Elizabeth: March 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: March 1587, 1-10', in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 21, Part 2, June 1586-March 1587, (London, 1927) pp. 385-401. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/foreign/vol21/no2/pp385-401 [accessed 20 April 2024]


March 1587, 1-10

"Ostend doth well, but we that are in it suffer some wants, wherein we have a special hope of supply through your good consideration." I trust our resolution to remain in due obedience will move a remembrance of our sufferance and help us to a relief in due time. The place has long suffered from want both of victuals and government. It is now very bare of victual and munition ; "there is not in the town but for ten or twelve days, hard and scant." Three weeks ago I took up all these buyers could deliver, which is owing, and we shall have no more without payment, and restitution for what we have had. There is no hope of relief from these countries, therefore I beseech you to take some course to aid us. This bearer, one of the captains of this garrison, can inform you of the state of all things. "He is a man of sound religion ; well regarded of the ministry ; a sufficient soldier ; ... hath good friends abroad and much love in this town. I have found him very obedient, willing and careful of the service. He hath given me good intelligence and assistance..... I do truly think he bears as true a heart towards her Majesty as if he were a true English man born. I humbly beseech your lordship further his requests in our supply and his speedy return. This place requires three or four hundred men to be sent from about London, to reinforce the companies. Cold, thin diet, want of clothes and hard watch has greatly weakened them. If you supply these men, some trained soldiers might be withdrawn to go into the field. We pray also for a weekly allowance of 20l. sterling to every company, "and trouble no victuallers." So the soldiers will be best content, not given to mutiny, and the town will be also stored of victual for three or four months aforehand. Now between the gain of the victualler and baker the soldier is made a beggar, apt to mutiny, to steal, to run away and to all disorder. This country is subject to much sickness. If a hundred soldiers fall sick, there doth not forty scape. It is impossible for a sickness or a hurt of danger to be healed with no diet but hard cheese. If they have one pound of bread and cheese that is sweet, they have six for it fusty and unwholesome. Good my lord, consider of it, so as there may be some weekly allowance of money made to help the weak, hurt and sickly to recover ; if it be but a 12d. a week for a man and the rest in provant, so we may have it with some more care, in due time, to content the soldier. The men ... are worthy of an account ; they are very sufficient and the place most of all for the service of her Majesty. "If Ostend were gone, you would have a hot passage to Flushing. If you have care of Ostend, you may soon and with small charge have Dunkirk, and enlarge the limits of Ostend to be worthy her Majesty yearly the charge of the garrison." Captain Suterman will tell you such news as there is here. "The country Estates have offered large pay by sound of the drum to all that will serve them. The soldiers, both horse and foot are in some disorder about the Hague in Holland, for want of money." "I put out a boat to the sea to have intercepted letters which I was advertised of, but I was prevented by a crafty messenger of Amiens in France, which cast over fifty packets and letters." What came to my hands I have sent to my lord of Leicester, Bergen, the Count Maurice and others.Ostend, 1 March, 1586. Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland XIII. 70.]
March 1. Commission from the Earl of Leicester to Sir John Conway to be captain of a company of 150 footmen. Dated 1 March, 1586. Signed and sealed. Countersigned, Rich. Lloyd. On dorso, note that it has been "entered and recorded in the office of musters," Nov. 30, 1587, stylo Angli. Signed, William Good. Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. XIII. 71.]
Having of late been given to understand of the strange alterations and disorders grown in those parts and thereby the imminent danger like to fall out to her forces there ; she wills and requires him with all speed to re-inforce the garrisons of Flushing and Briel, with such strength as, by means of the Earl of Leicester, he has already been directed to do ; using the same order in all the maritime towns of importance and such other places as lie open and nearest to the danger and practice of the enemy, which she believes he may best do by distributing into those places such part of her forces as lie now scattered abroad and very ill-provided for, "to the danger of themselves and foil of the country." And this is to be done in such sort as the States and all others may evidently see this action to proceed only from the danger she knows those places to be in through the practice of the enemy, and her desire to keep them in safety, both for their own and her indemnity. Requiring him also to "use better regard hereafter" than it seems he has done of late in discharging the companies of Sir Edmond Cary, Sir George Farmer and Michael Harcourt, placed in garrison by her cousin of Leicester ; which companies he is to be more careful of, and see them bestowed in such convenient places as may be best for her service. Wherein, and in all other his proceedings, he is "to lay aside all private respects or passion" and bend his mind wholly to the advancement of the service he has in hand.Greenwich, 3 March, 1586. Copy. Endd. p. [Ibid. XIII. 72.] On the inner side of the covering sheet is written twice in French : Declaration of what passed between some lords of her Majesty's Council and M. de Chasteauneuf, ambassador of the Most Christian King, upon the business of du Trapes.
Insists on the necessity of a governor in these distressed and discontented countries. The want of money breeds great discontentment both in soldiers and these country people, the one living in great want, the other "growing in jealousy" that her Majesty will proceed no further, and greatly lamenting the miseries they are like to fall into if she leave them. My coming over has given them some assurance of the contrary, but if there be not some speedy resolution out of England they will hardly be induced to believe otherwise. All kinds of victuals are grown very dear, for the States daily give licence for their transportation "under a colour into France ; whereby the enemy is victualled and all things grown cheaper with them than with us ; and the common people here cry out for want of a governor to redress it." I pray you to look into it and I will do what lieth in my government.Flushing, 4 March, 1586. Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XIII. 73.]
Since the treachery of Deventer, our nation here is grown into such contempt as they seek by all means to be rid of us, and do so much oppose my lord of Leicester, as if his return be not the speedier, or some other in his place, I fear me the government in these country people .... will grow very dangerous. His chief opponent of the Earl is the Count Hollock, whose authority is by all presumptions, upheld and favoured by Nassau and the States. The common people seem still to stand firm to her Majesty, but greatly lament the miseries they may fall into, should she leave them. My coming has somewhat assured them, but before this "it was a general speech that they should not accept of any governor in this place but of Nassau, and that he had written them letters to that effect." I cannot prove this, but do not think it unlikely. [Concerning the export of victuals, as to Burghley.]Flushing, 4 March, 1586. Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XIII. 74.]
Informing him that in consequence of the lack of money, munition and victuals, he has by means of the merchants of Middelburg furnished victuals for a month, amounting to a hundred pounds, which he doubts not his lordship will allow, and meanwhile take order to supply their wants. Upon Feb. 27, Count Maurice by sound of trumpet was proclaimed Governor-general of Holland, Zeeland and Frise, and Count Hollack his lieutenant ; "who have so openly opposed themselves against my lord of Leicester and our nation as they are now at the extremity of their hope of any further good from her Majesty. The States-General have given to the Count Zolms the regiment of Zeeland, to whom they have given directions to observe the state of Flushing, the better to be employed in that action, when time and occasion shall serve ; and are now advising of many cunning practices and devices to get the town of Bergues op Some out of our hands.... If they could attain the same, they would here make but small account of us."Flushing, 5 March, 1586. Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XIII. 75.]
March 5. Paper containing calculations by Burghley of the estimated charges of certain numbers of troops ; and entertainments of officials, officers, etc. Endd. by him "5 March, 1586. Memorial. Holland." 2 pp. [Ibid. XIII. 76.]
March 6. BURGHLEY to DE LOO.
I perceive by your letter to me that you desire to know whether I think you have reported to the Duke of Parma truly such things as I declaredbefore your first passage into the Low Countries this last winterI thought meet and right to be demanded and obtained from the King of Spain, upon any treaty that should be offered for a peace between him and her Majesty. For answer thereunto : "I have perused a certain writing of yours, dated the 26 of December, stilo novo, at Brussels ; being, as I understand, the copy of a writing exhibited by you to the Duke. Wherein, amongst other things, I perceive that for answer to a question moved to you by M. de Champagny, requiring to know what her Majesty would demand and what observance she would have, you said that you had no other but a discourse made to you many times by me, being the high Treasurer of England, whereby I should declare that her Majesty desireth not anything more than to see the Low Countries in tranquillity, with due obedience to the King of Spain ; and having seen the people of those countries brought into desperation by evil government of the King's ministers, being strangers, exercising great violences by force of strangers ; her Majesty perceiving that either the same people should be forced to take some strange Prince for their defence, or else, being conquered by the King's forces of strangers, the same might prove dangerous to her own estate, being so near neighboursshe hath been provoked to yield to these people some succour for their defence, refusing always to encroach any part of those countries to herself, but only to procure to them their ancient liberties, to live in good peace with her people, as by ancient treaties hath been betwixt her realm and those countries covenanted for mutual favours and traffic. And of this her mind, her Majesty hath by her message to the King, by her protestations published, given certain knowledge. And to this end, that her Majesty desired nothing more than that both for reduction of the people to the King's obedience, and to take away mistrust from herself, whereby she and her countries might live in good peace with the King and these countries, as heretofore hath been, she wished that all strange forces might be removed ; the people governed by their own nation, and that her Majesty did look certainly to be satisfied for her charges bestowed in the defence of those people, according to the accounts made betwixt the States of those countries and her. Beside these reasonable points, was contained that there should be some good order taken for restitution or recompense for all arrests made on both parts. Thus far I have remembered to you what I find contained in your writing, though you did enlarge the same with 'mo' words, and for answer to you, I do affirm that I did declare the same to you, and do again affirm the same, as things convenient to be granted for establishing of good peace. But I must require you to call to your remembrance that beside these things above recited, I did also express some other things tending to make the peace to be perpetual ; whereof some are of more moment than others ; but the principal was, whereof I find no mention, that some order must be taken how the people in those Low Countries that have been so christened and brought up or are so instructed in their form of religion as either they never did know any other, or that cannot without peril of damnation of their souls change their religion, might be by toleration provided for. For otherwise I then told [you] and so I do still think that there cannot be a general reduction of all the natural born subjects to their obedience to the King, which her Majesty, I am sure, doth earnestly desire ; whereby the obedience to the King may be universal ; and how this may be brought to pass I did remember to you ; the example of the Emperor Charles in Germany, and the accord also at Gant by a pacification there made with the King did twice confirm without offence, as is contained in his confirmation of his conscience. I did also remember unto you how needful it was that the King would give some order in Spain that the subjects of England, using trade of merchandize in Spain and Portugal might not be without some notorious action drawn by malice to the judgment of the Inquisition ; whereby great multitude of honest and quiet persons have been, without any cause given, imprisoned and famished and their ships and goods confiscate. And if such persons as may be named in the King's name by the Duke with authority sufficient to treat thereof, shall be disposed to use indifferency, there is no doubt but a good peace may be speedily made and may long continue. For surely I am persuaded that the minds of both princes are clear from all malice and well disposed to live in peace. And therefore there is nothing more right than that good ministers, endowed with honour, knowledge and conscience, might be authorised to set forward such a godly action as this is. By which there is hope that peace might follow in all Christendom. But I fear the sins of us that are the people under both these two great princes are so many in God's sight as without his great mercy, by our amendments, I shall not live to see such a happiness as this peace might bring. "As for any other matter of weight, I know not now to be remembered, for all other circumstances properly belonging to a perfect peace betwixt these two great princes, for themselves, their countries, their people, their confederates, are to be referred to former treaties that have been usually concluded betwixt the Queen's Majesty's progenitors and the King of Spain, either in respect of England or Burgundy, or for England and Spain which were at this time superfluous for me to recite particularly. In Burghley's handwriting, and endorsed by him" 7 (fn. 1) March, 1586. Copy of my letter to And. do Loo, notifying to him certain points which he had omitted in speech with the Duke of Parma, spec[ially] for religion. 5 pp. [Flanders I. 112.]
Italian translation, by de Loo, of the above ; dated at the Court, March 6, 1586, stilo vechio, the day of the month corrected and endorsed 'Copy from the English 6 March, 1586, stilo Ang.' (fn. 2) [Italian. 1 pp. [Ibid. I. 112a.]
March 6(?) WILKES to the [STATES GENERAL ?]
Your lordships having been pleased to order the cassation of Captains Farmer, Harcourt, Swan and Warde, (fn. 3) and reduced them [sic] into Capt. Cary (Carry's) company, now 300 strong, the cassed captains have applied to the Council of State, and particularly to myself ; praying to be treated as were those already cassed ; viz. : that they may have a month's wage for themselves and their officers ; and that their reduced companies may likewise receive their month's pay under the flag of Capt. Cary, which I think cannot fairly be refused ; for your lordships' idea of putting them at once into the said Company, at her Majesty's pay, without the knowledge and direction of his Excellency is quite without grounds, seeing that there is not an officer here on behalf of her Majesty who has power to do it. Meanwhile the poor men, deprived of means to live, are dying from hunger and misery. Her Majesty will be greatly displeased to see her subjects so inhumanely treated by you, from whom she has deserved so well ; and it seems that you only seek to rid yourselves of the whole nation, by the course taken every day in affairs here. I cannot acquit myself of my duty to her Majesty without signifying to you freely the just causes which she and her subjects have daily to complain of such proceedings ; again praying you to give speedy satisfaction to the cassed captains, and to provide Capt. Cary's company with some means to live, that they may be able to serve the country. Finally, gentlemen, being unable through sickness to leave my lodgings I have written to the Council of State to solicit your lordships for Ostend ; for which nothing whatever has been done ; so that the town remains destitute of everything needed for its preservation. I pray you to consider its importance, and not to permit it to be lost by negligence and lack of what the enemy is daily furnished with from here, considering the daily and certain advertisements from thence that if it be not shortly provided for, it will be impossible to hold it longer.6 March, 1587. Copy, written by Wilkes and endorsed "6 March, 1586. Minute to the States General," etc. Fr. 1 pp. [Holland XIII. 77.]
Also, copy in Wilkes' Letter Book ; but there stated to be to the Council of Holland. [S.P.F. Archives XCI., p. 65.]
Ordering him, on sight of this, to repair immediately with his company to Gorchum and there remain in garrison until otherwise directed by himself or the States of Holland. And desiring the magistrates of the said town to receive them and furnish them with lodgings.S. Gravenhage, 16 March, 1587. Signed by Maurice and by Milander. Endd. (in French) Copy of one of the patents, the others being to the same effect, except as to the name of the garrison. Dutch. p. [Holland XIII. 78.]
Concerning the designs of Count Maurice etc., the greater lack of food caused by its transportation, to the same effect as in Sir William Russell's letters of March 4 and 5, (pp. 386-8 above). Is glad to hear that his honour has recovered his health and is gone to court.Flushing, 6 March, 1586. Add. Endd. 1 p. Seal of arms. [Ibid. XIII. 79.]
Letters from Antwerp speak of great preparations by the Prince of Parma at Mechlin and Brussels for the siege of a town, which by all likelihood will be Bergen, Ostend or Sluys. Most think he will attempt Bergen first, "wherein there is so small store of munition for the defence as less cannot be. The Count of Hollock would have sent in certain Dutch companies, as it is thought to have mastered our nation, but they will receive none ; whereupon order hath been given by him in Holland that no victuals should go thither. This course of his of late is somewhat mitigated, but to small purpose. And for Sluys, if it be not supplied with present relief . . . it standeth upon 'phecklish' terms. Ostend is somewhat relieved, and will be better if that the Admiralty may be continued there. It will be a great bridling to the Admiralty of Zeeland, for before that, those of this Admiralty did the men of war no justice that brought in any prize, for that their officers were either 'a kind or frind' to the parties whose goods were taken ; and men of war spent more time in harbour, following of their suits in the Admiralty than at sea, to their undoing and hindrance of the service. By letters from Deventer they write that the traitor Standley groweth frantic ; a just punishment of God ; his men very poor and in misery. The other traitor, Yorck hath of late been seen in Antwerp and Brussels, little regarded, whose determination is to go into Spain or Naples, there to live upon his stipend, out of the stir of these wars ; fearing that which I hope to God he shall never escape. The Earl of Westmorland is of late sent by the Prince of Parma into France. I pray you to think upon some means for Sir Wm. Russell to have the regiment of Zeeland. It would be a furtherance to her Majesty's service and a strength both to Flushing and the Brill ; while, if a stranger have it, it will be the contrary, and breed many jealousies between us and them. "Sir Philip Sydney having broken the ice of the dislike these 'countes' [qy. countries] had of it, might now be occasion the easier to obtain the same for Sir William Russell, the which dislike was to no great purpose, and the dislikers rather certain Scots than this country people. Our governor hath had some advertisement of a practice against us ; but without that, he and every man under him looks earnestly to his charge. At least every other night he walks the round himself, and no man can take greater pains than he, but he grows melancholy by reason of the want of all kinds of instruments and munitions fit for a place of such importance. If the powder your honour sent to Sir Philip Sydney had not been here I cannot tell how we should have done. "Our governor has sent some victuals into the Ramekins, fearing some sudden change. If her Majesty do not take present resolution, it is like to fall out so." [Concerning Count Maurice and Hollock] "They of Utrecht have displaced such soldiers as the States had set in the Utrecht fear (sic), which is the place where all shipping does first arrive . . . and have put in English soldiers. That town and Rotterdam stand steadfast to her Majesty. Schenck hath of late taken certain shipping laden with victuals going to the enemy, sent by this people ; and the States have sent for him. He hath made answer to them that he hath nothing to do with them, nor will acknowledge none but her Majesty and my lord of Leicester . . . to whom he hath given his faith. He would be encouraged by some good speeches from her Majesty." Butter has risen to seven halfpence, sterling the pound, cheese is dearer by 8s. in the hundred [weight] than it was, and "by reason of the great quantity of victuals that hath gone forth, the price riseth daily."Flushing, 7 March, 1586. Postscript. Count Zolmo is come to take possession of the regiment of Zeeland, which cannot but breed great jealousy in us. On the 5th inst., many libels were found in the streets of Middelburg, "insensing the people to fall upon the States for the[ir] double dealings, which maketh them something amazed." Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Holland XIII. 80.]
March 7/17. BUY to WALSINGHAM.
You may be pleased to recall what we said this day respecting my departure. The more I think of it, the more sure I am that it must be as soon as possible. I have added something to what her Majesty is to write to the Princes of Germany, which I believe you will approve. I know that the Comte de Moeurs (Mors) will like it. I should have spoken of it to her Majesty but for her suspicion that I wanted money. I pray you to assure her that I demand nothing, and am neither avaricious or ambitious, but apt to perceive when I am suspected. I believe I have done my duty as a good servant, and shall not be easy until I have further proved my devotion to her service. If I remained here, I know not if all the letters I sent would be able to hold to their duty those who do not believe in the saints unless they work miracles. The first reason for my going at once is that, being there, I can do more than all the paper which could be sent. The second, this colonel of M. de 'Bairlemont,' who grows weary of remaining here doing nothing, and who I believe may do very good service. The third is Gronsbeck, with whom I am in treaty of other matters than merely picking straws (enfiler des perles). The fourth is that it is more than time that her Majesty's letters to the Princes of Germany were taken over, seeing that the levy is already made, and that they should have been sent a month ago. Also I ought to be present at the good 'Butrich's' funeral, and find out what benefit his changement d'air will bring. I think it will have a good effect. There will be delay before Duke Casimir will be brought to a resolution (I know him well) but in the end he will go sooner than if 'Butrich' were still with him, who made him move very cautiously. I shall go to London to-morrow. Pray urge her Majesty to give me audience that I may speak to her of all things and then be off. I should be glad if you would advise the Earl of Leicester to send Combes (Conbes) with me, whom I will dispatch back quickly to tell you what is to be hoped for. I so far forgot myself that I shall burn my books or will so act with the Conte de Meurs that he will go to the States to induce them to pacify all things. I hope to see you to-morrow evening. Thursday, (fn. 4) 17 March. Add. Endd. "17 March, 1586." Fr. 2 pp. [Holland XIII. 81.]
I am credibly informed that "our side hath won Battenborowe Castle and two sconces, the one by composition, the other by force. . . . The Count Hollock in his own person served very well ; so did his company of musketeers, of which he lost many, with few of our side. Captain Shawe and Captain Inge with the Treasurer's company bore the great brunt and first charge ; Colonel Norris being with them in his person unarmed served as forward as if Malvern Hills had been his defence ; was twice hurt in the push of the pike but driven to retire with his company so fast as they could run until they met with Captain Pryce. Then did Colonel Norris return and gave a new charge, wherein he had the execution of the enemy near an English mile, in which pursuit the disorders of our men in throwing away their arms dis-advantaged us much. In the companies of Colonel Norris, Morgan, Pryce, Huddelston, Borrowes, Blount, Vavisor, Inge and Shawe were wilfully lost 599 arms. Of these companies, men slain and taken 190 ; hurt, 33. Of the enemy's side, slain 500 and odd ; whereof 16 captains and leaders ; one Maestro de la Campo called Don John de Savylla, colonel of Pedro de Sassi's regiment. But most sure it is that since these country wars first began, they never lost in one conflict so many brave and sufficient soldiers, all right Spaniards, at one time. "We are bound to thank God for it. It was a success and victory only given by him, above man's imagination."Utrecht, 8 March, 1586. Add. Endd. "The service at Gronal." 1 p. [Holland XIII. 82.]
By the distribution made for the English cavalry when you were last here, it seems they were not granted such means to live as reason and necessity demand. For I am informed by some sent expressly to their quarters that there is no food for the horses, and that the small number of cavalry there is already dying of hunger. Also that the enemy is going into the field in those parts where, finding none to make head against him, it is to be feared that he will possess himself, one after the other, of the towns so poorly furnished, and thus that her Majesty's horse (which has cost so much to set up) will be lost. And as it is the duty of her Majesty's ministers here not to allow the said cavalry, her subjects, to be in danger of ruin for want of means, I earnestly pray your Lordship to make proof of the good-will you have always appeared to bear to her by not refusing (according to the letters now addressed to you by the Council of State) to give the said cavalry admission and accommodation in the towns of your government mentioned in the said letters ; they having now had money furnished to them to support them in the places where they shall be. And although there are some who believe that your lordship is not well-disposed towards her Majesty and her nation, and do not wish these companies to come into your government ; yet seeing that her Majesty counts you as one of her good friends (as she has lately shown you by her letters) and that his Excellency at his departure showed you honour and favour, I cannot and will not believe that you will in any way fail to show what you have often protested to me ; praying your lordship not to take in ill part my boldness in writing so frankly to you, and to think that in this, we are of the same nature as you German gentlemen, and say openly all that is in our heart. And what favour you may show to the said cavalry and to our nation I shall not fail to report to her Majesty and his Excellency. The Hague, 8 March, 1587. Copy. Fr. l pp. [S.P. For. Archives XCI., p. 66.]
March 8/18. RINGAULT to WILKES.
Congratulating him on his recovery, and reporting that there is at Utrecht much discourse of Deventer, the whole town being full of it. His Excellency's return is greatly desired.Utrecht, 18 March, 1587, stilo novo.
[The above is only a cloak for the following, written in invisible ink. The first line is mostly illegible, but imports that he had seen or heard from some captain] who was at Madame Villiers' house when she related openly at table that Count Hollock had promised her to redeem her husband, whatever it might cost, as soon as he was put to ransom, even if he had to pledge his plate to do it. Upon which they drank to his health and speedy return. I have not since seen the said captain but intend to send for him to-day. Meanwhile, I have heard that Dr. France, a deputy to the States of Holland from those of Enchuysen (pretty well known for his extraordinary and rude behaviour) has held very extravagant discourse in good company ; viz : that his Excellency had very greatly wasted the substance of the country ; while said country was very happy that the time of his government had expired (as if this had been for a year only, like their Council of State) ; for if he had returned, he would have caused its ruin, having, during the time he has been here, consumed more then forty-six tonneaux of gold (which is 4,600,000 florins), even alleging by way of corroboration of what he said that his Excellency had charged the States with the gold chain given to Colonel Schenk on behalf of her Majesty. That the Queen was a virtuous princess, who would do very great good to the country if only she would be pleased to send her treasure hither, instead of her English, who could be very well done without ; and that she might safely do it, since she held such good keys in her hands (meaning Flushing and the Brill) quite sufficient however ; that they have tried to take them away by cunning. We are assured that at the Hague many healths have been drunk to the new form of government lately established (or rather plot). Two deputies of the States General are expected here, to treat with those of this town ; whereof one will be Rorda, a Frise, and very factious against his Excellency. The lord of Hoghesacsen is to have charge of ten companies of foot, and to be the lieutenant of the Comte de Moeurs. If this be so, and his Excellency do not hasten his coming I foresee that this town will be in great confusion and danger and that there are heavy perplexities and troubles before us, increasing more and more according as his return is delayed. For all which, however, I think there is still a sure and firm remedy, and, if it pleased God that I might have the comfort of speaking with you for three quarters of an hour, I am sure you would judge of it as I do, and his Excellency also. I have talked to a certain personage come from Brabant, who says that the enemy is making every preparation to besiege Berghes or Huesden, the letter being, he thinks, the more likely. He says also that so much butter, cheese and all other provisions come daily into Antwerp that it is like another world. He does not seem to know what to say of the Lieutenant of Berghes. There were very large and frequent assemblies in Count Hollock's house some time ago, where, Paul Buys, Barnevelt, Brassere and others were present. Some good and zealous patriots, desirous to know what was being discussed, have tried every means to get to the bottom of it, even sending to try and discover it by way of the kitchen, but have been able to discover nothing (so secret has all been kept), save that amongst those of the said kitchen it was said to this effect:N'est ce pas bien maintenant Anglis? Which, although futile enough, I thought it my duty to add. I will send all I can about my own affairs to Monsieur Deventer in virtue of your recommendation ; but my papers are now in the custody of the States of Holland, so I do not know what to say, since they play the master. But I greatly desire to have some allowance, until the coming of his Excellency. Add. Endd. "Ringault. Mademoiselle de Villiers. Docteur Frantz etc." Fr. 2 pp. [Holland XIII. 83.]
Mar. 8,9. Three papers of memoranda and calculations by Burghley and and endorsed by him.
1. "8 Martii, 1586. Memorial for money, x. Mart." 2 pp.
2. "9 Martii, 1586. Account for the maintenance of the army in the Low Countries." 1 pp.
3. "9 Martii, 1586. Holland accounts." 1 p.
[Ibid. XIII. 84, 85, 86.]
March 9. Paper endorsed by Burghley "9 March, 1586. A discourse to And. de Loo upon his negociation with the Prince of Parma. "Whereas Andreas de Loo hath lately brought letters from the Duke of Parma to her Majesty, and some others also from M. de Champigny to Sir James Crofts the Controller, with some messages by word of mouth (as he saith) from the Duke to her Majesty :Upon consideration of these letters, her Majesty hath cause to see less assurance of sincerity at this time than before, to proceed to make a peace, as was pretended. For where heretofore her Majesty was persuaded that as the Duke had a very earnest good will to treat upon a peace, so he had also a full authority and power from the King Catholic to conclude the same, and that, upon knowledge had from her Majesty of her disposition to like thereof, he would send a sufficient person to her Majesty to enter into the action. Of which three several things by the Duke's letters only as [? one] appeareth to be answered, which is a signification of his goodwill towards the cause. But for the second, which should be to confirm that which Andreas de Loo reported from his own mouth to her Majesty, that he had sufficient power ; by the letter now sent, that cannot be directly and in plain terms gathered, but rather left in terms doubtful. But for the third, which certainly her Majesty looked for as matter promised conditionally upon her mind declared, which was performed, that one should come authorised from the Duke to her Majesty, this is neither performed, nor anything expressed, either in the Duke's letters or Champigny's, to show cause of the non performance thereof, but new motions and demands made in the Duke's letters, tending to spend time by writings and messages, about things most meet to be treated upon and concluded by persons authorised from both the princes, as always hath been in like cases used, and in these cases at this time is most requisite." And whereas these causes should be treated by authorised ministers, the Duke presses to have answer from the Queen herself, before any conference of commissioners, and when she hears nothing of the King's mind but that she gathers from the Duke. Nevertheless, as de Loo pretends that he could satisfy her of these doubts, and says that he is fully assured that the Duke "persevereth in most hearty goodwill to perfect this action," and that he has full authority to conclude it, as is shown by Champigny's letters in express words, who told de Loo that the Duke only forbore to write in plain terms "for modesty and reverence to the King." And for the other point most misliked that he has sent no such person as was promised, de Loo says that whereas at his last going from hence, "he was instructed to say to the Duke that as touching divers conditions by him before remembered to the Duke which was thought would be demanded and looked for by her Majesty, whereof he had a particular recital as so informed upon former speeches betwixt him and the Lord Treasurer, her Majesty did indeed mean to persist thereupon as very reasonable and just, not doubting but upon the treaty the same would be found reasonable to be granted, and so might also some other things appear . . . whereof Andrea de Loo had (as it seemeth) by his report made no mention, though he had as much cause given him by the Lord Treasurer's speeches . . . as for the others remembered. Now upon this addition that there might be some other matters meet to be treated upon, he saith that the Duke by these words did imagine that her Majesty meant thereby have the King yield to grant free exercise of religion in his Low Countries for his subjects, which the Duke saith he knoweth will never be obtained of the King. And therefore if her Majesty should precisely stand upon that point in such a general manner, it were in vain to begin any treaty ; and therefore du Champigny told du Loo that this new doubt was the cause of the Duke's writing to be certified from her Majesty particularly of all her demands ; and therefore also did forbear to send any until he might be better resolved of this doubt. And though this allegation of du Loo have no more credit than his own asseveration, yet her Majesty continuing her mind to hear any reasonable motions of peace, is content to admit this allegation to be true. And for answer would that the Duke were duly advertised that when du Loo remembered to the Duke divers particular conditions on the Queen's Majesty's part to be demanded, he made that recital of his own discretion and not so prescribed, although it be true that in conferences with the Lord Treasurer he had heard the same, and so her Majesty misliked not that he had remembered such conditions ; but in very truth he cannot deny but there were also remembered to him some other matters by the Lord Treasurer, convenient to be demanded, though many of them were not of such moment as that only now imagined by the Duke, which is to have same proviso made for the point of religion ; whereof the Lord Treasurer expressly made mention, though du Loo, as it seemeth doubting it not to be pleasing to the Duke, overpassed the same. And besides the mention made hereof in plain words to du Loo, he added some reasons as followeth : First that the example of the King's father . . . might serve for the King, as well for his honour as his conscience ; and so also doth it appear in the King's own grants made sundry times in the year 1576, by which he confirmed the Pacification of Gaunt without offence of his conscience, for so is it contained in his grants, and so was also the same his grants and confirmations published and received and obeyed by his subjects, whom the same did concern. "And besides these examples passed, the Lord Treasurer, in reasoning hereupon with du Loo, added some reasons of more importance now to be considered in this time than at any time heretofore. First, though the King Catholic hath always been of mind to have no other religion used than the Roman, yet as the case is in the Low Countries at this time, considering the long continuance of so great a multitude of people, that have been born and brought up in no other religion than that which they profess, and that being therein so settled, they cannot without damnation of their souls until they may otherwise by instruction be persuaded, change the same. And seeing they have come hereto by toleration, and were never otherwise instructed, it should be an act of impiety by force to make men both against their conscience and knowledge, for any worldly respects to relinquish their faith. And therefore, howsoever the King's own desire and intent be to have no subjects of contrary opinion in religion to himself, yet where so great and general necessity shall manifestly appear, to admit some toleration, whereby the King may have an universal obedience without exception of any, and so have his countries return by God's favour and peace to their wonted wealth [i.e. prosperity] it were convenient to have some regard thereof as was by the Pacification of Gaunt, when there was not so great or so universal a cause as now there is. And whereas du Loo maketh report of an objection made to him upon their matter of religion, which is that the Queen's Majesty doth not permit any other religion than her own in her realms, but doth punish any of her subjects for the contrary ; and therefore her Majesty ought to allow the same course in the King of Spain ; which argument hath a good appearance to be allowed until it be answered with the truth and just cause of the differences betwixt the King Catholic for his Low Countries and her Majesty for her countries. For on her Majesty's part it may be truly maintained that she never did permit, privately or publicly, any of her subjects for these twenty-nine years to use any exercise of religion contrary to that which is allowed by public authority ; so as there is no colour for any of her subjects to require toleration in respect of former permission ; whereas contrariwise the experience is seen in the King's Low Countries, what multitudes there are born and bred up only with the knowledge of the religion they profess. And for that also it may be that the Duke may hear and believe such false reports as are scandalously dispersed abroad of great cruelties showed in England upon men for professing of religion, it may be avowed for truth that her Majesty did never allow that any person should be examined of his conscience and punished for the same. But when any person, being of a contrary religion, hath not been contented to retain the same to himself, but hath sought not only to move a multitude to break the laws upon colour of religion, but also manifestly to withdraw them from their obedience to her Majesty, to renounce their allegiance, in such cases divers have been discovered, apprehended and convicted of such capital crimes committed and for the same have been according to the laws of the realm punished ; and yet at their deaths they would have it understood that they died for religion ; where they were not accused nor any process made against them for any point of religion, but only for the capital crimes of treason ; as most manifestly appeareth by all the acts, processes and judgments remaining in authentic and judicial form. And yet it is seen how falsely, how slanderously and maliciously the contrary is published by books in many parts beyond the seas ; to which also the authors thereof procure credit to be given in princes' courts and other places for want of the true information of the contrary. But to resort to such things, as it seemeth, that du Loo, in a writing exhibited to the Duke of Parma, did declare that he had cause to think would be demanded on her Majesty's part in this treaty, by reason of his former conference with the Lord Treasurer, of which particular things, as the said Andrea de Loo, saith he found no misliking in the Duke, but yet he had no other credit to deliver them to the Duke but as his own report of the mouth of the said Lord Treasurer ; and therefore to move further credit thereto, the Lord Treasurer hath affirmed the same things in a writing to the said Andrea du Loo, signed with his own hand, which she said Andrea du Loo hath required, that he may show to the Duke of Parma, and so it was to him also granted." In the handwriting of Burghley's clerk. Endd. by Burghley "9 March, 1586. A discourse to And. de Loo upon his negotiation with the Prince of Parma." 4 pp. [Flanders I. 113.]
In answer to his letter of Feb. 22, concerning the giving of money to M. de Grunevelt for the garrison of Sluys, states that last month, 17,000 florins was paid to that garrison so that until the next pay, no more can be given. They only appear to want money, having a strong magazine and sufficient provision of munition. The States General (those of the Council of State being but ciphers) have ordered three companies to be drawn out of the town, supposing the rest to be sufficient to defend it. Concerning the arbitrary action of the States in cassing the English companies in their pay ; also concerning the movements of the enemy, who it is believed will find it no hard matter to take everything, even up to the gates of Utrecht ; seeing that the English can put no force in the field against him, and have even been obliged to cass some of their companies because no towns would admit them into garrison since the treason of Deventer, so that at this time most of the English horse "are eating upon the villages between Holland and Utrecht."The Hague, 10 March, 1586. (fn. 5) Copy, 1 pp. [S.P.F. Archives XCI., p. 68]
March 10. A LETTER from the ENGLISH COURT.
I can write nothing certain touching his Excellency's return. They, at least, give him no great desire of cause to go, the States (as it is said) having shown much ingratitude to him in many ways ; and especially by accusing him of having carried great sums of money out of the country ; which those who say it know to be very false, seeing that the 200,000 florins per month of contributions had been entirely employed in the charges of the war and other needs of the country before his departure, au veu et sceu, and by ordinances passed in the Council of State and from the Treasury. And as to his entertainment, he has not received nearly the whole of it, and declares that he has spent of his own revenues 35,000l. sterling. When he left Flushing for England, he had not more than 3000 florins in his purse, as his servants and other honest men can testify. Besides many others causes of discontent which they have given him, as likewise to her Majesty and the whole nation, which for some time past they have treated very shamefully, both by words and deeds, as we are told by all who come from thence. Notwithstanding this, his Excellency has always been an advocate with her Majesty for the advancement of their affairs, and of all the English lords, he alone, by great care and diligence has sought the good of that country, as the deputies now about to return thither can more particularly inform you. And already the English parliament had offered to her Majesty to furnish and entertain at their own expence 20,000 men, besides the 6000 already in her Majesty's pay ; thereupon she had intended to send back his Excellency at once, according to the urgent entreaties of the deputies, but fate overthrew this good design by means of a letter from the States of Holland to his Excellency, full of reproaches and held by her Majesty to be very abusive and ungrateful, she knowing how, for the service of God, herself and your country, he had left his pleasures, greatness and comforts in England to hazard his life and waste his estate. Seeing whichbesides the innumerable reports of strange disturbances lately happened, and the suspicion aroused against the English there, causing their daily illtreatment and even at one time threats of cutting them to piecesher Majesty has suspended this resolution of parliament, and is sending my lord Buckhurst, of whom she makes great account, with full instructions to let the States understand that it is not fitting that they should scorn a Princess who has deserved so well of all the afflicted states and princes of Christendom who have had recourse to her ; and above all of your country, whose defence she had undertaken from her great piety and generous affection, when all other princes had refused to intermeddle therein. He is also to expostulate with them for the small respect they have shown to her lieutenant, whom at first they desired to have as governor and captain-general of all the United Provinces, and who still continues his goodwill towards that poor afflicted people, desiring to aid them in spite of the ingratitude of some ten or twelve persons who, without cause, bear him ill-will. And if her Majesty receives reasonable satisfaction from the States, she will never abandon them, but it is not just that the good should suffer for the faults of the bad, and that the State should be undone by the Estates. May God open their eyes to see into what ruin they will plunge that poor people by the displeasure which they give to her Majesty and to his Excellency. Unsigned and undated. Endd. "10 March, 1586. Copy of a letter cast abroad in excuse of his Excellency." Fr. 2 pp. [Holland XIII. 87.]


  • 1. This is evidently a mistake. See allusion to the letter in the Queen's "Articles," p. 436 below.
  • 2. This Italian version is the same as that taken from a copy in the Archives of Simancas and printed by Piot : Correspondance du Card. de Granvelle, Vol. XII., pp. 398-40. The date in old style has misled Motley (United Netherlands, Vol. I., p. 468), and the mistake has thrown his account of these events into confusion.
  • 3. Capts. Harcourt and Ward had been at Deventer and Capts. Swan and Farmer at Veluwe fort. Capt. Cary was also at Deventer and refused to accept the surrender.
  • 4. It should be Tuesday, by new style. The reference to Beuterich, who died early in February, favours the earlier date, in spite of the year being given in old style.
  • 5. Printed at length in Cabala ii, p. 6.