Elizabeth: February 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: February 1587, 1-10', in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 21, Part 2, June 1586-March 1587, (London, 1927) pp. 352-358. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/foreign/vol21/no2/pp352-358 [accessed 14 April 2024]


February 1587, 1-10

Feb. 1/11. Answer of the deputies of the States General to the articles proposed by her Majesty's Council on Jan. 29, 1587, stilo d'Angleterre. Troops required for garrisons and the field. The cost and other expenses. Raising the money. Impossible to increase taxes which already excessive. Endd. by Burghley, and with marginal notes by him. Fr. 9 pp. [Ibid. XIII. 1.]
Feb. 1. State of the garrisons in the towns and castles of the United Provinces. Endd. by Burghley "November, 1586.... Delivered by the Commissioners 1 February, 1586." Underneath, in his hand, "Robert Shelley of the Household was quartered at Sir Tho. Sherley's house in the Black Friars ; deputies to Sir Tho. Sherley." Fr. 3 pp. [Ibid. XIII. 2.]
Feb. 1. Copy of Sir William Russell's patent as governor of Flushing. Westminster, 1 February, anno 29. 1 Sheet. Endd. [Ibid. XIII. 3.]
In reply to Wilkes' letters of some days past, assures him that nothing that has passed has moved him from his hearty good will for the service of her Majesty. But one thing has grieved him to the heart, that having served these countries for nearly thirty years ; spending much money of his own, having much owed to him by the States, and having chosen for his lord him for whose advancement he has hazarded his life ; this lord should have left the country without giving him audience or having any communication with him, who has been his faithful servitor, not from any obligation, but only true zeal to his person. Notwithstanding this, nothing shall divert him in the least from his affection to her Majesty and to these provinces. Delft, 13 February, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. XIII. 4.]
Wishes to offer her Majesty his very humble service during the short time which remains to him. Has been in England two months at great charges. Having heard that a great convoy is making ready for Holland, would willingly cross over with it. Asks for a recommendation to the Earl of Leicester or some other lord, who might bring him to her Majesty ; or at the least to have a passport and a few lines to Count Hollac, to enable him to be avenged for the great wrong done to him. Served the Emperor for ten years and the King of Spain for twenty. Signed. Endd. by Walsingham's clerk, and in another hand (perhaps that of the writer of the letter) "Memorial for M. le Chevalier Melaort de Schenna." Fr. 1 p. [Holland XIII. 5.]
For answer to a letter received from you touching speeches uttered in Council against my lord, I have no copy of that I sent you, but as I remember they were to this effect :"That his lordship, by appointing magistrates at his own will...had ventured the separation of this province from the rest ; that by an unlawful appointment of a receiver in Friesland, the country was divided and the 'countoirs' shut up ; that by appointing of a receiver likewise in Brabant the contributions were hindered. Somewhat was also said of Zeeland, but what I do not perfectly remember." For my coming to the Hague, I will follow your opinion as soon as I can ; but as there are divers companies yet out of garrison, of which my own is one, till I have seen them provided for I may not leave this quarter. Nor are those of this town willing I should depart till they know "what will become of their governor's practice." "As for those of Holland, it is here openly spoken that they will make a governor-general if they can induce Friesland to join with them ; and that they will not offer her Majesty sovereignty but with such conditions as they know she will not accept it. If her Majesty's mind were known unto us, it would be no hard matter to turn all their devices upside down ; but not being acquainted with her purpose, it may be we should run a wrong course in striving with the Hollanders. I would therefore persuade you only to hear them for awhile, and to hold good correspondence with the ministers, as I will do on this side, till we hear from England. M. de Buy ...reports that her Majesty will assuredly treat for a peace ; whereof our best friends in these parts are also jealous. I have had some conference with the burgh master about the meeting at Viana ; but he is advertised that there is an alteration of that purpose, and that the Count Hollac is or should go to Campen there to confer about their devices... "Notwithstanding the threatening letters that the Hollanders procure to be written against the companies that come into their quarters ; if the Council do not appoint garrisons for those that are unprovided... I shall be fain to send them all into Holland ; for I will not venture a handful of poor men in the fields at the devotion of the enemy for their pleasures. For the complaint of the killing of a woman, I cannot learn that any English company was at that village, but have sent to enquire the truth, and will let you know what was done.Utrecht, 4 February, 1587. Holograph. Add. Endd. with a note or two of contents, the first being "The speeches used by Barnevelt against his Excellency." 2 pp. [Holland XIII. 6.]
By your last letter I perceive you have received mine. "For the matters wherein I think you have [not] dealt well with me, if at our meeting you can answer the things I have to charge you with, it shall satisfy. For the service there, I doubt not but you will remember and consider well of the place and cause you serve," and perform what her Majesty expects of you. As for any unkindness conceived by any there of me, at my return (which is like to be slower than I wish) I doubt not but to give good satisfaction.The Court, 5 February, 1586. Signed. Add. Endd. p. [Ibid. XIII. 7.]
Feb. 5/15. The answer of the Commissioners of the States to her Majesty, justifying themselves in relation to her objections. (fn. 1) Endd. by Burghley. Fr. 7 pp. [Ibid. XIII. 8.]
As I have been extremely discomforted, not only by your lordship's own letters, but by others from my good friends, signifying your heavy displeasure against me, so I am somewhat comforted by a message from you, delivered by Sir Roger Williams, without which I should not have presumed to write, beseeching you to believe that if I have anyway failed of my duty towards you, it has grown through lack of judgment, not of evil meaning to your lordship, to whom I have born as true affection as to any man living ; assuring you that when heard in my justification I shall yield you all good satisfaction, whereof if I fail, let me still bear your displeasure. All that I have written to you of persons and matters shall be proved true, and only written to show your lordship how you stand among this people, and how inconstant and 'ingrateful' they are to you and to such of our nation as serve here, which you will understand more at large by Sir Roger Williams.The Hague, 6 February, 1568. Copy. 1 p. [S.P.F. Archives XCI., p. 54.]
Assuring him that if her Majesty do not take these provinces into her protection, they cannot long maintain themselves, notwithstanding the opposite opinion contrived by the partialities and practices of ambitious persons. The safety of the country depends on the rule of one only chief, to establish order and speedily to set up a strong army, to be early put into the field to oppose the enemy. Refers other matters to the relation of Captain Williams.The Hague, 16 February, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. Fr. p. [Holland XIII. 9.]
Feb. 6/16. FREMIN to DAVISON.
Need to persevere in defence of Netherlands seeing that matters are so disorderly and factious, especially since the loss of Deventer and the fort, of which cunning persons know how to avail themselves in order to put the English nation into evil odour with the people who do not look beyond the end of their nose. And as the factions are great and ill knit, if her Majesty do not actually take the protection and sovereignty of these countries, they will not long remain in liberty, although some persuade themselves otherwise. Moreover the Duke of Parma "fait une guerre d'art, et nous de partialit et confusion."The Hague, 16 February, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. Fr. p. [Ibid. XIII. 10.]
Feb. 7. Note of papers delivered to Mr. Davison on this date.
The Remonstrance made to her Majesty on the 5th inst.
Articles by Ambassador Wilkes, and replies.
Account and estimate of the general means.
Account of receipts and expenses for six months.
Account of ordinary expences for eight months.
List of ships of war.
His honour has the account of the receipts and charges, both ordinary and extraordinary for the whole year 1586.
Touching the war by land.
Collection by M. Wilkes shown to her Majesty with the marginal apostiles by the commissioner of Friesland.
Endd. "Memoires des pieces." Fr. p. [Ibid. XIII. 11.]
Feb. 8. WILKES to the QUEEN.
"The arrival here of Sir Roger Williams from your Majesty hath been to necessary purpose, in my simple opinion, who by reason of his long experience among this people, the goodness of his wit and judgment, hath in short time discovered the humors of persons, as well honourable as of mean estate, towards your Majesty and your nation," to whose declaration I refer all things worthy of your knowledge, having only assisted him with some small memorials to help his memory. And albeit you shall find some things to displease you, yet the error and folly of those fallen away in affection from your Majesty and your nation may with discretion be reformed by such as you shall commit the government here unto. "The adversaries, though they be of the greatest, are not many ; the towns and people for the most part remain devoted to your Majesty and have no hope of their safety but from your hands, and if it shall please you...to stay the disease that doth but only begin by the speedy sending over of some principal man to command here amongst them I hope the sickness will not prove lethal. Repeals petition that she will not be prejudiced by reports against him.The Hague, 8 Feb., 1586. Copy. p. [S.P. For. Archives XCI., p. 55.]
Refers him to Sir Roger Williams to declare the state of things at this time. A fitter man could not have been sent to discern the humours of those who have no devotion to his Lordship's return, or the continuance of their nation there. As there are some matters which might "discomfort her Majesty to continue her succours," he has asked Sir Roger first to communicate them to his lordship, and then deliver such of them to her, as shall be thought fit.The Hague, 8 February, 1586. Copy. p. [Ibid. XCI., p. 55.]
Asking his favour and help for Captain Smith, who coming over with a company of voluntary men, has served for five or six months, but is now cassed "without receiving either pay for his company or money for his transportation, to the gentleman's utter undoing ; besides the loss of a good quantity of furniture, money and apparel in the town of Deventer at the betraying thereof." He earnestly desires that if her Majesty should send over any more forces, he may have a company.The Hague, 8 February, 1586. Signed. Add. Endd. p. [Holland XIII. 12.]
Thanking him for his goodwill, and favourable report to her Majesty, and assuring him of his friendship and desire to do him service.The Hague, 18 February, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. Fr. p. [Ibid. XIII. 13.]
"After all our travail for the placing of the companies in garrison, we have profited almost nothing, for the towns will receive none of them, being either at her Majesty's pay or at the States', but very much against their wills. The country is here in arms, so that I doubt the horsemen shall have no other refuge but to draw themselves to the frontiers of Holland, whereat I assure myself they will make great exclamation." If the States of Holland will not give them garrisons, they will be all spoiled, being already in very miserable case, and I fear her Majesty will hardly be at the charge to raise them up again. I pray you plead very earnestly with them, that no disgrace happen to our countrymen. Within three days I hope to have leisure to come to you.Utrecht, 9 February, 1587. Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XIII. 14.]
Feb. 9. A note of privy seals for payments to Sir Thos. Sherley, treasurer in the Low Countries ; Richard Browne (for victualling Bergen, Ostend and Flushing) ; Sir William Russell, governor of Flushing ; John Hawkins, treasurer [of the victuals] and Edward Bashe, surveyor of the victuals, "for furnishing and victualling certain ships to the seas" ; Sir William Pelham, "for provision and emption [i.e. purchase], to be sent by Jacques Wingfield into Ireland," and to Wingfield for emption of corslets, morions, etc. ; issued on dates 28 Jan.-9 Feb. inclusive. Endd. 1 pp. [Ibid. XIII. 15.]
"I have received sundry letters from you which I deferred to answer until some resolution were taken for those countries. "After long deliberation had of the requests propounded by the Commissioners of the States ; the one for borrowing a sum of money, the other to increase the support, they have received a denial in them both. The said commissioners were very much grieved and wounded, not only with the denial but also in respect of hard speeches delivered to them by her Majesty against the States, as charging them with breach of promise, with baseness of mind, and other things. "The Commissioners have earnestly solicited the return of the Earl, as a thing desired both by the States and people, and therefore the advertisement sent, as you know, that he would not be welcome unto the States appeareth not to be true, The Earl doth refuse to go, unless the Commissioners may be returned with better satisfaction. "It is thought that her Majesty would have assented to have yielded a greater support but for some secret advertisement from thence that the contribution already yielded will suffice ; which advice cannot but proceed rather of practice than of love to her service ; and therefore if through these underhand counsellors there fall out a revolt of those countries, the burden thereof must lie upon their shoulders. "The eighth of this month the Scottish Queen was executed ; wherein she behaved herself in good and temperate sort, as praying for her Majesty and the King her son ; but died in the opinion of the Catholic faith."London, 10 February, 1586. Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. 1 p. [Ibid. XIII. 16.]
Instead of reward for my good service in this town, they complain against me, with false reports, I intended to surrender this place, and that they feared the town was pieca perdue. On the governor's arrival, I asked for cong, in order to answer the charge, which he did not give me, but wrote to them of my loyalty and good behaviour, after questioning the captains and officers of the garrison ; the 'magistrate' also having solemnly declared upon oath that they had no suspicion of my fidelity. Besides this, I sent persons to learn more particularly concerning the fault they imputed to me, but it seems that nothing of the sort has been either moved or spoken. I believe there is nothing they desire more than the loss of this town ; for it appears that there is provision for no more than two days. Sir John Conway will declare all this at large. I had thought to present my humble service to you, but there being no other English captain in this town, I cannot do so ; I am so much indebted, and have so engaged my credit for the honour of this place and the discharge of my duty, that I cannot go on for long unless you can take some order for my payment.Ostend, 10 February, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 pp. [Holland XIII. 17.]
Feb. 10. Notes by Burghley concerning the entertainment of M. Arnold Grunevelt, governor of Sluys and his companies. Notes in his hand, on the dorse : fdi nostri calamitas. The nurse of all treasons. The root of the tree of treasons is cut off. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XIII. 18.]
Feb. 10. THOMAS CARTWRIGHT to SIR JOHN CONWAY, governor of Ostend.
The post arriving on Wednesday night, I willed him to leave here the letters for Ostend, whereupon he delivered me the enclosed for you. (fn. 2) From England I hear that on Saturday last all captains and officers having charge in these Low Countries were commanded by proclamation, on pain of death, the same night to depart to their charges. The governor of this town is expected every hour. I understand from a friend, that a hoy is leaving Middelborough for Ostend with corn and victual for that garrison.Flushing, 10 February, 1586. Postscript. Since writing the above, Roger Phs(?), your man has been with me, and desired me to tell you that he is still waiting for a prosperous wind. Add. p. [Ibid. XIII. 19.]


  • 1. Printed by Bor, book 22, f. 17.
  • 2. Seems to be wanting.