Elizabeth: August 1588, 11-20

Pages 130-149

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, 11-20

Aug. 11. Wyllughby to The Privy Council.
Received their letter of August 4 (fn. 1) on the 9th and at once asked the States of Zeeland here to assist her Majesty's fleet with munition, victuals, etc., should it be upon that coast and in need thereof. The States readily assented and are moving the States General to assent also, for the furthering whereof he has sent on their lordships' letters to Mr. Killigrew, who is at the Hagh.— Midleburgh, 11 August, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. ½ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 86.]
Aug. 11. Jehan de Warck and Ortell to the Privy Council.
Enclosing a letter from the States General concerning the reprisals made for William Colston against those of Holland and Zeeland. Desire an early audience to explain the whole affair: if the Council is too busy with other urgent matters, they are ready to give a satisfactory explanation to the Lord Treasurer and Walsingham. Pray that the ships arrested by Colston may be released and their cargoes, or the value of them, be restored.— London, 11 August, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 88.]
Aug. 11/21. Martin Blavoet to Walsingham.
Enclosing a Spanish letter found on the war-galleon brought into this port. The letter is curious on account of the presumptuous title of "Capitaine-Général de la mer Oceane" which the enemy boasts. May the punishment of all such tyrants, and of Pharaoh fall upon him! Hopes these countries may prosper peacefully beneath her Majesty's victorious wing, whose loyal subject he will remain until he dies. Hopes Walsingham by his servant Dayne has received the catalogue of the dukes, counts, and lords in the Spanish army, together with a note of the prisoners here. Mr. Louvel, this bearer, will inform him of all other news.—Flushing, 21 August, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. French. ¾ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 164.]
Aug. 11. "An estimate of the pay of this garrison [of Ostend] for 305 days begun 12 October, 1587, and ended 11 August, 1588."
Sir John Conway, captain of 150 footmen at 115s. 6d. per diem, 1724l. 6s. 2d. [sic]. Similar sums to Lord Awdley, Sir Charles Blount, Sir Edward Norreys, Sir Edmund Carye, Sir Walter Waller, Captains Knollys, Hody, A. Wingfield, Lambert, and Suderman. Total due 18,967l. 7s. 10d.
Whereof, imprested weekly for 43 weeks to each company 20l. = 9460l.: and delivered in apparel, to every company 280l. 4s. 2d. = 3082l. 5s. 10d. Total, 12,542l. 5s. 10d. So remains due 6425l. 2s.
Notes added by Burghley that 6 months' pay is 11,421l. 18s.; 12 months is 22,843l. 16s.
Endd. 1 p. [Holland XXVI. f. 90.]
Aug. 12. Stafford to Walsingham.
Writes, at the request of Madame d'Angoulesme, to ask that her man, this bearer, being sent over by the King "to have some geldings pass for him," may pass four others, which she has commanded him to buy for her own and Madame d' Epernon's use.
He very willingly agreed to do so, both for their own virtue, and that they are "honourers of her Majesty as much as any two in France," wherefore he beseeches his honour to favour them in the matter.—Paris, 12 August, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. ½ p. [France XVIII. 152.]
Aug. 12. Henry Cockes to Burghley.
"According to your honour's commandment and the haste made for the victualling of Ostend, I made my provision of butter and cheese for that place out of England, of the very best that might be gotten. But the summer time then growing on as it was not like it could be kept long without decay, so the same being continued there in magazine somewhat longer than was expected did cause dislike thereof to be taken by the soldier [sic] when it came to issuing, and part of it growing unfit to be issued is left upon my hands." Has therefore been forced to make provision in Holland. "And yet such is the disordered government of the captains, or at least of some of them, that although they see they are furnished of the best, and cannot continue without a victualler, they yet refuse to stand to your honour's order in making me allowance of such prices as they may buy for of the burgher with their money, and give me their bills only for the receipt of so much of every kind, without acknowledging of any price or value for it: which they do of purpose because by that means they may take without limit as in former time they have done." Has thus been forced to deliver to every company provision to the value of 24l. weekly, though that is excessive. Having now issued almost the whole provision, prays Burghley to command Sir John Conway to set down upon Cockes' receipts sums corresponding to the proved market prices, so that he may make his account to Sir Thomas Sherlie. Being commanded by the Governor still to see to the victualling of Ostend, has made of himself provision for a further 14 days or three weeks, in which time further order may be taken. If he is to be continued as victualler, desires the aforesaid abuses may be remedied; the abuses are due principally to the captains' and soldiers' desire to "have so large proportion of victuals to sell at their pleasure as they would." Mr. Lecester will tell Burghley details which Cockes is unwilling to write, "being, I assure your lordship, put in fear of my life by some of them."—Flushing, 12 August, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XXVI. f. 92.]
Aug. 12. 'Abbreviat' of the muster of the footbands in garrison at Ostend, taken 12 August, 1588, stilo Anglie. Thomas Wyatt, commissary resident.
The companies of Sir John Conway, Governor; the lord Audley; Sir Edward Norris; Sir Walter Waller; Sir Edmund Cary; Sir Charles Blunt; Captains Thomas Knolles; Nicholas Huddy; Sudderman; Anthony Wingfield; and Oliver Lambert; each of 150 men in list. Total in list, 1650. Present 1245, Absent 220. Surplus, in five companies, 47. Defect in five companies, 67. Dead pays 165 (15 in each company).
Endd. 1 p. [Holland XXVI. f. 94.]
Aug. 12. Another copy of the above.
Endd. 1 p. [Holland XXVI. f. 96.]
Aug. 12. "The note of such captains as have sent over of their companies."
The Lord General, 50. The Governor of Flushinge, 24. Utright, Sir Thomas Morgan, 47; Sir John Wingfeild, Captains Powell, Scott, Salsburie, Banester, Baskervill, Veere, Champernoull (Utright), each 45, and Captain Uedall, 43. Total, 500.
Flushinge. Captains Thomas Maria Wingfeild, 17; Richard Wingfeild, 17; Randoll, Hart, Fulford, Hendrickes, Browne, Denis, Herington, Darsie, Sheirleye, each 16. Total 201 [sic].
Total 701 [sic] with 27 officers.
Endd. by Burghley "12 August, 1588. Colonel Morgan's report of the numbers of 728 'shott' taken out of the bands in the Low Countries." 1 p. [Holland XXVI. f. 106.]
Aug. 13/23. The Queen Mother to the Queen of England. (fn. 2)
Writes on Madame de Chefy's [Sheffield's] return to testify what an affectionate servant her Majesty has in this lady, who has comported herself so well and wisely and has shown warm desire for the mutual friendship of the two Queens.
The affection shown to herself is a proof of her Majesty's friendship, which she will never forget, and which makes her ever desire to see her and her whole kingdom good Catholics, which (she is assured) would ensure the continuation of the peace and tranquillity of her reign.—Chartres, 23 August, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [France XVIII. 153.]
Aug. 13. Sir William Russell to Walsingham.
The new bailiff of this town is a very "dangerous man": he first published those dangerous articles which Russell sent to Walsingham. Mr. Loven, this bearer, "one of our nation and country," will inform him more fully hereof—Vlisshing, 13 August, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 108.]
Aug. 14. Translation of a letter from Ortell to the States General, the States of Holland, and the States of Zealand. (fn. 3)
Requires them, in the Queen's name, to send into all their towns and storehouses to provide as much "fine and gross" powder as possible, and to send it hither, or to the Lord High Admiral, or to his Vice-Admiral, without delay, day and night by "express ships." The merchants and bringers of the powder shall have 'presently' ready money and great thanks, and those that come the first will be graciously considered. Urges the need of haste.
The Queen also wishes them to set out as many and as great ships as they can to lie off the coast of Flanders, especially off Duynkerke and Nywport, and prevent the Duke of Parma's forces from coming out. They may shelter from storms, etc., under the English coast, where the Queen or her Lord Admiral will see their needs supplied. The Queen hopes to give the enemy "such encounters" as few shall remain to carry back news thereof to Spain.
Thought well to warn them by this express messenger, it being a matter which, though they must think of their country's credit and welfare, will be very advantageous if taken in hand with good intelligence and mutual help.
Endd. 1¼ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 30.]
Aug. 14. [Seymour ?] to Count Maurice. (fn. 4)
Their great fight with the Spaniard on Monday, July 29. The enemy has lost about eight great ships, one a galleass, and some 5 or 6000 men. The Lord Admiral continues the pursuit. The writer has returned with his fleet to join the Count, who must keep the Duke of Parma shut up in Dunkerk.—4 August, 1588.
Postscript. Wrote the above ten days ago, but winds delayed its delivery. Need to watch the Duke of Parma closely. Wishes to know what forces are in Dunkerk, how far they are ready, and whether they could be burned in the haven. The Duke can undertake nothing by sea now that the spring is past.
Copy. Endd. French. 2¼ pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 32.]
Aug. 14. Nicholas Parker to Burghley.
Desires an imprest of 300l. to enable him to maintain his company of horse during the coming winter. "These 10 months I have not received anything save only bare weekly lendings, which by reason of extraordinary allowance given to some (in regard of their worth) will hardly extend for that purpose. All kind of provision, both hay, oats and straw, beside repair of arms (which daily decay), I have been driven to furnish of mine own credit, in so hard a garrison where nothing is to be had without ready money, by means whereof I am become greatly indebted."— Berghen-op-Zom, 14 August, 1588.
Postscript. "When I received the company I had not any account or reckoning, but that was reserved to the use of Sir William Pelham, and since then I have been at such charges in reinforcing them full and holding them serviceable as (having no better means) hath almost undone me."
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal. 1 p. [Holland XXVI. f. 115.]
Aug. 14. Nicholas Parker to Walsingham.
Excuses his seldom writing. His need of 300l. to maintain his horse company, which her Majesty's Council have continued in service [as in his letter to Burghley]. Has presented a supplication to the Lord General, who can do nothing of himself but has promised to commend his case to the Lords.—Berghen-op-Zom, 14 August, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XXVI. f. 117.]
Aug. 14. John Stubbe, "Scaeva," to Burghley. (fn. 5)
As Burghley, at his last waiting upon him, was most desirous of the reconciliation of "two noble gentlemen employed in these parts," he will be glad to hear "that this morning both their lordships did meet upon the bank between Midleburgh and the Ramykins" and are now entirely friends.—Midleburgh, 14 August, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. "The L. Willoughbie and Sir Wm. Russell's reconciliation." ¾ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 119.]
Aug. 14. Declaration of the States of Utrecht.
In view of the dangerous estate of their country, they are sending Captain Meetquerque to her Majesty to obtain permission to raise 3000 men from among, and at the charges of, the Low Country people dwelling in her realm: so that Guelders and Overyssel may be preserved, and so Utrecht, and even Holland, kept safe against the enemy.
Reasons for their alarm. Unprecedented Spanish preparations, and weakness of Guelders, Overyssel, and Utrecht owing to the loss of several towns and the wasting of the countryside. Holland and Zeeland can give no aid, since their naval expenses are so heavy. The Prince of Parma will seek to avenge his failure against England by attacking the weakest and most accessible of the United Provinces and opening a way into the bowels of Holland. The enemy would easily reduce Gueldres, Overyssel, and Utrecht, which are very weak and can be attacked overland. A good number of soldiers is the surest bulwark of a city, e.g. the defence of Haarlem against Alva, etc. Guelders and Overyssel lack soldiers, and their reduction would bring about the fall of Utrecht. The reason for this lack is that the nobles and people, seeing themselves threatened by so large and victorious an army and that no forces are in the field able to relieve them, are unwilling to ruin themselves for the sake of the Hollanders who have treated them injuriously. They will make a virtue of necessity and render before they are attacked, remembering that those who have surrendered most promptly have always secured the best terms from the Prince of Parma. It is a common opinion that Holland and Zeeland are invulnerable, even if Utrecht and Guelders be lost, but this is untrue. The Prince of Orange was on the point of withdrawing and the provinces of submitting after the loss of Ziriczee, and only the mutiny of the Spanish troops prevented the reduction of South Holland after the fall of Haarlem. Alkmaar held out because it was besieged in a very bad winter season of heavy rain and floods. God alone saved Leyden. Admittedly the river and sea frontiers and the lowlying character of the country make it difficult to invade or conquer those provinces, but were Utrecht Spanish an invasion would be possible, as it was then when they held Amsterdam. There were three reasons for their resistance then: their hatred of the Spaniards and of the King himself, their religious zeal, and their ignorance of the evils that war brings: theirs was a fury of desperation. The presence of the Prince of Orange was responsible for their continued resistance during four and a half years, but even so at the end of that time they were only saved from subjection by the general revolt of the Low Countries. At present religious zeal has grown cold, the States are unpopular (largely owing to the lowly birth of many of their members) and obedience to them is declining. Count Maurice is young and inexperienced, governed rather than governing, and would be unable to command the affections of Holland and Zeeland once the enemy had planted his foot there. Their bitter hatred of the Spaniard and their religious zeal being gone, they would not permit the inundation of their country. Nor would the Papists and other partisans of the King remain idle. In fact, the provinces would soon yield.
The remedy seems to be the levy of a good force of soldiers, maintained for one year from the purses of the churches and others of these countries dwelling in England. Her Majesty need not then increase her expenses or send further forces out of her realm. Holland would, however, be grateful to her for this increased assistance, and Guelders and Utrecht would be encouraged to a desperate resistance. Above all Holland would be secured, and would continually harass the enemy. Treason within Holland would be much more difficult as Guelders and Utrecht would lie between the traitors and the enemy. Were Guelders and Utrecht lost, as M. de la Noue said to the States agent in Paris, the other provinces could but put off their ruin for one, two, or three years.
The method of the levy to be decided, of course, by her Majesty. The States, however, humbly suggest that the names of all who have withdrawn into her realm should be noted; that then they should be called upon for contributions, part to be paid in cash at once, part later. The immediate payment would pay for the levy and equipment; the rest for wages. Would be content with eight months' pay for twelve, so as to get more soldiers and make the most of the money. Contributors might appoint a general treasurer to supervise the collection and expenditure of the money. Leaders and captains to take an oath to her Majesty and receive their commissions from her.
If her Majesty grants this request, the churches and refugees in Denmark, and Eastland, and elsewhere may do the like. It seems but just that these refugees, who live in quiet and liberty, should assist in some way their compatriots who are bearing the burden of the struggle for the freedom and safety of their fatherland and faith.
Desiring speedy and favourable answer.
Endd. French. 6 pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 121.]
Aug. 15. Wyllughby to the Privy Council.
Hears certainly that the Duke of Parma means to besiege Berghen, which is "unprovided of men, munition, and victuals," and so weakened by the late withdrawal of certain forces for England, that without present supply it is "not in any sort tenable." Has often warned the States about this, and has also described the place's state and weakness to the Privy Council.
Hears that the troops sent hence under Sir Thomas Morgan are landed in England and are to serve there: "whereby all those companies are ruined, to the special disservice of her Majesty and the country, and great loss of the poor captains, some of them . . . . losing no less than 50 or 60l. in furniture."
Desires their lordships either to reinforce or to 'cassier' these troops, as "half companies are as chargeable to her Majesty as entire, and consisting properly of pikes and short weapons can neither well live in field nor keep town. Likewise the States do mislike greatly at the want of them, because they were not employed at sea, as was promised."—Midleburgh, 15 August, 1588.
Postscript. Now hears that the Prince [of Parma's] cavalry is in Brabant: those of Lillo heard them marching all last night, which points to an attack on Berghen. Awaits instructions from their Lordships. Has neither men, money, nor means.
Signed. Add. Endd. "15 August, 1588. From the L. Willoughby to the Lords." And in a different hand "1. A letter to the L. of Hunt. 2. To write to the E. of Sussex: ships. Brimston. Pitch. Powder. Mariners. Forces, land." 1 p. [Holland XXVI. f. 125.]
Aug. 15. Sir W. Russell to Burghley.
The weekly loans being ended, some more treasure is urgently needed: "otherwise, in respect of some discontentments already manifested by the burghers, there will more inconvenience and mischief fall out than will be easily appeased," especially as these forces have been lately weakened. This bearer will inform Burghley more fully.—Vlisshing, 15 August, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 127.]
[Aug. 15 last date.] " Abbreviat of the last musters taken of her Majesty's forces, horse and foot, in the Low Countries, dispersed in garrisons as followeth, according to special directions and commandment given to the officer general of musters."
Foot companies.
Vlissing. Sir William Russell, governor, 200. Sir Thomas Shirley, Captains Browne, Dennys, Maria Wingfeild, Richard Wingfeild, Darcye, Harte, Fulfard, Hender, Randall, Littleton, each 150. At Ramekins, Captain Errington, 150. Total in list 2000. Present 1366: absent 366: dead pays 200: defect 68. Mustered 12 August.
Briell. Thomas, lord Brough, governor, 200. Sir John Brough, Sir Henry Norrys, Captains Price, Brett, Vavasour, each 150. Total in list 950. Mustered 852: dead pays 95: defect 3. Mustered 12 August: "by certificate from the commissaries resident: the rolls not yet returned to the office of musters."
Barghen-up-Zome. The Lord General 250. Sir John Wingfeild, Captains Vere, Uvedall, Bannyster, Powell, Salisbury, Baskervile, Scott, each 150. Total in list 1450. Present 802: absent 502: dead pays 145: defect 1. Mustered 4 August.
Utricht and the Phare. Sir Thomas Morgan 200. Captain Champernowne 150. Total in list 350. Present 206: absent 109: dead pays 35: defect —. Mustered 15 August.
Ostend. Sir John Conway, governor, Thomas, lord Audley, Sir Edward Norrys, Sir Walter Waller, Sir Edmund Cary, Sir Charles Blunt, Captains Thomas Knolles, Nicholas Huddy, Sudderman, Anthony Wingfield, and Lambert, each 150. Total in list 1650. Present 1245: absent 173: dead pays 165: defect 67. Mustered 12 August.
Total in list 6400. Present 4471: absent 1150: dead pays 640: defect 139.
Vlissing. Sir William Russell, 100 in list. Present 67: absent 12: dead pays 10: defect 11. Mustered 12 August.
Barghen-up-Zome. The Lord General 200. Captain Parker 100. Total in list 300. Present 194: absent 72: dead pays 30: defect 4. Mustered 4 August.
Duesborough. Sir Robert Sidney, in list 100. Present 71: absent 19: dead pays 10: defect 0.
Amersforde. Sir John Brough, 100. Present 52: absent 25: defect 13.
In march from Berk [Rheinberg]. Captains Blunt and Sherley, each 100. Present 156: absent 24.
Wagening and Reyne. Captain Morgan 100. Present 75: absent 15.
Total, in list 900. Present 606: absent 176: dead pays 90: defect 28.
Of the 1326 absent, 674 (209 from Vlissing, 364 from Bergen, 101 from Utricht) had been sent to England under Colonel Morgan, now returned. The other 652 "to be censured by the officer-general of musters in ceasing of the checks, secundum allegata et probata, according to orders established, and directions from the Lord General etc."
Endd. 7⅓ pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 100.]
Aug. 15. Edward Barton to [Walsingham?]
Sent two copies of his last of August 1, and thought a third needless as he has still to 'entreat' of the same matters. The Grand Signor's Hogia or Schoolmaster being a Persian, and desirous of restoring peace to his native country, urges a war against Spain, as he thinks his master would be unable to maintain two wars simultaneously and would seek peace rather with Persia than with Spain. He has urged Barton, since Harborne left on the 3rd, to entreat her Majesty to induce Don Antonio to send one of his sons as pledge for the repayment of the Grand Signor's expenses if he should send a fleet to assist him. Barton could take no action, having no orders: desires speedy further instruction, which, as this letter will not arrive until the middle of October, would then reach him in January or February, the season for preparing the fleet for sea. The three points of his former letter were first, this sending of Don Antonio's son; secondly, his opinion that if this were not done three or four rubies worth 3 or 4000l. should be sent; thirdly, the advice of Don Alvaro Mendas, a Portuguese Jew, that a ship be sent with merchandise and some ordinary presents of cloth, without any mention of a new ambassador so as to keep the Turks in suspense whether her Majesty will renew the league or not. The first expensive and dangerous; large bribes would have to be brought, large promises made: the 80, 90, or 100 more gallies, needed to restore Don Antonio would hardly be set out by the Turks, yet if they return with the enterprise unfinished they will demand the whole sum promised in the event of success, and will detain the son if they are refused. The surest though 'chargeabliste' way to avoid this would be for her Majesty also to put her fleet to sea to land Don Antonio with convenient power in Portugal, who would then be soon able to redeem his son, for the Turks will do anything for lucre "which they only honour and worship not esteeming how unhonestly or ungodly soever they come by it." If the advantages resulting from this [the Turkish] fleet attacking the Spaniards next spring are considered to "countervail the charge of the said stones, without which or the like your honour hath formerly perceived how little is to be expected of these, I durst take upon me by them to assure your honour to procure the same or to be answerable for the full value of them, meaning not to dispossess myself of any part of them till they shall have sent their navy to sea." Approves of Don Alvaro Mendas' advice: if the stones were also sent, these people would be kept in suspense as to her Majesty's meaning, and at the same time strongly excited by avarice, so that they would agree to any requests. The ship would be the Turkey Company's, and her Majesty's only charge would be four or five broadcloths. Will follow in this service to which his honour has advanced him, those paths which Mr. Harborne trod, until he shall receive further instruction.
Few occurents: great preparations against Persia, but nothing done so far. Jaffer Bassa with his harquebusiers and some Chuirdians (a divided people, some fighting for the Turks, some against) defeated an attack on Tauris by the Persians under Topsacke Sulman: Topsacke then sent 2000 horse to extricate his forces "whom Jaffer Bassa perceiving to come, not willing to tarry trial of other fortune, turned his horse and without order fled away and all his company after him, losing thereby the praise of a valiant overthrow he had before given them as also all his field pieces and other furniture of the war, with many of the hindmost of his army."
The Tartar cannot recover the seven years' tribute due to him by the King of Poland and usually paid since Sultan Selim, father of Soliman, made Poland tributary and granted the tribute to the Tartar in return for his keeping the confines of his kingdom from Polish invasion while he was making war upon the Persians. The Tartar therefore does all he can to embroil the Grand Signor and the Poles, and sends up all the Poles he takes, saying they are 'Cassackes' and never cease to molest his frontiers; he also bribes all the Beglerbies on the Polish frontiers to do likewise. The Grand Signor is much incensed by these continual complaints and only awaits the coming of the Tartar's ambassador to declare his mind and force the Poles to restore the tribute.
The Grand Signor shut himself up four or five days ago and would give no audience, but at length came forth with news of a son being born and with a resolution to show himself a good paterfamilias by providing wood for winter by breaking up and selling his old gallies, "with deep counsel, not in summer to the poor when loss might come to the sale thereby, but in winter to the rich and them that would give most for it, having a far greater care therein than in building new."
Lancomo, the French ambassador, has a quarrel with Gondalo, a merchant of Ragusa. Two years and a half ago he brought in "scotfree without custom" four chests of silks and velvets belonging to Gondalo, who was then "his only partner of secrets, counsellor, and companion," and he now tells the customers that these were not his but Gondalo's, who has thus been put in a difficult position.—Rapamet, 15 August, 1588.
Copy, enclosed in Barton's letter of August 29. Endd. in the same hand. 4⅓ pp. close writing. [Turkey I. 50.]
An 'abstract' of the above.
Endd. 1½ pp. [Turkey I. 51.]
Aug. 16. Sir W. Russell to Walsingham.
Again writes, as divers times before, for the weekly loans to be sent over: none left here, and their credit with these people is worth nothing. Sends Mr. Kirton, this bearer, his lieutenant, to hasten this, to show how greatly the unfriendly disposition of this place towards them has been manifested since they were weakened, and to urge that those soldiers be now returned to them.—Vlisshing, 16 August, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. ½ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 130.]
Aug. 16. Kyllygrew to Burghley.
Did not receive his letter of July 8 until August 8, at Utrecht: thanks Burghley for ordering the discharge of the money demanded at his hands. With Chancellor Leoninus of Guelders, has persuaded the States of Utrecht to vote 20,000 florins, though not their full proportion, towards the extraordinary levy of 200,000 florins decided upon by the Council of State to fit out more ships: also they will again send councillors to the Council of State. Since returning to the Haghe, has, as his lordship directed, informed them of her Majesty's thankful acceptance of their decision to prepare more shipping. They are always very slow in their resolutions, but do continually strengthen their 'flote'; eight have gone down lately to Dunkercke and 12 hulks at Enckhuysen and Horne are now ready. Has told the Lord General (now in Zeeland) of his lordship's view of the need to send men to Berghen, Axele, and Ostendt, to divert the enemy, and had previously urged the idea upon Count Maurice and the Council; but there is delay, probably owing to lack of men and money.
Getruidenbergh, despite the agreement, remains "in very dangerous terms by the headiness of the soldiers, who will yield to no government." For the government, the Lord General is void of blame, as owing to the soldiers' self-willed obstinacy, neither he nor the States could have placed Sir Martin Shenck over them, whereas in appointing Sir John Winckfeild he was as much persuaded by them as they were by him. Understands Winckfeild carries himself less well than could be desired, already demanding those allowances for his table "which made the Count Hohenlo fall into hatred."
St. Aldegonde, upon his advice, has dedicated his book to the church instead of to her Majesty.—The Haghe, 16 August, 1588.
Postscript. Encloses note of speeches [not found] of one who was present at "the fight before Cales" and whom he met on the way to Utrecht at Leyden. The examinations of the prisoners and of certain mariners were also sent into England while he was at Utrecht.
There is a fear that Berghen-op-Zoom will be besieged, and they would gladly put the greater part of the burden upon her Majesty, whose aid, they say, should bring them some relief in their need. They say too that when they allowed 2000 men to be drawn hence, it was upon condition that those remaining should be made up to 3000, viz. 1400 in Berghen-op-Zoom, 1100 in Ostendt, 500 to Guelders and Overissel. But the forces are so weak that the withdrawal of this 1000 has left no English in Guelders etc., insufficient in Berghen, and in Ostendt alone the proposed number. The fear and desperation of these unprovided countries if the Duke of Parma should fall with his great power upon them, makes it most essential that her Majesty's forces, if not augmented, should at least be made complete and full according to the Contract. The deficiency, besides the thousand now drawn out, is probably about 400 horse and a thousand foot. Weekly lendings, if nothing more, must also be sent regularly, for the States cannot help, being themselves compelled for lack of funds to 'cast' men daily in these dangerous times. They complain that her Majesty's treasurer takes from them the contributions of Briele to pay that garrison: can give them no answer as he does not know if this is the treasurer's own doing or by Burghley's direction.
Signed. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 131.]
[Aug. 16 last date.] "Sums of money sent by Sir Thomas Sherley, knight, Treasurer at Wars in the Low Countries, to Sir John Conwey, knight, Governor of Ostend, to be by him issued in weekly imprests to the companies lying in garrison there, since Christmas last, 1587."
20 January, 1588, 1500l.
10 March, 1400l.
6 April, 1500l.
4 June, 1800l.
[Added, in Burghley's hand:—]"This sum above said would serve nine companies unto the 10th of August.
Victuals also sent for, 1500
Coals, 100l.
16 August. 6000l. sent for lendings; whereof Ostend to have a lending to last to 12 of October."
[Clerk's hand.] The names of the captains garrisoned in Ostend. Sir John Conwey, Governor. Sir Charles Blounte. Sir Edward Norreys. Sir Edmund Carye. Sir Walter Waller. Captains Knollys, Hody, Lambart, and Suderman.
"The canoniers were imprested weekly 60s. 8d."
Endd. "September, 1588" with note of contents. 1½ pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 218.]
Aug. 17. The Queen to Willoughby.
Commanding him to take order with the commissaries of the musters that the captains of the decayed companies no longer receive full weekly imprests with no defalcations for the numbers lacking, as she hears has hitherto been the case, although the bands are greatly decayed, and but 500 horsemen left of 1000. The States should send commissioners to join the English commissaries in holding musters: they have complained of the troops' weakness and the abuses of her ministers. Has ordered the Treasurer to issue no imprests without Willoughby's warrant, and that warrant shall be only for sufficient money for the soldiers actually present and ready for service, no excuses for absence whether with passport or without being allowed, except that of "sickness unfeigned." Those absent with passports, may, if they do not overstay their time, upon their return be paid by special warrant. Any captain who refuses to obey this order shall be discharged, but every one of the band present and ready for service, shall be paid.—St. James, 17 August, 1588.
Copy. Endd. One of the Conway papers. 1 p. [Holland XXVI. f. 146.]
Aug. 17/27. The States of Zeeland to the Privy Council.
The Duke of Parma, foiled in his designs against England by the Queen's measures against the Spanish fleet and by their own blockade of his ports, now means to besiege Bergen-op-Zoom. They request that the 800 musketeers whom lord Willoughby sent from Bergen, etc., to England to her Majesty's aid may now be sent back, as the places are very bare of men. It is difficult to find men or means in these countries, burdened with their own defence and with the aid sent to her Majesty, and now threatened with the enemy's whole power, which they still mean to prevent from pursuing the design by sea. They have asked the Governor of Flushing to send to Bergen 300 men from the 12 companies which he has in his garrison (which forms the larger part of the succour of 5000 men, although this is contrary to the treaty), but he refused as he had himself sent 300 men into England and the remaining companies were very weak and ill-furnished, as is notoriously the case with all her Majesty's succours. Desire that if there must be a stronger garrison at Flushing than the treaty mentions, the surplus be at her Majesty's charge, and do not count as part of the 5000: also that the said succours be reinforced to their full number of 5000.
Signed, P. Ryche. Countersigned, Christoffel Roels. Add. Endd. French. 1½ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 144.]
Aug. 18. The Privy Council to [Sir Thomas Sherley]. (fn. 6)
Commanding him to pay no imprests without Lord Willoughby's warrant.—From the Court at St. James, 18 August, 1588.
Copy. Signed. W. Burghley, H. Derby, C. Howard, Hunsdon, W. Cobham, Fra. Knollis, James Croft, Tho. Heneage, A. Poulet, J. Wolley. Endd. ¼ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 147.]
Aug. 18/28. Cornelius Coelles to Walsingham.
Conrart de Combes assured him that he could find means to present his book Ecclesiastes, to her Majesty, but after many delays he proved unable to do so and left it with Walsingham, whom Coels now begs to present the book to her Majesty, if he think it worthy.—The Hague, 28 August, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Seal. French. ¾ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 137.]
Aug. 18. Daniel Rogers to the King of Sweden.
Excuses his inability, owing to ill-health, to wait upon his Majesty in person to conclude the business of his mission. Credence for Peter Vaerheil, licentiate of both laws, to act in his stead. Prays his Majesty speedily to dispatch Thomas Allen's business which has been for so long in negotiation.—Rostock, 18 August, 1588.
Copy. Endd. Latin. 1½ pp. [Sweden I. f. 28.]
Aug. 19/29. M. de Chasteauneuf to Burghley.
Praying him to grant a passport to John Auxbourne, master of the Swallow [of London], otherwise l'Arondel [sic], going to Rouen, in which are certain trunks and goods of his own.
Endd. with date. French. ½ p. [France XVIII. 157.]
Aug. 19. Willoughby to the Privy Council. (fn. 7)
Desires an answer to his repeated requests for directions, now that the enemy clearly means to besiege Berges, which cannot be held against them, especially since the withdrawal of musketeers and 'shot' to England. Before the States of Zeeland, as this bearer can tell, he answered those who hoped men could be thrown in at all times; and no victuals, means or munitions can be relied upon out of Zeeland, while he himself is in want of all things requisite. The enclosed plan of the forts, of which if one be taken the rest must fall, shows that 3000 men are needed to hold them and the town. Desires speedy direction lest, while he remains with "neither men, meat, nor money wherewith to preserve the town, and unassured of her Majesty's pleasure," the enemy should prevail" to the loss and hazard of many of her Majesty's brave men, which might do her very good service in other occasions."—Midelbroughe, 19 August, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal. ¾ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 138.]
Aug. 19. Willoughby to Walsingham. (fn. 8)
"I thank you most heartily for your advertising the proceedings of our navy at sea . . . . And where you allege slackness in this country for not sending their ships forth in sufficient time, to join with her Majesty's navy, I cannot therein omit (although in some respects I will not excuse them) to declare that their forwardness and cares were very great. And albeit they came not to her Majesty's fleet unto the Downs (as was appointed), yet were they always before Dunkerke ready to impeach the Duke's purpose and to have fought with him if he had put forth: whose being there, in truth, hath not sorted to small proof. For if (when they were ready) they had followed to have sought her Majesty's fleet in uncertain places, the Duke, without resistance, might have put over, whilst my lord Seymere and all our ships were following the enemy. Herein I could wish (though not presuming to advise) that they were not touched, seeing their respects for that service was so good."
Has written to their lordships for his direction concerning Bergen.—Midelbrough, 19 August, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. ¾ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 140.]
Aug. 19. Lady Mary Willoughby to Burghley.
Thanking him for his 'commendations' in his last letter to his lordship. "It is a very welcome thing to us strangers to hear from our honourable friends at home especially in these so troublesome days. I pray your lordship that I may be heartily recommended to my nieces, whom I would have found time to see, notwithstanding my necessity of sudden departure, save that I feared to trouble you and my lady in respect of some things at that time." Assures herself of his honourable remembrance towards her Majesty.—Midleburgh, 19 August, 1588.
Signed "Mary Wyloughbye." Add. Endd. ⅓ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 142.]
Aug. 19/29. The States of Zeeland to Ortell.
Enclosing copy (fn. 9) of their letter to the Privy Council concerning the assurance of Bergen-op-Zoom. Ortell is to remonstrate most earnestly that measures for its assurance must be taken by the English, "both of men and provision, and to have there but one sort of commandment." They (the States) have once already replenished the magazines there, but owing to the heavy burdens upon them on all sides, are unable now to do more, whilst the English soldiers have consumed that which they have sent. Nor will they be able to provision it at will, as the enemy can block all the passages. Prompt measures are therefore required.—Middelborrow, 29 August, 1588.
Translation. 2/3 p. [Holland XXVI. f. 148.]
Aug. 20. Stafford to Walsingham.
Has been unable to stay the King's promise for the galleass owing to the influence of the Spanish ambassador's friends at Court, and of Villeroy. "Yet my wife, being there to take her leave, was made to deal in it as for her brother's interest, being Admiral, being advertised of it (as she was made pretend it) by a letter received from my lord Henry Seimor in her brother's absence. Whereupon the King made the Council sit again, and did what he could to have her request granted, but the ambassador and his friends brought forth the alliances, as you may see by Lilly's letter which I send you."
"The Duke of Nevers, with great persuasion of the King, hath accepted the charge of the army of Poytou ; joined with him the Marshal of Retz, and as I think la Chastre, who is not very willing to go in that company and is afraid of never returning home."
"The King of Navarre is very strong and very much advanced towards Saumur. He hath defeated Duke Mercurye's company, and himself ran away. He hath also defeated the whole regiment of Jarsay though there be but thirty men killed of the regiment ; the rest with the captains have all yielded themselves to him and follow him. De Cluzeaux, that was governor in Marans when the King of Navarre took it, now is come to the Court, being let go by the King of Navarre upon his faith to return whensoever he shall call for him. He giveth in all places publicly and privately that praise to the King of Navarre in all points, that all the Court rejoice at him save they of the other faction, which are mad at it."
"They say he [Navarre] goeth to besiege Malzay, for he hath twelve pieces of ordnance with him, 8,000 excellent shot and 1200 horse, and yet the Viscount Turenne is not arrived. Duke Epernon sent to the Court Campagnolle the last day, who speaketh very big ; affirmeth that the mayor, afore his death, confessed that he did it upon Villeroy's letters, and that he thought it had been the King's commandment. And Epernon hath sworn Villeroy's death, whatsoever it cost him and in what kind soever he can have it."
"The good people at the Court stormed marvellously at the good entertainment the King, the Queens, and all but they at the Court gave my wife ; and some think the King did the more because he saw them discontented ; but indeed it was more favour than she could ever deserve."
"The King was upon the point of parting upon Friday last, but suddenly stayed for ten days. Some say that it was by M. de Nevers' means, who saith the King of Navarre is so strong that he desireth, afore he part, to see what he shall have, and what means to maintain the war, that he may not receive an escorne [disgrace] ; but yet the first penny towards it is to be found."
News from England is eagerly looked for, and these people believe nothing till they have it from Stafford, to whom they send from the court daily and hourly.
"The ambassador at length (with much ado first) hath written news by his steward, that came the day before yesterday, that the Spaniards are undone ; being both beaten with wind, weather and otherwise, and in that hard taking, that if God work not a miracle, they must shortly yield unto the Englishmen's mercy, la corde au col."
"The Legate this day sennight received the Cardinal's cap at the Court. The King retaineth him with him still, and goeth on with him. The League beginneth to grow in a great doubt of him, for that he seemeth altogether now to be the King's . . . and more than any to honour the Cardinal Vendome, whom the King maketh now great account of ; and that he speaketh very modestly and charitably of the King of Navarre."
"The great galleon in the which is Martin Ricaldes, that remained behind upon the cost of Britten, evil handled with weather, is, by means of money that the ambassador hath left in all those places, new trimmed, and having unloaded her ordnance, is in the road of Neuhaven, where here they are afraid the Governor will give him entry, but yet I am advertised the townsmen stand against it, and keep the soldiers all aboard the ship in the road and will not let them enter into the haven . . . I think them worth the looking upon, and if they remain there, easy to be had."
"The ambassador must needs sauce any good news he writeth with bad news ; for he writ that the White Bear for certain was sunk, and the Elizabeth Jhonas he thought too; which put both me and his mother in great pain, because we knew my lord Sheffedd was in her. But yesterday, Mr. Geimor of Rye writ . . . that he was landed with my lord Admiral at the Downs, which hath greatly comforted us, and the more that everybody saith that he hath acquitted himself very well."
"Thanks be to God, the Grand Prior of Champagne, that they meant should die, is revived, and by that means, the Chevalier d'Aumale without that he looked for ; who they say is now upon his return from Donkerke, finding no means to bring the Q[ueen ?] prisoner this year; and crying out, as the League and all the Spaniards and Spaniolized here do, of the Prince of Parma, that he hath betrayed them; laying all the fault in him."—Paris, 20 August, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 2½ pp. [France XVIII. 154.]
Aug 13/23. Lylly to Stafford.
"Yesternight, my lady repaired unto Pynart's lodgings, having sent thither before to give him to understand that she desired to speak with him ; where she, according as you instructed me . . . told him the request the lord Harry [Seymour] in her brother's [Lord Admiral Howard's] name made, with all due circumstances. He used her wonderfully well, and liked that course wonderfully, and willed her to stay this day and she should have an answer of it. When my lady was parted, taking occasion upon giving order for passports, I desired him that seeing I was embarked in the demand of the same galleass in your name that some show of justice might therein be showed, to avoid an escorne to her Majesty's service. Whereunto he replied that he would satisfy my lady's request and mine in all points, and that in the morning, he would declare it to the King. In my lady's discourses with him, there fell out many bye occasions of the ambassador in England, and of his discontentments, and how her Majesty was abashed at this Spanish army, and that she had levied many lanzknechts to come into England, under the conduct of the Baron Dony."
"My lady gave me leave to answer him. For his discontentments, I said, they were rather matters suggested than in effect, I would not say determined beforehand ; but if it pleased him to look into Villeroy's kinsmen's dealings, and compare these with these actions, they should find all of them tend to take away the King's good friends and neighbours ; one of them having made him already lose the Grisons, and this endeavouring the breach of the Queen our mistress's amity. I wished he proceeded with the same affection that my master did towards the King." [The next two lines carefully cancelled.]
"That her Majesty's abashment at such an army, being accounted so great, and she a woman, might not be strange ; but I thought his advertisements were but bad, and false[ly] given to him . . . and for the levy of lanzknechts, it was too apparent[ly] untrue, for she had too many of her own people to beat the Spaniards, and that she had refused foreign help offered her of the Kings and Princes of Germany and those parts ; and so with many other preposes there, my lady parted."
"The next morning he sent to me at five of the clock to make him a note of that my lady required, which I did, and added therein a [request ?] on your part touching some order of justice to be done therein, because it appertained to our nation, and you had demanded it. By his boy then he desired me that I would come to him at dinner time, so coming homeward he met me and told me that he had moved the King and the Queen Mother about my lady's request by discourse, had also showed them my note to induce something touching your particular demand. He told me that it was now too far past . . . yet the King caused it to be propounded in Council, to have made some stay of it. That now, at my lady's request, all this morning the Council hath 'set' upon it ; that they find that the King being in amity with the King of Spain and the Queen, that if the King of Spain had had the like advantage of one of her ships, she had been to have had the same right to have been relieved, and afterwards rendered to her the ship. . . . I desired him to send this answer by his commis to my lady. He told me no, but bid me take it myself ; his commis should know nothing thereof, and that he would have told it my lady himself but pro causa. Withal he told me the King would write my lady and so would the Queen Mother, and that they had appointed her a present . . . For my lady's reception here, it were pity to write it ; your lordship should have nothing to ask her when her ladyship should come home."
"For news here are none but that there are six thousand Spaniards come into Bearne ; that Matignon provides to go against them ; that the King of Navarre hasteth all he can to relieve [E]pernon, but in this there is no likelihood. . . . ."
I hope to-morrow to come towards Paris.—23 August, 1588.
Add. Endd. Seal of arms. 2 pp. [France XVIII. 155.]
Aug. 20. Warrant to lord Willoughby to imprest weekly, out of her Majesty's treasure remaining in his hands, 30l. to every captain of 100 lances, and 20l. to every captain of 150 footmen, to be hereafter defalked : defalcations to be made weekly of such money as is due to those numbers which the commissary of musters shall certify to be wanting, the amounts in proportion to the rank of those absent.
Copy of draft. Endd. with date. ½ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 151.]
Aug. 20. Lord Wyllughby to Burghley.
His pleasure at Burghley's continued good opinion of him. Leaves his cousin Stubbs, this bearer, to inform him of the affairs of Gertruinbergh and of these countries.—Myddleburgh, 20 August, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 149.]
Aug. 20/30. Count Maurice to Burghley.
Hans van den Veken, Cornelis Spiernicx, Pieter Lenaerts, and Nicolas Hals, citizens and merchants of Delff and Rotterdam, partners in a vessel of Anthonis Willems Belleman of Rotterdam, of 18 lasts, have complained that in April last they sent the vessel, with proper licence and passports, to the port of Bayonne, and that when one of the merchants, Adrian Jans, was returning with her to Rotterdam, he and the ship were seized and taken to the Isle of Wight, about 20 July, by the pirate Gilbert Lee, captain of a warship of Flushing named the Heye : there the cargo was sold, and no account made of it. (fn. 10) Prays that restitution be made of the goods or of their value.—The Hague, 30 August, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. French. 1¾ pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 152.]
Aug. 20/30. Count Maurice to Walsingham.
[As to Burghley, with the following additional endorsement :] "They freighted a ship of 30 ton to Bayon in April last, where the ship was stayed ; and hearing in July that the Spanish fleet was to come for England, they stole away to give warning thereof here. That coming within 30 leagues of Plymouth, they were boarded and taken by one Lee, who carried them to the Isle of Wight and there sold their goods to sundry persons, being 50 chests of brasill, and sugars, and other wares."
Signed. Add. Endd. French. 1½ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 154.]
Aug. 20. List of Captains of Zeeland and Holland under the command of Mons. de Nassau. (fn. 11)
Mariners. Soldiers. Lasts. Tons.
60 70 The Admiral Nassau's ship 70 140
70 60 Captain Legir 85 170
70 50 Captain Calis 80 160
80 60 Vice Admiral Joos de Moor 80 160
60 40 Captain Lonche 50 100
40 20 Captain Heel 35 70
40 20 Captain Langhen Ouwaert 30 60
55 20 Captain Pieter Fransz. 50 100
35 15 Captain Jacop Stoffelsz. 20 40
40 25 Captain Schuyen 40 80
40 25 Captain Doot 45 90
40 25 Captain Martman 30 60
40 25 Captain Marten Pauwelsz. 45 90
45 25 Captain Leghier 50 100
50 35 Captain Pieter Fransz. (fn. 12) 70 140
45 30 Captain Wauter Pietersz. 68 136
45 25 Captain Lennis Danen 50 100
40 20 Captain Dyngmansz. 36 72
38 15 Captain Winter 25 50
55 30 Captain Ouwert Heyndrichsz. 50 100
Captains of Holland.
76 40 Captain Ouwit den Baut 70 140
75 30 Captain Lanckhaer 65 130
75 30 Captain Yemant Symonsz. 60 120
80 36 Captain Herman Pietersz. 80 160
60 20 Captain Pach 60 120
65 20 Captain Cleynen Marten 55 110
45 15 Captain Heyndrich "van den Briel" 30 60
70 50 Captain Adrian Nochersz. 100 200
70 50 Captain Meens Joorisz. (fn. 13) 110 220
70 30 Captain Jacop Heynen 60 120
75 30 Captain Bacheneel 70 140
75 30 Captain Jacop Joosten 70 140
70 24 Captain Schaut Pietersz. 80 160
60 20 Captain Roover 50 100
70 30 Captain Symon Jacopsz. 80 160
50 20 Captain Frederich Root 35 70
45 15 Captain Schrobber 30 60
60 20 Captain Willem Snydder 55 110
70 20 Captain Jan Ham 70 140
70 20 Captain Bernt Corsz. 80 160
65 20 Captain Pieter Jansz. 75 150
60 20 Captain Jacop Sybrantsz. 70 140
[Note (by Winter?) in the same hand as the figures in the tonnage column.] "Every last is two tons. This book was delivered me by the Admiral Nassau."
Endd. "20 August, 1588. Ships of Holland and Zeeland serving in the Narrow Seas," and by Burghley, "from Sir Wm. Winter." French. 2 pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 156.]
Another copy of the above : without Winter's notes or the tonnage details, and with slight variations in the numbers of mariners and soldiers.
Endd. "17 of August, 1588." French. 12/3 pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 135.]


  • 1. See Acts of the Privy Council (new series), xvi. 218.
  • 2. Printed (from this original) in Lettres de Catherine de Médicis, ix. 301, where, however, the rather unusual spelling has been altered into that usual at that date.
  • 3. See Japikse, Resolutien der Staten-Generaal, vi. 83–4, where the date is given as o.s.
  • 4. Translated in Laughton, Armada Papers, ii. 115–7.
  • 5. Printed in Bertic, Five Generations of a Loyal House, p. 211.
  • 6. Printed in Dasent, Acts of the Privy Council (new series), xvi. 241.
  • 7. Printed in Bertie, Five Generations of a Loyal House, pp. 212–3.
  • 8. An abstract printed in ibid., pp. 211–2.
  • 9. Not found: the original calendared under date Aug. 17/27, p. 142, above.
  • 10. Cf. Laughton, Armada Papers, ii. 341–2.
  • 11. Another list printed in ibid., i. 230–1 : see also Bor, Nederlandtsche Oorloghen, xxv. f. 6.
  • 12. Sic. The other copy has Janss.
  • 13. The copy has Josepss.