Elizabeth: June 1586, 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: June 1586, 21-25', in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 21, Part 2, June 1586-March 1587, (London, 1927) pp. 44-51. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/foreign/vol21/no2/pp44-51 [accessed 20 April 2024]


June 1586, 21-25

"Where Sir Thomas Cecil, Governor for us of the town of Brill in Holland, came over hither for recovery of his health, which being recovered, he purposing to return to those parts for our service hath declared unto us and to certain of our Council some probable reasons why that town of Brill should seem not so sure a place to be kept by us as a caution, for which it was delivered, but that some other town in those parts might, in his opinion, be chosen to serve better to be kept by him for our more surety, and thereupon he required that the reasons by him propounded might be referred to your consideration and your opinion had and means to obtain the change, if it so should seem to you convenient :whereupon we were minded to have him to have stayed here until your answer were come, which not being sent, (fn. 1) he requireth of us earnestly, that in respect of our service, whereunto he sheweth himself most earnestly bent, he may be licensed to return to his former charge, minding to repair to you, to inform you if need shall be, more particularly hereof, and so to be directed by you either to continue in his former charge if the imperfections for the surety of that town for us may be remedied, without which he dare not undertake the custody thereof, or else to accept some other town more meet for our surety. And to these ends we require you to hear him, and thereupon use your best consideration to satisfy us, and to content him in such reasonable sort as he may with more confidence for our surety continue his willing service than now he doth." We also require that until it shall be determined whether any other better town of surety may be obtained, such allowance shall be made monthly for the reparations and fortifications of Brill as was allowed before the town was delivered to us, to be paid out of its revenues and taxes, as before accustomed, and employed by direction of the governor "only to the strengthening of that town." And in case he continue there, he requires that for his better surety to keep that town, he may by your means have the government of the small island called Vorn, whereon Brill stands, and of the island joining thereto, called also Vorn or Plaet, which being under his rule may serve for the surety both of the town and islands, otherwise in danger to be surprised by the enemy. And for these and any other like causes, "we remit him to your consideration, as he himself seemeth desirous therein to follow your advice." Draft by Burghley. Endd. "22 of June, 1586....sent by Sir Thos. Cecil at his return to Brill." 2 pp. [Ibid. 112.]
June 22. THE QUEEN to the town of BRILL.
Although, during Sir Thomas Cecil's government of their town, she has from time to time been advertised of their good carriage both to him and to the garrison under his charge, she has now by his report more fully understood their good will, or rather their devoted affection, proved by many things, but especially in this : that when contrary winds and other accidents delayed the money for the soldiers, they themselves found means to supply the default ; a thing which has given her such satisfaction that she desires to testify it to them by her own letters ; praying them to persist in their affection, and so give her more and more opportunities of increasing her care for their own good, and that of all those interested in the same cause. Copy. Endd. "22 June, 1586......Sent by Sir Thos. Cecil at his return thither." Fr. p. [Holland VIII. 113.]
June 22. "A note of such sums of money as Mr. Treasurer [of the Low Countries] hath disbursed to divers persons more than is set down and contained in the estimate of the lords of the Council" ; for which the Earl of Leicester is to be moved. Total, 3532l. 3s. 6d. Endd. with date. 3 pp. [Ibid. 114.]
Andrea de Loo having reported what he had orders to do from your Lordship ; shown me the Instruction given him by you and Mr. Controller, and put before me what more he thought needful for me to understand of the continuation of the good inclination which you show towards peace, I cannot but accept kindly your said good will, and exhort and pray you not to grow cold therein, but rather to embrace this holy and Christian cause, being assured that on my part I will be answerable thereto with such sincerity as shall be known by its results whenever occasion shall be given me and the way open to do it ; as you will understand from the said de Loo more particularly. And as I can enlarge upon this no further until I have a reply to what Graffigna and Bodenam took over. I will end this by praying God to preserve you. Camp at Venloo, 3 July, 1586. Signed Allesso. Farnese. Add. Endd. by Burghley. "1586, 3 Julii vel 21 Junii [sic], from the Prince of Parma......sent by And. de Loo." Italian p. [Flanders I. 88.]
June 23./July 3. Copy of a letter from Brussels to Paris.
Last Sunday (fn. 2) Venlo (Vennelo), a frontier town of Cleves, upon the Meuse, esteemed one of the strongest of the country, which seemed resolved to sustain the siege of the Prince of Parma, even sending him a very sharp reply when he summoned it, and urging the execution of the governor of Grave for his cowardly surrender....themselves surrendered to the Prince, without sustaining any assault or even battery except the first volley of the cannon ; all the inhabitants banding themselves against the garrison and forcing them to go to parley for a composition, which was worse than that of Grave, in that the few soldiers there departed without arms or baggage. The wife of Schenk alone was treated more gently, being allowed to carry away all her goods ; which was said to have been a ruse on the part of the Prince to induce her husband to submit to the Catholic party, and to bring with him a good part of his men, whom the Prince offers to pay highly, in order to more easily compass the rest ; the said Schenk being one of the greatest rascals in the party of the States. The camp of these latter is believed to be twelve thousand men at least, yet does not dare to attack that of the Prince, which is not more than eight thousand at most. They often approached each other during the siege of Venlo, which did not last fifteen days, although the place was tenable for more than fifteen months. One thing wanting to those on the States' side is that they are badly paid as well as badly led ; my lord Leicester ordering things very badly on his part, as do the chiefs of the States on theirs, having always been very close fisted (de fort difficile desserr) as has been well experienced up to now, and especially in the time of the late Monsieur. As for those of the Prince, they are on quite another footing, being as well paid as they are well led, never having to fear the loss of a maille (fn. 3) of their pay, which is never lacking, either to themselves or their heirs. This keeps them to their good behaviour, their obedience resulting in good order and exact observation of military discipline. I only wish this were an example to our men. The Prince, by his good government carrying out all his enterprises, is now going to Neuss (Nuz), another town held by the States on the Rhine ; his intention being by this means to free all the country up to Cologne, that traffic may be restored. The garrison has been re-inforced by more than a thousand men, but the Prince expects to weaken them by hunger ; having information that the merchants there, on the prospect of a good harvest, have dispersed their corn amongst the neighbouring villages in order to make their profit by the straits of the peasants during the famine there is there ; Schenk being said to have caused the death of many, surprised by him while carrying the corn towards these quarters, and that not content with this, he has, burnt more than a dozen of their villages, to teach them [not] to aid the Spaniards with victuals. One does not see that the States' army advances in any way since the revictualling of this garrison and Nuz ; the Queen of England cares little about them, the intrigeurs (faiseurs de manigances) in these parts having disappeared from thence as if in smoke and returned to England, without much being known of what they did in those parts. The report was that it was only to free the passage of certain goods from Antwerp into England ; some however fear that it may be to treat of a secret alliance with the Prince of Parma. Other fresh mediators have arrived in the camp from those of Gueldres, meaning apparently to treat with the said Prince, who seems to succeed in all things according to his desire ; by this means making a great opening for peace, so that it is thought he may rather come towards those parts than towards Nuz ; there being already a bruit spread abroad of a general reconciliation with Holland and Zeeland before long.[Noted in another hand] Brussels, 3 July. Endd. by Burghley. "3 July, 1586. Copy of a letter from Brussels to Paris, in favour of the Prince of Parma, upon the rendering of Venlo." Fr. 2 pp. [Flanders I. 89.]
I have not yet heard how your lordship is satisfied with my accounts, though my bad friends "daily give it out to my disgrace." So jealous am I to have my reputation touched that I desire leave to come over for a month to satisfy you how the case stands, which by letters I cannot so well do ; yet, considering the doubtful state of these countries, I would not absent myself before craving your advice. "I may the better be spared at this time, for that my lord of Leicester hath broken his camp and put all his troops into garrison ; as also that in all the deliberations here I am not often heard, and seldomer believed." Of all these things I will further inform you at my coming.Utrecht, 24 June, 1586. Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland VIII. 115.]
By your honour's letter received by Charles it appears that you did not rightly conceive of my letters touching the levy of my horse, "for it was not meant that her Majesty should be put to any new charge, but my lord of Leicester's pleasure was, that having put my company into her Majesty's pay, as one of the 800 that should be levied in England, I should likewise receive such allowance for them as was appointed there ; viz. 2000l., to be paid out of such money as was gathered in England to that purpose," which he promised to write to you. And as I was fain to employ some money towards the making of my company, I have set the same over to her Majesty's treasurer ; hoping that you will not think my allowance too large, seeing that my company was 260 horse, "and yet his lordship hath not agreed that I shall receive pay for more than one hundred ; so that if his lordship does not deal better with me... I shall have little profit thereby, besides that of late Captain Williams brought my company to such a bargain as I lost thirty-five horse, and had twenty-five soldiers taken prisoners." How reasonable it is that I should not be denied that allowance, I trust shortly to satisfy you by word. Your honour's postscript made me not a little marvel, that it seemed my lord "misliked my usings of myself towards him" and that you thought it was nourished from thence. I assure you "that in anything touching her Majesty's service or his own honour, I have given the best and soundest advice and yielded the readiest obedience that was possible . . . neither have my opinions been dilatory, or such as might breed jealousy that I would have trained these affairs to a length, attending a change, but such as myself should have felt the worst of them if they had not succeeded well. . . Contrariwise I must now needs say that I have endured those disgraces in many kinds, and those injurious speeches in great assemblies, that no man that had the liberty of [a] gentleman but would have sought redress for them. But I, hoping that time would have remedied the one, and that the other did only proceed of impatient choler, have been utterly silent," never writing or causing to be written a word of it to any in England, but concealed it even from my parents, and so have the more wrong that it is called in question so far that your honour thinks it irreparable. The justice of my cause must defend me, and I doubt not but to satisfy you that I am faultless.Utrecht, 24 June, 1586. Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland VIII. 116.]
Since mine of June 1, sent by Mr. George Morton, his Excellency hearing of the loss of Grave went to his camp before Niemegen, leaving Captains Breton, Turville and Ley in Arnhem. "The 3rd, M. Hemert, governor of Grave came to Count Hohenlo's tent with four other captains, and being examined by Lord North, the lord governor of Flushing, Col. Digby &c., were first committed to several captains, and after to the provost marshal. The 4th his Excellency went to Tiel, the 5th to Bommel, and lodged his camp in Bommelswaert. The 9th M. Hemert and Captains Kobouko, du Ban, (fn. 4) Dennis and Herthoge were arraigned before Count Hohenlo, Count Philip, Count Salme [Solms], Lord North the Governor of Flushing, Sir John Norreys, Cols. Bauford [Balfour], Morgan, Digby, Michel and divers others, Dutch colonels and captains ; and demanding respite to answer, had it granted for 24 hours. The same day his Excellency went to Gorkum and the 12th to Dort, with only the Prince Elector [Truchsess] and the Prince of Portugal, sending his train straight to Utrecht, and the next day came thither himself, where Mr. Nicholas Gorge met him with letters from her Majesty. On the 17th M. Hemert and the other captains were arraigned and the next day he, Captain Kobouko and Captain du Ban were beheaded "for negligently keeping and cowardly yielding the town without the consent of the soldiers which presented themselves to defend the breach. They were acquitted of treason and condemned to die without confiscation of goods or attaint of honour or blood to their posterity. Hemert died very confidently and resolutely. The Count Morice lost by that town yearly in rents above 8000 guldens. He was never here with his Excellency since his coming into these quarters." [Account of Schenk's attack on Parma's camp]. "We lost an hundred horse and not passing nine of our men slain, but many taken prisoners, whereof Mr. Ed. Pettie, lieutenant to Capt. Dormer's cornet [i.e. troop], the two Dockeries, young Weanman and Mr. Twayts are the best of name. And the Prince maketh fair wars with us, releasing them for their month's pay ; but Schenk's men pay their heads for their ransoms. "The 19th there came Ransoue, a Dane to the court, whose father is governor of Holsatia [Holstein] and was marshal of the reiters in these wars. He offereth his service with 500 horse. "The 20th Capt. Williams brought word of the loss of Venlo, which endured no assault, but yielded by composition, the burghers being stronger than the soldiers. Schenk hath lost there all his wealth ; above 40000 crowns in money besides 200 horse, for no fair words' wars will be made with him ; and his wife and children are within the town." The enemy is before Wacktendonck, and has blocked the castle of Blienbeck. I fear he will not be long without them. The Baron of Hohensaxen (Hauesaxen), governor of Gueldre and Wachtendonck is here at the court, and I fear "we shall lose the next towns, which hang all in the same train, as Gueldres, Nuys [Neuss] and Berck." Capt. Ed. Norreys is at Berck, with part of our English infantry. Sir John Norreys incessantly urges "to draw out our men into the field and to make head against the enemy, to relieve and assist the towns, to meet with him at advantages, to cross the rivers and to entrench our troops fast by him, to hinder his passages and convoys, to intercept his victuals, to spoil his country ; for the Prince, finding no resistance, and the towns animated with no assistance, gaineth all at his ease and rangeth where he listeth. But whatsoever he [Norreys] persuadeth is presently crossed with contrary advice by those which know no wars, for now we are breaking our camp, and quartering our men in 'garnisons.'" I send you a note of our infantry at this present. Megen and Battembourg are lost, and the sconces before Nimegen and Berkshoft which we won and razed are refortified by the enemy, whose camp is re-inforced by four thousand fresh men. A Council of Finances is established, the superintendents being Count Meurs, Mr. Killigrewe and M. Brackel. The treasurer is "Ringhoult" ; the commis, Paul "Buz," Loose and Telinge, and the greffiers Suyllen and Seroulx. (fn. 5) It was given out that Schenk had surprised Kayserswerd, but "there was nothing enterprised against it." Also "that in the alarm which he gave to the Prince's camp, he had slain 500 Spaniards and Cosmo, the Prince's secretary and divers of his guard by his pavilion, and that the Prince himself was in his hands with his pistol at the breast, but that it was not charged. And all this was nothing so. By this your honour may see how we coin news to our own appetites and humors." The 23, his Excellency dined with Count Culembourg at his town, and on his return was met by the Lord Willoughby. Count Meurs is gone into Germany to levy reiters, as is thought, and (I suppose to the same effect) the Baron of Hauesaxen" and Dr. Hottoman are upon their dispatch. What composition Venlo has made, I cannot yet tell.Utrecht, 24 June, 1586. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Holland VIII. 117.]
In favour of Dorothy Hobson, the bearer, a burgher's daughter of Arnhem. A certain grant having been "passed by her Majesty for alms to be gathered for her relief" (seeing that she cannot enjoy her living by reason of the troubles), he prays his honour to further her suit.Utrecht, 25 June, 1586. Signed. Add. Endd. p. [Ibid. 118.]
Having received a letter of the 12th inst. from the Lords and other of her Majesty's Privy Council, requiring me to consider of an attachment made by some of you of certain wrought silks brought into this realm by Phillippe Byshoppe a subject of the United Provinces and to examine whether such wares may be lawfully brought in, and therein to take information of Mr. Dr. Aubrey, a man acquainted with those treatises ; I have conferred with the said Dr. Aubrey, and am informed sufficiently. [Here follows a summary of Dr. Aubrey's statements concerning the Queen's treaty with the Duchess of Parma, in Nov. 1564. [See p. 34 above.] And as it appears by the 9th article of a treaty made at Bristowe, 21 Aug. 1574, by her Majesty's commissioners and others authorized from the King of Spain "that the Intercourse and treaties should continue in the same state that they were in before the general "arrests" made in the year 1568," I am of opinion, as is Mr. Aubrey also, that the subjects and inhabitants of the United Provinces ought not to be troubled for bringing in any goods prohibited since the 1st. of Jan. in the first year of her Majesty's reign ; but should be suffered, without penalty or interruption, to bring in all such goods as they were allowed to do before that date. And therefore require you, by virtue of their Lordships' said letter, to release all goods appertaining to Phillippe Byshoppe, and hereafter to suffer all inhabitants and subjects of the said United Provinces to bring in all such goods [as aforesaid], "and namely those that are called manufactures, specially agreed upon in the said colloquey at Bruges, until further order.London, 25 June, 1586. Copy. 1 pp. [Ibid. 119.] Annexed. (a) Copy of Articles of the treaty of Nov. 30, 1564, between her Majesty and the Duchess of Parma. (b) Extract from the records of the Conference of Bruges ; viz. : the article propounded by the Spanish commissioners, and the answer of her Majesty's orator thereto. (c) Extract from the treaty of Bristol, Aug. 21, [1574]. Endd. "Response, advis et articles du Docteur Aubrey, Anglois, escript au Sr. Walter Mildmay a la requeste de la lettre de Messieurs du Conseil priv de sa Majeste, pour le fait de l' Intercourse." Latin. 2 pp. [Holland VIII. 119, a., b., c.]


  • 1. Marginal note. "It did not arrive till 5th July."
  • 2. The agreement with Parma was made on June 28, N.S. Sunday was the 29th.
  • 3. An old base coin of France.
  • 4. Bor gives these names as Coeboeekum and Dubant.
  • 5. Qy. Philippe de Serooskercke, Seigneur de Tuyll, who had been one of the clerks of the old Council of State.