Elizabeth: February 1587, 11-20

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, 11-20', in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 21, Part 2, June 1586-March 1587, (London, 1927) pp. 358-371. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/foreign/vol21/no2/pp358-371 [accessed 20 April 2024]


February 1587, 11-20

Feb. 11. SIR JOHN NORREYS to CAPTAIN BAMBURGH, marshal of Brill.
I am credibly informed that M. de Faims or some other has been sent to the Brill, to survey your strength there and how you keep watch and ward, "whereby it is presumed that there is no good meaning towards her Majesty for the said town." I advise you to be very careful of your trust, and, if not of strength to defend the same against a sudden attempt, "I would wish you to draw in 200 men more for a time, the which men be shipped here and sent to Rotterdam, to be placed in garrison by the States in Holland. You shall not need to be at any charge with them, but only to provide them victuals, and I will undertake to procure that her Majesty shall pay for the same." I pray you consider well of this, in respect of the importance of the place. If you find you are strong enough to defend it you need not call the said men, but only look well to your watch and ward, as if in a town besieged, and have care that you be not deceived with fair words. Do all in such sort that they may not think you suspect any thing.Utrecht, 11 February, 1586. Copy. 1 p. [Holland XIII. 20.]
Pray him to "direct" that the ship still detained by Colston at Bristol may be discharged with her lading and that Colston be commanded to stand to their former order.London, 11 February, 1586. Signed by Nyevelt, Menin, Valcke and Kamminga. Add. Endd. English. p. [Ibid. XIII. 21.]
The States of Holland and of this town "deal in such order as I cannot tell what to do. For they of Holland write that if I send any men thither, they will not accommodate them, and they of this town causeth the country to put themselves in arms against us, and will not suffer us to remain any longer in these parts, their garrisons being already furnished. So as I am forced to send them into Holland ; praying you that if they storm at it and will not give them some place to rest in," you will procure their discharge, and give them passport to return into England, for I have, as you know, no means to relieve them. This bearer, my lord of Essex' cornet, has been a suitor to Count Neuwenaar for some oats for their horses, to be rebated out of their entertainment, but it is refused. I pray you help him what you may.Utrecht, 12 February, 1586. Signed. Add. Endd. p. [Ibid. XIII. 22.]
Reluctant to trouble him but knows not how he can any longer maintain his charge. Count Hohenloo having turned his men out of Worcum, when his Excellency was still here, is now trying also to get them dismissed from Gorcum and the fort of Werchendam, having twice already sent him threatening orders. Persuaded this is done with the consent of those of Holland and that they will not stop until they have turned him out ; if his company there is not paid it must be ruined, and so one of the best companies in the country will be lost. It takes all his means to maintain it, wherefore prays for advice. Has laboured to prevent the Count from achieving his purpose and is still working night and day to that end, but believes, if his Excellency do not shortly return, there will be very dangerous and difficult work.Utrecht, 23 February, 1587. Add. Endd. by Wilkes : "13 February, 1586." Fr. 1 pp. [Holland XIII. 23.]
Acknowledges letter of the 11th, about M. le Faimes. True he was here, and the writer went about the walls with him to view the defects, understanding from the burgomasters that he was sent by the States and Council of Holland, as munition-master general, appointed for the supplying of the said defects whereof had lately written to Mr. Wilkes, by whose means he was probably sent. Knows not how to arrange for the victualling of more men he procures from the States that they may be laid in this island of Voorn. Might then use them both for the town and forts as occasion should serve. "And for the rest of the letter, will, fully accomplish it...having begun to strengthen both watch and ward."Brill, 14 February, 1586. Copy, enclosed in the same covering sheet as Norreys' letter, Feb. 11, above. Endd. by Burghley's clerk. 1 p. [Ibid. XIII. 24.]
[A long letter of verbose apologies for not having earlier written to condole with him on the death of Sir Philip Sidney, expressions of regret and sympathy, and reflections on the love of virtues as shown in ancient and in modern times.] Even in his retired life, he saw well the great loss which the church and this country had sustained but when he accompanied the Count of Nassau into Holland, going to the Hague and later to Zealand, he began to understand that they had lost the soul of their state, there being none left who had the like means of holding together the chief parties of the republic, or who, with such familiarity, roundness, knowledge and faculty for saying the right thing and persuading the great ones, with no thought of his private affairs, could make him who is elected chief understand what the principals among the people desired, and in what they felt aggrieved. And on the other hand, there is no one who with more authority amongst the people, more kindness and goodwill can make them understand their duty towards their superiors, moderate their inclinations, discern the authors of evil counsels or soothe turbulent spirits. On the other hand, considering all the spites and animosities which exist, even he might not have had power to set things right. From the days of Moses and David and the ancient republics, the greatest personages have not been able to hinder the murmurings and jealousies of those bound to them, even their nearest kinsmen and allies ; and as to the present time, none have been so much thwarted, hated and envied as those who by their virtues least deserved it. On this subject, the life of his late master, the Prince of Orange of incomparable virtue, would furnish him with material enough to fill many volumes. Solomon was right in saying that all is vanity were the last words he heard from that Prince's lips. Has written chiefly to express his esteem.24 February, stylo novo, 1587. Sig. Add. Endd. Feb. 24, 1586. Fr. 3 pp. [Holland XIII. 25.]
Feb. 14. HENRY NUNNE to SIR JOHN CONWAY, governor of Ostend.
Sends rye and 600 cheeses by the bearer, and hopes to be with his honour within three days with some store of victuals. The weather has been so foul and the wind so contrary that he could not come before this. The Lieut-Governor and sergeant-major of Flushing know that he has "slacked no time." The lord governor of Flushing has arrived, and with him Captain Brett, who will be at Ostend by the first passage.Flushing, 14 February, 1586. Add. Endd. p. [Ibid. XIII. 26.]
Feb. 15. Translation of letter from Warmond de Stchelen, a German gentleman, to a friend in England. (fn. 1) Evil consequences of the loss of Deventer, and the fort before Zutphen, and danger of a revolt like to that against the French after the affair of Antwerp. However, the ill-affectioned have hitherto been content to revenge themselves with the tongue. Does not believe that the wisest sort are the authors of such slanders, but rather the papists, and Hispanophiles. Most astonished at this terror as if no place of importance had ever been lost before. All at once, those most inclined to the English are so dismayed that they have been willing to consider maintaining themselves without England. But no true reason for blaming her Majesty. As for Stanley, it is certain that he formerly did good, and treason, cowardice and revolts are no new thing in these countries. Instances of places betrayed or surrendered to the enemy by natives of the country. Services rendered by the queen to the country and sacrifices made by Leicester in its behalf. Impossible to express the misery and poverty suffered by the poor English soldiers. Yet there are some so ungrateful as to say that the English are not good soldiers, because they cannot endure all these discomforts ; as if they had not given good proofs of their valour, courage and skill in war. Their faults and imperfections, so far have been so small that very few men have cause to reproach the English for the violating of their wives and daughters, or insult to their persons, or stealing of their goods, or of being quarrelsome, riotous or drunken. Honest people here probably do not lend an ear to these malicious spirits who sow these false reports from interested motives. Hopes moreover that the wisest among them will consider that there is to-day only one means of preserving themselves, and that is England. The resolution of this people to maintain their liberty is greatly to be admired ; but if their means of defence are not better managed, it is of no use to quarrel with his Excellency for it, to whom, for all his charges they have only granted 200,000 florins per month, while they have certainly levied from the people more than 300,000 ; and moreover he has only been here a year, while at all times there have been complaints of abuses in the administration of the people's money. Has heard it said that those who have the management of these moneys are mostly merchants, pensioniaries of the towns mechanical and ignorant fellows, loving gain and without respect for honour, who convert the said moneys to their own profit ; men born rather to obey than to command, and who having once tasted the pleasure of authority, for lack of any sovereign prince, have come to believe that they themselves are sovereigns and under this name of Estates, have made themselves, as it were, masters of the State, abusing the people and controlling even him to whom by oath they have yielded the absolute government. And the people (who of themselves are good, gentle and tractable) must be made to understand that this abuse of the Estates will, in the end, be the ruin of this state ; and nevertheless that it is not all the Estates, but only five or six, who, having gained credit amongst the others, dispose all things at their pleasure, and for their private passions do very dangerous offices to this state and those who are concerned therein ; some for jealousy, envy and partiality, others from avarice, and all from ambition and desire to command alone and always. For this poor people would truly have hitherto laboured in vain, and for long years suffered the wool to be sheared from their backs, and almost the skin from their bones, if, by the evil government of five or six worthless men they should now be precipitated into the danger of a shameful peace with those who look for nothing but the reduction of Holland and Zeeland, in order to revenge themselves for their revolt and rebellion.Arnhem, 15 February, 1587. Signed, Warmond de Stochelen. Copy. Endd. by Wilkes. Fr. translated from Flemish. 10 closely written pages. [Holland XIII. 27.]
Is greatly honoured by what her Majesty has been pleased to send him by M. de Buy and offers her his humble services. He and M. de Buy have thought it well that the latter should return to her at once, to whom he refers all things.Utrecht, 15 February, 1587, stilo veteri [as regards the day of the month]. Holograph. p. [Ibid. XIII. 28.]
Feb. 15. The SAME to WALSINGHAM.
Expressing his pleasure on the reception of her Majesty's letters by M. de Buy, and assuring his honour of his friendship and service.Utrecht, 15 February, 1587, stilo antiquo. Signed. Add. Endd. Fr. p. [Holland XIII. 29.]
I earnestly recommend this gentleman to you ; whose company is very well furnished and himself very well known to you. His debts in the town greatly trouble me, for they came to me for redress and I know not what to say to them. I beseech you to be earnest with my lord of Leicester about his dispatch, that some good order may be taken. The people are well enough affected to us if they may be well dealt withal, or thought that her Majesty had any care of them, "but if presently she take not some good order for these countries, all will be nought, and either they will fall to the enemy, or Count Maurice and Hollock will take upon them the war, a thing so impossible as nothing can be more.Flushing, 15 February. Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. Seal of arms. [Ibid. XIII. 30.]
Feb. 16. WILKES to the QUEEN.
"I have written at several times to divers of your Majesty's Privy Council the state of your forces here and to what weakness and confusion they are reduced for lack of pay and discipline.... The captains of the horsemen all in England, insolencies and mischiefs committed by the troops ; and consequent hatred of the people, who have risen against them. "I have urged the States (though sick to the danger of my life) to take some order to relieve your people in this distress, until the coming of her Majesty's treasure. I find them reasonably inclined thereunto yet little effected, by reason of two impediments ; the one a strange jealousy of all our nation, the other their own want. I do therefore most humbly beseech your Majesty to take some speedy order to relieve your people here, or else their intolerable necessity will force them to leave these countries and return home. "The confusions are wonderful that are grown in this Estate in the absence of my lord of Leicester, which hath also opened many gaps to disorders (fn. 2) and given liberty to some that are ambitious here to work innovations in the government," but these I will leave to the report of the bearer of my last letters, whom I have thoroughly instructed in all things. If my lord of Leicester be not speedily returned hither, who is most fit to settle these disorders, or your Majesty do not send some other, furnished with as much or more authority, I fear you will in a very short time see these countries reduced under the yoke of the Spaniard. I trust your Majesty will pardon my boldness, hoping that being advertised yourself may find some timely remedy to be applied thereunto.The Hague, 16 February, 1586. Copy. 1 pp. [S.P.F. Archives XCI., p. 56.]
Recommending the bearer, Mr. Heron, a man of very good desert, for his service in those parts. Would have written more largely concerning the state of Flushing, but that he is newly come, and the gentleman so soon to depart. By his next will advertise his honour of all things.Flushing, 16 February. Signed. Add. Endd. p. Seal of arms. [Holland XIII. 31.]
Feb. 16/26. JEAN VANDEN BEKE, pensionary of Flushing, to WALSINGHAM.
Acknowledging gratefully his obligations to his honour, her Majesty, his Excellency and the late M. de Sydney, and promising faithful service to Sir William Russell. Does not need to enter upon Sir William's praises, but must say one word :that he has entered into an easy charge, having, like Sir Philip Sydney brought with him by the renown of his noble father, and his own valour, wisdom and humanity (the report of which has spread over Europe) what another might have long toiled to gain, viz. the love of the burghers and credit and authority with them ; which things it will be easy for him to maintain by following his own heroic and virtuous nature. Doubts not but that he will be seconded by the magistrates and all honest men of the town. Flushing, 26 February, stilo novo. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 pp. Seal. [Ibid. XIII. 32.]
Finds by his letter of the 5th that his lordship is not satisfied with his defence, but thanks him for allowing him further answer. Hopes Sir Roger Williams will be able in some points to explain how he is wronged, and for his doings at home, doubts not but to clear himself. Defends his conduct. Prays his lordship to second his appeal to her Majesty to send money for the soldiers. Sir John Norreys is sick at Utrecht, as he himself is at the Hague. 17 February, 1586. (fn. 3) Copy. 1 pp. [S.P.F. Archives XCI., p. 57.]
Repudiates ever having used any undutiful term concerning him. None had more goodwill of high and low than the writer before the acceptance of this cursed and unfortunate journey ; "which, as I declared to your lordship at the beginning, will be, I fear, the cause of my ruin ; and then it pleased your lordship to give me this advice : that I should serve her Majesty truly and leave the rest to God." Knows the humour of his great adversary, and asks not to be condemned unheard. If his adversary were as mean in quality as himself, he would not doubt but to make his innocency appear upon him with his hand. (fn. 4) "What I said to you of him was but a note of some errors which I had learned to have been committed in this government, but I am greatly bound to you for concealing it, as I trust you will do still." I hear little or nothing of what is done at home concerning these countries. How the treasure has been distributed I do not know but see that it has been done with great inequality. I had nothing in charge but to leave it at Middelburg, and to urge my lord to cause it to be issued ; but there grew an impediment through the States' delay in appointing their commissaries of musters, wherein, as in many other things, I must confess that they were very slow and negligent. The treasurer has departed, having made up his accounts with the States for the whole time of her Majesty's succours. For my part, I am so fully occupied where I am, in the absence of a Governor and alone, that the pain thereof, "with some cold and a conceit taken of the injury done me at home hath thrown me into a dangerous sickness ... though I am now in some hope of recovery." I pray you hasten away the treasure, lest the soldiers, on a little more misery and want, be forced to disband and return home.The Hague, 17 February, 1587. Copy. 2 pp. [S.P.F. Archives XCI., p. 59.]
All the letters I have received from you have contained very unplesant matter, which, added to my service here have made my case very miserable, and but for my clear conscience and knowledge that I can honestly answer all the slanders heaped upon me, it would have been enough to make a man desperate. Nothing troubles me so much as to hear that Sir William Pelham is incensed against me, whom I have alwayed loved and honoured, and have, since my coming here, been very deeply beholden to him. I protest I have never spoken of him but to his great advantage ; "I know him to be wise, religious and honest, and he knoweth how inwardly I did always deal with him before his departure ... sed hec omnia a Themistocle [E. of Leicester] (fn. 5) ..... I doubt not nevertheless but to give to Mr. Pelham good contentment, and I beseech your honour to further me therein, because I make more account of the love of that gentleman than of ten Themistocles. .." "I will not answer for any follies committed by Sir J. Norreys. I have not been much privy to any of his writings or doings ; for myself ..., I never mentioned in any letters to her Majesty or to any other the errors of Themistocles ; I have written plainly to no man but to yourself only, because in truth I durst not trust any other in Court .... I beseech you, let it not be found strange that I live in friendship with Norreys, without the which her Majesty's services would be greatly hindered ; and it is not my disposition to live out of love with men in whom so many rare things are to be noted as in that man. Touching the supposed mislike here of Themistocles, none can resolve you so well as Sir Roger Williams. "The requisition of the States for his return is not greatly to be builded on ; they handle themselves as cunningly in that point as they do in any other," but their true affection towards him must be learnt here, where they have done all they could devise to shorten his credit and authority, as he shall find at his return ; and yet, seeing the present violence of the States and towns, and how much they fear his return, I believe if her Majesty send any other, these countries will be lost. His experience of them, and their fear of him, being but cowards, "would do more good here in a day than the presence of any other can do in three months. He knoweth their conditions, and shall rule them as a schoolmaster doth his boys ; and therefore in any case let him return if you mean to have any good of these countries," for, if you leave their infirmities to be healed by a physician ignorant of the state of their body, you will hazard it.The Hague, 17 February. Copy. 2 pp. [S.P.F. Archives XCI., p. 61.]
The coming of M. de Roussel as governor of Flushing greatly delighted me, and I am still more pleased now that I have had intercourse with him on the affairs of the country ; which is infinitely obliged to her Majesty for having sent us so worthy a man, and one so zealous for the true religion and the welfare of this land. I doubt not but that his presence here will do much good, and trust that God will so bless her Majesty's enterprises, that she will receive the reward which her virtue and magnanimity deserve. According to my small powers I will help it all I may ; but having retired into a private life, which may perhaps oblige me to seek a dwelling elsewhere, where I may be better able to pass the rest of my days with my family, if God should not call me to some other vocation, I can for the present offer nothing but my wishes and earnest prayers to God that he will bless and prosper to the end her Majesty's designs for the good of his church and the honour of his name. Yet I shall not omit on all occasions which are offered to show myself prompt and ready to do all service and to assist those whom it pleases her to send here. And knowing the Sieur de Russell to be out of those most noted for virtue, piety and kindness, I console myself even in the incomparable loss of the Sieur de Sydney in that we have received this gentleman in his place, who can command me in nothing that I will not obey, and with whom I will not fail to keep up all correspondence and friendship. I thank you greatly for your offers in regard to my son, and am much honoured that you continue your goodwill towards me and mine. Having no other means of repaying you, I beg you to accept my very humble service, to which I am vowed for all the days of my life.Soubourg in Walcheren, 27 February, stilo novo, 1587. Holograph. Add. Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [Holland XIII. 33.]
Feb. 17/27. Bond by THOMAS WILKES.
Certifying that he owes to Everard van Lodensteyn, or the bearer of this, the sum of 8000 pounds of 40 great moneys of Flanders the pound, for a like sum lent him by the said Lodensteyn in ready money ; the which he promises to pay as soon as it shall be possible to him, and at the latest, in six weeks or within two months from now. Promising not to leave the country before satisfying the debt, and binding his own person and goods for the repayment.27 February, 1587. Copy, signed and endorsed by Wilkes. Fr. p. [Ibid. XIII. 34.]
I wrote to you to-day by your servant Fran[cis], since which time I have no answer from Blocke or Grype, but look for it to-morrow morning, when I will either bring or send it. This day a friend of mine has arrived from Holland, who reports "that Count Morris and the States have sounded their drums in Amsterdam and other towns," to call together all who are minded to serve them ; to whom they promise large entertainment. With them is the Grave of Hollock. God grant that her Majesty may prevent the raging of the devil, who never ceases all wicked practices to bring his purpose to effect.Flushing, 17 February. Add. p. [Ibid. XIII. 35.]
In answer to your letter received yesterday, I have sent to "Myddlebarrowe" and Camphire to seek both Blocke and Grype, from whom I hope to have answer to-day. This night Sir Roger Williams and the treasurer departed for England. By the sinister practices of the States against the government of her Majesty, it appears that their treacherous reports against the governors of the towns commanded by Englishmen are spread to withdraw the hearts of the commonalty from her, "who before were so weary of their government as they seemed no more willing to endure the same. It is now here reported that they with the aid of Grave Morris and the Grave of Hollock, seek as well by policy as [by] (fn. 6) force to retire wholly the government from [her]." (fn. 6) My lord g[overnor] (fn. 6) has now sent Captain Vere to Bergen op Zoom, into which garrison he has already taken a company of (fn. 7) men.17 February. Add. p. [Ibid. XIII. 36.]
Feb. 17. WILLIAM BORLAS, sergeant-major, to SIR JOHN CONWAY.
Pardon me for not answering your letter, as I was at 'Meddellborro,' to send victuals to Bergen, who are in as much need as you over there. I have sent you what cost a hundred pounds and trust it will serve you until Master Browne comes out of England, which I look for daily. I will do my best to procure you more if need be. "Good sir, comfort Captain Lettelltone, whom I hear is very melancholy, and tell him I was somewhat touched myself, for I was commanded by the burgomasters that I should not open the gates ... without calling the burgers in my company ; .... but nevertheless I do as I was wont to do. My lord governor saith that my lord of 'Bockhorste' will be here presently with money both for this town and also for yours ... I marvel that you suffer that Ranse to stay there ; send him away."Flushing, 17 February, 1586. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XIII. 37.]
Feb. 18/28. RINGOULT to WILKES.
Is very sorry to hear of his indisposition, but hopes that he will soon be convalescent. Assures him of his desire to serve him, etc.Utrecht, last of February, 1587. Underwritten, in invisible ink : Hoping that my previous advertisements have been acceptable, I now tell you what I have heard since ; being assured that you will treat it as quite confidential, the matter being very important. Yesterday there came to me a certain personage, a captain, and humble servitor of his Excellency, who informed me that a few days ago he was in the chamber of the Countess of Murs when she declared to a certain gentlemen of quality, and known to your honour, that there was a league between the Counts Maurice, her husband, Hollock and the States of Holland, whereby all aid was promised to her said husband if he would not let himself be subject to the English. And that they would have Count Maurice take the title the Prince of Orange, whichas is seenhe has already done. As to the Count Hollock, he had declared himself a mortal enemy to his Excellency, whether he returned hither or no. The same author has also told me that those of la Gouwe [qy. Goes] have published by sound of drum that it was lawful to transport to the enemy all sorts of merchandise and victuals, save only munitions of war ; a thing which will be the ruin of our cause, seeing that the enemy will thereby have the means to maintain a siege before our town and to hold the country with an army, over and above the extreme scarcity which will be caused here, beyond that brought about by the licences given in August last ; so that a tun of beer, then worth only 36 florins has now risen to sixty. The same personage was summoned by Count Hollock to receive a charge ; but excused himself by reason of a gun-shot wound received before Zutphen last summer, which obliged him to keep his chamber. Now, Monsieur, seeing that these things tend to the inevitable ruin of the country, and to an embroilment such as many expect, I can have but little hope of the recovery of my papers, which are at the Hague, in the power of the procurator-general, notwithstanding that his Excellency was pleased to grant me, in your presence, the restitution thereof ; and that I desire at least to have those which are here in a trunk, seized by the subescoutette of this town, much against the will of his Excellency as the Sieur Otteman can testify. I humbly pray you to oblige me with the certificate hereto annexed, and with a line to the burgomaster Deventer [i.e. Prouninck] to the like effect, in order that, should I be disappointed of those at the Hague, I may at least have those which are here. If you should think it fitting, I should like to present to the Council the request hereto annexed, in order to see what they will ordain ; letting it be put by the bearer in the hands of Chancellor Leoninus, unless you yourself would be pleased to be the bearer. Utrecht, last of February, 1587. Add. Endd. by Wilkes. 3 pp. [Holland XIII. 38.]
No leisure either to muster the companies or to answer at large her Majesty's instructions. Prays him to peruse the short answer enclosed, and to recommend to my lords of the Council the case of Captains Wingfeld and Randolph, whose debts to this town for victualling their companies before October last are the only occasion of difference between the townspeople and us ; but if not remedied may breed much inconvenience, and will never be paid by the States unless procured by her Majesty and their lordships. If these two companies were paid, and the town supplied with more munition and soldiers, we might live in good agreement and defend the town as its importance requires.Flushing, 18 February, 1586. Signed. Add. Endd. p. [Ibid. XIII. 39.]
Feb. 18. GILPIN to [? DAVISON].
Refers him to Sir Roger Williams, for the state of the country and suggested the following remedies. First, the Earl of Leicester should hasten his coming ; to answer all their allegations, stay their extraordinary courses, hazarding the country by their factions. And if his Excellency cannot come so speedily as occasions require, then some other in his stead ; for howbeit Sir John Norreys be very fit and able, yet there are jealousies against him. The common people continue [well affected ?] and some letter from the Majesty might do good, to cross the evil-affected. Also she should send over money for relief of her soldiers, who perish from want. The credit they or their officers have is small, the champagne country is spoiled and waste, and the towns where they lie will yield them no lendings. And what is worse, no places will receive them in garrison, seeing their want and misery, so that they cannot choose but [run] away or beg (as many do) or perish, to the great dishonour of the English nation. The garrisons in Flushing and the Brill are not so well in order as the charge of such places requires. The captains are brave but poor, and the soldiers bare. It were most necessary to have their numbers complete and in good order ; provided with armour, shot and powder, and so in apparel as the outward show, besides the parts inwardly, might present a man of valour and courage. Also Ostend and Sluys are to be cared for, and Bergen-op-Zoom not forgotten, with Utrecht, as the keys (?) and entrances of these parts by water and land. Having these sure, with Flushing and the Brill, the country may be by these means commanded ; as he and Mr. Wilkes, in conference together concerning the loss of Deventer, did examine and find. Mr. Villiers has divers times cast out like words. (fn. 8) [On the importance of the island of Walcheren.] Has written these particularities to the Earl of Leicester, so may now be the shorter ; earnestly and most humbly entreating his honour to further his cause with her Majesty ; for now that the General States decide all matters "though they continued the Council of State, yet would they not give them any grant to have the distributing of money, no, nor any receipt, so as none can get their wages, much less I, whom they were rather rid of than to see me continued. Insomuch as although I would willingly abide and do all the service I can, I shall be constrained to give over the charge and withdraw myself some other way. Do therefore once again and again ... beseech your honour, let me understand presently whereto I may trust and if my service may any other way stand in any stead, I will be willing to submit myself to your pleasure accordingly. I dare not presume to write to her Majesty, though at my last being in England, her Highness [obliterated]. I trust my writing to your honour will suffice."The Hague, 18 February. Endd. "18 February, 1586. From Mr. Gilpin. His advice for staying the trouble grown on the accident of Deventer." 1 pp. [Holland XIII. 40.]
This morning M. de Villiers gave me the enclosed letters, one in answer to your last, the other, he had prepared to send you before my coming. Here there continue speeches "that the Counts Maurice and Hollock do cause the drum to sound to levy men in their names ; and the young Count beginneth to take upon him the title of prince de Orange." There will grow sudden alterations if God do not raise the hearts of those in authority and able to prevent it. If 'Bergen up Soome' and Ostend were provided with relief we should be more out of doubt. If the enemy should have Bargen, the land of Tertole and Tregous would not rest long at their devotion who now have it. By my last I wrote that the Counts were minded to give the regiment [i.e. rule] of Zericksee to Count Philip de Nassau, which is very likely to take place and will be a bridle to us here and greatly hinder her Majesty's service. "This morning Villiers the preacher told me that my lord of Leicester had given absolute authority to Sir William Standley and Yorck to command the places they had in their custody, without acknowledging Counts Maurice, Hollock or The States or Sir Jehan Norris ; the which absoluteness hath in his opinion wrought this mischief that is fallen out." "Captain Erington is here, very far indebted by reason of the post he hath kept here, to the relief of many poor soldiers of our nation since the death of the late Sir Philip 'Sidne,' the which, if it be not considered of, will be a greater breaking to the old gentleman ; towards the relief whereof, may it please your honour to propound for him the daily entertainment which Sir Philip Sidne had, from the time of his death till such time as Sir William Russell was chosen for governor ; for that he hath lived here at great charges, and kept a table, to the relief of many. When soever he goeth hence there will be great want of him ; I nor many more do not look for the like in all respects to succeed his place." The garrisons here are much aggrieved with the merchants, who make the soldiers pay the exchange "after cent. per cent. at the year's end." They have raised it weekly very near, ever since they received your orders. "And if it continues, they shall not need to employ their moneys in wars, finding such sweetness in the exchange." You may think this pleasures her Majesty, but it is a great hindrance to the poor soldier. "How grievously his Excellency is spoken of here ... I am loth to write, but this it is to do well to an ungrateful people." Flushing, 20 February, 1586. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland XIII. 41.]


  • 1. A full translation given in Grimstone's General Hist. of the Netherlands, pp. 945-9.
  • 2. The text to this point printed by Motley, United Netherlands ii., 174.
  • 3. Printed at length in Cabala pt. ii., p. 4.
  • 4. The text to this point printed by Motley, United Netherlands ii., 132-3.
  • 5. There is no key to Wilkes' and Buckhurst's ciphers in the S.P.F. Cipher Books, but most of the names have been identified by comparison with other letters printed in Cabala II., or by the context.
  • 6. Damaged by damp.
  • 7. Thirty written over.
  • 8. This is apparently the meaning. The whole letter is so damaged by damp, that some passages are undecipherable.