Elizabeth: August 1588, 21-25

Pages 150-159

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, 21-25

Aug. 21. Lord Wyllughby to the Privy Council.
"Having received letters from the Council of Estate for employing of five companies of our horse, that are in the high countries about Utrecht and Gelders, with Schenck toward the revictualling of Berck and so from thence to Bone; in regard they were the towns of the Elector and therefore out of my commission, though they seemed very specially to urge the service of the country, yet forasmuch as I knew not what occasions (over and besides the present charge I had) might fall out in this conjuncture, the Spanish fleet and the duke of Parma his forces (as may be conjectured) hovering for some further event: having conferred with the lord Governor of Vlishing and the council of war here, it hath been thought convenient to make stay of them until your lordships' further pleasure known; in these terms, that if they should urge the said companies to march, in case any misadventure should befall to the overthrowing and ruining of them, that they should remain tied to the repairing of them and satisfaction of her Majesty in that behalf . . ."— Vlishing, 21 August, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. 2/3 p. [Holland XXVI. f. 158.]
Aug. 21. Willoughby to Burghley.
"Forasmuch as there is some difference about the place of the clerk comptroller of the checks, who is also to take view and peruse the muster-books, and it were very necessary also there should be an auditor; and for that both those places may be supplied by one person and for one charge, yet expedient to be done by some sincere, honest, man and of a good conscience; I am bold therefore in that behalf to commend unto you my cousin Mr. John Stubbes . . . ."—Midleburgh, 21 August, 1588.
Holograph postscript. "It shall cost her Majesty not one penny more and I can make proof unto your lordship it will save her near 2000 or 3000 a year in that one thing."
Signed. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 160.]
Aug. 21. Francis Vere to Walsingham.
Thanking him for his letter and message by Mr. Bournam, and for his good offices in restoring him to her Majesty's favour.— Berghen, 21 August.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Seal. 1 p. [Holland XXVI. f. 162.]
Aug. 22. Andrea de Loo to Burghley.
Since his last, written at the envoys' departure hence, has been to Bruges, where he found the Duke ill-content with the breaking off of the treaty. A friend says that after her Majesty had recalled her envoys, the Duke said he would not have recalled those of the King, but that he was now compelled to proceed by arms. He showed himself still desirous of peace, but unable to proceed therein since this revocation without fresh commandment from the King, who would be slow to injure his dignity by again making the first overtures. Her Majesty should send someone to thank the Duke for his good treatment of her envoys and to express surprise at the failure of the treaty, she herself being in honour bound to revoke her envoys when the Armada came to invade her, though her desire for a general peace remains as strong as before. This would open a way for the Duke to renew the negotiation as he desires to do, and would in no way derogate from her Majesty's honour. The States General of the whole Low Countries would be bound, besides the oaths of the King of Spain and the Duke of Parma, to attempt nothing henceforward against her Majesty, who would then be able to state clearly in writing her conditions for the restoration of the King's lands which she holds and for a firm and lasting peace and reopening of traffic. The Duke salutes the English Commissioners.—Calais, 22 August, 1588, stilo antico.
Postscript. Desires his lordship to intercede with her Majesty to relieve his necessities, having received not a farthing from anycne in the 1½ years.
Signed. Add. Endd. Italian. 1½ pp. [Flanders IV. f. 291.]
Aug. 22. Andrea de Loo to Sir James Crofts.
Expected upon his return here to hear from Crofts. The bearer leaves at once. His Highness remains dissatisfied by the breaking off of the treaty; he would not have recalled the King's Commissioners, and he is still ready to renew the negotiation when means shall be afforded to him. Has written more fully to the Lord Treasurer of this: need to obtain a speedy answer. Without her Majesty's favour he will be ruined. The Duke, the Count d'Arenberghe and others return Croft's salutations, and salute also the Earl of Derby to whom d'Arenberghe sends by this bearer. Has secured from St. Nieulant the earl's medal with the Duke of Parma's portrait, weighing rather more than the 12 angelotts which he gave him: will send it as soon as the earl shall direct him and send him the few pence due to St. Nieulant.— Calais, 22 August, 1588, stilo antico.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal. Italian. ¾ p. [Flanders IV. f. 293.]
Aug. 22./Sept. 1. The Princess of Orange to Walsingham.
Praying him, now that God has given this glorious victory to her Majesty and many prisoners have been taken both here and in England, to think of M. de la Noue and his son; for although the prisoners taken on this side will probably be sufficient, yet her Majesty's assistance would be of great value.—Middelburg, 1 September.
Holograph. Signed "Louyse de Colligny." Add. Endd. French. ¾ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 166.]
Aug. 22. Sir William Russell to Walsingham.
Since his last writing, has received Walsingham's letter of the 7th by which it seems that he had not then received Russell's letters sent by Dall and John Welles, in which he wrote of the States of Zeeland's reluctance to furnish her Majesty with powder, of which there is very little but what is in their hands. They are most ungrateful to her Majesty and her servants, and some are saying that she will make peace and that the King of Spain will now agree to it, "the which, if she shall go about, no doubt but her Majesty will lose the hearts of all the well-affected, and in the end have no assurance thereof." The enemy and the States practise to alienate the people from her Majesty, as those "wicked articles" he lately sent over show. Walsingham's writing his mind to the Estates therein (the effect of which he has published in this town) has done good.
Her Majesty will soon lose all unless she assures herself better of this place and of some part of this island. M. de Walke and others have been urging him to send 300 men to Bergen-up-Zone, saying the enemy will besiege it, though he is still around Newpourt and Dyxmuk. It was really a device to weaken this garrison.
In view of their practising, her Majesty's small regard of this place, and his own heavy expenses, he urgently desires to be recalled. "Some one that will run some more plausible a course" than he does, would do her Majesty better service here.—Flushing, 22 August.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 2¾ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 168.]
Aug. 22./Sept. 1. The Bailiff, Burgomasters, and Échevins of Ostend to the Queen.
Thanking her for her grant, of which Lord Conway and Captain Edward Noorytz have informed them, of 100l. sterling towards the better fortification of the town. The new works have already been begun and are very important. This town, however, cannot bear the extra expense, in addition to the ordinary charges and the cost of repairing the dykes which the violence of the sea has everywhere caused to decay. They therefore desire her Majesty to urge their need upon the States General and get them to grant some reasonable aid towards the completion of these works, as well as to supply the usual necessity for peat and candles for the corps de garde of this garrison during the next winter, which, they understand, the States General had decided not to send them.—Ostend, 1 September, 1588, n.s.
Add. Endd. French. 2½ pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 170.]
Aug. 23. Stafford to Walsingham.
The King yesternight arrived at Bloys from Chartres and Stafford daily expects an order to go thither. This town is in greater 'defiance' than ever, and ready to grow into a mutiny. Some servants of the King coming hither to provide themselves with money and furniture for their journey, those here suspected some new enterprise against them, and desired M. de la Guische, the Baron of Rieux, M. Dampierre and others to leave the town at once. They were persuaded that M. de Grillian [Crillon] and others were also hidden here, and have reinforced their guards and watches in the night, and made searches in all places.
"There had like to fall out a foul stir and mutiny here the last day. The King had sent to the Court of Parliament an abolition for the Count Soissons of things past, and namely for the journey where M. de Joyeuse was killed, with commandment to have it ratified and registered there; which the Court of Parliament was going to do, when that certain of the mutinous captains of this town came to the Parliament, and finding Monsieur Perrot, one of the gravest and honestest councillors of the Court entering in, delivering him a request of opposition against it, to be presented unto the Court; which he refusing to do, they told him he must do it. And when he 'looked' that the request was not signed, as the custom was, and told them of it, they answered that there was not place [i.e. room] to sign it, for there were forty thousand to sign that request; and thereupon gathered together the whole number of the mutinous people in this town into the hall of the palace, and into the court, so that the Court of Parliament was fain to make a renvoi of it to the King to content the people. Howbeit, they say that privately it is passed and registered."
"There be a great many so much offended at this, and at the commandment for gentlemen of such quality to go out of this town—which were here but for their private business—that there will be requests presented to the King to take away the Court of Parliament from hence, seeing the place is grown such as neither men dare come to follow their business, nor the Parliament dare do their duties in administrating justice."
Has sent the published version of the Spanish ambassador's last oration to the King, charging him "with his promise to break off all alliance with heretics and namely with her Majesty. I know it was a proposition in the private articles and your honour knoweth what I writ to you of it in my last; but seeing it is a thing openly printed, I do not know whether her Majesty will take knowledge of it now or no." Therefore desires direction, though he would not swear but that it might have been added in the printing, since part of the King's answer is left out: namely, that her Majesty desired nothing, as having no need of it. They now print afresh all things that may touch her Majesty; for instance matters touching the Queen of Scots' death, Bellièvre's oration and the Queen's answer.
"There is a marvellous beginning of a heart-burning between the Spaniards and the Prince of Parma, the Spanish giving out all blames of treachery against the Prince in this action:—that he hath intelligence with her Majesty; that now of fresh, since the commissioners' retreat into England, her Majesty hath of fresh sent one Vanloe [Andrea de Loo] again unto him, who they say hath been he that hath maintained the intelligence between her Majesty and him. The Italians and others that are 'affested' unto the Prince of Parma, both here and out of the Low Country do say that the Prince had been notably betrayed if he had gone to sea, for if he had, they had carried him into Spain, and [he] perchance never have come home again whilst he lived."
"I saw letters from Madrid of the 18th [N.S.] that writ in what a rejoicing and triumph they were there for the news of the victory against us that the Spanish ambassador had sent two days before unto the King. The ambassador being demanded of a very private friend of his how he would do, for, finding the contrary, both the King would [be] offended with him for that, and also for having persuaded the [going] forward of this journey: he answered that he would do nev[er a thi]ng, for he knew well enough upon whom to lay the fault, and though he named not the Prince of Parma, he gave him . . . occasion enough to think that it was he . . ."
"Nobody can yet know the bottom of Villeroy's going from the Court, but assuredly his death is sworn."
"There is news come hither yesterday that Chinon is taken, with the castle, which is very strong. They say here it is the King of Navarre, but it is thought to be the Prince d' Ombes, Mompensier's son, that hath done it. Mompensier himself is in Normandy, where he getteth himself greatly beloved, and is likely to be accompanied unto the States with all the gentlemen of Normandy. All the rest of the Princes of that house do mean to come thither with all they are able to make. The Count Soyssons and the Duke of Guise's harbingers have already had great jars about the making of their lodgings at Bloys; whereupon the Count Soysson's harbinger hath killed the Duke of Guise's."
"That which I writ to your honour the last of the request of the Princes of the Blood for a gate at Bloys to be put in their keeping is fallen out not true," but they will come accompanied by all they can gather, which is no small matter.—Paris, 23 August, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [France XVIII. 156.]
Aug. 23. Gilpin to Walsingham.
Since his last, sent by Mr. Lovel, has been again to Geertrudebergh in a vain attempt to bring them to an agreement: the treatment of those of Medenblick makes them most 'jealous' of the States. "They will be their own carvers and be paid of the contributions of Brabant after 12d. per diem for each horse and the rest of their pay to be answered every six months. Besides, they will account the month after 30 days, and not be contented, as other soldiers are paid in Holland, 28 days to the month. Moreover, do mean to keep their troops still complete, and if any depart, others to be taken in their places; which the States would have otherwise, because there are too many in that garrison; but they may say what they will, the soldiers it seemeth will do as they think good. And to play more sure, they have made all the magistrates take an oath to be true to the Queen, this country, and the Count Maurice, and to keep the town with the soldiers under the commandment of the present governor and his lieutenant, and in this state the town remaineth." 140 of them went out on Friday on an enterprise against the enemy, and more will go shortly, "for they will be still doing of themselves, though the States upon their commandment cannot get them to any service." Mr. Killegrew and Chancellor Leoninus are back from Utrecht, with a promise of 20,000 'gildrens' towards the extraordinary contribution of 200,000: this sum is 3000 below their 'quote,' which they excuse on the ground that their country is greatly spoiled. Freesland's contribution is as yet unknown, but they, together with Uytrecht and Overyssel, have nominated representatives to the Council of State, on which at present only Gelderland, Holland, and Zealand, are represented, and where "Holland beareth the sway, and this proceedeth because they have the greatest purse and that the contributions is not in the hands of the Council of State to be disposed at their discretions, which the treaty in effect doth comprehend, though it be wrested and construed otherwise. But that must be redressed hereafter, when the event of the Spanish 'Armado' shall be seen." Has translated the States' answer to the articles presented by the Lord General against the instructions for the Council of State, and will send it to him to send over to Walsingham. The answer is "in substance slender; for that the Council of State should rule and command by such circumstances as they mean, is even as much as if they should bear a name of authority and execute the same by others, that are in great credit and bear all the sway. And so long as it standeth thus, it is impossible that things can be well directed, every province doing what listeth itself, and reserving the means and contributions in their own hands, paying their garrisons and the Council's warrants when it pleaseth them. Besides the said Council intermeddleth nothing with the Admiralties, being one of the chiefest authorities that ought to appertain unto them." The towns of Holland for the most part have agreed to contribute their share to the extraordinary contribution, though Tergowe, Schoenhouen, Gorcum, Rotterdam, and Ambsterdam, "made some exceptions upon cavils and petty discontentments." The money will be used to prepare greater land and sea forces. Five Flemish [companies] of old soldiers, are sent to Bergues-op-Zoom, while munitions and victuals are sent thither and to Ostende, Axell, the forts on the rivers, Arnham and the towns in those quarters. Scenke has gone towards Bon, and the horse and foot with him are directed to the relief of that city, still strongly besieged: Cullin merchants' letters 'sound' that the Prince of Chimery has assaulted the fort, being twice repulsed. Encloses copy of other news from Embden. The Spaniards captured on the ships are "imprisoned by parts in several towns," the chief being here. Don d'Avillia and another are to be exchanged for Monsieur de Teligny. Count Maurice is still at the Hage, Count Moeurs at Vytrecht, Count William in Freeslande, the Lord General in Zealandt. Order is given that no merchants' ships shall go eastwards without giving sureties to return directly and discharge their cargo here, and that none go through the north seas for Spain, as some intended. Certain people are charged to get powder to send into England, but few will venture unless they are bargained with here and given some assurance of payment; the Merchant [Adventurers ?] (fn. 1) should be charged to lend their credits, and plenty could then be obtained very cheaply. The merchants should also be commanded to provide the Lord General with such sums from time to time as would furnish the lendings. "And the most part . . . . of their goods that are sold in Middleburgh being returned by delivery of money per exchange, the same might be kept and delivered for her Majesty's use, making such repayment there as should be found to her Highness' liking and the reasonable contentment of the merchants, who in this time ought not (as I hope they will not) [to] repine to do anything that shall be for the good and service of her Majesty and the realm."—The Haghe, 23 August, 1588, stilo veteri.
Signed. Add. Endd. 3¼ pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 172.]
Aug. 12/22. News from Embden.
The news since last June is that commissioners from the parliament of Brussels came to summon the Count of Oldenburg to restore the lordship of Jeveren to the Count of Embden. They returned with nothing accomplished, for the Count put victuals and munitions into the town, castle, and country, and has no intention of yielding. A week later ambassadors from the Empire arrived at Lier to attempt to reconcile the two brothers, the lords of these countries. Count John complained of the wrongs done to him by his brother and would not discuss an agreement unless his castles and lands were restored and he himself admitted to a share in the government of Embden, as formerly. He then proposed these articles following: first, that the burghers and peasants be discharged of the new charges for any object other than the preservation of the country; secondly, that the Count of Friesland undertake to make no treaty, etc., with any foreign prince or lord without his nobility's knowledge and consent, and that six of the chief men be chosen as councillors of state; and thirdly, that no other religion be exercised there than that planted by their late father, Count Enno, and that the preaching of the Ubiquitists be repressed as a dangerous cause of dissension. Count Edzard, who was then at Lier with his sons, agreed to restore the castle of Stickhusen, but wished the others to be common to them both. He desired three weeks to consider the three abovementioned articles.
News from Spain. On August 6 a neighbour of the writer received a letter from her husband from Lisbon. The ship of 500 tons of which he is the master was taken over for the King's enterprise against England and 800 men were put into her, not one of them capable of steering a course at sea, himself excepted, who is both master and pilot, as many are. He thinks the enterprise is doomed to failure, so great is the confusion and disorder everywhere, and he has given up hope of ever getting safely home. A flyboat arrived here on the 10th which left Lisbon ten days after the Spanish army left that port; the flyboat was allowed to leave because it was so small. It reports that the army was about a hundred sail, great and small, well furnished with artillery and munitions, but the soldiers were a mere rapaille of all kinds of men. In the river of Lisbon there were no warships left, save six ships from Embden newly stayed and some of Hamburg. The Indies fleet was daily expected and it was thought that the three carracks in it will be joined with these German ships and others for some new exploit. The sailors of the Embden ships write in the same way and complain besides that the King has not only taken many of their people to serve in his first fleet, but has also seized their sails and rudders to prevent them from escaping.
There was a great fear at Embden, when the enemy came through the straits between Dover and Calais, that he might make himself master of the river at Embden and build a fort on Borkum. This would be very easy to do, unless the buoys were removed, or so changed as to guide the ships on to the sands. A Dunkirk galley came to the fort of Reyden, passing through the Holland warships here. When it became known that the Spanish fleet had gone, many here were sorry, even some of the magistrates, and one gentleman dared to regret publicly on the exchange that the army had not come into the river to refresh itself and take on board victuals and munitions.
Has seen a copy of a letter from Cologne to Count John of Nassau, which states that the Duke of Parma has ordered the Prince de Chimay to raise his siege of Bonn if he cannot capture the town within a fortnight. The Spaniards lost 400 men in an unsuccessful assault. On July 21 a herald summoned the besieged in the Emperor's name to yield the town to the Duke of Bavaria, bishop of Cologne. That day the Germans sallied out and burnt the fort of Lorraine, slaying 200 of the enemy. On the 22nd the lackey of Schenck swam across the Rhine with letters from his master which greatly encouraged the besieged. The enemy lack food, and desert daily.
The Pope has masses said daily in the church of St. James for the success of the Spanish army. He had promised the King of Spain a million of gold, but has since changed his mind and decided that it may be taken from the tenths of the Spanish clergy. A great mutiny of the Moors in Aragon is reported.— Embden, 22 August, after our stile, 1588. Yours as you know, in all humility.
No signature. Endd. French. 4 pp. [Newsletters XXVII. 25.]
Aug. 24. Adolf Count of Neuwenar to the Queen.
Wrote last on 5 August. Again asks her not to resolve upon any individual pretensions without hearing himself and the Estates of his governments. The Estates recently prevented a tumult from breaking out in this town. Sends this letter by Mr. Edward Dyer.—Utrecht, 24 August, 1588, stilo veteri.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. French. 1 p. [Holland XXVI. f. 174.]
Aug. 25. Christian IV, King of Denmark, to the Queen.
Thanking her Majesty for the restitution promised for a spoil committed by Sir Walter Luson upon the King's subject John Paul; and praying that the said John, now coming over to receive satisfaction according to the agreement between him and Luson, may be assisted by her Majesty's favour, should Luson seek to make any delays. Also that he may be relieved of all interest and charges.—Copenhagen, 25 August, '88.
Signed by the four Governors, Nicholas Kaas, Peter Munck, George Rosenkrantz, Christopher Valckendorff. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson with note of contents. Latin. 1⅓ pp. [Denmark I. f. 268.]
Aug. 25. Ortell to [Walsingham ?].
A gentleman has just arrived from Calais with news that the Duke of Parma has retired from Dunkirk towards Bruges, taking as prisoner with him the Spanish governor, in whose place he has appointed M. de la Motte: that the Spaniards and Walloons are very suspicious of one another, and that the former had pillaged two or three villages in Flanders on their way into Brabant: that the naval army can hardly put to sea for lack of sailors: that the King of France has ordered the governor of Calais to restore to the Spaniards their belongings and especially the artillery taken from the galleass, which is now a total wreck: that the king and the duke of Guise were never so good friends as now.—"De mon logis," 25 August, 1588.
Holograph. Endd. French. ¾ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 129.]
Aug. 25./Sept. 4. Bond by H. Kyllygrew that, whereas Sr. Henry van der Veken agreed to send 12,000lb. of powder by M. van Miderben into England, and as this was taken for her Majesty's service with no payment made, he will upon receiving proof, by attestation of the agent Oortel or otherwise, that it was delivered to the Queen's servants (or if it were taken without payment by her sea-captains etc., upon production of their receipt), make payment to van der Veken.—The Hague, 4 September, 1588.
Signed. Endd. French. ½ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 176.]
Aug. 25. Edward Burnham to Walsingham.
Adrian the armourer writes that he is packing up the footmens' armours ordered for Walsingham in Utrecht; the light horsemens' armours are being made at Midellborowe and will be ready in three days. So the whole amount ordered will soon be ready. If he desires muskets, the best barrels are those made in England, whose price is but little different.
To-day the fleet of these countries has gone out to lie before Dunkerke.
There is no certain news of the Spanish fleet, except that they remain on the Scottish coast. A Scot lately arrived at Canphire says that 60 of their boats, well manned, attempted to land for water, but after being allowed to come ashore, were defeated.
A "fleet boat" of Amsterdam, sent to discover the state of the Spanish fleet, has returned and reports that they have cast many dead bodies overboard. Here it is thought they will re-pass through the Narrow Seas and again try to join with the Prince of Parma, who was lately minded to attack Bergen and some of these islands. Willoughby is gone thither. Bergen "was not so meanly manned this great while," and the States here "mutter somewhat" at the withdrawal of English troops out of the number agreed upon in the Contract. "There was a speech, and irons were made, at Middelborow to have 'enppeld' the common sort of the Spaniards that were taken upon the two ships brought in here that they should have wrought in carrying of earth upon the new fort which is there a-making," but now that purpose is moderated. Don Diego de Pyemontell now uses "brave speeches" that their intenton was to attack no other place than England and that "if it were not for her Majesty they [the States] would yield the king due obedience."
Mr. Webbe, this bearer, goes over in the company of Mr. Dyar.— Flussinge, 25 August, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 2¼ pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 177.]


  • 1. MS. torn.