Elizabeth: March 1587, 21-25

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, 21-25', in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 21, Part 2, June 1586-March 1587, (London, 1927) pp. 417-422. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/foreign/vol21/no2/pp417-422 [accessed 20 April 2024]


March 1587, 21-25

You were so busy yesterday that I was loth to trouble you, and so write to say "how fit an occasion is offered (by taking a Spanish officer of great esteem (fn. 1) ) for the enlarging of M. de Telignie." The sooner the soldiers are dealt with the better. For my own right, I disclaim all to do him favour. It may please you to send my cousin Vere, joined with some gentleman, to deal in the matter with expedition. I send you the news from Bergen, though better known perhaps to you than to me. "You may perceive some glances of Morgan's government, who insulteth on me much, offering to send out of the town my servant Buck's company and to imprison my steward, and not therewith contented, affirmeth (with wounds and blood) that he is Governor, and that he would not else meddle with it. But how it standeth with martial proceedings to have two governors of one town I know not. For myself, I was placed there by my lord of Leicester, resigned to me by the singular love of your late honourable son-in-law, authorized under his hand and seal, well allowed of from her Majesty, as I understood from you, and till this time never orderly cast or degraded ; till Mr. Morgan, finding his afternoon's time, knowing the States' humours and reports, offereth this wrong ; not in words only but under his hand, scraping out whatsoever might not fit his glorious humour, as you may see by the passport which I send you.... It hath been my fortune to command such as far exceed him in parentage, true virtue, moderation and judgment, whom I may thus far commend lawfully without taking Morgan's due from him.... "I am sorry to trouble you so far, but I had rather use orderly means than violent courses..." I pray you send me Morgan's passport back again, as I mean to attend my lord of Leicester with it.My house in Barbican, 21 March, 1586. Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XIII. 113.]
March 22./April 1. The Magistrates of Hamburg to the Count of Holland. Acknowledge his letter of 11th March concerning release of Captain Lodolphus Joannis who was set at liberty on sufficient caution, because of an action for depredation against him, in February last.Hamburg, 1 April, 1587. Latin. 1 pp. [S.P. For. Archives XC., p. 207.]
According to the contents of your last letter, I have done what I could to bring into this garrison Captains Udall and Wilson, hoping that it would be strengthened by their companies ; but the 17th of this present, General Norris sent hither the companies of Captain Bannister and Thomas Maria 'Wynkfeeld' from Bergen. They came in without offence to the burghers, who only say they are not able to lodge them, "except we should do it by force, which is not thought good," for the common sort are well affected towards us. I pray you to deal with my lords of that Council, that some order may be taken for their lodging, "for my lord governor hath given his word to see it paid." Also, that the merchants may have warrant to pay them twenty pounds a week as they do the other companies here, otherwise they were better out of the town. Things in Holland are much qualified, for the common people "stand not with them" as they thought they would ; and if his Excellency come over, things will alter. The States of Holland sent the Count of "Salmes," a kinsman of Count Hollock's to be governor of this island and Middelburg, and Colonel of the Zeeland regiment, but the States of Zeeland have sent him back again. The Prince of Parma is preparing to go to the field, but where he will make head is not known. It is mistrusted it will be for Bergen (which annoys him sorely), and this is much feared, for it is clean without victuals and munitions, and the States refuse to send any unless it takes in such garrison as they order, which would be a very dangerous thing to do, for they would then thrust us out. They have attempted to put in both horse and foot, but these were sent back by Colonel Morgan. Mr. Browne should be sent over, who has the victualling of it and Ostend, for they are in great want, "who are now troubled here with some ships that the fly boats of this town hath taken of Englishmen coming from Dunkirk. Some of them hath my lord Admiral's passport and some my lords of the Council's. The common people do much murmur at it."Flushing, 22 March, 1586. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Holland XIII. 114.]
I presume to impart something touching the delivering over the town of Deventer to your honour, as my only support. "It was mine evil hap, eight days before the same, to be taken prisoner, serving on horseback under his Excellency's troop, where eight of Mr. Dormer's company was killed ; two most grievously wounded, myself most wonderfully scaped with a little shot in the face, with loss of my two horses and 300 dollars ransom ; carried to 'Sutfild' [Zutphen], where I was most honourably used of Taxis, the governor, who still said there was a convoy to be brought into Sutfeld, the which being done, I should have a good answer. The next news I had, Deventer was in, with not more than some five or six hundred horse and foot ; the which did not a little daunt us. Within four days after, Taxis sent for me to Deventer, where Stanley had persuaded him to stay me, with [offers of] great advancement of preferment. In this sort : that the King of Spain had made ready very many ships for 'Eyreland' ; Stanley to be the general thereof ; myself, for that he knew me a sea man, I should make mine own preferment. To the which I answered, I would rather serve my prince in loyalty a beggar than to be known and reported a rich traitor with breach of conscience. Conscience, said he, that is the principal of mine enlargement, for before (said he) have I served the devil, and now serve I God ; with divers other traitorous allegations for his most vile act. (fn. 2) Desires to serve her Majesty either by sea or land.Middelburg, March 22. Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XIII. 115.]
I have received directions from my lord of Leicester for the filling of certain towns with garrisons at her Majesty's pay and exchanging such companies as are at the States' pay ; but I receive no direction where I shall have the men ... Out of Flushing and the Brill there is not in the whole country 3000 footmen at her Majesty's pay, and as for the horse, they are utterly ruined. His lordship's company at their entering into this town were not thirty men armed. Amongst all the other companies, (except Sir William Pelham's, which Mr. Parker hath brought into some good state) scarce were to be found one hundred men and horse able to be employed. I know not how the wars can be made on this fashion without either men or money, and where his lordship wrote the treasurer should come within six days, it is now thirty days since and yet we hear no word of him. The whole companies are near six months unpaid, and mine eight. The enemy is on foot in every quarter ; he besiegeth Roerort, a place taken by Schenck upon the Rhine, and of very great importance. It is like to be lost, because we have no men, and the discontent of the country is such as those few we have in these parts we dare not draw out, lest they should not be suffered to come in again. If any place be lost, I know my lord will deliver it largely out to my discredit,...yet the truth in these apparent matters will discover itself. If his lordship will remember that in less than a year that he was in these parts there was spent of her Majesty's money 140,000 pounds ; and now in six months after, sent over but 5000 pounds, he will not find strange if little service be done." As I do not think he will read my letters with patience, I pray you, acquaint him with the contents of this. And as I cannot possibly do her Majesty any service when I have to receive my directions from one who will be glad when any thing succeeds to my disgrace, I humbly pray to be called away ; and some other sent, "who shall better please my lord of Leicester." The factions in these parts continue, and yet by entertaining this province, North Holland, Dordrecht and Gorcum, which yet remains at her Majesty's devotion, they take no great effect ; but if no better provision is made for the war, we shall shortly lose our credit in these places also. "I wrote in my last to her Majesty of a conspiracy that one Bouser certified from Deventer to be in hand in England" ; but as I have since had two letters which give no particulars of it, "it may be doubted it was but his invention ; neither does he proceed about the recovery of the town in such sort as I have any great hope of it."Utrecht, 25 March, 1587. Dorso. Notes of contents of a letter, but not this one. Holograph. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Holland XIII. 116.]
I no sooner arrived in these countries than I found myself embarked in a sea of confusion. The common people full of discontent to see so little done ; "the Estates so distasted with the government of his Excellency, having set their contributions on the tenter-hooks for the last year's expences, so that they are now drawn dry ; the Court Maurice and Count Hohenlo, with others of the German faction, banding and opposing themselves apparently by opprobious words, deeds and printed placarts against his authority ; General Norreys so confused with this manifest fear of revolts, the slenderness of his commission to redress these difficulties ... and being so far distant from the head of his direction, also the weakness of her Majesty's forces, his reputation so impugned by so great an adversary at home, the soldiers subject to all miseries and mutinies for want of payment, being now six months behindhand, so that I dare assure to your honour he desireth nothing more than his revocation, and yet these quarters had been Spanish if by his singular providence and extreme care it had not been prevented." I am much perplexed by these general complaints, and know not how to write without some show of partialitythese dissensions and factions tending to the ruin of so great a cause and overthrow of so high an enterprise except by proceeding directly by particularities to the truth lest such things might be smothered from the knowledge of those to whom it doth appertain. I therefore send you a minute of the Estates' letter to his Excellency, stating their griefs and declaring their liking of their last year's proceedings ; also a list of the forces, that you may see how greatly they are weakened and "how unable to be drawn to any service, seeing we are scant able to hold the suspected towns subject to revolts." "Also the Count Maurice in North Holland, and Count Hohenlo at Gorkum and other places adjoining at this present persist in their former faction, practising against his Excellency, howsoever it is given out that they are ashamed of their doings ; but they draw divers still to their appetite and devotion." I also send copies of Stanley's letters to Norreys, showing how unjustly Sir John Norreys is charged "that in respect of his grudge against him, he played that traiterous part" ; also to Lepinne, that you may perceive how obstinately he persists in his treason. "He beareth in his ensign the 'Bourgognion' cross, a crucifix and this word in Spanish : pro deo et pro patria. His reward is 3000 crowns in ready money and 1500 pistolets pension in Naples. Rowland Yorke is gone into Spain. They both publicly read his Excellency's passport to serve at their pleasure, and by it justify their doings, as is reported by Mr. Lassels and others who lately came from thence. "Roeroerd, Schenk's town, hath the cannon brought before it and himself four days past went from hence towards it. The enemy began to mine, but by countermining all was frustrated. The soldiers within are of good courage, and the whole number of them that besiege it is not above 1700, so that if we stood in good terms here, and had not our forces so broken, there might be some good done."Utrecht, 25 March, 1587. Endd. by Burghley's clerk (but written to "your honour.") 2 pp. [Holland XIII. 117.]
If your Excellency cannot yet return, and Lord Buckhurst must come before you (which, it seems to me will be dangerous and of small effect) you should write to those of Zeeland, Dordrecht, Gorcum, Utrecht, Amsterdam, Leyden, Harlem Horne, Enchuysen, Medeneblick as well as Gueldres and Friesland, that they may rest assured of your return. Otherwise, the people would lose heart, fearing such delay might end, as now our adversaries proclaim, in a refusal to return. Those of Gorcum boldly refuse Count Philip, although Count Hohenlo has sworn to lose his head if he cannot bring in his cousin. Those of Horne have turned out the councillors Bruning and Malson ; as those of Enchuysen have done the company which came in there. Senoy remains faithful. The Zeelanders (as I hear) want their deputies back from the States General, to show their disapproval of the changes made to the prejudice of your authority. Your return cannot be delayed without evident peril. If you love your servants, your honour and the church of God, your speedy return will save the faithful, answer all slanders, give satisfaction for all injuries and restore the church to honour. May your generosity now show itself like gold in the fire.Utrecht, 25 March, 1587. Add. Endd. Italian. 1 p. [Ibid. XIII. 118.]
March 25./April 4. PAUL ANRAET to WALSINGHAM.
Asks his help with her Majesty for a reply to letters delivered about eight months ago, at the earnest request of the Countess of Arenberch to her Majesty, the Earl of Leicester and his honour. He and Johan Gilles have put the Countess in good hopes of receiving one.Antwerp, 4 April, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Flanders I. 116.]


  • 1. Juan de Castilla.
  • 2. Motley gives an account of the interview with Taxis (in oratio recta) but gives the captain's name as Henchman, and makes other mistakes, substituting "brave man" for "sea man" ; beginning Stanley's speech with "Continue so" instead of "Conscience" ; stating that "Henchman" was still in captivity, etc. United Netherlands, ii., 165.