to do it. I have appointed this gentleman also to wait upon your father to advertise him.—Plymouth.
Endorsed :—“Oct. 1597. R[eceived] 28.”
Holograph. ½ p. (56. 79.)
Renald Smith to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, Oct. 26. Having almost two years past to my no small grief, upon some signs and great seeming, been greatly doubtful that a 'maign monster yoman' of my lord's [Burghley's] called Joseph Mayne had borne himself upon some support of yours, and thereupon he the rather daring to become as a 'Buntyng stale' for me to strike at, by provoking me so often and so greatly as, had it not been in respect of my service—which hath so deeply engaged me and whereby I have for all such respects lost the freedom and liberty of a gentleman—I could not but long ere this have taken a course of being revenged on him; meanwhile I have privately remembranced and got witnessed his confession of such his usages and broken protestations to me, as by certain closed up papers left with your servant Mr. Willis for you to see, may appear. But happening yesterday to be done understand by Edw. Bowker, my lord's bottleman, not only how far otherwise than my dealing with him he had some six days since dealt with Bowker (whose usage with extreme violence stolen upon him in my lord's pallet chamber is, I hear, come to your ears), but also how far otherwise than fitted him in wit or honesty he hath most malapertly opposed himself against you in a matter far unmeet his meddling, I am growing into good hope to find that such my fear proceeded but of mistaking; that if at your best leisure you vouchsafe me but one half hour's intending, to be able so far forth to remove whatsoever objections heretofore mutteringly or openly made against me, either with you or my lord your father, as hereafter to receive both from him and you double grace for my former disgraces past or depending.—26 October 1597.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (56. 49.)
The Earl of Essex to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, Oct. 26. I am so full of business as I cannot write to you at large. The news I bring is that I miss very few of her Majesty's fleet, but hope they will all be here this night. I parted company with Sir Walter Ralegh two days ago, and I think I saw him yesterday coming out of Scilly, for we saw a ship of the Queen's there which we made to be the Wastspight. The news we find is that the Spaniards are upon the coast; upon which, if we do not bestir ourselves as never men did, let us be counted not worthy to serve such a Queen. For the country, by the grace of God, I will take order, and I will instantly out with as many ships as I can, but this hour the wind blows full up into the harbour and we were all in ere we had this news. But we do set ashore our sick men, take in fresh, and water, for though we eat ropes' ends and drink nothing but rain water, we will out that we may be partly th' instruments to make a final end of this proud nation that is destined to destruction. They are already in distress, and if we can get out, I hope none of them shall escape.
Endorsed :—“At Plimouth the 26 of October about 10 of the clock in the morning. For life, for life, Essex.
Aishbur[ton] have an owr after fowre of the clock in the afternoon.
Exeter past 8 of the cloke in the night.
Receved at Hunyton haff a nower after 10.
Recevyd at Crokerne half a nouer after on of the cloke nyghte.
Received at Sherborne half a nouer past 4 of the clok morning.
Rec. at Shafton at 7 of the clock in the morning.
Resived at Sallisbwiry at nyne of the clocke.
Reseaved at Andover at 12.
At Bassingstok half a nouer past 3 of clok the afternoon the 27.
Rec. at Hartfordbridge half hour past . . . .”
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (56. 50.)
The Earl of Essex to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, [about Oct. 26.] I do send post upon post as I am free from giving directions here. Since my last I have spoken with Sir Ferdinando Gorges, and heard all that he knoweth of the Spanish prisoner. Whereupon, studying with myself what will be the course of this Spanish fleet, I do by all circumstances gather and assure myself that this army of theirs is gone for Ireland, where, if her Majesty will have them followed and us fitted for it, I see not, if God do not by miracle deliver them, how they can, a man or boat of them, scape. But if we hear they be once on land we must have troops in fit numbers to fight with them ready to be transported; to which purpose it were good that the same directions which go to Cornwall, Devonshire, Somerset, and Wales, for the making the country ready, should be seconded with another direction, that upon some one man's direction whom the Queen will authorise to conduct her forces and make the wars, they may put themselves aboard and be transported. For which purpose also there must be order for all the shipping and victual that can be had to be in a readiness instantly upon warning. And the first thing that you must remember must be her Majesty's commission to be forth; to which purpose, if my late commissions have stirred any envy, I will willingly be an executioner under whomsoever her Majesty appoints. But want of power and authority to command upon all occasions may either hazard her Majesty's honour in receiving some loss or affront, and give the Spanish army advantage of time either to go back safely or to do somewhat upon some part of the Queen's dominions. I have sent Sir Nicholas Parker to West Cornwall, and Sir H. Dockwray to Bristow, and Sir Samuel Bagnoll to Milford, with the best counsel I can give them, and letters to the deputy lieutenants thereabout to wish them to follow these gentlemen's advice in all occasions of the wars. This is all I can think of to be remembered to her Majesty or to my Lords. I do send Sir Thomas Jermyn this night to inform her Majesty of all things that belong to our actions passed.
[P.S.]—My Lord Admiral must send us long boats with all the speed that may be. There must be treasure sent down hither. I envy no man's good and am glad exceedingly of yours.
Endorsed :—“Oct. 1597. Received 28 at night. Without date.”
Holograph. Seal. 2 pp. (56. 74, 75.)
Subjoined, the following note by Essex :—“I must know if I put to sea whom I shall leave here on shore. I purpose to leave the Lord Mountjoy and the Marshal Sir Francis Vere if I go out speedily. But if we follow yonder men into Ireland we must go as strong as we can.”
¼ p. (56. 75.)
Thomas Bellott, customer of Weymouth, to Sir R. Cecil.
1597, Oct. 27. There is taken by a ship of this town named the Pearl, one Mr. Bingham captain, and William Walton of this town owner, an Indiaman laden with hides and certain wood for dyers. The prize is not yet come into the harbour, but, the news being brought at two o'clock in the morning, lieth yet out at anchor. It is given out, I hear, by the master and some others of the company, they have much good luggage, and verily to be intended as coming from thence, both pearl and such things, which hath stayed as yet my riding to London. I have thought it my duty to advertise you hereof, to the end if there be anything fit for my lord your father and you, I may the better by virtue of your letters perform in my office my duty accordingly.—From Wey[mouth] Mel[combe] Regis, 27 October 1597.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (56. 51.)
The Earl of Essex to the Privy Council.
1597, Oct. 27. I hope your lordships will think it sufficient I advertised Mr. Secretary of such news as I had and what sudden order I took, as also in what sort the fleet was returned. If I had had since my coming into harbour any one half hour's time to have gathered my wits, I would have ere this presented to your lordships a more particular account of all things. But to supply a fleet that hath been out four months and felt much ill weather, and to draw out mariners that had so lately surfeited of the sea, is so tiring a task as yet in my life I never had; and yet the falling of some of her Majesty's fleet with other places, and the sending out every way to inquire both of them and of the Spanish fleet, as also the sending out such experimented commanders as I could spare from the army to all the places where I could suspect the enemy would go, these things, I say, have increased my business. Now your lordships may assure her Majesty that all her ships but the Hope that is gone by for the Downs, and the Wastspight that is put into St. Ives, and the St. Andrew whom yet we hear not of, are put into this harbour, but some of them extreme leaky, others with their masts spoiled; all want men and victuals. But of these two last wants I have and shall this day well supply them, for though I have no warrant for it, yet I presume that, while an enemy's fleet is upon the coast, her Majesty would not have her fleet locked up in harbour or unable to keep the sea. Also, I hope to stop their leaks and to “fish” their masts within three days, and if the wind come fair by to-morrow I hope I shall have half a dozen of those that are in best state manned and victualled to keep the sea, with which I hope (if the [Spanish] fleet be anything severed, as undoubtedly within two or three days it was), to cut many of them off and to keep them from gathering any head that shall be fearful to any of her Majesty's dominions. And for the ships which we miss, I persuade myself they are all in harbour, and their several falling with the land in dark weather made them put into the next harbour. To Sir Walter Ralegh I have written to send the Wastspight hither, and I hear there is a great ship put into Falmouth which I hope to be either the St. Andrew or the biggest of the Indian prizes. They are both strong ships to fight against wind and weather, and they are very well manned, so as, by the grace of God, there is no fear of them. One of the prizes which was the Spanish King's frigate is come in this morning.
It may be that I shall be censured for this straggling retreat; but if your lordships have heard Sir Tho. Jermyn whom I sent up instructed to inform you of my whole carriage, you will free me for any such imputation. I was in as weak a ship as any man and in contrary winds none fell more to leeward, nor none in extreme weather was able to carry less sail; and yet if ever I saw any astern me for which I did not stay, or to leeward with which I did not bear up, then I will bear the whole blame. But that I lost company of them when I could not fetch up cannot be laid to my charge. Before two days pass I hope I shall know certainly what is become of the Spanish, and then I would be glad to be as soon as might be directed what I shall do. If it please her Majesty and your lordships to forethink and to resolve by provision and conditionally what shall be done, there will be much time gained, for one of these three ends they are come for :—to go for Ireland, or to see whether they could give a blow to our fleet as we returned, and to make some incursion if they saw opportunity, and so to return. If the first, then they will ply some 40 or 50 leagues off in some appointed harbour, till they have gathered together all their fleet. If the second, for Ireland, they are gone thither already. If the last, as soon as they know we are put in they will perhaps make another fire, like that of Penzance, and so return. Now if they will meddle with the mine, we shall be able, I doubt not, to defend all places where we are, either with the land troops or any port; and if her Majesty will send to us such shipping as [is] in the narrow seas and to the eastward, we doubt not but to win a battle at sea. If they go for Ireland her Majesty must resolve that those she sends shall hazard to fight with them by sea and land, and therefore they must be fitted accordingly. If they attempt neither, but hover till they know we are come in and so return, her Majesty may send out 6 or 8 of her ships to follow them to their own coast and to cut off such as scatter : and the same ships may bear afterwards for the South Cape, and so hazard the intercepting of the treasure if the galleons which I left in Tercera Road bring it away before Christmas. And I do the willinglier propound this because by a letter signed by her Majesty which met me here I was directed to have left some ships for their interception, which I persuade myself your lordships know by this that I possibly could not. And if the counsel were good then it is now upon more probability, because the treasure is at the Tercera and likely to be sent for home; but till the King's order come I do assure myself it cannot stir. I have troubled your lordships with a tedious letter; my unrestful mind and body do humbly plead to have all wants pardoned.—Plymouth, this 27th of October.
Holograph. Seal broken. 5 pp. (56. 52.)
The Privy Council to the Mayor and Officers of the Port of ——.
1597, Oct. 28. The navy of the King of Spain having been of late discovered to be on the coast of this realm, the Earl of Essex hath authority from her Majesty to pursue the Spanish fleet to empeach their attempts. He hath authority therefore out of any the Welsh counties to send for such forces as he shall think necessary; to which end letters are written also to the Earl of Pembroke, her Majesty's Lieutenant of the several counties in Wales, to send such supply out of any those counties as his lordship shall require. These shall be to command you, either upon notice from his lordship or from the Earl of Pembroke, to provide shipping for the men embarked at that port, and to see them furnished with victuals or other necessaries as required, the charge whereof shall be repaid, according to such reasonable rates as have been accustomed in like services.—From the Court at Whitehall, the 28th of October, 1597.
Three copies, each signed, W. Burghley, Nottingham, R. North, W. Knollys, Ro. Cecyll, and sealed, but the name of the port left blank.
1 p. each. (56. 55, 57, 58.)
Sir Edward Hoby to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, Oct. 28. Among the curious carpers of the Book of Common Prayer nought is more found fault with than that many collects are made to beg benefits at God's hand, but none set down for thanksgiving after having obtained them. No less might I incur like censure if having so often tired and importuned you like an evil spirit attending you in craving, I should continue as silent still in yielding thanks. In witness of which I beseech you to accept this poor present I have sent, not that it is worthy of your worth, but that by it you may ever remember me; begging only that for my sake you will never part with it, which though hitherto I have kept as a relique to my poor self yet can no end be to me so pleasing as your kindness and love. Compliments are unnecessary, and this time requireth no tediousness.
Holograph. Seal. ½ p. (56. 56.)
Hampden Poulet to Sir Robert Cecil and the Privy Council.
1597, Oct. 28. Some few hours before the receipt of your letters of the 26th instant, signifying a great fleet expected out of Spain to arrive upon these our coasts, and that I should therefore have great care unto the safety of this town of Portsmouth, I had intelligence given me that the fleet was already upon our coast and that the western parts had taken the alarum thereof. Whereupon I thought it very needful to send for some other forces out of the county somewhat to strengthen this garrison, which is so small that the weakness of the night watches (the which with this only company cannot be strengthened) offereth great damage and hazard to this place. Therefore I have directed the captains appointed for the defence of this town of Portsmouth to send speedily unto this place 300 men to be taken out of their several companies, here to remain until your pleasures be further known, having taken order but for three days victualling these companies. And whereas you willed that Captain Winter should double man the St. Mathew, he being now at London, I have caused Mr. Austin, the master of that ship, to perform that service, who thinks it very fit that her Majesty's pinnace Advice, now here in harbour, may be here stayed and employed to discover which way the Spanish fleet doth bend : to which purpose I have at this present sent out a small pinnace.—From Portsmouth, this 28th of October 1597.
Holograph. Seal broken. 1 p. (56. 59.)
[The Queen] to the [Earl of Essex.]
1597, Oct. 28. We have seen your letters hourly written to our Secretary, and thereby perceive your care and diligence, which we do well allow. And for direction, in this uncertainty of the Spanish purposes, whether it be for our realm of Ireland or England that they mean to make their descent, we do determine that you shall thus proceed. First, you shall put in readiness, and draw forth as you see cause by the opinion of such commanders as we have formerly assigned you, all such forces as you can to encounter the Spanish navy; and for the better strengthening of ourself upon our own coast, we have commanded such ships as can be here drawn out to be also furnished to lie in the narrow seas, to join with the fleet under your charge. Secondly, for the matter of Ireland, you shall first understand that upon the death of our Deputy (an accident to us of no small grief) we have constituted general of our army our cousin the Earl of Ormond, with two justices for the better government of the civil policy of the kingdom. But if it shall appear to you that the army is there descended and that our own coast is free from danger, we do then give you authority with all speed to make after them with such forces by land and sea as you shall find necessary; and we do give you full authority to command the said army in such form as by your commission already under our great seal you have. And when you shall be arrived, because we know not whether you shall have cause to join your forces with our cousin the Earl of Ormond already constituted general of our army there, we are pleased that when he shall be joined with you you shall have the superior commandment; and in your absence wheresoever he is he to be the principal commander in the army. And now that we have thus directed you provisionally how you shall proceed in these occasions whereof we have advertisement daily from you, we must again say this unto you as a matter fit to be reiterated and deeply imprinted, namely, that seeing already by your late leaving the coast upon an uncertain probability that no army would come forth of Ferol till March, you have given the enemy leisure and courage to attempt us, and left us unprovided to resist them with that provision which is necessary for so important an action, you do take good heed, according to your duty and allegiance, that you do not in any case upon any probability or light advertisements once adventure to leave our own coast to transport our forces to Ireland, whereby our own kingdom may lie open to serious dangers; but that you do proceed in this great affair according to the rules of advised deliberation as well as affections of zeal and diligence. For treasure, for victual and what may be fit for us to send, you shall find that you serve a prince neither void of care nor judgment what to do that is fit in cases of this consequence. Of all which particulars we do advertise you by the hands of our ministers, to which we further refer you.
Endorsed :—“28 Oct. 1597. Minute of a letter to th' Earle of Essex.”
Holograph by Cecil. Draft. 2 pp. (56. 60.)
Lord Thomas Howard, Lord Mountjoy, and Sir Walter Ralegh to the Earl of Essex.
1597, Oct. 29. We have this Saturday night received the comfortable news of George Summers' arrival, whose letter we have herewithal sent you. We do only now want the Andrew; for other small ships, we hope they will as well shift by the wind or otherwise to save themselves as the rest have done. These being all well returned, her Majesty's kingdoms defended, the enemy dishonoured and made a great loser, and the war made upon our enemy's charge, we hope, together with the consideration of our great travails and cares, her Majesty will receive our service in gracious part.
We have not heard of any certain particular of the Spanish fleet since your lordship's departure, other than that some of ours in returning do discover 10, 12, or more, in a company, of them, as they are broken; only I, Sir W. Ralegh, received an advertisement this evening that the fleet should be near the coast of Cornwall, and by those very words, not otherwise fortified by any particular, nor by what means they who wrote the news received it. Notwithstanding, we have resolved that I the Vice-Admiral will go off to the seas with those few ships which may be made ready, and that I the Lieutenant General will attend this port and the country adjoining, and I the lieutenant of Cornwall use all means possible to defend that country. [P.S.] Captain Rugway, in coming by the Lizard, was met by one of the Spanish fleet near Falmouth, two of his men killed and eight hurt.—Plymouth, the 29th of October.
Endorsed :—“Hast, post hast, hast for life with speed possible. Delivered at Plymouth at 12 o'clock at night the 29 of October. For her Majesty's most important affairs, from the Lieutenant of Cornwall. W. Ralegh.”
Holograph. Two seals. 2 pp. (56. 61.)
G. Lord Hunsdon to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, Oct. 29. By the present receipt of your kind letter I find performance of what it pleased you to promise and a full confirmation of what by report I received in my journey of Sir Thomas Jermyn and others. This added to your other favours increaseth the bond of my debts.
The return and safe arrival of our fleet cannot but secure us from fear and assure the enemy's overthrow where in 'strength' we shall be able to rencounter him, and by the place have advantage to confound him, or else force him to a second circumference about us without taking any true measure of his way. But my opinion ever was that the continuance of the forcible north-east winds, standing 10 days in their teeth after their being within 50 leagues of our coast, could not but cast them upon their own shore, where once arrived hardly can they recover their losses or repair their hurts (though the King should not be dead) until the spring of the year. Yesterday there came a bark from the Islands where her goods were confiscate in respect of our fleet's late having been there; but by the governor of St. Michael was told that before he could return he should find the Isle of Wight conquered, kept and inhabited by Spaniards. But I will so interrupt them that I will lose my life before my government and make them pay dear for it before they shall enjoy it. This day I hear there was a fleet of 90 great sails seen pass by Guernsey, but whether the Spanish fleet or no uncertain, which you cannot but know before us; they being most likely, if so far shot forward, to go for Calais. And now to yield you an account in what state I found the forces of Hampshire. That night of my departure from Court I sent by post that the chief gentlemen of those divisions that are to repair hither should put their bands in all possible readiness and meet me the next day at Winchester and Hampton; who meeting me accordingly I found them all utterly ignorant of the Spanish fleet's having been so near our coast, not to have mustered any of their bands this twelvemonth, not to know what number of pikes or shot they could make, alleging the usual exchange and departure out of the country of servants at Michaelmas; neither could they under 5 or 6 days assure their coming in any good sort into the Island; finally finding some orders to have been set down the last year, but neither observed nor performed for want of good correspondency betwixt the two lieutenants, whose past and present inward dislikes taketh away all hope from me of ever finding good supply from Hampshire. The fortifications here I find well begun, and if they may be finished it will be the strongest island of Christendom, and thereby stand ever assured to the crown of England, only now kept by the enemy's ignorance of our weakness and the great importance of the place, which I hold 500 men the stronger by my presence, so confident I am of the love and courage of our people. Sir, if the Spanish fleet shall not be passed the Sleeve, which from Dover you may before this time have understood, knowing my lord of Essex will be upon their backs, and having set this country in all the readiness I may, God willing, in some part of the next week I will return except by you I shall find cause to the contrary.—From Carisbrook Castle, this Saturday at 12 at night.
Holograph. Seals. 2 pp. (56. 62.)
Tobie Matthew, Bishop of Durham, to Lord Burghley.
1597, Oct. 29. At Sir William Bowes and my late being in the Border service at Newborne, the gentlemen of Northumberland earnestly desired that we would move you (fn. 1) to spare their appearance upon their recognizances this term, in regard of such attendance as we have tied them unto, upon occasions that may occur, and until the book drawn for their accounts of sheriffswick may be perfected, which they seem rather desirous may proceed with effect than willing to use any unnecessary delays therein. This suit I perceive they have recommended to this bearer, to whom as their request is your lordship would give ear, so could I wish you would both hear him and credit him in some Border matters of importance, and namely, in the report of that last action at the delivery of the pledges and entry of Buccleugh, with whom he hath had sundry conferences in Berwick, and was present in the tumult. If your lordship can bear with some heat of his, kindled as I am persuaded by the very indignities that our nation still endureth and the continuance and increase of the daily and nightly miseries and spoils that those parts in the Warden's absence do sustain, I believe you shall receive that true intelligence by him which very few dare utter indeed, and which may move any Christian true English heart to have compassion upon the most lamentable and dangerous estate of this side of the realm. But what availeth commiseration without reformation? And what can be the benefit of reformation if it be not wrought in time? The causes and effects of the frontier decays and disorders are made too apparent if the offenders be not some removed speedily, other some condignly punished. Either the number of gentlemen that have now twice inquired and presented must be hatefully censured, or else the transgressors duly and justly handled : nihil est tertium. The laws of God and man command it, the Commission did pretend it, the world doth expect it, that poor country doth sigh and groan for it. For justice, for religion, for conscience sake (not only for honour) her Majesty and most honourable Privy Council are to look with a more and more pitiful eye unto it lest the taking in of Buccleugh and the pressing of Cesford prove rather a disgrace than a relief unto this border. You have, or be desirous to have and to hold a brace of wolves by the ears, Cesford especially being both so popular and so potent in our middle Marches. But if you get them both and mind to keep them, is there any so meet place for them as the Tower of London? It is not to be supposed any subject in these parts will hazard himself or his with them, if he may choose, nor can be sure to redeliver them, though he were willing. Verily, my good lord, I do not hope the King will yield Cesford unto her Majesty notwithstanding all his professions. Yet is it not strange that the Queen of England cannot come by Cesford when Thomas Percy (his wife a notorious recusant, by the way), the Constable of Alnwick and Warkworth Castles, may entertain him when and where and how he list? I pray you ask this bearer of this particular and mark it well; yet forget not that Th. Percy is my lord of Northumberland's both officer and kinsman, as also that Jo. Browne was sometime toward his lordship.
These frontier affairs are without end and therefore make men that are to meddle in them to be without measure. Howbeit I spare many things, though I acknowledge it my fault to write overmuch. If ever it be my good hap to speak with your lordship I will by word let you know that the North is a wonderful place; God amend it, and bless the government, but especially her Majesty's royal person. Your lordship, I hope, will call to remembrance what I wrote to you of the causes of the defection in the North these later years, and what remedies I offered to your consideration. To that I beseech you to add that such recusants as cannot be apprehended upon notice given at their houses may upon summons in the parish churches or in the markets be denounced disloyal and forfeit, &c., if they shall not appear and answer by a certain time limited. Also that their children may be, after five years of age, withdrawn from the education of their popish parents and committed to the next-of-kin that is not to benefit by them, being no recusants. Item, that there may a form of certificate (as is done for tenths and subsidies, &c.), be inserted into the statute for the 20l. le Moneth (sic), and that statute explained, as that likewise of their confirming and certifying. And I would to God the monition were made a proviso in all faculties granted by my lord's grace of Canterbury, touching the preaching of so many sermons, so long residence in every year, and so much relief to the poor by hospitality; and in default thereof the benefices to be void ipso facto, and to be lawful to the patron to present thereunto another sufficient minister than him that formerly made default.
The marriages made after divorce for adultery (the former husband and wife living) groweth overusual, is very odious, and hardly warrantable by the Word of God and precedents of the Primitive Church. Marriage without consent of parents (or others loco parentum) is a great blemish in our reformed church to be no more deeply chastised than it is. One of the best ways to further the minister to become learned and to be contented with one benefice with cure were to revive the statutes for tillage, or at least to frame some other to such proportion as might suffice for that good purpose.
A severe law (in mine opinion) would be made to prohibit dangerous books and counterfeit politique discourses, which do exceeding great harm to the State and more than, methinks, is seen into. Order would forthwith be taken that popish books of controversies, as Bellarmine, Stapleton, Gregorius de Valentia, with such like, should no sooner come forth but the Universities, cathedral sees and churches (with some other learned men at large) should be enjoined to answer them by a certain reasonable time, upon letters directed unto them from the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, &c., and the said popish books to be forbidden to be vendible until they should be published with the answer. It is incredible what decay the contrary custom hath bred in religion.
To end where I began, the Borders are sensibly fallen [into such] decay and 'ataxie' that I think it not feasible to be restored and reformed by authority of the Wardens alone, or by their Warden courts and days of truce; so as it may seem necessary that statute laws were made against meeting with Scots, marrying with them, entertaining them into service, demising of lands or tenements unto them and granting of placards to buy horses, as also for strengthening of the frontiers by inclosures, by re-peopling of decayed townships and 'steedes' [steads], by re-edifying or repairing of castles and pieces of strength. These I offer to you as propositions to be thought upon, not commending any of them further unto you than your own wisdom shall best judge of them. Howbeit I thought myself bound in all duty and conscience to cast in my two mites into the treasury, even all my substance (Mar. 12, 42).—At B. Auckland, 29 October 1597.
Holograph. 3 pp. (56. 63.)
Dr. Chr. Parkins to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, Oct. 29. The bearer hereof, my servant Richard Pooles, remembering me that he hath had many occasions to take pains in bearing many my letters to you, hath now signified unto me that jointly with your servant Nicholas, the chamber keeper, he intendeth to become a suitor to you for a small office in Wales of your gift as Chancellor of the Duchy [of Lancaster], which is now void; requiring that I would move the matter to you. In such a small matter, so far as it may be without inconvenience, I pray you give me leave to commend them to your favour.—London, 29 October, 1597.
Holograph. ½ p. (56. 65.)
Captain George Somers to the Earl of Essex.
1597, Oct. 29. We arrived at Dartmouth this present Saturday, the 29th of October, and sending to you at Plymouth on the arrival of the ship, since having heard that you are gone to the Court, have thought good to send one to you to know what shall be done with the goods and ship, for that the ship is without sails, for we have been fain to mend our sails with our bonnets and fore topsail; for when the wind was good at some time we must mend our sails and ropes. You were best in my judgment unlade her and either have it up by land or in some good ship; the cochineal by land and the 'heied' by water, at your choice. Our mariners and many of our soldiers be very sick, and we had scarce men to handle our sails, but I thank God all is very well. I hope you have left some direction, but as yet I can hear of none, which causeth me to send you this bearer to know your pleasure. If you do sell the prize I pray you that I may buy her for that I have no ship now. We have heard of a fleet of Spaniards, but saw none. They are come in a very bad time to do themselves any good upon our coast.—29 October.
Holograph. Seal. ½ p. (56. 66.)
Sir Nicholas Parker to the Earl of Essex.
1597, October 30. The ships I advertised you to be descried thwart this harbour yesterday at sun setting, nine of them were English, one Scot, and one Fleming, all merchants bound for Rochelle, and had put out of this harbour the day before; and finding the wind contrary returned hither and put in within 3 hours night, which gave us the 'larum very hot. But as soon as I had discovered myself what they were I posted a messenger to Sir Francis Godolphin to make stay of the assembly of the whole county forces (which upon the view of these ships in the “doeing” I had ordered to be performed) and speedily to execute our first determination to levy 400 choice men to be resident here for the making of present resistance. Four other ships those men saw, but they were not of their company, neither know they what they were. These 15 sail which to us seemed to be together, we made to be 20. I have stayed these and purpose to do the like to all others that shall come in till I know your pleasure. The scarcity of ordnance is such in the castle and the ground so spacious to be defended, and also the harbour, where many ships may ride without shot of the castle, that I could wish I had more ordnance here to place upon the points of land aptest to command the harbour; and for the supplying of that defect I determine to take some out of the ships if with any industry I can provide carriages that we may be able to use them. Between this and Helston, four miles distant from this place, there are many places of wonderful conveniency to land on, and it will be very hard for me to make them all good; but I do hold guards of 30 men upon the several places, and will be ready to draw greater forces to any place they shall give upon with all possible expedition. The castle hath but 8 pieces serviceable and 3 fowlers.—Falmouth, 30 October 1597.
Signed. 1 p. (56. 67.)
Lord Thomas Howard to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, Oct. 30. We have written a letter to our General [Essex] how things have passed since his departure. I account he will acquaint you with those particulars; but to satisfy the demands of your letter for our gains I willingly would do it, but you being a counsellor could not with your duty conceal it, and we are loath to make restitution of goods so hardly gotten. But the Rear-Admiral hath taken a sure course, for he hath sold the sugar prize at Bristol and paid himself, with his officers and company, and could with the Queen's honour proportion to himself no less than forty shillings a day. If it be allowed, he is beforehand; if not, he sweareth desperately you shall never get groat back again from him.
I stay the wind's pleasure, which when it first serveth I will to the westward with 2 or 3 ships, more I cannot get out of a sudden. I shall be able with them to discover at the least the Spanish fleet if they be not gone; and if they do straggle I may happily light upon one of them. By the next letters I assure myself we shall be able to advertise you of the certainty of all these doubts.—The 30 of October.
Holograph. Portion of seal. 1 p. (56. 68.)
Sir Walter Ralegh to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, Oct. 30. We have written a joint letter to my Lord General, of an advertisement brought by one Bowden of Plymouth, who fought with one of the fly-boats of war of the Spanish fleet in 42 degrees, and 30 leagues off the Cape. The particularities I send you enclosed, though not in that form as in the Lord General's letter, for this being the first examination we did afterwards marshal it. Other news there are none but that this day there came another small bark in of Plymouth, that also met George Carew, and saith he had repaired his main-mast, so as I hope he may better shift both with the weather and the enemy.
I beseech you to excuse me to my Lord Admiral, and that this copy may serve him also, and to my cousin Stanhope and to my Lord Cobham, for we are here made mad with intricate affairs and want of means.—Plymouth, the 30th of October at night.
[P.S.] This captain reported unto us of his own voluntary that the Earl [of Essex], our General, hath as much fame and reputation in Spain and Italy as ever, and more than any of our nation had; and that for an enemy he is the most honoured man in Europe. My Lord Thomas Howard was present, my Lord Mountjoy, my Lord Marshal and myself, and therefore he shall not take it for flattery on my part. My Lord Mountjoy prayeth me to recommend his affection and service unto you.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (56. 69.)
The Spanish Fleet.
1597, Oct. [30]. “Advices concerning the Spanish Fleet, sent by Sir Wa. Raleigh.” The fleet was divided into four squadrons, the first that of the Adelantado, who had green pendants; the second of Diego Brochero, who had yellow pendants; the third of Britendona, who had red; and the fourth of Cebures, who had white. There was a fifth Squadron of Marco Arambull who was to come with 30 sail more and 5000 men for supply. The masters of the camp were Don John de Lova, Don Farnando Brochero, and Orosa, who was expected out of Brittany. Some of these Spaniards examined say there came out together but 110, but the alferes of the Spanish captain avoweth that they were 160. They say that they departed the Groyne St. Lucas day, as they think, the 10th of October. They do farther confess, severally examined, that this fleet came all within 10 leagues of the Lizard, jointly and entire, and there met the storm at East which severed them. After which this ship taken by Bowden never saw but one of his consorts, which was some 30 leagues from the coast of Spain.
The Spanish captain is called John Viveres, a Biscayan; he levied the company himself in his country, and he avoweth that there were 40 galleons of the King's, of which he knew the names but of these :—
The St. Pole (Paul), in which the Adelantado went.
The St. Peter, Admirante.
The St. Lucas, was cast away coming out of Ferrol.
The St. Francis and the St. John : 15 great Biscayan ships, 60 great Esterlings, 10 or 12 flyboats, besides French and carvels.
There was also expected 17 sail of ships out of the Straits, which fleet another bark of Plymouth of Sparks, which arrived also this present, saw at the South Cape. He saith that there were of infantry between 10,000 and 12,000, of horse 500; and 5,000 foot more expected with Marco Arambull, a Biscayan.
They all will confess that they came six days on with good wind and then [were] taken with the storm. They brought also field artillery with store of moyles [mules] and oxen.
The general of the artillery was Don Pedro de Guavara.
Being asked what English were in the fleet, they say divers, but they know name of none but Richard Burley.
Of Irish there was one company entire.
Being asked what provision of boats to land soldiers, they say 20 made of purpose, capable of 100 men apiece, besides those of the ships.
Being demanded what victual, they answer that the fleet had but 6 weeks : for it was determined that, as soon as the men were ashore, the fleet should return.
They do avow all “gather” that the place of descent should be Falmouth.
This Englishman Bowden, passing by the Lizard the 28th of this month of October, say [saw] 12 sail near the headland, but could not make them, and the Spanish prisoners say that they think them not to be of their fleet because they had no pendants, which we think themselves took in because they were so few.
This Bowden also reporteth that he saw two very great ships off Scilly as he came : and as we gather, both by the circumstance and by the confession of the prisoners, that this poor man fought very resolutely, and having but 28 men and boys took this flyboat by an entry, who had 40 soldiers besides sailors, and yet slew not one but at the entrance,—of whose good service, and the better to encourage others we humbly pray your L. to have consideration.
Holograph by Ralegh. 1½ pp. (56. 81.)
Sir John Gilbert to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, Oct. 30. Your continual employment in state affairs and my speedy posting out of London by commandment from my Lord Admiral withheld me from troubling you in some few matters which greatly needed your furtherance. They are too long in this your little leisure for me to write of, as they were then to speak of, and therefore I shortly pray your aid in such of them as most concern me. My Lady Gilbert and aunt is now at London complaining to her Majesty (as I hear) against me. I hope that her Majesty will but hear her and not believe her to my prejudice in this my absence in her service; and that she may not, I earnestly entreat your favour herein that when my aunt is heard complaining her Majesty may likewise hear that I am in her service. I do protest that I am wronged by her with all my brethren besides, and have not offered anything to her, that may not well beseem me. Again, the prize is now gone up for London; what will become of her in this my absence I do not know, though much I fear, what through the cunning of such as I shall therein encounter and great unfaithfulness of such perchance as I do put in trust with her, who, be they formerly never so trusty, may there perchance in this my absence and amid such wealth do what I may long time repent of. These causes need your help and I earnestly beg it, praying that if my continual remaining abroad may be well excused that I with your leave may come to London for one week (leaving my ship under a sufficient commander the while) to attend and give end or order for some of the many businesses I have to do in London.
The place I now enjoy under Sir Henry Palmer by your favour, I very well like, and shall exceedingly, if as I hope so I might be assured, that it would help me to the higher when it falleth. If it should not it would grieve me much, for it would much disgrace me. A commission which Sir Robert Cross shewed me now in Sir H[enry]'s sickness did grieve me much and made me much to fear my hopes herein would be in vain. If this may not be I doubt not but by your good means I shall either enjoy some employment on the western coast as now of late, or get some command on land, for I long to live in service of her Majesty and therein to spend and end my days.—Aboard the Antelope this 30 of October, 1597.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (56. 70.)
1597, Oct. 31. Acknowledgment of receipt by Rodolf Winwod, Bursar, from Edward Reynolds, of 12l. 8s.d. due to St. Marie Magdalen College, Oxford, for ½ year's rent of the parsonage of Willoughbie.—31 Oct. 1597.
1 p. (214. 30.)
The Spanish Fleet.
1597, Oct. On the 19th Sept. the Royal Armada left Ferrol. It arrived at Coruna of the 23rd, and was there stayed by contrary winds until 15th Oct. Describes how the Governor meanwhile exercised the men on shore, especially the artillery, and how finally on the 18th Oct. the Armada, in spite of the great unwillingness of the crews to start so late in the year, sailed. All went well until about the entry to the English Channel a contrary gale arose, which ultimately forced them to put back to Spain, where the captain made every effort to collect the ships, and has collected 38, so that only three galleons are missing.
Endorsed in Spanish :—Account of the voyage of the Governor (Adelante) in the month of October of the year 1597.
Spanish. 3 pp. (35. 98.)
Lady Mary Arundel to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, Oct. It is not unknown how that Smalman (who otherwise had leisure and commodity to provide for himself) was by me held in a lingering suspense, to the end I might ever have him ready to be brought forth for the clearing of my husband, whose safety was my greatest care. By this lingering Smalman was taken, and I thereby made the cause of his taking. Wherefore, thinking myself bound in honour and conscience to do my best for his delivery, I send this earnest entreaty to you, from whose honourable disposition (if I be not more unfortunate than all the rest of my best friends) I may hope for greater favours than this. Neither have I been hasty in this suit for his enlargement, lest my haste might anyway prejudice the cause of my dearest husband. It is now more than four months since his first imprisonment, and if now that all things are clear I may obtain his enlargement I shall acknowledge it as a great favour.
Endorsed :—1597, Oct.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (56. 72.)
William Edwards to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, Oct. Enfield House is ready to fall down in divers places which are of late cracked, and may be in time with small charge remedied. Since Mr. Vades' departure the pipes are broke and let in water; if it be your pleasure to have it mended, which in time with small charge may be done, I crave your meaning. It lies in danger of falling this winter for want of filing and other repair. There are growing about the ponds, walks, and orchards, willows and sallows, which would very well serve to help the chimneys for fire. Mr. Manners, who takes all the benefit that can be made about the house, hath left such as he will not be at charge, to cut down, which will serve for the saving of the chimneys. To certify you of the misbehaviour of his coachman I think good, who breaks down the doors and carries away lead and glass, which Mr. Vades commanded should be locked up and that they should not come there, unless Mr. Manners himself for his pleasure, to walk. But his coachman, now his housekeeper, makes all the spoil he can and yet will not let a broom to sweep the house. Since Mr. Manners' coming he took down from the great house all the glass to glaze his own lodging.
Holograph. 2/3 p. (56. 73.)
The Expedition under the Earl of Essex.
[1597, Oct.] “Remembrances for those things that must from hence be ordered and do belong to my charge that is at Plymouth.” To what place or places her Majesty's ships shall come? Where the mariners shall be paid? What order shall be given that the sick men and such as shall not go about with the ships but be discharged at Plymouth, may be satisfied there? Whither the Low Country troops shall be sent? What order shall be given for the victualling and transporting of them? Of whom and where they shall receive their pay, I mean that which is the overplus of pay, their victuals being defaulted? Whether the Low Country ships shall not be set at liberty to return? What letters of thanks shall be written to the States by them, and whether any hope given, when it is seen what is taken, that they shall have anything for their adventure? Where the prizes shall be unladen, and who shall have charge both of them and the goods.
Endorsed by Essex's Secretary :—“Remembrances concerning my lord's charge at Plymouth.”
Holograph by Essex. 1 p. (56. 76.)
Sir Edward Hoby to [Sir Robert Cecil].
1597, Oct. I have been with Mr. Attorney; I find him constant against the first course. I was with the Judges again, and I protest it is in form all the difference; the matter falleth out all one to my benefit, and I think better to the Queen's satisfaction, now her judges allow this proceeding, and surely stronger for me. I begged of her Majesty the whole, she only stood to understand the value and to that end would have joined A.B. with me. Now she shall understand it at full when her court is to receive all upon judgment and to give me two parts out of it, which she only cometh by by my wit and industry. Every promoter by law is allowed a half. I protest I think the suit shall and will before it be brought to judgment cost me well near a third part in charge, yet I will rest satisfied with this course to the judges' liking, that is, that a grant should be made of such part as her Majesty giveth me, which can be no profit under two parts, of all such forfeitures as I shall sue in the Queen's name to judgment, and I to receive it without petition, suit, or further trouble. Now the question is how this may be wrought without the pardon taking hold thereof. The judges agree that the forfeiture were fit to be taken but not given to a subject for discouraging of other laws of penalty to be given in Parliament now or hereafter. They never touched the antiquity of the law. I have made Mr. Attorney draw a bill to the judges' mind. Except speedy course be taken the Queen loseth all, nothing is gotten but from the greedy subject, and her poor servant unrelieved. I leave the consideration of this to you, my principal pillar and good. Mr. Attorney will presently wait on you, and I am ready to attend.
Holograph unsigned. ¾ p. (56. 77.)
Lord Burghley to all Justices of the Peace.
1597, Oct. Requiring them to aid the bearer John Norden, gent, who has very diligently and skilfully travailed to the more perfect description of the several shires of the realm, having already imprinted certain of his labours, to his great commendation, and intending to proceed in the rest as time and his ability will permit. Prays them, Norden's state and ability being no ways answerable to his good mind, which may cause a hindrance to his good work, to use their best favours for some voluntary benevolence or contribution to be given by them well affected to this service, who, as all other her Majesty's subjects, shall reap the fruit of his labours.—From the Court at Richmond, this — day of October, 1597.
Signed. Seal. 1 p. (56. 80.)
Edward Reynolds to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, Oct. It may please you to accept my thanks for your favour in soliciting Her Majesty to grant my suit, as Mr. Killigrew tells me you have done; and as young Ouseley is returned intending to press his suit on the Queen by the best mediation he can obtain, I would ask you to expedite the matter as far as is fit. The gentleman's desire was to be joined in patent with me, I was not unwilling so as it might be done without my prejudice. Mr. Smith tells me that Francis Gall has also revived his suit, which seemed desperate. I understand that in a letter to you he charges me with a breach of promise. What I promised was upon an offer long since made by Mr. Yetswert for the resignation of his office in the Signet, for some other thing to be procured by my Lord for him, which proved nothing but words. I wish to have satisfied you of this in speech, and also to have thanked you, but not finding you have made bold to do it in these few words. I doubt not that at his return my Lord will affectionately thank you for your favours.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (175. 120.)


  • 1. Underlined in the original.