Elizabeth: March 1587, 26-31

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, 26-31', in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 21, Part 2, June 1586-March 1587, (London, 1927) pp. 422-438. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/foreign/vol21/no2/pp422-438 [accessed 20 April 2024]


March 1587, 26-31

I arrived at Flushing on March 24, at one o'clock after midnight, having been three days on the seas, miserably sick, and in great danger of drowning, even within a mile of Flushing, as the ship stuck upon a bar of sand, and was only recovered by great labour of the mariners, and by the flood, which happily chanced for our preservation. Sir William Russell's advertisement of the present state of things was thus :
That Count Maurice, by virtue of his new authority had solicited divers towns to receive new governors, and to give their oath and obedience to him ; but that as yet he had prevailed in few. That he had sent Count Solms to Middelborowe, to remain as governor of the regiment of Zeeland, heretofore granted to Sir Philip Sydney, and sithence his death not yet disposed to any ; but that as yet they had not received him, but stood doubtful what to do therein. "That he had solicited M. Sonoy (Sonhay), governor of North Holland, and the Admiral of Ziriksen to give their oath to him, and to yield their countries and themselves to be under his commandment. And that they both had answered that by their oath they were already bound to her Majesty and to the authority of the Earl of Leicester, her lieutenant, and their governor." That Flushing remains very firm to her Majesty. That most of the better sort mislike this new alteration, and wholly rely upon her. Thereupon, I sent for the principal persons of Flushing to whom I signified her Majesty's gracious acceptance of their fidelity and prayed them to continue therein. And sending also for those of Middelburg, I exhorted them to be well advised before they accepted Count Solms, lest by such an injury to her Majesty and dishonour to the Earl of Leicester they might bring great inconveniences upon themselves. They promised to stay all proceedings till I had conferred with the General States. I wrote letters to M. Sonoy and the Admiral, thanking them on her Majesty's behalf for their fidelity, praying them to persist therein, and assuring them of her favour. At Middelborow, Ste. Aldegonde came to me, offering service to her Majesty ; "with whom I had long discourse, and received from him sundry advices and advertisements which I hope shall avail this cause, for I am moved to think that he dealt faithfully with me ... nevertheless I mean to trust the effect and not his words, and so I hope he shall not much deceive me. His opinion is that the Earl of Leicester's absence hath chiefly caused this change, ... and that upon his arrival here all these clouds will prove but a summer shower." He considers Paul Buis a principal worker thereof. It is most lamentable to hear the complaints of captains and soldiers for want of pay. To-day there came to me divers captains of Bergen-op-Zoom, crying out that there are not victuals for above three days, and that the burgers will not trust them for a penny. Mr. Browne must, above a month past, have received 1500l. in prest, but has used no part of it for their relief ; affirming that far more is due to him ; therefore takes this for part payment, "and will provide no further unless he may have loan of money out of the Queen's treasure here, for the which there is neither warrant nor reason ... and so the poor soldiers are like to perish ; for whose relief I have directed Sir Thomas Shirley to imprest 20l. weekly until some order may come from you, which for Jesus' sake hasten with all speed, and that such victuallers may be appointed as will have conscience not to make themselves rich with the famine to poor soldiers ; if her Majesty send not money, and that with all speed, ... I am afraid to think what mischiefs and miseries are like to follow." Ste. Aldegonde says that the Duke of Parma has made great preparations, and means very shortly to be in the field, against either Gueldres or Ostend, but he knows not which. To-morrow I go to Dort and so to the Hague, from whence I hope you shall hear of some good success in this service.Middelborow, 26 March, 1586, stilo vecchio. Holograph. Endd. "26 March, 1587." 3 pp. [Holland XIII. 119.]
Having written at some length to Mr. Secretary, he will not repeat it, but thinks it his bounden duty to tell her of the pitiful complaints of the captains and soldiers for want of her pay, "so long hoped for, and with this present treasure nothing near to be accomplished." Fears if they knew all, some dangerous event would follow ; "for of the 30,000l. brought over, 14,000l. [sic] being to be paid in Mr. Hurleston's time ; that is to say 9000l. in remanent due to the captains and 4000l. in checks, there remaineth then towards the payment of six months ... to the 12 April, but only 17,000l., which will discharge but two months pay and 400l. over." Humbly beseeches her to give present remedy, without which, so far from hoping to do her acceptable service, he looks rather for confusion and ruin.26 March, 1586, old style. Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XIII. 120.]
March 26. WILKES to LEICESTER. (fn. 1)
Refers to letters of March 12. The States begin to see the peril of what they have done. The people of Horne are in arms to resist Count Maurice's proceedings against Sonoy. Horne, Enchuysen, Medeneblick and Amsterdam are faithful to her Majesty. Count Maurice holds Sonoy besieged in Medemblick. Gorcum refuses to accept Count Philip of Nassau, placed there by Count Hohenlo ; and States of Zeeland likewise refuse Count Solms, appointed by Maurice as his lieutenant. The Counts said to be guided by Paul Buys and Floris Thin, banished from Utrecht. The President Vandermille is employed against Sonoy and is now with Count Maurice in North Holland. Those of Amsterdam set up libels against the States. If the people should rise, the enemy will take great advantage by it. Could only be prevented by his Excellency's presence. The deputies of the States [to England] have arrived and had secret conferences with the States General, but as yet delivered no report to the Council of State. It seems that the States wish to lay some plots without the privity of the Council. The hopes of his Lordship's return have so assured the people that if frustrate, it is to be feared they will either rise or yield to the enemy. Counts Maurice and Hohenlo have now returned re infecta, to their great shame.The Hague, 26 March. Copy. 2 pp. [S.P.F. Archives XCI., p. 74.]
March 26. WILKES to SIR CHRIS. HATTON, Vice Chamberlain.
Our disorders daily increase, and I cannot discern how they are to be remedied save by the speedy presence of our governor, which I see is deferred until Lord Buckhurst's return ; whose negotiation, so far as I can perceive, will profit these countries but little, "for that whilst he shall spend time in expostulating the causes of our innovations, the enemy will have prevailed upon some of our principal towns ; who hath already prepared himself to the field and besiegeth a place by us lately surprised called Rurode" which is of great importance, as it hinders the passage of victuals to and from Cologne, by the Rhine . . . "The people begin to stir against the States and have been in arms of late at Horne in North Holland, to stay some violent proceeding attempted by the Count Maurice against the deputy governor of that country, whom he would force to take a new oath of fidelity to him and the States." I am weary of these services, and pray you to be a mean for my revocation. I am left alone and without direction, and in consequence of illness cannot abide the labour which this place requires.The Hague, March 26, 1587. Copy. 1 pp. [Ibid. XCI., p. 76.]
I hope your honour has received my letters, pardoned my boldness in writing, and pondered the substance, though I have never had one word of answer ; which, however, I impute to your many weighty affairs, and not to any loss of your favour, and shall therefore continue until commanded the contrary. Matters here stay hovering in the balance ; people hearkening and looking for her Majesty's resolution on the negotiation of the deputies, when some course will be taken "which I doubt will be more advantageous to the other than to this side," and these will be the causes : The jealousies and emulations between the governors of provinces, "every one tending to an absoluteness in commanding, and one not to have any saying within the others' jurisdiction." That the States joined to the said governors keep the contributions at their own disposing ; each province caring for itself and assuring their towns with such garrison as they like, refusing all other. These proceedings are mostly disliked by the people, who, it is to be doubted, will one day fall into disorder. Sundry parts are of divers opinions ; "the one that the country can defend itself without foreign help, and would have none ; the other that it cannot, and wish for aid ; the one that it is convenient to have the States rule ; the other ... altogether inconvenient, being weary of them and their government. Others there be that long for peace, and underhand may be doubted to labour it. Besides, there want not those so affected to the King of Spain, that wish he had recovered all. In sum here is jealousy, discontentment, dislikings, division and emulation from the highest to the lowest ... and no superiority duly known or respected ... such liberty and carelessness is there grown amongst all men, this for lack of a head and governor ; so that all the world wish and call out for his Excellency's return ... and that her Majesty would vouchsafe to take these countries at least into her protection ... [for] if it fall not out so ; or that her Majesty [do not] presently send over a great number of the best, yea of the preachers and the [well-]affected to religion, will depart the country." Moreover, I doubt a great part of Guelders, Overyssel and some towns in Utrecht and elsewhere will grow so desperate, that if the enemy comes into these parts, they will yield voluntarily to him and so he may enter the more easily into Holland, which will be in bad case considering its divisions. I know your honour's knowledge of the state of the country and Mr. Wilkes' advertisements will enable you to foresee the danger, yet seeing and hearing it daily with my eyes and ears, I could do no less than trouble you with these rude lines beseeching you to continue your care for the preservation and advancement of the gospel, whereof her Majesty is the chief mother and nurse, and so prayed for among all who profess the same. For news ; "the enemy is ready to march in field, and divideth his forces in three, for Brabant, Guelderland and Flanders. This side hath small means either of men or money to make any camp to meet him ; only that Schenck is about Berck with 4000 footmen and 800 horsemen, where they waste and destroy the Duke of Cleves his country and other places joining to him." The towns in Guelderland are so slenderly provided that they cannot hold out if the enemy come before them. In Utrecht is still great division, and Mr. Wilkes requested by the Council here to go and try to pacify them ; from whence I heard not since his departure. Begs for an answer. The time approacheth when he must resolve if he is to stay ; since October he has not received one penny of money.The Hague, 26 March, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland XIII. 121.]
Although I have often written of the broken state of these countries and have so far received no direction how to carry myself, yet to acquit myself of my duty to her Majesty, and that she and her Council may be moved to think of some course to stay and redress the dangerous proceedings of 100 [the States], Hohenlo, Count Maurice and others, I reiterate the same. (fn. 2) 99 [the people] now so greatly mislike the doings of the States that in some places they have put themselves in arms ; as at Horne in North Holland, whither Hohenlo sent Dr. Malsen and one Bruning, a counsellor of the Count Maurice to order the removal of the regiment of Col. Sonoy, whom the States, Hohenlo and Count Maurice persecute because he refuses to take the new oath until discharged of that to my lord of Leicester. When their purpose was known, the two men were seized by the people and thrust out of the town, their lives being hardly saved by the Escoutette. Those of Horne, Enchuysen and Medeneblick have protested "that they will live and die with her Majesty and that whosoever shall attempt to sever her from them, they will cut their throats. The like garboil was begun at Amsterdam, where the same protestation is made by the people." Upon Sonoy's refusal to take the oath, Count Maurice, led by Hohenlo (and he altogether advised by Paul Buys and one Floris Thin) has filled the villages round Medeneblick, where Sonoy stands upon his guard, with soldiers and has sent ships of war before the town, threatening to take it by force, himself being now there in person. I have moved 40 [the Council of State] to take some order to stay these proceedings, but I find them full of fear, not daring to stir against or contradict any of the doings of Hohenlo, who is very like to play some false part, if regard be not had to him ; for it is constantly affirmed by one of credit very lately come from Tremulus [Deventer] that there hath been of late two men there from him, who have secretly treated with Verdugo and Taxis. He hath also within these two months received from 25 [the enemy] two letters, the one from the Count Mansfelt, which he imparted to 40 [the Council of State] and the other now lately from the Duke of Parma, which he concealeth. By the first, he was advised to beware of the English, who had a purpose to betray him and the whole country, and to remove Hohenlo from all the towns that were in his tuition. The second was of persuasion to yield himself and them to M [the King of Spain]. But whatsoever his purpose is, it is advertised that whereas 25 [the enemy] had made great provisions of wagons for some notable exploit, he hath within these few days discharged 800 of them, the Duke of Parma remaining at Brussels, where he hath called an assembly of the States of those provinces, for some treaty concerning these countries, expecting shortly the deliverance of some notable towns and places on this side. For mine own poor opinion I hold the discontentment of Hohenlo towards Themistocles irrecoverable, and now, fearing his return (which I have given out to be very shortly, for the better settling of the minds and affections of this people) he is almost besides himself, running here and there to assure what he may the principal towns of P [Holland] for himself and Count Maurice. There is no good to be hoped of Hohenlo, being a man that hath neither religion nor virtue. I am secretly informed that he hath removed and conveyed from the Hague to Gertrudenberg all his stuff, and moveables of any value, which seemeth strange to men here. There is speech of a purpose in the States of P. Bus and R. [Zeeland] to treat underhand of O. [peace] with the Prince of Parma, for which cause it is thought the Assembly abovementioned to be made by 25 [the enemy], though I cannot vouch for the truth of this but our Merchants Adventurers at Caius [Middelburg] are entered into a fear thereof that they dare not unship their cloth now lately arrived in R [Zeeland]. The Count Philip of Nassau, appointed by the States of Holland to the government of Gorcum and other frontier towns of that province, is refused by the 'magistrate' of Gorcum, who allege they will not admit any such alteration so long as my lord of Leicester's authority shall remain unrevoked. . . . The like refusal hath been made of the Count Solms for the lieutenantship of Zeeland under Count Maurice, who fretteth thereat extremely, vaunting that as soon as he hath assured Medemblyke he will establish Count Solms in that government or it shall cost him his life. "The States of Zeeland misliking of the proceedings of the deputies in the Assembly of the States General have revoked them," they being charged with having exceeded their commission. My lord of Leicester's presence, even for two months would stay all mischief and assure the countries, but if he wait for the end of Lord Buckhurst's negotiation it is to be feared he will come too late. My poor opinion is that this State cannot continue "any months" from utter ruin. The enemy is very vigilant and has many friends, especially among those discontented "and if our reformation shall depend upon the fury and mutiny of the people ... your honour will best judge how dangerous a thing it will be. The deputies of the States made haste to arrive here before Lord Buckhurst and have had sundry secret conferences with the States General ; delivering as yet no report to the Council, and it seems the States intend to lay some plots apart, without its privity. "They are not a little amazed at her Majesty's round dealing with their deputies, but more perplexed to see the resolution of the people here to depend wholly upon her Majesty. "The causes of my Lord Buckhurst's coming hither are discovered, whereby the States have time to think upon their answers . . . alleging that my lord's voyage is but to win time for some other purpose, being out of hope of any further favours from her Majesty and not looking for the return of my lord of Leicester. [Prays for support in his request to return home].26 March, 1587. Postscript. Counts Maurice and Hohenlo are now returned, not having prevailed either in North Holland or at Corcum. I have received from Bardesius, a counsellor of State lately retired to his house, the enclosed letter. "The man is very cunning and nothing affected to our party, which maketh me to suspect that he delivereth the same for a bone for us to gnaw upon, as though the country should have little need to depend upon her Majesty, those advertisements being true." I suppose if there be any such bruit of the proceedings of the Turk, your honour hath notice thereof. Copy. 4 pp., closely written. [S.P. For. Archives XCI., p. 77.]
March 27./April 6. M. DE CHAMPIGNY to [? SIR JAMES CROFTS].
It greatly pleased me to learn from your letters of March 10, (brought me by Andrea de Loo) that my writing was agreeable to you, "and the rather in respect of the profitable success which you hope thereby to the general good, in the which . . . I see his Highness most willing to employ himself" if the same sincerity be observed on your side, whereof I nothing doubt, seeing what personages are to be therein employed. Therefore I pray you take away the scruple made of some words, importing very little ; for I marvel that there is doubt of his Highness' intention to effectuate what he saith he will procure, wherein on his part shall be no want, so that the let come not from your side, . . . he being thereunto as sufficiently authorised as you can require." What was done to sound the Queen's pretention was not to make things more bitter, but to agree them ; for the Duke desiring to attribute to her all the honour he may, he must do it with due respect to him whose person he represents, and with whom, in effect, her Majesty shall treat. So that if on her part there be propounded any conditions unworthy of the King, it were better the matter had not been taken in hand. It is not the first time "that men have sought beforehand to procure some taste of things before they come to join ; yea, if we should nearly look into the writing showed me by the said Andrea de Loo, which was given him by my Lord Burghley, high Treasurer, wherein his lordship reserveth to himself the interpretation of that which he saith, which in effect should be much as to say nothing at all, and yet notwithstanding he extendeth to the point of religion ; you know what I have written to you heretofore ; that it agreeth not with the reputation of the King . . . to prefix him a law therein, which he is to receive at the hands of no person living saving of God and the church, . . . Neither in worldly respects ought he to be holden less absolute in this point than other potentates . . . like as the Queen's Majesty herself, out of her own mouth, and by other the lords of her realm, hath ofttimes declared unto me that it were not convenient there should be any more pretended for vassal of their sovereigns. In other respects there is no doubt to be made of the King's clemency but that he will endeavour with all mildness . . . to govern his subjects, supporting through his princely benignity their infirmity as much as may be in hope of their amendment ; like as hath been seen in all parts where my lord the Duke of Parma hath received into the King's grace his subjects which had wandered from their due obedience ; and therefore I pray you once again that I may be assured by your next letters distinctly of the points abovesaid, to the end I may answer as appertaineth ; for although the said de Loo, on the behalf of the Queen's Majesty, hath affirmed something unto us, upon the speech of my lord Buckhurst, passed (as he saith) in your presence, touching the matter of religion, notwithstanding, that is not sufficient to give contentment to the Duke and satisfaction to the King ; except it be made evident under the hand of some principal person, whereby there may be assurance not to enter into the matter without express reservation that there shall be no mention made thereof. "Moreover his Highness (for the reasons abovesaid) cannot admit to send to treat in England (although to give a beginning to the matter he was content to send thither your cousin Bodenham on his behalf, as he would have sent others if he had been required) for it would but cause delay, and be occasion of suspicions both amongst the parties and abroad, it being best (as you have rightly conceived) to abridge. Thus much his Highness is content, that the Queen's Majesty at her good pleasure shall assign for meeting to treat such place neutral as shall be thought convenient and sure for both parties, and the time and place likewise, so it be short, for that to enter into treaty on this side the sea in any of the places which her Majesty now holdeth, it behoveth to give sufficient hostage on your side for security of the deputies sent of this side ; whom his Highness will choose, being advertised of those whom her Majesty will appoint therein, to the end he may yield satisfaction to her Majesty . . . which he willingly will perform in all that his honour, degree and reason will permit, and the account which such a prince must give of himself to him whose affairs he followeth, and to the whole world.Brussels, 6 April, 1587. Endd. : "The copy of M. Champaine's letter of the 6th of April, 1587. Englished." 2 pp. [Flanders I. 117.]
Has received his honour's letter, requiring him to deal with the magistrates for restitution of goods taken at sea, belonging to Bartholomew and Philip Corsini and Nicolas di Gozzi. Finds them very willing to restore the goods to any whom the owners shall appoint to receive them, and therefore trusts that if any be sent, they will find such good effect of his travail therein as his honour desired.Flushing, 28 March. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XIII. 122.]
March 29./April 8. Letter from the Council of State to his Excellency. (fn. 3) Regret to learn from his letter of 9th March old style that her Majesty will not grant greater help. Many things that have passed during his absence to be regretted, and probably misrepresentation at Court. All would be remedied by his return which all good patriots desire. Feel sure the States General will support him in every possible way. Hopes of settlement with Utrecht and better union. Need of representatives in Council from Flanders, Utrecht and Frise. Financial matters. Operations of Col. Schenck.The Hague, 8 April, 1587. Postscript of the 11th April : Arrival of Lord Buckhurst. Surrender of Roeroort. Copy. Fr. 2 pp. [S.P. For. Archives XC., p. 186.]
On behalf of Barenstro and Zuyderman. Barenstro has made the voyage into France, as ordered by his Excellency, his expenses (attested by the Mayor of Rye) having been 22l. sterling, which H.E. has promised should be repaid him. Captain Zuyderman begs for his dispatch, saying that his presence is much needed at Ostend. He is one of the old captains, knowing very well the practices of the enemy round about that place, which at this juncture, they seem to be about to besiege, or at any rate to press it more closely.Lon[don], 29 March, 1587. Add. Endd. Fr. 3 p. [Holland XIII. 123.]
March 31./April 10. Placcard by his Excellency, for preventing blame and reproaches, both on one side and the other. Read and approved by the States General on this date. (fn. 4) Copy. Fr. 2 pp. [S.P. For. Archives XC., p. 189.]
Thanking him for help given to his poor nephew "in procuring some good stay of his estate." The captains are somewhat grieved, upon this new order of paying soldiers by the poll, that their dealings should deserve such distrust. Being but few in this garrison, "they were loth to be a precedent to a greater number," and have referred the matter to Sir John Norris and Mr. Wilkes and the rest in Holland, whose example they mean to follow.Vlisching, last of March, 1587. Signed. Endd. "30 [sic] March, 1586." 1 p. [Holland XIII. 124.]
Since writing by Captain Astell, St. Aldegonde has sent me the two enclosed letters, for your honour and my lord of Leicester. Lord Buckhurst arrived here on Saturday the 28th, whose coming has greatly comforted the well-affected. The States of Zeeland were "upon giving their consents" to accept the Count Solms as governor, and to let him have Sir Philip Sydney's regiment, but that is now calmed down. The captains of that regiment dislike Count Solms, and have special good liking for our Governor, so that if a commission were sent to Sir William Russell, he might easily have it, "and put the other beside it, which is of very great importance both for this place and the Briell, and not requisite for her Majesty's service that it should be in a stranger's hands, who will in some sort bridle us here. My lord of Buckhurst consented to confer with Aldegonde, who came to him at Middelborowe and there conferred at large. "The 21 of this month, certain troops of horse and foot went out of Bergen-op-Zoom to Burgenhault, hard by Antwerp, being fear, whither the burgers of Antwerp were come to take the air and to make merry." Our men brought away fifty burgers prisoners to Bergen. If they had stayed one hour longer, they had brought away three hundred. Some offer 100l. some 200l. for their ransom, besides the spoil our men had in the town. This is some relief to that garrison, who are in great want of many things for its defence. Those of Antwerp have made the Prince large offers to victual his camp, if he will besiege Bergen. Before receipt of your letter, I had been with the Admiral, Justinian de Nassau, about Nicolo di Gozzo's and Corsini's goods, which were released the morning of the day it came. Hereafter, the Admiralty here desires you to advertise them when you send any towards Dunkirk, that they may give orders to the ships to let them pass. Mr. Digges coming with order to pay the soldiers by the poll, will breed great alteration, and you will find that the soldiers will have greater want than before. "For now, a captain will not give his word for his soldier to supply him of anything he hath need. The bravest men of the companies they now do discharge them, for they are not able to give them nothing . . . and most times it is seen that ten good soldiers do more service than thirty Besongnies [i.e. recruits]. Our companies here and in all other garrisons did begin to grow daily fairer than other, but questionless this will overthrow all. . . Mr. Digges and his men have used underhand very unnecessary offices by persuading the soldiers that if they can bring in any complaints against their captains, that they should deliver them to him ; which hath brought divers ... to condemn their captains, refusing to stand sentinel, and a greater mutiny likely to follow if my lord Governor were not here to prevent it. If there have been captains that have dealt hardly with their soldiers, such would [i.e. should] be punished." I hope you will understand this more at large by others.Flushing, 31 March, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Holland XIII. 125.]
The bearer, Mr. Veare, will tell you of the faithful service done by the Admiral of Sirickzee to her Majesty and your Excellency, with all the captains of Sir Philip Sidney's regiment. He desired me to write to you that he and they will hold the oath made to you till you discharge them of it ; as will also other captains in these parts. Also he will deliver into her Majesty's and your hands Tervere, where he has two companies ; and Armue, Tergoes and Tertolen, with one company each. Captain Utenrecht, who has two companies in the States pay, also agrees therein. In Lillo and Lifkenshoeck he has two companies more ; none in Sirickzee, but he can put there what garrison he thinks good, having all the mariners therein at his devotion. They desire your resolution, as otherwise they cannot maintain themselves. You do not know "what a company of good servants there is unto her Majesty and yourself, therefore for God's cause make all the haste that is possible to come over. If you leese time ... and overthrow your well willers ... ; if you fall to entreaty with the States, where as now you may command with the sword, you have all those gallants in a pinfold who will make new governors without consent of her Majesty and your Excellency. Having some proportion of money in your purse to content the men of war which have served the States here before, you shall win them ... to do what it shall please you, and you may raise such great sums of money upon those States that hath made new officers in the absence of your Excellency. They were never so bridled as they are now if so be you go forward herein and detract no time ; never any prince in the world that had them in such a vantage as your Excellency hath them now, for all the commons are yours. Now is the time to make the law in this country as pleases you, and those which doth counsel your Excellency to the contrary, ... are not true men to the action of God's religion and her Majesty and her country. Thus craving pardon for my boldness, I am further to request you to give credit to this bearer, Mr. Veare, "a very brave gentleman for his time, and will be able to do great service to her Majesty and the country in time, who hath been greatly abused by these country men." He will declare, many things by word of mouth. Touching Mr. Digges and the commissioners, I have written to Sir Francis Walsingham, but must pray you on behalf the captains here that what Mr. Digges "pretends" may not go forward, for these captains "doth profess the wars, and will bestow all that they have in the world to make their company brave to do your Excellency service. I must needs recommend unto you Captain Parker, for I did never know a braver captain of horsemen than he, for he hath a brave company . . . well mounted, well armed, brave soldiers and at great obedience." I sent Captain Hart to make the governor of Flushing acquainted "hereunto," where was my Lord Buckhurst and Mr. Athe, who will inform you thereof. I have written divers letters to you, but never had answer of any. "I have some practices in hand ; either I will do some good service, or else they that have taken it in hand will bring themselves to the gallows." The Almains in the castle of Antwerp are "disconted," for that new Spaniards shall come therein. I have gotten one therein, and is in credit with Mondragon, who hath promised to do great service. I want nothing but money to reward men of their travail.Bergen opten Soom, 31 March, 1587, stila antiqua. Signed. Add. Endd. 1 pp., very closely written. [Holland XIII. 126.]
March 31./April 10. COL. FREMIN to WALSINGHAM.
Repeating his former assurances that the only remedy for the disorders of that State is the prompt return of his Excellency, which is the one thing that the factious people fear ; the good people beginning to see that their religion and liberty will be lost, unless her Majesty takes their affairs and protection in hand. His honour is well informed of what passes there, and for the surplus, he refers him to the bearer, Captain Vere. Prays him to persuade his Excellency to send orders to Van Ecke, the receiver of Brabant, at present dwelling in Bergen, that he [Fremin] may be assigned a certain sum upon the contributions of the province, for the redressing of his troop, which has not received a single patart in six months, and seeing the great loss and injury which he received in the castle of Waue ; as also that the Count Hohenloo is urging the States to let him have the whole of the contributions of Brabant to dispose of at his will. Moreover the Prince of Parma is still at Brussels, somewhat troubled by the gout. He expects to put his army into the field about May, not being able to do so earlier from lack of forage. Part of his forces are about Lige, i.e. the new troops which were in Luxembourg ; and three or four thousand are in Hainault, near Philipsburg and Charlemont. They spread the report that they mean to besiege Berghes, Heusden or Sluys. The great point is to be provided in good time with all that is needed, either for taking the field early or standing on the defensive. Colonel Morgan acquits himself nobly in the government of this place. Berges [op-Zoom], 10 April, 1587. Add. Endd. "April 10, stilo novo." Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. XIII. 127.]
March after the 4/14. [SIR JOHN CONWAY] to the STATES OF ZEELAND.
I have received your lordships' letters (fn. 5) requiring me to suffer Captains Ransey's and Dominick's companies to repair by the first tide towards the quarters of Tertole and the town of 'Bergesup-Zon.' I am loth to refuse, albeit the due respect of this place enjoins me not to suffer these companies to depart hence before I shall receive so many in number to continue the strength and safety of this garrison, which is so weak in itself that I have sent into England and Holland to ask for a further supply of men, munition and victuals. "The enemy, I doubt, gives but false shows of making head towards Tertolle and Berges," and I rather assure myself that they will fall presently upon Ostend ; for prevention of which supplies of men [etc. etc.] must be sent hither. A weak company can hardly resist a strong, specially wanting victual, munition and all things, and thereby they may be given a first reason for yielding the place without trial of arms, but "if we be supplied with all things needful, though but in a mean rate, I dare warrant Ostend as safe to your country, God and her Majesty as the town of Middelburg." I hope you will add your undelayed good will to my request, and do what is reason in due time lest wind and weather may contrary it and [make?] worthless your country here.Ostend, March. Copy, written by Conway on the back of the translation of the States' letter. 1 p. [Holland XIII. 128.]
[March after the 7.] Notes of advertisement had from Don Juan de Castillya, prisoner at Bergen-op-Zoom. The 17 March, new style, certain footmen of Bergen charged a convoy of about 50 Spaniards, coming from Brussels to fetch their captain, and a dozen horse, being a captain and officers. Thirty of the soldiers were slain on the place. "There were four captains of Mondragon's regiment, whereof one taken, one hurt, shot through the leg. He that is prisoner hath given his [bond] for his ransom, 2000 gilders ; the other two escaped. "The names of the captains :Don Juan de Castillya, prisoners ; Pedro Corbera, shot through the leg ; Andres Miranda ; Gasper de Olao. One gentleman slain, Don Jeronimo de Loysa Bazan, nephew to the Marquis of Santa Cruce, who should have had a regiment of Almains." Mondragon's regiment lodged in the land of Lucke [Lige] ; that of Don Juan d'Aquila in the land of Limburg ; that of Don Antonio Manrique in the land of Luxemburg ; that of Don Francisco de Bovadillya (fn. 6) in Westfalia, with 'Hautepen.' "Regiments of Dutches :One of Berlemonts ; one of the Count of Arenberg in garrison in Brabant ; two in Friesland and Guelderland, one under Don Juan de Robles and the other under Taxis. "Walloon regiments :The Marquis of Renti, one in garrison, most in Antwerp. M. de Lyques (fn. 7) and his son each of them a regiment. M. de Hautepen a regiment in Friesland. La Motte a regiment. "One regiment of Burgundians under the Marquis of 'Waranbon.' (fn. 8) "Sir William Standley's regiment, who hath capitulated to command over his soldiers not as colonel but as Matre de Camp, and always to join in the field with the Spaniards. The King hath given him, to him and his heirs in the kingdom of Naples 1500 ducats yearly, and 3000 ducats towards his charges." Endd. 2 pp. [Holland XIII. 129.]
March. M. DE BUY to .
Sir Roger Williams and I having conferred together about the war and the preservation of the United Provinces, have agreed as follows. Sir Roger says they must have 1500 lances, English and Scots. I say that a thousand will be sufficient. We are agreed that with 3000 horse and 10,000 foot, being paid (poy) we could prevent the enemy from besieging any place ; and in order to attack and harass him, we are of opinion that with 4000 horse and 12,000 foot, it would be at the choice of their commander to annoy and hold up the enemy ; will indeed be strong enough to encounter him so far as the lie of the country permits. Unsigned. Copy. Endd. "M. de Buy, March, 1586." Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. XIII. 130.]
March. Copy of the articles given to the Duke of Parma on behalf of the Queen of England. That her Majesty is willing to stand no further on the point of Religion than to obtain from the King so much toleration for Holland and Zeeland and the other United Provinces as he may be able to concede on his conscience and honour. To consign to perpetual oblivion all matters on both sides as well in the Low Countries as in Spain, Portugal and the Indies or elsewhere in the King's dominions, without the deputies treating or making mention of them. That she shall be re-imbursed of what she has furnished to the States, to prevent them from giving themselves, in desperation, to some foreign prince ; and that she shall either be paid outright or have good security. And in order to give no further occasion of dissatisfaction to the people, as also to do away with the suspicion caused to the Queen in regard to her own realm and that trade may be the more quickly restored between England and the Low Countries :
That the King shall agree to remove the Spanish and other stranger forces from the said Low Counties : or, if it shall appear to his Highness that for better assurance of the King, they should not be sent far away for a time, until affairs are better settled, that they shall be withdrawn, meanwhile, into the forts on the frontiers, there to serve the King as in the time of his war with France. That trade and mutual commerce shall be entirely free, both on the side of Spain and Portugal and of the Low Countries and other his dominions, with the lands and subjects of the said Queen, in like manner as was accorded by the last treaties in the time of the Duke of Alva. And to the end that this (for the benefit of the subjects of both Princes) may continually endure, the Queen desires that the King will grant (as seems to her both reasonable and very necessary) that the strongholds, governments and public commands of the Provinces shall be left (as in past times) to the natives thereof, as is more particularly set forth in my letter to his Highness the 26 of last December, 1586. That the King shall give pardon, particular and general, for all things whatever throughout the Low Countries, with ample licence to all to return to their native land, with full enjoyment of their goods ; either to remain there (being willing to be reconciled [to the church]) or otherwise to give charge to their Catholic friends to receive their rents etc. but with free permission at any time to reconcile themselves if they so desire. And with this and the aforesaid tolerance to the United provinces not now in the possession of the King (and not introducing into these countries the Spanish Inquisition), the Queen will answer for their due obedience to the King without giving cause for any further change. For the injuries which have resulted by the delays, on one side or the other, there shall be had due consideration, either by setting of the injury of one against the other, or otherwise, as shall appear convenient to the deputies. As to assurance of the Queen that there will be a firm and true peace between herself and his Majesty, with their people and dominions, she trusts to the word and oath of the King and of the the Duke of Parma, by means of whom the peace is to be confirmed. For the observation whereof the nobles and states of the Low Countries will also be bound with all needful forms and conditions. And for other circumstances which may arise, the parties shall submit to the ancient usage of former negotiations between their ancestors, as was declared more at large by the Lord Treasurer in the letter written to me the 6th of March last past of 1586[7]. And there shall be conceded to her Majesty the naming of the place where the deputies shall first meet, either to remain there if they may do so conveniently, or to go elsewhere. And if the aforesaid matters be determined by the deputies, nominated on both sides, her Majesty will be willing to give back into the King's possession those lands of his which are in her hands (as has always been her intention) and may the Lord God and our Saviour Jesus Christ, together with the Holy Spirit deign to give it his blessing, Amen, Amen. Endd. Copy of the articles given to the Duke of Parma on the part of her Majesty of England in the month of March, 1586, ab Incarnazione, stilo antiquo. Both articles and endorsement in de Loo's hand. Italian. 2 pp. [Flanders I. 118.]
[? March.] ARGUMENTS showing the STATES' dislike of the EARL of LEICESTER.
That the States themselves have as well in public as in private place issued in very lewd terms their general mislike concerning the Earl. The writing of a very sharp and upbraiding letter by the States unto the Earl, whom to discourage the more from returning they sent a copy thereof enclosed in a letter to her Majesty. That the States, doubting of the Earl's return, have disposed of all the governments of as many provinces and places etc. as either were void or in the hands of such as they know and to be well affected to the Earl. That the States have given the absolute government of Holland and Zeeland, strengthened with all superior authority to Count Maurice and have constituted as lieutenant under him the Count Hohenlohe, who in contempt of the authority of the Council of State do command and dispose of all things within those two provinces at their pleasure, do remove garrisons, governors of towns and places, constrain such as will continue to take new commissions of them and to give new oaths unto the States themselves and to Count Maurice, who for his better countenance hath taken the title of Prince of Orange. That they have removed Bacx, a special servant of the earl, by violence from the superintendence of Gorcum and Worchum, where they have now placed Count Philip of Nassau. That they have given the regiment of Zeeland, which Sir Philip Sydney had, to the Count Solms. That they have constrained Col. Sonoy to forsake the Earl's commission and to take a new of them inferior in authority to his first. That certain of the States have declared that in case the Earl should return they would provide so to restrain him as he should have little comfort to remain with them. Endd. 1 pp. [Holland XIII. 131.]
[? March.] Articles and memoranda of contravention of the treaty with England. The institution of Count Maurice to the government of Holland and Zeeland. The institution of Count Hohenlo as Lieutenant General to Count Maurice and his recognition by the States. The presentation of the request of Count Hohenlo for the regiment of Zeeland. The instructions drawn up by the States General for his Excellency and the Council of State, diverse from and contrary to the treaty of England. The forming of these instructions without previous conference with his Excellency and the Council of State, where the point of discussion upon the sovereignty should begin. The despatch of the Commissioner Van Veken to France without communicating with his Excellency or the Council of State. The patents given by Count Maurice Count Hohenlo and the States to soldiers, against the authority of H.E. and the Council. The cassing of divers companies without the knowledge of H.E. and the doctoring (dressement) of news. The keeping of Count Hohenlo armed with all sorts of munitions against H.E. and the English nation. The institution of the Count de Zolms to the government of Walcheren, since changed to that of lieutenant of Count Maurice. Endd. Griefs and complaints made by the Earl of Leicester against the manner of the States' proceedings with him. And in Burghley's hand, Contraventions by the States. Fr. 1 p. [Holland XIII. 132.]


  • 1. Printed at length in Cabala ii., p. 9.
  • 2. The key to Wilkes' cipher used here is to be found at the beginning of a volume of transcripts at the British Museum. Add. MSS. 5935.
  • 3. The full text is given in Bijdragen en Mededeelingen van het Historisch Genootachap (Utrecht) Deele xxxiv., pp. 182-6.
  • 4. The Dutch text is printed by Bor, Ned Oorlogen, Pt. III. Bk. xxi., fol. 75, as dated at the Hague on the 9th April. See Japikse : Resolutien Vol. V., p. 540.
  • 5. At page 440 below dated 4/14 March.
  • 6. Francisco Bobadilla, Conde de Puonrostro.
  • 7. Philippe de Recourt, Seigneur de Licques.
  • 8. Marc de Rye, Marquis de Varembon.