Elizabeth: October 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: October 1586, 1-10', in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 21, Part 2, June 1586-March 1587, (London, 1927) pp. 182-189. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/foreign/vol21/no2/pp182-189 [accessed 20 April 2024]


October 1586, 1-10

His Excellency does not doubt but that his active work amidst the dangers which daily occur sufficiently testifies his good-will and affection for the welfare of these countries, whereunto he postpones all his other occasions, and has repaired hither by the will of her Majesty, since which time, and namely since it pleased your lordships to grant him the Governor-Generalship of these lands, he has devoted himself to crushing the designs of the common enemy, and if possible,so far as it pleases God to permit himto free these lands ; having to this end, with great labour and difficulty brought into the field such an army as that wherewith he has stayed the course of the enemy's progress since the surrender of the towns of Grave and Venlo, forcing him to quit the siege of Berck [Rheinberg] ; taking the town of Doesburg, and seizing Zutphen, a place of very great importance for these countries, as is well known to all. And the raising of the said army by his Excellency has been the more necessary, lest other towns of importance should, through faint heartedness, fall into the enemy's hands, and thus enable them to lodge themselves in the heart of the yet remaining United Netherlands. Wherefore his lordship has not failed very earnestly and often to pray your lordships to furnish him with the means needful in this behalf ; seeing that the ordinary contribution of 200,000 gulden a month is not sufficient to cover the usual charges of war and to satisfy the garrisons. [Further arguments and considerations as to the additional moneys which will be needed for erecting a camp &c., &c., and how disastrous the lack of money would prove to their designs.] His Excellency therefore proposes that certain of the Council of State should be sentas on their Excellencies' behalfwithout delay to her Majesty, in order to inform her certainly of the state of their affairs, and to pray her, in this conjuncture to assist them with a sum of ready money, say fifty or sixty thousand pounds sterling, upon such forms of assurance and conditions that she may be induced to grant it to the most advantage and least hurt of these lands. Wherein his Excellency offers you all the help that shall be possible, with letters for the said deputies to her Majesty and others, in hope that her Majesty being well-informed of the whole matter will not refuse what is asked, or forsake a work so well begun and which affects her so nearly. And if her Majesty shows herself well disposed thereto, and shall be assured of your Excellencies' will and resolution to persevere, together with herself, in the defence of these countries, it will be very necessary that you should be pleased to consent to and grant your contributions for the war for the space of four or five years after the expiration of the current agreement. Moreover, seeing that the two hundred thousand gulden a month, together with her Majesty's succours, are not enough, your Excellencies may be pleased to increase the said contribution to two hundred and fifty thousand gulden a month for the four provinces of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht and Friesland, to remain in the hands of his Excellency for the lessening of the quotas of the respective provinces of Gelderland, Brabant, Flanders, Over Issell and others, to the profit of the common cause whereby matters shall come into better order, and certain other small extraordinaries shall cease ; but leaving the impost upon cloth in his Excellency's hands, to be used for the benefit of the common cause. And in order the better to facilitate the same, his Excellency desires that your Excellencies, together with other means, will be pleased to grant a reasonable impost to be paid upon wines brought into the country ; viz : upon Dorts, Rhenish, and Spanish two gulden ; and on French one gulden per hogshead ; to be collected on the authority of the custom house and in such manner as shall be found convenient. And that on the consumption of wine to remain, which his Excellency would rather see reduced to one half than take away the duty on what is imported. Upon which, his Excellency desires and expects from your Excellencies as fruitful and speedy a resolution as is possible. And if, thereupon, any lengthy deliberation should be needful, he prays, that the deputies may be despatched, in order that they may represent to her Majesty the state of affairs, while their further resolutions and despatches may be sent after them. For which purpose his Excellency would chose Messieurs Clerck, Bardesen and Valcke, Counsellors of State ; hoping that they may be pleasing to your Excellencies, or some others added to them. Desiring very earnestly that while the negotiations with her Majesty continue, their Excellencies will continue to consent to the maintenance of the camp ; and will resolve upon the points above mentioned with such expedition as the necessity of the countries demands. (fn. 1) In haste, from Utrecht, 11 October, 1586 ; the Council of State with his Excellency, by ordinance of the same. (fn. 1) Endorsed as above, in Dutch. 5 pp. [Holland X. 52.]
Has sent over the bearer, Mr. Burgrave, about these country affairs, a man of such honesty, wisdom and good zeal in religion, as he knows not any of the rest more sufficient every way. Wherefore he commands him to his honour doubting not but that he will use him in such sort as becomes a man of his quality. Camp before Zutphen, October 2. Signed. Add. Endd. p. [Holland X. 53.]
Oct. 2. "Placard of the Mint, published at Amsterdam the second day of October, anno Domini, 1586."
This list corresponds to a great extent with that of Aug. 4 [see p. 112 above], but with some omissions and a good many additions. At the end, memo, by Burghley. "A gilder flemish, in English money 7 shillings, a styver or a plack, 2d. Flemish. 10 stivers, 12d. sterling. Endd. "Rates of coins in Zeeland." And by Burghley "2 October, 1586." 1 large sheet. [Ibid. 54.]
Your lordships' letters of Sept. 9 in favour of Robert Bridges reached us on the 2nd of this month. We regret your dissatisfaction in regard to the capture of which you advertise us, but hope it will disappear when you know the facts, and our reasons for confiscating the said Bridges' ship and goods. Your complaints seem to consist of three points ; the first and chief being that one of our captains took from the captain of the Bull the prize which the latter had put into the hands of the officer at Dover, and carried it out of that harbour. God forbid that we should uphold any one who violated her Majesty's ports ; but in this case there are circumstances which explain the act. Bridges' own men testify that he had agreed with the captain of the Bull, (before ever our captain met them at sea) for safe convoy to Calais. At the first encounter, our captain demanding of the captain of the Bull whither Bridges' ship was sailing, was answered, to Calais ; and wishing to prevent this, in accordance with his commission from the Earl of Leicester, the said captain of the Bull threatened him with his cannon, so that he was obliged to abandon the attempt. The captain of the Bull continued his course, towing the other ship after him, but finding that his own ship was too deep to take it in to the land, and that ours would have attacked it at the mouth of the harbour, he turned again towards Dover, and did not loose it till they were on the high sea and out of danger of our captain's ship, according to his undertaking to defend him against our ships of war. As to the means which our captain afterwards used to retake what the captain of the Bull had snatched from his handsfor according to express law Celui qui se trouve intimid de ne pouvoir parfaire quelque chose, est estim comme s'il l' eust parfaictehe found it at anchor before the entrance to Dover, (devant la tete de Douvre) and without any violence or lack of respect to the Admiral of England, took possession of it and carried it to Flushing. We have had many complaints from our captains and ships of war of like encounters and wrongs done to them by the captain of the Bull, by taking their prizes from them ; as lately, some ships of great importance, sailing from Spain for Calais, when he used very unseemly words against the Earl of Leicester and his placcards, a thing which we are sure you cannot approve, and yet of which the truth is so evident that we have put it at length before the Earl. As to the point which seems to tax us with not having accepted the exceptions made by the captain of the Bull in our court, upon the nature and ownership of the prize ; these were grounded upon the ship having been taken out of the port of Dover, which had never previously been alleged by him or his solicitor, who had only claimed that they themselves had a right to it, having thus acknowledged us for judges "par judiciele litiscontestation en cas de preference" against our said captain. [Further arguments concerning the taking of the ship out of the port of Dover.] As to the merchant, the matter having been several times adjourned, and he himself having been present at the pleadings, when he found himself without any sort of defence, he would make no reply, so that the sentence upon his ship and goods was given, as it were, in contumacem. But even after his transgression against his Excellency's placcards has been made apparent, yet as the moneys resulting from the sale of the said ship and goods remain still in sequestration, (because the cause between the captains still remains undecided before us) although, of right, the contumacy of the said merchant deprived him of the remedy of appeal ; out of respect for your lordships' intercession, we are willing that Bridges should be allowed his right to this or any other remedy he may desire to use, which we hope will give you satisfaction, since at the end of your letters letting fall the cause of the Queen's fiscal you demand only the restitution to Bridges of the goods and ship which he was taking to Calais,although strictly forbidden both by the ordinances of her Majesty and the placcards of his Excellency,wherein, if he has a clear conscience and wishes to prove his innocence, he may have the benefit of revision, which we give him freely. But it may please your lordships to know that he is accused on good evidence of habitually frequenting our enemies at Dunkirk, having there bought this very ship which we have condemned ; and to prove his Catholic disposition even went so far as to carry a lighted candle before the image of that place. As to the prisoners mentioned in your letters, there were two hired sailors on the ship, hired by Bridges at Dunkirk and for whose return he had given caution in two hundred livres, who being our enemies, we did them no wrong by securing their persons ; but afterwards exchanged them for some of ours at Dunkirk. We pray your lordships to interpret our actions sincerely and to weigh the ill services done by this captain against the intentions of her Majesty ; humbly desiring that you will forbid him to attempt the same again ; as on our side, we are sorry that the eager pursuit of their prize by our men may have given some occasion of offence to you ; as to which we will try in future to prevent it from happening again.Middelbourg, 14 October, 1586. Signed P. Rychert ; and below Adr. Nicolai. Add. Endd. French. 3 closely written pages. [Holland X. 55.]
Oct. 5/15. Extract from the Register of the Resolutions of the States General.
On deliberation concerning the journey to England, those of Holland declare that they hold it necessary that ambassadors should be sent at once to her Majesty on behalf of the States General in order to pray her for a good and prompt succour of money of five or six hundred thousand pounds in augmentation of her ordinary succours, for the maintenance of the troops, in conformity with the charge given to their deputies sent to her in the preceding year. And that Dr. Clerck, M. Willem Bardesens and Jacob Valcke should be the deputies, to whom should be given fitting procuration and instructions to promise her Majesty the same security for this further succour as she has for her principal aid, and therewith such bonds from the States General, or also from one or two particular provinces as she shall be pleased to desire ; the repayment of the said further succour to be on the same days and terms as she was pleased to grant in relation to the principal succours. And that touching the repayment, the provinces shall give like letters of indemnity one to another as was done concerning the principal sum. And orders shall be given to the deputies that in case her Majesty should demand bonds from particular towns, they shall advertise the States thereof ; and shall do the like if they should understand that she would be inclined to negotiate touching the sovereignty, perpetual protection or any other such step ; in order that it may be discussed and resolution taken, and afterwards put into the charge of the aforesaid deputies. Endd. Dutch. 1 pp. [Ibid. 56.]
Oct. 8. Grant by the Earl of Leicester to Sir Edward Stanley, knight, in consideration of his good and faithful service, "but specially for his valiant and singular prowess in the conquest of the most strongly defended town of Zutphen" on Oct. 6, 1586, old style ; "where in sight of the enemies and of our army, he was the first that gave the onset, and valiantly scaled a most dangerous bulwark, and fought alone for a time against many enemies, from a lower steep, craggy place, and gave occasion of a most notable victory"of an annuity or pension of 100 marks, or 66l. 13s. 4d. to be paid by the said Earl, his heirs, executors etc. during the life of the said Sir Edward Stanley. And because, being in camp, he cannot have the counsel of skilful lawyers for making the grant in due form, he binds himself and his heirs, at any time within the next year, upon request of Sir Edward, to make another grant to the same effect by advice of learned counsel, if this present one be found defective. With power to the said Sir Edward to receive and recover the pension out of the Earl's manors or lands in co. Gloucester, of late in the possession of Henry, Lord Barkley or his assigns.Camp near the river of Issell in the Duchy of Gueldres, 8 October, 1586, old style. Copy. 1 pp. [Holland X. 57.]
On behalf of John Jacobson Decker, a poor fisherman of Enchuysen (whose cause is singularly commended by the Estates) praying his honour "(in consideration he was miserably robbed and spoiled at sea) to grant him such a strong letter of assistance to a commission by him obtained out of the Admiralty of England as his humble petition here enclosed [wanting] doth more at large require." The other writings which his honour wishes for are being made ready. Signed. Add. Endd. English. 1 p. [Ibid. 58.]
Oct. 10. Paper endorsed "Docquet of Mr. Wilkes' dispatch." "Instructions. (fn. 2) Passport. Letter from her Majesty to the Earl of Leicester, signifying the sending him over to supply the place of Mr. Henry Killigrew. The Queen's letters to Sir Thomas Shurley, to receive the treasurer presently sent over to exercise [over supply erased] the place of treasurer there" ; to the Estates, signifying the placing of Thomas Wilkes in Mr. Killigrew's room, and to the Earl concerning the treasurer presently sent over. "Letters of compliments to the Archbishop Truchsess and Count Hohenlo." p. [Ibid. 59.]
Finding it expedient to employ her trusty and well-beloved servant, Thomas Wilkes, esquire, one of the clerks of her Privy Council, of whose loyalty and sufficiency she has had good experience, to reside for her service in the Low Countries in place of Henry Killigrew, now permitted to return home ;these are to require his lordship to signify her pleasure to the said Killigrew and suffer him to return presently. And to give direction by warrant for the payment to the said Wilkes of her treasure on the allowance of forty shillings a day, beginning on the 1st of October inclusive. He is to inform the Council of State and the States General of her purpose of the return of Killigrew and the sending of Wilkes, that the latter may be admitted as counsellor and assistant in their Council of State, according to the contract between herself and them. And whereas in July last she sent over a mass of treasure for pay of the arrears of her garrisons and forces, she learns that the garrisons of Flushing and Brill have received no part of it, and are in such needy estate that they are daily "in terms to mutiny." She greatly marvels that no better care has been had to accomplish her directions, and having now sent over a further 30,000l., has caused 8,000l. to be chested for full pay of these two garrisons up to Oct. 12 ; which treasure Wilkes has orders to leave in the hands of her Merchants Adventurers at Middelburg, until Sir Thos. Shirley (appointed to act as treasurer at wars in the absence of Mr. Huddilston, now upon his return into England) shall be sent thither by his Lordship to receive it and pay the said garrisons, wherein all convenient expedition is to be used. The remainder is to be issued with like expedition to the rest of her troops, and a more certain account thereof and of the rest of her treasure lastly sent over by Huddilston to be sent to her than has been yielded of that formerly employed, whereof she could hitherto never (God knows by whose default) receive any just account. Such entertainment as has been allowed to Huddilston is to be paid in his absence to Sir Thos. Shirley, to begin from the time when he enters into his charge.Windsor Castle, 10 October, 1586. Copy. 1 pp. [Holland X. 60.]
Congratulating him upon his advancement and offering his services, which, if accepted, shall be performed with secrecy, care and travail. He now follows a master who fails not to favour him and if his motion be accepted, will bring back with him "his lordship's favourable allowance." The toil he is now taking is extreme, "and yet no great contentment can be obtained." Camp before Zutphen, 10 October, 1586. Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. p. [Ibid. 61.]
Understands from a brother in law of his, out of England that Jacques, (fn. 3) his lieutenant, whom he has loved very well in respect that Mr. Vice-Chamberlain put him in the place and also for "sundry good parts" found in him, is thought to be one in the odious conspiracy against her Majesty. Is heartily sorry and begs that any villany devised, practised or consented to by him may not remove his honour's good opinion from himself. Also he prays that, whereas he left the said Jacques in command of his company in Ireland till his return, a letter may be sent from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Deputy, that his brother [qy. Sir George Stanley] now in that country may be his lieutenant, with such other officers as he has directed by the bearer. Camp before Zutphen, 10 October, 1586. Signed. Add. Endd. p. [Holland X. 62.]


  • 1. These last lines are cancelled.
  • 2. The Instructions are not now amongst the State Papers, but are printed in Leicester Correspondence (p. 432) from the original amongst the Cotton MSS.
  • 3. This name appears to have been Jacomo di Francesqui. See Cal. S.P. Ireland. Eliz. 1586-1588, pp. 251, 256.