Elizabeth: September 1585, 21-25

Pages 30-43

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 20, September 1585-May 1586. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1921.

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 1585, 21–25

Sept. 21. Colonel Norreys to Burghley.
For the occurrents of these parts I refer your lordship to my letters to the Lords of the Council. “As for our musters, we have passed forty-four companies; viz.: twenty-three at her Majesty's charge, and twenty-one at the charge of the States, all in very good order, and very complete, so as under the view of a very good captain they might pass for ten thousand men. For the rembursing of her Majesty's money lent towards the arming of the soldiers that are at the States' charge, because the beginning hath been hard to the soldier and all things extreme dear, I have only rebated a guilder of a man, which I have likewise done from those that are armed by the country, to the end to keep all the English in an equality; which rebatements I have delivered over to the Treasurer towards the payments of the soldier, which falleth out very short by reason the Treasurer is not yet come. I have nevertheless found means to pay a full month pay. Our rolls at my coming from Utrecht were not fully shut up; by the next I will send them, with an account of all that is passed.” I pray you to advertise me what days the companies shall enter into pay and whether I shall continue to rebate anything for the furniture of those armed by the country. It is very necessary that what cavalry her Majesty sends should be here speedily, both to settle an army (the only way to hinder the Spaniard from any attempt), and also to bring in the Almayne horse and foot now levying by the States, which otherwise will remain unprofitable upon the frontiers. The armour for the horse can be had here, both better and at better rates than in England, and for the horsing of half of every company I will begin to make provision, according to my instructions from Mr. Davison.
If it please your Lordship to show me that reasonable favour that my company of horse may be one of those entertained by her Majesty, and that I may have such allowance for it as shall be appointed for others in like case, I doubt not but you shall hear they are in very good order. Lastly, I humbly pray that I may be advertised of any faults found in my proceedings here, and I will seek always to amend them.—The Hague, 21 September, 1585.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland III. 86.]
Sept. 21. Colonel Norreys to the Lords of the Council.
“Understanding from Mr. Davison that he had something to impart unto me touching her Majesty's service, I withdrew myself hither . . . , and finding that her Majesty's pleasure is that there shall be garrisons put into some places, am returning to the troops, to put them in a readiness to do the same, leaving such causes as hath passed here to the report of Mr. Davison.”
At Utrecht “I passed musters of forty-four companies: viz. twenty-three for her Majesty and twenty-one for the States, all full and in good order, sithence which time the States being in doubt of Berges and other places there abouts, have importuned me to send thither fourteen companies, the which although it was contrary to my opinion, knowing right well how hard it will be to draw them together being once dispersed into corners, yet finding that they did mistrust some of their own people that be in the said places, and knowing how ready they will be to lay the fault upon me, if anything should happen otherwise than well, I have sent Captain Williams with the said fourteen companies, to see them placed as they shall appoint.
Upon the passing of the musters, the States gave those under their pay one whole month; therefore “I have made shift to do the like to those that be paid by her Majesty, although here was not money sent sufficient to pay them for the time that is already past.” I beg that the Treasurer may have money from time to time to pay the soldiers, or I shall hardly be able to keep them in good terms, “all things being here extreme dear.”
“The Count de Neuenaar hath found the means to make himself governor of Utrecht, but I have caused this clause to be put in: 'So far forth as it shall be to the liking of such a one as her Majesty shall send hither.' He importuning me very much to some service of great importance, but having no cavalry but such as hath been often beaten, in whom I dare put no trust, I mind to keep myself upon as good terms as I may until such time as those come which I understand her Majesty is to send; and for that the time is now good to forage, I beseech your honours to hasten them, that I may train them in such sort as they be ready to do any service; and then you shall see that we will be able to keep the field, so as the enemies will not attempt any matter of great importance against this country.”
The want of pioneers is every day more and more seen, and their coming daily expected by the States, who agree not only to pay them, but also the money disbursed for their transportation; therefore I pray you, hasten them hither.—The Hague, 21 September, 1585.
Signed. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland III. 87.]
Sept. 21./Oct. 1. The Elector Truchsess to Davison.
I went yesterday to Ryswick, and pursuant to what we talked of together on Sunday last, spoke to my cousin, Count de Hohenloe, who was accompanied by the three counts of Nassau. He said he was sorry not yet to have been able to speak with you and that I might assure you he would not fail to be at the Hague to-day, in order to go to you. He understands a little Latin and French, so that you will be able yourself to tell him the most private matters, and for the rest, you must find an interpreter, for he will not have one with him. My cousin Count Maurice has also consulted me about the affairs which concern himself, having for this purpose called hither his cousin Count William, and I have spoken with him very fully about them. I hope he will shortly come to a resolution which will be for the good of the common cause, in which I will not fail to lend a helping hand.—Honslerdyck, 1 October, 1585.
Signed. Add. Endd. Fr. [Ibid. III. 88.]
Sept. 22./Oct. 2. A note of ships taken by the English, from the beginning of August to the second (fn. 1) of October, 1585. Twenty-seven ships, coming from Guinea, Brazil, Madeira &c. One is stated to be Venetian; three French, and three “Biscain.” Lading and value given, but not names. Sum of value, 294,500 crowns.
Below, note by Stafford. “This is a note that the Spanish ambassador here maketh to be given out of the number of ships that have been taken by the English.”
Endd. Fr. 3 pp. [France XIV. 86.]
Sept. 22. Colonel Norreys to Walsingham.
“Leaving all matters that concern the States to the report of her Majesty's ambassador, I thought good to give your honour to understand, that if it shall so please her Majesty there may be taken into her Highness' pay as many of the three thousand soldiers at the charge of the States as your honours shall think good, her Majesty paying the transport that is agreed for them, which is a very easy way for the country, and the soldier shall be far better armed.
“Of such furniture as came out of the country I have been fain to change a great deal for that it was altogether unserviceable. For the horse I dare assure your honour that to the number of five hundred they will be recovered here, and better for this service than such as come out of England; and for their armour I am sure they shall have none good in England, but such as we shall be fain to change when they come here, so that it would be a double charge to provide them there, and this course under your honour's correction I think will be the best, that the onehalf of every company be furnished of horse in England and the other half here; and for their armour (if Mr. Davison will give me any warrant) I will see it in a readiness against their landing.”
I pray that my company of horse may be one of those that her Majesty pays, and that I may have the like allowance for furnishing it as for the others sent by her; by which means she will save a thousand pounds that I received for the levy of my horse. The horse sent form England must land at Rotterdam or Delfhaven, for if they go for Zeeland they must be twice shipped. Pray hasten their coming over, for if they were here, they “would hinder the enemy from some attempts which if he have once undertaken it will be hard to remove him from.”
I moved you in my last to further my father to the government of Walcheren, but understand it has been motioned to Sir Philip Sidney. I am sure my father will not seek to prevent him, and if my Lord of Lester do not come, I think my father will not desire to do so. I dare assure you that “my lord of Lester not coming, or some man of very great quality, there will be straining of courtesy to obey him, and it will much hinder the service; and if her Majesty shall leave the managing of the government and forces to those men's humours, undoubtedly all will come to nothing. Here is already great competition between the Count de Mœurs and the Count Holloc, and I have much ado to carry an indifferent hand between them both; and if either of them were discontent, it might breed much hurt; besides, there is fallen out a difference between the Elector and the Count de Mœurs, the ending of the same referred to her Majesty or her lieutenant; these things are not to be compounded but by a man of great countenance, besides that the Count Maurice will think much to be put from his presidency of Council by a man of ordinary quality, so that if her Majesty desire any good success in these affairs it will be most requisite that there be sent one of the greatest account in England. I beseech your honour to pardon my liberal writing, and lastly that it will please your honour to have me in mind for my matters of Ireland. I have understood from Sir Henry Wallopp that he and my brother are desirous to have some dealing under your honour for Ode; if it shall like you to use them, I doubt not but they will make your honour a good account of it.”—The Hague, 22 September, 1585.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Holland III. 89.]
Sept. 22. Colonel Norreys to Walsingham.
Since writing his letter, he has received the enclosed from Captain Erington, [probably the letter calendared on p. 21 above] and prays his honour to deal with the deputies there, as he himself will “with them here,” that no excise may be paid upon beer brought from England for the soldiers. Also to give order to the victualler, “to bring either smaller beer or else to sell better cheap. He setteth it here at 10s. the barrel, whereas the soldier in Ireland payeth but 108. for a hogshead.” Asks whether it be her Majesty's pleasure that he shall leave in garrisons the troops he has put into them, or “press the States to draw them into the field and leave those towns to be guarded by themselves.”—The Hague, 22 September, 1585.
Signed. Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Ibid. III. 90.]
Sept. 22. Copy of the ratification of the “Act,” signed and sealed on this date by Davison on the part of her Majesty, and by C. Aerssens, with the seal of the States General; also by Noel de Caron, Joos de Menin, Abraham van Almonde, Nicasius de Sille, Johan van Oldenbarnevelt, Francoys Maelson, Jan Janssen Cooman, Pieter van de Baerse, Gaspar van Vosbergen, Jan van der Beek, and Floris Hermale. The Hague, 2 October, 1589 [sic]. With marginal notes by Burghley.
Fr. 2 pp. [Ibid. III. 91.]
[The names are here spelt as in Bor (Bk. xx, f. 577), as this copy is very inaccurate.]
Sept.24./Oct.4. Arnolt De Grunevelt, Governor of Sluys, to Davison.
Hearing from Count Maurice and the Council of State that his Excellency has warned them of a design of the enemy upon the town, he thanks him very heartily for his goodwill (which moreover has been testified by his cousin, M. de Manssart) and begs that he will induce the said Count and Council to take better care of them in the present than they have done in the past, both as to payment and re-inforcement of the garrison and other necessary provisions. Nothing is more certain than that the enemy desires above all things to have these two places, whereby to secure the rest of his possessions, there being no place more proper from which to invade him and do him injury. There are continual advertisements that he means to besiege either this town or Ostend. Those of Bruges are making great preparations to this end, and together with the other Members of Flanders are inciting the Prince of Parma to do it, so that he has mustered and paid his army and has embarked good store of artillery on the rivers of Antwerp and Ghent.—Castle of L'Escluse, 4 October, 1585.
Signed. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 ½ pp. [Holland III. 92.]
Sept. 24. Gilpin to Walsingham.
Yesternight I delivered your letters to the deputies, but Messieurs Buys and Valcke being indisposed, desire me to “use this excuse to your honour, . . . meaning to be at Court tomorrow betimes, to which end the horses and all are prepared, and I ready with them,” to attend upon you. They intend to lie at Kingston for a few days, coming to the Court when requsite.—London, 24 September, 1585.
Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. III. 93.]
Sept. 24. Davison to Burghley.
“In how doubtful and uncertain terms I found things at my coming hither, how thwarted and delayed since for a resolution, and with what conditions and for what reasons I have finally been drawn to conclude with them as I have done, your lordship may perceive by that I have written at length to Mr. Secretary. The chiefest difficulty in fine hath rested upon the point of entertaining the garrisons within the towns and places of assurance, over and besides the five thousand foot men and one thousand horse, being the uttermost charge and last petition of their Commissioners unto her Majesty, who (as they understand it, and as their deputies in England have since my departure specially signified unto them), hath finally accorded the same, and upon which foot only they pretend to be come hither authorised to conclude with me. Wherein, because I found neither the Act sent unto me nor mine Instructions to warrant me in express terms, I made all the difficulty I might, referring them for that point to the terms of the contract, Soubs l'adveu, but they urging their Commissioners and finding some to take hold thereof, as desirous of such an occasion to gain time by a new report and advice, which would have spent five or six weeks more at the least ere they could have been brought together again; in which mean time doubting what might happen, considering the manifold practices here to shuffle the cards and impeach by all means her Majesty's assurance (a thing in this time and state of things to be specially looked unto), and the rather remembering how forward they were of late to have treated with the enemy upon the only suspicion of her Majesty's backwardness to embrace their cause, which I find no lack of bad instruments here yet ready upon every little advantage to persuade and set forward, and had ere this in all men's opinions fallen out unhappily, if her Majesty's forces had not arrived and their Commissioners returned as they did; I thought it better therefore to conclude with them in the terms I have done than to hazard all by delaying and protracting the time any longer, considering what a band of awe the possession of these places by her Majesty's forces shall be, both to the enemy and this people, if they should be drawn to run any other course hereafter than might stand with the policy and surety of our estate. And therefore if herein I have not so fully answered her Majesty's expectation as haply I might (if the market had not been forestalled before my coming, and other things in the state I find them), I must be humble suitor to your lordship to procure a favourable construction and allowance of my poor service herein at her Majesty's hands, for my better warrant and discharge in that behalf. As touching the placing of the garrisons, the States have this morning given an act of warrant to the Count Hohenloe for the withdrawing of those that are now within the towns and forts cautioned to her Majesty; and named others with myself to see her Highness' appointed companies admitted in their places. Whereupon I have also taken order with Mr. Norrys for the sending down of three ensigns to the Brill, containing 450, and other 700 for Flushing with the Rammekins; giving him special caution to make choice of those that are best ruled and qualified for the purpose, whom I look for within three or four days; upon whose repair thither I mean to go expressly from hence to the Brill to take some order first in the assurance of that place, and so from thence into Zeeland, to effect the like in behalf of those of Flushing and the Rammekins, and there abide till I understand her Majesty's further pleasure. As for the Count Maurice, whose friends do insist upon some kind of consideration at the States' hands in regard of the particular damage he may receive as lord of Flushing, by the delivery of that place into her Majesty's hands, they have granted him an Act of Indemnity in that behalf which (though it be not all he looketh for) will, I hope, stay both him and his friends from attempting anything in hindrance thereof. Touching the governors to be appointed by her Majesty to the charge of those several places, it were convenient (under your lordship's correction) that they were hastened hither so soon as were possible, because I suspect both the obedience of the soldiers and sufficiency of the commanders that are like to be thrust in upon this necessity, if they have not some person of judgment and respect in time to take the rule and charge of the one and other. For the rest of our troops, how Mr. Norris intendeth to employ them your lordship shall best understand by his own letters. They are presently in the field about Utrecht, all save fourteen ensigns drawn down towards Barrow and the companies in Ostend, the countenance of whose marching in camp doth withhold the enemy from the hasty attempting of any place of moment, especially where he is like to find resistance, so as the bruit of his coming to Barrow is not so hot as it was. He hath written letters of great kindness to those of Goude, which have been this morning seen in the Assembly of the States, and is suspected to have done the like to divers other towns in Holland, where he hath his instruments dispersed. Martini, Greffier of Antwerp (a special furtherer of the treaty with him) sent hither (as Rowland York hath advertised me) to do good offices for him in advancing a peace, is with Temple and one or two others apprehended and committed prisoners. St. Aldegonde was appointed to follow him, and looked for here, if the entreaty of his forerunners do not divert his purpose. The Electors of Mentz and Trier, the Duke of Cleves and others have on the other side sent deputies underhand to the Count `Nuenar' with his Chancellor Holtman, to meditate a reconcilement betwixt him and the Bavarois, making him very large and special offers. He pretendeth an indisposition to hearken to them, and yet having some of his principal councillors upon whom he reposeth won that way, the issue is both doubtful and suspected; the rather in regard of the great unkindness and difference grown betwixt the Elector `Truxis' and him. I have advised Mr. Norris, who is with him, to keep a good eye upon him, and to dissuade that course all that he may, as a thing of very dangerous consequence to the whole cause, and the more feared for the fresh examples of others of no less account till now, for their wisdom, religion and loyalty than himself. What will succeed hereof your lordship shall understand by the next.”—The Hague, 24 September, 1585.
Minute. Endd. 2 ¼ pp. [Holland III. 94.]
Sept. 24. Davison to Leicester.
“Yesterday after many impediments and difficulties cast in by such as desired nothing more than the hindrance of this treaty with her Majesty and reconcilement with the Spaniard, we are here finally grown to a resolution upon such terms as your Lordship may perceive by the act passed between us in that behalf; the double whereof I have sent to Mr. Secretary. The greatest difference in the end stood upon the point of entertaining the garrisons in the places of assurance, over and above the numbers specified in her Majesty's letters, whereto I have been driven at the length to accommodate myself, to prevent the mischief which I have infinite reasons to suspect, considering the estate and condition of things here, with the manifold practices in hand to induce these countries to reconcilement and peace with the enemy, which should not only hazard religion utterly, what pretext of liberty thereof soever he promise—but also draw a dangerous and apparent war upon her Majesty's shoulders, to the one and other whereof her Highness' possession of the places agreed upon shall be no little bridle and impediment; and therefore beseech your Lordship to be a means to further her Majesty's interpretation and allowance of my poor service herein in the best part.
“This day the States have given warrant to the Count of Hohenloe for withdrawing their companies out of the said places and admitting of such as I in her Majesty's name shall appoint; who with certain others deputed from the States are to accompany me first to the Briele to see that place assured and at her Majesty's devotion and from thence into Zeeland to accomplish the like in behalf of Flushing and the Rammekins, wherein I look to find no difficulty; and therefore I would beseech your Lordship to hasten the despatch of Sir Philip Sydney, whom these of Zeeland do singularly both [for] your Lordship's sake and his own virtues specially desire; with such other as her Majesty shall think meet for the Briell; because I suspect the good rule of the companies placed upon this necessity in the one and other if there be not some persons of respect appointed all the sooner to take the charge over them, which done they hope to see your Lordship ere it be long, to vouchsafe the favour they have craved at your hands and which they have given their deputies there special charge of new to insist upon as a thing that would be most grateful to all these poor counties, for the general opinion conceived here both of your lordship's virtues experimented and zeal and affection to their cause”; wherein I beseech your Lordship to let me know with the first what I may assure them.—The Hague, 24 September, 1585.
Copy. Endd. 1 p. [Holland III. 95.]
Sept. 24. Davison to Walsingham.
Upon mine arrival at Middelburg I gave your honour to understand by Stephen le Sieur, how I found those of Zeeland disposed to give her Majesty satisfaction for their parts in the point of assurance, which seemed then to stick only upon some act for the indemnizing those of Flushing by the rest of the towns for any damage or inconvenience they might incur hereafter by occasion of their delivery into her Majesty's hands; for the determining whereof the Estates of that province were specially appointed to assemble the Monday after mine arrival, which detained me there a day or two the longer, to see what end it would take; but finding the meeting slacked by some difficulty on the part of those of 'Zirikzea,' and some necessity in the meanwhile of my hastening hither, I departed thence the same Monday and came hither the Wednesday night following, where I found the cards had been so shuffled in the absence of their commissioners by the simplicity of some and malice of others, who (pretending no appearance of her Majesty's relief, or ability otherwise to subsist longer), considering how their means were exhausted, their government full of disorder and confusion, and taking advantage of the treaty with those of Antwerp, persuaded by all means a general reconcilement; as if in that common astonishment and uncertainty of things her Majesty's forces had not come over as they did, it is generally thought they had either treated with the enemy or fallen into such disunion and confusion amongst themselves as would have hazarded the whole cause.
“The next day therefore after my coming I demanded audience, but by reason the deputies of Gueldres, Frise, Utrecht and Zeeland were not here, I was deferred for a day or two; in the meanwhile being very well advertised of the practices in hand on every side to interrupt the effecting of this treaty with her Majesty, the suspicion whereof increased by that I had heard of the departure of la Pré into France, not without secret commission as was thought of some particulars here ill affected to the treaty, by the flocking hither of divers bad instruments from Antwerp, amongst whom was Martini and others, special furtherers of their late treaty with the Spaniard, together with the intelligence I had how busily some were occupied to alien both the Count Maurice and the Count Hohenloe from this course with her Majesty, under pretext of the particular prejudice which might redound to the one and the other by the proceeding thereof, considering the places and degrees they now occupied in the government, besides the continual murmuring of others after a peace, persuading that they would never have better conditions than now, if they list to make their profit of her Majesty's assistance, as those of Antwerp had (as they termed it) wisely done, of the only bruit and countenance thereof.
“I thought it very expedient, that I might the sooner see what all these divers practices would bring forth, to insist earnestly for mine audience, which was finally granted me on Saturday the 11th of this present, where having delivered her Majesty's several letters and exposed the residue of my charge, I was, under the first pretext of absence of the rest, referred from my full answer till their coming, whom they pretended to look for every day, and in the mean time requested [me] to have patience.
“The Monday following here arrived those of Zeeland, with a general charge to ratify the contract with her Majesty, and to signify their readiness to give her Highness full contentment for their parts in the point of assurance, in which nevertheless they referred the more absolute and particular declaration to the coming of others to follow them with full power in that behalf; yet because I had received some promise of resolution upon the meeting of those of Holland and Zeeland only, in case the rest should not make all the more haste (notwithstanding they wished rather the presence of the rest of the deputies at the resolving thereof, specially in regard of the counter assurances to be given by them to those of Holland and Zeeland, which become first cautionaries, that they shall be ready to do the like on their part wheresoever they should be required) I did the more earnestly press to have some end thereof, considering their deputies were now here together; but differed with the same excuses and delays I had been before. During which time here arrived the Count William of Nassau, Governor of Friseland, who with the Elector [Truchsess] and Count of Hohenloe was long since authorised by the Count John to take some care of the affairs of the mortuary house of the Prince, which stand in very poor and hard terms; but drawn hither specially at this time to advise with the rest of the Count his friends touching the matter of Flushing, wherein he is particularly interested and findeth himself grieved that in the contract with her Majesty his right was not in express terms provided for.
“And within a day after, which was Monday last, came some of the deputies so long looked for, but specially Vander Beke, pensioner of Flushing, with whom the States having had some conference sent me word that they would depend no longer upon the coming of the rest but proceed forthwith to a resolution and effectuating of the treaty with her Majesty, beseeching me not to think ill of the delays which had fallen out in that behalf, wherein they assured me there was no voluntary fault. The next morning those of Zeeland came unto me, who were absent at the time of mine audience and therefore had not seen the Act of my lords her Majesty's commissioners, desiring a sight thereof which I permitted them, letting me understand that they were to go presently to the Assembly and hoped to make a full end, as the same day. Within an hour after came the Count of Hohenloe to visit me, whom (because of the sundry advertisements I had received, and knowing how much he might have hurt the whole cause if he were ill affected), I thought fit to use with all good compliments in her Majesty's name, to whom he besought me to recommend and present his most humble service as to the princess in the world he most desired to serve and honour. As likewise did the same afternoon the Count William, a gentleman of great valour and judgment for his years; who withal acquainted me with the cause of his coming, being appointed by his father and others to assist the young Count his cousin and the rest of the children in those things that concerned their estate etc.:—assuring me that howsoever I might be informed of some backwardness on their behalf, there was neither the said Count his kinsman nor any one of their house that were not most ready to do her Majesty all humble and obedient service, whereof he hoped they should one day give good testimony. In the meantime he prayed me to do my best to entertain them in her Majesty's favour and to be a mean that albeit the States had so much forgotten them or little respected them as to make no mention of the young Count in their contract with her Highness, especially for the matter of Flushing wherein he was so nearly touched, that yet it would please her Majesty of her goodness to take both him and the rest of that house into her favourable protection; whereof, as of all other favour her Majesty might show unto them either in general or particular, I did my best to assure him, as I could wish her Majesty did by her own letters both to the Count Maurice and him, seeing those compliments can do no hurt, as also that it would please her to use the like in behalf of the Count of Nuenar and Hohenloe, who having now between them a great part of the strengths of the country at their devotion, are not in good policy to be left unentertained, considering the time and state of things.
“The same evening I was advertised that the States after many difficulties cast in by such as desired to draw the matter in length (under some hope to break the neck thereof with the time) had finally resolved to go through with her Majesty upon the same proportion of 5,000 footmen and 1,000 horsemen, besides the garrisons of Flushing, Rammekins and the Briell, which their deputies had always insisted on according to their commission, and which, by the letters of those remaining in England they took to be fully accorded. Whereupon appointing certain of their company to digest some articles to the same effect to be inserted into the former treaty Soubs l'adveu, they sent unto me yesterday morning to pray me to take pains to come to their assembly, where they did communicate with me the project thereof, which having desired time to consider of and finding nothing in express terms either in mine Instructions or the Act of my lords touching the point of garrisons above the 5,000 foot and 1,000 horse that might sufficiently warrant my consent in that behalf, considering it was contained in express terms within the said Act that her Majesty should entertain the said 5,000 footmen and 1,000 horse according to the former contract and under the conditions first expressed and named therein touching the delivery of the towns of assurance, I prayed them to excuse me if I made dainty in a matter of that weight to exceed my charge and commission, and that we might according thereunto go through upon the said proportion of 5,000 footmen and 1,000 horse, which I did by many reasons let them see to be so important and honourable a succour as being well looked into was very worthy a thankful acceptation; but because the most part pretended to be authorised only upon the foot of the first commission for 5,000 footmen and 1,000 horse besides the garrisons of those places offered her Majesty for her assurance, especially those of Zeeland, who denied confidently to have any other charge and to be precisely advertised by sundry letters from Valk their deputy, and namely since my coming from Court, that her Majesty had finally accorded the same, wherein they took her Highness' letters of credence also to authorise me sufficiently, and seeing that to defer the matter to a new advice from home and new recess here would spend five or six weeks more at the least before any thing could be concluded, which delay I feared might be dangerous, considering the practises here on all sides to hinder the same, especially by interrupting her Majesty's assurance, as the aptest way to divert her from their succour, and so to compel them (once abandoned of her favour) to run a headlong course of reconcilement with the Spaniards, which I find he hath no want of friends or instruments here to set forward; and finding no other way for the time, to get her Majesty assured, a thing of special necessity, considering how far she is already embarked and in how tickle state things continue yet amongst them, I thought good in fine to accord the said project with some correction in the form herewith sent, which, so soon as it is engrossed, is on the one part and other to be signed and I immediately to receive direction for the avoiding of their garrisons and admitting of her Majesty's within the towns agreed upon for assurance, to which end I had taken order with the General Norrys (who hath been here a day or two upon that occasion) to select and choose out the fittest and best governed of his troops for the placing in the one and other; as namely, three ensigns containing 450 in the Briell with the two forts, and 700 for Flushing with the Rammekins, and do look this day for the direction and appointment of commissioners with me, for the removing of the one and admitting of the other, so soon as they can be here, which will be yet four or five days; intending to begin first at the Briell, and that assured to depart from thence into Zeeland to see the like effected in behalf of Flushing and the Rammekins, in every of which it would be expedient that some better chosen and qualified captains and commanders were employed under the several governors than can be well found here, both for her Majesty's better service in the good government of their troops, and the better liking and contentment of the inhabitants; but especially to hasten those over that shall be appointed to have the chief commandment of them, because it will be hard otherwise so keep them in so good discipline and order as were expedient, namely in this beginning. And this is in fine the best issue and success whereunto I can possibly bring my negotiation here, in which if I have swerved from her Majesty's pleasure or not contented her Highness' expectation, I beseech your honour together with the rest of my good lords to entreat Her Majesty's most gracious pardon, and excuse in my behalf, as he that hath failed rather of ignorance or necessity than of will.”—The Hague, 24 September, 1585.
Postscript.—“Since the finishing of this letter Martini hath been examined, who confesseth both himself and others to be come hither by direction of the Prince of Parma and intelligence of St. Aldegonde, from whom he was first addressed to Villiers and afterwards to others of his friends for advice and assistance. That the scope of this direction was to induce them here to hearken to a peace, wherein the Prince of Parma promiseth them toleration of religion, although he confesses to have yet no absolute power in that behalf, but hath written thereof to the King expressly, and holdeth himself assured thereof by the first post, as I have likewise been advertised from Rowland Yorke, which, if it had come to be propounded openly here before things had been concluded with her Majesty and order taken for her assurance, your honour can guess what confusion it must of necessity have brought forth. There is on the other side some sent to the Count of Neunar to reconcile him with the Bavarois and draw him from the part of the Elector Truxis (with whom he is fallen into difference) and the States; which accord his Chancellor Holtman and some others do further all they can, so as I do half suspect the issue, which I have written to Mr. Norrys to dissuade by all means and to keep a good eye upon him.”
Signed. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Holland III. 96.]
Rough draft of the above, corrected by Davison. Endorsed: “Sept. 25,” being the day it was sent. [See next letter.] 8 pp. [Ibid. III. 97.]
Sept. 25. Davison to Walsingham.
Has had to detain his man for the copy of the Act (which he now sends), (fn. 2) “as then unsigned on the one part and other.” Keeps the original for the signatures of those of Frise and Gueldres, who are looked for every day. Is going on the morrow to the Briell, accompanied by Count Hohenloe and some of the deputies, and thence to Flushing, to set things in order in these places. Again urges the need to hasten over their governors; “those that are like to be thrust in upon this necessity for the guard of them being not so fitly chosen as were requisite, and as is hard to be found amongst so raw companies as are here; which, nevertheless, being commanded by some person of authority and respect, might be made much the fitter in that behalf.” If he had not “concluded” as he did, and hastened the delivery of these places, he would have met with greater difficulties than have yet appeared; therefore he hopes his action will be well interpreted, and prays to have some line or two from her Majesty “warranting” his poor doings.—The Hague, 25 September, 1585.
Signed. Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Holland III. 98.]
Sept. 25. Thomas Digges to Walsingham.
“I had the company of Mr. Thomas Wilsford in the view of many fortified towns in the Low Countries, especially such as had new fortifications made by the Prince; but at Sluys we were not, because neither at that time nor since, that I can learn, it was ever fortified to any purpose.” I have no “platts” of that town, but when Mr. Wilsford returns home from the musters of the ports we will both wait on you speedily; or, if greater expedition is needful, I have appointed a man of mine to repair to me (your honour's pleasure known), meaning to set aside all private business, if I may do her Majesty service.—Denton, 25 September, 1585.
Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Ibid. III. 99.]


  • 1. Clearly written “deuxiesme” but endorsed as twelfth.
  • 2. See p. 34 above, although this can hardly be the actual copy sent by Davison, as the spelling of the names is inaccurate, and the year date is given as 1589.