Elizabeth: September 1586, 21-25

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: September 1586, 21-25', in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 21, Part 2, June 1586-March 1587, (London, 1927) pp. 162-166. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/foreign/vol21/no2/pp162-166 [accessed 16 April 2024]


September 1586, 21-25

This bearer, Richard Smyth, her Majesty's old servant, hath my Lord of Leicester his letters directed unto you in his favour for his suit to her Majesty, and therewithal requesteth mine, hoping your honour will the rather help him. I beseech you therefore the rather at my request to help him and be the good mean for the poor man's preferment, having so long served and now, being aged and weak, hath such need of this or such other good mean for his relief as without it he may rest, as I hear, in more misery than the desert of so long service requireth. I commend him and his cause to your honour's good favour and help, and so I humbly take my leave."From the Camp at Zutphen, this 22 of September, 1586. (fn. 1) Signed. Add. Endd. p. [Holland X. 19.]
Sept. 22. Notes in Burghley's hand and endorsed by him with this date, being memoranda of money spent or to be spent Aug.Dec., 1586. 1 p. [Ibid. 20.]
Mr. Wilkes, I think, will tell you of a motion made by the Council of Estates to me that they might send one of the Estates and one of the Council of Estate to her Majesty, to signify their plain case, and to be suitors to know her further pleasure for the continuance of her favour to them. Myself, going shortly after into the field, I thought they had grown to some point in the matter with Mr. Wilkes, as I since heard not from them of it. But now some of the Estates and of the Council are sent to me for that cause, and urge it most earnestly, so that I cannot deny them, and I think they will be shortly with you. I find they will agree to no further contribution to the wars than they now yield till they see what they may assure themselves of from her Majesty ; "and if they find not answer there according to their hope and expectation ; viz. that her Majesty is the prince on whom they may safely rely, God knoweth what course they will take, either with Spain or with any other." I have signified my own opinion in these causes both to her Majesty and the Council, but never hearing what she resolves upon touching her proceedings with these countries, and knowing these advices of mine not to concur with her intention at my being here, I dare not wade further in that course. What terms these men will stand on, I cannot tell, "but this I know....if this support of her Majesty had not been, they had been utterly overthrown long ere this. And whatsoever extenuation they shall make of their ability, I persuade myself it is far better indeed than they will make show of, until they shall plainly see what assurance they may have of the continuance of her Majesty's favour to them. I wish good consideration be had beforehand of the dealing with them, that such answer may be given them as shall be thought most fit for her Majesty's service."Camp before Zutphen, 23 September, 1586. Signed. Add. Endd. 1 pp. [Ibid. 21.]
At my return, I found in her Majesty and Mr. Secretary some little alteration from the good opinion they had of you when I left ; caused apparently by letters from thence, but "I had not much to do to re-establish and settle in them both a singular good opinion of you and your actions,....and do not find any man on that side equal with you in her Majesty's grace, whom she protesteth....so much to regard as she will not have your safety hazarded for any treasure, and hath resolved to revoke you, which I hope shall be performed speedily." I find her inclined to return you thither after his Excellency comes home, which she means directly, "although there is much variety of opinion here whether it be fit to revoke him or not. Such as desire the good of that state do hold that question affirmatively, but such as do not love him (who are the greater number) do maintain the negative. "Her Majesty and her Council do greatly stagger at the excessive charge of those wars under his Excellency's government for the six months passed, affirming (as it is true) that the realm of England is not able to supply the moiety of that charge ; notwithstanding, the necessity of the defence of those countries is so conjoined with her Majesty's own safety, as the same is not to be abandoned" ; but what she will do, I know not. Fourteen of the late conspirators were executed on the 20 and 21 of this month, mostly gentlemen of good houses, "and now the lords of the Council and others are travailing about the 'attainture' of the Scottish Queen, and a new parliament is summoned to begin the 15th of the next month, as well to confirm the attainder as to determine on other things concerning the realm and those Low Countries."The Court at Windsor, 23 September, 1586. Signed. Add. Endd. 1 pp. [Holland X. 22.]
It was so late ere the treasure came from England and we were so busy preparing to go into the field, that full pay could not be made, nor yet can, for part of the men are in the field and part in garrisons ; the treasurer is here ; the undertreasurers and muster-master gone to some of the garrisons. But I have so imprested the companies that her Majesty will be no loser. By what is done already, we conjecture that the money "will scant serve for full pay till the beginning of July, so that since then till now, the troops lacking pay and the most of them being in the field, where nothing is to be had without money, are in great want and like to be much distressed, to her Majesty's great dishonour," unless you procure money to be sent over with speed, for which I heartily pray. Touching the clearing of the Treasurer's accounts, immediately on Mr. Wylkes' coming I gave commission for their full examination to Dr. B. Clerck, Mr. Henry Killegrewe, Mr. Digges and one Davies of Ireland, who was the best auditor we could find here. But as I was then going into the field, and the Treasurer with me, and the muster-master and undertreasurer to Flushing and Ostend, Mr. Clerck remaining with the Council at Utrecht, and Mr. Killegrewe being employed to Deventer, 'Swoule' and other places, nothing could be done. As soon as we are all in one place, it shall be "gone in hand with," although with great want of a skilled auditor. I wish it would please you to send Auditor Hunt and some other of skill, as the cost will be many times recompensed to her Majesty by what their skill and industry will get her.Camp before Zutphen,September, 1586. Postscript in his own hand. "Our proceedings here, God be thanked, goeth very well forward hitherto ; only a particular grief to myself is happened by the hurt of my dear nephew Sir Ph. Sidney in a skirmish upon Thursday last in the morning, with a musket shot upon his thigh three fingers above his knee ; a very dangerous wound, the bone being broken in pieces ; but yet he is of good comfort, and the surgeons are in good hope of his life, if no ill accident come, as yet there is not. He slept this last night four hours together, and did eat with good appetite afterward. I pray God save his life, and I care not how lame he be. "There was at that skirmish only 150 English horse, and most of them the best of this camp, 'unwares' to me ; but this mishap set aside, there was not such an encounter this forty years, for beside the horse there was but 300 footmen. The enemy 1200 horse, the whole flower of them, and 3000 footmen, all placed and prepared aforehand ; the particularities this bearer can tell you. These few maintained the fight two hours together ; many of theirs killed, few of ours, none of name hurt or killed but Philip hurt. "The Marques del Gwasto, general of the cavalry was there ; Captain Geo. Basto, lieutenant to the Marques ; the Count Hanibal Gonzago killed ; with three others whose names we know not, but they had cassocks all embroidered and laced with silver and gold. "Capt. Geo. 'Cresier,' Captain of the Prince's guard and of all the Albaneses, taken prisoner by my Lord Willoughby, and overthrown by him to the ground first. "There was too many indeed at this skirmish of the better sort, but I was offended when I knew it but could not fetch them back ; but since they have all so well escaped (save my dear nephew) I would not for ten thousand pounds but they had been there, since they have all won that honour they have ; for your lordship never heard so desperate charges as they gave upon the enemies, in the face of their muskets, and the noble men which Sir John Norrice, Sir William Russell and Sir Thomas Perrott, Sir Philip Sydney and others led still, and divers their horses being killed stepped aside and changed their horses, and to it again. And notwithstanding all those troops, he did not put in one waggon, save thirty which got in in the night. "We looked to have heard of the Prince to come forward with his army, and to put in those carriages, but this day he hath levied his camp, and he saith it is to fight with our 'rutters,' who are within two days journey of us. But gone he is, and I trust they will be safe enough from him ; if the worst fall, they are a better match than we at this time were, for they are 2000 strong of horse and 3000 Almayns. "These noblemen and gentlemen brought with them three cornets [i.e. flags] of the enemy's, taken from the enemy, which was no small dishonour to them. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Holland X. 23.]
Referring him to his son, the bearer for news of the late "actions," and assuring him of his desire always to deserve his lordship's favour.Camp before Zutphen, 24 September, 1586. Holograph. Add. Endd. p. [Ibid. 24.]
"I received your letters from St. Peter's Hill, where I did wish myself to congratulate with you. I am sorry I cannot write unto you from hence of so good an end as you have made in Scotland, for we are far off, and can see, for my part, but a confused end of a confused state." I pray God may move the hearts of those that may help in time.Camp before Zutphen, 25 September. Postscript. "Commend me to Mr. Davison and desire him to excuse my silence till we meet. Your nephew Crypps (?) and Avery Randall do well." Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. 25.]


  • 1. The day on which he was wounded.