Elizabeth: May 1588, 1-5

Pages 346-356

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 21, Part 4, January-June 1588. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1931.

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May 1588, 1–5

May 1. Sir Edward Norreys to Walsingham.
I pray your honour to have care of this town; “which I understand is meant to be taken before any other attempt, that he may leave all safe behind, and not have need of so many garrisons.” I have told the governor what I have learnt. They think it “but a work of eight days, and unless her Majesty provide better, it will not be so much. We hear also that Count Hollock and ‘Skenk’ are going for England … I beseech your honour that if Count Hollock be there, it may be either thought fit to leave me to my revenge, or that the queen do interpose her authority in it for the saving of my honour; the matter being as well known in the enemy's camp as with us … and if nobody have care of my credit, I shall be forced to have care of myself… —May 1, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Seal. 1 p. [Holland XXIII. f. 173.]
May 1. Stephen le Sieur to Killigrew.
This evening I have been with Monsieur Barnevelt; told him what you willed me to do in behalf of the merchant of Sandwich, and read him the letter of the Lords of the Council to your worship. He said that “it were a strange course, and tending to the overthrow of their estate”; and marvelled that the merchant whose goods were made prize did not again have recourse to justice, if he misliked the sentence against him; also that it had been referred to his Excellency to allow him what was thought reasonable towards his losses, and he knew not why his Excellency did not proceed in it. He alleged many reasons against the man, which I, not being better informed, knew not how to answer; but willed him to persuade the rest of the States that some good answer might be made, joined with sound satisfaction, seeing her Majesty and her Council did so earnestly embrace his cause.” He told me that commissioners were appointed to consult with your worship and end it, and in your absence would have had me take upon me the hearing of the matter with the Chancellor and the Pensionaries of Flushing and Leyden, and that he would favour it as much as lay in him; but not thinking it “conceillable” to take such charge upon me, I advise your worship thereof, and shall expect your further pleasure.
Postscript. I will not fail to hasten my coming into Zeeland, and pray you to prepare your favourable letters for me.—The Hague, May 1, stylo Anglo.
On the cover in Killigrew's hand:
“Touching the man of Sandwich's cause, what hath been done, the writer of the enclosed will inform your honour; and at my return to the Hague, I shall procure some certain answer of the council; but whether it be time now that their aid of ships and mariners is by us desired, to prosecute hotly this particular cause, judge you, and send your mind.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XXIII. f. 175.]
May 1. Dr. Dale to Burghley.
Has found the ratification of the treaty of arctioris amicitiae among his papers. Mr. Controller has not sent word at what time he will return hither. We hear he hath sent directly into England other thing than is seen amongst us, but such as Sir Edward Norrys gathered at his being at Bruges with Mr. Controller, of their brags, which I think he doth write at large to Mr. Secretary. —Ostend, 1 May, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Flanders III. f. 250.]
May 1. Lord Cobham to Walsingham.
Has learned from Sir Edward Norrys what he has heard and seen during his abode there, and prayed him to acquaint his honour therewith by letter, which he has done. It is to be considered what courses to hold. “Telum praevisum facile oprimitur. It is reported that the King of Denmark is dead, and the young Palsgrave also. They now speak openly that the King of Spain's daughter is to come with this fleet out of Spain. There go doubtful speeches for what she is brought. Greatly desirous to hear her Majesty's resolution for all their causes.—Ostend, 1 May, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd.p. [Ibid. f. 252.]
May 2. Sir James Croft to Burghley.
Arrived at Bruges the 27th and saw the duke the 28th. He accepts the 12 Articles propounded as do Arenberghe, Champany and Richardot as things to be considered of. The duke has just sent for him and he has seen and read the duke's authority sealed and signed by the king, dated Easter day last, giving ample authority to do everything as if the king were there in person, and to ratify all that is past. Sends a kinsman with full instructions of all his negotiations.—Brughes, 2 May, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. 2/3 p. [Flanders III. f. 258.]
May 3. Sir Thos. Heneage to —
Sir; Her Majesty desires me to inform you “that she takes it (by that she understandeth by Sir William Reade) that Mr. Killigrew much mistaketh her meaning, if he thinks she would be pleased that Camphier (which she named to me Trevier) should come into the possession of Count Morris, or that the towns (which be as it were the key to Flushing) should come into doubtful hands; but her Highness' purpose is that those two towns of Camphier and Armew should be kept still devoted to her Majesty, and yet be so handled as they may be paid truly by the States; which may come to pass … if the captains and bands that now be in and govern those towns be not altered, but remain still in the same. And that may grow if they make suit to her Majesty to deal with the States that it may be so.
“The precedent for this is Medenblick, where Snoy remaineth still with the same charge he had and in the States' pay. To this end would her Majesty have you presently write both to Sir William Russell and to Mr. Killegrewe.
And further, her Highness' will is that you should also write, before you come to her, to my Lord Willoughby, that her Majesty much misliketh that he sent away Sir William Reade, and so leaves himself and his government there much weakened by the want of such a councellor and captain, being also displeased that he turned the government of Berghen-up-Zon from Sir W. Reade to Sir William Drewry; betwixt whom her Majesty doth think great difference.—At Court, 3 May, 1588.
Holograph. Without address. 1 p. [Holland XXIII. f. 177.]
May 3/13. M. de Champigney to Burghley.
Mauris coming to Mr. Comptroller, his master, has brought me your message. In reply I would express the pleasure of the Duke of Parma at seeing Mr. Comptroller and, knowing your love of peace as you know my own, let you know in confidence that Mr. Comptroller having put forward matters of substance, it is requisite that there should be some evidence that the queen avows what he has done and will act thereupon later on. I may add it would be very proper to second him by some well intentioned person, fully sensible of the quality and circumstances of the matter in question, such as Lord Broncorst. From the writings of his that I have seen, I consider he would be admirably fitted to give it a good conclusion if you can persuade her Majesty to send him here speedily.—Bruges, 13 May, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. Fr. 1⅓ pp. [Flanders III. f. 260.]
May 4/14. Burgomasters and Council of Brill to the Queen.
Being bound, not only by their oath to her Majesty but by their goodwill to the English garrisons, they do not wish to forget to remonstrate to her that they, the citizens of the said town are in arrear with the said garrisons to the amount of 8969 florins; as appears by their rolls and by the recognizances of their officers, for materials and merchandize for making accoutrements and also for provisions and other necessaries supplied to them since their coming into the town. And seeing (as they have heard) that the companies are not to be paid their wages for eighteen months or more, and that they have no other means than the prests from the States of Holland, viz. 25 sols weekly to each soldier, which is not enough for their support, it has not been possible to the said garrison to pay any of their said debts. And yet they, the burghers, having herein employed all their means by which they gained their livings, are in danger every day of being distrained upon by their creditors, to their utter ruin, unless her Majesty, in her pity, shall order the treasurer to pay them; by which means the garrison would not only content the citizens, but would be able to live honestly, in much better order and military discipline. Whereby the said citizens, being delivered from ruin by her Majesty, will ever pray for her health and prosperity, and be ready to do here all due service. Signed De Langue.
Add. Endd. French.pp. [Holland XXIII. f. 181.]
May 4. — to M. de Villiers.
Has written to him several times to explain the cause of his stay in these parts, by reason of a suit which he has before the court of parliament. Believes that it will come to an end on May 21 or 22, after which he hopes to see Villiers very soon, although he is not sure whether “Monseigneur le comte” will wish to continue him in his service, having been here so long. If not, he intends to see Italy and Germany. Meanwhile, prays to be told, what the state of Orange is, among all the storms which envelop him.
As to the state of this country, all is still peaceful, and the king steadfastly makes profession of the true religion. There are papists there who begin to lift up their heads by reason of the Spanish army which threatens England intending to land on the borders of Scotland. The King of Spain has sent Semple to the King of Scotland (the traitor who delivered Lier up to the Spaniards), to procure his aid and favour, making him many fair promises. We do not yet know what will come of it.—Lilburg [Edinburgh], 4 May, 1588.
Signature erased. Dorso, the following note in Killigrew's hand.
“M de la Faye, the King of Navarre's ambassador, told me at his going from the Hague, he would write at length to your honour of all his doings with the States. He assured me that these matters between the king and the Duke of Guise would not hold long, but within two months we should see them agree against the protestants, and I suspect as much, and fear the siege of “Bullen” is to draw forces thither without suspicion, thence to be embarked for Scotland or England.”
Add. Fr. 1 p. [Holland XXIII. f. 183.]
May 4/14. Announcement by Peregrine Bertie, Baron de Willoughby that the States General of the United Provinces have required of him, in order to the settling of the disturbances in Geertruydenberg, the act following:— (fn. 1)
That the said disturbances having reached such a point that the soldiers have refused to treat for the settlement thereof with any save the Baron de Willoughby, and it is to be feared that the town might fall into the power of our common enemies, if his lordship did not treat with them:—the States General of the United Provinces have urgently required the said Lord to treat with the said soldiers, to the greatest service and least charge of the country; provided that the promise of pay shall, at the most, not exceed the promises made to those of Medenblick and that it be not treated or finally granted so that the said town or its burghers or garrison shall be dismembered or separated from the land of Holland or the government thereof.
And the States promise to agree to what shall be treated by his lordship.
Made and resolved at the Hague on 14 May, 1588.
Signed by Kamminga. Underwritten, by order of the States General. Countersigned by C. Aertsen.
Nevertheless although the same Act is general, and not limited by any conditions and reservations, yet, according to the intention of the said States General, we promise, that in treating of the pay demanded by the men of war we will not exceed the promises made to them of Medenblick, and that we will treat or conclude nothing finally either with the town, burghers or garrison whereby they might be dismembered or separated from the land or government of Holland. Made, signed and sealed, May 14, 1588.
Copy in French. 2 pp. [Ibid. f. 184.]
Another copy in Dutch.
2 pp. [Ibid. f. 185.]
May 4. Croft to Burghley.
Expresses indebtedness. Sending his kinsman with letters to her Majesty and a breviate of his whole negotiation with the duke. Asks him to be a mean with her Majesty to pardon his boldness for entering so far without her command. Is now seeking some reasonable means, by concurrence with, the duke or otherwise, how Zelande and Holland may be brought to hearken to the treaty. The duke declared that though they should simply submit themselves to him, it should be as available as though they had come in by her Majesty's means. To further this his lordship will receive M. Champanie's letter asking for Lord Buckhurst to come over “for the duke is very willing to have our advice in this action.”—Bruges, 4 May stilo anglico, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Flanders III. f. 262.]
May 4. Croft to the Queen.
Submits to her mercy for presuming to go to the duke of Parma without her direction. The breviate of his negotiation will show what he has done, sent by his kinsman John Croft, to be delivered to the Lord Treasurer or her own hands.—Bruges, 4 May, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. f. 264.]
Enclosure. Remembrance for Mr. John Croft from Mr. Comptroller.
The necessity of the time did drive me to go to the duke when otherwise the whole treaty should have been overthrown. Grounding myself to have reasonable cause for going to assure the duke of her Majesty's sincere proceeding and to understand the certainty of his intent.
For which purpose I demanded a sight of his commission, which I have seen and read.
Then I demanded surcease of arms, which he granted.
I found him willing to yield good satisfaction for cautionary towns and also for the money lent to Swevingham.
He yieldeth further that the Spanish Inquisition, after the peace ended, shall be utterly abolished out of the Low Countries.
And nothing to be imputed for religion to any of her Majesty's subjects travelling in any of the king's dominions as long as they shall give no public offence, and if any be committed the same to extend to the delinquent only.
The treaty of peace shall extend by degrees to Spain, Portugal and all the king's dominions.
Endd. as above with date. 2/3 p. [Ibid. f. 266.]
May 4. Edward Morris to Burghley.
Reports delivery of the queen's packet to the commissioners on the 3rd. They sent him to his master at Bruges. Found him in the house of M. Champany, talking with him. Exchange of compliments.—Bruges, 4 May, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. f. 268.]
May 4. Cobham to Burghley.
Sorry that his sickness keeps him from Court. The queen's last letter instructed them to signify to the duke how much she is unsatisfied with the manner of dealing and his answers by Richardot to the points propounded, especially about the commission, the denial of Bruges and the cessation. They sent for Mr. Controller yesterday to confer about these points, who came this morning and says he has written to her Majesty and his lordship and satisfied her, but it is nevertheless thought good that Dr. Dale be moved to write in order to satisfy her better of these points. Have forborne to write to the D. because Mr. Controller says he has satisfied H.M. by his letters, and because none of them is so perfect in those languages which the D. understands, that they can put it in writing as the weight of the matter requires, for littera scripta manet, but if H.M. had commanded the letter to have been written it might have been done to her contentment. “If I do conceive well of Mr. Comptroller's report as he delivereth, all shall be well,” but hears their preparations are great; their army increaseth daily, they threaten much and assure themselves of great aid when they land. In Scotland they say they have a great party. This shows how far their actions differ from their negotiations. Prays him heartily that their action may be brought to an end and that their being there may not serve others' turns.—Ostend, 4 May.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Flanders III. f. 270.]
May 5. [Walsingham?] to Killigrew.
Her Majesty being informed that you meant, at your coming into Zeeland, to turn over Armue and Camphire wholly to Count Maurice, as so directed by her, wishes me to let you understand that if so you very much mistake her meaning, which was only that you should procure the States to continue those captains in their charges—notwithstanding their late demonstration of devotion to herself—and to see the garrisons to be duly paid; she having been informed “that the said States had an intention to remove the said captains and to change the garrisons. But otherwise her desire is that the captains and the garrisons be nourished in their devotion towards her, being two places of special importance for the safety of ‘Vlissing’.” Therefore you are to do nothing that may cause them to think that she desires them to lay aside their affection to her, and depend wholly upon Count Maurice.
For their continuance there, and their due payment, she does not think the States will make any difficulty, or Count Maurice be any impediment to it, considering the late protestations made “by both the one and the other of their zeal and affection to her.”
Minute. Endorsed tvith date. 1 p. [Holland XXIII. f. 187.]
May 5. Killigrew to Walsingham.
By Stephens, who returns in a few days to England, I may be able to tell you more particularly touching the matters of Camphere and Armue. I have made a journey down hither with Count Maurice, “whose entertainment here in this island is somewhat bettered, and as far as I can see, his credit and the States' is likely to increase generally, because they fear the treaty of peace, lest her Majesty should bend so far that way, as in the end they be left in the briars.
“But for the count's affection and devotion towards her Majesty I perceive no cause of doubt … He hath now brought down with him into this island two companies of horse and some other of foot are looked for shortly.
Sir William Russell's company are also to come hither, and to be placed hereabouts.
“Some of these horse should have been in Camphere and Armue, but they have refused to receive them in…. If the States should make stay of their payment upon this new quarrel … it may please your honour to confer with the rest of my lords and to give us some direction how to carry ourselves therein; whether by change of the horse into foot to receive them into her Majesty's pay, or otherwise to set down some such order therein as to their lordships shall seem most expedient.
“A proclamation hath been published since my lord of Leicester's resignation … whereby all men are discharged from the oath and allegiance given to his lordship, and a new oath to be taken to the States of the land; which, if those of Camphere and Armue should refuse to take, and thereon some heart-burning breed against them, and some hard course be taken, I beseech your honour to let us understand how to proceed therein.”
You know what directions I have received touching them of Camphere both from her Majesty and your honour; but I have received no answer from the States to my proposition in that behalf; but they are still continued in pay, and therefore I have them the less therein.
“Touching the joining with her Majesty towards the treaty I perceive less hope than heretofore, especially by reason of those of Frizeland, whose deputies have not received sufficient authority from their principals to resolve thereon; but a messenger is sent there for their resolution. My lord Willughbie is now at Dordrecht, about the matters of Gertruydenberg, which are yet brought to no pass.”
The shipping promised her Majesty is preparing at Rotterdam and elsewhere; to which Amsterdam contributes 80,000 gulden. Before the haven of Sluys are thirty two sail, to keep in the Duke of Parma's preparations by sea there.—Flushing, 5 May, '88.
Add. Endd. 2 closely written pp. [Holland XXIII. f. 189.]
May 5/15. Odo Colonna to [Prince Maurice].
Asked for his statement, repeats about the pope's alliance with all the Catholic powers against the Queen, giving her kingdom to the King of Scotland who is to marry the King of Spain's daughter, with reversion to the King of Spain. Fully informed about her Majesty's life. Regrets that H.E. does not consider him genuine.
Signed. Italian. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 191.]
Attached: A roughly drawn pedigree of the Colonna family, also signed by Colonna. With the examination as follows:
May 15, 1588. “The examination taken of Colonna.
The pope had received a letter from the King of Scotland soliciting his Holiness to undertake the enterprise of England in order to avoid the loss of so many souls, the more because many princes of England whose names were in the letter begged his Holiness to this undertaking as easy, in favour of the King of Scotland.
The pope discussed the matter with Cardinal Marc Antonio Colonna and Signor Prospero Colonna, whom his Holiness is sending into Spain upon this business. Signor Prospero went by sea into Spain by Civita Vecchia; Signor Oddo being then in Florence, as a banished man. Signor Prospero wrote to his Holiness that the Catholic king would do whatever the pope desired.
Upon this, the pope raised 20,000 footmen in the state of the Church and the kingdom of Naples; who arrived in Flanders with Signor Oddo at the beginning of the month of November. Signor Oddo went secretly from Florence into his marquisate in the Abruzzo, and saw the letter of the King of Scotland in the desk of Signor Prospero, who remained in Florence. He did not carry the letter with him into Spain because it was concluded otherwise.
The Signor Camillo Orsino, a knight of Malta, told Signor Oddo of this enterprise. He is now in Flanders, reached by way of Naples and Genoa. The city of Grave was assigned to Signor Camillo.
The Signor Oddo, meaning to go to Camillo Capesuazo master of the camp of the Prince of Parma, was taken near Turnhout in a village on the last of November, wishing to treat with Capesuazo to find means of coming into England. Being brought to Count Maurice, and not being willing to discover secrets to him, he was sent a prisoner to Wilhelmstadt. He left his servants in Grave, and had come with some light horse, when he was taken. They escaped. He wrote to his servants in Grave but the reply came that they had left, but where they were gone was not known.
The names in the letter of the King of Scotland, I give from memory as Count Maurice took the letter; they are: Whitgift, archbishop; Edwin Sand, another archbishop; a certain Burley or Berny. I do not remember the others; there were six, I think one was William.
The Duke of Florence, to revenge himself for the detention of one Capponi in England, has offered the pope to write a letter which the queen reading would die ipso facto.
The pope treated with the King of Scotland whether by means of things inclosed in the letter it could be done, and that he should send it. The king replied that the pope should send it; and so the letter is come to the King of Scots. The Duke of Florence gave Signor Prospero Colonna a letter to take to his Holiness. This was before he was sent into Spain.
Signed by Oddo Colonna and by Robert Beale, clerk of the Council.
Endd. the examination taken of Colonna. Italian. 3 pp. [Ibid. f. 193.]
May 5. The Commissioners to the Privy Council.
We received her Majesty's letters of the 30 April upon the 2nd inst., at which time Mr. Controller was at Bruges, of whose doings we know nothing … we therefore despatched Morris unto him to require him to repair unto us, to make report of his doings and to confer with us upon the contents of H.M.'s letters, to declare unto him her Majesty's pleasure touching the governor of this town and admonish him to forbear to use any singular courses, but join with us in common … Mr. Controller is returned this day from Bruges and saith he hath seen the duke's commission to treat and conclude, which they say, came into the duke's hands the day after Morris was there, and that the duke agrees to a cessation for the four towns, that H.M.'s commissioners shall have what town they list for their residence. Further that he hath treated with the duke by Articles for the more speedy furtherance of the treaty, whereof he hath advised H.M. and thinketh she will have great satisfaction therewith. Yet for the better assurance of these things we thought it convenient that Dr. Dale should repair to the duke … to have more perfect understanding of the king's commission and to draw to some certainty for the cessation and place of residence.
Copy. 5 ½ pp. [Flanders III. f. 272.]
May 5. Derby to Burghley.
I would with all my heart have given Mr. Comptroller knowledge of your mislike of his going single to the Duke of Parma had he not been gone before the receipt of your letter of the 26th. We now report his proceedings and are sending the Master of Requests to the duke to deliver her Majesty's pleasure. I am sorry your too timely going to Court hath hindered your recovery. God grant you speedy amendment.—Ostend, 5 May, 1588.
Postscript. I hope Mr. Comptroller's certificate of his proceedings will qualify H.M.'s displeasure for his dealing alone which, for aught I can gather, was well meant by him.
Signed. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. f. 276.]
May 5. Dr. Dale to Burghley.
I trust Mr. Controller's being at Bruges hath done good, whereof your lordship will better judge upon his report, at the least it will make my message to the duke more mild. It is a great charge to deal alone. My trust is in God and in her Majesty's good acceptation and my good friends to supply the want.—Ostend, 5 May, 1588.
Postscript. Methought by Mr. Controller's report the duke confessed to him that he made preparation at Dunkirk towards the sea, to be ready where his master should appoint him.
Signed. Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Ibid. f. 278.]
May 5/15. Godefroy de Mombech to M. de Champaigny.
On the 14th the enemy, reinforced from Flushing, Berghes sur de Zoom, Lillo etc. attempted to pillage the county of Hulst, but we succeeded in driving them off with a loss of about 250 men including an English lieutenant and 40 soldiers prisoners. We sunk three great barges full of men. The cavalry of Stecken came to our rescue; we had only our infantry of Hulst.—Hulst, 15 May, 1588.
Copy. ½ p. [Flanders III. f. 348.]


  • 1. See Japikse: Resolutien der Staten Generaal, Vol. vi., p. 140.