Elizabeth: December 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: December 1586, 1-10', in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 21, Part 2, June 1586-March 1587, (London, 1927) pp. 251-266. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/foreign/vol21/no2/pp251-266 [accessed 14 April 2024]


December 1586, 1-10

Dec. 1/11. Remonstrance of the Council of State to the States General, on need of providing money.The Hague, 11 December, 1586. Fr. 1 pp. [S.P.F. Archives XC., p. 55.]
Dec. [beginning of ?] Memorandum, in the hand of Burghley's secretary, of certain points (contained in the answer of the States General to the Earl of Leicester's questions, of date 1424 November, 1586, and no doubt also) in the Instructions of the Deputies. Endd. by Burghley, "1586, December. Out of the Instructions for the States of the Low Countries." Translation. 1 pp. [Holland XI. 50.]
I pray you hold me excused for not answering your three last letters ; my infinite grief for the death of Sir Philip Sydney having caused me to withdraw from all public affairs. I have dealt earnestly with her Majesty to credit no wrong reports of you in your absence, who assures me "to stand therein your gracious lady....so well is she persuaded of your faithful love and zeal to her service. "The Earl of Leicester arrived here the 24th of this month [sic], who received very gracious usage and welcome at her Majesty's hands. Notwithstanding the arrival of the two deputies, Valck and Nievelt, the Earl doth persuade her Majesty to proceed first in the great cause, which you shall understand hath been thus far dealt with, that certain principal persons being chosen as Committees out of both houses were sent to be humble suitors unto her Majesty, to desire her that she would be pleased to give order for the execution of the Scottish Queen. Her Majesty made answer unto them that she was very loath to proceed in so violent a course against the said Queen as the taking away of her life, and therefore prayed them to think on some other way that might be both for her own and their surety. Hereupon the said houses, after long and deliberate consultation upon this answer returned their committees again unto her Majesty to let her understand that having duly considered upon the matter, they saw no way of safety but by the execution of the said Queen, and therefore prayed her Majesty to see the same performed. Her Majesty is contented hereupon (though she yielded no answer unto this their latter reply) to give order that the proclamation shall be published ; and so also it is hoped that she will be moved by this their earnest instance to proceed to the 'through' ending of the cause." And whereas you desire to know whether you should advertise from time to time of the state of things there, I think it convenient that you should so do ; but to direct your letters to the Earl of Leicester, as general of those countries, who might take it ill if they were addressed to another ; yet you may also write privately to the Queen as you shall see it needful. I send you a cipher to pass between us (fn. 1).The Court, 3 December, 1586. Signed. Add. Endd. by Wilkes. 2 pp. [Holland XI. 51.]
This bearer, M. Caron, lately returned from Denmark, whither he was sent in September last, is repairing to England to make report to my lord of Leicester of his legation, as also to treat her Majesty as deputy for the province of Flanders. He is very wise and well affected in religion and to her service ; "and hath made so good observation of the humours and proceedings of the King of Denmark and his principal counsellors as he discovereth them all to be so Spanish as he thinketh it were not amiss that the ambassador presently in England be not much believed. And for mine own poor opinion, considering that the principal drift of his negotiation tendeth to make a peace for the King of Spain, whereunto the ministers of Denmark by all probability are 'wrate' [wrought] with gifts and bribes, it will be necessary for your honour and others that affect her Majesty's preservation to oppose yourselves thereto ; because if her Majesty should accept of a peace to 'conclude' these countries, this people will not only refuse it, but her Majesty will be like to remain in the greatest danger." If you would be pleased to give me notice what her Majesty intends for these countries before she concludes ; and her purpose for the return of my lord of Leicester or some other, I would deliver to you the causes of our present confusions and how they might be reformed. I need not repeat what I have already told you, but must say that from lack of money among the States to pay the soldier upon this muster, reduction and cassation of many companies and captains now presently to be made, it is to be feared there will follow mutinies and danger to towns under our charge. "And further....these countries will not long abide the absence of a wise governor. The Count Hohenlo is grown to mislike of our nation for some disgrace pretended to be done him in this our government, and hath even sithence my lord's departure gone about to strengthen himself here by 'assuring' divers frontier towns and places within these countries to himself ; having them commanded with governors and garrisons at his devotion. The man is violent and hateful to these countries and people, and yet feared and favoured by the States and Council. It will behove us to have an eye to his actions, but to prevent all mischiefs, I beseech your honour, hasten us hither a governor." I desire to know the success of the action against the Scottish Queen.The Hague, 3 December, 1586. Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XI. 52.]
"At my return to the Hague from Dordrecht, I acquainted Mr. Barnevelt with the delivery of the person of Ringault to my hands, to have been by your Lordship's commandment, and according to your promise brought back to the Hague ; but because I understood that some direction had been given by the States to the magistrate of Dordrecht to seize the person of Ringault in case he should have come thither, and for that myself had perceived them violently determined against him, seeking means under colour of justice to bereave him of his life..... I caused him to be conveyed to Utrecht, and there committed to the hands of the provost marshal of the English troops, fearing... that if I should have brought him to the Hague, the States would forcibly have taken him out of my hands," being ready to testify to them that your lordship had kept your promise and that, for the not bringing of him here, I was contented to take the fault upon myself and abode their censure. "Hereunto Mr. Barnevelt answered that he was sorry that I had not brought him thither with me, because he found the States and towns fort alters towards your lordship in respect of Ringault, and feared there would follow some alteration of disposition in them towards you, which he wished to be prevented ; and prayed me that I would not be over hasty to deal with the States therein, until he should upon better consideration advise me thereunto. At his motion, I was contented to stay until some few days after, that the deputies of the States General came to the Council to move some matters, among the which they desired to know whether your lordship had signed the letters appointed to be sent into the provinces to signify your lordship's departure from hence not to have been for any mislike or discontentment conceived of the States ; at which time it was answered by M. Sosa that your lordship had taken exceptions against some parts of that letter, which by your commandment was appointed to be reformed ; and that withal it appeared that your lordship was not very willing to sign the letters by reason of some other particular mislike which he could not specify. Hereupon I took the occasion to declare to them the just cause your lordship had amongst other things to be discontented even at your departing, with their violent proceeding against Ringault, and the little credit they gave to your lordship's promise for his return ; considering that they, notwithstanding your said promise had given order to the magistrate of Dordrecht, to the prejudice of your lordship's authority, to seize the person of Ringault, in case he should have been brought thither ; amplifying the same with such other reasons as I thought fit, and prayed them to acquaint their masters therewith, to the end they might understand that your lordship had good cause to make stay of signing of the letters, for so much as they were to testify your contentment of their proceedings towards you, having such matter to the contrary. The poor man hath sithence written unto me, desiring me that I would give direction to the provost marshal to let him be at liberty and to remain at his house upon caution, but for mine own part, finding their fury to continue towards him, have advised him yet for a time to continue himself under the guard of the marshal, lest (being at his liberty) he might be caught up by some practice and put into the hands of the States." The rest of his requests I send to you, that you may command what you will have done in them. "Sithence your lordships departure, I have urged the performance of the promises made by the Chancellor Leolinus and M. Valcke for bonds to be given to the knights, gentlemen and others, with whom there were several agreements made for pay or money due unto them for transportation of soldiers &c., as your lordship knoweth, wherein I took some pains before your lordship departed hence. But....with much ado, I have only gotten an answer from them such as I suppose will not content the knights and gentlemen and much less your lordship (for whose sake they came into these countries), which I send you herewith ; assuring you that for mine own part, seeing their confusions and irresolutions, I am already the most weary of my place that may be. "The musters are already taken of all the forces, but not one penny ready to pay them....so as what will follow thereof, God knoweth. "Many voyages are made by some of the Council, openly and privily, to Count Hohenlo, residing still at 'Delphe,' and nothing can be yielded unto here that may abridge any part of his authority ; whether it be for love or fear I know not. "The enemy assembleth about Breda, meaning, as it is supposed, to take the advantage of the weather to attempt something upon the parts of Holland or Zeeland. There were also left about Wesel three regiments of the enemy, who are said to be marched towards Frise, whither the Count William is gone, and some assemblies of our troops are made about Swole, in the form of a camp, to make head against him. "There is a contract passed between the Council and the Colonel Shinck for the defence of the town of Berck and the over quarter, with the assent of the States, by the which he hath undertaken to entertain 3300 footmen and 700 horse ; having yielded unto him the 'branschats' and contributions of that country and frontier, the convoys of merchandizes passing upon the river before Berck, and 20,000 guldens monthly to be paid unto him out of the general contributions ; wherein they think to have gotten a great pennyworth ; but all must be referred to the performance, wherein I doubt they will find themselves deceived. The man is yet here, and after many demands by him made and assented unto by the Council and States, he findeth and frameth many more, and hath seemed contented with nothing until the conclusion of this contract. There is fallen out at Utrecht sithence the return home of Mr. Deventer a dangerous division between the town of Utrecht and the gentry and clergy of that province. The magistrates of the town have forbidden the Ecclesiastics their access and appearance among the States of that province, meaning to cut them off from the body of States.... The Ecclesiastics do refuse to obey their summons (sic) and are backed by the nobles, so as it is greatly to be feared that if some present order be not taken to stay that proceeding, the town will be in hazard to be lost." The States General have sent thither the Count Meurs and M. de Meedkerche ; and at their instance I have entreated Mr. Hotman to join with them, and have written to the burgomasters and captains in her Majesty's name "to pray them to temper their proceedings with discretion, laying before them the dangers like to ensue and the readiness of the enemy's to take his opportunities in this time of the absence of your lordship ; that I take it to be a blemish to your lordship's authority that they should meddle in altering the state of their government without your privity. God knows what effect this interposition will take, for I hear already that the Ecclesiastics and the nobility upon this disgrace offered to them do go about to seize themselves of the Vaert. I dare not be absent out of this Council finding already that there is a course held to hide many things from my knowledge. I beseech you therefore to hasten the return of Dr. Clarke or such other as her Majesty shall think fit ; for I am not able to go through these things alone, or else I would have gone myself to Utrecht, to have travailed in this cause. The fault and occasion of these garboiles is laid altogether upon Deventer, as growing upon some revenge sought by him against those that opposed themselves against his admission into the assembly of the States General. Howbeit, by his letters to me he excuseth himself, and yet alloweth of the proceeding for reasons by him alleged, wherewith I will acquaint your lordship more at large by the next." Barnevelt assures me that the copies of Acts which you wish for were delivered to Mr. Atye, but the declaration you gave me in writing to be delivered by speech to the deputies of the States, and by your order translated by Mr. Hotman, I send herewith. M. Caron, now returned from Denmark is deputed by Flanders to come with the rest to her Majesty. He will make report to you of his legation with the King of Denmark, and discover the cunning of those now come to her Majesty from that king, whom you will find "abused by his ministers by corruption from the Spaniard, and himself made a stale to undo and overthrow these countries." I have advised Mr. Caron to hasten over before his fellows. You will find him wise and worthy to be cherished, and a man altogether at your lordship's devotion. I beseech you, if any shall offer to do me any disgrace with you, "as I know it is a thing proper to our English humour and malice (whereof also your lordship hath largely tasted yourself in your absence)" to hear my answer before I be condemned.The Hague, 3 December, 1586. [Copy. 4 pp. Wilkes' Letter Book, S.P. Foreign Archives XCI., p. 1.]
Leaves it to Sir Roger Williams, to tell his honour particularities of matters "here." Writes touching a book on fireworks which he lent to the late M. de "Cidene," his honourable lord and master, to be copied. It is in folio, covered in black with green strings, and he had it from the library of the late Cardinal de Grandvelle. Prays for a copy of it, if he cannot have the original.Middelburg, 14 December, 1586, stilo novo. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Holland XI. 53.]
Has written to the Council of State of the excesses committed by the garrisons of Doesborch and Bronkhorst ; but wishes to send him also the copy of a letter, which will inform him of an unhappy deed perpetrated by these garrisons ; praying him to procure satisfaction for the poor prisoners, and punishment of the malefactors, from the Council and from "Baron de Noritz." Utrecht, 4 December, 1586. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. XI. 54.]
Enclosing :
Stating that yesterday some of their neighbours, men, women and children, went to Renen to hold their fairs, and coming by Remerstein, were attacked by about forty horsemen, issuing from the houses behind the mountain, who fired their pistols and charged upon them with their cutlasses, so that ten or twelve were wounded, having made no resistance, but voluntarily surrendering themselves prisoners. Being tied together, two and two, they were marched towards Doesborch and Bronchorst, letting the women go back. Being arrived at Wolfhezen, the horsemen put them into an empty house, and seizing Gilbert Janssen Hespell, demanded 600 daelers ransom, which he said he had no means to pay, whereupon they shot him dead on the spot. Then, with pistols at their breasts, they forced the others to promise great ransoms, which they have to send, within five or six days to Wagening. After this they sent the wounded back home, Claes Gherritssen Lam remaining answerable for a thousand florins or thereabouts, whom with five or six others they carried with them to Doesburch or Bronkhorst. Pray their honours to consult touching these matters, and place them before the authorities that the prisoners may be released, and that they may all enjoy the benefits of the safeguards given by his Excellency, Count Maurice, the Count of Moeurs and Count Hohenloe. The horsemen wish to make out that those of Venendael had first shot one of their war horses, and that it was for this that they demanded ransom, but they can never prove this to be true.2 December, 1586, stilo antiquo. Signed Alain. Copy. Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [Holland XI. 55.]
Touching the Low Countries, little has been done, by reason of the business of the Queen of Scots. Has only had private speech with her Majesty, as the rest of the States are not yet come. It would have been better to have sent only three or four than that the business should be so long delayed. Prays that they may be hastened away.Court at Richmond, 4 December, 1586. Postscript in his own hand. "I have had a most gracious welcome at her Majesty's hands, as ever I had since I was born. Ortell doth deny to deliver any matters of weight from the States. Her Majesty shall be satisfied of all my doings, I doubt not." Add. Endd. 1 p. Seal of arms. [Ibid. XI. 56.]
Concerning the receipt and distribution of the treasure received from England or lent by the merchants. Expects that it will "come short" about 5000l. Is going into Holland on the morrow, it being the first day boats dare put out thither, by reason of the ice. Prays that money to make up the full pay may be sent without delay.Middelburg, 5 December, 1586. Add. Endd. by Burghley. 1 p. Seal of arms. [Ibid. XI. 57.]
In reply to his honour's letter in favour of Stephen le Sieur, he has solicited his release from his Highness together with that of the son of the Escoutette of Dordrecht, in exchange for Pedro de Cubiaur, but his Highness has finally replied that the said son is prisoner of the Count of Mansfelt, and he does not wish to exchange him for Cubiaur, so that it will be needful for his honour to aid this poor fellow [le Sieur], and rescue him from this misery, by arranging that Cubiaur may be given for him, seeing that there is no other remedy to be found. This having been promised but not fulfilled appears very strange to his Highness, who almost conceives it to be Bodenham's fault that it is not accomplished. Prays his honour, for the good of the poor prisoners, that this exchange may take place.Dunkirk, 15 December, 1586. Add. Endd. Spanish. 1 p. [Flanders I. 105.]
There being 1800l. owing to Thomas Brune, her Majesty's victualler, and the States also being indebted to him for victuals delivered to the English companies in their pay ; he prays his lordship to pay the said Brune 1000l., for the saving of his credit, and the rather that he is the Queen's officer ; the money to be put to his (the Treasurer's) account.Middelburg, 6 December, 1586. Add. Endd. 1 p. Seal of arms. [Holland XI. 58.]
Since writing mine of the 3rd, "I have received advertisement from Mr. Hotman from Utrecht, that by the good endeavour of the Elector [Truchsess], the Count of Meurs, himself and others, there is good hope conceived that the present dissension between the town of Utrecht and the Ecclesiastics and the gentry of the province will be brought to some provisional accord without any further mischief, until her Majesty and your lordship may have knowledge thereof, and shall set some convenient order between them." Mr. Ringault entreats me to beseech you to bestow on him (in recompense for that taken from him) the office of Receiver-General of the province of Utrecht, void by the decease of M. Potter. If it be in your gift I pray you bestow it upon the poor man, who has now no means to maintain himself, and signify your pleasure by writing to the States of Utrecht. "Sithence your lordship's departure, Colonel Balfour, with divers captains of his regiment have (as I am credibly informed) taken bread and wine (as the manner is) with the Count Hohenlo, and protested to be wholly at his devotion, and to join with him in all things that he shall enterprise in diminution of your lordship's authority ; upon notice whereof, with the privity of Sir John Norreys.... I thought it fit in the reduction now made of the Scottish companies, to urge a division of them into two regiments, meaning ... that one of the regiments should be conferred on Mr. Patton, whom I know to be at your lordship's devotion and well-affected to our nation ; wherein with much ado I have prevailed, but with a great inequality of their companies, for Balfour hath ten companies and the other hath but five. Howbeit, in the sorting of them I have gotten the four companies under Patton to be of the honestest captains. This is done provisionally, until your lordship dispose otherwise thereof. The ten companies under Balfour do contain but 150 to every company saving his own of 200 heads, and so likewise Patton's companycolonel of 200 heads, and the other four of 150 ; so as the whole number of both regiments do not contain above 150 more then the 2000 appointed to be entertained of that nation. I trust your lordship will not mislike thereof, although it vary something from your direction, considering for what purpose the same is done. The reduction was made by the whole Council, assisted with Barnevelt from the States.The Hague, 6 December, 1586. [Copy. 1 pp. S.P.F. Archives XCI., p. 7.]
While the Earl of Leicester was in this country I forbare writing knowing that you had particulars of all things, and not doubting but that you know my best endeavours have been employed to serve my Prince and country, as they ever will be. And now I know Mr. Wilkes will write at large, whom by all means in my power I assist and second. The country grows daily poorer by the great charges needed to maintain the number of soldiers which the defence of their frontiers requires. "So as to make any offensive war it will be hard, and to keep it defensive serveth only to lose one place after another, and so either be conquered in time by the enemy or else to yield and make our composition, which many wish. How much it importeth to look hereunto I need not discourse, but may say thus much, that it is needful to take the cause to heart ... so as the enemy be overcome in this present weakness of want of victual and long warring, ere he ease himself, provide for his relief and strengthen his forces, which undoubtedly he will do this next summer. I have written more largely to my lord of Leicester, and as touching myself have besought him to move her Majesty "for a small yearly pension or daily allowance for my better maintenance, being impossible to continue this service without some help ; for my stipend is but 100l. sterling per year, and all my profits not so much more, and must keep three clerks at least besides one servant ; all things extreme dear, and my office extreme painful ; so as if it were not in respect of the service I hope my being here may be for my Prince and country .... I would give myself to some other course of living." Ever since your honour employed me, I have spared no travail or cost, yet never had any recompense save from your own benevolence, for which I shall be ever bound to you. Her Majesty spends large sums in this action ; and so small a matter as would content me, I believe one word from you may help me to. I love not to be an importunate suitor, but crave your favour ; which, but for want of means, I would have sent a servant to solicit.The Hague, 7 December, 1586. Postscript. Praying for three or four lines to himself, in answer ; and "so many" to Mr. Huddilston, for bestowing such help as his honour shall please, until her Majesty's grant for further allowance be passed. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland XI. 59.]
"My lord at his departure hath used the same hard dealing towards me that he did before, having sent unto me a very slight commission, and a larger to Sir William Stanley ; so that it appeareth he will refuse to obey anything that I shall order him. If it prove no hindrance to the service, it shall nothing trouble me....neither will I seek by indirect means to caluminate him or any other (as hath been done by me) but will let them show themselves." If his lordship seeks to remove your honour's good opinion of me, I pray you to suspend your censure till I may answer for myself, "which I trust shall be shortly, not meaning to serve long among these factions and presuming that my lord would not have left me in these terms if he had not meant to send some other shortly in my place" that may better please him.The Hague, 9 December, 1586. Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. Seal of arms. [Ibid. XI. 60.]
Dec. 9. SIR EDW. NORREYS ............
The garrison of Flushing having suffered greatly this last year, and been fain to feed only upon bread and cheese, and these at excessive prices, and having nothing wherewith to relieve their sick, "which hath greatly discontented the town, seeing the whole pay fall into the hands of three or four victuallers,....I think means may be found that each company may be relieved with 20l. weekly and the money neither transported out of the realm nor her Majesty at the charge of exchange," it being paid out of the Exchequer as part of the full sum due, whereby the garrison will be relieved and the town satisfied. Memorandum in his own hand, without date, signature or address. Endd. by Burghley's secretary with date "9 December, 1586." 1 p. [Ibid. XI. 61.]
Dec. 9/19. Reply of the States General to the propositions of the Council of State on payment of the troops. (fn. 2) 19 December, 1586. Fr. 2 pp. [S.P.F. Archives XC., p. 57.]
I have by my other letters, by M. Caron, advertised you of divers things happened since your lordship's departure. "The reduction of the Dutch companies is now made after the fantasy and mind of the Count Hohenlo ; wherein almost every man that is well-affected to your lordship or her Majesty is cassed, and only those retained that are at his devotion. There are cassed ten companies of horse and about 48 of footmen, wherein there is no observation had of the order taken by your lordship before your departure. The foot companies are not reduced all to 200 heads, as was appointed, but some are of 200, some of 300, some of 150 and some but of 50 heads. Likewise our English companies retained in their pay are the one half at 200 and the other at 150 heads every company ; and the places of garrison assigned for the English by a list signed by your lordship are likewise altered, and Dutch appointed unto many of them." And albeit we showed them an Act whereby you commanded your Council not to suffer or make any such alteration, we could not prevail. Barnevelt and divers others deputed to join with the Council in making the reduction seemed to dislike the Act, "saying that it was strange your lordship should mislike or so much mistrust your Council as to restrain them by the same ; that unless the reduction might be made in that sort, they knew the States would not yield to give any money for the present pay of the soldier and that without this kind of reduction, the countries were not able to maintain the charge of the wars &c. ; so that Sir John Norreys and myself, having but two voices in Council, the reduction was in this sort concluded by plurality of voices among them." I trust your lordship will use your knowledge of this neither to discomfort yourself or to be occasion to hinder her Majesty's goodness towards these countries. The magistrates of Deventer have sent great complaint against Sir William Standley their governor ; "that he seeketh to take from them the keys of their gates ; that he taketh upon him to intermeddle with their civil government ; that he infringeth their privileges, seizeth and holdeth their strengths within the town by force, and doth them many other injuries. And albeit for my own part I do hold Sir William Standley to be a wise and a discreet gentleman....yet when I consider that 'the magistrate' is such as was established by your lordship and of the religion and well affected to her Majesty, and that I see how heavily the matter is conceived of here by the States and Council, I do fear that all is not well, and therefore do most humbly pray your lordship to have good consideration thereof for even the very bruit of this doth begin to draw hatred upon our nation and government." Yet I hope myself to persuade Sir William Standley to carry a mild hand over that people, and to that end have written earnestly unto him. I find great want of Mr. Clarke, not daring ever to be absent from the Council, lest they should do things without my privity ; otherwise I might by my presence help to pacify these garboils ; therefore I beseech you to hasten his return. "God send your lordship good success and speedily to revert, or else I fear you shall hear of worse accidents ere it be long."The Hague, 9 December, 1586. [Copy. 2 pp. S.P.F. Archives XCI., p. 5.]
By the contract between her Majesty and the States, the pay of her forces was always to be made with the privity of a commissary appointed on their behalf, and that of a company of 150 foot, was to be 1700 florins per month and no more. But the provision as regards the payments has not been observed by either mustermaster or treasurer and the pay to the foot companies has exceeded the 1700 florins by 3l. 5s. sterling. This I thought good the rather to tell your lordship as at some late conference here with the States concerning the pay of her Majesty's forces (this error being found) they "refuse to allow of that kind of pay in prejudice of the contract." Wherefore some order should be taken therein with the deputies now coming to her Majesty. I have asked the Muster-master why the contract on that point was not observed, considering that for the three months' of Sir John Norreys' command the pay was made agreeably to it and he answer "that there was direction given out of England from your lordship and others of the Council that the pay to her Majesty's troops should be as it had been in all other times and services heretofore. "Sithence my lord's departure from hence, our confusions are increased, by reasons of divers dissensions daily rising in some of the provinces, which cannot well be pacified for lack of the authority and presence of a governor, which these countries cannot long suffer without their apparent ruin ; and therefore if her Majesty shall be pleased to continue her succours towards them it will be more than necessary that (if my lord do not return) some person of quality and wisdom be speedily sent hither to take the charge upon him." The States General have granted 38,000l. for a month's pay to the soldiers, which has stayed the mutiny of those at the States' charge, and we are proceeding to reduce their numbers to so many as may be maintained with the ordinary contributions in the year to come, "whereby, as by some other reformations of common disorders among the martial men now in hand, it is hoped that the state of things here will be much the better settled and kept in order. "The enemy hath attempted nothing upon any of our towns or strengths, notwithstanding the late great frosts and ice in all places in these countries, and we are advertised that all the Spaniards and Albanesies are drawn out of Brabant into Luxembourg and Limburg to refresh themselves for this winter ; and the country of Brabant, to be eased of them for the time, hath yielded to the Prince of Parma a certain contribution. There hath of late assembled at Steken in Flanders two or three thousand of the enemy, having some purpose of enterprise upon the forts 263 of Lillo, Lifkinshoeke and other fortresses upon the river on the side of Flanders, but the present thaw hath interrupted them." I beseech you be a means for Mr. Dr. Clarke's return forthwith, for he knows both the State of these countries and the present government, of which I am as yet wholly ignorant ; and this Council "being compounded of sundry humours"....wanting experience to discern their courses and purposes.The Hague, 9 December, 1586. Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland XI. 62. Also copy in Archives XCI., p. 8.]
Dec. 9. WILKES to SIR WILLIAM STANLEY, at Deventer. (fn. 3)
"Upon a late complaint made here by the magistrate and burgesses of Deventer, there was written unto you, in the name and by the authority of his Excellency derived unto the Council of State, a letter by the which you were required to make answer whether the information delivered were true, and withal prayed to innovate nothing in your government that might breed disorder or dissension between you and them. Sithence the writing of which letter, they have complained again to this Council, showing that you have as it were by violence wrested from them the keys of one of their gates ; that you assemble your garrison often in arms to fear and terrify them ; that you have seized one of their forts ; that the Irish soldiers do commit many extortions and exactions upon the inhabitants ; that a soldier drew his sword upon a woman with child because he might not have what he listed ; that you have imprisoned some of their burgesses and done many things against their laws and privileges to the wonderful discontentment of the whole inhabitants ; so as it is feared that even the best-affected to her Majesty and our nation within the town will, for their discontentment, forsake the same. Whether any of these things be true or not, yourself doth best know, but I do assure you that the apprehension thereof here doth make us and our government hateful. "For mine own part, I have always known you to be a gentleman of 'value,' wisdom and judgment, and therefore should hardly believe any such thing to happen where you command. Howbeit, in respect of the rumour and conceit had of these proceedings, and my duty to her Majesty and the love I bear to yourself, I could not omit in her Majesty's behalf earnestly to require you not only to take heed of the consequence thereof, but to be careful of the honour of her Majesty and the reputation of our nation. That you will consider that the means of obtaining the late possession of the town grew by them that are now in office, which being of the religion and well-affected to his Excellency's government, wrought his entry into the same, and therefore would be sorry they should receive any just cause of discontentment by his governor established among them. I know that his Excellency would never suffer any governor out of the cautionary towns to possess the keys of any of the gates of any town, although the same hath been often attempted. I know also that his Excellency is sworn to maintain all the inhabitants of the Provinces United in their ancient privileges and customs. I know further that your commission carryeth no authority to warrant you to intermeddle any further than with the government of the soldier and good of the town. Well, you may in your conceit 'conster' some words to authorize you in some larger sort, but believe me, Sir, they will not warrant you sufficiently to deal any further than I have said, for I have seen and perused the copy of your commission for that purpose. I know the name itself of a governor of a town is odious to this people, and hath been ever since the remembrance of the Spanish government, and if we by any lack of foresight in our demeanour should give the like occasion, we should make ourselves as odious as they are, which God forbid. You are to consider that we are not come into these countries for their defence only, but for the defence of her Majesty and our own native country ; knowing that the preservation of both dependeth altogether upon the preserving of these. "Wherefore I do eftsones intreat and require you (as having authority thereunto) to forbear to intermeddle any further within your town than your commission shall lead you unto ; which I can assure you is but weak to carry any such power as you may suppose. And therefore if there shall follow any dangerous effect of any your further proceeding after this my friendly advice unto you ; as I shall be heartily sorry for your sake, so shall I nevertheless be able to testify unto her Majesty that I have done my duty in admonishing you upon the complaints exhibited here ; whereof I trust you will have consideration, and seek by some friendly means to satisfy the magistrate and to live there with the people in good terms of amity and love. The want of your soldiers shall be presently supplied, and should have been sooner if money could have been sooner had.The Hague, 9 December, 1586. Copy. 2 pp. [S.P.F. Archives XCI., p. 10.]
Dec. 9. WILKES to the QUEEN.
"I have forborne to advertise your Majesty of the state of things here sithence my coming hither by reason of the return of my lord of Leicester, by whom your Highness may best receive knowledge of all that concerns these countries. Since his departure, as by reason of the anticipation of the ordinary contributions and the consumption of the extraordinary, there remained no money to content the soldiers, the Council of State deputed some of themselves to repair to the States General "to lay before them the present necessity of the State, and the dangers like to ensue of the discontentment of the men of war for lack of pay ; who, after many difficulties made, and significations of mislike of the managing of the further contributions by the Council" condescended to furnish them with so much ready money, within twenty days, as should give a month's pay to the horse and foot at the charge of the provinces, with condition that before it was delivered, the Council should reduce their forces to a number likely to be maintained by the ordinary contributions. The money sufficient to satisfy the month's pay amounts to about 40,000l. sterling, the greatest part of which is received and presently to be disbursed to the soldiers. The States cass about 12 companies of horse and 48 of foot, Dutch ; your Majesty's 50 companies are reduced to 26, some with 150, others with 200 to an ensign, being altogether 4500. The 24 companies to be cassed are assigned for filling up your 5000 foot decayed in the late services, and others not complete "so as of all the English here in their pay, there will not be sufficient, as it is supposed, to fill up the companies in your Majesty's pay, and the rest of our nation continued in theirs. This reduction being made level to their abilities and uttermost contribution, the present confusion will be avoided, and their government cleared of many dangerous difficulties, wherein this Council doth labour day and night with a wonderful industry and diligence." We already find the lack of a supreme governor and with what labour persons and things are kept in order, therefore your Majesty should either send back the earl of Leicester as speedily as you may or appoint some other of quality and wisdom to take his place ; for since his departure, we have been more troubled by intestine dissensions than by any attempt of the enemy. As lately at Utrecht, whereof I have written at some length to my lord. The Council are not able to redress these disorders, "by reason they are not for their persons respected as appertaineth." And I being a stranger to this government and to the humours of this Council and people, cannot alone "run through the service" committed to me to your Highness' satisfaction or my own poor credit, wherefore I beseech you to return hither Mr. Dr. Clarke, who being already acquainted with things here, and of judgment, learning credit and good opinion among them, is much better able to judge of them and their actions than I can be without more experience. One other petition I present to your Majesty : not to admit any alteration of your gracious opinion of my fidelity, by sinister informations delivered against me, but according to your promise at my departing, to spare an ear for my answer, and consider of the persons who attempt to disgrace me and of the reasons that move them thereto ; whereby your Majesty will encourage me to serve you with plainness and sincerity (which few men do) and to hazard my life with as good a will as I pray to God to preserve you from all treason and send you a long and most happy life.The Hague, 9 December, 1586. Copy. 2 pp. [S.P.F. Archives XCI., p. 11.]
Dec. 10/20. Declaration of points delivered by the Deputies of those of Zeeland to his Excellency and the Council of State, touching the accounts of Mannemaeker the treasurer, and praying for redress and answer. Together with apostiles on each article. Dutch. 8 pp. [Holland XI. 63.]


  • 1. I have as yet not been able to find this cipher.
  • 2. Japikse : Resolutien der Staaten Generaal, Vol. V., pp. 308-10.
  • 3. Printed by Motley, United Netherlands, II., 153-4.