Elizabeth: September 1588, 1-10

Pages 178-195

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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.

Please subscribe to access the page scans

This volume has gold page scans.
Access these scans with a gold subscription.Key icon

September 1588, 1-10

Sept. 1. Stafford to Walsingham.
"Even as I was going to horse to bring my wife on the way to this town, strange news was brought: that a great sudden change was at the Court, that the Chancellor, Villeroy, Brulard, Pinard, Belliever, Chenailles (his first physician's [i.e. M. Miron's] brother), Le Roy, the treasurer of epergne, were all chassés, and that one Montelon, an advocate, which is counted the honestest 'consciencest' man in France is sent for to take the seals; that one Rivolle, that was commis to M. de Sauve, and, since, M. d'Epernon's factotum, a very sufficient man, is Secretary. They give out at Paris that they be chassez because the King hath found them halt and to look upon other favours than his. But for my part I do not think it to be so, but that they be men that have managed the state, and that they give up their offices at this time that they may become private men at the States, to answer to any that shall demand account of them; and that it is the King's meaning to make them in that predicament first, to bring others into, that he meaneth to make to give an account to. This is a thing that I have heard to be in the King's mind a great while and which carrieth likelihood. I shall have to-day or to-morrow one back that I have sent to Bloys, by whom I shall know the truth I hope, and then presently I will advertise your honour . . . ."—Paris, 1 September, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [France XVIII. 158.]
Sept. 1. [The Privy Council] to Lord Willoughby.
Have received sundry of his letters asking for instructions as to the reinforcing of Berghen-op-Zome, which he expects the enemy to attack. They find her Majesty of opinion that she is not tied in reason to bear the expense of this supply to a place in which she is in no way interested, it being wholly in the States' hands. Therefore he shall inform the States, that if they are careless of the defence of the town, her Majesty will call away her subjects who are in garrison there, being unwilling to endanger their lives in a place unfurnished to resist the enemy. If they should object ("as it is to be thought they will ") that her Majesty's subjects in garrison there, and elsewhere, have consumed their magazine of victual, etc., he shall answer that the treasurer there has been ordered to examine, with commissaries to be by them appointed, how the said magazine has been spent and what the value is, so that allowance may be made to them at the making up of the accounts between her Majesty and themselves; they cannot reasonably require it sooner, as the sums owed by them to her Majesty are thought to be greater than the value of this magazine.
Touching the petition of the captains of the horsebands, "finding the time not seasonable to urge her Majesty to any increase of disbursements," in respect of her late heavy charges, they advise him instead to revive the old motion for converting some of the horsebands into footbands, a proposal which the States did not mislike.
Minute. Endd. 1¾ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 220.]
Sept. 2/12. M. De Torsay to Walsingham.
Hearing that Mlle. de Buillon is writing to his honour, he takes the opportunity to pray for a continuance of his favour, and to ask him to forward to his son, who is with the Earl of Pembroke, the letter which he encloses. He is somewhat anxious, as he has heard nothing of his said son since his return to England, nor of the letters which he carried from Mlle. de Buillon to her Majesty, the Earl of Leicester and his honour. He may perhaps be able to amend his fault or send some excuse, if he who takes the letter to him might send his reply by way of the ambassador in France.
Mlle. de Buillon has, no doubt, clearly represented to her Majesty the disquiet caused her by her enemies at Jamets, which they have blockaded, and the need she has to implore the aid of all who desire the preservation of God's church, which would sustain a great injury, and very shameful to those who might have prevented it, if ill befell this little state, where God has sheltered under his wing all those most dear to him on this side the Loire.
Has known the time when, if they had wished to send him to put this before her Majesty and pray her to hold out to them her charitable hand, he would have undertaken it, even though age, past labours and continual weariness call him rather to repose; but it is believed that the thing in itself is so commendable, and those to whom they have written so charitable, that there is no need of special discourse to stir up their compassion for the approaching ruin which (if not provided against) will shake down the whole building. His private interests and love for the public welfare lead him (not being able to do more) to pray God not to permit so great a loss to fall upon a part of his heritage, to the great reproach of the rest.—Sedan, 12 September, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. French. 2¼ pp. [France XVIII. 159.]
[Sept. 2.] [The Queen] to [Sir William Russell].
As her Majesty understands from her Lieutenant-General in those countries that the duke of Parma has drawn his whole army before Berghen-op-Zome to besiege it, and as the loss of that town through lack of necessary support would touch her honour, she has decided to have it supplied at once with men, victual, etc. Russell is therefore to send thither at once two companies of footmen from the garrison under his charge. Victuals are to be supplied from England.
[Below is written] Sir W. Russell, 2 companies; Lord Borrough, 1 company; Sir John Conwey, 3 companies.
Minute. Endd. "1588, 2 September. M. to Lord Borrough, Sir W. Russell, Sir John Conwey. For sending of men to Berghes."
And with the following figures. 2146 13 4
1073 6 8
3220 0 0
1 p. [Holland XXVI. f. 224.]
Sept. 2. Sir William Russell to Walsingham.
Desiring his assistance to obtain the payment of 160l. due long since to Walsingham's servant, Captain Brown, and his company. Brown needs it "for to go thorough with his mother for certain goods and leases that she hath promised him to re[nder ?] into his hands." Urges him to hasten away pay lest the evil example of Ostend breed the like disorder here. Is "altogether weary of this place."—Flusshing, 2 September.
Postscript. Would consider it a favour to himself were Brown allowed 100l. for his present needs from Russell's entertainment.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XXVI. f. 226.]
Sept. 3. Lord Wyllughby to the Privy Council. (fn. 1)
"Upon certain intelligence from divers places of the enemy's intention for Berghen-op-Zom," he sent men out "to beat the ways and to learn some intelligence of them. Yesterday there returned two who were beaten back, advertising that four of their company were taken, and that they understood by certain boys of the enemy's, who were coming before, that their camp was marching, and already come to Collempthout, within 3 'Duch' miles of Berghen, and that their designs are only for that place . . ."
To-day his company of 200 horse gave alarm to the enemy's camp near Waw castle but was unable to draw the enemy into an ambush prepared for him. Three prisoners were taken, who confessed that their intention was against Berghen. The English then had to retire as some troops of horse and foot were discovered advancing " along the sands from Andwerpe side."
Has already advertised their lordships and the States of the extreme wants of Bergen, and has done all that he can, with the small means he has, to strengthen it. Nothing is to be looked for from the States, and all hope centres upon her Majesty Otherwise the place is too meanly fortified to be held, and the English serving there will perish, to the national dishonour. This bearer will explain the position more amply: desires his speedy return.— Midleburg, 3 September, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. 1 p. [Holland XXVI. f. 229.]
Sept. 3. An exhortation to the churches of the refugees from the Low Countries in England, to contribute to the levy and payment of a regiment of two thousand men for one year: to serve for the defence of the frontiers of the United Provinces.
Endd. French. 3pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 227.]
Sept. 4. Walsingham to the Duc d'Espernon.
Regrets that he is prevented from answering so fully as he ought, the two letters which it has pleased the Duke to send him. Thanks him for the zeal he shows in maintaining the friendship between the King and the Queen his mistress, assures him of his desire to serve him, and begs him to believe that, if he cannot do so as he desires, it is because the difficulties of the time prevent it.—4 September, 1588.
Draft, much corrected. Endd. French. ½ p. [France XVIII. 160.]
Sept. [4]. The Queen to the Count of Moeurs.
Desiring him to secure the reappointment of Deventer as burgomaster of Utrecht for another year, the experience of a man so zealous for the good of the province being greatly needed at this time. Urges him to persuade Deventer to accept a reappointment, should he be unwilling.
Draft, much corrected. Endd. with date. French. 1 p. [Holland XXVI. f. 249.]
Sept. [4 ?]. The Queen to the town of Utrecht.
Congratulating them upon the ending of their discords, of which they informed her by their letters of August 29, and urging them to continue in this good union, to the increase of their own security and to the advantage of the common cause. Her Majesty will determine nothing in any cause concerning them until they have been heard therein.
Recommending that Deventer be continued for this present year in the office of burgomaster of the town, where one versed in matters of state is necessary.
Copy. Several attempts to copy the Queen's signature. End " [MS. torn] September 1588. Copy of a letter from her Majesty to those of the town of Utrecht in answer of a letter sent from them to her Majesty in August before." French. ½ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 223.]
[Sept. 4 ?] Leicester to the Count of Moers.
Her Majesty considers that the burgomaster Deventer is a man most able to forward the union and amity of the provinces, but it is feared that he will seek to excuse himself from a further term of office at the impending election. Writes, therefore, to urge the Count to secure Deventer's appointment for another year, and to persuade him to continue in office.
Copy. Undated. Endd. French. ½ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 241.]
Sept. 4. Lord Wyllughby to Burghley.
Sends his servant Colman, fully instructed of all things, to inform him of the present situation and to implore his continued favour. Prays that, when this storm has passed, " some better pilot" may be sent "to guide the helm," for he knows not how to steer out of this peril. "It had been, and were, an enterprise for the greatest soldier to war against such a power as assails us, without men or means, and not to trust this 22 year on him that hath not past 4 years' experience." Hopes his fears that her Highness will lose her people, travail, and treasure, may be deceived. Should the worst fall out, the opinion he wrote long since may be found not erroneous, namely, "that it had been better her Majesty had only reserved her cautionary towns, pleased the States with the delivery of the others, paid them money for the rest of her men, called them home, and by some honorable, discreet, persons revived and reinforced the contract." No war at all is better than a war advantageous to the enemy. Craves pardon for his boldness.—Myddleburgh, 4 September.
Holograph. Add. Endd. " By Mr. Colman, his man." 1¼ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 233.]
Sept. 4. Lord Wyllughby to Walsingham.
"I have often written to their lordships and to yourself what doubt was always presumed that the enemy would attempt Berges; which now being happened, I have sent the bearer (well acquainted with all things here) to inform their lordships. By whom I pray you to return some speedy resolution. And so, being departing towards Berges, I end . . . ."—Midelbroughe, 4 September, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. ¼ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 231.]
Sept. 4. H. Kyllygrew to Leicester.
Captain Hichkocke, this bearer, who has been here ever since Leicester left, can inform him fully concerning the state of " these afflicted provinces, which now the Duke of Parma is like to persecute extremely, because he hath no ways else to employ his great forces."
Encloses a 'remembrance' by a gentleman of Harlen or Alemar, who supposes that her Majesty will now think more of the defence of these countries than when she hoped for peace. He was with Leicester at Flusching at the time of the siege of Sluce, and says that he is known to Burgrave and M. Caron: also he promises that they will be able to pay 6000 men for a year or more. If Captain Hichkocke proves insufficiently informed about the situation here, Killigrew refers his lordship to his letter to Mr. Secretary. Desires his revocation, now that Mr. Guylpin—who professes all dutiful service to Leicester—is here.—The Haghe, 4 September, '88.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 2¾ pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 239.]
Sept. 4. H. Kyllygrew to Burghley.
Since his last, by Mr. Pellam's man, the States, upon hearing of the 'cassing' of her Majesty's army in England, the discharging of many of her ships, and the departure of the duke of Parma with his army from Flanders into Brabant, decided to dismiss some of their ships and save themselves that heavy expense, although Killigrew desired them first to obtain her Majesty's assent. They are so slow and irresolute in all things that they have not yet despatched the promised embassy to congratulate her Majesty upon her great victory; the States General have dispersed and left the execution of that office to the States of Holland, who are uncertain whether to send, or to write to their agent in England. Parma's approach to Andwarpt seems to justify the former fears for the safety of Berghen-op-Some, where men and all other necessaries of defence are lacking. The States say "they will strain themselves to the uttermost " to save the place, but they do all things so weakly and so slowly. The Council have been debating on the subject for ten days already without reaching any decision. They say the English should defend the place, and they expect the 1000 who were withdrawn to be sent back with speed, with reinforcements to supply the deficiencies of the numbers here. Surely, seeing in what good stead the division of these provinces from Spain has stood her Majesty, during the coming of the Spanish navy to join with the Duke of Parma, and their value in future for the common defence, aid should be given to them lest they quail " before the fiery sword of the Duke of Parma's." They will not hear of peace, for all their weakness. Their hopes cannot be founded upon her Majesty's ordinary succours, as both horse and foot are far below strength, and so many of the leaders are absent in England that the Lord General is accompanied only by Mr. Wilford "to answer all events of service, as well in counsel as other occurents of war." The States General and the Council were very willing to satisfy her Majesty's request for powder, made to them lately through Ortell, but could obtain only 30,000 weight,—12,000 from Holland, 12,000 upon Kyllygrew's credit, and 6000 from Amsterdam—so that their ability to supply their garrisons, when need arises, is obviously not great. They tried to obtain half the 25,000 weight that is in the magazine at Grettrudenbergh, but those within the town refused to lend them any, having shortly before sent 5000 weight to Willoughby for the States' ships. Fears that the government of that place will breed some 'brable' between the Lord General and the Count Hohenlo, who is expected back shortly from Denmark, and sets much store by the town. In this, as in all things, "the want of authority will cause great inconveniences." Holland would gladly advance Count Maurice, but many in that province, and also the rest of the provinces, as Geldres, Utrecht, and Over Isell, will not yield to it. Sees no other way and thinks it the best course, because those that have most influence in Holland and Zeeland favour it. The Count has gone to view the frontier towns of this province, and probably means to surprise some place or other. They "have again published a fast and prayer of thanksgiving for their late deliverance and for increase of God's benefits towards them" and England: these seem to be their best weapons and defence. They say that they will pay their monthly contributions of 20,000 florins, but he cannot assure this, being now unacquainted with their manner of financing, which has been clean altered so that every province will be its own 'amner' [almoner ?] and " suitors are greatly vexed in some cases to fetch their money out of every several province according to their 'quotes'." This was one of the reasons why the Council of State refused to accept the instructions of some of the States General, whereof Willoughby sent some notes into England, for they differ from the Contract. It would be well for her Majesty or the States to send some persons of quality " for clearing of doubts"; Lord Buckhurst would be as acceptable as anyone. As Guylpin is now settled here, Kyllygrew hopes that he may be recalled, having so many things to do at home, and so weak a body.—The Haghe, 4 September, '88.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 6½ pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 235.]
Sept. 4. H. Kyllygrew to Walsingham.
It is now uncertain whether the deputies who were to go to congratulate her Majesty upon her victory over the Spanish fleet will be sent, or direction will be given to Ortell therein. Meanwhile a general fast and thanksgiving to God has been decided upon. Has received no certain information of the Spanish fleet since the fight off Cales, nor of the Duke of Parma, beyond the general rumour that he will attack Berghen-op-Zoom which is not over-well furnished for a siege. The Council has been deliberating these 10 days about aiding it but has effected but little owing to "their weakness and insufficiency of means." Upon hearing of the discharge of the camp in England, they have also discharged some of their shipping, despite Killigrew's persuasions that they should first obtain her Majesty's advice, or at the least inform her by letter. Their means to maintain the war are so "near and scarce" that they have to husband them accordingly. An equally great defect is the lack of authority. For instance when the Spanish fleet was off their coast and they wanted to reinforce their own fleet with some of the shipping lying in the Fly (where there were some hundred sail), they were disobeyed, and the ships demanded " who should assure them if they entered the service." Holland and Zeeland seek to advance the Count Maurice and have persuaded the States General to make him governor of their forces in Brabant as well as of Holland and Zeeland: but the other provinces will not follow them. The multitude of governors breeds great inconveniences. Her Majesty should send some person of quality to consider the redress of their imperfections and the wants among the English, whereof they complain, and especially of the great weakness of the English companies and the absence of their captains. They allege that, though they consented to the withdrawal of 2000 of the English from hence, it was upon condition that the remainder were brought up to the number of 3000 according to the Treaty. He has already written of how far short they fall of that number. They would willingly throw upon the English the burden of maintaining Berghen-op-Zoom (where the English have long been), and the dishonour if it should be lost.
Count Hohenlo is expected here shortly: it may lead to jars with Lord Willughby about the matters of Getruidenbergh.
Count Maurice has gone " in progress" to visit the frontiers of Holland, meaning perhaps to surprise some town of the enemy's.
Colonel Skenck has gone to the Over-quarter, awaiting the companies that are to march with him. Bon is given up for lost.
The Count of Moeurs lately made a 'road' towards Wesell with 2000 horse and foot, returning with a booty of 3000 sheep. This has alarmed that country, and this will hinder Schenck, who marches through it.
The Utrecht representatives on the Council of State have gone back, owing to some difficulties in their commissions. This may prove a cause of renewing the old quarrel.
All diligence has been used to collect powder for England, but only 30,000 weight could be raised—12,000 sent by the States, 12,000 for which he gave his word, and 6000 from the Amsterdam merchants.
The captain sent by Piementello to the Duke of Parma (of whom he wrote before) has not returned, but the gentleman's examination has been printed in 'Dutche' to his discredit and disgrace.
These men wish her Majesty would make stay of all traffic with Spain, except with passport from England or the Provinces; then they could stay all ships going past these countries to Spain, which of themselves they cannot do. In this way they think, judging from their experience at the beginning of the troubles, that they could maintain their shipping. Encloses the book, of which he wrote, containing details about the Spanish army.—The Haghe, 9 September, '88.
Postscript. Has written to Leicester of a plot to do some service in Flanders: M. Caron and Burchgrave can inform him more fully. Asks to be excused from writing so fully in future, now that Mr. Gilpin is here and receives her Majesty's entertainment. Gilpin is better acquainted with their resolutions, as he knows the language and Killigrew does not. Asks also that her Majesty will recall him from " this troublesome and thankless service": it needs only a word or two to the Council of State recalling him and substituting Gilpin for him. Desires to know in Walsingham's next letter what likelihood there is of this.
Signed. Add. Endd. 3½ pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 277.]
Sept. 5/15. Count Hohenlo to the States of Holland.
Went, according to their commands, to Hamburg with their deputies. There they decided it was inadvisable to go to Denmark without letters of recommendation. Accordingly, Brederode, Sille, and Dr. Homrad, were sent to the Duke Casimir and the Landgrave, at Heydelberg and Cassel, to carry out the States' instructions on the behalf of the King of Navarre; while he himself went to Dresden, where the Duke of Saxony was celebrating the baptism of his child, at which the Duke of Brandenburg, the Landgrave, Duke Philip of Brunswick, two Dukes of Anhalt, and others were to be present. Thought it advisable to take another envoy to so imposing an assembly, and as the Admiral de Duvenvoord was named in the States' instructions, he took him also to Dresden, meaning to send him back as soon as possible. The deputies were to wait at Heydelberg or Cassel until the Count informed them whether they needed to come to Dresden or not. The Duke of Saxony did not wish the deputies to come to Dresden, and the King of Navarre's ambassador had such answer as the Count has written to Bernevelt; moreover the Duke Casimir's letters to the Duke of Saxony availed nothing, so the Count and the Admiral instructed the deputies to await them around Heydelberg or Cassel, as soon as their business with the Duke Casimir was finished. The Count had obtained letters of recommendation from the Dukes of Saxony and Brandenburg to the King of Denmark and the members of the Empire. The Count's own district being but nine leagues off, he wrote to his mother to send carriages to Heydelberg to take the deputies to his house. The deputies, however, left for Cassel before his letters reached them, and the messengers whom he sent to them were told by the Duke Casimir's chancellor that they had gone to Frankfurt and would return to Heydelburg. Then heard that they had left for Dresden, so he sent after them and daily expects an answer. Will advertise the States by the post from hence to Dordrecht, which goes every ten days.
Prays them to excuse the delay in the Admiral's return. Could get no answer from the Dukes until after the baptismal celebrations, which lasted a month. They have waited for the deputies almost a month in his own county. When they return, he will send the Admiral with an account of their proceedings. Have received no news from the deputies. Desires them to take in good part this long journey, for the instructions which the deputies had from them were useless without the Dukes' letters of recommendation; can do nothing until the deputies (who have the said instructions) return.—Hemersperg, 15 September, 1588.
Postscript. Now hears from Dr. Junius' son that the deputies are returning to Holland, but hopes this is not true. If they do not come, he means nevertheless to go on to Denmark, and therefore desires to know the States' meaning herein.
Translation. Endd. French. 4pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 309.]
Sept. 7. H. Kyllygrew to Walsingham.
The Council received letters this morning from Colonel Shenck, who has captured a fort called Beck, between Bergh [Rheinberg] and Schrenerswert. He writes that he could have done greater service had all the companies appointed to march with him been there, for the enemy's forces as far away as Wesell are greatly discouraged. Three of the cornets of horse sent to him have not joined him, Mr. Bluth being dangerously wounded here just when his company was ready to march, Groenvel was recently slain, and Baal delays here to renew his commission. Shenck writes that letters from Bon of the 10th, their style, show that there are but 400 men there, 80 of them hurt, that they have no sustenance but bread and water, and can only hold out for another twelve days.
Men and victuals are being constantly sent hence to Berghenop-Zoom, for the enemy is said to be sitting before it.—The Haghe, 7 September, 1588.
Postscript. Assistance was not sent more speedily to Shenck because the States dared not weaken themselves overmuch in these parts, when the Spanish fleet was off their coasts and the Duke of Parma ready with all his forces to seize any advantage offered to him. Nothing at all was promised to him until the Spanish fleet had gone. Kyllygrew never thought Shenck could achieve much with so small a force towards Bon, but it was necessary to clear the over-quarter of Guelders which is greatly distressed by the enemy, and also to prepare those parts against attack by the forces which will be released when Bon falls.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1¼ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 247.]
Sept. 7. Sir W. Russell to Burghley.
Sir Edward Noreys, this bearer, will inform his lordship fully concerning the state of Ostende. As the town was unprovided of victuals, and therefore likely to 'practise' with the enemy, weekly lendings have been sent thither on Noreys' advice, the Lord General being at Bergues. Hopes Burghley will allow hereof, and cause the like order to be taken henceforward, which would speedily win them back to their duty. Thanking him for his good regard for supplying their own wants, and hoping for his favour to secure the sending over of pay to remedy the general discontentment which has been caused by evil examples and by the old debts which have "beggared and undone " many burghers and made others, previously well affected, hate the English. Can hardly keep this place in security owing to incessant practices, the wavering of the people, and the soldiers' proneness to disorder. Much less would he be able to assure it were the garrison weakened more than it is already by the sending of those troops who have lately come from England to the aid of Bergen, which is likely to be besieged. Has also sent thither 4 pieces of artillery, carriages, etc. Is sorry his letter to Burghley was delayed, but this town being then threatened by the enemy and in need of powder, he had to take up that proportion of Mr. Bruen. Half of the 20 lasts of powder that were sent over went to Ostende, and the other half came hither, of which Russell, as ordered, sent 3 lasts, together with artillery and shot, to the Briell. This town now has less than it ought to have. Learns from one who lately came from the duke of Parma's camp that the duke means to remain at Bredah and, besides besieging Bergues, to recover Gitrudenbergen and Husden, though some rather think he will enter the island of Tertoll, close by here. Hears also that the Duke's credit availed him little to secure a loan at Antwerpe, though great store of money is there.—Vlisshing, 7 September, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1½ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 243.]
Sept. 7. Sir W. Russell to Walsingham.
His letter of the 4th received. Walsingham seems to think that this town can be held with only so many troops as were first put into it, and no doubt many will, in the States' behalf, urge this opinion. Desires permission to come to England to show how impossible it would be to hold the place safely with so few men: he has also much private business to attend to in England. If it be conceded that only six companies shall stay here, he must be an importunate suitor that someone more agreeable to the States be sent to replace him.
As regards the bailiff of this town, refers Walsingham to Killigrewe's report. Mr. Lovell, who is in England, can also inform him about it. Will keep a vigilant eye upon him. As Bergues is likely to be besieged, he has sent thither the soldiers of this garrison who were in England, with 4 pieces of artillery, carriages etc. Leaves the account of Ostende to Sir Edward Norries, but has meanwhile sent them weekly lendings "to prevent other inconveniences."—Vlisshing, 7 September, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. 1¼ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 245.]
[Before Sept. 8.] Petition of the soldiers of Ostend to the Queen.
They have, as loyal subjects, received Sir Edward Norrice, sent by her Majesty in answer to their former petition. They now beseech that he may proceed no further in this matter, as he is a captain resident in this garrison, and therefore partial. He has moreover protested that, had he been present, the beginning of the controversy would have (fn. 2) been a bloody day, (fn. 2) and, to make them despair of her favour, has asserted that her Majesty (fn. 2) does not regard them as her subjects. (fn. 2) Having sworn upon the holy evangelist, for their better assurance one of another, to spend their lives in her service, they fear not to encounter the Prince of Parma's power, much less are they afraid of Norrice's menaces. Trust that the bloodless manner of their arrest of the Governor, captains, etc., will cause her Majesty to look favourably upon their petition. Fear that their petitions have not free recourse to her Majesty, their former one being unanswered, so they send herewith the substance of their former complaints. Desire her Majesty to send them pay and to consider the injuries which they have received from "inferior ministers." They again ask for a pardon under the accustomed seal, for future security against their captains, rather than for any defect they find in themselves.
1 p. [Holland XXVI. f. 252.]
Another copy of the same.
Endd. 1 p. [Holland XXVI. f. 250.]
Another copy of the same.
1 p. [Holland XXVI. f. 254].
The complaints of the soldiers at Ostend.
Many companies have not received a month's pay in the last 2½ years, but instead given "provant at times for the space of a year, and lendings of 2s. 6d. the week hitherto. And for the last provant, was such as [was] neither wholesome, savoury, nor man's meat," so that many deserted to the enemy or otherways.
[Margin. "To be answered by the Treasurer."]
A true muster of every captain's company would show how greatly her Majesty has been deceived heretofore. [Margin. "The muster-master to answer."]
Continual watching with half companies has caused "the great decay of the poor soldiers." [Margin. " The captains have had pay for whole companies."]
They demand 6 months' pay as soon as possible for the state of the garrison is " very tickle," though they will hold Ostend for her Majesty to the last man. [Margin. " If the bands be not full, the lesser sum will pay the debt."]
They are ready to prove that 7 months' pay has been brought at one time into this garrison, and the soldiers received not a penny of it. [Margin. "To be answered by the Treasurer."]
Endd. Marginal notes by Burghley. ¾ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 256: the cover, f. 260.]
A copy of the above complaints.
½ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 257.]
Another copy.
Endd. 2/3 p. [Holland XXVI. f. 258.]
[Sept. 8.] The Privy Council to Lord Willoughby.
Since the last despatch, and Sir Edward Norris' arrival in Ostende, this bearer, Mr. Brook, a Kentish gentleman of Sir Walter Waller's band and a kinsman of Lord Cobham, has arrived here from that garrison. He brings a petition, very like the former one brought by Colman before Norris' departure: it recites their grievances, and their dislike of Norris' dealing in the matter, as appears by the copies enclosed. A writing from the Council to Mr. Brook, which he is to communicate to the rest of the garrison, is also enclosed. Willoughby should send thither the Sergeant-Major, Mr. Thomas Wylfor, or some other fit person who has not charge of any company there, to appease their discontentment according to the direction given to Brook.
Willoughby is also to send orders to the under-treasurer there to pay the garrison its weekly lendings of ready money in as ample sort as the garrisons of Flushing and Brill are paid. Should victuals also be needed, Willoughby is to have a supply sent thither "that may be good, and delivered upon reasonable prices."
Minute, corrected by Burghley and another: the last sentence added by Burghley. Endd. with date. 2 pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 262.]
With the above:
The answer of the Privy Council to Edward Brooke, sent from Ostend.
Whereas this bearer, Edward Brooke, brought a written supplication to the Privy Council from the soldiers, as well gentlemen as private, of her Majesty's garrison of Ostend, by which the Council see the great necessity of the soldiers for lack of pay and seasonable victuals; which have driven them to stay their governor and some other officers (to whom they had in vain complained) until they could seek redress from her Majesty or her Council; understanding also that the soldiers mean, like true Englishmen, to hold the town for her Majesty against all the enemy's attempts, whether by force or practice, the Council has informed her Majesty of these matters and has been by her commanded to give to Brook this answer, to be declared to the soldiers. That her Majesty is highly offended at the evil treatment of the garrison, as she specially ordered that they should be paid their weekly lendings as often and as largely as any at Flushinge or Brill, and also caused money to be delivered to the Treasurerat-Wars four or five months ago to provide a staple of victuals; with further order that the Governor should assess the victuals at a reasonable price and deliver to the captains and soldiers weekly half their allowance in money and half in victuals, without compelling any to take the victuals against their wills, which has apparently not been observed, inasmuch as they have been constrained to take their allowance in bad victuals without any money. When her Majesty heard of these disorders from a burgomaster of the town and from Colman, one of the soldiers, she sent Sir Edward Norrice, a captain of the garrison, to assure them that, if they continued loyal subjects, they should have both money and victuals " in as liberal sort as any company of her Majesty's on that side the seas." Lord Willoughbie was also ordered to send all the money and victuals necessary as soon as any persons came to him from Norris to show him their lacks. Money was at Midleboroughe almost a month past to pay their lendings until the end of October next. As Norris has been with them, and yet they continue in their demands by sending Brooke hither, her Majesty, doubting if they have been duly informed of her meaning, has commanded her Council to assure Brooke and the soldiers that so long as they remain loyal "they shall be sure to have no sinister interpretation made for the staying of the Governor, as they have done, considering the urgent necessity they had (finding their complaints not agreed as they have done), in keeping the town so fast and sure as they do from all attempts that the enemy might have made . . . ." Brooke is also to take new letters to Willoughbie and the Treasurer to see all the soldiers' lacks speedily furnished. Her Majesty hopes that, to avoid evil speeches of the world, they will release their Governor, who shall not be a judge in his own cause, nor seek remedy against any soldier who shall continue a faithful man in his service: Lord Willoughbie and her Majesty's council in Zeeland shall uprightly hear and remedy the complaints. As for the pardon under her Majesty's seal, which both in their supplication and Brooke's report they ask for, her Majesty thinks that as they have been driven to revolt by ill usage and as they have held the town so loyally against the enemy, they need no pardon; the victualler, and others who have abused them, are the persons who need to sue for pardon. It would be a great blemish to their (the soldiers') names forever, and a dishonour to her Majesty, to grant a pardon to the injured party, and it would encourage slanderous reports about the garrison, to the effect that some among them had plotted treason, and the rest had sued for pardon, though without cause and not as Sir William Stanley and his company deserved. Yet many of Stanley's soldiers, who came away voluntarily after the town had fallen, were never molested or in need of pardon, since they did not continue in their captain's offence.
Copy. Endd. 2¼ pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 263.]
[Sept. 8.] Instructions for Mr. Brooke [identical with the above enclosure.]
Draft by Burghley. Endd. with date. 5 pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 266.]
Sept. 8. Lord Wyllughby to the Privy Council.
"My letters sent by this bearer, advertising the enemy's approaching towards Bargen, have been stayed by contrary winds. Since which I have taken the best course I could for defence of the same. Those forces which were already come down, are gone (as is thought) to block up Husden and Gertrudinberg until the rest of the army, with the cannon, may be ready to march, and so the straiter to besiege Bergen."
"As I landed this morning, I received letters from your lordships, directing me to deal earnestly with the States for continuing and increase of their navy at sea; to renew the old motion for converting horse-companies into foot; and if they would not relieve the town of Bergen, that I should protest her Majesty would withdraw her soldiers thence. In which points I will not fail carefully to do my best, and do take my journey for Holland this evening, to follow and solicit the same."
"But for the re-delivering of Bergine into their hands, your lordships could not please them better, as I have long since advertised, and received answer that her Majesty knew not where to bestow those forces if they should be drawn thence."
"I was informed upon my coming hither that Sir Thomas Morgan is arrived, and gone towards Berges with the soldiers, whom I have not yet seen. For all other matters . . . . I humbly pray your lordships to be advertised by the bearer (wellacquainted therewith) by whom I hope your lordships will return me full resolution . . . ."—Midelbroughe, 8 September, 1588.
Postscript. ". . . The bearer can inform you how far I have proceeded in the matter at Oastend."
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. ¾ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 270.]
Sept. 8. Lord Wyllughby to Walsingham.
"The wind would not suffer the bearer to depart when I had dispatched him. Since, your servant Aldredge brought me letters from their lordships and from yourself, which shall with all care and diligence . . . . be accomplished . . ."—Midelbroughe, 8 September, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. ¼ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 272.]
Sept. 8. Sir William Russell to Walsingham.
Owing to the enemy's long stay near here, and to the absence of so many of this garrison's captains, has detained the bearer, Captain Browne, so long that he is altogether unprovided with money and unable to complete a bargain with his mother which he would have been able to conclude but for his delaying here. Asks Walsingham's assistance for him, so that he may dispatch his business and speedily return. Desires him also to hasten over all other captains of this garrison who are in England.— Vlisshing, 8 September, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. ½ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 274.]
Sept. 8. Sir William Russell to Sir Edward Dyer.
Sends him a letter from a gentleman, who supped with Dyer when he (Dyer) was last here. He is very well affected to England, and has a plan for an enterprise greatly to England's advantage, of which he says he has told Dyer. "Knowing the humour of the Council of England, how hardly they are persuaded to disburse money," has referred the gentleman to him as he is in England and better able to move their lordships. The prospect of success would be good, though the gentleman would hazard his life.—Flushing, 8 September.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XXVI. f. 276.]
[Sept. 8 ? (fn. 3) ] [Memorial, by Sir John Conway ?]
The soldiers of Ostend ask for her Majesty's pardon for their late disorder.
Now that two hundred men have been sent hence to Bargen it is very necessary that three hundred be sent to reinforce the companies remaining here, otherwise the winter service will be so hard that many will fall sick and many desert to the enemy.
If this reinforcement is sent, the chief actors in the mutiny may be "weeded out" of all companies: the captains should pay for the sending over of the soldiers, each according to how many he receives.
If the soldiers get their pardon and continued weekly lendings, they will wait for their pay, upon the Council's assurance by letter to the writer.
It would be safer and very acceptable were some of the companies which have been here longest, and some of the most disordered, to exchange their garrison.
½ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 261.]
Sept. 10. Captain Thomasso Sassetti to Walsingham.
Having urgent need to send his nephew, Lattantio Valori to the French court, and not having means to do so, he prays his honour to favour his said nephew with a despatch, promising that it shall be carried faithfully and safely. Asks also that he may have a letter of recommendation to ambassador Stafford, to give him a like despatch for his return journey. If his honour has any commands for his said nephew, is sure he will serve him diligently and faithfully. Is, as usual, confined to his bed and unable to move.—At his house in London, 10 September, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Italian. 1 p. [France XVIII. 162.]
Sept. 10. Lord Wyllughby to the Privy Council.
On Saturday, the 7th instant, he received their several letters by Mr. Aldrich, and went the next day to the Hagh to declare to the States her Majesty's and the Council's pleasures therein contained. They have not yet resolved about putting their fleet to sea again, but will consider it, hardly believing the Spanish fleet will return.
They promised to furnish Berghen with all things needful and have already sent some provision thither. They seemed content that the Treasurer should account with them for allowance and reimbursement of the magazine spent.
They have not yet resolved anything about the conversion of the horsebands into footbands, but meanwhile they are very eager to have the horse companies which lie in the Overquarters of Yssell and Geldres march to the relief of Berck. Has done his best to divert them from this plan but they threaten to lay upon him the responsibility for the safety of all those frontier places if this request is refused. Has therefore dealt with them for supplying them on their march, and for assuring them a safe retreat and convenient garrisons at their return.—The Hagh, 10 September, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. ¾ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 279.]
Sept. 10. Sir William Russell to Burghley.
In view of the late mutiny at Ostende, the imprisoning of the Governor, captains, etc., and the danger of such an example, sends Captain Browne, this bearer, to solicit that order be taken "for the qualifying thereof." This place being exposed to the like practices of the enemy, or other evil disposed persons, especially to corrupt the soldiers, he beseeches his lordship to have their pay sent speedily over. Many burghers are undone by forbearing so long the soldiers' old debts, and others are very discontented who before seemed to wish well to England.— Vlisshing, 10 September, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. ¾ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 281.]
Sept. 10. Sir William Russell to Walsingham.
[As in the letter to Burghley, above.]
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. ¾ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 283.]
Sept. 10. Sir William Russell to the Privy Council.
[As in the letter to Burghley, above.]
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. ¾ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 285.]
Sept. 10. "A note of such persons as do daily sue here for money due unto them upon their pay, having the bills of their captains for the same."
l. s. d.
Robert Smyth, musketeer under the Lord Burghe 4 0 0
John Durbancke, sergeant in the same company 13 2 6
Jeffrey Fletcher, soldier in the same company 3 0 0
The widow of Lieutenant George Kellawe, late slain, in the company of Captain Christopher Bloonte 4 4 0
John Davies, late soldier under Sir Walter Waller 12 9 0
Thomas Midleton, late soldier under the same Sir Walter Waller 13 10 0
Redman Moorton, one of the soldiers in the horse company of Sir William Russell 11 18 0
Simon Peckham, one of Capt. Harte's company 9 0 0
Henry Smyth, Lieutenant to Capt. Banaster 25 4 0
— Holney, a soldier of Sir William Russell's 4 0 0
John Style, one of the Lord Burgh his company 5 0 0
—Ryall, a soldier of Capt. Banaster's 6 0 0
Jacob Uvedall, one of Capt. Uvedall's company 20 0 0
Cornet Prescott, for money due by Capt. Bourcher 2 0 0
Samuell Bagnall, Capt. Veere his lieutenant 20 0 0
Capt. Walgrave, for money due to him by Captain Bourcher 3 0 0
Reynolde Younge, one of Capt. Lamberte's company 4 14 0
Thomas Bull, one of Capt. Knollys' company 4 0 0
Christopher Barsey, one of Sir Robert Sidney's company 23 4 3
John Morris, one of Sir Robert Sidney's company 23 9 10
George Aldrige, Lieutenant to Capt. Bannester 30 0 0
Capt. James, for money due to him by Captain Bannaster 10 0 0
Daniel Gerrard, one of Capt. Hender's company 2 0 0
Thomas Davison, one of Sir William Russell his foot company 4 0 0
The aforesaid Daniel Gerrard while he was Capt. Richard Wingefeild his soldier 2 0 0
William Hall, cannoneer of Ostend, as appeareth by his reckoning, under the hand of the mastergunner there 17 9 0
Thomas Williams, cannoneer of Berghen-op-Zome, as appeareth by his reckoning, under the hand of William Reade and the master-gunner there 21 8 10½
[Margin: against the last two names.] These cannoneers have never been accounted withal since November 1585, at which time they were first 'prest.' Therefore it is hard to set down a just reckoning for them.
William Scale, cannoneer of Vlishinge, as appeareth by his reckoning, under the hand of the mastergunner there 10 11 8
William van der Well, shoemaker of Vlishinge, by bills from divers captains, amounting to the sum of 71 18 11
That is to say by the bill of:—
l. s. d.
Sir William Russell 14 3 0
Sir Edward Norris 18 0 0
Capt. Hender 17 0 6
Capt. Errington 11 10 9
Sir John Wingefeild 11 4 8
Summa totalis 380 [sic] 4
Endd. with date. Also Endd. by Burghley "380l. 4s. 0½d., Sir Thomas Shyrley." 1½ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 286.]


  • 1. Abstract in Bertie, Five Generations of a Loyal House, p. 213.
  • 2. Underlined in different ink.
  • 3. See the Privy Council's letter of Sept. 23rd, below, p. 218.