Elizabeth: August 1586, 21-31

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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.

'Elizabeth: August 1586, 21-31', in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 21, Part 2, June 1586-March 1587, (London, 1927) pp. 137-145. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/foreign/vol21/no2/pp137-145 [accessed 20 April 2024]


August 1586, 21-31

I have nothing to write of save our own private wars, which I think more dangerous than any enemy, and so dispatch this messenger to let you know both cause and proceedings thereof. "My lord Marshal, finding some few places left by Sir John Norreis for this troop, thought it fitter to lodge his horse and foot in the head of Sir John Norreis his company, leaving the other places for your Excellency...... "This was so ill taken by Sir John Norreis that he sent my Lord Marshal a message by Captain Price, that he marvelled my Lord Marshal would pass his quarter, he having commandment of all, and my Lord Marshal only of the horse. My Lord Marshal by Mr. provost marshal, sent him both a mild and friendly answer, assuring he meant it only for your Excellency's service . . . but for his commandment, he knew well his place and was here to command the whole troops, but desired to confer with him of some place where to encamp tomorrow all together. To this he replied ... that he had his commission from your Excellency, and except my Lord Marshal had one and that better than his, he would not loose his commandment" ; besides many other speeches to the same purpose. I hope your Excellency will take some present order herein, for things cannot hold in the terms they are now. For my self, I think "every private man touched, our commander being thus quarelled withal."The Camp, 21 August, 1586. Copy. Endd. 1 pp. [Ibid. 99.]
"I am right sorry that my good meaning should be misconstrued and unkindness at every slight occasion taken ; as by two messages sent me from Colonel Norreis since my sitting down here may appear....And as in truth my authority in this place is nothing, not being under any confirmation, so rather wishing to die than to purchase any disorder in the service, it were much better we both were in Turkey than inconvenience should grow."....At the Camp, 21 August, 1586. Postscript. I pray you inform me when and with what troops you mean to march, that we may appoint a convenient ground for you. Copy. Endd. p. [Holland IX. 100.]
"I am sorry to let you know how far Mr. Norris again doth abuse himself. As I sent him with the vanguard before, even to satisfy his desire more than for any reason to send it so far before our army into that place, so since, as our forces increased, I sent yesterday the Marshal with them to the Camp, thinking Mr. Norris would acknowledge his place as his betters in office and degree do ; but he flatly refused at his arrival to obey him any way. Hereupon I wrote to him and to the Marshal, but as you may see by sundry letters how proudly he behaveth himself, even now that the enemy is drawn within five or six miles of them ; a most foul part and a manifest taken he neither regardeth the cause of God nor his prince and country. For who would not, at this time, rather bear than seek to quarrel. "Thus you see...what my case was before with him, being at like terms with any man that bare office that was not either his man or follower. But how unhappy am I to be thus matched with such a man in these services.....I do now call to mind how his envy once overthrew the Count Hollock, and after, the good and worthy La Noue, he only was cause of it ; dividing his forces from him and disdaining to obey him. Even so would he do now with me, for the envy of the Marshal, but if he continue his obstinacy till I come...I will take a direct course with him, for this pride is the spirit of the devil."Arnham [sic], 22 August. "Your old friend, R. Leicester." Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. Seal of arms in garter. [Ibid. 101.]
I am presently arrived from beyond seas, having brought you letters from the Lord General and a packet from Sir Thos. Cecil, with others, to be delivered by myself, and to report the state of things there. But having tossed at seas with winds and storms, I have not slept since Wednesday night, landing at ten last night at Dover, and am so wearied that it may please you to wait until tomorrow for my attending upon you. I have also two letters and a memorial from the Lord General to her Majesty, likewise letters to my lords of the Council, Lord Admiral, Mr. Vice Chamberlain, Mr. Secretary &c. ; meaning after I have presented myself to your lordship to repair immediately to the Court.Temple Bar, 22 August, 1586. Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland IX. 102.]
Aug. 23. "Matter to charge the Council of State. And their answers briefly."
1. They assured her Majesty that until they had a lord of quality to command their affairs with the English auxiliaries, they had sufficient means to sustain the cost of the war.
Margin. No such discourse held with her Majesty.
2. That when his Excellency goes into the field, they fail to furnish him with victuals, munitions, boats &c., for which cause he has been forced to abandon the campaign and delay the services before Nimegen.
Margin. Delayed because of the wind, and by commandment of his Excellency.
3. They have not discharged the 200,000l. granted for the expenses of the war, according to the Act of contributions.
Margin. These are discharged.
4. The 200,000l. payable on Feb. 10 and for the three months following, were not paid at the prefixed time.
Margin. Has been paid, and anticipated for four months to come.
5. They have not kept their promise to pay the principal officers of the army.
Answer. Read, sergeant-major, not paid by the States because they have one of their own nation. Sir John Conway, Master of the artillery not paid for the same reason. Two not necessary. The Treasurer, handling her Majesty's treasure not to be paid by them.
French. p. [Ibid. 103.]
Aug. 24. Memorial for the ambassador [Wilkes] of what he is to put before his Excellency from the Council of State ; being their reasons why it is advisable for them and those of the Finances to be always resident at Utrecht, and so within easy reach of the province of Holland, viz. the number of despatches sent thither with demands for victuals and ammunition ; and the constant arrival there of new soldiers. Also that they may keep their eye upon the moneys, which, for the most part come from Holland ; and may be able to go frequently and without great expence to the Court. In another hand. It will be well to put before his Excellency the disorder committed in regard to carts, viz : that they are all stayed at Arnhem, and are so overladen that they break in pieces ; the horses die, or are wounded or killed ; the carters beaten, and the wheels broken ; so that no one will serve any longer. Endd. Fr. 1 pp. [Ibid. 104.]
Aug. 25. Document endorsed. Matters to be inquired of at the Camp. Answered there by my Lord."
What forces requisite to keep the field?
Margin. 15,000 foot ; 3,000 horse ; 1,000 pioneers.
The number of English it were fit to have in the frontier towns. How many to be drawn from the Queen's companies ; how many from the voluntaries.
Margin. Needed only in the cautionary towns, Ostend, Bergen-op-Zoom, Sluis and Berke, unless the enemy offer to attempt any.
What numbers of English fit to be put on a sudden into Flushing and Brill if the country should revolt, and how to be victualled till relief may come from England.
Margin. Flushing 1,500 and victual for a month. Brill : "look at Sir Tho. Cecil's notes."
"What number of English are by poll...of such as are under the pay of the States."
Margin. "This can hardly be known until a pay come."
The accounts to be perfected with all expedition.
Margin. "There is a commission to Mr. Digges and others to examine them."
How the money reserved for levying of the horse is employed. Margin. Mr. Attey.
What frontier towns are held by the enemy and with what garrisons ? [Not answered.]
Whether the States have answered the 5,000l. disbursed for levying the first troops sent over by Mr. Norreys and the 7,000l. lent to them for payment or levy of forces by themselves ?
Margin. They have not answered.
Sir John Norreys. 1. To answer the matter of the muster of his dead men and not supplying of the numbers. 2. The matter of the old armour, and making the soldier pay for new. 3. The matter of the two dead pays. Whether her Majesty shall be let understand what entertainment the States do give his Excellency.
Endd. 1 p. [Holland IX. 105.]
I was in great anguish of mind with news of the restraint of passage at the ports in England and bruits "of peril her Majesty should be in," but thank God these are cleared by your late letters. You and I and others have often earnestly dealt with her of the peril likely to arise to her "by the favours and access given to known papists in court," and though hitherto she has not had that regard of herself which this horrible conspiracy shows to have been needful, it may be that she will now give order for redress in this behalf. And though I know how vigilant and ready you are in such cases, yet being absent, "and knowing the devilish plots laid by the papists against her person," I earnestly pray you to call incessantly upon her "to give strait order for restraint of all papists and evil affected to the estate from her presence and court. I may not enter into judgment against all of that kind so far as to think they are of mind to attempt such villany against her person ; but this I assure myself, there is no right papist in England that wisheth Queen Elizabeth to live long ; and to suffer any such in her court cannot be but dangerous... by the flocking of the other worse affected to them ... "The Camp at Elten in Cleveland, 29 August, 1586. Postscript in his own hand. I have willed Tho. Dudley to repair to you about a matter wherein I entreat you and Mr. Secretary to deal with her Majesty for me. It concerns the vile traitor Salsbury, my servant and ward, and as I was made to believe a protestant, "till within a year he was altered by a Jesuit or such like .... He had the farm of part of my demesnes at Denbigh, under the very castle wall. I desire her Majesty to grant it me upon this forfeit ; the rather for that I both told it Mr. Secretary himself and to divers of those merchants to whom I mortgaged my lordship of Denbigh that I had redeemed the lease from Salsbury.....I did assure myself so, yet as soon as I was gone....he hath dallied out the time....and would not sign the book." Two or three counsellors at law can confirm this ; I think Mr. Owen and Mr. Solicitor [Egerton], and one Crooke my solicitor. "It is my own land if I redeem it again, and he holds 40l. or 50l. a year of his land of me also.....The rent he payeth me is either 10l. or 16l. a year ; not above 20l. I am sure." Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland IX. 106.]
I have received your last letter by Edm. Yorke, and this time and place being so unfit to write, I have thought better to commit my answer to Mr. Wilkes' mouth, to whom also I refer you for a report of all things here, he being very well able to inform you of them.The Camp at Elten, 29 August, 1586. Postscript in his own hand. "I understand among those most horrible and detestable villains that conspired lately against her Majesty there is one Salsbury, a man of mine. I pray God confound all her enemies, and that these may be made such an example as may be a fearful terror to all such. This Salsbury had a lease of my demesnes at Denbigh, and I was agreed with him before my coming away, as Tho. Dudley can tell you ; and yet like a knave to me went from it. I beseech you, my lord, move her Majesty for me, being mine own land." Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. 107.]
Concerning their anxiety in consequence of the reports of the conspiracy against her Majesty, as to which they are now "satisfied and revived." Refers him to Mr. Wilkes for all news. The Camp at Elten, 29 August, 1586. Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. 108.]
Aug. 29./Sept. 8. PIETRO BIZARI to DAVISON.
My business with the Elector of Saxony had, by God's grace, happy success. If I had not gone in person, I should have lost my usual pay, owing to the great change in that court upon the death of Duke Augustus. In Hamburg I received a letter from his Highness to the effect that in future I should no more receive any pay or pension from thence, his Highness not intending to make any further use of my work. Such news was very unpleasing to me, and the more so in this my old age, and after the continual service of fourteen years ; but I went to Dresden, and by means of a very favourite counsellor of his Highness, Signor Andrea Pauli, I obtained in a moment what I desired, viz :to remain in the good graces of the new prince and to enjoy my usual pension of a hundred and forty imperial thalers. He was, moreover, pleased with my present of four English dogs, which I had taken over, not without much trouble and expence. I arrived in Dresden on July 2, old style, and the day following which was the Sunday on which his Highness started to go to the Marquis of Brandenburg, his father-in-law, in order to resort in his company to the Assembly of Protestant Princes in Luneburg, where also was the King of Denmark,I was dispatched, to my very great satisfaction, thanks to the Divine goodness and that good counsellor who was so kind to me. I rejoice exceedingly that God has revealed the great conspiracy against her Majesty and her kingdom. May he protect her and bring to nought all the designs of her enemies ; and also preserve your Excellency, your wife and family in all happiness.Dort, 8 September, stilo novo, 1586. As to affairs here, there is shortly expected some great event, which I pray God may be good both for the Queen and this poor country. Add. to Davison at the Duke of 'Nourfock's' house in London. Italian. 1 pp. [Holland IX. 109.]
Finds it almost impossible to perform his duty as commanded by their letter in regard to the disboursement of the treasure, seeing that many payments are made at sundry remote places at one time, as at Brill, Flushing, Bergues and Ostend ; these being made by several paymasters of the Treasurer, while he himself is not furnished with officers, nor allowed to join with those of the Treasurer. And he can only take knowledge of his lordship's warrants unto the Treasurer for so much as is so sent and paid ; and for such other payments as are made, where the Treasurer resides, he attends with diligence and is most willing to stretch his poor service as far as possible, but makes bold to signify this "by way of pre-occupation, to prevent any conceit of negligence" in him, and prays that if anything falls out ill in the issuing of the treasure, he may be held blameless. The Camp, 29 August. Signed. Add. Endd. p. [Ibid. 110.]
Having sent by Mr. Wilkes all that concerns the whole state here, I need not trouble you further. "If any occasion shall fall out that any be sent hereafter, as no doubt there will be great cause..... I wish for her Majesty's better service that he [Wilkes] be employed, for he is a very sufficient and a very painful man." I made a suit to your lordship to move her Majesty for me touching Salsbury, but I remember that "all things were past before my departure thence." If I shall need your help I trust I shall find it. I am this morning removing our camp.30 August. Postscript. "The impression of these States touching her Majesty's assistance and aid is such as they are 'manuvring' and staggering even to their own most danger." Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland IX. 111.]
August. Paper containing (1) Copy of the Queen's letter of Feb. 14 to the Earl of Leicester. (2) "A declaration of the manner of treating of peace underhand to the Earl of Leicester." Mr. Controller [Sir James Croft] hath a kinsman about the Prince of Parma named Bodnam, who (by his instigation) has attempted some communication with the Prince, for "some good unity" between the King of Spain and her Majesty. And Mr. Controller has a man in Calais named Harrys, [qy. Norryce] by whom intelligence is given to and from Bodnam. The Prince of Parma hath good liking of Mr. Controller, and promises that "the doing and thanks thereof shall not be taken from him" when it shall be dealt in. "One Carlo Lanfranki, an Italian merchant in Antwerp, great with M. de Champagni, certain months past wrote....to one Andreas de Loe, a Dutch merchant in London, to see if he could move a treaty of peace to some of her Majesty's Council, affected to a peace and fit for the furtherance of it." De Loe showed the letter to the Lord Treasurer, who showed it to the Queen, "who very well liked the motion and wisheth forwardness in the matter." On this the Lord Treasurer willed de Loe to answer the letter, but not to name himself or to make any other privy to the matter. De Loe told Lanfranchi he had found one well-affected to the cause and willing and able to further it ; to which Lanfranchi replied that if her Majesty continued that good meaning, she should have conditions to her "best liking" (amongst other, repayment of her money lent in the Low Countries), on condition that she would not meddle in matters of religion. It was confidently answered that she was content not to do so. This being understood, M. Champagni himself wrote a "very formable letter" to de Loe, which also was shown to her Majesty, who very well liked and commended it, and answered de Loe, by the Lord Treasurer, that her goodwill was still as before, but for the peace she looked that the Prince of Parma should first seek it. De Loe was wished to work it all he could, but to have a care that his dealings came not to the knowledge of others (especially of the Earl of Leicester), "for that there were that sought rather war than peace." At this point, Mr. Vice-Chamberlain [Hatton] was first made acquainted with de Loo's doings. In the midst of these actions, one Augustin Grafinga, an Italian merchant in London, by persuasion of the Lord Cobham "took upon him to go over to the Prince of Parma to treat also about a peace ; and coming over had good audience of the Prince, but so handled his matter there as he almost confessed to be sent from hence. His proceedings are known, and therefore not material to be told." About the beginning of May, Mr. Controller (who had perfect knowledge of all that had passed) began himself to treat with de Loo as from her Majesty (having made privy to it Mr. Vice-Chamberlain, Lord Cobham, Sir Walter Mildmay and two others, of whom one is, as is thought, the Lord Buckhurst) and persuaded him to go over himself, showing him the good liking her Majesty had that he should deal in the action, and her desire for peace, and assuring him that upon this treaty she would call back Drake and stay the ships prepared to go to him ; and that all the towns in her power should be rendered to the King. But this she entreated ; "that all favour might be showed to his poor subjects of the Low Countries, and that Drake might quietly return." Meanwhile, on May 7, her Majesty received an Italian letter, with divers Latin sentences, which she took "with good liking," and immediately de Loe's dispatch was devised, and the letters in the Lord Treasurer's hands returned to him, having each of them notes of the Lord Treasurer's hand upon them. Instructions were given to de Loe, and he was charged to go neither into Zeeland or Holland, lest the lord of Leicester "that sought rather war than peace" should, by stopping his return hinder his proceedings. At this point, Augustin Grafigna "was won again by the Lord Cobham to go over....and advised to go before [de Loe] that he might win the spurs." He started on May 8, and on May 11, "with many good words from her Majesty," de Loe departed. As to Grafigna, both the Lord Treasurer and Mr. Controller told de Loe not to fear him, as the Prince of Parma had promised not to take the matter out of his [de Loo's] hands. Amongst other charges which Mr. Controller gave to de Loe, he desired him so to work that M. de Champagni might be the man to come over to treat of this peace ; first, "for that her Majesty had of him best liking," secondly that he is known to be a fit instrument, from the furtherance he would have by his brother, the Cardinal of Granvelle, who bears great rule with the King of Spain. And whensoever he came, he should find her Majesty and the most and best of her Council well inclined to it, "except the Secretary, who against so many others, should be able to do little hurt." Endd. "August 1586." 2 closely written pp. [Holland IX. 112.]
[Aug.?] (fn. 1) THE QUEEN to the STATES GENERAL.
Having shown by the results thereof the care which she has always had for their preservation, there is no need to write thereof. But she must tell them that instead of the gratitude due to her, she thinks it strange to learn that some there, little caring for the welfare of their State, and less respecting her meritorious dealings in their behalf, should have been so malign and audacious as to have scattered false and scandulous reports of her in the United Provinces, endeavouring thereby to give evil and pernicious impressions of herself and her past actions, in regard to the aid that she has so liberally given them ; not only imputing to her faults which they pretend have been committed by certain of her ministers, employed in the said provinces for their defence, but also insinuating that her intention from the beginning has been by underhand dealings to take to herself the sovereign authority, and put her foot upon their necks. Whereof, as God is her witness, she has never even thought. Wherefore, to prevent such imaginations from entering their minds, to the prejudice both of her honour and their estate, she gives them to understand that the authors of such false and dangerous reports have no other object than to rouse their jealousy of herself and her proceedings, to the end that, on their part they may give her occasion to grow weary of their alliance and leave them a prey to their enemies, from whose servitude by the grace of God and her succour, they have been freed, when, after the loss of Antwerp, (fn. 2) they were on the point of being overwhelmed. And it is not, and never has been her intention to encroach upon them, as her actions can testify. Finally, if any of those to whom she has committed the charge and leadership of her army and affairs in their provinces should, through ignorance or lack of instruction in the affairs of their state, have done anything to the injury thereof, she protests and prays them to believe that it has been without her knowledge and against her will. And if they had informed her thereof, she would not have failed to remedy the same ; as she will do should the like happen in the future (which she would greatly regret). And as she desires on their part but a good and friendly correspondence ; while showing her the respect due to her quality and her merits, they may expect from her whatever may be in her power. ... Our Castle of Windsor, the day a broad sheet, 3 copies. [Holland IX. last entries.]


  • 1. The Queen went to Windsor early in August and remained there eleven weeks. See Progresses, ii., 460.
  • 2. Surrendered Aug. 7-17, 1585.