Elizabeth: August 1586, 1-10

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 21, Part 2, June 1586-March 1587. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1927.

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'Elizabeth: August 1586, 1-10', in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 21, Part 2, June 1586-March 1587, (London, 1927) pp. 111-126. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/foreign/vol21/no2/pp111-126 [accessed 20 April 2024]


August 1586, 1-10

Aug. 1/11. MAURICE OF NASSAU to the QUEEN.
I am informed by the Council of the Admiralty here that being very short of artillery suitable for ships of war, they some time ago, by means of their deputies in your Majesty's realm, bought artillery to the amount of a hundred tons. But they are advertised that the transport thereof is objected to by your Majesty's officers there, perhaps supposing that it is done by private persons, who might carry it elsewhere ; which can never be, seeing that the purchase is made by express order of the said Admiralty. I therefore make bold humbly to pray your Majesty to give orders to your officers to allow it to pass freely, to the end that your service here may not be retarded, but that we may have the means to employ ourselves further therein, according to our infinite obligation so to do. In which your Majesty will find me ever ready, even to the hazard of my life.The Hague, 11 August, 1586. Signed. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Holland IX. 66.]
On Thursday, being July 28, we embarked with her Majesty's treasure in the Bull, at Margate, and having a very good wind arrived at Flushing next day by noon. From thence I came to Middelburg, unladed the treasure, and conferred with the merchants for advancing the 10,000l. appointed to be received here the 10th of August. They promised on Monday to get in what they could for me, wherefore I have been constrained to tarry here till this Tuesday for it. But considering the need of my repair to the Lord General, and having received 5150l. or thereabouts, I think it not amiss to leave the rest in their hands, considering the great need of paying the garrisons in these parts, and tomorrow morning propose to hasten towards Utrecht, where his lordship now is. At our arrival, it was held for certain that the enemy was before Berk on the Rhine, where Sir Martin 'Shynk' commands, with Col. Morgan and certain English companies ; but since then it is given out that he "rather pretendeth" to Bergen op Zoom. Others think that his losses at Nuys keep him at a stand. My Lord General prepares for the field, and companies from sundry parts are commanded to rise, but for what purpose I cannot say.Middelburg, 2 August, 1586. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. 1 p. [Ibid. 67.]
Aug. 4. COINAGE.
A note of the gold coins in the Low Countries as proclaimed by placcart on Aug. 4, 1586, giving their value in gilders and stivers.
The English angel 5g. 1st.
The double English rose noble 15g. 4st.
The single English rose noble 7g. 12st.
The Harry noble 6g. 13st.
The angel "with the letter O upon the ship" 4g. 16st.
The sovereign coined by King Henry 5g. 1st.
The golden rial 5g. 2st.
The half golden rial 2g. 11st.
The Carolus gildern 33st.
The French crown "of the sun" 3g. 1st.
The Flemish crown 3g. 1st.
The old French crown 3g. 0st.
The golden lion 3g. 15st.
The Burgoyne ryder 3g. 8st.
The golden fleece 4g. 6st.
The Andrew's gilderne 2g. 9st.
The William's "schilt" 2g. 9st.
The Scution 2g. 19st.
The Philip's gildern 2g. 2st.
The Philip's clinkard 36st.
The great crusado of Portugal 33g. 10st.
The double Spanish pistolet 6g. 0st.
The single Spanish pistolet 3g. 0st.
The double Italian pistolet 5g. 16st.
The single pistolet 2g. 18st.
The great rial of 'Osterriick' 14g. 5st
The ducat of Hungary, Spain, Portugal "and those coined in Riick" [i.e. the Empire] 3g. 8st.
The double Spanish ducat 6g. 16st.
The golden Castillian 4g. 8st.
The Portugal crown "with the short cross" 3g. 3st.
The Portugal crown "with the long cross" 3g. 2st.
The double Italian ducat 6g. 12st.
The single Italian ducat "and the salutation" 3g. 6st.
The Portugal "mill re" 6g. 16st.
The Dutch gildern 48st.
The David's gildern of Utrecht 2g. 0st.
The Guelderland's ryder 35st.
The gilderns of Deventer, Campian and Swolle, and Clemmer 34st.
The rose noble of Guelderland and Utrecht 7g. 9st.
The Flemish noble, old and new 6g. 7st.
The double Zeeland's ducat 6g. 16st.
The Hollands ducat 3g. 8st.
The double gildern of Netherlands "called the States' crown" 2g. 8st.
The Guelderland's and Friesland's golden ryder (coined 1582) 2g. 18st.
Endd. 1 pp. [Holland IX. 68.]
When I delivered your letters to his Excellency, I also let him know how honourably you have dealt with her Majesty for the furtherance of the cause here in hand, and of your loving disposition towards himself, and care that her Highness should satisfy his reasonable desires. He takes it most kindly of you, and I trust will ever seek to requite it. He showed me your kind letter to him, for which he was very thankful, as I am for your mention therein of my love to him. While I live I shall study to deserve your favour by all service that may lie in me to do to you and yours. I think you will have heard "that since the taking of 'Nuse' the Prince hath gotten 'Mewers,' but that was had by intelligence and not by blows." We heard that he had marched into Brabant, but even now news comes that he is besieging Berke. I think we shall presently go to relieve it."Tergrave," 6 August, 1586. "Sir Thomas Cecil is in very good health. He was here yesterday, and is gone to Utrecht." Add. Endd. Seal of arms. 1 p. [Holland IX. 69.]
Aug. 7. Draft for the following letter to her Majesty. Endd. 1 pp. [Ibid. 70.]
At my arrival at Utrecht on the 1st of this month, where I found my lord of Leicester, the Council of State were at la Hague : but they met him at Goude in Holland, where I delivered your Majesty's letters, and declared to them as much as I was directed. They seemed to have learnt of my coming and the gracious message I brought, and had given some inkling of it to the people, who received me with much gladness. The Council showed a wonderful joy, as if raised from deep despair to a certain hope of the continuance of your succour ; for though they pretended to have been satisfied with your former letters, "the constant bruit brought from the enemy of the supposed treaty of peace between your Majesty and him, and the secret working of Paul Bus....had so amazed them" that they began to abandon all hope. They rendered you "immortal and eternal thanks" (using those epithets) and promised to open their state and hearts to your view, desiring me to go with them to the Hague, where all their papers and records are, that they might acquaint me with all things for your satisfaction.Gouda, 7 August, 1586, stilo veteri. Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. 71.]
To the same effect as to her Majesty above. To give the "more show of truth" to the report about a peace, the enemy have had a house prepared in Brussels "for an ambassador coming out of England" to conclude it.Gouda, 7 August, 1586, stilo veteri. Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. 1 pp. [Ibid. 72.]
I have been with his Excellency "at Haye" and here at Utrecht seven or eight days, waiting for the Treasurer, who stayed behind at Middelburg, I know not why. Our soldiers are so dispersed in garrison towns, and some of them in Guelders and 'Bergh' [Rheinberg], besieged by the enemy, that it will be impossible to perform the musters in due order, especially as to this hour there is no certain allowance for the officers of the army, which breeds not only confusion in the accounts but in the service. And the men "so licentiously accustomed heretofore as any due military discipline seemeth to them intolerable." "Count Hollock and my lord Marshal, Sir William Pelham, are in Brabant upon an exploit, and our Lord General preparing with all speed to march towards the enemy with all the forces he can draw together" ; but I think that with less hazard we should divert the enemy from his enterprises and do greater service by spoiling their harvest and winter store, if we bent most of our forces into Flanders, to relieve our poor soldiers with spoil instead of pay, than this way, where they can hope for nothing but blows. And I think want of pay will draw his Excellency to that course.Utrecht, 7 August, 1586. Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland IX. 73.]
I heartily thank you for your long letters, received by Sir Thomas Shurley, "and for your friendly consideration of the continual hindrances I have for writing....which at this present are most extreme," from the infinite cares I have in setting forth the army for the relief of Berk, now besieged by the enemy. For which cause I must leave all to the report of Mr. Herle, especially touching Embden, wherein he can throughly advertise you what is done and the difficulty I had to bring the States to a good end.Utrecht, 8 August, 1586. Postscript in his own hand. The matters of this state now admit of no further dalliance, and her Majesty shall shortly be advertised of all that we have been able to look into. The people are most affectionate to her. The higher sort, that manage the causes among them, and will at length persuade them, will I see, "deal upon a surer ground than hitherto," or will seek another course. They also desire to be protected by none other but her Majesty, but the fear and doubt they have had these five months past hath caused many inconveniences and hath disgraced all my poor service and endeavours. "But my adventure was for God and her Majesty, and my end shall witness it." You know, and all here can judge what my care and pains have been, and what crosses and thwarts I have met with from my first coming till this day. Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. 74.]
By yours of July 21, I see that you had not received mine sent by 'Hues,' Lord Norreys' man, dated July 16. Hereafter I will send by swifter and surer messengers, if you will ask your son to have my letters conveyed from the Brill. On the 18th, his Excellency went to the Brill, where he was most honourably received and feasted by the Lord Governor. He returned on the 19th to the Hague, and the same day news came that Sir Philip Sydney's enterprise against Graveling had failed, "having left forty-four men behind him." The particulars, no doubt, you know long since ; "because it is given out here that it was projected in England and sent over hither but thereof Sir John Norreys was nothing made acquainted. "The 21, there were sixty of the most substantial gentlemen and burghers proscribed by billet by authority from his Excellency from Utrecht, to avoid the town in three hours and the land in three days, to some neutral place." The 22nd, Mr. William Hearl came as ambassador "with her Majesty's letters to the magistrates and captains of Utrecht, which he delivered with great solemnity. "The 23, his Excellency made a most sumptuous feast to the nobility, gentility, ladies and gentlewomen of the country at the Hague, and was most solemnly served. "About this time, the Count Hollock, the Lord Marshal and the Earl of Essex drew divers companies to make a rendez-vous in Brabant for some enterprise there, whereof the Colonel General [Norreys], being there present, was not made privy of. All this week I was sent by his Excellency to Utrecht to sick gentlemen, so that I was from the fountain of news. [Concerning the taking of Neuss]. "Clout the governor most valiantly acquitted himself, being shot in three places, and hanged by the Prince, being almost dead before. The Prince lost above a thousand men, and the new Bishop of Cologne was present, and saw his town burnt, all saving an hundred houses. He paid to the Prince 55,000 gulders, and is to supply as many furnished men as were lost. "The 1st of August, Wilkes came to Utrecht as lord ambassador and is now at the Hague. The 2, his Excellency came from the Hague by 'Goude' to Utrecht, and returned again to Groude the 5th. "The 6th, the Treasurer Mr. Huddleston came to Utrecht, and the same day happened a great matter, which I fear will grow to some mischief between the Count Hollock, the Lord Marshal and Mr. Edward Norreys, at Gertruydenberg in the Count's own house, the particularities whereof I send enclosed in another hand unknown.....I see preparation of banding on both sides, and each to stand upon their guards." The Prince is certainly before Berke, with above forty pieces of artillery, "and hath already got the island to foreclose them from the river and hath entrenched himself in four places about it. The town is not strong, but well-provided of men, munition and victuals." There are nine English companies, Col. Morgan's, Captains Thomas, Williams, 'Indge,' Lambert, Latham, Pawlet, Shawe, Chatterton, and three more have been sent, but whether they are entered, we are not sure. Capt. Williams and Capt. Latham themselves are not there. The 7th his Excellency returned here, and makes all haste to draw his companies into the field, for the rescue of Berke ; "but I know not how the Count Hollock, the Lord Marshal and Sir John Norreys (being drawn into his brother's quarrel) can brook one to command or be commanded of the other. I fear some dangerous sequel, but his Excellency hath entered into the cause already, and used me as a messenger to Sir John Norreys."Utrecht, 8 August, 1586. Postscript. I have just learned that his Excellency's repair to Goude proceeds from some jealousy with the States ; for neither will they come to any place where he absolutely commands, nor his Excellency "where they can" ; but they cover it by saying that they will not come "where his Excellency shall not be obeyed ; charging the captains of Utrecht for the imprisonment of Paul Buz, which his Excellency disavoweth, and also for their disobeying of him for his releasement." Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland IX. 75.]
Aug. 8. Quarrel between COUNT HOHENLOHE and CAPT. EDW. NORREYS.
Count Hollock and the Lord Marshal [Sir William Pelham] having determined a voyage into Brabant, by Gertruydenbergh, to which the Colonel General must not be made privy, the Lord Marshal desired Lord Willoughby to repair thither with his horse and 500 foot and likewise Sir Philip Sydney, for some good service. Lord Willoughby being at Flushing, showed the letter to the governor, and shipped himself with all speed, asking Capt. Edw. Norris to accompany him to Gertruydenbergh ; where, hearing that the forces were returned, having burnt a village and killed some boors, they went to the water side to meet them, "where Sir Philip Sydney found presently great change in Count Hollock's countenance.....Patente [i.e. Paton] a Scottish captain, also asked of Sir Philip Sydney whether there were any quarrel between the Count Hollock and any of the troop, affirming that he knew by him that he meant some mischief to some of them. Supper time being come, everybody set, and drinking beginning ; Capt. Edw. Norris perceived himself more than ordinarily pressed ; and after many carouses, the Lord Marshal took a great glass and drank to the health of the Lord Norris and my lady. Capt. Norreys desired his lordship to take a lesser, saying it would be no pleasure to his Lordship to see him drunk ; calling Mr. Sydney to witness that in eight days before he had forborne to drink wine for his health. But being urged, he pledged him, and drank it to the Count of Essex, who drank it to the Count Hollock, saying it was to the health of Mr. Norreys' father. The Count asked whose horse, and that he used not to pledge horses, and notwithstanding that the Earl repeated it twice or thrice he would not understand it otherewise, which Capt. Norris began to wonder at, but said nothing. Immediately my Lord Marshal took the like glass again, and drank to Capt. Norris, who musing much at it.....took the glass and set it by him as the manner is. But the Lord Marshal, reaching over the board....said 'Capt. Norris, take your glass, and if you have any mind to play, seek other companions, for I will not be played withal ; therefore pledge me.' Capt. Norris said I trust your lordship will not force me to drink more than 1 list ; and though now your lordship be in higher place, yet in England you would not have disdained me for your companion." [The Marshal still persisted in urging Norris to drink, with scornful words, which at last Norris, to avoid offence, consented to do.] Then standing up, "he was drinking to Mr. Sydney when the Count Hollock, saying nothing and to whom nothing had been said before, took the cover of a great bowl and threw it violently at Capt. Norris's head,....and cut him a great gash to the bone, the blood running down his face and eyes. The Count presently rose to have stabbed him, but was stayed by Sir Philip Sydney and others and so carried away. Capt. Norris, amazed, went to his lodging, and next morning departed the town, being warned that he was in danger of his life ; the place being in the hands of the Count's people. "It is but a slender defence for my Lord Marshal to excuse himself by his cups ; but often the cups bewray men's humours, and demask their malice,....whereby this broken head may save and avoid a greater danger ; but certainly the Count Hollock saw how the stream went, and thought to have done a pleasure to the company in killing of him." Endd. "8 August, 1586. Mr. Edw. Norrys, with the discourse of the quarrel between him and the Count Hohenlo." 2 pp. [Holland IX. 76.]
Another copy of the same, with the following additional paragraph :" The next day after his departure the said company met at the Count Hollock's house, and were all in so good terms that not one of the company had either falling band or ruff left about his neck untorn clean away ; and yet there was no blood drawn." Endd. by Burghley. "8 Aug., 1586. Advertisement of a difference at Gertrudenberg. Count Hollock, Sir Wm. Pelham." 3 pp. [Ibid. 77.]
Aug. 9. Reasons by WILLIAM MILWARD why the whole trade of the Adventurers should not be settled in the United Provinces. 1. It has been thought well ever since the beginning of her Majesty's reign, that there should be a place for the vent of their trade outside the Low Countries ; wherefore they procured privileges at Embden and afterwards at Hamburg ; whereby, when the King of Spain banished English commodities from the Low Countries in 1563 and embargoed English ships in 1568 ; and also upon the hard dealing of the Hanses in 1578, they "found means at Embden to utter a great quantity of cloths, not only to the good of the realm but to the bridling of the Hanses, were able to have vent for their goods. So long as there was passage up the river [Scheldt], they found free vent in that town, but now that the river is possessed by the enemy, the merchants of Italy and Germany neither bring their goods nor send to buy English commodities there, and not one half of what the Adventurers bring thither is sold. It has been said that if the whole trade was diverted to Amsterdam, the merchants would both be safer and do more trade than at Embden ; but this can hardly be so, for to Embden, the merchants of Italy, Germany and Eastland send their commodities and then buy English cloths &c. ; which, in the time of these troubles, they will not do in the Low Countries, especially as for a third of the year the rivers are frozen. The Council of State, in their last treaty with the Earl of East Friesland, have shown that their quarrel with Embden was more from envy of its prosperity than desire to annoy the enemy or advance the common cause ; wherefore it is to be feared that if the trade were diverted, the Earl and his town would join with the Hanses, "who have long desired to have Embden and the Adventurers at squares." He thinks therefore that they should only feel the minds of the States ; and so leave the matter and make report to her Majesty or the Lords of the Council. But if these people obtain the whole trade, and so the Merchants Adventurers are out of favour in all other places, it may fall out very ill for the advancement of her Majesty's purpose ; for "they shall be the readier to oppose themselves against any action intended for the common cause if the same be to their disliking," some of them having said to him "that as good reason cloths etc. should be forbidden to be transported out of England, as butter and cheese to be restrained from transportation out of these countries. If therefore....it should be found convenient to restrain anything to be transported out of these countries, they, having the whole trade of cloth in their hands, would, to hinder such purpose, restrain cloth to pass out" from hence. The Hague, 9 August, 1586. Signed. 2 pp. [Holland IX. 78.]
Aug. 9. State of the contributions granted to his Excellency by the States of the United Provinces, for the six months from Feb. 10 to Aug. 9, 1586. Giving the payments to the regiments, horse and foot, with names of captains of companies ; to officers of the field and governors of towns, and for various other items of expenditure. Total disbursements upon the contributions 1221729 florins 9 paters or 122172l. 19s. 2d. French. 36 pp. [Ibid. 79.]
A "Summary computation of the above. 4 pp. [Ibid. 80.]
I have dealt with my cousin Cecil touching the Brill,... and he finds it as I wrote. I hear Sir Francis Drake hath brought store of ordnance with him. Eight or ten pieces shall be wellbestowed at Brill. For the finances, if I have the requisite assistance, I can perform all I said ; but I doubt the malicious dealing of some, "specially the lewd plot laid by Paul Buys" which hinders it greatly already. Mr. Wilkes is examining it and will tell you what he finds in that and other thwart dealings here. There is only one way to make all safe :for her Majesty "to take that upon her which I fear she will not." Touching the States' payments to her or myself, "they have paid of late so ill for themselves as I think they made small reckoning to pay anybody ; so strange an alteration I found in them since the loss of Grave." But I dealt so flatly with them before Mr. Wilkes' coming that I brought them to a better pass : and his arrival and good messages have confirmed things far better than I hoped ; and such is their desire of her Majesty's protection, that if she gives them assured encouragement all will fall out as well as we may desire. Touching the moneys, I now understand the right of it, and have assented to it, but your words were not so plain in your other letter, "neither yet where you say that you would have our 12d. sterling to be at 20d. Flemish, I cannot find of what money you mean, for if you reckon it by the stiver, which is their common small money they pay, ten of their stivers makes our 12d., and according to that rate do they rule the rest of their mean moneys..... "Touching the rose noble, I did likewise perceive your Lordship right, and have declared my opinion accordingly, and his value better known now than at the first, yet where he hath been paid, we can see none come abroad again for repayment. The offer that was made me should have been so performed as her Majesty should have had forty thousand pounds before Michaelmas, and some help....for my charges here. I do not know what hindrance it could have been to her Majesty....for the piece should have been as fine gold and as full weight as our rose noble is, and every way as rich and good. It was I think another manner of reckoning than is made at the Mint in England by any man, and I have mused a thousand times why it was refused. What can be done now I know not, but, it is like nothing, for that the rose noble as you advised is now abated to his value as the angels are, and I will no further deal in that matter before I have first good warrant, when such a bargain is offered, that I may take hold of it," and if I then find nothing can be done, there is no harm done by the warrant. The party is not here, but I will send for him. "The counterfeit money was made as I hear in Amsterdam, as your Lordship saith, for he is taken of late and like to be executed, but a secret worker he was as you have in England, but at Goicum there is open working and I cannot yet stay it. I hear it is for Don Antonio, but there is process again out for them, and shall be prosecuted to the uttermost, for it is a great dishonour to her Majesty's coin indeed and will deface any that shall be made here after of that sort, it is so far amiss. "I perceive the merchants would have broken with your lordship for money, alleging the loss of Grave and Venloo. I marvel at it, for they had no trade that way at all. Surely you must take care of their doings or else they will bring the realm there into hard terms I fear, for I think they do no good at Middelborowe indeed but 'pelting' between them and Antwerp, wherein I have been fain to deal for them and help them, both for money and goods forfeited." "The matter of Emden....I have ended to the ambassador's contentation that came from the Earl, greatly against our men's wills here, who in troth I must say shall be great losers by the traffic at Emden, as all North Holland will cry out for it ; but I had rather they cried than England should weep." The money I borrowed did the poor soldiers more pleasure than any they received a good while. "Your lordship will not believe the wants they have suffered, nor the harm it hath done to all those that are newly come. I know there is of our numbers two thousand slipped away. Her Majesty had been better, both for her own honour and for the reputation of her subjects to have spent 40,000l. than that they had been driven to this extreme want....My case hath been hard many ways ; I pray God to spare any other my friends and countrymen from feeling the like..... "Touching the precedent taken upon Atyes warrants drawn for me to sign, I marvel he did not satisfy your lordship and the rest at his being there ; he could have told you how little cause there was to make a precedent of his warrants, for those were made upon a special service and necessity, upon the disbursing of the 4000l. which I borrowed for the setting forth of the journey to the victualling of Grave ; whereof your lordship has heard. When there was not one penny to be gotten of her Majesty nor of the States, I did....not only borrow the 4000l. but gaged most of all my vessel and plate for money for myself and others ; and because I was driven to use the service as well of those in the States' pay as her Majesty's....I caused the warrants to be made in haste after that manner giving but a prest only to every band that went at that time ; which if this only time of necessity drew me unto, I would fain know why the Treasurer should make this only one time his precedent ; but my lord, I wrote the very truth although I found how small my credit was,....for by the Lord in heaven the Treasurer confessed to myself his meaning was both by that and his other payments without my warrant at all to those soldiers, to have thereby the payment of them in his office ; not doubting, he said, but at last the States would and must pay the money laid out again ; but saving for the trial of my credit it is a small matter to me; for my warrants were made as any careful general in the world would make them, having such a service in hand and not a penny of treasure to be had but this borrowed by myself upon mine own band, as I have the merchants' letters to show, when Mr. Treasurer took up at the same time 2000l. saying her Majesty did owe it him, and yet promised me he would discharge the garrisons at Berges unpaid and Ostend ; and he paid only 300l. or thereabout to Berges alone, a thousand and a half being due, and the soldiers having mutinied and ready daily to mutiny. But I speak not this to increase any more matter against him, for I mean no way to deal further than by my direct warrants to further the best I can her Majesty's service, but I say thus much for the truth's sake, which was not believed before in me. "Your lordship is in the right for Dunkirk and Newport. I take them to be of greater account than Berges or Gaunt for England, and they be not places unthought of if I had all things as ready as our enemy hath. I must do as I may, being limitted as I am, otherwise our enemys could not have tarried so long where he is unmet withal..... "For fly-boats, I see rather that there will be fewer than more upon that coast, though it concern themselves. "Mr. Wylkes is come in very good time ; his letters and messages most dearly welcome to this people. God grant her Majesty to be well encouraged to go through with this action, howsoever I have been discouraged. Touching the Master of Gray, I think it happy he comes not, for we have no money for him, nor they desire no more numbers here. There must be a remedy for these men's dealings, which, if God send me good speed this journey, I know which way to bring them to a better pass well enough, her Majesty continuing her gracious countenance and favour toward me. I will impart all to Mr. Wylkes and he shall come thoroughly instructed of all things.....He is a marvellous sufficient man, and her Majesty could not have chosen a fitter for this purpose than I see he is like to prove. "For Paul Buys, I perceive by messages from her Majesty that she thinks him a friendly and an affectionate servant unto her, and that he was always for England. It is true, when he thought France should have these countries, he wished her Majesty rather their prince but let all men say, since I have served here, whether any man hath been such an opposite, both against her Majesty's service and to impeach anything that I should go about touching the service here. "This bearer, your lordship doth know, ever loved him of all men of this country birth. Let him tell you what he thinks of him, and whether ever man hath sought a man as I have Paul Buys, even for the ability I found in him above all men, but except he may govern and direct all men and all matters, he is not to be assured of. Methinks her Majesty should somewhat better trust me, having so great a charge as I have, to think me of more judgment than to lose such a man, whom myself hath made choice of, of all others here, and whose purse hath paid for it 200l. thick to him alone, to make him surer if good turns would do it, having bestowed more offices and benefits on him than upon any man else here. And except it were for exceeding great causes, it should be thought I would not mislike him ; but in very truth, my lord, he is a most naughty man, and so reputed of all men 'or' I came hither ; and was thrust in by extreme labour to come in commission into England to her Majesty ; for he was clean cast off here, both from the States and Council, and removed from his chief office, being Advocate of Holland ; and his falling from me was because he could not make me his instrument of revenge, and to make such counsellors as he named, and refuse such as he misliked, being of better credit than ever he would be, as Medykyrk and Walk and one Telinge, a very honest and most sufficient man for matters of the finances. Yet had he the naming of divers whom I took, and be the veriest crafty, wrangling and poling companions in a country. I would your lordship did see how I am watched, except it be three or four who be both wise and honest. As for P. B., he is of no religion, but those he favours are papists, and there is not in all these countries a more notorious drunkard in the worst degree. But I doubt not but if her Majesty find it goodnotwithstanding all his and others' practicesto take them to her protection freely and fully, all will go well."10 August. Postscript."I may not forget to commend...this poor bearer, who hath taken great travail in this voyage to Emden, wherein he hath very well used himself.....It is time he had some 'stay' ; and I know he hath long loved your lordship....and hath been careful to do me all the service for her Majesty that he could. "Till this day....we had no money from the States to set forth our army, and we are not like to have 2000 footmen of theirs, they have such broken bands and so many garrisons, and yet I am fain to leave above 5000 Englishmen in garrisons, or else they will be in danger." Endd. as sent from the Earl of Leicester to Lord Burghley by Wm. Herle. Holograph. 5 pp. [Holland IX. 81.]
So soon as I came to Holland I wrote to your honour, leaving the letters with Geoffrey Gale. He gave them (as he saith) to a skipper of 'Schevelin,' who, coming into England was surprised by them of Dunkirk, and the letters lost. "The purpose of my going into Germany was to feel the discretion of the Divines concerning the restitution of Israel" (on which depends the restitution of all things and blessing of all creatures, according to the prophets and gospel). "Being come to Francfort on the Mayne, I rested and penned down the matter and sent it to Duke Casimir, to be commanded to the divines of Heidelberg, among the which Joannes Jacobus Grinus beareth the chief place and admiration. There were also the preachers that were compelled to depart from Metz and Verdun ; there was also Isaac Josephus the Jew. They all conferred upon the matter, and seeming (as I took it) to condemn it by silence, I urged them by very great bitterness, by a letter unto the Duke. Whereupon he sent unto...... (fn. 1) learned gentleman of his own [?] named Georgius Erasmus Schregelius, who for answer....said : that Calvin, Beza and Acolampadius, with others had so sufficiently written in the cause that they need not deal with it. Which I reproved as a fable, for that the question was not handled before this time. Then I wrote to the Landgrave William of [Hesse] Cassel, a man most famous in the mathematics. He received the book and said that he would try the judgments of the learned concerning the same.....The Archbishop of Mayance took the book and caused it to be copied out and sent me mine again. The divines of Francfort answered (both the Calvinists and Martinists) as those of Heidelberg did, wherein I reproved them with much eagerness, yet would they not answer. The divines of England began in the same course, whereby it is manifest....that they all are comprehended in one predicament by the prophet Esaye saying Neque ex his erat quis quam qui miret consilium aut interrogatus responderet verbum. "Having thus....sufficiently tried the spirits of the English Dutch [i.e. German] and French divines and finding the trial according to the word I shut up my book and put up my pen and said Lord, I am a worm, of no force or value ; make therefore the heavens and the earth to pronounce the verity of thy word, and in the power of thine own arm perform the covenant of thy mercy, to the comfort of thine elect, to the shame of thine enemies and to the everlasting praise of thy name, Amen." My business being thus dispatched, I turned head homewards about the 27th of September. At this time there were no occurants in Germany worthy the writing. "The last year was the Elector Augustus of Saxony greviously afflicted with an ill spirit, for the which a witch was had in question at the torture, who before the Piene confessed the practice, and discovered above forty persons, gentlemen and gentlewomen of his court and elsewhere, with their consorts, privy to the same. The duchess within a short while after died, and the Elector married a young lady, with whom he lived about half a year, and then died ; leaving one son, whose infirmity is such as his house may be said rather to be vacant than furnished with a Prince Elector ; for he is very lunatic. He hath to wife the youngest daughter of the Marquis of Brandenburg. "The Elector Palatine is a young lad, and the Duke Casimir his uncle and tutor, not greatly esteemed among the princes, because he holdeth not Confessionem Augustanam, but hath reformed the Principality after the order of Basel and Geneva ; for the which the overseers of Elector Ludovic's will (namely the Marquis of Brandenburg, the Duke of Wirtemberg and the Landgrave of Cassel) have quarrelled with him upon divers actions in the Imperial Chamber. "The Emperor lieth most at Prague, in very mean state, not inclined to marry, but wholly given to liberty of life. The chief of his Council [consist of? (fn. 2) ] three or four Spaniards and an Italian, by whom he is in heart made more malicious towards the Religion than were any of his ancestors....At Augsburg the whole city were in arms, divided for the receiving and refusing of the new Almanac, and had fallen to fury if Hans Fugger had not by his labour, discretion and estimation pacified the rage of the citizens ; the end whereof was the uniform receiving of that new style. "The State of the Empire in the Princes of all sorts, is overflown with covetousness and oppressions. The nation in general are sonder Gott except in terms. The greatest grace of the Lutherans in their preaching is to rail and conedmn the Calvinists with more bitterness than even they were wont to do. Men preach and teach and strive, but the Lord is gone another way." I came to Cologne, and finding the ways downward very dangerous from the men of war of Truchsess and Bavaria, "I used such care and industry as by God's good luck I came safe to Wezel," and thence took boat for Emmerich and so to Arnhem. But on the Rhine, I was surprised, spoiled and carried to Berck by the men of war of that place," being a people that robbed and spoiled all that came in hand." I wrote to Mr. Norris and others, but was let lie till my lord of Leicester came, when I was freely delivered, safely brought into Holland, and reached the Hague on "Sheref Tuesday," where my lord used me with much grace. I wish I could do him some good service, for he "redeemed me as out of hell." Howbeit, by the favour of Janakin, Yoncker van Hefte, I was well entreated [and protected from] the blood furious people. The Lord save him from the violent hands of the enemy, who is now (as I understand) in Berck. "The people that took me and their captain, Lambert Hernehoft, were removed to 'Newse' against the enemies came....and there they all perished." I need not give you advertisement of the state of things in these regions, as you know it all, nor dare I deal with reports, they are so diverse and deceitful. "The hasty and lucky success of the enemy doth greatly daunt and terrify the people. Within the space of these ten last weeks or little more, they have obtained the strong town of Grave, and Vendelo, far stronger than it. When I was at Berke it was said that they had in Vendelo corn sufficient for five years. Newse was a fair town and very rich before it was taken by the Grave von Mewrs ; now remaineth but the relics of it, for three parts of it are burnt." In his coming to Berke were rendered unto him Crakowe, a strong castle of the Grave vom Mewers and the towns of Alpenen and Mewrs....and now, being at the siege of Berke, he will not away before he get it, unless....by some means as may please God ; for the place is not so strong as it seemeth ; for the fortification is of sandy earth, full of 'pypple' stones ; a substance most pernicious for the defendants, in face of the great shot. Besides that, there is a great wood near unto the town, which will serve for many devices to aid the siegeants...." The parts of the town towards Santon lie upon hard hilly ground. I think they have small store of great artillery there. It is as big as Gorchom and very fair built, and has been very wealthy, by great traffic on the Rhine and tillage, but now spoiled and in great poverty. It had a fair castle for the Bishop of Cologne's dwelling and a huge stable but about years past, on the 13 of July, it took fire from the heavens and was all burnt except the walls. Bishop Salentin, now Grave von Isemberg "bestowed great cost to repair the ruins." I hear that Wezel is so terrified that they have received garrison from their Prince, the Duke of Claves, to whom they have not these many years rendered obedience till now. If the Duke of Parma get Berke, he will have the Rhine from Nemegen to Cologne, which will make him mighty in shipping and having also the mastery of the Maze, has overcome the greatest difficulty for the relief of Brabant and Flanders. I hope to see your honour in England shortly, for I am here but an idle improfitable body. Please pardon Geffrey Gate, the bearer for the miss of the other letters. Utrecht, 10 August, 1586. Add. Endd. 2 pps. very small close writing. [Holland IX. 82.]


  • 1. The document at this point is injured by damp.
  • 2. Words obliterated by damp.