Elizabeth: January 1587, 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: January 1587, 1-10', in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 21, Part 2, June 1586-March 1587, (London, 1927) pp. 306-313. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/foreign/vol21/no2/pp306-313 [accessed 20 April 2024]


January 1587, 1-10

Having heard of complaints of the States General made to the Council against him upon the appointment of the receiver of Frise, that of Deventer at Utrecht and the continuation of the deputy of Brabant, has made the reply attached. These actions would not cause disunion among the Provinces except in case of ill will. Astonished that not informed of these things by the Council, which Her Majesty and others might take as a sign of disrespect. There is also the delay of the deputies of the States in coming, without their sending any explanation of the reason why, with rumours of the revolt of Deventer, surprise of Ostend, mutiny of sailors in Holland and the like. They should not allow such calumnies during his absence, or at least give him early information about them. Definite information received that the Prince of Parma will take the field in March, for which provision has been made by the Prince of Bavaria, and the Duke of Cleves has promised to do the same, and Parma has promised to give Bercq to the former and Wesel to the latter, and to occupy Deventer and Dousburch. Warns them so that they may make provision of powder and food.London, the 3rd January, 1587, stilo Ang. Copy. 2 pp. French. [Holland XII. 1.]
Jan. 3. The SAME to the [STATES GENERAL].
In reply to their complaints will say that the receiver of Frise was confirmed in full council upon the advice of the governor of the province and the testimony of many worthy people. The inhabitants of Utrecht are content with the burgomaster Deventer, who is a worthy and capable man. The receiver of Brabant was continued by the advice of those who were with him on the voyage of Bommel, on the representation of gentlemen of quality and others, that he was well qualified and had discharged the office for several years. No one else asked for it and never heard any difficulty or complaint against him. If the Provinces fall apart it will not be through him or the persons named. Did not expect during his absence to be accused of such high matters for reasons so feeble. Asks them to put aside private matters to a better season and to attend to affairs of greater importance to resist one who seeks their ruin and whose rule will involve their flight from their homes, and not wrongfully accuse in his absence one who has exposed his person, life and fortune to help them, and out of pity for the poor people to bridle private factions. To consider that the enemy is preparing for the next campaign and they must decide what steps to take. They need not fear that the Queen or any governor on her behalf wishes to encroach on their liberties, to assist which she has devoted a great part of her treasure. On his return will try and give them satisfaction in the above matters. At present trying to move the queen to have greater pity on their estate.London, the 3rd January, 1587, st. Ang. Copy. 4 pp. French. [Ibid. XII. 2.]
Recommending the deputies sent to her Majesty and asking his favour for their cause.The Hague, 14 January, 1587. Signed, Aerssens. Add. Endd. 1 p. French. In Burghley's hand, names of the 7 Provinces, di Buy Thesaur. [Holland XII. 3.]
Jan. 4/14. Letter from the Council of State to his Excellency in reply to his of the 25th Dec. Unsatisfactory state of affairs. Capt. Marchant at Wouw. Reduction of companies. Operations of war. Harm done by report of peace negotiations. Count Maurice and regiment of Zeeland. The Reiters. Need of further help from her Majesty.The Hague, 14 January, 1587. Fr. 3 pp. [S.P. For. Archives XC., p. 121.]
Jan. 4/14. Another letter from the same, on the same day. Complaints of the behaviour of Stanley at Deventer, with request to withdraw him and his garrison and employ them elsewhere, substituting some one more agreeable to the townsmen. Fr. 2 pp. [Ibid. XC., p. 125.] [Printed in Bijdragen ... van het Hist. Genootschap, Utrecht Pt. xxxiv., p. 129.]
I fear, owing to contrary winds, many of my letters will come slowly to your lordship's hands, which will fall out very evil for these countries, now in hard terms for lack of money to satisfy the soldier. [Concerning the grant of a month's pay by the States, as ante p. 262.] This was to be made by the remnant of the contributions due until the 10th of January ; but when the provinces were urged to deliver in their "quotes," they said they had already disbursed "some near as much and some more," by direction from yourself and your Council, in victuals, money, munition and other provisions, and unless a liquidation were had of their disbursements, they neither could or would contribute more ; whereby the soldier continues in extreme misery and ready to mutiny. Many towns have refused to obey the "pattents" made in your name and to admit the companies sent to them as garrison, who have been constrained for want of food to rob and spoil the country, to ransom [i.e. hold to ransom] the boor, and to commit many insolencies, to the great discontentment of the people. The garrisons at Deventer and the fort before Zutphen are in extreme misery and poverty, as you will perceive by the enclosed letter from Sir William Stanley ; but it has not been possible to relieve them from here until now, when with great importunity so much has been got as will pay them for half a month. Yet the Council have done as much as they could and are now sending divers of their college to the provinces "to lay before them the dangerous plight they are in, and to let them understand, in case they shall refuse to supply the sums presently demanded, that then we shall be constrained to disband the companies, and to suffer them to spoil and set upon them and their countries ; and if this endeavour work no effect, then your lordship will easily judge what will become of us. And to help forward the destruction of all, there is a bruit spread in all the provinces that there is a peace in concluding underhand with the Spaniard, whereof many of the towns (upon mislike of this general confusion) do prepare themselves (as the States inform us) to allow and accept thereof. Whereupon they have entreated the Council ... to make known that the said bruit is false and but a stratagem of the enemy, to prevail in some device against them ; and withal, to prohibit, upon pain of severe punishment, that no more speeches be used thereof. This opinion of peace is grounded upon a report ... that the count Mansfelt and M. de Champagny are gone into England from the Prince of Parma to treat with her Majesty, according to some instruction given for that purpose to Captain George [qy. Georgio Crescia] the late prisoner at his release from hence. I trust your lordship will consider of these infirmities, and hasten some remedy from home before they become incurable, or else be a means that we may be all revoked with her Majesty's honour. "The Count Hohenlo continueth his practices, and hath strengthened his faction with the addition of all the evil-affected to your lordship here ; and hath now gotten into the same the Count Moeurs with whom (forgetting all former quarrels) he hath done almost nothing but drink and banquet for ten or twelve days together. The Count Moeurs, forgetting all the honour and favour done him by your lordship, hath publicly in his drink used speeches in disgrace of our nation ; and having been appointed in the late controversy at Utrecht to deal between the towns and clergy as an arbiter, to have compounded their variances, did proceed therein as a party with the said clergy against the rest, as Mr. Hotman will best inform your lordship." And for Utrecht, though I think it were fit that the controversies were compounded, yet as the Count Moeurs (who has had much interest in the affections of that province) is declined from us, it were not amiss to hold out a good hand towards the towns (being the stronger party) and seem to incline to favour their purpose, for if her Majesty resolved to take any more caution of towns, upon further succours to be yielded to them, I think Utrecht and Dordrecht would not be forgotten. For the charges of those you left here, I could get but 500 florins, which is already more than half spent, and when it be consumed, I know not what shift to make to get more ; wherefore I beseech you to take some order therein, for without money there is nothing to be had here.The Hague, 4 January, 1586. Copy. 2 pp. [S.P. For. Archives XCI., p. 28.]
Jan. 6/16. Proposition made by the Council of State to the States General for the payment of the troops.The Hague, 16 January, 1587. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. XC., p. 132.]
Asks his influence with Leicester for an opportunity to serve at Flushing at the request of Sir William Russell. It will deliver him from an idle life at Court and permit him to deal with the affairs of the Low Countries with which he is better acquainted. Encouraged to approach him because of the recommendation of M. de Busenval on behalf of the King of Navarre. 16 January, 1587. Add. Endd. 16 Jan., 1586, from P. Verhelius. 1 pp. French. [Holland XII. 4.]
Jan. 7/17. Extract from letters of de Bye of the 17 January, 1587, st. novo, upon an abstract shown to her Majesty by Mr. Willicx, whereof a copy was sent to de Bye. Finds the collection of Mr. Willicx very impertinent, as he does not make sufficient distinction of the time, and the first sums should be included with the last to arrive at the full charges of the year '86. Criticises the articles in detail. Surprised greatly at the letters of Mr. Athy of the 2nd Dec., old style, that her Majesty had been informed that for the first six months in addition to the ordinary contributions of 200,000 florins a month, 4 millions had been consumed. Copy. Endd. In Burghley's hand 17 Jan., 1586-1587, de Bye. 2 pp. French. [Ibid. XII. 5.]
Salutations, by a gentleman of his house sent to England on his affairs.The Hague, the 17th January, 1587. Add. Endd. p. French. [Ibid. XII. 6.]
Apologises for not having written since his last by Lord Essex. At his Excellency's departure such order was taken as was found best for the health of the country, "but H.E. took not such good order but they have travailed to make it imperfect." Treated very well by H.E. but has since found very cross and "underete" proceedings which were the occasion that he and others desired to make their retreat with H.E., as the bearer Edward Stanley can explain. Has written an account, at request of H.E., and will explain anything that hard to be understood. Zutphen very short of victuals ; "but there they speak all of peace and that the Duke of Aerschott, Mansfield and Champaignie are to depart for England. The people here in these parts give it forth. If the Queen's Majesty please not to embrace them they know other means. The Prince of Parma is still at Brussels and makes great preparations of finances and commissions. It should be very necessary that H.E. wrote unto the States to furnish the frontiers with 3 months' ammunition as Loccom and Gorcom are all unprovided for ; so as if our forces be not ready when the enemy's forces enter into the field they will easily carry them away, so likewise to furnish all their frontiers for 3 or 4 months' ammunitions." Has taken great pains to make a bad place something, costing him all the money he had. Of the victuals and money ordained he received nothing but indiscretions and discontentments. Dare not write all but trusts the bearer well. If her Majesty enters not into the cause asks to be sent for home "for truly as I humbled myself to please her Majesty, your honour and the dead, (fn. 1) now I am content to humble myself lower to please myself, for now since H.E. departure here is no form of proceeding neither honourable nor honestly." At the fort of the Velou before Zutphen, 7 January, 1586. News from Germany that Ansborch should be surprised by the papists, but by the last are in doubt. There is great leave of soldiers ; to what end not known. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland XII. 7.]
Jan. 7/17. Translation of a letter from the "Prince" of Parma to the King of Denmark, in reply to his letter of the 28th November, and concerning peace proposals.Brussels, 17 January, 1587. Fr. 1 pp. [S.P. For. Archives XC., p. 111.]
Jan. 7/17. Ordonnance of the States General for the enlargement of Paul Buys. (fn. 2) The Hague, the 17th January, 1587. Signed, Aerssens. Endd. 1 pp. French. [Holland XII. 8 ; also S.P. For. Archives XC., p. 128.]
In support of the deputies sent by the States General to treat for further help and to offer her Majesty the sovereignty. If Burghley will keep his letters to himself and not show them elsewhere, for the avoiding of jealousy, he will advise him of the state of things from time to time.The Hague, the 8th January, 1586. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. p. [Holland XII. 9.]
Jan. 8. ROGER ASHTON to his brother in law CHARLES LYVET.
Sir William will not let me come over till towards Easter. The king of Spain is making great preparations for war here. M. Taxis is looked for with a great army, to Zutphen, only 5 English miles to Deventer where Sir William lieth. The enemy doth victual Zutphen, only our English garrisons are so weak that as they be not able to prevent it (their convoy is so strong), except Sir William's regiment might be spared out of Deventer, which may not be for then we should lose the town. If the town were stronger than we were sure to have all our throats cut ; we keep the town so strong that we are able to command them. If her Majesty do not take these wars in hand, without all doubt the king will have all these countries (and that in very short time) by revolt. Deventer had revolted and should have been given up the same day Sir William came into it, for the enemy was marched out of Zutphen with 7 ancients to have received it. The world is nought. Therefore leave your lechery and serve God. 1588 draweth on.Deventer, 8th January, 1586. Signed. Add. To Charles Lyvet, deputy auditor at his house, Dublin. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XII. 10.]
Jan. 9/19. "The first part of the account exhibited to the States General ... by Richard Huddilston ; and is for the first four months during the commandment of Sir John Norreys." With memorandum that it was exhibited in person by Huddilston on January 19, stilo novo, assisted by General Norreys, to the deputies of the said States ; viz. : for Gueldres, the Sieur Johan de Wynberghe ; for Holland, Thierry Louck ; for Zeeland, Mre. Guillaume Roels, councillor and pensionary of Middelburg ; for Utrecht, Henry Buth ; for Frise, Mre. Charles de Roerda ; in presence of M. Sebastien van Loozen, councillor of state, and George de Bye, treasurer general. Apostilles by the States in the margin.
(1) Totals of payments made from 12 August, 1585, to 12 December following, to Norreys as Colonel-General ; Roger Williams, Lieut. Colonel ; Nicholas Erington, master of the ordnance ; Richard Erington ; Johan Pryse, sergeant-major of the camp ; Henry Swynnerton, commissary of musters ; Pierre Crispe, provost-marshal ; William Bon, quarter master ; Thomas Wilson, Henry Swanne, corporals of the camp ; Thomas Brune, commissary of the victuals ; John Langley, master of the chariots.
(2) Other payments made by ordinance of General Norreys to the 27 English companies who passed muster Sept. 14, 1585, viz : to Richard Huddilston, treasurer of her Majesty and captain of a company of foot ; John Borge [Burgh], Edward Norreys ; Henry Norreys ; Thomas Knowles ; Francis Darsey ; John Wotton ; Thomas Vavasour ; John Scott ; Thos. Maria Wingfield ; Gilbert Havers ; Edmund Banister ; John Shelton, alias Huntley ; Thomas Baskervil ; John Roberts ; Degory Hender ; Thomas Rowls ; Thomas Morgan ; Edward Yorcke ; Emanuel Lucar ; Walter Waller ; Edward Morgan ; Edmond Wydale [or Uvedale] ; Nicholas Erington ; Arthur Brett ; Charles Blunt ; Francis Carsey ; Peter Crispe.
(3) Other payments as above to nine English companies, transferred from the charge of the States to that of her Majesty, from 27 September to 11 December, 1585, viz : Roger Williams, lieut. colonel and captain of a company in garrison at Bergen-op-zoom ; and the following captains, in garrison, viz. : Robert Sydney at Rameken ; Edward Symes and Rich. Wingfield at Flushing ; John Hill, in Zeeland ; Francis Litleton and John Sibthorp at Ostend ; Oliver Lambert and Thomas Wilson.
(4) Other payments to 1000 men transferred from the charge of the States General to that of her Majesty ; their wages beginning Nov. 11, 1585, viz. : Sir John Norreys ; John Pryse ; Edward Cromwell ; Richard Graie ; John Hunnige ; and Thomas Poole.
(5) Other extraordinary expenses, for transport of soldiers, and repayment to Sir John Norreys for refloating the Bull when it went aground between Camphere and Ziricsee.
(6) Other payments for the entertainment of Richard Huddilston the treasurer.
Certified as having been examined and apostiled in the assembly of the States General at the Hague, 19 February, 1587. Signed by Wynbergen, president, and by Aerssens. Fr. 49 pp. [Holland XII. 11.]
Thought to have been his own messenger but did not find the expedition he looked for. Appointed by Lord Cornwall at his departure to London to account unto the Estates of the whole of her Majesty's charges. Reached Hague on 10th December. On the 20th handed them the book of all the moneys disbursed. Describes their devices to procure delays. Is daily attending their further proceeding. Urges them chiefly for their answer as the thing which her Majesty looketh to be satisfied in ; for the book of reinbursements originally handed to them. Thinks they would be glad if it were lost, but has another way to prevent them. Expects they will refer him to their deputies in England about the account of Lord Cornwall's time, and sees no remedy as has no warrant for the full pays until the 12th October. Sure they will take easy occasion to quarrel, especially as they hold the same order as they began with Sir John Norreys. Thinks they will not hold him long and when the examination is finished will make all the haste he can. The Hague, the 9th January, 1586. Before the enclosing of this letter, which is the 14th of this present by the importunity of Sir John Norreys, Mr. Wilks and myself I have obtained so much as I look not to stay here above three days. Add. Endd. 1 pp. [Ibid. XII. 12.]
Acknowledges letter of last December. Sir William Russel much looked for as the States of Holland and the magistrates of the town hope to find another Sir Philip Sidney of him. Forwards at request of M. de Gronyvelld, governor of the Sluese a present of pheasants for his lp. and for his Excellency. "The state of this garrison is very weak and had need that it were supplied with more men and money also. Your honour should do well to cause the captains that be there to return to their charge or else to give them over for we have here but two captains in the town. I assure your lp. a great shame it is suffered. In Ostend there is one only captain left." Lord Willoughby now here to embark for England is turning back on hearing that the enemy is going towards Bergenopsome, fearing he is going to the castle of Woe, which standeth in ill terms for want of pay. Skenke has overthrown some 200 of the enemy's horse and put victuals into Borke. Sir John Norreys has some journey in hand but as yet not known. Glad to know of the recovery of Lady Sidney and her daughter. Flushing, the 9th January, 1586. "This present morning, being the 10th of January, I understood for certain that the castle of Wou was given up to the Prince of Parma for 6 months' pay the 7th of this present." Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland XII. 13.]
Jan. 10. A "state" of the contributions, ordinary and extraordinary, granted to his Excellency by the States General of the United Provinces, for the term of one year, 11 January, 1586, to 10 January, 1587. Fr. 6 pp. [S.P. For. Archives XC., p. 113.]
Appeal for Gilpin, one of the secretaries to the Council of State, for some relief that he may continue his service. He is trusty, wise and very sufficient, acquainted with the countries and humours of the people and the course of the government. "Because there is none of us here that hath the country language and all things in effect are done in their tongue ; there must be an English secretary in his place." Asks that he may have some pension or other allowance.The Hague, 10th January, 1586. Add. Endd. p. [Holland XII. 14.]
A copy of the above, wrongly dated 12 Jan. [S.P. For. Archives XCI., p. 33.]


  • 1. Presumably Sir Philip Sidney ; a considerable portion of this letter is printed by Motley, United Netherlands, II, pp. 157-8.
  • 2. Printed in Dutch in Bor : Nederlandische Oorlogen, Bk. xxii., fol. 26.