Elizabeth: June 1587, 11-20

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 21, Part 3, April-December 1587. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1929.

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, 'Elizabeth: June 1587, 11-20', in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 21, Part 3, April-December 1587, (London, 1929) pp. 107-123. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/foreign/vol21/no3/pp107-123 [accessed 30 May 2024].

. "Elizabeth: June 1587, 11-20", in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 21, Part 3, April-December 1587, (London, 1929) 107-123. British History Online, accessed May 30, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/foreign/vol21/no3/pp107-123.

. "Elizabeth: June 1587, 11-20", Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 21, Part 3, April-December 1587, (London, 1929). 107-123. British History Online. Web. 30 May 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/foreign/vol21/no3/pp107-123.

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June 1587, 11-20

Desiring him to deliver to the bearers, Capt. Goring and Capt. Sampson, appointed to have charge of two companies now sent over to be put into Bergen-op-Zoom, the proportion of armour and shot allotted for them.Greenwich, 11 June, 1587. Postscript. Letters have been sent, desiring Sir Thos. Shurley to make weekly lendings to the companies sent over. If he be absent from Middelburg, order may be taken with his deputy to pay the same. Minute. Endd. p. [Holland XV. f. 82.]
The bearers, Captains Sampson and Goring, have charge of the three hundred men, in addition to the bands already sent over by Captains Barton and Pewe, to remain in garrison [at Bergen] in lieu of the four companies sent to Ostend and Sluys. Desires him therefore to receive them and encloses letter to Sir William Russell for the furnishing of them with armour, and to Lord Buckhurst to give order to Sir Thomas Shurley, the Treasurer, to allow the like weekly imprests to them as to the other bands.Greenwich, 11 June, 1587. Minute. p. [Ibid. XV. f. 75.]
On the last of May, the enemy came before Ostend, with the Prince in person, but on June 2, marched towards the Sluce, where they are set down. Their camp is reported to be sixteen thousand, but a Spanish lieutenant, four soldiers of 'Dixmewe' and a post of 'Bridges' say they are ten thousand. "The Prince is in person ; the Marquess of Renti (Renter) lieut.-General ; the Marquess del Gasto general of the horse ; Lamot master of the camp, and Mondragon marshal. There is the Count of Egmont ; the Prince of Semay [Chimay] with divers other great commanders. There came to the camp George Marivea, with two companies of Italians on Thursday last, being the 8 of June. There is 52 companies of natural Spaniards, 7 regiments of Dutch, Walloons and Italians." The camp is in three parts ; one in the Isle of Casant, one on the side towards Bridges and one between Ostend and the Sluce. In Sluce are twelve companies of soldiers, whereof four are English, under Captains Veare, Udall, Baskerfield and Harte. Sir Roger Williams arrived here on June 3, who finding the enemy removed, went to the Sluce, and with great danger got in. To-night two soldiers are come out with letters for her Majesty, who say "that there is some want, and that present relief must come. There be divers villains, both of Holland, Zeeland and other places doth victual the enemy of all necessary things." The enemy have taken two men of war of Flushing, who, as report goes, willingly surrendered ; also four hoys and a pretty pinnace of Captain Lyttelton's, which greatly annoys the haven. "They have made a fort at Blakenborough, wherein they have 2000 soldiers and 30 pieces of battery which they have in readiness when they have piled up the haven of the Sluce, for their intent is presently after to besiege us. They have likewise at the Sluce 48 cannons and culverins, with which they mean to batter the town presently."Ostend, 11 June, 1587. Add. Endd. 1 p., very closely written. [Holland XV. f. 77.]
In my last I told you the enemy was before our town, but after two days he marched to Sluys, where he is so strongly fortified that none can get in or out, yet last night there came two soldiers from thence [information as in James' letter, above]. "It is reported there is 1600, but upon my life there is not above 1000. . . . I humbly desire your honour to help us here with some honest preacher, for we live more like dogs than Christians." Ostend, 11 June, 1587. Postscript. Prays that his wife may have 30l. to bring her over, which he will repay. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XV. f. 79.]
Has been entreated by a poor woman, his neighbour, to labour his honour's lady and Sir Fulke, his brother, to be instruments to him for the 'demission' of Robert Widho [torn] from service in Ostend, "for her own comfort and succour of both their own children, almost pined this dear year." But as neither of the above are at their houses "here," he presumes to beg his honour to favour the poor woman, and dismiss the said Robert. [Further reasons for granting the request.]Bevington, 11 June, 1587. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XV. f. 51.]
I have had translated Mr. Ortell's letter to your lordship, informing you of the advertisements received in England from some here, who wished to frighten his Excellency from returning, because you and his Excellency of Nassau are so incensed against him that he could not, unless he were very strong, come without evident danger to his person. I will not say that his Excellency has not done wrong to your Lordship, since you say it is so, or that seeing the rank you hold, you ought not to resent it ; yet as dissensions between you and him would bring danger to this state, I think you should forget all that is past, and in future should so accommodate matters with him that the welfare of the country should be rather advanced than retarded. I think you would do well, in your reply to Ortell, to remove the scruples insinuated, andaccording to your previous letters to his Excellencyto show yourself constant to your first resolution ; viz. : to prefer the public good of the country to private offences ; whereby (in my poor opinion) your lordship will do a thing worthy of yourself.The Hague, 21 June, 1587, N.S. Endd. in Wilkes' hand : "Copy of my letter to Count Hohenloe." Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. XV. f. 81.]
June 12. "Resolutions for the Low Countries."
Letters of thanks to Sir William Russell for his diligence in victualling Sluys ; "and to require him to continue the restraint of the transporting of victuals to the enemy," her Majesty having written both to the States and the towns showing her mislike of those licences. A letter to Lord Buckhurst, that their lordships "allow of the States' offer, and of the conditions by them required," therefore he is to move them to the execution thereof. Also, that the former direction for issueing out of the treasure by way of lendings, is to be continued until the Earl's return, who is presently to repair to his charge. "That they stay the sending over of the lieutenants and surgeons, for that there is order taken otherwise." Add. Endd. with date. 1 p. [Holland XV. f. 59.]
Acknowledging their letter of the 7th inst. (fn. 1) and stating that he cannot send the victuals to Sluys as desired, the passage thither having now been stopped for seven days ; but by good hap, he had sent corn and other victuals, munition and men into it not two days before. It is now thought the enemy will remove to Ostend, as at Sluys they cannot well lay battery and "assault it by breach" ; and as Ostend is in effect unprovided, he is sending this store thither.Flushing, 12 June, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. p. [Ibid. XV. f. 53.]
Her Majesty wishes him to take order with the Treasurer at wars to pay each of the four captainsBarton, Bewe [sic], Sampson and Goring (fn. 2) now sent to reinforce the garrison of Bergen-op-Zoom ; such weekly lendings and imprests as those companies had whose places they are to supply. Minute. Endd. with date. p. [Ibid. XV. f. 84.]
Your honour will find in the enclosed a very honest and valiant resolution in those besieged in Sluys, both of our nation and others, which I received by a soldier who came out of the town. I have sent another thither whose return I shortly expect. The enemy is preparing to batter the town, and we can only relieve it by fresh forces from England. "Opportunity offereth us the safeguard of a town of great importance, and men of great valour and good desert, and also the overthrow of the principal strength of the Spanish army there assembled, which will be undoubtedly used to our greater damage, if by my lord of Leicester's present return, it be not resisted. The passage of the haven is stopped, so that no boats can possibly succour the town," and the espials employed between us and them run such great hazard that they must be bountifully rewarded. Such persons must be used, and their pains must either be recompensed or we shall not have the benefit of their service. I pray you to procure me some allowance for such expences, which will otherwise be greater than my poor ability may spare.Vlisching, 12 June, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XV. f. 86.]
Although your lordship [sic] wrote to the States and Lord Buckhurst touching the eleven month's pay due to me and my company, I "cannot receive any penny," and pray you to write again in my behalf. When the enemy withdrew to Sluese, Sir Roger Williams, determining to go thither, "for want of shipping requested a man of war of mine, lying in the haven for her Majesty's service, which was victualled for a month. We appointed with seven Portingale 'pises' to carry his soldiers, the enemy lying upon both sides the haven with their battery and shot. They passed through with no little danger ; coming forth again, they were constrained to run her on ground, where she stuck fast with two other hoys, the vice-admiral of Flushing and her fly-boat. They laid my boat, being next them, on board with seventeen small boats with oars, rifled her, spoiled some of my men and the rest swam away. I pray you, who have always been my good friend, to procure me some recompence, either in money or else another ship, otherwise I shall be so greatly endamaged, with other losses sustained by service, that I shall never be able to recover the same.Ostend, 12 June, 1587. Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XV. f. 88.]
Should have offered himself and his service to be employed at his honour's direction, had he not willed him not to come over till sent for. Is a humble suitor for a company, "wherein" he hopes to discharge his part and will ever be most bound to his honour.Ostend, 12 June, 1587. Add. Endd. p. [Ibid. XV. f. 90.]
June 12. Note of warrants signed by Thos. Wilkes, June 912, 1587, for issuing her Majesty's treasure in the Low Countriesdrawn for Mr. Diggs, the Colonel-General, Mr. Clerke, Captain Bourgh and himself. Total, 948l. 5s. p. [Ibid. XV. f. 92.]
"I am commanded to send these letters unto you with all speed, her Majesty being very much offended that the enemies should be furnished, by licence of the States with so much victual as has been sent to them, without which it is thought, he could have attempted nothing against Sluys or any other town. I doubt not but that your lordship will do your uttermost to have the restraint thereof duly executed. Her highness was very glad to find by your late letters that you had made stay in propounding the treaty of peace ; finding, by the difficulties you yourself set down, that it might have bred some dangerous alteration there. On the Earl's arrival, it may perhaps be performed "with less dislike of the generality" than now. By the enclosed copy of the King of Denmark's letter (fn. 3) you will see how desirous he is to mediate some good accord between her Majesty and Spain. But although he names Embden as a convenient place of meeting, it is so far both from her Majesty and the Duke of Parma that the commissioners on either side could not receive direction without such delay as would draw the treaty to greater length than were convenient. [From this point the draft is in Walsingham's own hand.] "Mr. Controller is directed to acquaint Andrea de Loo with the contents of the King's letter, and to learn how he findeth the Duke disposed to proceed in the said treaty with the assistance of the said King's commissioners. And upon knowledge of his inclination to go forward, her Majesty is minded to send Mr. Daniel Rogers, now one of the clerks of her Council, to the said King, to acquaint him both with the time and place of meeting." Draft, corrected by Walsingham. Endd. with date. 3 pp. [Holland XV. f. 96.]
I send the "portrait" of the Sluese and adjoining islands, that you may see how the Prince's camp lies about the town, and where he has made the fort that prevents succour from sea. By land it is not possible to relieve them without raising his camp, which might easily be done if we could but put ten thousand men in the field ; he lying with the river between his two camps, so that the one cannot succour the other save by small boats. As yet he has placed no battery, but we hear that he means to batter the fort and castle at one time. He has great want of victuals, and had never been able to come before that place if the States had not given licence to carry daily great store out of Holland and these parts ; "and yet, since the enemy is afore the town, they have not letted to send him victuals and all other necessaries. But my lord governor here, seeing the ill dealing of them, and also the crying of the common people, hath taken divers of their ships laden and brought them in here. . . . They do all in the 'plackett' of his Excellency, and in his name." The victuals sent from England are to go to Ostend, as they cannot be put into Sluese. There is great want of soldiers at Ostend. Some companies should be sent, for some think that the enemy means to besiege it as soon as he has blocked up the Sleuse.Flushing, 13 June, 1587. Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. XV. f. 61.]
"I have accomplished the effects of your letters for the assistance of Ostend and Sluse, whereby the garrison of this town were greatly impaired, for that Count Morrys had, by the procurement of Count 'Hoenlo' taken from us the three cornets of the 'Baxxis' and la Sale ; and the governor of Vlyshing had written for one company of footmen besides, under the conduct of Captain Veare . . . which is eight companies in all, and for those, we have received two companies of proper young men, led by Captain Pewe and Captain Barton, but unfurnished with arms. The inhabitants here cry out extremely for the coming of his Excellency . . . We travail hard about the fortifying of this town, and have done much, but it standeth so near the enemy that until it be fully fortified, it must be guarded with a very great garrison. Much ado I have with the soldiers about John de Castylya, and more than ever I had all the days of my life to appease them, which I hope your honour will consider . . . Some occasions of service have been presented unto me of late, the which, for want of assistance, I cannot proceed in . . . Bergen up Zome, 13 June, 1587. Postscript. I pray you remember my cousin, Morgan Woollphe when the new supplies come over. "I take him to be as sufficient a man of service as any gent of our country." Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XV. f. 63.]
Once more prays for some means towards his maintenance. Doubts not but that Lord Buckhurst will further his suit on his return, but his present estate is so bare that he cannot maintain his ordinary charges and is forced to borrow of his friends for want of what is due to him for his wages. Almost all officers who serve the States are in like predicament. If he had what they owe him, he would wish he were discharged of their service, though, for the experience he gets there he would be willing to continue, in hope hereafter to do his prince and country better service. Was earnest with Lord Buckhurst to let him go over, but his lordship would not consent, requiring him to have patience awhile and that he himself would write in his behalf. Meanwhile, if he could get but forty or fifty pounds, it would help him in his present need.The Hague, 13 June, 1587. Add. Endd. 1 pp. [Ibid. XV. f. 65.]
"To perform her Majesty's will, I did enter into a new expostulation with the States, in defending my lord's letter to them and in accusing theirs to him ; whereunto they have exhibited answers of justification which I have sent to her Majesty. Thus the wound that was so well stayed and settled is fallen into a fresh bleeding. Nevertheless, I doubt not but that his lordship at his return will make good all again, and leave private quarrels and attend the public good." I doubt your opinion there of the scarcities of the enemy will hurt this cause, for it is certain the Duke has made wonderful provision for his men of war, 'unstoring' many of the towns so much of their own provision that he is provided till harvest. He hath about Sluis 8000 ; in Little Brabant 7000, and about Wesel 5000. Count 'Moris' prepares for the field, to divert him from Sluys. I do not yet hear that the Duke has laid any battery there. The Haag, 13 June, 1587. Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XV. f. 67.]
June 13.
[last date.]
"Extracts out of sundry letters written out of the Low Countries, June, 1587" ; apostiled by Walsingham with notes of his answers. Mr. Henry Brook, 26 April. "Reporteth the entertainment given to the Lord of Buckhurst at his arrival to the several towns. The people greatly devoted and well affected to her Majesty. Desireth me to remember his suit."
Margin. "Thanks for his letter. Excuses in not answering of him. For his suit nothing done, both in respect of the time and that nobody did solicit me in the same." Captain Anthony Wingfield, 18 April. [See letter under date.]
Margin. "Thanks for his advertisements. To pray continuance of the same. That touching any abuse committed either by the muster-master or any other officer to be reformed by the Earl of Leicester, who presently departeth hence for those parts." Sir Thomas Shurley, 2 June. [See letter under date.]
Margin. "That I hope the presence of the Earl of Leicester, who departeth hence presently, will avoid the confusion. Sorry for the dislike between the Earl and the lord of Buckhurst, that I wish by his travail might be removed. To advise him to hasten the account, for that her Majesty is greatly offended that she cannot understand how her treasure is employed." Capt. Henry Astell, 4 June. [See letter under date.]
Margin. "Thanks for his letters. That Sir W. R[ussell's] travail for the relief of Sluce is greatly commended by all sorts. That I hope upon the Earl's arrival there will be some present order taken." Monsieur Hottoman, 5 June. [See letter under date.]
Margin. "That I will procure her Majesty's letter to the Elector so soon as I may. That I hope the Earl's return will yield as much comfort to the well-affected patriots as the doubt of his not return, grief." The Elector of Cologne, 7 May. [See letter under date.]
Margin. "That her Majesty accepteth in good part his excuse, as he shall shortly understand by her own letters. That his advice touching the necessity of the Earl's return did greatly advance the same." Captain Suderman, 18 June, [N.S.] "Finds himself hardly dealt with by the States because of his coming into England. His company had abandoned him if he had not relieved them with fifty pounds which he obtained by the Earl of Leicester's means. Prisoners taken by certain of their garrison."
Margin. "That I am sorry to find him so ill-used by the States. That I doubt not but the Earl at his return will take order that he shall hereafter be better used ; as one of whom the said Earl hath a great liking." Mr. Gilpin, 13 June. [See letter under date.]
Margin. "That his relief is to grow from the Earl. That her Majesty, as I did by my former letters signify unto him, will hardly be drawn to increase any salary otherwise than upon the Earl's commendation." Colonel Morgan, 13 June. [See letter under date.]
Margin. "That there shall be speedy order taken for the contentment of the soldiers according to his desire. That the Earl of Leicester standeth well affected towards him and will do anything that may be for his good. That the Earl had disposed of all the charges before I received his letters, for the which I am sorry, for that I think the man [Morgan Wolf] worthy of good entertainment." Captain Bannester, 11 June. [See letter under date.]
Margin. "That I will do [what] I may to procure them a preacher. That I have caused his wife to be furnished of the sum desired." Captain Lytleton, 12 June. [See letter under date.]
Margin. "That I doubt not but that the Earl of Leicester will take order both for his pay and recompense for his ship." Sir Wm. Russell, 12 June, to the Lords. [See letter under date.]
Margin."That I hope the Earl of Leicester's return will stay the practices set on foot there by the two Counts and other busy heads." [Sir Wm. Russell] 12 June, to myself. [See letter under date.]
Margin. "That I trust, upon his arrival, there will be somewhat done, both for the present relief of Sluse and for the spoil of the corn in Flanders."
Endd. 4 pp. [Holland XV. f. 55.]
June 13/23. The confession of Gaspar de Gusman, Spaniard, taken at Flushing by the Bailly of the town and Capt. William Browne. Relates how he gave himself up to a ship of war of Flushing on the 15th June ; his relations with Martin Drogue ; admitted he was sent to two burghers of Flushing to whom he was to address himself for all his affairs ; was told it was better to enter openly than secretly, to avoid all suspicion. He had forgotten the name of one but the other was Martin Drogue, who was the principal. He brought Drogue a letter from his Colonel de l'Aquila in answer to one Drogue sent not long since. The letter was a general warning to Drogue to take good deliberation in the action he undertook with some other burghers, and that he should allure some Englishmen speaking divers languages thereunto, and if they did not think it feasible that he should not cast away the king's people in vain. How he found Drogue. Also the burghers were to direct him to others at Middleburgh. That they should win other burghers and soldiers to surprise Flushing giving a signal from some high house for the Spaniards to see. The enterprise to be attempted with a great company of boats prepared at Antwerp and other places, to go first to Sas and fight the ships of war guarding the passage. The two burghers had practised the enterprise all last winter. A man of the States of Holland had written not long since to the P. of Parma that if he could win Bergues he should soon have Holland and Zeeland at his command. The king has spies in all the great towns who advise him of all things and letters come from Holland every 14 or 15 days to the P. of Parma. Says the enemy makes account to have Ostend by intelligence. He then means to take Axel and lastly Bergues, all in two months. The P. of Parma sent for 5000 more men from Spain and levied 3000 Italians besides 6000 reiters, because it was bruited in the camp that the Conte de Hohenlo had 10,000 and 20,000 should come from England.Made at Flushing the 23 June 1587. Signed : W. Brown, Paul Knibbe. Copy. 3 pp. Endd. as above. [Holland XV., f. 98.]
The enemy is still before Sluys, but, we trust, enduring some want from our restraint of victuals, which, if we thus continue, will grow more extreme. Moreover, it is to be presumed that finding the town better provided and defended than he looked for, he will depart from it before long. But to make this sure, it may please you to hasten my lord of Leicester's coming, "that albeit the forces do not come so soon as he, yet we that are here may be put in some readiness for the field against the arrival of the rest, and the States won ... to give further aid to preserve these countries than we can persuade them to do. I have desired them to restrain the carrying out of victuals that way . . . and have myself made stay, here and at Ramekens, of all that hath passed ; which I trust your honour and the rest of the Council will allow of, considering the danger of Sluis, and in respect that it is done at the people's request."Vlisching, 14 June, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XV. f. 100.]
I am commanded by her Majesty to tell you how greatly she mislikes that when Villiers was of late called before the Council of State, to answer to a matter wherewith he was charged by the Earl of Leicester, he should have informed your lordship "of a secret grief remaining in the Court Hollock's mind against the said Earl, for that the said Count had been persuaded that the Earl, at the time of his being there, had sought by secret practice with certain ill instruments to take away his life ; and Villiers, for his justification making protestation that he had delivered no such information to your lordship (which he might with good colour affirm, for that he had not delivered the same to your lordship's self, but had uttered it to Dr. Clarke, to be by him discovered to you). That the same being well known to your lordship, . . . and to Mr. Wilkes, who were present at the time of Villiers being before the said Council of State, you did not discover the cunning of his manner of protestation and charge him directly to answer whether he had not given such advertisement to Dr. Clarke, but suffered him to pass so slightly a matter which her Majesty conceiveth to touch her in the person of the said Earl so deeply in honour." [Unfinished.] Fair copy. Endd. with date. p. [Holland XV. f. 102.]
[Rough draft of the preceding and agreeing with it as corrected, so far as it goes. The draft proceeds as follows.] "Sorry I am that such like occasions should fall out to wound and grieve your lordship in your careful and painful service there." I send you a copy of the letter to Andrea de Loo, signed by the Lord Treasurer and Mr. Controller, whereby you will see how we proceed in the matter of the peace. Her Majesty has resolved to send over 6000 men, and commission already granted to certain captains for levying 3000, to be employed "upon the new increase of 15,000l." Of the rest, half are to be for filling up the bands, and the other half to make up the ten companies which the States have offered to entertain, which shall also be levied with all speed, "for her Majesty conceiveth that it toucheth her in honour that something should be done for the relief of Sluce." The Earl of Leicester hopes to be ready to embark by the 22nd. I hear of no nobleman to accompany him but Lord North, and his going is doubtful. Draft, corrected by Walsingham. Endd. with date. 2 pp. [Ibid. XV. f. 104.]
There have been divers sallies from the Sluse, in one of which M. La Motte was dangerously shot in the leg. He was brought to Bridges in a horse-litter on the 15th. An Allemaine, a very great commander, is slain, and Propercio, an Italian, "one of the best engineers in the world." We look daily for forces from Holland and Zeeland with Sir John Noryce. He, Skinck and Count Hollock have been in Brabant, "and have burned Froin, the long 'stote,' all the pele, the land of Cassell, and have brought very great booty of horse and cows. Those two untimely Englishmen, Stanley and Yorke, are at the King's camp." To-day, 31 ships were brought into Flushing by Holland men of war;French, Danes, and Zeelanders, laden with victual and great store of corn, bound for Newport, Dunkirk and 'Calys,' with other parts of France. Report says they were sent in by her Majesty's ships.Ostend, 17 June, 1587. Postscript. I pray you help my poor wife over. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XV. f. 106.]
I willed my man, unless he met my lord of Leicester at the sea-side, to deliver my letter to you. "It contains the news of Sluis, which is in harder case than we took it to be, and the refusal of the States to accept any 'mo' soldiers at their pay. I have sent her Majesty another letter from di Lo, whereby it seemeth that now very lately her Majesty hath given him to understand that she will not insist upon the matter of religion further than shall be with the King's honour and conscience. Whereupon di Lo taketh no small hold, and if she keep that course, all will go to ruin, as I have written to her Majesty. I have also sent her Majesty two remonstrances given to me by the States ; the one complaining of the particular assemblies and consultations of them of Utrecht ; and of certain letters written, as it is given out, by my lord of Leicester to the magistrates and burgomaster there, wherein the States seem to be taxed with practices and the good poor people pitied, which letters being by divers copies spread abroad, do incite the people much against the States ; whereof may grow great danger and confusion. The other remonstrance is against the entertaining of any 'mo' soldiers at their pay ; and in truth, unless they had better means, it were much better they had few. The States are in wonderful fear of the Earl of Leicester (fn. 4) for by the spreading of these letters they doubt the alienation and tumult of the people upon them ; and I assure you, as the course is kept, it is greatly to be feared. The end whereof no man knoweth whereto it will tend, but like enough to endanger the Earl of Leicester himself, and to bring all to the enemy. The Earl, by divers letters and bruits of his followers, hath given out to the people that the only cause why her Majesty hath not better holpen them hath been for that the States wrote that letter unto him, and sent the copy to her Majesty, and that if they had not done so her Majesty had done great things, and our parliament had also granted the aid of 20,000. This is a most dangerous course, and maketh the States greatly to fear the end, for if the Earl come with a mind to revenge, the cause will come to subversion. "The eternal God guide all to the best and send me soon home, which, of all love and friendship that you bear me, I beseech you infinitely to procure speedily for me."18 June, 1587. Holograph, the words in italics deciphered. Add. Endd. 1 pp. [Holland XV. f. 108.]
Referring him for "occurents" to his letter to Leicester and himself jointly ; also to some things sent to her Majesty, with which she will no doubt acquaint him. Has little leisure, and the messenger is going, so cannot write much.The Hague, 18 June, 1587. Holograph. Add. Endd. p. [Ibid. XV. f. 56.]
Recommending the bearer, Mr. Lascelles, who having lost his arm at the assault of the fort before Zutphen, is returning to England, and "deserveth to be considered of, as well for his forwardness in the service as for his great loss."Utrecht, 18 June, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. p. Seal of arms. [Ibid. XV. f. 112.]
The speedy return of his Excellency must be my excuse if I importune you for my private affairs. I send the draft of a letter which her Majesty might cause to be written to the States-General and Council of State, your honour drawing it up according to the style of this court. If you would put her Majesty in mind of me, that I might feel my service was agreeable to her, you would bind me still more to her. I am very glad to hear that M. Belye [Beale] your brother-in- law accompanies his Excellency to the Low Countries, and pray you to recommend me to him. Item. To advise me what correspondence to hold with his Excellency, and if it may please your honour that to-morrow I may take leave.London, 18 June, 1587. Postscript. The Sieur Caron arrived last night from Flanders and gives good hope of the Sluys. He is going this morning to salute your honour. Add. Endd. 1 p. Fr. [Ibid. XV. f. 114.]
Wrote last in May from their quarters in Brabant, by his cousin, Mathew Morgan's father's man. The making of the new bulwark at Bergen is diligently followed, and the ditch brought to that perfection that there is good depth of water in it all round the town. They have altered the going of the tide to the mill-pool from the landwards to the seawards and filled up the water passage with earth in conformity to the rampart ; and made a rampart at 'Bagyne' port where there was none before, and a sluice within it. Captain Ambrose's soldiers have made an incursion into Flanders, and near to Oudenarde came to Etichhoven (Etychove) a house of the Count de Lalaign (la Laine) took prisoner the Countess and carried her away with them, but are not yet come to Bergen. God send them safe passage in their return. The new officers made by the States are ready to march on Tuesday with their army into the field, for this day our cavalry went to them where they make their rendezvous. To-day letters of certain officers of the Duke of Parma's camp to the Governor of "Bredane" were intercepted by the folks of Bergen "comforting the said governor and them of Sartingam Boske [Bois-le-Duc] to be of good courage when they should be besieged in any of both places by this army of Count Morys ; and how his Altesse had intelligence of the same in every respect of force and determination ; and had taken order with 'Hawtypen' to be in a readiness with three regiments of horsemen of old soldiers and fifteen cornets of horse and twenty-two companies of musqueteers newly levied in 'Brabande' and Liege, to fight with them presently ; which in the said letters they seemed to assure themselves to have the cutting of all their throats." We thought here that our forces should have made their rendezvous at 'Beerevlyett' in Flanders, and cut the dyke at 'Phylypyne,' entrenching certain of their forces there, to take the point of Gaternesse, entrench another part of their forces there, and go about with the rest of the foot to the mouth of Sluse, making incursions on the Duke's camp those three ways, "and the three holds of Ostend, Axel and Ternuse to sally upon them in like sort, the which to answer in so many ways should breed an over-great difficulty for his Altesse, for that that is no place of service for horse, but all upon the dykes, whereby our number should be of ability sufficeable to answer his great army, by means that the country should by this stratagem of trenching the sea wall at Phylypyne be drowned to the walls of Sluse of that deepness that I think we might have passage for boats of good burden over the land unto the town" ; and even if it did not do this, would make the country passable only upon the dykes, where our forces might intercept all munition going to the camp, "whereby, unless they be chamelions, they could not live." The commons continually cry for his Excellency, being weary with the government of the States, and so linked to him for his justice and valour that they have no other speech but prayers for his speedy return. When I and my brother Mons. Epooyett were with the Prince of Orange after our return from France, we made plats or models of the situation and fortifications of such towns as lay in his way where he bent his forces, and I have never seen him confer for the relief of any town without the "platform" of the same, wherefore I have sent this [of Sluys] to your honour as a key for the understanding any advertisements sent to you. For I believe, albeit the enemy is so strong, so long as they of the town have victuals and munitions they will be able to hold out till relieved a month hence or more ; for though it be unfortified artificially, it is naturally strong by situation. The objections are, that it is not fortified, the ramparts must be armed everywhere, whereas otherwise, the bulwarks only would suffice. This is true, but should they make three 'saultable' breaches (they cannot make more) and thereupon a general assault, there are in the town sufficient captains of discretion, "all gentlemen of proper judgment" to defend it, and I have no doubt of their doing so for a good while, if they have men and munition sufficient. They may batter the castle within forty yards of the wall from the firm ground joined to the ditch, as it is but brick, and they of the town may fortify themselves anew upon the waste ground by the same, if they keep themselves from being overtopped by mounts or engines without by the enemy (at the letter G. in the platform) ; again, they may batter the forts without, within sixty yards of the same, but well spare the entering of them, and when they have entered them, they dare not dwell in them ; and the river is betwixt them and the town ; which is 200 feet over, and the other fort to defend that too. "If his Excellency were comed over with some officers of judgment and reasonable forces withal, what effects he could work ... I will not write, because they are so great, but sure I am, the viceroy should work no great wonders this summer, as large as he is in his offers everywhere for money."Bergen up Zome, 19 June. Add. Endd. "Touching Bergen" [sic]. 2 pp. very closely written. [Holland XV. f. 115.]
Grateful reply to his last letters brought by Du Fay. At present there is nothing new ; those of l'Escluse carrying themselves as brave men, and all the commune expecting the result they have so long hoped for.Utrecht, 19 June, 1587. Add. Endd. p. [Ibid. XV. f. 117.]
Assuring him of their appreciation of his kindness and care in regard to their affairs, by forwarding the return of his Excellency and the augmentation of their succours. Their just quarrel has, alas, cost his honour very dear, in the loss of so gentle and valorous a knight, a true paragon of virtue, as his son-in-law Monsieur Sidney. He and all his house have gained immortal renown, seeing that the valiant death of so rare a gentleman has not caused them to draw-back, but, if possible, the further to advance their cause ; for which they very humbly thank him, and assure him that he has indissolubly bound to himself the city and province of Utrecht, and that, if they ever had the opportunity, they will show by deeds how well his benevolence has been employed. They hope from this time forward, his Excellency will have all good correspondence with them, namely in regard to her Majesty's good pleasure, which they will reciprocate by their very faithful obedience.Utrecht, 19 June, 1587. Signed, Vandervoort. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Holland XV. f. 61.]
June 19/29. A DUTCH LETTER from THE HAGUE.
In the absence of the Advocate, who is at Amsterdam to further the journey of the Commissioners sent by the States General to Bremen, with the money for the German troops, I advertise you that the Earls of Nassau and Hohenloe are gone to Gertruydenberg, following the resolution of the States General, to proceed to the burning, spoiling etc. of places in Brabant lying under the power of the enemy, whereon those countries greatly insist, as the exploit will much further the contributions which must be levied. Four or five commissioners are also sent, "the rather because those of Dordrecht had, upon that condition, yielded to a greater contribution" ; also it is thought no better means may be found to divert the enemy from Sluys. "The house of my Lady of Loon is already recovered and about forty of the enemy found in the same slain. Is minded [sic] in all such places elsewhere to do the like, whereby the peasants have been kept in arms, good store of ordnance . . . carried in the field with other ammunition and victuals, in sort that we hope some good issue of this exploit.The Hague, 29 June, 1587. Translation. Endd. p. [Ibid. XV. f. 123.]
June 20. Instructions for THE EARL OF LEICESTER.
Finding that the late confusions in the United Provinces, especially in martial causes has proceeded chiefly for lack of a head with authority to provide and dispose of forces, treasure, munition and victuals sufficient for maintenance of the public cause, and also to restrain the great abuses committed by sending victuals to the enemy : her Majesty thinks meet that he should move the States at his first conference to yield to him such sufficient power and authority that the said confusion may be avoided and the former errors in government reformed. And in case they refuse, he is to let them understand that he is directed by her Majesty to communicate the same to the several provinces, and towns, etc., letting them know that the said States appear to have more regard to their particular profit and ambition than to the public good, and desiring the said provinces etc. to take such remedy in that behalf as shall seem good to them ; letting them know also that if both they and the said States refuse to furnish him with the said authority, her Majesty's meaning is to withdraw the support hitherto yielded to them, "seeing plainly that the continuance of the confused government now reigning amongst them cannot but work their ruin."
He shall principally insist on two points :
1. To have full authority for distribution of the treasure committed unto him, letting them understand, however, that he will not commit the custody thereof to any stranger or subject of hers, but to one of that country chosen by the advice of the States General ; also that it shall only be issued with the privity of the Council of State.
2. That he be authorised to make placards and ordinances with the advice of the said Council to punish by death, confiscation or otherwise such as be justly charged with carrying of victuals to the enemy after the publication of the said placards. And in case the said States shall consent to yield him the like absolute authority as they gave him at his first entry into his charge "the last year" then she is content for him to accept thereof, so as it be but provisional during the time she continues her support. Touching the 30,000l. given to his charge "for satisfying of the request of the States towards their extraordinary charges of their war," to be employed in putting an army into the field, he is to keep one half at least for payment of the 5000 foot and 1000 horse maintained by herself ; she seeing no cause (if the States yield the 100,000l. by them promised, and as the forces levied to make head to the enemy are only to be three or four months in the field) but that the 15,000l. offered to the States by Lord Buckhurst may suffice. He is, according to the States' offer, to procure their bonds for repayment of such treasure as he thinks fit to be expended for the levying and maintenance of the said forces, and (considering how burdensome these wars are, both to her own subjects and the inhabitants of those countries) shall take some good opportunity to incline the hearts of those people to hearken to a peace, "as a thing agreeable with Christianity and beneficial for themselves," considering that their own contributions and her support will not suffice to maintain sufficient forces for defence of their towns and to make head against the enemy in the field. And for the better inclining of them to a peace, he shall first do his best endeavour "to win by some private kind of dealing such as have best credit with the common sort of people to like and embrace peace, and to be content to be used as instruments to incline the said peoples' hearts to desire the same." And also urge the States to show how they could of themselves continue the wars against so potent an enemy as Spain ; the people already growing weary of the wars "in respect of the heavy contribution laid upon them, which it is to be doubted they will not be able long to endure in regard of interruption of traffic ; and therefore, before they be reduced to such a weak state as the enemy . . . shall be thereby encouraged to stand upon more hard terms, it shall be wisdom for themthe Duke of Parma offering now as he doth in the King's name, to grow to some good accord with him upon reasonable conditionsto give ear thereunto," and to make choice of some commissioners to join with such as she herself shall appoint for that purpose. And in case they will not assent to such treaty, he is to tell them that "seeing them so wilfully bent to overthrow themselves," she will be forced, being loth to oppress her subjects with continuance of the contributions needed for the war, to withdraw her support and grow to an accord with Spain, who has made her many honourable offers, there being nothing left that may not be easily accorded betwixt her and him, "but only that shall concern their safety." And as it is to be doubted that the Counts Maurice and Hollock may try to impeach the treaty for private reasons, he is to assure them both, by some upon whose advice they seem most to depend, "that there shall be such care taken for the providing for them, as they shall have no just cause to dislike thereof, but to rest satisfied withal." Draft, corrected by Burghley. Endd. with date. 8 pp. [Holland XV. f. 124.]
Persisting in the same good will which at first induced us to embrace the defence of those countries, at the urgent solicitation of you all, and being touched by the same compassion for the good people there to bring about their welfare and repose, we have sent back our cousin the Earl of Leicester to his charge, according to the request received, although we were almost out of conceit of so doing, seeing the disorders and confusions which have arisen since his departure, and the ungrateful traverses of some illaffected persons there. But our consideration of the innocence of so good a people, our ancient neighbours and allies, and our desire for their welfare, joined to the ready good will of our said cousin to be employed once more in this matter, have been stronger to uphold us in our affection than the cause given us for the contrary have been to draw us from it. Now, seeing that we will not spare our best means, simply for the good of the country, we expect that on your part, you will have that respect for our cousin's authority which is due to a chief, and will so support him that the past may be repaired in regard to the honour of our said cousin, which we consider as our own. Wherein, in proportion as we find your loyalty constant, and your deportment towards him better than in the past (whereof we have good hope) we shall be encouraged to continue to give you our support and favour. Draft. Endd. with date. 1 pp. French. [Ibid. XV. f. 128.]


  • 1. Acts of the Privy Council, N.S. Vol. XV., p. 7.
  • 2. In two letters from the Privy Council the names are given as Barton, Sampson, Goring and Pen. Acts of the Privy Council, N.S. Vol. XV., pp. 90, 101. Apparently the last name should be Peu or Pewe.
  • 3. No doubt the letter of the 4th May referred to in the Queen's reply, printed in part i. of this vol. I, p. 323.
  • 4. In the key to the cipher (Cyphers, Eliz. Vol. I., p. 5) Leicester is erased, and Lord Chancellor substituted for the symbol 40, but here it evidently means the Earl.