Elizabeth: August 1588, 6-10

Pages 110-130

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 22, July-December 1588. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1936.

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August 1588, 6-10

Aug. 6. Stafford to Walsingham.
News from Rochel that the King of Navarre already has 6000 good shot and 800 horse there, though as yet none from Languedock "nor none of those places." They are eager for M. de Guise to come against them. Beyond the Loire "from Bloys forward the name of a Leaguer is an evil, and worse hated than the name of Huguenot in Paris, of as well Catholics as Protestants." There is certain news that M. la Valette has surprised Romans, "the only Leaguish town in all Dolphine," and is building a citadel there.
"The Princess of Condé hath not yet lost her head . . ., nor nobody but her chief maister d'hotel, that hath been drawn in pieces with horses, his head set up afore her window; who at his death confessed the Prince of Condé was poisoned, but of his mistress nothing, as they say, touching that point, but of her evil living with him and with innumerables more."—Paris, 6 August, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. 1 p. [France XVIII. 144.]
Aug. 6/16. The States General to the Queen.
They have reason to praise God for his goodness, not only in demonstrating to all the world the designs of their common enemy against His church, but also in frustrating his arrogant plan just when he thought to unite all his forces against her Majesty and her realm. Pray that her Majesty may destroy the enemy's mighty fleet so utterly that they will long be unable to recover. Are doing everything possible to support her fleet in the pursuit with a strong reinforcement of men-of-war, some ships being left before Dunkirk and Nieuport to prevent the Prince of Parma from coming out with his land and sea forces. More would have been made ready but for the pernicious troubles and mutinies in their states and garrisons, which consumed the greater part of their more accessible resources, and placed the State in danger. Pray her Majesty to accept their service and to continue her favour towards them.—The Hague, 16 August, 1588.
Signed, W. Roelsius. Countersigned, C. Aerssens. Add. Endd. Seal. French. 1¼ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 46.]
Aug. 6/16. The States General to the Council.
Their pleasure at the defeat of the common enemy: they hope that her Majesty will follow her advantage decisively. They will lend all possible aid, though the mutinies have hitherto hindered them. Desire their lordships' good offices for the putting into effect of the apostilles to the articles of their representations of April 13 last. No one has so far been sent over with any instructions to do this. It would save these countries from confusion.— The Hague, 16 August, 1588.
Signed, W. Roelsius. Countersigned, C. Aerssens. Add. Endd. Seal. French. 1¼ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 42.]
Aug. 6/16. The States General to the Earl of Leicester.
Their pleasure at the defeat of the enemy and their desire to aid the Queen, though they have been hindered by mutinies amongst the garrisons. Pray his Excellency to show them his favour.— The Hague, 16 August, 1588.
Signed, W. Roelsius. Countersigned, C. Aerssens. Add. Endd. French. ¾ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 44.]
Aug. 6/16. The Conseil Commis of the Estates of Zeeland to the Queen. (fn. 1)
Thanking her for her letters accepting their services. Their fleet under Count Justinus of Nassau shut up the Prince of Parma in Dunkirk and Nieuport. Thus their service, despite the accusations of their ill-wishers, was the chief cause of the enemy's failure, for the defeat of the Armada was entirely due to the Prince's inability to succour and strengthen it with his forces.
They have taken three ships from the Armada, with 400 prisoners, among them Don Diego de Piementello, Don Juan de Velasco, Don Juan de Tolledo, Captains Martin Davila, Marcos, and Alonso de Vargas. Enclose their confessions, the depositions of two sailors, who escaped from the Spanish fleet, (fn. 2) and the list of English traitors slain according to the prisoners' accounts.
Don Pedro [sic] de Toledo and most of the other gentlemen on his ship escaped to Nieuport when the ship was lost near there. Of the three captured ships, one sank in Flushing harbour, another went down off Rammekins, and the third between Ostend and Blankenberg: all were much damaged, and ill-handled. The ordnance was saved from the first two, which were thoroughly pillaged.
All the prisoners agree that they were to join the Prince of Parma and invade England. From Spain there came some 40,000 men, viz., 20,000 voluntary soldiers, 10,000 forçats, and 12,000 mariners. The Prince keeps his army of 15,000 men still ready, with ships full of saddles, boots, etc. The King of Spain is said to have sent him the crown and sceptre of England, blessed by the Pope. The Prince has much correspondence in England. Return of the Armada to join him is expected.—Middelburg, 16 August, 1588.
Signed, P. Ryche. Countersigned, Christoffel Roels. Marginal notes of contents. Add. Endd. French. 3¼ pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 48.]
(1) Examinations of certain Spanish prisoners.
Don Diego Pimentel, Don Juan de Velasquez, Martin de Avalos, Francisco Marques, Alonso de Vargas. Frantz Muelenpeert, and William Olyckers.
The Sicilian 'tercio' was of 32 companies, 15 being veterans. The Armada left Lisbon May 30, meaning to join Parma and invade England. Were 145 sail, whereof 110 men of war, 90 of them very great: 20,000 Spaniards, 12,000 mariners and others, including the flower of the Spanish nobility. Valdes and his ship lost on entering Channel. Medina will not return until his purpose is accomplished. Were victualled for six months. The English fleet 130 sail. Don Diego, etc. parted company with the Armada on Monday: it had then lost but three ships. It cost the King, 12,000 pistolets daily: there are 16 million ducats aboard.
Endd. "Taken the 12 August by the Council of State in Holland." Spanish. 2½ pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 5.]
Two translations into French of the above, with note that the ship was taken on August 10th by Peter van der Does. [Ibid. ff. 7, 9.]
A translation into English of the above: rather inaccurate. (fn. 3) [Ibid. f. 11.]
(2) "A Note touching the English fugitives that were aboard the ship taken by the Flushingers."
The prisoners say that among the English aboard this vessel was one Don Guighelmo, whose father had one brother who was an earl (conte) and another very rich who had left Guighelmo as his heir.
There were other Englishmen who usually messed with Piementello. One was called Robert, another Raphael, once servant to the president or chancellor or mayor of London, Thomas Tostal, or some such name. Does not know their surnames.
Endd. as above. Italian. ¼ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 12.]
Aug. 6. Lord Wyllughby to the Privy Council. (fn. 4)
The 'shot' which were to go for the Downs are still detained by contrary winds. As the Duke of Parma will very likely attempt a crossing, and as there are only these countries' ships to oppose him and they are but slenderly manned unless some English soldiers join them, he has stayed the said shot for two or three days, hoping for further direction from their lordships.
His commission commands him to fight by land or sea, so he hopes that he may be allowed, if Count Maurice is agreeable, to put to sea, with such forces as they can make, to pursue the Duke even to the English coast. Nothing would more hinder the Duke, upon whose success the hope of the rest is entirely fixed.—Midelbroughe, 6 August, 1588.
Postscript. Hears that Lord Henry Seamer has returned to the Downs, so has sent the troops thither. Fears they will be needed here, for he has intelligence that the Duke will put to sea about Saturday. "Here is not one whit of treasure left."
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XXVI. f. 50.]
Aug. 6. Sir Edward Norreys to Walsingham.
Hearing that the Prince [of Parma] had embarked his men for England, and being confident that Ostend, owing to the season and to the repairing of the works and ditches, was "grown almost out of danger," he came hither, thinking to take ship himself. As the winds are contrary, and as the Prince is reported to have disembarked his men, Norreys now waits "to see whither he will bend." Asks for Walsingham's allowance and direction herein. This Governor will have advertised "how wilfully the Prince protesteth to go on with his attempt and that he will die in the pursuit of it: which known, is half prevented."—Flushing. 6 August, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. 1 p. [Holland XXVI. f. 52.]
Aug. 7. Sophia, Queen-Mother of Denmark, to the Queen.
Thanking her for her letters and condolences upon the death of her husband King Frederick, sent by Dr. Rogers. Credence for Rogers.—Copenhagen, 7 August, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. Latin. 1⅓ pp. [Denmark I. f. 266.]
Aug. 7. William Brown to Walsingham.
Cannot, and will not, at this time seek leave to come into England, but hopes that when he shall come, though it be on a sudden, he shall find such favour as to obtain 150l. from reckonings due to him, towards paying the debts for which he and his land are liable.—Flushing, 7 August.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Seal. ½ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 57.]
Aug. 7. Arthur Heigham to Walsingham.
Thanking his honour for his preferment to the office of commissary, wherein he desires either that the Council authorise the Treasurer to advance to him weekly lendings, as to other officers of this garrison; or that his honour will warrant him to have money in prest, to be defalked upon his pay. Mr. Diges, despite the Council's command and lord Willoughby's earnest writing, refuses to hand over the copies of the books of checks since October 11th last and the books of musters.—Vlisshing, 7 August, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Seal. ⅓ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 56.]
Aug. 7. Richard Eshertone to Richard Saltonstall, governor of the company of Merchant Adventurers, resident in London.
On Tuesday last, "the 31 day of this month" [sic], Sir William Russell, Governor of Flushinge, was informed by a fishing-boat that a great Spanish ship was riding between Osteand and Blankenborghe, whereupon he sent out certain hoys of war under Mr. Burlacey, the lieutenant-governor, and Captain Browne. The Spaniards, their mainmast gone and their sails torn, sought to escape to sea by cutting their cables, but were forced to yield themselves "after a small fight, reserving their lives, which the said Mr. Burlacey sought to perform as much as in him lay; but for all he could do, at their first coming aboard all that they could lay hands upon was either thrown overboard, slain, or wounded; and pleaded they took them upon 'ghenawed oft unghenawde.' (fn. 5) So that of 457 which were in the ship at her first coming out of Spain there was but 127 brought ashore; which were such poor souls and so mangled that presently the Governor sent 60 of them over into Flanders to carry news to the Prince of Parma what was become of the rest, giving a great charge unto those that carried them that they should not throw them overboard." The name of this ship was St. Phillipe, of 600 tons burden; her captain, Don Francisco de Tolledo, is carried prisoner into Holland.
The same night the St. Mathu, of like burden, whose captain was Don Diego Peidomontelle, was brought in; "which ship was so beaten that for to save themselves were forced to run themselves ashore near unto Niuporte where Justynus, the Admiral of this country, took them and sent them in hither." Before they could get in they were 10 feet deep in water. Each of these ships carried 72 pieces of brass. "They were no sooner brought in but there was such spoil made as well by the land soldiers as the mariners, as presently they brake them down to the water, so that the very same night, for want of good looking to, the one sunk and the other was overthrown." Their ordnance and powder had already been landed, but many sails were lost, "and not much else, for they were well rifled before."
Has been several times with some of the prisoners. Encloses 'brief' of their confessions. "Thus much is their report. At their first meeting with the Queen's Majesty's fleet they were but 70 sail, the next day 90 sail, the next day 110, so that we thought they had risen out of the sea, they did so increase. At the first skirmish they singled out the Vice-Admiral with one or two more, whom they beat sore with shot so that the Vice-Admiral sent to the Admiral for aid, who sent him again a boat aboard requiring for to send him the money away that he had aboard, and he would provide him of aid. Whereupon he sent him answer per the same boat, that if he took more care for the money than for him, he would procure his enemy for to be his friend with the money. The next day they gave them another conflict and the Spaniards "weaffead' them for to come aboard which our men would not do; and then they perceived they meant for to fight with them another way, so that before they did come so high as Calles they had four fights and in every one lost two or three ships. Upon Sunday the 30 of July [sic] they fought with them before Callys, and there they drave a galleass ashore wherein was some part of the treasure; and fired one ship, which they quenched again with no small danger. Upon the Monday, four of the Queen's navy singled out these two ships, being cast behind the rest of the fleet by mending their tackling and sails. And the first salutations they made them was rende viliaco superbe Spainguolle, 'yt' they said they maintained the fight with them eight hours and lost 160 men in the fight (whereof two were Englishmen whose names they did not know), but had five shot under water. And St. Phillippi had her rudder shot off and 200 of her men slain. And as they say, the best of them are greatly distressed for fresh water and the best of them not victualled for above five weeks."—Myddelbrowghe, 7 August.
Postscript. Lord Wyllowghby is here, sending 1000 musketeers to England. Last week he overthrew an enemy cornet of horse, of Brydaw, slaying the cornet and taking 22 prisoners.
Add. Endd. 1½ pp. [Newsletters XLV. f. 22.]
(1) The confession of the prisoners at Myddelbrowghe, 2 August, 1588.
Numbers of the fleet at its coming out of Spain, 29 May:—
9 galleons of Portugal and 2 castabres of 100 tons apiece.
14 galleons of Cyvyll.
22 hulks of divers countries.
12 argosies.
1 galleon of the Duke of Florence of 600 tons.
28 'Biskayers'
4 galleasses.
4 galleys, supposed lost in a storm on 15 or 16 June.
30 "petasses, which are small ships."
"Being demanded what number of their ships they thought were lost at their departing from the fleet, these they did know of, but how many more they could not say."
1. Sante Mathio, Don Dego Pedemontele captain.
2. Sante Phellippo, Don Francisco de Toledo, captain.
3. A great Byskayer, name unknown.
4. 'Galleassa capitaine,' Don Hugo de Moncado, captain; the Viceroy of Catylonya's son is said to have been slain on this ship, which was run ashore at Callys: some of the treasure was in 'him.'
5. The Vice-Admiral, Don Pedro de Valldesse, captain: "in whom was also money."
6. A Venetian was in great distress, and either sunk or taken.
7. An unknown ship which they saw "sunk downright."
8. A ship, sometime of Bristowe, driven ashore and spoiled at Osteand.
They say the treasure of the fleet was 300,000 ducats, divided among the Admiral, Vice-Admiral, a ship commanded by the pagadore, the galleass which went ashore at Callys, and the ship St. Marten.
Their chief Admiral is the Duke of Medina de Cidonya, their only purpose for England, after joining forces with the Prince of Parma.
Encloses list of principal men in the fleet, drawn from prisoners' hearsay.
1 p. [Newsletters XLV. f. 24.]
(2) The names of the chief lords of the Spanish fleet.
The Duke of Medina Sidonia, Admiral; the Prince d'Ascoly; the Count de Firolles, son of the Regent of Seiville; Don Philippe de Cordua; Don Francisco de Bonadelle, who has an entertainment of three hundred ducats a month; Don Alonso de Leva, general of the cavalry of Milan; Don Diego de Leva, his brother, captain of infantry; the Count of Paradis, with two brothers; the Marquess of Penatiel; Don Francisco de Toledo, "mestre du campe"; Don Garcio de Cardevas; Don Jeromino de Herrera, brother of several Spanish marquesses.
Prisoners from the St. Mathew and St. Philip.
Don Alonso de Piedemontel, "mestre du campe"; Don Jan Valase; Don Jan de Lede; Don Jan de Cordua; Don Alonso de Vargas; Captain Martin d'Avelas; Captain Marquite. Don Pedro de Valdase, Vice-Admiral, prisoner in England.
French. ¾ p. [Newsletters XLV. f. 23.]
Aug. 8. Andrea de Loo to Burghley.
Regretting the recall of her Majesty's Commissioners at a time when the treaty might have been brought to a good conclusion. The King's Commissioners waited only for a clear declaration of the conditions upon which her Majesty would restore the towns which she holds, before proceeding to the conclusion of a lasting peace based upon adequate guarantees. Even now a renewal of the conference is possible if England desires to renew the ancient amity with the house of Burgundy, into which Spain may enter, and if the English demands are sent to him in clear and definite form. The Duke still seems eager for peace, and sorry, despite the arrival of the long-expected Armada, that the treaty was broken off. He told de Loo that however advanced were the army's preparations, he would always prefer a peace.
Goes in the morning to the Duke but will return for his lordship's reply. The earl, baron, and Mr. Comptroller will report his zeal in this service. Prays that her Majesty will remember his service, otherwise he will be ruined. His credit and over 1000 marks are lost through the failure of knavish debtors, and he is wearied with the perils and afflictions attending this great affair. Her Majesty promised to reward him. Desires speedy answer.— Calais, 8 August, 1588, stilo antico.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal. Italian. 1½ pp. [Flanders IV. f. 289.]
Aug. 8/18 The Council of State to the Queen. (fn. 6)
Congratulating her upon her victory. Regret that rebellion and mutiny have prevented them from aiding therein as fully as they desired. The States have agreed to pay another subsidy to increase their fleet.—The Hague, 18 August, 1588.
Signed, J. Valcke. Countersigned, Chr. Huygens. Add. Endd. 1¼ pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 74.]
Aug. 8/18. The Council of State to the Privy Council. (fn. 7)
Praising God for the good success of her Majesty's navy. They are glad that her Majesty accepts their service herein so favourably, and but for the mutinies they would have armed greater forces. They urge the States to grant an extraordinary subsidy, and have already succeeded so far that 40 more warships are being fitted out. They hear that the enemy sails northward, and they hope he will be hotly pursued.
Enclose copies of the confessions made by prisoners from certain Spanish ships captured by their captains (fn. 8) also the confession of certain mariners of these countries who were forced to serve in the Armada but who escaped. (fn. 9)
The Duke of Parma will certainly seek to avenge this failure against England by an assault on these countries, so they beseech their lordships that her Majesty's forces here may be brought up to full strength.
The States General think of sending deputies to her Majesty.— The Hague, 18 August, 1588.
Signed, J. Valcke. Countersigned, Chr. Huygens. Add. Endd. Seal. French. 1¾ pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 70.]
Aug. 8/18. Count Maurice of Nassau to Walsingham. (fn. 10)
Refers the advertisement of the Spanish designs and the proceedings of the two fleets to the confession of Don Diego Piementel, a prisoner here, and to the letters from the States General and provincial estates to her Majesty. Has, with the agreement of the States, placed the prisoners of quality, some 25 in number, under sure guard. The common soldiers are lodged in the gaols of the towns until further order be taken. The Duke of Parma means to make a sortie shortly from Dunkirk. Desires to know her Majesty's pleasure concerning the prisoners.— The Hague, 18 August, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. French. 1 p. [Holland XXVI. f. 68.]
Aug. [8]. H. Kyllygrew to Walsingham.
This bearer, Mr. Thomas Lovell, needs no lengthy recommendation, as during some part of his sixteen years' service in these countries, he was employed by Walsingham's particular direction. He was the only man who "from time to time hath given me light and intelligence of the state here," and it was he who informed Mr. Herbert, then her Majesty's ambassador here, and the writer, of the pretended surprise of Flushing. He is "a man fit to be employed in martial affairs, wherein he hath been trained up all his time."—The Haghe, — August, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XXVI. f. 72.]
Aug. 8. G. Gilpin to Walsingham.
Returned hither on 30 July by his lordship's [Willoughby's] appointment to report the agreement made at Geertrudenbergh. "His honour" then pressed them for the men who were to be sent over, and for the ships to be hastened towards Dunkirk, after the news of the Spanish army being come so near to the Narrow Seas. After a motion made to prepare all possible forces by sea and land, the Council of State proposed to the States General, "in the presence of those of Holland and other," an extraordinary levy of 20,000l. sterling, which was agreed to. Special commissioners were sent with letters to all the provinces and towns urging them to contribute to this levy, and a favourable answer is expected. Mr. Killegrewe and the Chancellor Leoninus were sent to Utrecht, which is very backward in all contributions: there is as yet no news of their success.
Was sent to Geertrudenberghe to procure powder for Zeeland, but could get only 5000 weight, and that after much ado. Is appointed to return to Geertrudenbergh to persuade them to a better agreement, "not to meddle with the country contributions," and to allow the Governor to command as he ought; but, Killegrewe being away and the Lord General being in Zeeland, he has excused himself for two or three days, so as to attend to her Majesty's service here, although his not being established in the place of which he has so often written considerably weakens his influence.
Intends this morning to press the Council, Count Maurice, and the States of Holland, to hasten more shipping towards Dunkirk to keep in the Prince of Parma, "wherein consisteth all the chief enterprise." Also is busy procuring powder to be sent over.
Finds a very good will in the Count, "but in this popular government such present order cannot be taken as in other governments."
The Council are writing to her Majesty and her Council, sending them the examinations of certain Spanish prisoners and others.
"They are most sorry here that her Majesty should find fault with their ships, that they had not dealt with the enemy; which, they say, they were unable to do, but have impeached, and so will do so much as in them is, the coming forth of the Prince of Parma. There are some do think that in this time it is not good to object such matters unless it be certain that any should have failed of their duty." Understands M. Ortell wrote hither that Walsingham had told him of those ships' fault.
Count Maurice is here pressing for money to prepare more shipping, which is in hand, and to levy soldiers and mariners.
"It had not been amiss that there had been sent hither new men, and in their places called over all the English troops that are here, being trained and experimented; which I think would not have been disliked, so the like number had come in their places. And to keep towns and 'holdes,' new men are as fit as the other, so the commanders be of experience. This country is full of old soldiers, but want money."
Her Majesty should provide for continuing the 'prests,' for, if the garrisons have "to prest the townsmen with lendings," dangerous alterations in the places and countries may follow, "the people being wearied with long wars." If money cannot be sent, credit should be obtained by the merchants' help. "If now the princes of Germany were stirred up, it were high and a fit time." Schenck is contented and prepares to go to the relief of Berke and to raise the siege of Bonn. Leaves all other news to this bearer, Mr. Lovell.—The Hague, 8 August, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. 2¾ pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 76.]
Aug. 8. Thomas Webbes to Walsingham.
Mr. James Digges has come with order from her Majesty's Council for the place of the clerkship of the check. Has complained to lord Willoughby and shown to him letters patent from his lordship [Leicester], when he was over here, granting the office to him (Webbes), and, although owing to Digges' unquietness he was never able to execute it, yet he was never discharged of it. Willoughby has made stay of his patent to Digges until he hears from the Council: he had denied to Webbes the commissary's place at Berghes-up-Zoome, to which Walsingham had preferred him, because he had already promised it to Mr. Rogers before Walsingham's letters came, and he thinks that [Leicester's] patent to Webbes should likewise be allowed to stand, unless just reason be found to the contrary. Prays Walsingham to continue his favour by putting in a 'caviat' for stay of any further resolution by the Council until his lordship's [Leicester's] pleasure be known, and by recommending his suit to his lordship. Would so order himself in that office "as her majesty shall receive profit, your honours contentment, and the whole garrison quietness, and yet it shall remain more strong and serviceable than ever."— Myddelborough, 8 August, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1¼ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 78.]
Aug. 9. Stafford to Walsingham.
"I hope ere long you shall hear some news that will content both her Majesty and you." There is one come from the King of Navarre to his agent here, Stafford's friend, who assures him from the King that he will be here about some enterprise of importance very shortly, about the river of Loire. Knows not what it is, but he that told it said it was something of importance and "he thought some enterprise upon some town of the river of Loire, and namely Orleans: or else that, being assured of a passage, he hath some intelligence for some matter of importance behither [so in decipher: the cipher reads geter] on this side. That he hath 6000 good shot and 800 good horse; that he will mount two thousand shot on horseback to make a great cavalcado at the first, to execute."
Cannot yet find out the meaning of Villeroy's renouncing the Secretaryship, but he has certainly retired to his house. Would find the truth of it, were he at court himself. "The Venice ambassador came to see me this afternoon. . . . He telleth me he is for certain advertised that the King is entered into some jealousy of him [i.e. Villeroy], and that he findeth it, that the King, when he desired leave of him in respect of his age and weakness to retire himself, made no great denial of him, but coldly told him that if he would, he would not hinder him. But he told me that his men give out that the King meaneth to bestow some higher degree upon him, as Chancellorship or some such. Some think he knoweth so much of the King's mind that he knoweth some particular thing to make him retire himself, and some enterprise upon the King's person. The King's goodwill is looked for by some. I do think and hope this year will prove out eight-eight here."
The Master of Graie sent word yesterday that a friend of his had seen a letter to the Bishop of Glasgow from the French ambassador, who writes "that there was never such a fear in England, that the gates of London were kept shut, that everybody was fain to run away up further into the country and carry their chiefest riches with them, that the Queen herself was running away, that there was never such a fear and a confusion seen, that the Queen had sent money to the King of Scots, that he had refused it and sent it back again, that it was not that was promised him and that he looked for, that her Majesty was in a marvellous maze at it. There be knaves here speak openly evil of the King of Scots; saith that he hath betrayed the King of Spain and the cause of the Catholics, and that he hath sold his mother's life. You never heard such villains as there are some here. . . ."—Paris, 9 August, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. The portions in italics in cipher. 1¾ pp. [France XVIII. 145.]
Fly-leaf with deciphers. 1¼ p.
A.D. 1588. Aug. 9. Stafford to Walsingham.
Thanks him for sending this bearer with so good news, which "I promise you is not hid under a bushel, nor no honest man here is sorry for it. To have the revenge of the Spanish ambassador, who set out lies and made them be cried so lively about the town (which I sent you a pamphlet of [not found]), I have made the news you sent me to be set out in print with a preamble, which cost me but five crowns the printing of 400 of them. But they have been so well sold that they that I have made them to be given to, to put them abroad, have gotten above a hundred crowns by them. For though I did it myself, because I would trust nobody, . . . both for fear of discovery afore it were printed . . . and also because I would have it covertly to touch home their impudency, yet I am not willing to have it known here other than to be a thing done by chance by somebody that had heard my news. But the King, as soon as ever he saw it, would have laid a wager it was my doing, and laughed at it heartily for it came 'jump' to the court as the ambassador came thither the second time to speak to the King about the rendering of the galleass and the artillery." . . . Does not yet know what answer he has of the King as he is not yet returned, but one of his last demands was "that he would not succour her Majesty, being an heretic, and this great enterprise of his master's being for the amplification of the Catholic religion. The King answered him that he had two or three kind of subjects in his realm, whereof the one part of them he thought he could answer, but that the others he could not answer for; but that there was no such great matter to be demanded or answered upon that, because the Queen's Majesty had sent to demand no succour of him, as not needing it."
Sends Lillye's letters [not found] to show what answer was made when he asked what the King would do about the ambassador's demands for havens and victuals. Stafford does not mean to demand this until he is so instructed, for he does not think her Majesty's navies are likely to have need of any such request, and he sees no cause "to make the Queen beholding to the King without necessity." Besides, what the ambassador did was by his master's express command, which he has not from her Majesty.
Upon the ambassador's going to demand the galleass, and the artillery both of it and of the galleys, Stafford sends M. Gourdan's letter to the King [not found]. Thinks M. Gourdan has but acted as Walsingham or himself would have done in his place.
The Spanish ambassador begins now again to brag (hearing the army is gone that way) of wonders in Scotland and some of the well affected here fear it greatly. Thinks he does it only for the same intent, as when he, being last at the court, gave out "divers intelligences in England, and particularly among her Majesty's Council."
"This day the Pope's Nuncio is gone to Chartres, there to receive the Cardinal's cap that the Pope hath sent to the King to give him. They of the League be in a great fear that now he hath fished what he would, he will prove in the end a Venetian, and the Spanish ambassador is half in that fear."—Paris, 9 August, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. 2 pp. [France XVII. 146.]
Aug. 9. Sir William Russell to Walsingham.
Hears that the Duke of Parma has imprisoned MM. Lamott and Schampanye; that discontent is very strong in Antwerpe "in so much as the passage is stopt"; and that the towns "on the other side" greatly mislike the processions and triumphs made for the victory of the Spanish fleet, whose failure is now known to the people.
The Duke blames Lamott for assuring him that Callies road would be a safe refuge for ships which became separated from the fleet, whereas the Governor of Callies has seized the artillery of the "great armado" which went aground there. The Duke is also angered against him for his small care to send boats out from Dunkirke and Newporte to assist and lighten the two vessels that were captured and brought in hither; it had been ordered that vessels in extremity "should be rather burned than taken." Is advertised "that now the D[uke] is out of hope to proceed with his forces for England, but intends to employ them for some of these islands."
Their "weekly loans" are ended: prays Walsingham to send "a very effectual letter" to the merchants of Midelborough to see them supplied until some 'lendings' can be sent over. Chooses to ask for a letter to the merchants because he knows that suits for money to be sent thence at this time will be very unwelcome. The forces here and elsewhere are weakened "and these people upon any small disorder or offence offered by us easily stirred to controversy and tumult."—Vlisshing, 9 August, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of Arms. 1 p. [Holland XXVI. f. 80.]
Aug. 10. Stafford to Walsingham.
Since putting up his packet, hears that those of Flushing have taken another galleon. Also, "that there is ten thousand Spaniards killed, and most of their ships perished and taken," which he dares not yet believe, "for now they be here carried away with the falseness of the Spaniards' news and with the freshness of our good success, which they believe, they will as long as that humour lasteth make new news run every day of our side."
There is an Englishman at Roan, one Captain Moffet, an old soldier who desires to do his country service and to be recommended to Walsingham. Has ever found him warmly wellaffected to his country, and thinks his remaining on this side of the sea was only because "London was too hot for him for private causes," and that he is enemy to no one but himself. Mr. Waade is his very good friend, and will testify for him.— Paris, 10 August, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [France XVIII. 148.]
Aug. 10. Stafford to Walsingham.
Desires him to send the enclosed letter of lady Stafford to the Lord Admiral or Lord Henry Seimor; "which she writeth for to have ships for her safety at Deepe on Monday come fortnight," if there be no stir in those seas. If the Spaniards should come back, she will not go.
"I thank your honour for the goodwill you had to help me with the sum I writ to you for . . . . I think it is not by the tenth part so impossible in England as it is here. I do seek all the ways I can in the world."
M. de la Noue desires an answer to this letter of his [not found], and has arranged for it to be sent to his wife.
"In one of Lilly's letters, where he speaketh of one that spake to him of the Queen of Scots' death, I have put out biting words that one had used, because, if you should have need to show it to her Majesty, there might be nothing to offend her ears."—Paris, 10 August, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [France XVIII. 149.]
Aug. 10. Stafford to Walsingham.
"Since my other letter was written (and staying till my return to bring my wife a little on her way to the Court, where she is gone to take her leave), afore I would put up my packet, I found by the way these two letters of the 17th and 18th [N.S.] from Lillye which I send you enclosed. Whereby you may see that I am beholding to Pinart and somebody else who will not be named; for presently as soon as the Spanish ambassador's going to the Court was known to me, and hearing that he would speak of the galleass, I presently sent one to him that was there afore him, to bid him ask advice of my friends what course to take if it were moved; which by his letters you may see he hath followed, and done to good purpose, and they have acquitted themselves as good friends. I beseech you that I may have presently direction what course to take if he press it forward. In the mean time, I have sent to him again to have a diligent eye unto it, and both to be advised by good friends there, and also that if he find there be any disposition that it may be granted, that he will then press my audience for that, and that it may be stayed till I be heard."
Desires further directions as soon as possible "and that I may have continual news of the armies, both good and bad,—but I hope there will be no bad,—for the one I will give out to purpose, the other I will find means to use it to do least harm."
"The other news of Epernon you may see by Lillye's letters. I am glad he is scaped, but there is no harm it is happened. It may bring forth great good."
"Lilly hath not written one thing unto me which I am advertised of from very good places, which is pity but it should be known; of the stout courage of Madame d'Epernon, his wife who being taken, as you hear by the letter, and seeing the other killed and put out of the castle, they put a rope about her neck, and led her afore the castle, threatening M. d'Epernon to dispatch her presently if he rendered not the castle. She called to him and bid him not care for her, for her death was nothing, but if he yielded for to save her, both she should be killed after, and he killed and lose his life and his honour both; and that they would be twice advised afore they would do that to her they said, for all their brags. (fn. 11) And in the mean time the succour came and so both she saved and the town taken and assured to him. She showeth what race she came of, and that she hath been brought up with Madame d'Angouleme, one of the stoutest and virtuousest women at this hour in France and the deadly enemy to these men here."
"I think the Chevalier d'Aumale meant the Grand Prior of Champagne should not live long, when he asked it, for he was then as well as any man alive, and two days after, and now he is dead; and in this time he (d'Aumale) hath the Grand Priory."—Paris, 10 August, 1588.
Postscript. In Lillye's letters this mark [a trefoil] is Pinart.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Seal. The words in italics in cipher. 1¾ pp. [France XVIII. 150.]
Lilly to Stafford.
"This morning I understood the speeches which passed in the Council between these Princes."
The Council being met on Sunday afternoon, it was moved who should be the leader of the army into Gascony, for that if this were not known, other matters were but vain. And added that M. de Nivers had been already named, but whether he would accept the charge they knew not. Whereupon M. de Nyvers. after many protestations of willingness, and that he had 60,000 francs a year to be dispended in the King's service, said that for this journey he was unfit, by reason of his weakness and years; and prayed them to look out amongst them some one more able in body and fitter for that enterprise. To which every man there alleged his cause of excuse, and nobody would be found fit or disposed thereunto. "Then M. dé Nyvers replied, against the common enemy here is no man to go willingly, but if it were against the person of the King, here are that hath and would; and with that the Council brake up (to avoid other inconveniences) and then both M. de Nyvers and the Duke went into church, and there they long talked, and the Duke conducted him to his lodging." [Margin. "It is assured me that their griefs are irreconciliable, and that I shall have thereof the particularities why; yet this night he accepted the charge, saith the fr[iend]."]. "You may imagine the rest and withal the others' discontentment; that here are some of Picardy . . . which will have no stranger governor there, et per consequence not M. Ny[vers]. At his table, a day or three past, he used this speech: that the Church and those which did deal and fight for her do so buy and sell her that if our Lord Jesus came amongst them now, he would whip them all out—what he would infer, I leave to your lordship to divine . . . Now it is thought that Retz shall have that charge."
"The post came this evening that Saumure is likely [sic] very likely to be besieged, which I have verified by a letter to your fr[iend?] from M. de Rochepot; who said that he went thither all alone, and that prisoners were taken before the town gates by them of the Religion."
"The matters of Paris trouble M. Guise wonderfully upon their discontentment The King going thither is wonderfully laboured, and the holding of the States at St. Denys, alleging the sickness at Bles, and that it is a frontier town and hard by the enemy, and so there neither safety nor liberty."
Desires "news of this army of Spain, for your fr[iend] thinketh it were more necessary from you than any other; besides, every one, great and small, yea even the Queen Mother sent to me M. de Vilcogne to know the certainty."—8 August, 1588 [N.S.].
Postscript. Here is speech that M. de Villeroy has three or four times asked to resign his office to M. d'Aubapin, the Queen Mother's secretary. At first it was refused, but now it is thought he has it. Cannot conjecture what is his drift, but his weariness and his years spent in it is his colour. If the King does not remember him or his son with some government and honours, it is that he finds some fault in these affairs which every man sees not; for if he be as faithful as able and fit, the King cannot want him. The ambassador had about dinner time his audience, which was wonderful short, of the King, and his answer as short.
[Margin. "The King desired his absence, and that he would have sent a message to him in writing, but the bearer said it was a matter of such importance as could only be communicated to the King."]
"His demands were, as I understand, that if his master's army should happen upon that coast that he might have means to port in safety, and refreshing of victuals. What the King answered, yet I cannot tell, but presently he went to the Queen Mother, and there he was long, where he found the Duke of Guise, with whom he also talked some certain time, and so parted thence to his place of descent and within a while returned to the church, where M. Villeroy met and talked with him very earnestly an hour together. . ."
"It is thought certainly that the D[uke] will be LieutenantGeneral through all France, but whatsoever it is, the King makes show to be much ill at ease these three or four days, yet see I his [sic. qy. he is] merry and the Duke very sad, for they have much ado for money for this army; the King of Navarre being very strong, and as it is said, will take Samur whensoever he goeth about the same."
"My [word erased] telleth me that there is some great matter in hand, for here, saith he, is not one man assured of his fellow, nor the mother assured of her son, what show soever is made; but howsoever it is, the D[uke] doth what he will and hath what he will. I will not write the Cardinal of Bourbon's speech, that the Queen of England had sent a post hither to have a place amongst les filles repenties. I was asked whether I understood what it meant. I told him yea, but it should be when she had played the fool so much as he who had not only set afire his whole country, but had made himself an instrument for the common enemy to ruin his own house. . . . This night I could not have answer of your letter [to] —, (fn. 12) for which you must tarry until my next. Nobody understandeth the affairs of the King but the little Cardinal [Margin, by Stafford, Vendome]. The fr[iend] told me that if your lordship would send hither some certain news, he would presently repair to La Chatre and Roan with it. . . . That he had done this day a good office to the Viscount Turin; that if ever the King of Navarre would do good, now was the time, when they had no money, nor knew not where to have it. That at Bles [Blois] the sickness is, but the King will not have it known, for fear by that means to be persuaded to Paris. Of the States' assembly, it is yet uncertain, but certain that the King will hence on Wednesday next; and the Queen Mother at that time taketh her journey towards Paris; but the other dare not dispossess himself of the King's person, which is the greatest good which he can hold. The King hath used marvellous good words of the Count Soissons to the Queen Mother. It was thought it was not done without end." "And so I most humbly take my leave this 10th late at night, not willing to be an ambassador for all the goods in the world. If my lady come or come not on Wednesday, you must send me some money more, for I spend like an ambassador amongst my intelligencers."
Yesterday a lackey of La Fin's promised to deliver the foregoing letter, but left without it, so stayed this in hope to hear of this army, "of which here the bruit is that it hath given the overthrow to ours; that the Admiral is almost slain; that Drake hath taken his flight"; and that to-morrow the Spanish ambassador is coming hither.
[Margin. "That the King, having this secretly, was sorry for it; that he feigned himself to be sick, and retired himself from all company and could eat no meat that night. His sickness was the megrams and was very certain, but not that cause than I was sure my absence also from the court."]
"That Chevalier d'Omall presently will part hence to go for England with a number of French gentlemen." Yesterday, Lilly finding himself through heat like to fall into a fever, according to the counsel of the physician took cassia, and stirred not till night, and durst not venture to court, "but went to him from whence . . . all this bruit comes, who told me that in truth there came a gentleman to Madame de Nemours, that told him that he had good news, but the particulars were such as might not yet be communicated. All these circumstances made me not believe anything, but the fr[iend] of [my?] fr[iend] sat up in company of La Chastre until past midnight hereof to know the certainty, with a great deal of affectionate care to our cause, whereof he is worthy to be affectionately thanked, and I beseech your lordship let him know that I did signify it unto you, for all this evening the army of England is overthrown, and England conquered, and that I was returned to Paris for show, not knowing what to do. To set down the discourses here, it would serve to make a book. This far I had wrote over night, and stayed the making up of my letter till this morning, not having the night slept one hour . ., and then arrived Etienne with your lordship's, the best welcomest; and then went I to the church to see the congregation and there was walking the Spanish dog, telling himself news that a Breton held long in the English army sent him certainly word that the armies had fought, that four English ships were taken prisoners, and that in this fight the Breton escaped and with coulleurs assures the victory theirs."
"I being in the church, all the world flocked about me, and told me of these news and the reporter. I told them in the presence of some of his people that it was a shame for an ambassador to tell tales; whereupon it was told the King that I had given the ambassador the lie, which I did, for I said that whosoever said Spaniards were landed in England lied, with somewhat more. "[Name erased (fn. 13) ] told one of his men that it was a shame for him to lie so apparently, and took my part wonderfully in the reports which I made amongst the multitude; withal he protested his affection to our country and his service to you. In good faith, my lord, those which love us now, they are to be thanked, for our case is here accounted desperate."
"After this I delivered your letter [to Queen Mother (fn. 14) ?] and used much accompliments. She remitted until supper time for answer and desired me to make her participant of my news, and showed the grief she had of these opinions given out; which I did, and then parted to meet with [Pinart], who no sooner saw me but laughed and desired me that I would come to him presently after dinner, which I did, and there I told him what you had written unto me. He desired me that I would from time to time advertise him what good news I had, and he would bestow it in good place, where both your lordship and I should have thanks. I assured him I would, and then he told me that the Spaniards had lost four galleys, two about Bayone, and two at Rochell; of which two at Bayonne he was sorry that but one was come on the King's grounds, which was a good one, and the General was in her, but in ores up to the neck, for which they were sending down commission to see if anything were there for the King 'lawghing.' But the other was on the grounds of the King of Navarre, who would be, he doubted not, as ready as them to look for their shares. Then I went forward with your letter that touched the ambassador's people. He bid me hold my peace; the King knew them all to be Leaguers, their master and his men, and that they durst not come before the King if they had better cause. That Placin was a knave and durst not complain of his imprisonment at Gravalin; and for all the other circumstances in yours, answered them for us himself, and willed me to use his arguments taken from Morgan and others, and willed me to signify so much to your lordship, and that he was your servant, so long as you loved his master. He thought it would be a little spoken of for the honour of the ambassador, otherwise not at all. This afternoon Pasquer desired me to fetch a letter from him that M. Villeroy delivered him for to deliver me, and told me that ever since I delivered yours, M. Villeroy had been very ill at ease; which [letter] I send your lordship, until answer whereof I will proceed no further. For satin, if you send five ells, it will serve for the hose and all; if for a doublet only, three. I assure your lordship he well merits all, and more."
No haste is made to dispatch the post from Saumur.
Signed only with symbols. Add. "A Monseigneur, Paris." Endd. "8 August, 1588. From Lillye." 5 pp. close writing. [France XVIII. 147.]
Aug. 10/20. The Princess of Bouillon to the Queen.
Some days ago she wrote asking her Majesty to move the States of Holland that her own [the Princess'] name might be put in the letters and passport which they had granted to her brother, the late Duke, in order to obtain some relief in her affairs and to accommodate her subjects as regards their exports. Now being in urgent need of money to avert the imminent danger to God's church in her small state, which she desires to preserve both with her life and her means, she prays her Majesty (the true nurse thereof) for the loan of fifteen or twenty thousand crowns, through her ambassador or some other. Her Majesty shall receive all requisite security, and will be the cause of so great good that she will never regret her benevolence; by means whereof it is to be hoped (with the assistance of the Princess's Council, subjects, and nobles), that God will bring confusion on their enemies, and will triumph in [spite of] her weakness, youth, and circumstances.— 20 August, 1588.
Signed. Charlotte de la Marck. Add. Endd. French. 1 p. [France XVIII. 151.]
Aug. 10. An Estimate of the Weekly Imprests in the Low Countries.
Officers general.
The Lord General 42l.
The Lieutenant 14l.
Mr. Killigrewe 14l.
Sergeant-Major 7l.
Officers of Vlissingen.
Sir William Russell 20l.
Mr. Borlas, Marshal 75s.
Captain Denys, Sergeant-Major 35s.
Robert Manchester, Provost-Marshal 35s.
Edward Burnam, Water-Bailiff 35s.
Edward Jermyn, Clerk of the Munition 7s. 6d.
The cannoneers 12s. 6d.
Officers of Briell.
The like for Briell 30l.
Ten horsebands at 30l. each the week 300l.
43 companies at 20l. each the week 860l.
Sum of the weekly lendings 1297l.
Which for 13 weeks, begun the 25th of May and ending the 16th of August amounteth to 16,861l.
Over and besides the entertainment and allowances due to the Treasurer and the commissaries of musters.
Money paid to divers persons out of the last treasure, by warrant.
My lord Wyllughby, upon his entertainment 1000l.
More, to his lordship for the ransom of his cornet 40l.
More, for a debt due by his lordship to John Adrianson of Dordrecht 26l.
Sir John Norreys 348l. 2s. 8d.
Sir William Reade 290l.
Mr. Killigrewe 160l.
Lucas Deget of Berg for a debt due by divers captains 83l. 2s.
Captain Champernowne 40l.
Captain Baskervile for the ransom of his lieutenant 60l.
2047l. 4s. 8d.
[Note by Burghley]. To be remembered: allowed for victual at Flushing 1000l.
at Ostend 1100l.
To be delivered by the Merchant Adventurers at Midleburgh to one Christopher Kennell, deputy to Sir Thomas Shyrley, Treasurer.
Endd. by Burghley "10 August, 1588. Sir Thomas Shyrley's bill of the sums to be lent or imprested to the army in the Low Countries." With rough calculations by Burghley. 2 pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 82.]
Aug. 10/20. Copy of The Act Which All Officers Serving The States Do Bind Themselves Unto.
They swear to serve the States faithfully according to their new commission and to keep their men under good discipline and ready for service: provided that they receive one month's pay every 48 days.—Taken at the Hague, 20 August, 1588.
Endd. "To be translated." French. 1½ pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 84.]


  • 1. Translated, somewhat freely, in Laughton, Armada Papers, ii. 48–52.
  • 2. Probably the document now among the Hatfield MSS. See H.M.C., Hatfield MSS., iii. 343–6.
  • 3. Printed, and corrected by comparison with the Spanish and French versions, in J. K. Laughton,' Armada Papers, ii. 75–7. See too Bor, Nederlandtsche Oorlogen (ed. 1626), III. xxvi. ff. 10–11.
  • 4. An abstract of this letter is in Bertie, Five Generations of a Loyal House, p. 210.
  • 5. 'opgenade of ongenade' = at discretion.
  • 6. Translated in Laughton, Armada Papers, ii. 71–2.
  • 7. Translated, somewhat freely, in ibid., ii. 73–4.
  • 8. Probably one of the copies calendared on p. 112, above.
  • 9. Probably a copy of the paper forwarded by Killigrew on Aug. 3, p. 104, above.
  • 10. Translated in Laughton, Armada Papers, ii. 70–1.
  • 11. See D'Aubigne, Histoire Universelle, vi. 311.
  • 12. Symbol formed of interlaced triangles. Qy. Queen Mother?
  • 13. It would appear to be "The dd," but this is the symbol for the Spanish ambassador.
  • 14. Symbol, interlaced triangles, as on p. 126, above.