Elizabeth: June 1586, 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: June 1586, 26-31', in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 21, Part 2, June 1586-March 1587, (London, 1927) pp. 51-71. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/foreign/vol21/no2/pp51-71 [accessed 12 April 2024]


June 1586, 26-31

"My most dear and gracious lady, I have received by Atie your favourable and most comfortable letter. All bounden and humblest duty be rendered therefor, praying to God to make my life and service always acceptable unto your Majesty, as my heart and only care is bent to please you. I do perceive by some part of your Majesty's letter, as also by a message delivered by Atye, that you are informed that I have greatly discouraged the papists, being good patriots, having no less interest in the cause than the protestants have, that I had lost much by this dealing, and by new impositions and exactions upon the people ; and further, your Majesty doth wish me not to meddle in matters of religion here among them. "For the first, I protest unto your Majesty upon my duty to you, that I never dealt either particularly or generally against any those we account papists here, but being persuaded as your Majesty is, in respect they made show to be patriots with others in the common cause, I have used them with all indifferency, even as the rest. Nevertheless, I must let your Majesty know that the matter is quite otherwise . . . for as I must needs make the comparison, so will I refer it to your great wisdom to judge of it. Let me, I humbly beseech you, to consider of the minds of your own papists at home, what you have indeed found at their hands whensoever occasion might serve them to show otherwise their devotion. Myself had some experience of them at home attending upon your person. For the time, I must say I have had the like here now ; and must testify to your Majesty by my knowledge, that I do find these papists here nothing different from those at home ; for both desire change, let your gracious and good nature be persuaded as shall please God. They both love the Pope above all, and no longer hides it than severe laws keeps them under. There is none dare here openly impugn the laws established. In England they do, at least they did not long since. There is no mass allowed, nor religious orders of monks or friars or such like, within the United Provinces ; yet such as were religious persons live still in divers towns, being stipendaries without profession at all. But this fruit is found in all such towns that the Prince of Parma hath continual intelligence with them ; and not so in other places where such want or that the papists be banished, as divers good and wellaffected towns, having tasted of the dangerous practices of the papists did before my coming hither . . . . . . thrust them out . . . albeit in other respects they seemed to pay all duties of taxes and impositions as well as the rest. But so affected were they to the King by cause of religion, as they never left dealing with his ministers. These towns are, at this hour, the only assured places of these provinces, that have thus wisely dealt in dividing their dangerous enemies from among them. I do assure your Highness, those towns that have rendered of late, the 'platt' is known to be laid only by papists, and no doubt will be the very revolt of the countries again. I do now remain in a place, Utrecht, that without a thousand soldiers in garrison were gone to the enemy, being the only key of all these parts. There be three or four other towns where I am now fain to have a thousand, seven hundred, and [i.e. or] eight hundred at the least in them, and only for fear of the papists, they are so strong. Which manner of government hath cost and will cost dear, for that we are fain to bestow at this instant 10000 (fn. 1) Englishmen into towns, besides all your Majesty's garrisons, to keep them from yielding up to the enemy. And if by God's providence and your gracious permission, our late troops had not come over as they did, there had been at least ten or twelve great towns delivered up to the Prince. And we are very credibly informed now that he was procured and called into those parts, being promised that bringing his forces they would render ; otherwise they durst not adventure, every town having a good party as there is a bad,without some forces, to hazard themselves. They find also the States almost at their wits' end in all places upon bruits and rumours, for fear of your Majesty's continuance in favouring these countries, wherein the enemy hath not least laboured to sow it into many men's minds the great doubt of it, a matter that hath above all other wrought much for the Prince and greatly altered this estate. In such sort, Madame, as believe me I am in great doubt at this present what counsel to give you, what course shall be best for you to take ; but herein I will rather use a word or two in another piece of paper than make this letter too long and troublesome." But my conclusion must be that suffering such numbers of papists in towns, hath been already, and will be hereafter, the overthrow of the greatest and best towns here. "Touching any new imposts or exactions, I never set any upon these people. I have of late established, against the wills of some here, a Chamber of Finances, by which I shall, as long as shall please your Majesty, be sure to be privy to the levying and bestowing of all their revenues ; a matter your Majesty hath often sought to understand thereof, but with all the wit and means I could use, could never certainly bring it to pass, nor never will be but by this only way." At least I shall be able to assure you of this State's ability, and albeit I have never set any exactions upon these people, I am in good hope that by means of this office I shall be able to cut off and diminish divers hard impositions, to your great honour and my poor credit with them. "Touching dealing in matters of religion, your Majesty shall see how wary I have been, although it was a matter principally expected at my hands, upon the common hope all men had of your Majesty ; being a chief article from you that you would send a man of true religion to be in this place ; and the first thing they made suit for to your Majesty was that the true religion, as it was professed in England, also might be preserved here among them. It was the substance of all their orations in praising and thanking your Majesty for that blessing for them upon my first arrival, and the matter a good while together after, that they pressed me in ; yet did I not meddle, nor have done anything but this, which I must of necessity yield unto, or else have suffered such garboil as had not been meet to have seen. Your Majesty will not believe the number of sects that were in most towns and yet are in many ; specially Anabaptists, Families of Love, Georgians and I know not what. The godly and good ministers were impeached and molested in many places and ready to give over ; some towns would have one manner and some another ; yet the ministers always, I thank God, held to one doctrine and one form, though these diversities grew among magistrates in towns, being of some seditious sowers here yet in authority. It grew so far as all the ministers desired a meeting of two of every province, and to have of the gravest and wisest learned councillors belonging to the State to be present at it, to examine their religion, as also their manner and form used in all churches ; for there is no other religion allowed public, but only the protestant religion. They desired also to have had two or three of your doctors and learned men in England to have been here with them, which I did like very well of, for that I found divers willing to follow the form of the church of England ; and I wrote to have had Dr. Styll and Dr. James, (fn. 2) two very learned and modest men, but they come not. These ministers have met, without controversy or any trouble in the world, but as far as I hear they all do concur in sound and true doctrine ; and a great many of very learned and wise men is there placed in the ministry, and religion increaseth exceedingly. When I came to this town of Utrecht, here was a great division between two protestant churches, not for any one piece of doctrine but only for a bone of dissension cast between them by the atheists and papists of the town. As I remember in England, I did know a great papist defend a notorious puritan, thinking thereby to set a variance between some churches and ministers there, to discredit as he thought the doctrine ; but as he was discovered, so were these men. They had named the one church Jacobyns, and the other Consistorians, and so foul a breach was between them as indeed they had almost discouraged all their auditors ; and yet neither of both those churches differed any point in true doctrine. Great complaints were made to me, and I could do no less, neither for your Majesty's honour nor mine own conscience but cause such a difference to be heard, since otherwise there was like a great revolt of many well given to religion to be presently ; whereupon, the matter being examined and heard, it fell out flatly upon my duty to your Majesty that it was nothing but a mere scandalous practice, and the ministers meeting quietly together before those I appointed, both sides laid open and accused the doers and authors thereof, being the very principal officers of all this town, and men seeming to favour this religion, to avoid suspicion and to get authority, for a known papist may bear no chief office in any town. And here have I opened all that is done or hath been done since I came into these countries, yet have I been in the most of all the best towns in them ; and since the discovery of this lewd practice in this town, the ministers do the best agree in the world, and lament greatly their own folly to suffer the controversy so long. "Thus far, my most gracious lady, have I troubled you for those three points which I perceived you had some information of, but the very truth I have told you, and if I have been negligent in any duty of mine, I confess it to your Majesty, it is that I have done so little to the furtherance of that religion which, God be thanked, both your Majesty professeth and is your strength now to maintain it." The Prince of Parma is at Venlo, a town that gave up even as Grave did without any battery more than one day, or any assault or breach made. They supposed I could not succour them, and therefore the townsmen wrote to me that if I could relieve them within twenty days, they would hold it. "I did send them such as I was able within three days, but they had given it up, against the soldiers' wills, upon a sudden hearing my companies were comingfor I had appointed 8000 men and 1000 horse to go to them. . . and opened a gate and let in 800 Spaniards and 300 horse ; and so entrapped the poor soldiers." One of the burghers has since sent to Colonel Schenks and said he knew not whom to serve, "hearing your Majesty would defend them no longer, and the States they would not serve nor obey, having had always a duke or a king to their lord." Truly, divers towns hold out for their promise to me as your General and not for the States, and will take no garrison but English, and if they were lost they are the very keys to the heart of Holland and Zeeland. And Utrecht, Gelderland and Overyssel will hold no longer than your Majesty doth protect the countries. "I am fallen into a matter reserved for another place, and would fain, but that I have too long troubled your Majesty already, enter here into another, but I will here now end, craving humble pardon for my fault herein," and praying continually to God long to keep and preserve your Majesty with all his best blessings.Utrecht, 26 June. Holograph. 7 pp. [Holland VIII. 120.]
The bearer has long loved my house, and well deserved my love. He finds himself overmatched with too mighty an enemy in the law, and is undone unless your good lordship will further him with your favour. He is come out of England on purpose for this letter, and I beseech you for my sake to do him all the good you can. I have nominated Justice Suite to exercise the office of the Isle [qy. of Ely], and assure myself you will see my possession continued in my absence. On my return I will be ordered by your lordship, or any you shall appoint for determining the same. The burghers of Venlo, in Skink's absence, sent to the Prince, then lying before Grave, and offered, if he made any battery or assault, to yield up the town. To keep promise, upon a small battery they (being far stronger than the soldiers) suddenly put themselves in arms, came to the soldiers' quarters, and ordered them to throw away their weapons if they wished to save their lives, saying "they had yielded the town to the Prince, whose soldiers were already entered the gates. Their own soldiers did as they were commanded, and were driven out by the burghers without weapons. The Prince suffered them to pass, and some few were slain which remained in the town." The Prince commanded that Skink's wife should bring out what she could carry, and gave her safe-conduct to Gueldres. Skinks says he has lost 100000 crowns worth of plate and other goods. Venlo and Grave were two of the strongest towns in all these lands. All the towns have more papists than protestants, who labour continually to bring in the Prince ; and the good men entreat my lord to send them English soldiers, or all will be lost. It is written that two of the burgomasters of Arnhem are gone to the Prince to offer him the town. My lord is presently sending 800 men thither ; 400 to Amersford ; 400 to Waghenen ; 1000 to Huesden, which is much suspected to favour the enemy. At least 1500 must remain in this town, for it is very mutinous and factious. He will keep few about him, but put all into garrison until he hears where the Prince will next go, and then go into the field. The Prince is twice as strong in the field both in horse and foot as he is ; "I fear we shall not do much but defend, and that with great danger. . . The whole country is full of treason by these papists, and my lord keepeth nothing but with strong hand. His lordship travaileth in body and mind as much as a man can possibly do. If he were not of great providence and of marvellous patience, it were impossible for him to bear their unthankful dealing and most vile and miserable usage. He was set back by her Majesty ; but if God grant him life and her Majesty's favour, he will work all to some notable good end.". . . Utrecht, 26 June, [1586]. Year date given in endorsement. Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 pp. [Holland VIII. 121.]
I could not let a passenger [boat] go into England without declaring my safe arrival, and my love and duty to your lordship. Our passage was safe but slow. We embarked at Gravesend at 5 oclock on Thursday morning [June 23] and did not reach the Brill until 4 oclock of the next afternoon. "We had like to have had some little fights by the way with our pinnace, by meeting of a Scottish bark of eight score ton, with six score Scottish soldiers within her, and one Montgomery, one as he saith himself, near in credit and place to the King of Scotland ; one that hath served in the Low Countries and captain of that ship. There is great suspicion, as the Scottish man saith, that he was a taking man, notwithstanding his excuse was that being without a pilot, he durst not put in, neither into Flushing nor the Brill ; but bearing into the wind of us, by the nimbleness of our pinnace we won the wind of him, and so wafting him to come near and to strike his bonnet, finding him unwilling to do it, we made so near a shot at him as at the length we made him and the master of the ship to come aboard of us with her skiff, and sent two of our mariners aboard of her, where we found unlawful lading, both sea coal and barrels of salt, without cocquet." We kept the Captain and master aboard of us, and brought the ship into this haven, where she is now. The captain is gone with letters of credit to his Excellency, and I stay both men and ship until his return. This day, Sunday the 26th. I go towards Utrecht, hoping to find him [his Excellency] there, but there is a bruit that as tomorrow he will be at the Hague. News here is none but the assurance of the loss of Venlo, by the treason of the townsmen, not the soldiers, for on the entry of the enemy, many of the soldiers were put to the sword. They say that Skynke has won a town within the territory of Cologne, called 'Kesarstowne,' but that the castle as yet holds out. "Craving pardon for my scribbling so fast," as the bearer stays for my letter, I humbly take my leave.The Brill, 26 June. Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 pp. [Holland VIII. 122.]
June 25 & 27. DE Loo to BURGHLEY.
I wrote from Antwerp to your lordship. On the 14th instant old style, I arrived at the camp, and the following day, by favour of President Richardot, his Highness gave me audience. I made my reverence on behalf of your lordship and Mr. Controller [Crofts], giving him briefly the substance of what three days later I sent to him in writing, of which I send you a copy, together with what I wrote to the President to communicate to the Prince, which he did. He replying to me at first but little, demanded what the Queen wished, and promised to endeavour to do it ; to which I replied that I was not come to treat with his Highness on such a subject, but only on the matter of the personage who should be sent ; giving him an account of what was contained in my Instructions, and saying further that I had by letters signified divers times to Signor Lanfranchi the causes which had moved the Queen to send troops into Holland and Zeeland, for the securing of her own dominions, as also because of the treaties, both particular and general, between her kingdom and those countries, especially their nearest provinces, allied with her from old times, and from the misfortunes of which there could not but arise danger to herself, when she saw them oppressed by foreign troops ; having likewise written to him concerning the Queen's claim for the satisfaction of her subjects for the injuries suffered by them from the arrest of their persons and goods in Spain and Portugal, by reason of whose great complaints she was constrained to grant them letters of reprisal, without knowing at all what the said arrests might import ; but when informed of the matter, she would give the King all sufficient satisfaction. Upon which his Highness said to me, it might be all right, but meanwhile, by the facts so far, they had reason to judge very badly of it. And as these things had already been treated of with others (although not with so much ground to work upon) he wished for a day or two to think, before dispatching me. Then following the taking of Venlo, which kept him occupied, he had me sent for on the 23rd and excusing himself that for the above causes he had not been able to dispatch me earlier, said that he had considered of what he had heard from me, and seen my written paper, which was very good, provided that what followed should agree thereunto ; but that where I urged that a personage should be sent, he found that this did not agree with one "Graffignia," who had also said that he was sent to him by the Lord Treasurer, Controller and others, and moreover discoursed of matters on behalf of her Majesty, with whom he said he had spoken ; he only desiring that some private person should be sent to her ; so that there might be the more secrecy, and not a considerable personage as I demanded. And having seen by what M. de Champagney wrote, that he had learned from me (being in Antwerp) that it was of consequence to your Lordship and Mr. Controller for a person to be sent into England, and Graffignia then wishing to return home, he had ordered William Bodenham to go on his Highness' behalf to the Queen, with a letter given to this Graffina, which being done in conformity with his petition on the part of the Lord Treasurer and Controller, he could do nothing more until he should have the reply and see that on that side also (since he had already begun to attacare il filo) some overture should be made, whereby he might then much better furnish what should be wanted. To which I replied that I believed Graffina had not been either with your Lordship or with Mr. Controller ; because, if so, neither of you would have suffered me to come hither with the Instructions from Mr. Controller, the whole desire in which was that a person of quality should be sent as soon as possible, so that, he treating personally with her Majesty, all delays should be avoided which might obstruct the success of the business. Good (then said his Highness), from what I hear from you, I give credit both to what you say and to the Instructions which you bring, (although they are not signed by anyone) ; but seeing that what he had told me had already happened, he must wait to see what her Majesty would reply ; and if she shall be as well disposed to the accord as I affirmed (although, he said, her actions hitherto had shown the contrary), he will not be wanting, on his part, to do all good offices with the King his Master ; from whom however, he had not as yet absolute authority in relation to this matter. Nevertheless, if the Queen is willing to proceed to a reconciliation, he has no doubt that all will go well, he himself desiring it more than any other, without wishing to speak of the past ; showing himself, in truth, the most benign prince, I believe, to be found in the whole world. He said to me also that some days ago he had resolved to send some one (but in consequence of important matters it did not go forward) with another proposal, concerning which I will not trouble your lordship, it being of no great consequence. Upon this, humbly thanking his Highness both for his gracious eudience and that he had been pleased to read the few writings shown him by President Richardot, with the hope that he would take them in good part, he said : I have seen the writings ; thank you for the trouble taken, and will gratify you if I can. Praying him, moreover, thatsince at this time it did not appear that he could do anything furtherit would please him to give me something to show that I had explained to him the contents of my Instruction :Good (he said), very willingly ; and salute for me the Lord Treasurer, Mr. Controller and the rest of those lords, as well as her Majesty, if you should speak with her. This is the sum of what little I have negotiated, and as I am sending Edward Morris, Mr. Controller's man with it, you will learn from him the particulars of what he has seen and heard ; and intending to remain in Antwerp for some days, if your lordship shall wish me to do any other service, I shall always be honoured by your commands, and with the support of the Signors Champagney and Richardot will do my utmost endeavours that all things may go on according to your desire, finding both of them very well disposed towards the business. And having divers times talked with the said Richardot at large, he has always affirmed very seriously that if I am not mistaken in my opinion of the real intention on that side for peace, he holds it for very evident that a good agreement may be made, knowing that his Highness has no other intention than to proceed with the Queen in all sincerity, provided the same be done with him. Venlo is surrendered on fair conditions. It is not known which way his Highness will now take ; who has news that the king's fleet has been at San Domingo, and was seeking for Drake, to fight with him.The Camp before Venlo, 25 June, 1586, old style. Postscript. I send you the articles of the rendition of Venlo, sent by his Highness to M. de Champagney, and pray you to show them to Mr. Controller. Further postscript. After writing the above, as I was about to dispatch Edward Morris, his Highness having given me a good escort of soldiers to accompany me to Antwerp, I am not sending the said Morris away until tomorrow, with orders to cross as quickly as possible. I have talked again two or three times with the President and by what I can gather from him, I see that the Prince is now quite determined to send a personage, upon my writing which the President showed to him, as also to Secretary Cosmo, and this gives me hopes of taking with me either M. de Champagney or the Sieur Richardot if, before then, the form of the reply to his Highness do not disturb it. And having imparted to M. de Champagney what I had negotiated with his Highness, he said that the business had been begun very well ; and as he would certainly favour the cause very much, and would desire above all that by the Queen's means the afflicted Low Countries might be freed from foreign soldiers, it would not be a bad thing for her Majesty to reply to his Highness in the form which I send her by my note (conceived from the discourse of the said M. de Champagney) ; so that as soon as one or the other should come thither, it should appear that such a matter has been requested of the Queen ; and if she would be pleased to write also to M. de Champagney briefly, (as to a person with whom she has already begun to treat in the past, and remaining always in the same disposition) there is no doubt but that it would greatly assist, showing clearly that the said Champagney has the matter at heart, tending to the former liberty of the country, with due obedience to its natural prince ; and that consequently the Queen would by this means have security to remain in peace and tranquillity. In short, when I signified to the President that I was going to send Morris over and that I should remain for a short time in Antwerp, for some business of my own, he said that would not be a bad plan, and that some time soon we may see each other in England, which God grant. I pray your lordship to pardon me if I presume too much, being urged on by my great zeal for the public good, and that by this holy treaty there may be brought about, with the general pacification of all these Low Countries, universal consolation and the greatest glory to her Majesty ; and M. de Champagney having written the little letter (which goes with this to your lordship), I pray you to send him a few lines in reply, in Latin, Italian or French.Antwerp, 27 June, 1586, stilo vecchio. Postscript. Be pleased to notice this letter very carefully, and in case of need (for it is somewhat ill written) to call my chief man, Bartolomeo Schorer to clear up anything that you find obscure, and to let me know your will. And herewith going also the letter which the Prince wrote to you, you will henceforward the way sufficiently open to set this business on foot freely and with reputation. Add. Endd. by Burghley. Italian, 3 pp. [Flanders I. 90.]
(1). Copy of the Remonstrance made by Andrea de Loo to his Highness the Prince of Parma. June 27, 1586. Endd. with date by Burghley. Italian. 1 pp. [Ibid. 90 a.]
(2). Copy of the writing given by de Loo to President Richardot, which the latter showed to his Highness and left with him. June 27.
Endd. as above. Italian. 1 pp. [Flanders I. 90 b.]
(3). Suggestions by Andrea de Loo for letters from her Majesty to the Prince and to M. de Champagney. That to the Prince to be very courteous and only in general terms (as was his to her), in order to the setting up of a good correspondence between them. That to M. de Champagney to be confidential, thanking him for his favours to the English, praying him to continue in this good disposition, and assuring him of the same from her Majesty towards himself ; who, as he knows well, showed no other desire (when he was in England) than that the Low Countries might be at peace, observing the duty and reverence which they owed to the King of Spain, whom she did not wish to prejudice in any way. But seeing these people made desperate by the violent actions of strangers (by which England also received injury) and that all the neighbouring princes were living in mistrust, especially her Majesty, whom they have divers times sought to disturb, and to stir up her kingdom :rather than see those countries in the hands of another prince (as it was seen that they were seeking to put themselves) her only thought was how to hinder this, endeavouring with the King of Spain that he would mercifully moderate the harshness and new customs in the government of the Low Countries ; and this failing, she determined to treat with her neighbours, in order to maintain the traffic, treaties and other leagues which from olden times there have been between the realm of England and the Low Countries and their natural princes respectively, having no hope, if those countries should in desperation fall into any other hands than her own, that those things might be maintained or restored. And that this was her meaning has been made manifest to all, not only by her actions, but by her own justification. And her first duty being her own preservation, and next that of her subjects, she would be glad that, on this condition, all the Low Countries should return to the obedience of the King of Spain, under the management of natives of those countries, who are natural subjects of that King ; removing the mistrust between them by withdrawing the strangers who are the cause thereof, and leaving the governments, forts, administrations and commands to the said natives, as is reasonable for the greater tranquillity of all. This being so, the Queen, with the word of his Majesty, on which she relies (imputing to the strangers, his ministers all the aforesaid matters) will be willing to put all things back to their old footing ; and having, as all know, incurred her charges there entirely for the sake of the said tranquillity that the States shall give her sufficient security to satisfy her, in conformity with the conditions which they agreed upon with her. Endd. Italian. 1 p. [Ibid. 90 c.] Each of these papers is noted as being "From Andrea de Loo, 27 June, 1586."
(4). Copy of the Articles agreed upon between the Prince of Parma on the one hand, and Jehan van Vogelsanck, doctor of medicine ; Maitre Pierre Mont, licentiate in law ; Guillaume van Oyen ; Pierre Hooft ; Guillaume Dorss ; Sebastien van Loen and Guillaume Cremer, deputies from the town on the other, for the surrender of Venlo. His Highness agrees to pardon all past faults and to receive those of the town or who, notwithstanding that he has very just cause of resentment against them for not accepting his courtesies and benign offers made by Ores on his arrival in this place, yet to take some course that he has always done to have compassion on his subjects and vassals rather than to ruin them, have taken refuge therein into the King's mercy, giving them full enjoyment of their goods and promising to treat them as loyal subjects of his Majesty, and to prove to them that his intention has never been to abolish or diminish the privileges and customs of the country, but rather to preserve and increase them : He will do all good offices to the neighbour princes, and especially to the Duke of Cleves, that they may not call the citizens of Venlo to account for wrongs done to themselves and their subjects, when they see the said citizens returned into the King's obedience. To the burghers having divers goods, rents and credits in Holland and Zeeland and other rebel places, he promises that when he comes to treat with these rebels, he will do what he can that the said burghers may not be injured. All who wish to depart may do so freely within six months, during which time they may remain in the town, living peaceably, and if at the end of that time they wish to remain, may do so. And may enjoy all their property if they do not go over to the opposite party. Those having goods in rebel countries may go thither to take order in their affairs, and return freely within three months. And to comfort the burghers, all tailles, gabels and other means imposed during the troubles shall be abolished, not to be revived without the advice and consent of those of old consulted in the matter. As for the soldiers who wished to hold the place, and know what they deserve, having endured the cannon after being courteously summoned, they may freely depart, without horses, arms or other booty save what they can carry ; and shall have good escort to some safe place. And for Col. Schenk's consort, as his Highness is not accustomed to make war on women, she may freely depart with the men of the garrison, and her sister, serving-men and waiting women. Camp before Venlo, 28 June. Signed Alexandre, and below Verreycken. Copy. Endd. by de Loo, and dated by Burghley "27 Junii, 1586," Fr. 2 pp. [Flanders I. 90 d.]
"Before I begin, my most Gracious lady, I am more than afraid for too long troubling you, but being desirous in this matter to deal chiefly with your own self maketh me to presume the further in this boldness. "I humbly beseech you to give me leave to look a little backward for some part of my matter, that my meaning may the easlier appear unto your Majesty. My desire first is that all the good reasons which moved you to take this cause in hand may procure your Majesty to a more full deliberation thereof, and that some such new resolution may in time follow as either may give you great cause to proceed in that you have undertaken, or else to take some just occasion to make stay of your further adventure. As far as my poor capacity will stretch unto, whatsoever former reasons have been to draw you into this business, I do not find it so followed that either your Majesty doth fancy the proceeding in it, or so persuaded of the necessity of it as you may think your treasure or charge so well bestowed as it may countervail other objections conceived upon the ground of the matter to your self. For mine own opinion and counsel I set aside as the least and simplest of all, for I do find now my affection and duty carried me further on, or rather further off from the safer course than a wiser and waryer mind would have done. There was three ways I remember preponed touching this enterprise to your Majesty, either to be sovereign, protector, or an aiding friend. The first two your Majesty had no liking of ; the last you have taken thus far hitherto in hand ; I leave therefore to utter my conceit of the two former as a matter resolved by your Majesty not to meddle withal. Touching the last, as an helper to this poor afflicted people I do think I may safely say to your Majesty that if your aid had been in such apparent sort to these countries that they might assure themselves of any certain time of continuance of the same, and that you had taken their cause in deed to heart, I am verily persuaded that they would have given very good testimonies by their very large contributions, to maintain their wars for such certain number of years to be set down as your Majesty should appoint and like of ; and no prince nor practice of any person living able to draw them from you. But I need not tell your Majesty what conceits have been taken of late in the higher and wiser sort of your cold favour toward them, and how weary it seems to them you be of them, and how willing you could be that any other had them so you were rid of them. Many tokens of this they think they have, and divers there be that have been ready to do all ill offices rather to confirm this opinion in them than to comfort them, which state of this matter is that which causeth me thus boldly to write to your Majesty, and to assure you that I find it very far gone among those that I know were most fast to your Majesty, and yet I do think had rather live with bread and drink [water?] under your protection than to enjoy all their possesssions under the King of Spain. It hath almost broken their hearts to think your Majesty should not care more for them. For my part I have done and daily doth my whole uttermost to make them think the contrary, and deface all I can all such lewd wretches as feeds these humours, but my duty is to inform your Majesty of the truth. I am verily persuaded and I have great cause so to persuade your Majesty to believe that if it shall appear that your Majesty's assistance will be but for a short time, as five or six months or for a year, it will be to no purpose but to draw you on the deeper with the King of Spain, and to spend the rest of your charges to greater loss. I see so far now into these men's minds and the conceit so fast increaseth as it is my part to let you know it first to yourself, that you may resolutely consider with yourself what is meetest to do.... Let it now be deeply considered and all good expedition used, for if you shall resolve and find it good to proceed with these men but for a small time, and they to know it, be you most assured, they will be gone before your Majesty shall almost hear of it." But though it should be substantially debated, "few or none but yourself may be privy to your full mind, especially if you shall not mean to go through with these people ; and yet to set the best countenance you can of it, with all good encouragements and well using them ; for if they shall stand fast unto you, your Majesty shall be always able to make the best end for them." "I will likewise, without further binding you, both encourage them in your Majesty's name, and God willing now we have some men, will not fail to occupy the enemy in as many places as I can devise, and I trust you shall hear well of us, "or else it shall cost your (fn. 3) both their lids." Besides this, I hope to get into my hands three or four principal places in North Holland, which will be such a strength to you that you may rule these men, make war or peace as you list ; always provided that whatsoever is said, you do not for anything "depart" with the Brill ... and having those places in your hands, whatsoever shall chance to these countries, your Majesty, I will warrant sure enow to make what peace you will .... But I beseech you "show all favour and goodness to the States and these countries, and I doubt not but you will perform whatsoever you have promised them, that must needs be your Majesty's course, whether you proceed longer with them or no. I trust your Majesty will have deep and thorough consideration if you shall not think good to hold them thus to yourself whether you will conclude them by peace with the King of Spain so to restore his authority here again ; or else consent they take some other prince, or to see whether any faction may be found out here to hold the K[ing] occupied still ; for assuredly I can never think but if he do settle himself here, your Majesty shall never be quiet after, in England your own vile papists will doubtless deal for him ; God Almighty preserve you from it, and from their power. For mine own part I will not leave these matters till they be better settled one way or other, though it hath pleased your Majesty of your great goodness to grant me leave to come, as I shall find things settled here ; and your Majesty using these States and the countries with your present countenance at this time, God knows what great good it may do even this summer, the better to assist your consultation against hereafter. And for the certainty of their abilities to maintain their wars. I hope within twenty days to give your Majesty some near reckoning of all their revenues every way. Your Majesty doth suppose I deal weakly with these men, but I would you did know in deed how I have dealt with them of late, as well to bring this office of finances to pass, as for the money delivered to them by your treasurer. I had a good will to have dealt so long since roundly with them, I confess, but my case was too well known to them, but as soon as my heartening came from mine old supporter, I was found a more shrew than your Majesty will believe, for mine old patience hath been too much tried since I came from my quiet home to this wayward generation. "I have flitted perhaps from one thing to another, and so may fall from my chief purpose, for my intention is, to let your Majesty understand how necessary it is for you to resolve what proceeding shall be meetest for you with these countries, and that you may assuredly know not only how far onward many here be toward a revolt, but without some hope of assurance of your Majesty's further continual defence and assistance they will run headlong the course some hath begun, that hereupon your Majesty may in your wisdom resolve so as you may take some safe way for yourself, and in the mean time graciously to use them, and freely perform to them that which they may justly claim from you. In which time if by your gracious dealing there may only be a stay of men's minds here, be one found from despair of your goodness, you will have gained much,....for time will bring further directions and your strength and advantage be increased thereby. "And whatsoever may be alleged...let me lose all with your Majestyand that is with me all the worldif the only conceit that your Majesty will leave them, and the assured reports given out as well from England itself as from merchants in Antwerp as the Prince himself that a peace was in treaty between your Majesty and him be not at this hour and hath been the cause these two months past of all the revolts and alteration of this State now like to be. "I deal, as my duty is, simply and plainly with your Majesty, God is witness, for you shall find it so, and I do not doubt, upon the gracious dealing of your Majesty yet with them, shall make it appear so. And therefore is my opinion, howsoever you shall determine for your full resolution, the good usage of these men to recover them into good heart and hope of your Majesty can do no hurt, for you may at all times deal better for them and thereby for yourself also, than upon this sudden conceit or desperate mislike they shall be able to do for themselves ; for no other end can be looked for in this sort but utter confusion of the whole, wherein I shall be most cheifly sorry it should come to pass for your Majesty's sake, for the King of Spain coming in on that manner will breed no small danger to your estate. It were better any way than this way." I have so far troubled your Majesty with my poor opinion...that the evil may be prevented, offering my life for your service and my care and diligence to keep all here in the best temper I can devise. For the revenue, I hope to be able to make you know not only what it is but, if promise be kept by the wisest here for these matters, to find them able to maintain their own wars themselves, although hitherto it has been, for lack of order and government, consumed to little purpose ; craving letters from you to the Council of State, to say how well you like of their care to bring their revenues into order ; and to myself "to be careful with your great charge thereof." And if it please you to write to the States General, "somewhat earnestly to recommend their care of me in generalty unto them, that they may perceive you are my good lady and not set me here as a man altogether in oblivion," it will further my service for you and increase my credit with them. Lastly I would trouble you for your poor soldiers here. I think it is not there believed, though I have often written it, that the treasure has not been disposed as your Majesty is informed or the bills under the captains' hands give testimony. "There was never such fleecing of poor men, and...I beseech you to have compassion of them," and if the treasurer says he cannot finish his account without he make up this pay, let him be present, but let another be disposer of the money upon the reckonings the treasurer brings in. "And where my imprests seem great...I pray God you take no more loss in other disbursements than in that.... As for the allowance for myself, I trust your Majesty will not have me to be a general of your army and to have no allowance, or not as much as every man heretofore of my calling hath had. It appears there was small care had how I for my faithful heart to your Majesty should consume myself in this service, for I perceive some do think it much I should have allowance in your pay, and yet never took order for me with the States. I pray God I may live to see you employ some of them...to see whether they will spend 20,000l. of their own for you in seven months. I know what your Majesty will say, but all is in mine own heart too little, though the greatest portion of all my land pay for it, so your Majesty do well accept of it." I have never up to this day had from these States but a thousand pounds, yet I am sure one letter from my lords of your Council to the States General would have caused them to deal well with me. Perhaps they looked to be pressed from thence, or it may be "that after they heard of your Majesty's displeasure, they thought to save so much by me.... But this matter will now easily be holpen, I know, upon your best signification.... I am sorry I have joined your General and your poor soldiers together, but God doth know I take as much care for them as for myself." I have been so ill handled for them by the treasurer (though I think others as much in fault as he), that I have vowed, without your express command never to deal with him, or sign him any more warrants. The causes are too great to trouble you with, but I trust you think me an honest and true man, and will match me with such as will deal faithfully to your service and uprightly towards your poor soldiers. "Your Majesty doth see I pour all out to yourself, and so I mean to do still, till you shall show I weary you." I thought to have entered somewhat into the cause of Denmark, but I have declared that whole matter to Cox, Mr. Vice-Chamberlain's secretary. I am informedbut cannot say for certain that that King has now an agent with the Prince of Parma. Of this and other things as they fall out your Majesty shall hear ; and I trust to understand from yourself your mind touching this letter.Utrecht, 27 June. Holograph. 5 pp. [Holland VIII. 123.]
Assuring them of the pleasure with which she has heard from the Earl of Leicester of their good carriage in regard to what he has proposed to them for the advancement of affairs there. If they continue in their conformity and good-will in perfecting what he finds good for the present cause (which indeed is their own, and in which she has interested herself from love of their state) they will find her constant to procure them every good, as she has already shown them, and of which they may be assured notwithstanding all the bruits spread abroad to the contrary. Endd. "27 June, 1586. Minute of her Majesty's letters in French, to be endorsed by my Lord of Leicester to such towns as he shall think good." Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. VIII. 124.]
Rough draft, much corrected, of the above. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. VIII. 124a.]
June 27./July 7. News from BOMMELWARD.
The enemy is retired towards Rossum, from difficulty of getting victuals, which, coming along the Maas, he has to land and carry some miles by waggons, as the Schanz of Vueren hinders the passage of ships. And His Excellency has made a half-moon on the Brabant side, over against Vueren, where he may lodge four or five thousand men, to hinder the passing of the victuals by land. News comes to day of the overthrow of five or six hundred of the enemy, "most of them armed for musket proof" ; on our side about ninety slain, but particulars not yet known. Endd. "From Bommelward." p. [Ibid. VIII. 125.]
Many reasons have moved me to seek to remain in your favour and to do you what service I can, which heretofore I have endeavoured by my "often letters" touching affairs in these parts, but now that the personages employed in the action are so near to your honour that you cannot be unadvertised of the smallest accident, it might seem arrogancy in me to trouble you with superfluous letters. Thus much I prayed some friends in England to allege to you, for my better excuse, but not having heard how you were pleased to like thereof, I presume to trouble you "with these my idle letters," which I trust you will take in good part, as from one ever ready to do you service.Utrecht, 27 June, 1586. Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland VIII. 126.]
June 27./July 7. Extract from the resolution of the States-General of the provinces of the United Netherlands wherein his Excellency consented to the 4000 gulden for the establishment of a field camp.7 July, 1586. Signed C. Aerssens. Copy. Dutch. 2 pp. [Ibid. VIII. 127.]
Before perusing the articles delivered him in his lordship's presence by Mr. Secretary, he hoped "by coating [? quoting] them in the margin" to answer everything in full. But seeing they are many, and urged against him very vehemently, he finds he cannot explain the truth "without some needful circumstance" and therefore beseeches his lordship to give him respite one day longer, and on Monday he will not fail to attend with answer to every article particularly ; wherein, as near as he can, he will be "armed with truth and a good conscience." Let the rest fall out as pleases God.27 June, 1586. Holograph. Add. Endd. p. [Ibid. VIII. 128.]
June 27./July 7. CHAMPAGNEY to BURGHLEY.
Signor Andrea de Loo has been the more welcome to me in that he brought me news of your lordship's health, and testimony of your favourable remembrance of me. I have heard what he has communicated to me from thence, and he has learned from me what I thought would serve to give good success to his journey ; referring it to him to bear witness of the memory I preserve of the many favours received in that kingdom, and especially from your lordship, whom I cannot neglect this opportunity of saluting, praying God to preserve you in happiness and prosperity. Antwerp, 7 July, 1586. Signed. Add. Endd. by Burghley. [Flanders I. 91.]
June 28. Paper endorsed "Articles exhibited against the Treasurer at Wars in the Low Countries by Mr. Hunt the auditor and Mr. Barker." Headed "Some causes for which my Lord of Leicester disliketh with Mr. Huddilston, her Majesty's Treasurer at wars for the Low Countries." 1. p. [Holland VIII. 129.]
June 28. "The answer of Richard Huddilston, Esq., Treasurer at the Wars, to the articles exhibited against him." 4 pp. [Ibid. VIII. 130.]
Asking for countenance and favour for his cousin, Sir Richard Dyer, a very valiant and diligent gentleman, who has gone home with leave to bring over 500 men. Is himself going towards Flushing, whence he hears that his honour's daughter "is very well and merry."Utrecht, 28 June, 1586. Holograph. Add. Endd. pp. [Ibid. VIII. 131.]
June 29. Paper in Burghley's handwriting, endorsed "29 June, 1586. Memorial for matters of the Low Countries," being notes concerning the payment of moneys by the Merchants Adventurers, "out of the Receipt," &c. 1 p. [Ibid. VIII. 132.]
I am now going towards Bergen-op-Zoom, to see the place and fortifications, and to understand of other matters there, as it is a special mark for the enemy and I hear divers reports, "whereof I cannot be so well resolved as by seeing it myself." After which I mean to see some other places of importance. Being now at Dort, I am "put in mind of the 'Scout's' son, (fn. 4) who I would very gladly were delivered ; for he endureth very grievous and lothsome imprisonment, beside the daily fear he standeth in of his life." Wherefore I pray you to hasten the sending over of 'Sobiour,' in order to redeem him, and haply some others of our men at Dunkirk. Delays will take away our opportunities, therefore let him [Zubiaur] be sent as soon as possible to Dort, where he shall be safely kept.Dort, 30 June. Postscript. I mean very shortly to dispatch a messenger to her Majesty touching matters of this State. Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. VIII. 133.]
June 30./July 10. "Postiles made to certain of the Treasurer's articles of answer the 28 June," On the whole, favourable to Huddilston, but many points referred to the Lord General. Endd. "10 July, 1586." 2 pp. [Holland VIII. 134.]
June 30. [Stephen] LE SIEUR to WALSINGHAM.
I would long since have advertised your honour of the late barbarous proceedings towards me, were it not that there was then here in the prison one Brudges, a merchant of London, who presently departed with intention to declare to you what he knew of my miseries. What has since happened to me, or what favour I am to expect at mine enemies' hands, I leave to the relation of this my good friend Dr. Josephus Micheli, who by consent of the governor of this town and in presence of the sergeant-major has visited me, and has heard what they mean to do with me ; only humbly beseeching you to be assured that neither long imprisonment, cruel looks and threatenings nor fair promises have or shall cause me to forget 'neither' my duty towards God 'nor' the service I owe your honour and my honourable master ; but with a constant mind to abide all these miseries and with patience expect God's time for my liberty. Capt. Brackenbury and a gentleman of my lord of Leicester named Charles Hast are here still. They have written divers letters to my lord, declaring that a Spaniard, prisoner in Sluyse is demanded for them both, and beseeching him to help them ; as also to many of their friends, but receive no answer. "It were good, for sundry respects ... that the said Captain were at liberty and in Holland." Last week four townsmen of Dover were brought hither prisoners, among whom is one Edward Bates, not unknown (as I judge) to your honour. [Concerning his money difficulties.] "What exclamations there are here upon such Englishmen as have been here prisoners and now gone, specially my lord of Oxford's gentlemen," this bearer can tell you, and all other things of these parts, for he hath thoroughly tasted both of the sweet and sour.Dunkirk, being close prisoner, this last of June, 1586, stilo antiquo. Postscript. Capt. Brackenbury and Mr. Hast have received a letter from one they sent to my lord, saying that the Spaniard in Sluys was released before his coming, but that my lord "doth take care" to exchange [them for some (fn. 5) ] other prisoner. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Flanders I. 92.]
June. "Exceptions taken by the French King and his Council to the placard set forth by my lord of Leicester." By this placard, he forbids all merchants and others of any nation, to negociate, by money or merchandise with the subjects of the King of Spain, or to take into neutral countries which are part of the realm of France any corn or other merchandise without his passport or safe-conduct. And also decrees that those who pass by the seas and coasts of the United Provinces shall pay droit de convoy or be declared good prize ; that those who sail for France or other places towards the West must keep the high sea, and if found within the banks of Flanders shall be confiscated ; and that all ships of Calais, Boulogne, Dieppe and other towns between Calais and Nantes, in which are found any subjects of the Spanish King shall be forfeited and declared good prize. In answer, his Majesty says :
1. That the said placard is contrary to the treaty between their Majesties, by which commerce has remained free to their subjects in all provinces.
2. And although there is a dispute between the said Queen and the King of Spain, yet his Majesty [of France] being at peace with both, traffic cannot be forbidden to his subjects either into Spain, England or the Low Countries.
3. Also, it has always been the custom that the subjects of a King not at war may go into the kingdoms which are at war.
4. And this was done by the English during the last war between France and Spain.
5. Therefore, for the said Earl to prevent the French traffic to Spain would be to break the alliance between France and England.
6. Moreover, to declare the French ships taken by the Hollanders and Zeelanders good prize, is contrary to all right, human and divine, and his Majesty cannot suffer it.
7. And for this reason, requires the Queen to have prompt satisfaction given to the French who have been pillaged, and
8. To forbid the said Earl and all others to hinder the traffic of the French into any place whatsoever.
9. And that the said Earl shall be made to give up the goods pillaged by the Hollanders, and deliver them to the said French in recompense of their losses, which her Majesty cannot refuse, seeing that the Earl is her subject, and that the said goods are under her obedience.
10. His Majesty long ago wrote to the said Queen to do justice to Jehan Chevrier, merchant of Auvergne, for certain merchandise laden at Calais in a Breton ship, taken by Jehan Pedes, a Zeeland captain, carried into Zeeland and declared good prize by the Admiralty there on Sept. 5, 1585, on the ground that the said Chevrier had carried goods from Spain ; traded to St. Omer, and bought in the Low Countries part of the merchandise. His Majesty also wrote to the States, but they referred the decision to the Earl, who has done no justice, but on the contraryin a letter written to the English ambassador and by him exhibited to the King's Councildefends the said sentence ; and nevertheless, it cannot be allowed if the Queen wishes to maintain the alliance between the two realms, and the rather.
11. Inasmuch as by their treaties it is no way forbidden to the French to traffic with the subjects of the King of Spain, and that such prohibitions by the Earl of Leicester can only take effect upon those under his domination.
12. Moreover, even if they had been agreed to by his Majesty, such merchandises as those of Chevrier have never been forbidden, even in kingdoms at war ; and could only be confiscated with great injustice.
13. And as the said Queen has seen very well the injustice done to the said Chevrier, his Majesty prays her to give him speedy satisfaction, as otherwise the faith of the two kingdoms will be broken.
14. His Majesty also prays her to make the like satisfaction to an infinite number of Frenchmen who have been taken by the said Zeeland ships even since the time when she was to have granted them stay of proceedings for six months.
15. And to give orders to let pass freely all French ships, going and coming into France, without using any confiscation or forfeiture in relation to them ; not detaining the said ships and merchandises, as was done three months ago with several ships laden with corn in other provinces to take into France.
16. Otherwise his Majesty cannot deny to his subjects the means which it is customary to employ in regard to those who deny them justice.Made in the Council of the King held in Paris and also at St. Maur des Fosss, June 1586. Signed Pinart. Endd. Fr. 3 pp. [Holland VIII. 135.] [Probably sent from England to the Earl of Leicester.]
June. THOS. DIGGES to his servant, WILLIAM HARFLEETE, clerk of the musters at Flushing.
I would have you, against my coming to Flushing to cast up your muster rolls and see what is due for every band, and what checks there are for her Majesty's benefit. Tell Mr. Huntley "that he is set down in the new roll to be in her Majesty's pay, but Capt. Symms' and Capt. Wingfield's bands are in the States' pay." Give notice of this to Mr. Wingfield and to Mr. Randall, who has Symms' band, "that they may make means to have their bands employed in some other service, for if they be found there the next muster, the States perhaps will refuse to pay them. They were put out of the Queen's roll to receive Sir Philip Sydney's band and Capt. Huntley's ; as Capt. Rolles' band was sent away to make place for Mr. Robert Sydney's." Signed. Add. Endd. "June 1586." p. [Ibid. VIII. 136.]
List of ships of war in the service of Holland, with their captains, numbers, where they serve, and what their monthly charges amount to. Headed Anno 1585, but probably for use in 1586. On the last sheet, "List of men of war entertained by those of Zeeland, Anno 1586. 6 pp. [Ibid. VIII., 137 ; last entry.]


  • 1. Apparently 9 altered into 10.
  • 2. Dr. Still was at this time Master of Trin. Coll., Cambridge, and Dr. Wm. James, Dean of Christ Church, Oxford.
  • 3. i.e. two eyes, Leicester's device for himself, when writing to the Queen.
  • 4. Hugues Muys van Holy, son of Jacob Muys van Holy, Escoutette of Dordrecht, a gentleman soldier in Captain Famar's company, was a prisoner in the hands of Count Peter Ernest of Mansfeldt. See Report on the Manuscripts of the Earl of Ancaster, p. 22.
  • 5. Injured by damp.