Elizabeth: September 1583, 16-30

Pages 109-122

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 18, July 1583-July 1584. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1914.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.

Please subscribe to access the page scans

This volume has gold page scans.
Access these scans with a gold subscription.Key icon

September 1583, 16–30

Sept. 16. 129. Thomas Wylkes to Burghley.
I send herewith a short discourse of her Majesty's proceedings with the Duke of Alençon and the two Kings his brethren, which may partly answer the libel where she is charged with stirring up debate between the King and Monsieur. My knowledge of those matters grew by being employed from her Majesty to Monsieur and the King of Navarre at the first time of their commitment to the Castle of Bois de Vincennes, and I have called them to remembrance by viewing the papers which were then sent to me for my direction; viz., the copies of the letters written against me by the Queen Mother to her Majesty, “whereby I am charged with practicing” and her Majesty's answer; also a letter in cipher written to me by the Earl of Leicester at her Majesty's commandment with instructions for my dealing with Monsieur.
If these remembrances serve to any purpose, and it shall please you to command me in anything else, I shall be ready to do my endeavours in that behalf.— Brentford, 16 September, 1583.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 34.]
Sept. 16. 130. Gilpin to Robert Beale.
The Prince's absence makes us void of news, save that there is speech of the surprise of Zutphen, “a place of no small importance, and so evil a neighbour to Guelderland and Overyssel as will breed more divisions.” Ypres is still besieged, and it is said many have issued out, so as it is thought there is some dispute amongst them about the surrender; for though there wanted no victual nor munition, “the plague and flux was so rife as there died numbers daily, and so doubted they should not be able to continue in such terms long.”
In the enemy's camp and their towns those sicknesses are also very rife, but they seem not to account thereof.
They have been to view the French troops about Cambray, and are returned for further enterprises.
The Prince of Orange is at Dort, having with his lady made a progress “alongst” the islands and taken order to make certain forts. He is “scantly welcome in Holland, and so talked of in every corner as is strange, considering the great services by his order heretofore done, and the credit he was in till of late, with all people and provinces.”
If Ypres surrender, and the King of Spain offer reasonable conditions, more will accept them than is believed.
I enclose my last news from Cologne [wanting], and expect the party daily, having given him a hundred pistolets towards his charges.—Middelburg, 16 September, 1583.
Add. Endd.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 35.]
Sept. 17. 131. The Queen to Duke Casimir.
You no doubt heard how some years ago our servant Daniel Rogers, in going towards your country was taken prisoner, and with what hard treatment he has ever since been used. Also that many means have been employed for his liberation, even by our letters to the Emperor, the Duke of Cleves and the Prince of Parma, but to no purpose, such have been the malice and unreasonable demands of his captors, whereby he is still a prisoner in the hands of Madame d'Anholt, widow, at a place called Bredevoort (Breaforde), who has put herself entirely at the disposition of the Duke of Cleves.
It appears to us that you, having your forces in those parts, might easily bring about his deliverance and we pray you very earnestly (considering his sufferings and that he lives in fear of worse things) to do your utmost, both with the Duke and the lady to procure his freedom, as well for our sake as for that of the poor gentleman, who (after ourselves) has always loved and honoured you more than any other prince in the world.—Oatlands, 17 September, 1583.
Copy. Endd. Fr. ¾ p. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 36.]
Sept. 17. 132. Dr. Henry Vom Holtz to Walsingham.
A little while ago, I came safely from Hamburg to Embden, and not long afterwards Count Edzard, with his wife and his whole court, returned happily out of the Palatinate into this province from the nuptials at Heidelburg; whom I welcomed with the greatest affection. Of which I wished to inform you, that the English nation may be the better and more advantageously looked after, and our constant zeal may be better known to her Majesty and your honour. I may learn what you wish to be done from John Moer, secretary of the Adventurers here, and the sooner an answer is sent to me the greater will be my zeal for England.
Three weeks ago, horsemen from Holstein and other parts of Saxony flocked (I fear too late) to Truchsess, the old Elector of Cologne. And Casimir has entered the diocese of Cologne with his forces, to whom the city of Cologne (as likewise to the soldiers of Bavaria) sells food and other necessaries. The country all round Cologne is occupied by Casimir's army, and parts of it are devastated, so that the war will bring about the ruin not only of the Archbishopric but of the neighbouring country. If Parma and his army do not succour Bavaria, Casimir and Truchsess will the more quickly triumph over the Papists; while if Parma does join him, there will be a terrible war, and he will stir up the most part of the Empire against him to drive him and his forces out of the Low Countries, and to entirely exterminate the Spaniard.
Let all things written between the Queen, your honour and me, both in the past and the future, be kept private.
Add. Endd. Latin. 1 p. [Germany, Empire I. 56.]
Sept. 19. 133. Letter From Cologne [to Gilpin].
I have not earlier answered yours of the 6th instant, because of the extreme melancholy in which I have been since last Sunday, when I heard from my son-in-law at Luteck (qy. Liege) whither my poor wife was to be carried this week, that God has visited them with the plague, which has carried off a child and one of my sons, upon whom my wife and I entirely relied; and that my daughter and a servant maid are, it is feared, attacked by the same contagion. This has upset my plan, to my extreme regret, for my wife is not only incurably ill in body, but still more ill in mind, and the physicians she requires are but rare here, so that I must make some other project and cannot at present leave this place. I hope that the passage from below may be opened, which the Duke of Saxe Lauenburg keeps closed at Zons (Sompst) and Kaiserswerth, allowing none to go up or down.
A Jesuit father on Saturday received letters from England with unspeakable joy, as they assured him that the Scots Queen would shortly (if she had not done so already) escape from England, et hec per adviso.
Our wars here are growing, forasmuch as Duke Casimir with all his forces, was not able, after three assaults, to take this hole of Konigswinter (Coninckeswinter), simply entrenched and formerly held, burnt and abandoned by de Buy when he heard that Salentin was crossing the Rhine, who seized it at the first attempt, and has held it under the charge of Colonel Linden, guarding the mountains, so that, for lack of victuals, which were prevented by ambuscades at Lutsdorf from going from hence, the said Casimir, Truchsess, Meurs and their whole army of 6,000 men were, on Monday the 16th instant, obliged to retire and camp at Deutz, where they still are. On the 17th Casimir sent deputies to the Senate advising them that his near approach was in all amity, and desiring them to send provisions at a fair price. They replied that the town was open, and victuals to be had at their proper price, but that to send them out at their own charge was not their custom. They have let his marcadents and some soldiers come in and take provisions, but it seems that in future this cannot be done so largely because of the passage being closed.
The taking of Zutphen on the 12th by an ambush of John Baptista de Taxis, at the opening of the gate, has made great dissension among the chiefs.
The heads of Casimir's suite are dissatisfied and cry out loudly, throwing the blame upon the imprudence of Truchsess and Meurs. Truly this enterprise shows that it will not do much or last long.
As to the said Truehsess, his tragic life is miserable and deplorable as testified by Col. Bannyster and Capt. Reinsh, whom Truchsess last Saturday (instead of pay for his followers, who had not tasted bread for I know not how many days) offered to run through with his dagger. This is the least of his doings. I pity the honest gentlemen, who look very melancholy, and for good reason.
The deputies who were summoned by the Emperor to Rotenburg, are assembled at Mayence, the other being too far away. The deputies of the Electors of Saxony and Brandenburg, and the two archbishops in person are there, where the deputies imputed this war to the said archbishops, for not having at once shown Truchsess his duty. But the Archbishop of Treves, unfolding the life and the violated oaths of Truchsess, even the oath which the College of Electors have particularly among themselves, the deputies were astonished and confounded, confessing that this war was not by consent of their protestant princes, who had given Truchsess neither aid nor counsel. However, with great difficulty they obtained that the two disputants, Bavaria and Truchsess, should be called upon to send their deputies to Frankfort on the 23rd of this month, to make answer, and to follow what should be decided upon, which it is believed will not be so favourable to Truchsess as that he has already refused.
The Casmerian or Truchsessian army is not more than 2,500 reiters, well mounted (amongst whom are 80 English or Scottish lancers), and the foot mostly pikes, with but few arquebusiers, except the French Gascons, who blaspheme heaven and earth (renyent le del et la terre).
The good Bannester has received in all five crowns; the others only half a month instead of a month. The burghers began last Saturday to make their musters, but have suspended them until these people are gone.—Cologne, 19 September, 1583.
Endd. Fr.pp. [Newsletters XXVII. 17.]
Sept. 22. 134. Cobham to Burghley.
Believing that by this time you are returned to the court, I think it well to tell you that I intend to demand access to the King at his coming, which is to be about the end of this week, when I shall not fail to require that order may be taken for the abolishing of the slanderous book, according to the command contained in your letter.
“They of the Scottish faction in this Court do much triumph in their speeches and countenance as if they had the victory, uttering they are ascertained in their opinions that the Scottish King is alienated in good will and religion from her Majesty, having 10,000 men in a readiness, well appointed, with secret practices and other assured servants within the said realm, as yet not showing themselves. It seemeth by their whisperings the Scottish King doth attend for the descent in Scotland of some part of the Marquis ' Sta. Croses' army.”
News comes to this Court from the frontiers towards Spain that part of the Spanish fleet was arrived in Biscay, having disbarked most of the French taken in the Terceiras, who are now at Bayonne in Gascony. Howbeit, I hear two hundred are sent to the Spanish galleys and sundry gentlemen executed.
Those of the Religion in these parts will advise the protestants in Scotland to take heed to the dangerous practices which their papists have in hand, who are about the person of the young King.
In my other letter, I “enlarge such particularities” as have come to my knowledge. I hope I may shortly come to England, to joy in your long and happy estate.—Paris, 22 September, 1583.
Postscript.—I crave pardon that I take boldness to present you with a little book dedicated to me.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [France X. 39.]
Sept. 23. 135. Cobham to Burghley.
From Madrid, they write that the Prince of Spain had recovered his health, and that the fleet of the Oriental Indies was arrived at Cape St. Vincent. Cardinal Granvelle is to go to Flanders “to rule in the matters of justice and policy” and the Prince of Parma is to have the provision his mother had, with the title of Governor and Lieutenant-General.
The Catholic King's agent here gives out he has received a relation from Spain of a confession made by a Portuguese friar sent from hence in March last, declaring the points which the Queen Mother had treated with Don Antonio, and the messages sent from her by the Abate de Guadagna and Richelieu; and that the friar had further declared that Don Antonio had besought her Majesty to grant him some aid, which she had not agreed to, only yielding that he might furnish himself “for his money” with some provisions within her realm.
The Catholic King has made the Duke of Urbino his general of Italian foot throughout Italy. The Duke of Savoy sent the Count of Montreal to the French King at Bourbon Nancy to renew the treaty of marriage “between” the Princess of Lorraine, and to entreat him to accomodate the differences between him, the Bernese and the town of Geneva. The duke has given his ambassador 'lidguer' here the bishopric of Nice (Nizza), worth better than 2,000 crowns a year. It is understood in court that the Pope has refused to perform sundry things which the late deceased Nuncio here had promised the King, so that his Majesty is nothing satisfied.
The Queen Mother sent M. Pinart the other day in haste to Monsieur, who is not yet returned. M. Rochepot is come to St. Maur, to advertise the Queen Mother of new offers the Estates of the Low Countries make to Monsieur, as also that they have sent commissioners to him to make a new treaty. But the Spaniards give out that this is but a device to draw King Philip to assent to their petitions, who “is grown into great opinion of his forces through the easy winning of the Terceiras, esteeming nothing at all the Frenchmen's practices or enterprises, because they prove but steps and inducements to bring the Catholic King unto his desired greatness.”
Letters from Rome say that Ludovico Orsino (Urzino), having received great grief by the death of his brother Raimondo Orsino, has caused to be slain Vincentio Vitelli, lieutenant-general to the Pope throughout the territories of the Church, who, coming late in a coach towards his house in Rome, was assailed by twenty, with dags and daggers. They shot him “into four places of his body,” with two thrusts of daggers and a cut on the head, whereof he died next morning. One of his gentlemen was slain and the rest in his coach all hurt. It was done at the beginning of the night, “at what hour one of the gates of Rome was surprised, whither there resorted sundry carosses and divers companies of horsemen, to the succour of those which had done this deed, being understood they were of the principal barons of Rome; so as it is esteemed this will proceed to a further course, as to the diminishing of the Pope's authority, or to the taking away of his life. The said Vincentio was son unto Alessandro Vitelli and had to wife a bastard daughter of Chiappino Vitelli, who served in Flanders with the Duke of Alva.” He leaves nine sons, four daughters and his wife with child. His eldest son is in Paris at school, sent hither by the Cardinal d'Este. I send enclosed the Pope's proclamation against the murderers.
The cause why the barons have slain Vitelli was that he had promised they should have honourable revenge on the Pope's sergeants, who had been the death of Raimondo Orsino, but at last seemed to scorn their requests.
To succeed the late Nuncio here, they have appointed Monseigneur Visconte, a Milanese, a disciple of Cardinal Borromeo, sent by the Pope last year commissioner to Malta about the betraying of the great Master, who they say was poisoned in Rome, but I have “otherwise heard tell” that the Pope will send the Bishop of Viterbo, and that he intends to change his nuncios in Spain, Venice and Poland.
I wrote in my last of the taking of Mr. John Stoner by the horse-men of the Duke of Anjou as he came from the Prince of Parma's camp. I hear he is ransomed for a small sum by favour of the Cardinal of Guise, at the instigation of Dr. Allen. He is looked for here, to pass into Spain.
And now M. Gondi brings me word his Majesty will be here to-morrow.—Paris, 23 September, 1583.
Add. Endd. 4 pp. [France X. 40.]
Sept. 23. 136. Ségur-Pardeilhan to [Burghley].
I am very glad to understand by your letter that you continue to bear a good affection to the King of Navarre and to the Churches of France. The time is come when it will be easy for you to testify it, and by acting for us you will do much for the service of the Queen, for the good of this country, and for the whole Church of God. I was charged by the King of Navarre to address myself to you, and having been unable to communicate with you, I much regretted to take leave of the Queen without letting you more particularly understand the occasion of my journey, which imports as much to you of this country as to us.
I hope very soon to go to see her Majesty and shall then have the pleasure of speaking to you of it at length; I will therefore make this no longer than to beg you so to deal with her Majesty that I may be soon able to depart with a good answer, which will be honourable to herself and profitable to all honest folk. London, 23 September, 1583.
Endd. by Burgkley's secretary, “23 September. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid X. 41.] [The dating of Ségur's letters written in England is doubtful, but as the English secretary endorses the same date he probably used the English style. He spells his name as above.]
Sept. 137. Instructions for Sir Edward Stafford.
[After the usual preliminary directions, the Instructions proceed:—]
You shall tell our brother that whereas there have already been sundry conferences for the redress in both realms of depredations and piracies, which have been set down and perused both by our Council and Judge of the Admiralty, and also by his Council and by M. de la Mothe [-Fénelon] at his last being here; and that we, for our part, have of late caused divers pirates to be apprehended upon the seas and executed, “so do we desire that our good brother would do the like there, for that we have been of late advertised of sundry spoils committed by his subjects upon divers our merchants and others. And for the reforming of such disorders, and avoiding the like hereafter, you may tell him that we can be content to give our assent to any good order” for the suppression of such lewd persons, whom we have always detested. Therefore, if he will give commission to his ambassador here to conclude and perfect the said orders, we will appoint some persons of quality on our part, and likewise grant you power to do the same in our name there.
You shall not only inform yourself by word of mouth from Sir Henry Cobham of what has passed, but require him to give you in writing copies of such things as he hath concerning that matter, and likewise of the late treaties, that you may not be unfurnished of that which is fit for our service.
You shall also render our hearty thanks to the King for staying such preparations as were in making for Scotland, as we have been advertised by his ambassador here; desiring him to continue this manifestation of his amity towards us, and assuring him that we shall not only do nothing which may tend to the hurt of that King or kingdom, or diminution of the amity with France, but in all things maintain and perform all that we have promised to our said brother, and that may in honour and justice be required at our hands.
And as, not long since, we caused our servant Beale to write to Sir Henry to deal with the King for the publishing of some edict whereby such of our subjects as are known to be notorious rebels or fugitives out of our realm, remaining in his dominions, might be commanded to depart forthwith, even as the King of Spain caused to be done in his countries at our request, and also “to enjoin the Duke of Guise [to refrain] from admitting” into the seminary which he is erecting in the county of Eu, any of our subjects, either English or Irish; since, whatever colour of religion they pretend, we know even by their own depositions that their intent only is to draw our subjects from their allegiance, and to suppress us utterly,—You shall learn from our ambassador what he has done therein and what the King's answer is to that motion, and thereupon renew the said request at your first audience, in such sort as is fittest for obtaining that which we desire.
Alter audience with the King, you shall, with Sir Henry, visit the King's wife, delivering our letters with our hearty commendations, letting her understand our desire to hear of her well-doing, and praying her to continue the like good affection towards us, for the better entertaining of the amity between us and her husband, as we doubt not but she will.
To the Queen Mother, you may, besides, report what we have willed you touching the depredations of Scotland “and for the avoiding of our subjects out of that realm,” adding that we doubt not but that for the good-will she protests towards us, she will be a good instrument for the maintenance of amity and neighbourhood between us and her son and our realms, for the continuance and increase whereof we shall admit nothing that may in honour and justice be required at our hands.
[A paragraph relating to a possible interview with the Duke of Anjou is struck out.]
And in case you find there any agents for the King of Navarre and Prince of Condé, you may declare to them our desire to understand of their well-doing, and of the peace and maintenance of the cause of religion, wherein we shall be ready to show them any pleasure we are able.
You shall also require Sir Henry to inform you of the state and manner of dealing hi that Court; what counsellors and others you are to treat with, and by what persons and means you may attain to the knowledge of such things as are fit for our service.
And especially you shall diligently from time to time learn what practices be in hand with the Pope's Nuncio or any other4 tending to the breach of the peace in that realm, or alteration of religion; what preparations are made by sea in Normandy and Brittany, or other levies of men, by whom these be made and for what purpose, and generally all things that may tend to the prejudice of us or our realms, or are fit for our knowledge, and to advertise us thereof with as much speed as possibly you may. Finally you shall lend your best assistance to our merchants “interessed” in those parts, and further their causes to the King and others, that they may enjoy the benefit of the treaties made between both realms and the charters granted to them by the King's progenitors, “and in their griefs receive some speedy order according to justice.”
Last of all, we being credibly informed that divers of our disloyal subjects are of late repaired into that realm, and daily draw others from hence, and send others from thence to infect our people with false religion, and withdraw them from our obedience:—You are to inform yourself by the best means you can of the names of such as be in Paris, Rouen, Rheims or any other place, or of such as shall come over or be sent hither, with what you can understand of their practices there or elsewhere, and inform us thereof with such expedition as you may.
Draft with a few corrections by Beale. Endd. 4 pp. [France X. 42.]
Sept. 29. 138. Sir Edward Stafford to Walsingham.
Being yesterday arrived here at Boulogne, we came in so high a sea, that I, my wife and all my folks were so sea-beaten that we were half dead, and constrained to stay here to get ourselves and our horses up again. On Monday, God willing, I will set forward towards Paris, whither the King is not yet come, but looked for presently.
This day sen'night there passed here, as the bruit saith, 1,000 soldiers, but I think they were not above 400. They are said to be very well appointed, being those that were in Bergues [St. Wynock] in Flanders. The governor's name there was M. Villeneuve, who gave up their town to the Malcontents upon the agreement of 30,000 crowns to pay the soldiers withal that were in it, who came out with all arms, horses, furniture, bag and baggage and were conducted safe beyond the river of Gravelines towards France. They say here that seeing Monsieur could give them no succour, they made the honourablest and best composition they could, but I think of that as of all the rest.
These soldiers are now arrived, they say, at Cambray, where Monsieur is, and said to be “upon the choosing to be lieutenant-general to the King, and that presently, upon the King coming to Paris, he comes hither to take his oath in the court of parliament. This is Boulogne news, which I rather write because it is news than because I think it very true; yet likelihood there is of some such thing, for I have it of the governor here, and some of the substantiallest men of the town. . . .
“If Monsieur have no better reputation all the rest of France over than he hath here, it is very small, for truly poor and rich cry out of his dealing in the Low Country. Some that look no further than to the open show, blame his infidelity; others that think they look deeper in, blame his lack of government and counsel, and jest at his counsellors and favourites; and the country generally complaineth of their ruin by means of his soldiers,” who, in passing, have eaten them that had been preserved in all times of civil wars.
They say that on Tuesday last his arms were pulled down at Middelburg [in Flanders] and the King of Spain's set up. Also that the Malcontents are so strong that they of Bruges “dare not look out of the danger of the walls of their town.”
This is what I can gather in this beggarly town. When I go further and hear more, you shall be advertised. In the meantime, I am glad you are returned, as I heard at Dover on Thursday last. Boulogne, 29 September, 1583.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [France X. 43.]
Sept. 139. Letters from The Queen for the Deliverance of the Viscomte De Turenne.
(1) To the States General.
About two years ago (as you may remember) our dear cousin, the Viscount of Turenne (Touraine) was taken prisoner near Cambray, having come thither with a sincere desire to aid you. And as he is known to have undertaken the said enterprise merely from his good affection for the advancement of the Religion and for your service, we believe that you ought to employ every possible means to purchase his liberty, either by exchange or some other way.
We assure ourselves that you will do what is worthy of praise, and refer you to the proposals which the bearer of this will make to you in this matter on behalf of our dear brother the King of Navarre.—Oatlands, — September, 1583.
(2) To the Prince of Orange.
From the present bearer you will learn that the King of Navarre and the Marshal of Montmorency have sent him to arrange the deliverance of the Vicomte de Turenne, and have prayed us to help in what will be of much service to the cause of the true Religion. And as the said Vicomte was well known to us, and has shown himself well-affectioned to your cause and to that of the Religion, we cannot but recommend him to you and to the States, praying you to grant what this bearer desires.
But although they have named M. de Champagny, we, knowing him as we do, and as you do also, cannot well demand that, unless it seems to you fitting, which we refer to your consideration, believing however that it is necessary for you to find some way by which the said Vicomte may be liberated, in which we pray you to employ all your power.
Postscript (stated by Beale to have been [in the original] in her highness's own hand).—I pray you the rather to accept our recommendation of this Vicomte because he is of the same religion, and also of the lineage to which you have done so much honour by bringing them to your country and choosing two of them as companions of your life.—Oatlands, — September, 1583.
(3) To the “Four Members” of Flanders.
To the same effect as the letter to the States General, but also suggesting that they have certain prisoners in their hands who may facilitate the business.—Oatlands, — September, 1583.
Copies. Endd. Fr.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 37.]
[During Cobham's embassy.] 140. Cobham to [Walsingham].
I beseech you “do me the favour as, though the letters were opened which John de Vygo carried, yet that they may be delivered to Adams, and that Crowe Woodward may not be sent over to me in no sort.
“The Cardinal de Guise did make a dinner to the Duke of Guise, the Duke de Maine and d'Aumale this day, where yet there is great company at this hour. The staying of a friend of mine, which went three days since to Mantes, moveth me to think the interview is between the brothers, though otherwise it may be doubted and no certainty thereof.”
Fragment. Endd. ½ p. [France. X. 44.]
[During Cobham's embassy.] 141. Cobham to [Walsingham].
There is an Italian named Paolo Recenti [describes him] about he age of 45 years, who is departed from Paris, intending to pass first into Touraine and thence into other countries and princes' courts, having furnished himself with sundry sorts of poisons and professing to sell perfumed jerkins and gloves, and such like merchandise. I was advertised hereof by a discreet person of the Religion, and think it not “unpertinent” to inform you of it, “considering there are of all nations and professions which resort daily into her Majesty's realms, where there is no suspicion had of any such hidden malice.”
Fragment. ½ p. [Ibid. X. 45.]
Sept. 142. Short explanation of the reasons of the Queen of England for executing judgment upon the ships and merchandise of the Low Countries.
Endd. by Burghley “VI. September, 1583, “. but the VI. would appear to be rather a number than a date. Latin. 2¾ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 38.]
Sept. or Oct. (fn. 1) 143. Documents concerning the Commission given to Captain Richard Bingham.
1. Draft, much corrected by Walsingham, of a letter to Gilpin, of which No. 7 [p. 122 below] appears to be a later version.
1 p. [Ibid. XX. 39.]
2. Rough draft, corrected by Walsingham, of letter to Bingham from the Queen, desiring him to follow out the instructions to be given him by the Lord Treasurer and the Secretary.
¾ p. [Ibid. 39a.]
3. Warrant from the Queen to Richard Bingham.
Having made choice of him for a certain service, which he is forthwith to take in hand, and appointed the Lord Treasurer and chief Secretary to deliver to him such instructions as they [or one of them interlined by Burghley] shall think meet, he is, on receipt of the instructions, to follow them in such sort as may best further the service committed to him, which she doubts not but he will perform to her satisfaction.
Draft. 1 p. [Ibid. 396.]
4. Instructions for Richard Bingham.
The Queen finding that her favours to the Estates of the Low Countries have been unthankfully requited; and that a debt due by them to Horatio Pallavicino and Baptista Spinola, merchants of Genoa, is by their default cast upon her, which otherwise than to pleasure them in their necessities, does not any ways concern her; she “having assayed by all fair means some satisfaction herein” and not meaning to put up with such indignities any longer, intends to make seizure of such ships and goods belonging to them of the Low Countries, as that the said debt and interest may be discharged.
And whereas you are directed to apprehend pirates in the narrow seas, you are also to bend your service to meet with such ships of the Low Countries as are richly laden, to assail them without fear (if it may conveniently be), and to make prize of them by all the means you can.
As every year two fleets from those countries trade into Spain, which by your industry may be met with, the one going, the other returning, you are to use your best endeavour to take one of them, first informing yourself what is in them, so that the prize taken may countervail her Majesty's debt and all other charges, which amount at the least to 35,000 or 36,000 pounds. To which end, on your first seizing them, if you are not certain of their value, you are to pretend that you have charge to search for certain notorious traitors and rebels, lately fled out of England, and believed to be shipped in merchant vessels for Spain, that is if the ships be going that way, or else you shall say that they are rebels that have been in Spain and are to come into the Low Countries “colourably” to pass into Scotland.
If any come into your hands, you shall bring them to the next port of this realm and take order for their stay there until you have certified the same to us, the Lord Treasurer and the Secretary, and received our orders.
You must have an especial care “so nigh as you can,” to let no ship of any fleet you meet with escape, and that upon their seizure, you take all their books, bills of lading and charterparties into your safe custody and take strict order with all your company that no part of the goods or furniture of the said ships be embezzled, “nor bulk broken.”
Having done this, you shall call to you the masters, pursers, factors and merchants of each ship, acquaint them with the cause of your proceedings, and deliver to them a declaration in Latin, which you shall receive herewith, containing the just causes of their arrest, “and thereupon suffer the factors and merchants to depart with the same, either by sea or land.
Draft, with corrections and additions by Burghley. 5 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 39c]
5. Another draft of the Instructions (with somewhat different preamble) corrected by Walsingham, who, however, has not altered nearly so much as Burghley.
4 pp. [Ibid.39d.]
6. Instructions from the Queen to Gilpin ?
Lastly you shall recommend to the Prince and States “your care of that due satisfaction” they owe us for the debt of Horatio Pallavicino and Spinola, wherein we have engaged our credit at their request, in which behalf, had they fulfilled their solemn promises, they would have given us good occasion to continue our good-will towards them in assisting them in their necessities, but the matter falling out contrary, they may not think it strange if they find our good-will something abated, and our means to assist them not so ready.
Wherewithal, you shall declare unto them, we do not content ourself, but as we daily make payments for the interest of the moneys taken up to their uses, so we look to be repaid the same, and that without delay, otherwise we shall be forced to have recourse to such remedies “as we should be very sorry to put in execution, were we not forced thereto for lack of care in them to perform that which both reason and justice requireth.”
Draft, corrected by Walsingham. First part wanting. 1 p. [Ibid. 39e.]
7. “A letter to be written from the Lord Treasurer and Mr. Secretary to George Gilpin.” Her Majesty, through the unthankful requital of her extraordinary favours to the Estates of those countries, especially concerning the payment of the interest of their debt to Pallavicino and Spinola, has been forced to take order for her satisfaction, and for that purpose has appointed Richard Bingham to go to sea to meet their fleets which yearly repair into Spain, and to arrest and bring them into one of her ports, but with express order not to break any bulk or take out any lading or goods, but to see them safely kept until the States shall give her Majesty satisfaction. And for the better justification of her actions, she has caused a declaration to be made in writing as witness of her favour towards them and their careless requital towards her; which declaration, after the arrest of the ships, should be sent to you, to be imparted to the Estates, accompanied by such speeches from you as may best serve for the maintenance of this manner of proceeding, and what answer you receive, you shall send to us as soon as you can.
Draft. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 39f]
8. Notes relating to the copies to be made of the Declaration. ½ p. [Ibid. 39g.]
General endorsement of the whole:—“Instructions for Sir Richard Bingham to go to sea and what service he shall do, from Lord Burghley and Secretary Walsingham.” [But he was not knighted until 1584.]


  • 1. The order for preparing Bingham's commission is dated September 30 (Col. S.P. Dom. 1580–1690, p. 121. See also Ibid, p. 126.