Cecil Papers: April 1598, 16-30

Pages 135-153

Calendar of the Cecil Papers in Hatfield House: Volume 8, 1598. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1899.

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April 1598, 16–30

R. Douglas to Archibald Douglas.
1598, April 16. I received some letters of yours bearing date the 24 of February about the latter end of March from one Adam Boyd, who called himself your servant, but before I come to the answering of them I will purge myself of my long silence and your hard conceived opinion of me. Ever since our Secretary's home-coming from that country the King has had a hard opinion of me, and has blamed me as a writer and receiver of letters prejudicial to his service. I was not as yet accused, but I know sundry ways has been used to have trapped my letters. Whereof being advertised by some of my friends at Court, I abstained from all sort of writing thither, except I had found a bearer to whom I might surely have concredited my letters. To have written either by Captain Caupell or Sir John Selby I durst not, for I knew both those ways were laid. The Chancellor and Sir George Home, my irreconcilable enemies, rule all matters here, and I am only protected from their malice by my Lord of Morton's good countenance. So not finding a trusty bearer, I durst not write, but think not that I am any ways altered from the goodwill which long ago I have dedicate unto you. Nothing is dearer to me than your well-doing and good estate, but without any purpose to expose me to danger and do you no good, ye are not, I know, so unjust as to desire me. But now finding this bearer going where you are, I would not suffer him to pass without my letters. And first, to answer to your letter wherein gravely and wisely you have set down the state of his Majesty's service in that country, with the inconvenients that are likely to fall out herein by the unhonest and unjust dealing of those who meddles in it, and the remedies how they may be helped, although I know them to be very true, and your grave and sound advices therein meet to be embraced by his Majesty, and that ye deserve thanks therefor, yet, as the time is, and considering the hard opinion his Majesty by the impression of your enemies has both of you and me, I dare not communicate them to him, and the rather because ye desire it to be kept secret, and the disclosing thereof may do you harm, for it would be told to the Chancellor at their first meeting. Therefore I have resolved by the advice of some of your best friends to keep it for a while. I am dealing by the Lord Hume's means and some others, to procure a favourable letter from the King to the Queen of England, desiring her to suffer you to return to this country for such matters as his Highness has to do with you, and another to yourself. Which if I obtain, I will take occasion thereupon to communicate these matters to him at length; otherwise, if it be not granted, I mind not to meddle with him upon any matter that concerns his service.
As for the Laird of Wemys, he is as large and liberal in his promises as performing. What course he has taken since his home coming I cannot well tell, for I have seen him but once. He is commonly at Court, which has been at Stirling ever since I received your letters. I fear he has done as little in that matter which he promised you. Concerning William Anderson, who has deceived you, I cannot hear nor understand that that man or his fellow the minister are come in this country. I have enquired at all the places ye have directed me by your letter, but can hear nothing of them. It is of truth indeed that Minister Anderson, at his being in this country, proponit to his Majesty that miraculous work of his cousin Anderson, and promised to come into this country to enrich the King, but there was little account made of it. Sensyne I have not heard anything of them, neither that they are in Germany or Denmark, so that it appears that they are lurking in some corner of that country. If hereafter I can learn anything of them I shall advertise you.
As for the state of this country, the resolution of many matters depends upon the departure of the country of Huntley and Erroll, who were once embarked, but stayed with contrary winds. They have found caution to depart and continue away during the King's pleasure under pain of 40,000 pounds, but many doubts of their intention in this matter, and that they shall be overseen by the Court. Always the truth will appear shortly. My Lord of Angus has as yet obtained no condition, but my Lord of Morton and his friends are travailing for his relief. Earl Bothwell is not yet away, but keeps the seas between Orkney and Caithness, and it is supposed that the Chancellor's favour keeps him from going away, to hold the King in fear, that he have not time to take some harder course against the officers which, no question, would be followed forth if the King were quit of Bothwell. And this desire that the Queen had to have the Prince out of the Earl of Mar's hands, put in her head by the Chancellor and his faction, is like to draw to a great stir amongst them, the King inclining to Mar, and suspecting that desire to carry a further “taile,” prejudicial to him and his standing. So ye may see how this poor prince, by the craft and malice of them whom he has principally advanced, is cast out of one trouble into another, and this is the state wherein we stand presently. I know ye have heard of one Mr. John Morton, a Jesuit, who was taken in Holland, and sent hither. His errand was to expostulate with Mr. James Gordon upon the evil handling of his last commission, and doing of other offices here with the Catholics of this country. He was to have been put to an assize, but is stayed, as it is said, upon a motion from that country, because there is another taken there who was in company with him, upon whose confession, to be sent here, they mind to try him further.
Ye know the Laird of Spott has been and is troubled this great while past, and remains in the West border of England. I will therefore request you very earnestly, if your friendship or mine may help to draw him within that country where he may safely put off a season from the snares of his enemies, who leave no wind unstilled to trap him, that ye will do it, for I trust that within a short space he shall recover his own.
My aged father and mother are very desirous to see their son James.—From Edinburgh this 16 of April, 1598.
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pp. (60. 87.)
Bartholomew Biston to the Earl of Essex.
1598, April 19/29. Laus Deo.—St. Mallos, 29 April, 1598.
Thomas Maynard, a lewd fellow that ran from the camp, came for this town and stayed here some ten days for passage to England. In the meantime barks went, but he stayed here, still loitering up and down. Afterwards he embarked in a bark of Jersey for London, wherein was one Mr. Mowle, a gentleman that came from my lord ambassador. The bark was cast away between Jersey and St. Malo but the men were all saved. After Maynard's departure, his host, one called Mallo, told me that he left with him a packet of letters, and that he owed him 38 sous, which letters I crave to see, which being brought to me, the packet being open with one of your Honour's letters broke up, for which letters I paid him his due before he would deliver them to me. I have sent them to your Honour by the bearer hereof, Henry Young, from the Baron of Mollac regiment, whom I got embarked with others for Topsham (Aptsam) in the West Country.
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Endorsed :—“This letter was delivered to the Post at Exeter the 25th of April by a soldier that came from France.” Honiton, 1 p.m.; Crewkerne, 3 p.m.; Andover, 26th April, 9 a.m.; Basingstoke, noon; Hartford Bridge, 2 p.m.; Staines, 6-30 p.m.
1 p. (60. 98.)
Thomas Bellott to Sir Robert Cecil.
1598, April 20. By command of the Lords of the Council, the two best ships of this town are to be sent to Caen to attend your coming over. I humbly offer myself to give you such entertainment in my poor house, as upon such an uncertainty may be afforded.—Melcombe Regis, 20 April, 1598.
Signed. Seal.
¾ p. (60. 90.)
Sir Edward Conway to the Earl of Essex.
1598, April 20. In this place I do, at the advice of my friends, frame a contentment to myself that, while the idleness is greater in England, I rust less here, my earnest desire being to follow you in a more active way. This town, though it hath been held by her Majesty's garrison, and by her paid, hath yet been so neglected, as if part of form be not enough for her ends in these parts, she is not here in her own power. Your Honour knows better. The seat of this place is good enough for a gage for her money, and better to bridle those in necessity to her for whom she hath embarked herself into a war, and to prevent than an enemy may stir not such a world of shipping as this place doth, and is fit to, receive. The town is not fortified to the plot projected and undertaken by the States at the time of the contract with her Majesty, and, by that, weak and unable with the companies now in it, though they were complete, to hold it against a gallant attempt. Her Majesty hath no magazine of munition nor victuals here. A great opinion of the safety of the place against attempts, by laying the land about it under water, which would have been of better purpose than now, and that will more daily impair, by reason that the town seamen do continually force ground about it to make orchards and gardens, which will give commodity, in a short time, for an enemy to lodge in most places, as it hath done already in some. Of this point I have made some stay, and procured the reformation of some apparent openness in the fortifications. I have procured the Burghers to make a good store of powder and munition for themselves, which, as it may be used by her Majesty's garrison in the defence of the town against a common enemy, so it may be upon their wills conveyed away, being in their power. I have thought it my duty to touch these things to your Honour, that you might in your wisdom recommend them to the governor to have a more regard of them than hath been hitherto. I am much bound for my brother, whom I cannot but envy that he is nearer by his liberty to be in your service than I am.—Brill, this 20th of April, 1598. Signed.
2 pp. (177. 1.)
Lord Burghley.
1598, April 20. Warrant licensing Lord Burghley to be absent from the celebration of the feast of St. George by the Companions of the Order of the Garter, “by reason of your want of health and weak estate of body yet remaining, through your late great sickness.”—20 April, 1598.
Sign Manual.
1 p. (204. 70.)
Thomas Bodley to the Earl of Essex.
1598, April 21. As far as I can conceive by yesterday's abstract, there can be nothing framed of it to the merchant's advantage. For where it doth require that they should not be subject to pay for their entries, I have always understood that they are free already in that respect : and for my better assurance I have conferred with their Deputy, who concurreth with me about it, so that now I may repair to the Deputies of the States to recommend unto them those reasons which your L. hath perused. And if there be any further matter to be signified unto them, either from her Majesty or your L., upon notice thereof by a word to my brother, I will attend to know your pleasure.—April 21.
Holograph. Endorsed : 1598. Seal.
¾ p. (60. 91.)
John Colville to the Earl of Essex.
1598, April 21. The service of the Frenchman, who is monthly very well informed from Court, offering himself by continuing intelligence and in preserving the governor and town of Boulogne at all adventures to be more inclined to embrace her Majesty's protection nor any other foreign prince's, craving in this their extreme danger such comfort as her Highness did extend in the like necessity to Mons. de Berné and to Madame de Rouillac, governors of that place, and for my credit I did present the said Maire's (Maieurs) unto your Honour.
Secondly—That there is a practice intended in Scotland for in-bringing of strangers there, which practice is begun by Mr. George Kerr and Greirson, shall be seconded by one Cunynghame who is to follow them, and thereafter shall be prosecuted by the Duke Aumale, as in the going of Spinosa in their company from Calais. My instrument who made these to be intercepted, doth assure me thereof, and the said Kerr cannot deny it : but being at Vervins I did show de Ferrett that Cunyghame's going was discovered, which I did purposely to defeat their purpose, like as I do think I have done.
Alway if that practice holds forward, or if any other new one be intended, I shall stand answerable upon my life to give timeous information, so that, for the Scottish practices with the enemy, I shall, if you please, be your only sentinel.
Thirdly—I did shew your Honour such intelligence as I did learn at Vervins in the latter end of the last month, which being sent to the King there by Mons. de St. Paul, I was much solicited to have gone to his Highness, but before I should know her Majesty pleasure, unto whom in heart I am subject, and to no other prince living, I did abstain to go, to the end that receiving first her prudent directions, I might behave myself after her commandments.
Fourthly—I did by my passports granted by Mons. le Comte de St. Paul to travel in France, and by that which I have of his excellency to repair to Anvers, as also by the entré I have by my cousin—to haunt among the enemy, signify to your Honour my access and promptness to go to any of these places where her Majesty's pleasure were to direct me, laying the foundments how I shall continue my intelligence without suspicion, by a cypher and persons to receive my advertisements being provided.
But because the Scottish affairs be the matters that I am best acquainted with and whereunto I will most attend, as unto the chief matter whereby the enemy doth imagine to offend her Majesty most, I am bold to make this little discourse following.
Since the Duke of Lennox and Capt. James Stewart first poisoned his Majesty by distracting his good will from such as defended him in his youth, he has been more inclined to the evil affected nor to the good. His Majesty is not so soon rid of one of these pernicious councillors, but incontinent he renders himself to another. The said Duke and Captain being expelled, Chancellor Maitland did rule, who, disguising himself marvellously both to the Estates and to the ministry, was notwithstanding the only man that most alienated his Majesty's mind from good persons and causes, alledging, “Such as defended his Majesty in his youth, led his mother to the shambles;” calling England by that name. He wishes his Majesty to turn all such inconvenients as were practised against him by the violent taking away of his father and mother, in so many convenients, in this sort that, like as Morton in Scotland and sundry others were brought under the censure of his laws by the death of his father, whereby, as the Chancellor did allege, his Majesty had great honour and profit, so in England, by the death of his mother, whensoever God should send time, he might bring the greatest subjects of that realm under the compass of the like laws.
To purpose : After the said Chancellor is entered, now ply harder with sundry other Roman and Spanish supports, and herewithal the noblesse most contrarious to all good causes, and very enemies to this estate, are his appui and trust. Unto whom, in the beginning of this winter, one called Small, servitor to Robert Bruce, the chief Spanish negotiator, was sent, and now Mr. George Kerr with Mr. Jo. Grierson are gone hence, and with them did embark at Calais a Spaniard called Spinosa, and after them one Cunningham, if he be not empeached by my labour, is to follow, and last of all d'Aumale. By this deduction, what may be expected of his Majesty's own mind is evident.
As to the noblesse of that realm, if any do seem of mild disposition and well affected to the amity, it is the Duke, the L. Hamilton, the Earl's man, and Morton. But, except the said Morton, who undoubtedly is sincere, yet decrepit and “unhabille” for any action, the rest will prove noughts, for the Duke has not with him a man of understanding that loves you, and Mar is soul and body for him, and Huntley brother-in-law to both. Hamilton in my knowledge did receive both from Prince de Parma and the Duke of Guise sums of gold.
And for such agents as be sent to you, such as follows Bruce and the rest seek nothing but to make the King great by her Majesty's decay. The proud speeches of Bruce to Mr. Robert Bowes and to Sir William at the Council table, the said Sir William can tell.
His Majesty and his favourites being of this disposition, all that you bestow on him is cast away, for how soon he shall find himself strengthened sufficiently, he shall give up with you, but unto that time, he will pretend great kindness, and by a project written with his own hand I moved Mr. Geddy present to her Highness.
I know Master Bruce will brave and say, if his Majesty be not respected here as appertaineth, he will take some other course for his own weal, without respect unto you. But in case he should so do while making public amity with Spain and the Pope, behold him only and or a year end he shall be put to the same estate or worse that his mother was into, and he shall procure to himself such a party at home as either he or they, or rather both, shall strive who shall have your kindness most, as by particular conference I shall make clear.
In the meantime, what further proceeding they shall have with the enemy I shall in season manifest.
Nothing so much containeth his people unrising against his loose government, as they did against his mother, as the fear that you shall assist him, which opinion being removed, the smothered fire of malcontentment shall anon burn him to the bone.
Let it not be jealous unto her Majesty that I do keep some intelligence with some about Philip (“ye K. of Scotes”). I do so for two lawful respects; to receive out of his hands the money that he owes me, and that, if matters go to the worst betwixt them, which undoubtedly will come to pass, I may do a notable service to her Majesty, which I cannot compass if I have no dealing at all about Philip.
Endorsed :—“Memorial of matters communicate with my Lord Earl of Essex, 21 April, 1598, by his humble servant Colville.”
pp. (60. 92.)
Thomas Bodley to the Earl of Essex.
1598, April 21. I send the same here inclosed which you read over yester morning, but under the hands of the Governor and Deputy, who, if you have occasion, will wait upon you to-morrow morning. The effect of all that they allege in their papers delivered to my Lords of the Council is contained therein; and as I signified in my former, neither they nor I can gather any matter to be added further to it, out of the schedule sent unto you from my L. Treasurer. If you please to return the enclosed, I will to-morrow recommend it, in her Majesty's name, to the Low Country Deputies, or, if you will command me, I will repair to you first, to understand your further pleasure.—April 21.
Holograph. Endorsed :—1598.
1 p. (177. 2.)
Lord Buckhurst to Henry Maynard.
1598, April 23. Requesting, on Mons. Caron's behalf, licence for the exportation of 5 pieces of ordnance, to replace the same number which burst at trial.—This 23 of April, 1598.
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1 p. (60. 96.)
J[ames] D[ouglas] to—
1598, April 24. Since our parting I never come in this country before yesternight . . . . . . this day was I minded to have sent Geordie Boyd to you; neither . . . . writ any certainty before this time, albeit I have not put this matter . . . . committed to me to a definite end, yet have I entered so far as was . . . . to me at this present. This nobleman, with whom I have dealt, is to p[ass] . . forth of the country to France by sea, and for the order taking with his friends was in his own country, so that I had much ado before I could get a convenient guide, and with great peril of my life, in evil weather as ever I rode in, have I been at him and spoken with him at length. He took very well with the overture I made him, and would very gladly have embraced the same, but before I came he had taken resolution to pass by ship with his whole (“holl”) friends, so he doubted he should be suspected if he altered and went by land. Wherein I most earnestly dealt with him, and shewed him many reasons that it were more expedient to pass through England than peril him by sea. I have promised to cause a gentleman meet him where it shall please L. to set down his man, either by the East or West Border. Sometime he thought it meetest to land at some part of the coast, sometime to come from Dieppe : at the last we have left at this conclusion on Monday last, that he would advise him what he would determinate in this matter till Friday last, and then he promised to send me his resolute answer, whereon I awaited till yesterday that I came away for fear I was so open at this time, and have left Thomas Mageri-bankes to bring me his letter from Edinburgh, which assuredly I look for before Wednesday at night. I find great good will in this nobleman to enter in this matter, and his only doubt was to do matters with such wisdom as he might not be suspected of his Majesty and the Court. And therefore that gentleman must have patience for three or four days at the furthest, and then shall I come, God willing, with some certainty. I have also prepared the way to the other nobleman in case this course be not effectual. I have said to the nobleman that I have an ample commission, and I have promised golden mountains. I have been in speeches of agreement with Sir George Home, but no perfect end as yet. The last of this month, or the beginning of next, is there to be at Edinburgh a meeting of my whole friends, the three earls and specials of our name. I hope the best, though I deal with a strong enemy. For all that I will leave nothing undone to effectuate this matter of yours, to what end soever this meeting turns to. I have spoken with your Lord at the bog-hole in Bigar. He complains of Richie's unkindness. He shewed me that he had written for his man taken and kept (“taking and keiped”) in Daire's waters. As for news, there is nothing but quietness, and great carousing with this drunken Duke of Holstre. The Duke of Lennox attends advertisement from Mr. Edward Bruce, Ambassador at London, and if his answer be conform to our expectation, the Duke shall before May end go with a magnificent train and an ample commission to your court. All this is to know if ye will establish our title, at the least that ye will not prejudge it by your deed. Mr. Francis Dacres (“Deakers”) is come in that country. I am certain ye know, but he went very quietly from their parts. Their Majesties are at Edinburgh; Wesherhall has gotten his peace : their justice courts are continued till June next. The feud betwixt the Maxwells and Johnstones will shortly kindle again. The Countess of Montrose is departed. His Majesty is likely to obtain his desire of the ministry. Commend me . . . . . Carllouns and the good wife.—The 24 of April, 1598.
1 p. (60. 97.)
Thomas Bodley to the Earl of Essex.
1598, April 25. I have sent you set down the reasons of the merchants, with all those alterations which I received of your lordship. I take the first addition to be framed to good purpose, but the second is, under humble correction, the same, repeated in other terms, which was formerly delivered. As touching the last, where two things are alleged to have been heretofore required by the General States in the favour of the merchants, to wit, the freedom of their entries, that has been always accorded and is not now demanded; and for the other point, that impost should be paid by the first buyer, that is the matter which the States would effect and our merchants refuse, and is the principal point in question between them and the States. And, therefore, where it is urged in the last clause of all that they are opposed now to their former proceeding, it doth seem altogether to be misunderstood, wherein I have spoken for my better instruction to Mr. Southerton, who is greatly desirous to have that last addition omitted.—April 25.
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1 p. (177. 4.)
George Gilpin to the Earl of Essex.
1598, April 25. By my last despatch I forebore to trouble you, understanding that, during my Lord Treasurer's indisposition and Mr. Secretary's absence, all letters to her Majesty were delivered to you. There is no news from the Deputies at Angiers, who are expected to return shortly. According to advertisements out of France to merchants here, there is agreement between the Kings concluded already, and an appearance of the like to be made with her Majesty. Those that truly tender the common cause are still resolved to continue the wars, beginning to make this account, if there be no remedy, that the charge the helping of France doth stand them in, shall be employed to the defence otherwise. The greatest doubt is that all the Provinces will not be brought hereunto without much difficulty. I will only add that the States do nothing but hearken after news from the Deputies, and the Cardinal rests yet quiet, but prepares to be doing ere long.—The Hague, this 25th April, 1598.
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pp. (177. 5.)
Henry Wyat to Mr. Donriche.
1598, April 26. As to the finding of Mr. Humfrey Nicholl's office, appoints a meeting at Bodmin, and prays him to fashion his course with Mr. Vivian accordingly. Encloses a precept for the sheriff.—Exon, 26 April, 1598.
1 p. (2123.)
John Udale to Sir Edward Dyer, Chancellor of the Order of the Garter.
1598, April 27. I assure myself you have thought the time long that in all this coil you have not heard hence, nay, which is more, that I have not yet met nor spoken with the party, notwithstanding all which there hath been as much done as is possible, as the occurrence unto my Lord will show you. And this let me assure you of, for e. C., I never conversed with men of more industry and dexterity, and I verily assure myself of their fidelity; and so, redoubling my humble thanks for your honourable token, I take my leave. This xxvii of April.
Holograph. Endorsed :—“1598.” Seal.
½ p. (177. 6.)
Jo. Colville to [the Earl of Essex].
1598, April 29. Requesting that, if his services be accepted, the Queen will give him—a commission to have passage at any post without being searched; a recommendation to princes her allies (to be shewn only upon “such necessity as chanced at Boulogne”); letters of denization; an address to send intelligences to; and, should he perish in the service, some gracious consideration to his wife and children. Knowing of old her Majesty's bountifulness, he will for himself only study to deserve well.
Endorsed :—“Colville his petitions, the penult April, 1598.”
1 p. (60. 95.)
John Udale to the Earl of Essex.
1598, April 27. The occurrences from these parts often fall out uncertain, but I hope, in time, to take out a better lesson of their intelligences.
The King, as it is said, is at a stand whether to cherish a bird in the hand or two in the wood, either the present Spanish gold, or to “temporyss” for after times.
His coming to Dumfries is deferred, if not altered altogether.
The arrival of the Spaniards in Scotland is generally and currently given out and expected.
Bo[thwell] is now doubted to be in Scotland or that he was at all.
The King of Spain hath stayed all Scottish ships now being in Spain, together with their pilots, for his own use and service.
Ochiltree is come from the Court upon this frontier to Dumfries. I am credibly informed he is strong in his wardenry. He is able to make a thousand able and sufficient good horse, well arrayed and appointed. I would to God our wardenry in the whole could make but two hundred. Such is the difference.
Fra : Da : lies still upon the Scottish frontier, now near within a league, at the Boushawe, the house of one Urwens, continually conversant with the Papist faction, the Maxwells, Johnstones and one John Hamilton that hath been long in Spain.
Your Lordship's letters were delivered unto him upon the frontier upon Saturday, the 22nd of April, by the hands of the Deputy Warden. Whither he came strongly guarded by the Maxwells. If it be to draw him on, it is excellently applied; if otherwise, it may be dangerous. If it be with a double practice, your lordship will not believe what applause it is embraced with here universally all over, under idle and foolish hopes they have upon prophecies vague and superstitious, which taketh a wonderful impression upon the hearts of this wavering people.
He hath two strings to his bow, whereof they are all here generally possessed of; that your lordship and that ever memorable army led by you in Spain, had been utterly ruined had it not been for Fra : Da : his intelligences. I believe this obligation might be well written but was never sealed.
The other is a practice underhand; a fowl to match his sound with my Lord Treasurer's mes[h]. Whether it be, or be not, this hath begotten him so large a pass as he is generally and daily frequented hence.
Now Carlton would have me apprehend him if haply he come within the danger, upon this warrant, your lordship's last letter wherein you refer me to the directions you have given Carlton; over and besides he hath given me your lordship's own speech under his hand.
I think this but a weak warrant in a case so dangerous of so great consequences, not knowing how far your lordship may make use of him in respect of foreign causes. Carlton urges it further that, in the apprehension of him, if he be rescued, to kill him rather than scape.
How these things will be plausible to your lordship, I know not. For myself I hold it too hateful a course and not expedient, if there should be any practice in him that might be drawn directly from himself, or any other, foreign or at home, by his knowledge.
Of all which I beseech you directly to have warrant from your lordship how far I shall proceed, or, otherwise, to desist at all. Now, for Tinne/Ae Tinne/Ae, it may be your lordship thinketh the time as grievous as it is tedious. I have not yet spoken with the party agent, but there hath been as much done as is possible, as your lordship may see by this enclosed, which I received the 26th of April from the hands of Syme/E and C. who confidently assure it to his own hand. I believe it the rather they have shewed me letters directed unto them of the same hand. By the next address your lordship will see further into it. I hope the party, together with myself, in person.—This 27th of April, Braken Hill upon Esk.
The burnt piece unhappeth in my bed by the candle. The words are as followeth, in the first, second, and third lines as they are placed.
1st l. yester night.
2nd l. ever could I.
4th l. matter.
3rd l. possible.
4th l. to pass.
5th l. his.
Endorsed with date. Holograph. Seal.
3 pp. (177. 8.)
[John Colville] to the Earl of Essex.
1598, April 29. The burning emulation betwixt the houses of Lennox and Hamilton, betwixt the Catholic Lords and those of the religion, together with the smothered fire which is in his own bosom, which shall prove as unquenchable as that which was betwixt his father and mother, will not fail to burst out how soon it shall appear that you have no care of him. The credit and letter once given me by Alexr., which was empesched by the Duke, and employing of me with Bothwell, doth prove that he would, at all adventures, have Philip discredited here. This doth seem a paradox, but it is most certain, for herein standeth deep and incredible secrets, confessed by Alexander his own mouth. Herewithal the irreconcilable deadly feuds that be in his realm, as in the North betwixt the Earls Orkney and Caithness, the Earls Athol and Murray, and Lord Forbes against Huntley, betwixt the Earl Crauford and Lord Glammes, and in the South betwixt the L. Maxwell and Laird of Johnstown, the Lord Ochiltree and Douglasses, the Earls Eglenitoun and Glenkary, the Earl Mar and L. Leviston, besides other ensuant feuds betwixt lairds and landed gentlemen, in every corner of his realm, be such as he cannot bring a thousand men to field without a thousand particular quarrels. And for the service I mind to do, if matters go to the worst, it shall be such, God willing, as if I lose not my life in doing thereof, as no other can do with a a million of gold, and yet I shall not exceed the bounds of humanity. But for conscience sake and worldly honesty, I must first be absolved of my natural allegiance.
And for the opinion holden that friendship is incompatible betwixt him and Spain, shooting both at one mark, there be three arguments which shall, if they have not already, blind him in that point. The revenge of his mother's death. The assurance which they whom he most trusts both at home and abroad shall give him that Spain means not to punish him; and last, the manner how you shall be invaded, which is intended to be by the K. of Spain's money, but with few of his men, the body of the army to be Scotsmen and other nations lifted by custages of the house of Guise specially (unto whom he has every half-year one called Keir that goes). And so, the army being at his commandment, he needs not to fear that Spain can punish him. To prove that he wishes you to be invaded in this sort only, peruse the latter end of the project written by his own hand, which Mr. Geddie did present, and it shall, in express words, testify the same.
This Keir I think be presently in Scotland. His father secretary to the D. of Lennox.
Endorsed :—“Private memorial out of Scotland to my L. Earl of Essex Honour, the 29 Aprill, 1598.”
pp. (177. 3.)
John Udale to Sir Edward Dyer.
1598, April 29. That it was not for nought that . e . so earnestly solicited your presence in this negociation, having to deal with such a pregnant wit as I have met withal, by my lordship's last occurrence you shall see, and so judge of the process this matter hath had.—This xxixth of April.
Holograph. Endorsed :—“1598.” Seal.
¼ p. (177. 9.)
Rowland Prynne to the Earl of Essex.
1598, April 29. I send unto your Honour the especial news out of Spain. One which came from Seville this last month to Fontenell with 800 soldiers from the King to relieve a place called Dornellis, being by Morles, Don John Valentia sent for me to supply with him in the action which he takes in hand. He is provided with sevenscore sail of great armados to go for the realm of England for invasion, and he is minded to have 50,000 strongly armed foot, besides the mariners, well and strongly furnished with victuals. They have galleys and galleasses to the number of 70, besides frigates and pinnaces. Their landing place is about Portland, and they mean to have from Callis 4,000 which are there, and from Dornellis 1,000, all to meet the 2nd of June in Portland Bay. This they have entreated me, and challenged me by birth to come for my country. The which I have denied and renounced. My love is in England and with her Majesty. I mean to live and die in her affairs. This is most true. Both the messenger told me, as also my letters. I showed the same to the Marshal of France, Marshal Brissack, but I hope they shall have no power to fight, neither with your country nor your Prince. Don John Valentia is the chief commander for the land. The peace is concluded between the K. and Mercury, and peace is made except with the Spaniard. I have sworn the messenger to this for the truth, which he confirms. This bearer can certify you of all our ways in Brittany.
Signed. Endorsed :—“29 April, 1598.”
1 p. (177. 12.)
Defences of the County of Dorset.
1598, April 30. (1.) Points to be resolved upon by the Marquis of Winchester, Lord Lieutenant of Dorset, of which we desire his furtherance to the Lords of the Council.
The three port towns, Poole, Weymouth, and Lyme, were at first rated to half a last of powder, which we take to be twelve barrels. We find they are provided but of six barrels. On our dealing with them for an increase of the former imposition, according to our last direction, they desire abatement of part of that, alleging the poverty and insufficiency of the towns.
Our band of petronels being discontinued since the death of their captain, Thomas Harle, esquire, whether that band shall be revived and the new justices added to the former to supply defects; if so directed, to understand from our Lord Lieutenant whom he will assign captain over them.
Our trained bands are in some sort defective and not sorted with men of sufficiency, able to bear their own charge, as their Honours at first did require. The choice persons retaining to divers noblemen and gentlemen of account, will not come to the musters, and, by their ill example, draw away others daily to do the like, by occasion of which the trained bands are never certain nor can be made skilful. Of a hundred at one muster enrolled by the captain, by the next ten or twenty have gotten protection, and so come no more to musters, and afterwards use ill terms to the justices, captains, and constables that require them to the service. Your Honours require three thousand men to be armed and put in readiness for the aid of Devon. If the enemy should land in both counties at one instant, or but make an offer there and fall up hither, our forces being taken from us, in what state this unpopulated county will be we leave, with other reasons made known to Sir Edmund Uvedale, to their Honours' consideration. If the forces of the other adjoining counties, as Devon, Somerset, and Wiltshire, be assigned for our reliefs if the enemy should attempt here, then to understand whether we shall treat with the Lieutenant Deputy of those counties for the manner of their repair hither, or whether our Lord Lieutenant will take course of himself for our discharge.
Two points specially to be moved. To know our directions certain and they from us, and in what case we are required to give aid to Devon with all or part of our forces. To know by what direction we shall repair to them and they to us. Who to be general, and whether to take notice by firing of beacons, by post, or by both. In all former times till the Lord Chancellor Hatton's time, the Isle of Purbeck was mustered by virtue of our commission, and was annexed to Sir Richard Roger's division, and likewise the Isle of Portland was annexed to Sir George Trenchard's certificate for his division, for the men and armour; but to be mustered and the armour increased by the Commissioners for musters joining with the Captain or his Lieutenant of the said Isle, repairing into the Island for that purpose. We would understand what to do in either : Whether they shall be mustered and armour raised by the Lieutenant, and so certified as before in the certificate at large, or be executed [? excepted], question being now made to the contrary by occasion of other commissions.
The Castle of Sandfoote is most needful out of hand to be repaired, for the groundwork next to the sea, which in short time will otherwise undermine the house. The rampire and outer gate are fallen down, so that the enemy may approach even to the gates of the house at his first attempt. A petition for its repair has been presented to their Honours and continued at the council table. Sir George Trenchard, as captain of the castle, is required by their Honours' letters to attend in person the defence of the same, and there to reside with his servants and retinue. Being one of the Lieutenant-Deputies and Colonel of a division, both for train and troop, should he follow her Majesty's service in the county at large or wholly attend that place?
Your Lordship might write for the return of our armour from Plymouth.
There wants in Sir Ralph Horseye's division, Bridport division, and some other divisions, captains for the troops which in '88 were put over to the justices of peace, and men of best reckoning and ability within this shire, which we hold to give the best countenance to her Majesty's service and would strengthen those bands by their place, tenants and friends far better than inferior persons, but the most of them now refuse and deny to take this charge upon them, and put it off to others far more unhabile. Please you to direct what course you will herein, before which we shall not well perfect or enrol our troop bands.
If it please you to allow of others to take charge of the troops in each division next the Justices, we will make the best choice that our country will afford.—Dorset, the 30 of April, 1598.
Copy. 2¼ pp. (60. 103.)
(2.) Muster Roll of men and arms in Dorsetshire.
1 p. (141. 212.)
John Udale to the Earl of Essex.
1598, April 30. The 28th of this month I had access and speech with D., who universally is held religious and wise, if he be not too wise. No man in all outward appearance better applied for such an exploit, if he would undertake it himself, nor no man living can more art it to plot it, if he would do his best. But all this under the cover of a bay plume, with such an artificial practical prospect as I never beheld nor found in any person.
Coming to expostulate the service with him, he propounded unto me the Earl of Argyle holding him to the overture which he writes of in his letter I sent to your lordship. He doth distinguish that the Earl in general terms entertaineth consent to come unto your lordship for general service to be done in . p . sometimes through England, sometimes from France, uncertainly. When I urged him home to the point he saith he hath not passed so far with the Ea.; whereunto I replied that then the interview was needless, for that your lordship conceived this matter to have been already so far digested, as the overture to proceed from him. Which D. disclaimed from taking it upon himself. To which I answered, I expected the person, means and manner, together with his demands that would undertake it, or otherwise to desist. Then, taking exception to the Earl, I moved him for MacLa., who, he answered, depended altogether upon the Ea., so as if the Ea. entertained the practice Mac. must perform it. When he found I urged him that far, he required xx days' respite further to answer it, whereunto I consented, so that then I might be directly answered. Upon which terms we parted upon the debateable ground.
I am undoubtedly assured I am met with as much skill as is possible to be in this negociation, so acted and arted as I verily believe the whole . p . cannot afford such another Sco. pretending in all demonstration with all integrity to accomplish it. And yet doth he handle it with so many doubts and evasions and with such advantages as I know not what assuredly to hope of, but this I aim at, that gold will be the loadstone of his compass, and so skilfully drawn on to as high a rate as may be. For this assuredly, I believe, will fire the capitol for crowns, notwithstanding all his niceness.
Now, whether I shall join with him for the interview with your lordship upon general terms or particular, I beseech your lordship's advice and direction, either to proceed or to desist, and that I may receive your lordship's instruction herein within the twenty days limited. Further, if he answer directly and deserve it, it were requisite your lordship sent him some crowns for his travail past, which he already entendeth to be long and dangerous, lest he take me with an Italian phrase, parole non pagano debiti, or otherwise that I shall bring him up to your lordship, which I think were best, so as your own eyes might be judges both of the matter and the man.
This other. Honest Lowe, c. and e., without all question have dealt confidently in it. This only the difference. Lowe, strong ordinary wits meeting with an exquisite State politician. C. can do most with the man, but .e. hath most laboured the matter, wherein he may right challenge Vindex' part, though fate give industry the blow.—This xxx. April. Branton upon the frontier. This letter is sealed with the print of the Pelican.
Holograph. Endorsed :—“1598.” Seal.
pp. (177. 10.)
George Gilpin to the Earl of Essex.
1598, April 30. My last was of the 25. From the enemies' parts the reports continue of an assured peace, and yet doth the Cardinal continue preparing for the wars unlike Artois, Genoa and others. From France we hear that the peace would not forward, that her Majesty's ambassador was on his departure, and the Deputies of the States looking daily for their despatch. The Papists here that had begun to work openly do now hang the head. William Linge, an English merchant, that came from the Frankfort mart to Amsterdam, sent unto me a note written in Venice by one well affected to the common cause to a merchant at Frankfort. The enclosed is a copy. (fn. ) Your lordship knoweth Sir Anthony throughly, and I do not send it as a thing whereunto I give any great credit, nor have I any other feeling of the gentleman than as of one whom your lordship affecteth greatly, but if things be written or said to the hurt of the gentleman, or hindrance of the service on which your Honour may employ him, the same may be so considered of as shall be to your liking. I crave pardon if I presume Mullynax pieces are ready, and he is now looked for by the Prince Maurice to make trial. I could wish I had instructions from your lordship touching him. The three gentlemen who have lately come over with letters from your lordship have been placed by the Prince Maurice under his foot company, with such allowance as the States afford him. I gathered from the protestations of one whom he sent to me, that the officers who keep his purse seek to keep within the compass of their powers, but that any coming specially recommended will be favoured accordingly.—The Hague, this last of April, 1598.
Holograph. Seal.
2 pp. (177. 11.)
Defences Of the County of Dorset.
1598, April. Three papers :—
(1.) A note of Armour increased since January, 1596. A tabular comparison of the increase or decrease of arms and armour between January, 1596, and April, 1598 [in the County of Dorset]. A note of the number of men sent out of Dorsetshire since 1588 (798 in all). A note of the several sorts of arms that the captains of the train-bands have in their companies.
3 pp. (60. 99.)
(2.) A note of the Artillery and Ammunition in the towns of Dorchester and Weymouth. Dated.
1 p. (60. 101.)
(3.) A note of such places as an Army may land within the County of Dorset.
An army cannot land, but only small troops to do some spoil on the country—at Lyme, Charmouth, Chideock, Bridport, Burton, Berington, Abbotsbury or Wyke.
A great army may be landed at Portland East and West bays, Weymouth and Melcombe Regis.
Bole Hayes, Ringstead and West Lulworth are open roads.
Warbarrow and Shapmans [Shipman's] Pool may ride above 500 sail of 1,000 ton most winds. Swanage, Studland, may ride 6 or 700 sail of 1,000 ton almost all winds, and there is good landing almost three miles.
Brownsey is the entrance of Poole haven. It is an island, and in it a little Castle of her Majesty very necessary to be kept, but there is no allowance for the keeping of it, so that an enemy may take it when he list, and, being lost, Poole and Wareham are lost. In the haven of Poole may ride above 500 ships of 120 ton all weathers. The town strong by nature. Wareham lieth 6 miles from Poole, into the land, up a large river that ebbs and flows. Up that river may come to the town lighters of above 20 or 30 ton. The town is very strong by nature.
1 p. (60. 102.)
Thomas Madryn to the Earl of Essex.
1598, April. Valentine Thomas told me, before such time as we were separated by your command, that he was acquainted with divers priests in the North part of England, that there were a number which were entertained and relieved by the Catholics, as he termeth them, of that country, and that there were more come over of late about Christmas, with whom he was not acquainted, because he was but a little while in the country since their arrival. I do guess that these were some of them whom I certified your Lordship of. I am assured that the most of them were Lancashire and Yorkshire men. Such men as they do by little and little steal away the hearts of her Majesty's loyal subjects, for such as they can persuade to be Papists they will consequently soon persuade to be traitors. They make the simple people believe it meritorious to practise any villany so they might have their superstitious religion once planted in England. I pray God I may not live to see that day. This Valentine Thomas used vile speeches of my Lord Treasurer : “Oh!” said he, “that Treasurer spoils all : he is a devil : were it not for him all would go well of our side. It is he that hath from time to time crossed the king in all his proceedings. The king is very angry with him because only he and my Lord of Leicester persecuted his mother to death.” These his speeches doth argue the certainty of his bad mind. One day my keeper told me that there were certain verses written by him in his chamber with a coal upon the wall. I desired him to copy them out, and I send them herein enclosed. He writ them for verses, but it seems he is a very poor poet. Notwithstanding your lordship may soon conceive his meaning and the continuance of his villanous mind. That “very fair white” which he saith he shot at, I beseech God long to preserve, and that great comfort which he saith England should have gotten by his hitting of that mark, which was nothing else but the planting of “papasimey,” I pray God I may never see it. Whatsoever I have said, I did not speak it of malice, for I never saw the man before in my life, but only of a true affection to the good of my country and the preservation of my most gracious prince. I do beseech your Lordship to consider of my estate, and if you do think I have had punishment sufficient, grant me the liberty of the house, and afterward enlargement upon sufficient security. Otherwise I am to arm myself with patience to bear whatsoever punishment your Lordship will assign unto me. I would not speak as I have spoken unless I knew myself able to do her Majesty greater service than the greatness of my offence was. If I have any wise offended you, either in speaking false English or otherwise in my simple manner of speech, I beseech you to consider that I am a Welshman.
Endorsed :—April, 1598. Holograph.
pp. (60. 105.)


  • . vide p. 116.