Elizabeth: September 1586, 26-31

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

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'Elizabeth: September 1586, 26-31', in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 21, Part 2, June 1586-March 1587, (London, 1927) pp. 166-182. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/foreign/vol21/no2/pp166-182 [accessed 20 April 2024]


September 1586, 26-31

Refers him to the bearer "whose forwardness in service is to be justly praised," for their proceedings in "this untoward war," as it may be justly termed unless some more resolute course be set down ; and no good can be expected, although his Excellency's care were ten times more toilsome, if her Majesty take not the absolute government upon her. Prays pardon for giving his opinion, but the honour he wishes for his country urges it.The Camp before Zutphen, 26 September, 1586. Postscript. Has twice written to Mr. Secretary praying leave to retire to live in some place "on this side," as he cannot show his face in England. Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. 26.]
I know the bearer's sufficiency to declare to you what has happened ("who in every occasion hath been ready valiantly to have adventured his person)....as also how unhappily the hurt did light upon your son in law ; in which, as I hope, all danger is past ; so hath his noble courage won him (in the face of our enemies) a name of continuing honour." [Laments that so small regard is taken to support this action, (i.e. their proceedings in the Low Countries) and fears it will "succeed dishonourably unless the power to govern be seized by her Majesty."] I humbly beseech that my licence to retire may be obtained by your good means, who "have long time been the only pillar whereby I have been supported."Camp before Zutphen, 26 September, 1586. Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland X. 27.]
Sept. 26. "Bands present in the camp before Zutphen, this 26 September, 1586, stilo angli, of all nations, both of horse and foot." Captains' names given. 15062 :
companies. men. whole. sick. hurt.
47 English 6706 6172 435 89
9 Scots 947 898 27 20
66 Dutch 4902 4797 77 28
30 cornets 2235 2125 77 33
2 pioneers 272 272 [sic] 9 0
[It will be noticed that only in two cases do the details exactly tally with the total numbers given at the end of the document.]
Endd. by Burghley's secretary. 3 pp. [Ibid. 28.]
Your lordship's of Sept. 6 was delivered me at the Camp before Zutphen on the 24th, whereupon I hastened my leave from my lord General to repair to Utrecht, there to confer with the undertreasurer, and send you speedy resolution in what you require. But I find him so sick of a dangerous fever that I cannot thoroughly satisfy you. Nevertheless, "it may please you to be advertised that where you desire to know what will be due by the end of this month of September, if you will take it till the 12th of October, which is the computation of the full month for the pay of our soldiers, then my opinion is, your lordship can send no less than four full month's pay, after the rate of her Majesty's monthly account, unless that in the meantime there be returned some of those moneys that have been disbursed to the use of the States." [Details of moneys paid and owing.] It will be very hard as yet to give you a perfect estimate but I hope within these few days to give you a reasonable certain guess for all the foot, but do not see how I can do so for the horse until they are mustered, and when that will be, I cannot conjecture. Besides the sums drawn out for the use of the States, "his lordship continueth to imprest unto himself for his own entertainment after the rate of 10l. 14s. per diem." And whereas in her Majesty's rate there are set down 800 lances and 200 light horses, Mr. Digges' list makes them all lances, by which her charge is like to be increased. Your lordship's letter enclosed in Mr. D' Oyley's packet is sent away by Sir John Norreys to Sir Thos. Cecil and that enclosed in mine I return, hearing he is departed towards England. Utrecht, 27 September, 1586. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland X. 29.]
I am sending this gentleman into England, as the likeliest time of service this year is over and the Prince has withdrawn all his forces ; being gone (as we hear) to meet with our reiters coming hitherward. We sit still before this town, and doubt not but to keep our seat, even though he return, as there is some speech he will.Camp before Zutphen, 27 September, 1586. Postscript in his own hand. "I received letters even now from the surgeons about my nephew, that they have very good hope of him. He had the last night a fever and was very ill, and this morning he took very great rest two or three hours together ; after which he found himself very well and his fever clean gone from him, and was dressed, and they found his wound as well and with all the good signs they could wish. I thank God for it and will hope the best." Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. 30.]
Sept. 27. "Notes of memorial concerning Thos. Wilkes."
To understand whether I am going over only to carry the money or to continue there, and in what quality and with what entertainment. If her Majesty pleases to know from me the course of things there, "then to avoid jealousy and hatred of my lord" my employment should be as her special minister for that purpose. Also I must be admitted into the Council of State by her appointment, "as a minister to assist and advise for the reformation of their present government," and to do such things as her Majesty shall instruct me. "That some authority be given to me for my dealing and discharge, that it may not seem to my lord that [I] assume, or be things of my own head as to encounter him" [sic]. And that he be given to understand that I am sent as her special minister, and that he is to use me and be advised by me, in such things as I find worthy of reformation, both concerning garrisons and government, if her Majesty shall think fit. Endd. as above. 1 p. [Ibid. 31.]
Sept. 27. "Matters to be considered of by her Majesty [and her Council] touching the dispatch of Thomas Wilkes to the Low Countries."
Whether it be not fit for her Majesty to appoint how the treasure sent over is to be employed ; and if any part is to be distributed to Flushing and the Brill, that express authority be given for the same, and his lordship signified by her letters how and why she has done it. And if any part is to be for reducing of the forces to garrisons, that she will command my lord to retire out of the field, to cass the unnecessary numbers and reduce them to so many as the contributions will maintain "for this time of winter." Whether his lordship should not consider with the States General how the Colonels and captains may be compounded with for the month's pay, and to consider of a new reglement for the pay of the soldiers for the time to come ; wherein, if she would promise enlargement of her assistance next spring, to set the army into the field, "I think it will much encourage the States to strain themselves to the enlarging of their contributions" and give captains and men better contentment. "That my lord be commanded not to sever from him the good dispositions and minds of the States and Council, nor to make any show or meddle in severing the people and States from their accustomed unity, or breed disaffection among them ; considering how unapt her Majesty is to accept of the sovereignty," otherwise his government will grow odious, as it begins to do, and disjoint all good proceedings. For which purpose he must be required "to remove from such factious persons as are about him, who daily stir him to mislike of the State and Council, especially Ringault and Webber, persons most odious to the States and Council." Also "to proceed with Paulus Bus immediately, either by way of justice if he be culpable or to hear him otherwise according to the laws of those countries, which the States complain to have been much violated....as well for the manner of his apprehension as detention without hearing his cause." To consider and determine timely "what her Majesty shall further resolve for my lord's revocation and reforming of the flaws and inconvenience presently found in that government.... lest after awhile it be too late." Endd. 1 pp. [Holland X. 32 (a).]
Another copy of the same. Endd. 1 pp. [Ibid. 32 (b).]
Since her Majesty's treasure is now all disbursed, I beseech you to tell me what her pleasure is touching my holding or foregoing of my place ; and to consider for me if I am to forego it, how I may be safely discharged, while if I am to continue it, "your lordship may think it is full time I sent over some of mine to solicit for money, being now upon the point of four months due." I have no special desire to continue the place, otherwise than for my credit, and security for the just making up of my account, and if things be brought to some good order I shall be ready to yield it, as you shall advise me.Utrecht, 28 September, 1586. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. p. [Ibid. 33.]
By yours I understand how dangerous it would be for me to come into Zeeland. I am sorry it is so fallen out, for by these means I shall not be able to do the good service I would, nor to maintain my poor family, and must lose my trade. "It was upon certain speeches which I was willed to utter with all expedition ....and I cannot tell whether it was taken in time.... ; but it was my duty to utter and the party who caused me to declare it doth stand still to his word.... ; for I told him of the danger that I was in by that means ; but he doth affirm it, and will to his face prove it when time shall serve. Therefore I crave some order to be taken in the matter,....for with some, if any spark were known, it would go hard ; wherefore....he should be caused to keep silence, and some regard be taken for my security.... But I understand he is some kin to his Excellency, and so finds the more friends. "Good Mr. Stocks, stand my friend herein, so as I may do that good that I would, and let me hear from you thereof. If you write, name Carsey Christopher's cloth [sic] and unless it be for the Lady Arenbergh's matters, name Sir Francis [and?] William Frost. For news, you shall understand that about eight days before the date hereof there hath been a small skirmish between our men and the English, so as the Prince lay underfoot. But after the coming in of his horsemen the matter went hard ; and for a token thereof there is three ships with hurt men brought to 'Mastright' and to Ackon [Aachen]. For certain in the camp hath been a great mutiny for money and for victuals so as two Spaniards of good houses are beheaded and one high Dutch captain ; and the Prince was in great danger in the mutiny. The town of Berghen, as the talk goes, is in some distress ; but the Prince is risen from it, and hath left thirty seven strong bulwarks .... to "hough" it out, but I hope God will assist them. The Hollanders have sought to rescue it by water ; but of ten ships of war they lost five, four taken and one sunk ; and the other five scaped." Forty-six mariners....have gone hence to man the ships, and twelve good pilots overland to Hamborough, to bring certain ships to 'Calles, Donckirk or Neweporte,' laden with corn in Hamborough by merchants of this town..... So as if of three one come in, the merchants shall gain." The dearth grows daily greater ; rye at 40s. the 'verdell' [quarter] and wheat at fifty shillings, so as I wrote per my last the prince is drawn with his camp nearer 'Weesel.' The one cause is that he is the better victualled ; and also that he comes nearer to the Hollands camp. "Some are of the opinion that he will fight and some think he will not so venture all, for all the country depends but upon one overthrow, for there are no towns victualled. And the whole country gapes for a better world ; they care not what way..... Dousbourgh' is taken by the English, and here is reported that his Excellency lays before "Sitfyn" [Zutphen], and that the Prince is gone to recover 'Dosborgh,' but I think not. "Here is extraordinary news still out of England, but by what means we know not." The 'Dowtche' post went first to Carrell Lanfrankes, and was there two hours before any merchant in the town might understand of it.... Some conference in the town of Ameence [Amiens] in France, for there assemble, all the spies, to wit out of Italy ; from Paris ; out of these countries ; out of England and Scotland and from all parts. So as there resorts daily by sea and by land from all parts ; and there are all things concluded ; and that here come to this town daily soldiers, Walloons, which secretly come ; and make up all the ancients [i.e. ensigns] full, both in this town and all other places. What the meaning is we know not. Also all entertainers and soldiers, Skots and Inglishe, and of all sorts are warned to go to the Camp ; there would [i.e. should] be some order taken for our English soldiers, for they run away from Barrow [Bergen op Zoom] to Breda and so come through this town, 10, 20 and 30 at a time ; and as many as comes, 'Dragonne' gives them passport and sends them through France away, by 'Calles' and other places. They would [should] be talked with in England, for it is a great shame and disgrace." "There is one William Mydeltonne which is a great dealer with one Hugh Owen ; yet was this Mydelton about five months past with his Excellency," and hath sent certain things to him by one Hans van op Bergen, who is but a spy for some on this side ; and is now in Holland. "This matter would [i.e. should] be in time looked into, and advice given ; for it is a most [certain] truth, though under colour they seem otherwise ; .... Here begins persecution again, for a professor of the Lutherians' religion is taken upon sufferance of preachers in his house, and christening of children. The man is sore pained [i.e. tortured] and hath confessed much ; so as he is like to die for it. Pygot remains still prisoner in the castle of Gaunt, and we know not what will become of him. It is done upon [torn] of the running away of two or three English men without passport. I am most earnestly to request so much friendship to let me to have a letter to his Excellency or to Justinus or 'Morysyous' for the passing of 20 viertels of corn for my house,....not doubting that in short time those that show me the favour shall think it well bestowed. Hereof I hope to have good news by the first. If our friends need anything from hence, either disbursing of money or tapestry (?) spare me not, for I can do it, though it be for a good sum. Though my ability be small yet I have good friends. There would [should] be respect paid to Andres de Loo, for I know there is dealings between him and Lanfrancke. I could wish some good answer comforting the lady of Arenbergh, for that is the mean to pacify other matters. Sir, the force of the Prince for certain is but 3000 Spaniards, mingled with divers nations, which are his chiefest footmen, and many musketeers among them. More, 4000 Walloons and 2000 Germans. So as 9000 foot is the most ; and for horsemen 30 cornets, most Albenes (Albanians) and Spaniards. These are the lances that he doth trust unto : 10 cornets Walloons and Netherlanders ; this is all. And every cornet is sore diminished, for from 60 they are come to 30 in a cornet, one with another. For this two or three days, since the news of the coming of the post, and of the treason revealed in England they are sore discouraged. And this day news comes that 'Sutfine' [Zutphen] is like to give over, and that those of Gertogenbourg hear the cannon play at it. Also here is news that the Prince of Portingal's son is sent for into Ingland, to take some enterprise in hand. This news our English Catholicks have, but I have not seen the like discouragement on this side among the Italians. Now is time if we had men in Flanders. Thus praying to remember my and the Lady Arrenborgh's matter, as also my boys, I commit you to God. 28 September, 1586." Postscript. The host's name in 'Amyence' is called Jan Couverner at the sign of the Cardinal. There all spies resort. Add. Endd. 1568 [sic] "Jno Gilles, 28 September." [Flanders I. 96.]
Such delays have been used that to this hour no account is made ; and such devices are used to hinder my musters as I forbear to declare, "because it concerns such as her Majesty favoureth overmuch for her Highness' own profit and service." Though you and she made account of 115,000l. disbursed, which should have paid all till August, the bands are not fully paid further than the 12 of April. His Excellency appointed 300l. to be imprested to every company at Bergen, but some of the captains complain that they could only get 80l., yet were forced to give a quittance for the whole, "taking only Lester's [the under-treasurer's] bill for the rest." Likewise, I was appointed to receive 300l. for every company at Ostend, "to go thither to pacify them for a time ; but coming to Middelburg I could get only 50l. for a company, with the which, notwithstanding, I went and with what peril pacified a most dangerous mutiny thereupon arising, with the lives of some, hurt of many and disarming of one whole band, I think your lordship understandeth ; the town being attempted at midnight by enemies without and mutineers within. These and worse will be the fruits of such disorderly accounts &c. "Sure I am, if all the treasure be gone, as Mr. Treasurer and his deputies protest, it is not 40,000l. more will pay the soldiers. And whereas it is alleged that by warrant from the Lord General there is 16,000l. disbursed to those in the States' pay, they answer they have in victual and munitions delivered as much or more to those in her Majesty's pay, and so no penny due from them, nor that any excuse at all why her Majesty's army is not fully contented, at least to August. I find the burden of malice intolerable toward me, for speaking truth in these matters, and should think myself most happy to have leave to 'entend' the repairing of my poor private estate at home, greatly wracked by my absence."Utrecht, 29 September, 1586. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. 35.]
Sept. "Notes of remembrance delivered by Mr. Edw. Norris."
"Seeing the wrongs done unto my brother and to all that belong unto him do grow endless, I have here set down part of them, and my opinion of the cause." His Excellency's hate of my brother daily appears by his reports to everybody of the injuries he says my brother has done him, both by letters to her Majesty and her Council and here "both in matters of service, of counsel and with the States ; with great threatenings of revenge even to his utter overthrow.." "The effects hereof are :
"First, he hath taken from him all that belonged either to the office of Colonel or Colonel General ; not allowing so much as any respect to be had unto him by any of the captains, sowing amongst such as made some appearance to love him all evil reports, ....saying to some by his own mouth that their great friend the Colonel did not love them, what show soever he made ; to others that if it had not been for the Colonel they had been advanced, and to this effect to all the old captains....that he knew a pack of lewd audacious fellows that followed him which he would lie in wait for, and if he took them at advantage, he would hang them ; and according to this course hath continually sought to undo every one that he thought loved him, how sufficient soever he were. He would never allow anything he advised in Council ; and if it could not be disallowed, would afterwards alter it in his Chamber. And when he had a conceit of any enterprise, would never let him be told of it. "He hath made divers factions against him, namely the Count of Hollock, the Marshal, the Earl of Essex ; and besides doth cherish every bad fellow that either hath will or heart to speak or practise against him ; which being told him by [my] brother, as namely of my Lord North and Captain Williams, who had railed at him in his absence....his Excellency did not only not mislike withal but suffering them in his own presence and of divers captains and noblemen to brave him, did himself also grow in great rages against him, disallowing him openly either for wise man, honest man or soldier, preferring many men's wisdom and experience before him, saying his patience and slyness should not save him, not sparing openly to threaten him to hang him, so that of every honest man it is feared lest some mischief shall shortly be wrought him. "Hereof can I only gather these causes. First an envy of some unworthy men about him, who put in his Excellency's head that as long as Norreys were here, the honour of everything would be attributed to him, and that he would be a continual hindrance to the course that his Excellency meant to hold concerning some things, neither should his Excellency have any absolute commandment as long as his credit continued. "He misliked also very much that the States often requested him to advise with Norreys of the war, alleging that whilst the war was governed by him, all things went well. "But chiefly an opinion of her Majesty favouring of him, thinking it would grow to some prejudice unto his greatness. "These things are now grown to that growth and ripeness that both I and others do fear the life of my brother, and therefore have set down thus much briefly, whereof the particularities shall all be avouched, wishing that consideration may be had of it in time." Holograph. Endd. 3 pp. [Holland X. 36.]
Sept. Paper headed "The Matters to be had in consultation for the speedy preventing of the dangers like to ensue of the present state of the United Provinces of the Low Countries." 1. The need of sending money with all expedition for the troops.
2. That his Excellency should be honourably revoked, with pretence of need of his presence "here," and making show of his return next spring ; the States General to give him authority (which he has not in his present commission) to depute one or two to govern as his lieutenants in his absence ; for the one of which her Majesty could not do better than nominate Count Maurice, who is much loved and reverenced "for the memory of his late father."
3. If her Majesty think fit to have those countries preserved from the enemy "in respect of her own security" she must send three or four persons of credit and judgment to settle their broken state and government and making sure the captains' future pay, which may be done if she will double her present charge for so long as she thinks convenient. And if the States pay the soldiers "after their accustomed manner at 42 days for the month" they will diminished their charge by a third, and so much ease her Majesty's burden. "If the placcard be set at liberty," and the traffic of Holland and Zeeland continued, the benefit of the convoys will be such as a great part may be employed to defray the charge of the army by land. "If there be an army continued in the field, many towns and some provinces will be recovered, to augment the contributions and so in a short time to ease her Majesty of her whole charge if it be wisely managed." If Flanders and Brabant, or one of them were recovered, they would be able to bear the entire charge of 500,000 florins monthly, considering how their traffic might be increased by the States' store of shipping in the narrow seas. If the States will allow the benefit of the Church goods and confiscations to go to defray this charge, there would be good sums made to diminish her Majesty's charge. The state of the government will be reformed if their laws and customs be duly observed, and if the governors for the time being will govern jointly with the Council of State and "avoid chamber councils," ; the said Council being men long exercised in the affairs of their country and best able to judge of "devices and inventions" proposed for the increase of the contributions or other matters ; and "the not crediting of whom....breeds confusion in the State and jealousy of the Governors." It will be hard for the people to increase their contributions unless her Majesty will take the sovereignty and so dispose of all to the best benefit of the countries. Endd. with date. 2 pp. [Holland X. 37 (a).]
Sept. Two other copies of the above. Each 2 pp. [Ibid. 37 (b & c).]
Sept. Paper endorsed "Sept. 1586." Notes delivered by Mr. Ringout concerning himself. Prays his Excellency to bethink himself of the original commissions, viewed by himself and carried out by him (Ringout) at the requisition and by ordinance of the States General, up to and during the year 1584. That at the suggestion of the late Prince of Orange, it was resolved by the States General to call him from Antwerp (where he had remained at the Prince's departure) to continue his charge as Counsellor and commissioner of their taxes, since called the Chambre de Tresorie. That the ill-will borne to him proceeds of nothing but that he has proposed to his Excellency and the Council of State a means of finding two or three millions of florins, by "execution" against the transgressors of the placards decreed by the States themselves and of which Mr. Walsingham last year procured him confirmation from that side. That he did not wish to suffer that they should put to the charge of the 200,000 florins granted to his Excellency each month the cost of transport of the soldiers from one place to another within the country, a thing which would import more than 100,000 fl. That he has always contended that his Excellency should enter into possession of the ecclesiastical goods and confiscations, and such like and other costs : That all those of the Council of State take double oath, and receive their pay from the province whence they come, which pay only lasts one year ; the pensionaries hoping to come also thereby into this Council in their turn. And the whole country will be utterly ruined by such barbarie. In Ringout's hand. Endd. Fr. 1p. [Ibid. 38.]
Sept. Memorandum of what the States report that they have delivered for pay of the soldiers and charges of the wars since Feb. 10 last. Total 260,000 sterling. Endd. "Sept. 1586." p. [Ibid. 39.]
Sept. "An estimate of the number of men, as well foot as horse in her Majesty's pay in the Low Countries, as they are nearest to the truth." Captains' names given.
Horses at the Queen's pay. 13 cornets. Total, 574.
Horses at the States' pay. 3 cornets. Total, 126.
Footmen in her Majesty's pay. 38 companies. Total 4540.
Endd. 1 p. [Holland X. 40.]
Sept. List of English companies in the Low Countries,
In her Majesty's pay :Prest, 27 companies, 4300 men ; Voluntary, 12 companies, 2100 men. Sum total, 6400.
Signed by Digges.
In the States' pay :50 companies, 7512 men. "Bands of lances in her Majesty's [and some in the States'] pay, from 12 August onwards. Total, 1550 men.
[This list contains the same names as the "foot men in her Majesty's pay" in the preceding one (with the addition of Capt. Edmond Uvedale), but the companies are given at their full strength of 200 or 150, not as "nearest to the truth."
Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. 41.]
Sept. "An estimate of the charges of the whole army in the Low Countries per mensem."
Horsemen. 19 cornets and besides 3 "not yet thoroughly furnished" ; 2300 men. 64,250 florins.
Footmen, the whole number, as well in regiments as otherwise. Companies, 233 ; men, 36,506 ; money, 429,216 fl.
Governors, Field officers &c. Men, 150 ; moneys, 29,003 fl. Posts, messengers and other extraordingary charges, 22,000 fl.
Other charges when the army is in the field, 106,899 fl.
The whole number of men, 38,956.
The whole sum of the charges per mensem, 651,368 fl. or 65,136l. 16s. sterling.
Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. 41 a.]
Another copy of the First two pages of the above. Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. 41 b.]
Sept. "Abstract of such sums of money as the States....have issued unto the Lord General, [within the space of six months,] over and above the monthly contribution of 200,000 florins" ; 1,064,637 fl. or 106,463l. 14s. "Money due for provisions and other sums due, and as yet unpaid" ; 2,100,584 fl. 16 [st.] or 210,058l. 9s. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. 42.]
Sept. "An abstract of the contributions yielded upon the consumptions" ; viz., upon wines, beer, cattle killed or sold, corn ground, horn beasts, grounds tilled and sown, soap and balance or weight, which make up the 200,000 florins given monthly to his excellency "to defray the payment of the soldiers," ; these being called the ordinary contributions, either farmed or collected, and managed by the officers of the Finances erected by his Excellency ; with the amounts severally contributed by Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht and Frise. Also in Holland alone are levied certain means called moyens reservez, upon woollen cloth, silk, linen cloth, salt, vinegar, horn beasts, "depasturing," and upon lands, rents and houses, called goods immoveable, and in their language termed Verpundingen. Endd. 3 pp. [Holland X. 43 a.]
Another copy of the above. Endd. 3 pp. [Ibid. 43 b.]
Sept. Reasons for which her Majesty should undertake the sovereignty of the United Provinces. That if she does not do so, these countries will infallibly fall into ruin, with loss of all she has already put or may put into them, and this as much by the personal covetousness of the people as otherwise ; who openly profess that they could not furnish more than 200,000 florins per month for this war, when their means would suffice for much greater matters if well managed and not abused by those who govern. As this amount does not suffice for the entertainment of the ordinary garrisons alone, it is clear that no offensive war can be made, but merely a defensive one, with the loss of first one town, then another. And as soon as his Excellency orders anything for the welfare of the country, they oblige him to revoke it, by title of the sovereignty which they claim. I say nothing about the divisions in the provinces if her Majesty does not speedily resolve to take the sovereignty ; which, however, she will not be constrained to retain longer than she pleases. It is very certain that those of North Holland, as Enchuysen, Horne, Stockmar, Medenblick and others some days ago made a move to take the title of West Friesland and not North Holland, having erected without previous grant of his Excellency, voires a son deceu and that of his Council a mint for money, with an inscription giving sufficiently to understand their intention to separate from those of South Holland. I am silent concerning the disreputation which thereby the authority of his Excellency suffers in his charge of Governor General, without whose knowledge and consent nothing ought to be done ; which gives great cause for thought to those who wish to maintain the union of the provinces, without which they can no more hold out against their enemy than snow before the sun. I am silent also as to the form of government which they have yielded to him who seems rather to be their pupil than their governor, for they do not allow him to dispose of the smallest office, but put before him the names of three persons agreeable to themselves, of whom he is obliged to choose one, whether he likes or not. I leave on one side the Council of State and of the Finances, which they claim also to create by their appointment ; not considering that never was any prince in such servitude as not to be able to elect such persons as he thinks good, and with whom he is ready to hazard his life and honour. All which things considered, who does not see clearly that these people cannot subsist long without falling into ruin ; whereas, if her Majesty embraces the sovereignty, she will be the cause of the recovery of these countries, and will not fail to reconquer the other provinces. And that she may see that the sovereignty would not be so great a charge as some not well instructed in the affairs of the country may tell her ; we must consider that their means, ordinary and extraordinary, including ecclesiastical goods and confiscations, now very badly administered and abused, might suffice to entertain all the charges of the war and to extinguish the debts with which the country is charged, if put into the hands of her Majesty, and more than 150,000 florins, now wasted by the deputies of the provinces merely in their assembly and vacations, could be used in payment of the debts and so would every year extinguish a great part of the principal, and the said debts might be reduced to half by voluntary quittance of those to whom they are due, without including the redress of past faults concerning alienations and dispositions of ecclesiastical goods and confiscations, which do not amount to less than two million florins ; or the reintegration of the domaine, which should be restored entire to the future prince as it was granted to the late Duke of Anjou. So that the debts being diminished and the jurisdiction increased by invasion of the country occupied by the enemy, the contributions will be greatly augmented, and her Majesty will find that the charges of the sovereignty will not be such as the ill-informed may tell her ; for if one thinks only of the increase of imposts on wines, salt and cloth, reformed as his Excellency has intended, it will be marvellously great. But as those who have hitherto intermeddled in this popular government will never quit it willingly, but will always try to retain a foot or a wing (as one says) therein ; her Majesty must make declaration of her intention both to the people and magistrates of towns, and this by express envoys, with offer of maintaining inviolate their religion and the ancient privileges they had in the time of Charles V ; while some others, granted since, may well admit of some examination. They may meet every three years and not otherwise unless the governor general finds it fitting, and thereby save the enormous sums which these assemblies cost the poor country. Also they serve for the most part only for a world of novelties, and rather to fatten the purses of the deputies than for the good of the land. All the sources of revenue should be collected and administered for her Majesty by those whom she should appoint (natives of the country) and used for the present war and the payment of the debts of the State. That she may still be to them a debonnaire Princess, content to accept the sovereignty, or otherwise, that she is determined to withdraw his Excellency and her forces, which point alone will put an end to all the subtleties of the popular deputies. Draft, in Ringout's hand. Fr. about 6 pp. Endd. [Holland X. 44.]
On a scrap of paper, in the same handwriting :The purchase of Flushing, la Vere and Arnemuyden ought to be redeemed, for reasons to be urged in due time and place. To subdue the town of Amsterdam. The matter of the escoutetterie, for 24,000 florins. French. [Ibid. 45.]
Sept. "A summary computation of the receipts and disbursements made by the States of the Low Countries since the 10th of February last until the 9th of August following." Total receipts, from Holland, Zeeland, Frise and Utrecht, 120,000l. sterling. Received of Brabant, 752l. 10s. sterling. Licences and Passports, 600l. sterling. Sum total, 121,352l. 10s. sterling. Payments, to horse and foot ; for sea matters ; for officers of the field and others ; sum total of disbursements, 122,172l. 19s. 2d. Endd. September, 1586. 4 pp. [Ibid. 46.]
Sept. Holland and Zeeland. Names of governors of provinces and towns.
Utrecht, Overyssel, GueldresConte de Moeurs.
FrieslandConte William of Nassau.
North HollandM. de Sonoy, Colonel.
Worcum and GorcumClerhagen.
TieltAmptman Vigh.
WillemstatM. le Litre.
Bergen-ap-ZoomLord Willoughby.
Lillo and Liefkenshouke, TerneuseSuperintendent Michel Caulier.
HarlingenLord North, governor.
"The name of governors in towns is odious in the United Provinces, in respect of the Spanish late tyranny. "Flushing, [in] Tervere, is the inheritance of the Count Maurice, bought by the Prince his father, first sold to the King by a gentleman come of a bastard of the house of Burgundy, Maximilian de Burgogne, Marquis de La Vere, and sold to the King by his executors," but the money not being paid, the States sold it anew, and so it was bought by the Prince. "The Princess of Orange hath only 8,000l. jointure out of the goods and lands of the Prince. The child born of her is brought up [on] 2,700 florins, given by the States by the year as an inheritance." Endd. 1 p. [Holland X. 47.]
Sept. Paper endorsed "A note of the Anticipations." Money taken up at interest for payment of some garrisons, for victuals, arms, armour, munitions....and for raising a new company for Col. Schenk. Also, divers sums granted to the Lord General, of which no certain account is yet given. Sum total, 144,786l. 8s. 1 pp. [Ibid. 48.]
Sept. Memoranda by Burghley, and endorsed by him "September, 1586. The note for Mr. Wilkes."
[The first page has notes taken from the "Abstract of contributions" [see p. 176 above] ; the second gives sum of the payments for each month, Feb.Aug. inclusive.] 2 pp. [Ibid. 49.]
Sept. "Brief notes of the present state of matters here in these United Provinces, September, 1586. The contribution of 20,000l. a month is not sufficient to pay the expences of the forces and entertainment of the great persons, as Count Hollock, Grave Maurice, Grave William of Nassau &c., and now there are Reiters, Lanzknechts &c. expected. The Country complains of these exactions as intolerable, and in hope of relief, desire to become her Majesty's subjects, but demand to retain two privileges ; viz. : not to be constrained to take arms or serve out of their own towns ; and not to pay anything but by voluntary consent. By granting these exceptions her Majesty would draw an intolerable charge upon England, yet if she "should seek to command them by force they would presently return again to the Spaniard ; for very few are the number of those that religion will stay from any accord with the enemy, if they grow discontented with her Majesty's government." I will not presume to give my opinion what is best till my return to England, and in the meantime "hold it more convenient to bestow her Majesty's forces in apt places to continue the States and people in due devotion than with so intolerable charges to seek in vain yet to enlarge our bounds upon the enemy." Abuses to be reformed : The captains complain that the victuallers' prices are thirty per cent higher than in the markets of the garrison towns, and so bad as to kill their soldiers. The soldiers complain that they cannot live continually on bread and cheese, and therefore sell it for half they pay to the victualler, "to buy some change of fish or flesh." For 2s. or 2s. 6d. the week, ready money, the common soldier could feed himself very well, as fish is "exceeding good cheap." If every band might monthly receive but half their pay, they would need no victuallers ; and the other half they would willingly forbear three months or more ; "which coming together should so furnish them with apparel and armour as the garrisons would be double so strong, besides the lives of thousands (brave men) saved, that perish miserably by sickness, or be hanged for robbing etc." The captains complain of "the exactions of two dead pays besides the treasurer's hundred penny," which prevents them paying due allowance to other officers ; also that the treasurer's deputies "gain and unjustly lose the pay of certain odd days," amounting to nigh 3000 pounds sterling a year ; also that "when they have warrants to receive 300l. sterling apiece ready money, they can get but eighty" yet forced to give acquittance for the whole, taking an under-treasurer's bill for the rest. "Soldiers being paid with papers, for want of food must either starve, mutiny or run away to the enemy, as daily they do, finding better usage far at their enemy's hands." Soldiers complain that their captains pay them not, and they live in such penury that many are glad to give up their pay to be discharged, and upon every muster there is found "such alteration, changing and supplying" as makes this very probable. They also complain that there is defalked for their armour double what it is worth, and that captains are sometimes paid for it three times over, besides misreckoning of clerks ; whereby they live in great misery ; some revolt to the enemy and others die for penury. Officers complain of insolency in captains, and disobedience to military laws, "with such contempt of officers and injurious words upon any admonishment of their faults," that men of reputation will refuse to bear office. "There is neither exercise nor training of soldiers in garrisons but generally as bad shot and unskilful as if they were bisognes [recruits] newly levied." Endd. 3 pp. [Holland X. 50.]
Sept. "Orders observed" by the garrison under Lord Burgh at the Brill. Forty items ; with the penalties for non-observance of the same.
The following are the first 12 articles :
1. For regular attendance at church.
2. Against swearing, dicing, drunkeness etc.
3. For due attendance on superior officers, and answer upon alarm.
4. Strangers coming into the town to be sent under escort to the marshal.
5. No one to take any man's weapon but his own.
6. Against "affrays" in the town.
7. All to be quiet after the watch.
8. No man to "keep any woman within the town in the name of a laundress, except she be his wife.... Every rape to be punished by death."
9. No captain to receive another's soldiers without the other's licence.
10. Weapons or furniture not to be "laid to gage."
11. No stranger to be lodged in the town save with knowledge of the marshal or his officer.
12. No soldier to lie out of his quarters.
Endd. 3 pp. [Holland X. 51.] [Lord Burgh was made temporary governor of the Brill in September, 1586, when Sir Thos. Cecil went over into England.]