Elizabeth: September 1588, 11-20

Pages 195-214

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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September 1588, 11-20

Sept. 11. Andrea de Loo to [Cobham?].
Received his lordship's letter yesterday. Regrets that his labours are not so highly esteemed as he hoped they would be, but rejoices that his lordship does not give undue credit to others' tales. Has ruined himself in working for the public weal, unless her Majesty assist him as she promised. Is glad that her Majesty and his lordship are favourably inclined to peace. The Duke of Parma has always urged very clearly the need of haste, because he, being but a minister, must use his army as the King commanded. He always expressed a strong desire for an accord, and an agreement would have been made promptly had all her Majesty's conditions for the restoration of the towns been put down in writing. Peace could still be made promptly and safely, if de Loo were considered worthy of the charge. All he did would be confirmed by the King of Spain, and the States General of the Low Countries. Her Majesty would acquire thereby greater renown even than by the late victory: she should follow the magnanimous example of Charles V in 1528.
If M. de Champagney is deceived in what he said, de Loo may much more easily be deceived. Asked Richardot why, if they desired an accord before the fleets met, they should not now? He answered that they desired it more deeply, and, next morning, he said on his Highness behalf, that the Duke could not again take the first step in a negotiation which had been broken off by the recall of the [English] envoys. Some expedient, de Loo thinks, could easily be devised to solve this difficulty. The recent demonstration of God's working would beget in the Duke a will to peace even if it were not previously there. Certainly their intention was cruel and terrible. Thinks that the preparation of rich vestments for the Duke can be explained, and lays more store by the report, spread by a prisoner, and a Spaniard at that, that he desired that realm for himself. It is said that the Duke urged more than a year ago the conquest of England, but Champagney and other principal men have convinced de Loo of the contrary and that since the flight of the Armada it is too difficult.
Must now return home. Desires that a warship may take him safely thither, unmolested by those of Holland and Zeeland.— Cales, 11 September, 1588, stilo vecchio.
Postscript. Would also need his lordship's letters to permit him to come to Dover with his letters, etc., touching the peace-negotiation; or else to have them carried to his lordship's house, to avoid all suspicion.
Hears that the Duke is at Antwerp and means to besiege Berges-up-Zoom. Wishes the aforesaid way to peace might be followed.
Holograph. Endd. by Burghley. Italian. 2 pp. [Flanders IV. f. 295.]
Sept. 12. Andrea de Loo to Burghley.
The courier delayed until to-day. Learns that the Duke had no liking for the invasion of England, but could not fail in his duty, as the King was resolved. He had the garments of red and white velvet (without roses, de Loo understands) made to demonstrate to the Spaniards his zeal in the enterprise. Was assured that his inclination was small by Cosmo (his private secretary), Champagney, and other of his familiars. The Duke himself in a private talk, as well as on other occasions, urged upon de Loo the need of peace. He once said that, although he could take care of himself, he would prefer a peace, and desired to prove his goodwill to her Majesty: he always urged haste, as he was but a minister and the Spaniards were bent on war, their path being made easy by the English even though the King was slow to resolve upon fighting. He said that they meant to return another year, but even so God might again extend to her Majesty the psalmist's promise that non accedet ad te malum et flagellum non appropinquabit, etc. He then spoke of the holy league that would make her Majesty secure from all fear, as the President said, when once peace is made with the King Catholic and the Low Countries have sworn to maintain it. The King would remember that the French King's mother wrote to his father obsecras Caesarem humane conditionis velle esse memorem, et se esse mortalem. Begs that his own zeal herein be not his loss.—Cales, 12 September, 1588.
Postscript. Encloses copy of his letter to Cobham.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Italian. 2 pp. [Flanders IV. f. 297.]
Sept. 12. Lord Wyllughby to Hatton.
Excuses himself for not having written to him, and thanks him for his letters sent by his (Hatton's) servant Prether, albeit they were lost before reaching him.
"The Council of State is re-established, but not in form, neither by due authority; the States General are dissolved and some dispute held . . . to re-assemble them; the frontier places on every side so weak and unfurnished as may greatly encourage the enemy, and [he is] like to prevail wheresoever he shall present; their treasure so badly employed as that they have not wherewith to supply necessary wants and uses."
"The men of war (although there be not any pike amongst them), yet are they so scattered and far removed one from another that there is not such correspondency as were necessary, neither any good order set down for the joint accomplishing of anything; but everyone more specially addicted to the service of such particular persons and provinces under whom they are commanded, than for the general cause."
"For those small forces under my commandment, Ostend is mutinied, Berghen ready to be besieged, the companies of cavalry in the Overquarters of Yssel and Geldres appointed to march to Berck, or else the States ready to protest against me, if I should not accord to them therein. And myself left altogether unfurnished, not able to make a dozen of men to answer any occasions. And it is great[ly] to be doubted that this so disjoined estate cannot but ere long receive a heavy blow."—The Hagh, 12 September, 1588.
Postscript. Since writing this the enemy is 'set down' before Berghen, as the bearer can advertise, as well as of the whole situation.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XXVI. f. 288.]
Sept. 13. [Andrea de Loo] to [Burghley ?]
Again assures his lordship of the Duke of Parma's sincere dealing in the peace treaty and his desire to settle matters in that way rather than by force of arms. His efforts to persuade the King, who agreed to ratify any agreement he might make. Delay, etc., of the commission. De Loo's own great efforts in the cause of peace and the fanatical project of a Spaniard to shoot him as a traitor: the Duke's goodwill to de Loo.
No signature or address. Endd. by Burghley, "13 September, 1588, And. de Loo from Calliss." Italian. 2 pp. [Flanders IV. f. 299.]
Sept. 13/23. The Council of State to the Privy Council.
Cornelis Leysson and his companions, burgesses of Flushing brought a suit six months ago, before the council of her Majesty's Admiralty (le conseil de l'admiraulté), against certain English sea-captains; for two terms they have been unable to obtain sentence. Pray the Privy Council to take such order with the council of the Admiralty that judgement may be pronounced during this next Michaelmas term.—The Hague, 23 September, 1588.
Signed. Chr. Huygens. Add. Endd. "From the States General [sic] to the Lords of the Council," and with note of contents. Seal. French. 2/3 p. [Holland XXVI. f. 290.]
Sept. 13/23. The Council of State to Burghley.
They are writing to the Privy Council about certain claims made by Sir William Stuard, Commendator of Pittenweem, for his past services. These claims do not concern Holland and Zeeland, but Flanders and Brabant, and other provinces where he served. So they have sent this bearer, M. Leonard de Voocht, licentiate of laws, councillor of the States of Holland, to the King of Scotland, with letters stating the case fully against these claims, as Voocht and Ortel will be able more fully to inform Burghley, whose good offices in this, and in all things, they earnestly desire.—The Hague, 23 September, 1588.
Signed Valche. Countersigned Gilpin. Add. Endd. "The States of the Low Countries. By D. Voocht." French. ¾ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 292.]
Sept. 13. Lord Wyllughby to Walsingham.
"This gentleman, the bearer, being lately come out of Italy, I grew into examination of him. I found, amongst others, that he had letters from one Tirwhit in Venice to deliver in England, and, falling into further question of the said Tirwhit, he assureth me that he hath been very conversant and familiar with Cardinal Allen, and that the said Tirwhit meaneth to be shortly in England, as by his letters he hath likewise advertised. I thought good to commend the same to your consideration . . . ."—The Hagh, 13 September, 1588.
Postscript. "I find not anything in this gentleman but, as far as I can gather, that he is very honestly and virtuously disposed."
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of Arms. ½ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 296.]
Sept. 13. Sir William Russell to Walsingham.
Whereas order was lately taken to pay the footbands their weekly loans, according to the numbers present, every man receiving 2s. 6d. weekly; "forasmuch as the officers and gentlemen of companies have always heretofore received greater lendings than half their entertainment by her Majesty's allowance amounted unto, when they understood that this order should take effect they generally showed themselves to be greatly discontented, in so much as both the officers and gentlemen did offer themselves to be discharged, rather than to receive their imprests after that rate."
As he has received no such order for this garrison either from the Council or the Lord General, he has, to avoid such inconveniences as happened at Ostende, entreated the Treasurer, in the Lord General's absence, to disburse the usual loans to this garrison until this bearer, Mr. Digges, can advertise the Privy Council of the dangerous discontentment this order would breed here. Hears that the States have taken Isenstene, Governor of Huisden, upon suspicion of "some great practice with the enemy." The Duke's forces are before Bergues, which they will most probably besiege.—Vlisshing, 13 September, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. ¾ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 295.]
Sept. 13. Copy of a memorandum by Sir Thomas Sherley that 1448l. 15s. 10d. is due to Sir John Burgh, for his horse band and foot band, until 12 October, 1587, all deductions, etc., made.
¼ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 294.]
Sept. 13. Edward Barton to [Walsingham ?].
Had audience with Hassan Bassa, the new Admiral. Found him bountiful in promises of friendship to her Majesty, and complaining greatly of his master's covetousness and the treachery of the Bassas, the one ruining his empire by avarice, the others selling their master's honour and their country's welfare for private gain. He complained especially of "the money being so base, they favouring the clippers and counterfeiters, that by reason thereof not only all merchandise is risen to the treble value of that it was four years ago, but also the victual, which had wont to come in great abundance to this city (being formerly so served as none better), is now retained by reason of the naughty money, everyone refusing to bring provision thereto lest, having sold that which they brought with great peril and charge, they should be forced to take this false money. . ." Hassan Bassa thinks that the Admiralty will be no great advantage to him if, like his predecessors, he is kept at home from his yearly excursions. The office is deprived, moreover, of its chief gain, the government of Pera of Gallippolye or Hellespontus, and of large revenues arising from control of the preferment of all the byes on the coast, which Ebrahim Bassa, when he was Admiral, presented to the Grand Signor. The Admiralty is in fact rather a charge than a profit.
The Viceroy and Bassaies batten upon him like ravens upon carrion, and, whilst enriching themselves at his expense, do all they can to oppugn his former government. They keep Sinan Bassa (the late Viceroy and recently Bassa of Damasco) and encourage him to ask for the Admiralty, seeking at the same time to terrify Hassan with tales of his liberality, "meaning thereby not to fleece him only, but even to shear him bare." They maintain privily certain who accuse him of intercepting, when he was Beglerbye of Argier, presents from the King of Fess to the Grand Signor, and of killing the ambassadors. Hitherto he has always extolled her Majesty to the other Bassaies, and has now handed over to Barton an English captive brought by the galleys from Tunis. He promises that soon there shall not be one English captive left in Turkey and that his friendship with Barton shall be as strong as the enmity between their predecessors.
The Admiral urged him to stir up the Grand Signor to redeem his promises for the furtherance of her Majesty's affairs against the Spaniard. This he does, and will do more effectually "when God shall send the desired news of her Majesty's victory over his huge-stamped Armado," in terror whereof these men despair not only of her victory but of her government. He points out that her power is not inferior, her former victories, her present preparations, the advantage of her ships being all warlike, and the cunning and courage of her mariners, but "being but one Micheas against so many Ballaintes cannot change their opinion, which is grounded upon the false advices sent hither weekly by the adversaries of England. Sometimes they report the overthrow of her Majesty's navy; at others, the Spaniards' landing in Scotland, or a conspiracy between them and the King of Scots, or the taking of Barwicke and four other castles. His efforts to discredit such rumours are laughed at, and but for Don Solomon Abymincis, a Portingall Jew, formerly called Don Alvaro Mendas, who confirms his reasoning, he would not have the face to visit anyone, having no advices but those which he hears from his enemies Whilst he can only allege reasons against his enemies, based upon his hope that God will defend "his little Mount Sion," they terrify the Grand Signor with reports of the Spanish power and great Armado, "sufficient, as some sycophants here say, to bring little England away in their ballast." The Hungarian, French, Venetian, and Ragusan, ambassadors receive advices from their governments every month, and in critical times every fortnight. It is especially necessary to have frequent advices against February next and the following four months, that being the season when they prepare their navy for sea. Desires his honour to cause some trusty servant to write in figure [i.e. cipher] his determination touching his [Barton's] letters of August 1 and 15, and also advices from England. Faithfulness and good affection of Don Alvaro: the only reward he desires is to know that his good services are made known to her Majesty. Suggests thanking him for the affection he showed in the time of the deceased Admiral, who (being at mortal enmity with Harborne) "sent nine English captives, whom the Grand Signor had commanded him to set at liberty, to the foresaid Don Alvaro for a present; whom he having well entertained and refreshed in his house, incontinently sent to Mr. Harborne, not without some expense upon the Admiral's men that brought them."
Three days ago Hassan Bassa was suddenly ordered to put to sea. Barton first heard this from the Venetian Bailoe, who feared some danger to Venice, and desired him privily to enquire the cause of this order. The Admiral told Barton that there were two reasons. The first was "for provision of the city," the Grand Signor having had intelligence that all the corn and other victual, bought wheresoever in his dominions to be brought hither, was by reason of the naughty aspers carried in most great abundance into Christendom, his own subjects in the meantime famishing for want thereof; the said Hassan Bassa having full authority to hang and burn all the offenders therein and their goods, having besides commandment that the aspers, be they never so false, bad, or clipped, shall pass currently. And yet with the same commandment went another also that the poor people his subjects and other shall not pay for tribute, tax, or other duty to the King other than dollars or ducats of gold, which is a sore racking to the poorer sort, who, forced to take aspers for their goods, can hardly find either ducat of gold or dollar; and therefore they that go with Hassan Bassa in this business carry great store of such coin with them, that seeing the poor people in extremity they may sell them the dollars, which pass commonly at 85 aspers, for 95 and a hundred, and the ducats after the same rate, and yet after with the said aspers perforce buy their corn or other goods. The second reason for his going forth, he said, was that he heard that Andrea Doria had sent to the King of Spain, offering to attack Tunis this summer, and that he had been licensed to do so. Doria had 30 or 40 galleys. Hassan Bassa, fearing for his wife and all his treasure, which are still there, hastens to sea: he has 20 galleys ready, Recep Bassa, who has the guard of the Archipelago, another 20, and the corsairs of Argia, Tripoly, and Tunis, will join him. However, winter is so near that probably neither Doria nor he will do anything.
Wrote previously of the difference between Lancomo and Gondolo, a Ragusan merchant. The matter has been brought before the Viceroy, the ambassador's secretary being the accuser, and his family the witnesses, against Gondolo, who defends himself stoutly, bringing his neighbours to witness that the ambassador and his servants "assaulted his house in the night-time, to kill him": this remains to be proved three days hence.
Hears that the Persians "would gladly make peace with this," but he will not agree until Ardevile is taken or yielded.
At the shutting up of his letters, was informed that Andrea Doria has burnt Biserta. If this is true, hopes it "will make these drowsy secure sleepers to look up and . . . revenge themselves."—Rapamet, 13 September, 1588.
Signed. Endd. 5¼ pp. close writing. [Turkey I. 54.]
Sept. 14. Sir John Conway to Burghley.
According to his lordship's pleasure "to understand which nature of our victuals was most faulty: the corn was exceeding good; the beer good; some part of the cheese indifferent, the most of it very ill; and the butter, such as it was, most bad." The victualler acknowledged that some of his provision was indifferent, but blamed their necessity and the short time allowed him, and promised to provide better in future.
The beer was good for four or five days, then went sour through bad brewing. Since, all their victuals have been sufficient and good, and the late discontentment was not due to the common soldiers' dislike. On the Saturday morning, their pay-day, they took their weekly lendings very contentedly, and Conway told them that money had been sent to Myddelborowgh, and that henceforward they should get weekly lendings, "as well money as victuals, which should be good." For their better belief, he presented among them Sir Thomas Shirle's deputy, Mr. Mole, who had been detained here for four days by contrary winds.
Next morning (Sunday) the victualler's man arrived with some provision of corn, and many soldiers were at the waterside "to see the goings forth of the boats and the comings in." A few evil disposed soldiers threw the victualler's man off the bridge into the haven, and when he regained the shore pelted him with 'clotts' and stones. Captain Hody and the Sergeant-Major tried to restore order, but the soldiers disregarded them "by reason their officers laughed at their doings and gave no admonition of redress." Captain Hody was himself hit once or twice, and threatened to draw his rapier upon them, but they rudely answered that it belonged not to his charge.
The Sergeant-Major informed Conway, who was then dispatching letters to the Lord General. Conway went down, and on the way commanded the guard at the "haven port" to allow no more soldiers to come out, but to receive in those he should command. The guard doubted if they could prevent them, but he was sure they would not attack the guard unless by order. At the waterside he bade the men all good morrow and desired them to retire into the town, as they were hindering the unlading of necessary provisions.
As they were quietly going in through the 'port,' one turned back, and refused to go in without money, which Conway promised him. But he thereupon refused to go in unless all were given money, and despite Conway's promise that all should be satisfied, called to the soldiers to stay. Conway seized him and ordered the Sergeant-Major to take him into ward, whereupon he drew his sword upon Conway and shouted to the soldiers "to help him if they were men." At least a hundred drew their swords and the guard bent their pikes against Conway to keep him out. Conway drew his rapier, "ran in" the chief of them, exchanged the rapier for a pike, and aided by the Sergeant-Major and his own men won the 'port,' whereupon they all ran away, crying "arm, arm."
As soon as he was through the 'port,' most, or all, of the captains, lieutenants and other officers joined him from their dinner, and he sent them all to their quarters, with orders to suffer no companies to come out of their quarters together.
Conway staying awhile "upon the guard" to give some orders, Captain Lamberd's company came up to him, in arms and without any officers, and demanded money. No sooner had he satisfied them with promises than Sir Walter Waller's company came up in arms. He told Waller's lieutenant and ancient, who had just come to him, that he ought to be ashamed of his government of a company that took up arms without orders, and ordered him to withdraw them to their quarters. Neither the lieutenant nor any officer of his went, but allowed the men to approach Conway, who after a quarter of an hour's speech (during which no officer came to him or to the men) had persuaded them to retire, disarm, and then to return, and he, with the captains and burghers, would help them to their weekly lendings. Just then Sir Edmund Carry's company came up in like disorder but less tractable: while he was speaking to them a sergeant came up and used some violence to urge them to depart, and thereupon they fired ten or twelve muskets at Conway. They missed him, though he was but six yards away. He refused their demands because there were four more companies coming up behind him with drums sounding, and he hoped to persuade them with reasonable speech, the only means possible for he had barely 30 persons with him. However they would not listen, but with their pikes and pieces trained upon him and matches in their 'cocks,' enclosed him and his attendants and carried them off to the common gaol, where he stayed a night and two days, as did all the captains and officers, except Sir Walter Waller. Presumes to send this true account of the beginning of this disorder, now appeased, since Burghley asked for it by Mr. Broke.
This disorder grew not from the common soldier, but from some needy and riotous officers, discontented for want of money. The truth will appear in the examination ordered by the Privy Council.
It was "wonderful dangerous," but now all is well appeased.
Contrary winds have delayed the arrival of their money, but there are no signs of discontent or revolt: meanwhile he does what he can to relieve them with a half week's pay.
A gentleman named Ralph Lygons, who has long lived on the King's side, desires him through Captain Barny to be a mediator with Burghley and Mr. Secretary that he may return to live loyally under her Majesty's rule. He knows much of foreign causes and the secrets of many who live in England and deal in foreign actions.
Mr. Tressam also wants him to write to the Lord Chancellor on his behalf "to make his way": he can do good service, it seems. If orders be sent by some discreet man to Barny at Calysse, the matter could proceed. Begs Burghley to think the best of him (Conway) until he hears the truth of the late disorders here. Burghley's last letter fell into the soldiers' hands and convinced them that Conway had written for pay, lendings, and better victuals, whereupon they were filled with remorse for their past unkindness towards him, and resolved that he alone should have the credit for ending their disorder. Hearing of this, he spoke earnestly to them and successfully concluded the matter.— Ostend, 14 September, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 42/3 pp. small writing. [Holland XXVI. f. 298.]
Sept. 15. Lord Wyllughby to the Privy Council.
Leaves to this bearer the relation of the situation here, being himself too busy to write at length.—"From Berghen besieged," 15 September, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. "Agreement of the mutinies at Ostend" [sic]. ¼ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 301.]
Sept. 15. Lord Wyllughby to Burghley.
This bearer and the enclosed advertisements will inform him of the situation here.
As regards his lordship's late instructions for the paying of lendings "in that strait form," besides that the companies here are fair and full, "the daily actions of war which happens now [in] this siege are such as captain and poor soldier, losing both horse and arms, would be utterly discouraged if they had not, to ransom their bodies, cure their wounds, and reinforce their companies, some small favour therein. What charge a captain is tied unto with the gentlemen of his company, which is both the strength of the company and the assured means for the captain to keep them by their persuasions and opinions from all mutinies and disorders," he leaves to Burghley's judgment.—"From Berghes besieged," 15 September.
Postscript. Beseeches him to procure them some more treasure. [In a clerk's hand] Encloses brief remembrance of the state of things here.
Holograph. Add. Endd. "By Wyat." 1 p. [Holland XXVI. f. 305.]
Advertisements. (fn. 1)
As the enemy long hovered about Berghen and all intelligences assured his intention of besieging it, the Lord General went to the Hagh to seek aid from the States. On September 13, being informed more certainly of the enemy's intention, he hastened to Berghen, arriving on Saturday afternoon, the 14th. The enemy were then "encamped on every side the town, within cannonshot." Immediately afterwards they advanced towards the Stenberghen port, but were repulsed (with heavy loss, as a captured lieutenant-colonel of the regiment lately Barlaymont's confesses) by a sally. A Scots lieutenant, who surrendered that evening, confesses that at the same time the Duke of Parma had two pages slain by a cannon-shot and a marquis had his horse killed as they rode round the town on Antwerp side.
The enemy lay still all night, except that he was heard hewing timber.
On Sunday, September 15, the Lord General sent to the States for victuals, powder, bullet, artillery, palisadoes, etc., which they had before promised but had not sent. Nothing is to be hoped from them. The few men they have sent are ready to mutiny for want of victuals, etc.
Worse events likely to follow from the discontentment caused by the publication of her Majesty's orders for so strict observation in paying the lendings. It leaves them nothing with which "to redeem prisoners, cure wounds, repair arms, and reinforce their companies (though they be already fair and strong), neither to give countenance to gentlemen (the strength and assured means of companies from mutinies and disorders)."
The only hope of assistance is in her Majesty, for the States will give only promises, he has no authority to draw men from the cautionary towns, and the rest are very barely furnished.
Were some men drawn out of the cautionary towns and, together with a new supply of 2000 or 3000, lodged in Tertoll or Bommerswalle, victualled, etc., for six months, the enemy army would be wearied, and the neck of the King of Spain's designs broken. Dangerous consequences of defeat here.
Desires her Majesty to send hither provisions and powder in an English hoy, which might remain a little outside the head, guarded by the warships and a ship of his lordship's: the supplies to be used only in extreme necessity.
His lordship went there chiefly because, having no other means to relieve them, he thought to encourage them by his presence and to avoid discontentments among them.
Endd, as above, by Burghley. 1¾ pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 396.]
Sept. 15. Lord Wyllughby to Walsingham.
Leaves all to the relation of this bearer. Requests Walsingham's support.—"From Berghen besieged," 15 September, 1588.
Postscript. Encloses a copy of a discourse about the troubles at Ostend given to him by Brackenbury, late Sergeant-Major.
Signed. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 303.]
Probably enclosing:—
"A note to my Lord General of the state of Ostend and what effect his lordship's letter took generally with the best sort," [by Brackenbury ?].
All but a few upon audience of his letter agreed to hazard their lives upon his lordship's word in her Majesty's service.
Lest the lives of some companies were 'shot at' more than others, they agreed to send 18 from every company.
As this sending away of men would weaken the town, they thought good to come to an agreement with their old governor, Sir John Conway: he gave them his word to move his lordship to intercede with her Majesty for their pardon, for a full payment to date, for the payment of their weekly lendings, "and not to be put to provant at all": if this were not done in six weeks, he would sell all his lands in England to pay them.
He made this offer because he perceived a disposition among the worst sort to kill all their officers, who are their prisoners: the town must then have been given over to the enemy.
On these conditions they released him and restored him to his former government, except that they were to be privy to all that he wrote to her Majesty, the Council, or Willoughby.
Such as should come to this service being appointed, they unanimously chose the writer as their leader, and took him out of prison after he had sworn not to seek revenge for his great injuries.
When he came away, certain bad men tried to persuade them not to go on this service to Willoughby and to imprison Conwaie again unless he would promise every soldier six months' pay.
The 'troop,' however, assured him that if he would lead they would follow, and fight any who would stay them. They marched down and departed unmolested. Knows not what happened to their demand for six months' pay.
The men complained to him that "divers of their necessary things which they should wear in this journey were in pawn," so, seeing their willing minds to this service, he lent them all a week's lendings to redeem their things. Conwaie promised them that that week's lendings should be paid upon their landing in Zeeland: it was duly given to him (the writer) by Kennell and he paid them. Kennell allowed but 2s. 6d. a man, whereas divers gentlemen of this troop have had great lendings allowed by their captains and that of the meanest gentleman is 3s. Has made this up to them likewise, and now depends upon Willoughby's favour for repayment of it and of the other week's lendings.
The captains and other officers of Ostend were still in prison.
12/3 pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 398.]
Sept. 16. Lord Wyllughby to the Privy Council.
Encloses writings and advertisements from Ostend received since his last letters. For the rest refers them to this bearer.— "Berghen besieged," 16 September, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. ¼ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 312.]
Sept. 17. Sir William Drury to Burghley.
Has received his letters of August 29. Is encouraged by her Majesty's good words about him to Burghley, but is far more discouraged by the decision to remove him from his government. Cannot gainsay her Majesty's choice, but will say that were the Colonel ten times as good a soldier as he is considered to be, yet it would be "too great a charge for his brain" to defend this place against so mighty, wise, and experienced an enemy without help from England and these countries and a wise council. Would not have undertaken so great a charge without the counsel of wiser than himself. His disgrace will be the more exceptional and signal, because he had all the work of fortifying the place during the summer and has already stood three weeks' siege. Nevertheless, will obey her Majesty's will.
The falseness of the malicious rumours of his lack of credit with the burghers here, through his unwise carriage of himself towards them, will be sufficiently revealed by their own attestation, which he has reluctantly sent to Lady Stafford to show to his lordship in his own justification. He understood that some blushed not to assure Burghley at the Council table that divers burghers had left the town because of Drury's being in command there. Actually, for every one who has left, ten have returned, several houses have been re-edified this summer which have not been dwelt in these three or four years, and the town has not been so prosperous for several years.— Bargan-up-Zom, 17 September, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1½ pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 314.]
Sept. 18. The States of Utrecht to the Queen.
Their sorrow at the Earl of Leicester's death. Praise his zeal for the true religion and the preservation of these Low Countries. They hope her Majesty will make good their loss by some more signal favour. They thank God for her glorious victory over the Spaniards.—Utrecht, 18 September, 1588, stylo veteri.
Signed, Strick. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. French. ¾ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 320.]
Sept. 18/28. [Willoughby ?] to The Council of State.
Desiring them to hasten the companies of footmen which before he left the Hague they promised to send to him to reinforce this garrison. Two thousand men besides those now here are necessary to the defence of the place, as he has often before informed them. Victuals of all sorts are also necessary, there being but small store here, according to the commissary. Pioneers are needed, and only 200 shovels were sent (which seems a mockery when the enemy daily approaches). Desires them to send at once four thousand shovels and as many wheelbarrows, a thousand pikes at least, one hundred thousand pounds of powder for the cannons, a good number of muskets if possible, and double guncarriages for both cannon, culverins and other pieces. As they have thought good to send the English horse companies rather towards Berch than the Pays de Terthole, where they are more needed, they should be paid by the Council of State, for the chest of her Majesty's treasurer is so charged that he can spare none.— Bergen-op-Zoom, 28 September, 1588, stilo novo.
Endd. French. ¾ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 322.]
Sept. 18/28. Jehan le Michel to Walsingham.
Excuses his temerity in writing, because it is on behalf of one so esteemed by her Majesty and the Lords of her court as is the Seigneur de Sonoy, and in the matter of those debts of 4000 florins which he cannot pay without selling his possessions, his means being at most 500 florins de rentes, and his possessions being in the enemy's hands. The 4 months' delay in fulfilling her Majesty's promises to the writer has ruined Sonoy and his friends. Her Majesty told him that she thought Sonoy was informed as soon as Leicester arrived in England of the Earl's resignation of the government, whereas actually it was always concealed from him. The Earl of Leicester told him that he had means enough to maintain the governor Sonoy in England if her Majesty did not, but Leicester is dead. Sonoy acted by the Earl's command and in acting lost all—friends, goods, and some five or six thousand florins of wages; therefore he now wishes Walsingham to secure him an audience with her Majesty that he may explain his position to her. Can certify the truth of all this, as he has for 15 years managed his affairs. Sonoy is a man of few words, therefore Michel writes this. Must lament the loss of the late Earl of Leicester, who gave him a house at Wanstadt and 40l. stirling de rente, and spoke to her Majesty in his favour to get him a benefice. The earl's death has deprived him of this means.—Grootebrouch, 28 September, 1588, stilo novo.
Holograph. Add. Endd. "From M. Mychel, the minister." French. 1¼ pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 318.]
Sept. 18. The Consuls and Senators of Königsberg to the Queen.
They have received her Majesty's letters, but their intercession with the Prince their lord has not availed to procure restitution of certain English merchants' confiscated goods. As the goods were inadequately described, his Highness is unable to dispense with the punishment appointed for this breach of his commands. They pray that they may not be blamed for this decision, especially as no advantage to themselves has resulted from it. Will further petition the Prince to remit some part of his right and, if possible, to restore the said goods. Pray that their state may remain in her Majesty's grace and favour.—Königsberg, 18 September, '88.
Add. Endd. Latin. 12/3 pp. [Sweden I. 29.]
Sept. 20. Notes by Burghley of names of French ministers, etc.:—
The Chancellor—"Charged thus by the French King: racked all the world for his own profit."
Villeroy—"Presumptuous to rule all."
Belliever—"Thought to be a Huguenot.—All these displaced."
Brulard—"For ten crowns would betray all."
Combault—First Maitre d'hostel, and his wife, tire-woman to the Queen regnant.
"Chenaylles and his brother Miron, the physician, rule about the King."
"Ryvolle, in Villeroy's place. A friend to Espernon."
"Montelon, hath the Great Seals—A constant man."
"Minzon, commis to one that was belonging to Monsieur."
Endd. by Burghley. "20 September, 1588. Change of Counsellors in France." ½ p. [France XVIII. 163.]
[Sept. 20 ?] Further notes by Burghley of the same:—
"Of the Duke of Guise."
"Monsieur de Chyverny, Chancellor. In his place, Mountelon."
"Villeroy. In place of him Ryvoll, that have followed Duke d'Espernon and was aforetime ambassador with the old Duke of Savoy."
"Pynart. Depended of the Queen Mother."
"M. de Chenaylles. Superintendant of the Finances, and brother to Myron, the physician."
"Bellievre. No 'Legar,' but yet displaced."
Captains of Guards. "Larchant of Potyoo."
"Manno, brother of M. Doo."
"Villequier. Followeth the Queen Mother. He was principal gentleman of the Chamber, into which place Espernon was admitted, and now M. de Terms hath that place."
"Marshals of France. M. Montmorency, M. de Byron, M. d'Omont, Marshall de Retz [margin "hisp."]".
Endd. by Burghley. "1588. Counsellors in France removed." 1⅓ pp [France XVIII. 164.]
Sept. 20. Lord Wyllughby to Burghley. (fn. 2)
Encloses a journal of their actions, which he has caused to be kept. Sir William Drury "brake his lance very valiantly in the front of the enemy," and deserves the greater commendation in that he humbly obeyed her Highness' command "and yet served her more forwardly than those that received the sweet." Vere, Baskervyle, and Parker, captains of horse and foot, "did do very valiantly," and Mr. Wylford's merits ("who is lightly shot in the leg") are too well-known to need commendation. Has spent much to further the defence of this place, but now that another has, or boasts that he has, the charge of all her Majesty's forces here, would willingly "quit all to the experienced wisdom and value of Sir Thomas Morgan." Would be sorry for the consequences to the English were it lost. Praises God that he has twice fought with the enemy's greatest forces and returned "though not a conqueror, yet no loser." If ever Morgan, though he have command of the town (a distinct charge, as the precedent of Sir Roger Williams and Balfour proves), should meddle with Willoughby's 'regiment' of her Majesty's English forces, he (Willoughby) desires to be recalled.—"From Berghhes besieged." 20 September.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 2⅓ pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 323.]
A Journal of the services at Bergen-op-Zoom, 14 to 20 September. (fn. 3)
September 14. As in the advertisements calendared at p. 204, above, under date September 15.
September 15. An uneventful sally.
His lordship moved that all the burghers be appointed to work on the fortifications, but it was delayed and they would not be brought to it.
September 16. Powder, match, lead, etc., arrived from the States of Zeeland, as appears by the list.
Also cheese and oats, provided at the Lord General's charge, as appears by the list.
The magistrates, after much pressure from Willoughby, promised to reply that afternoon about the burghers working.
Proclamation was made that no soldier walk about without his arms, upon pain of strappado. No soldier to leave his quarter without his officer's licence, upon pain of death, but to remain upon their guard and keep the walls free from strangers. No sergeant to leave his quarter without his captain's licence, upon pain of death. Of the cavalry that watch by night, two should go round on foot every hour during the next day and commit any causing disorder in their quarters.
Edward Flud, (fn. 4) formerly in the Lord General's troop, who on the death of another had fled to the enemy and served under Sir William Stanley, returned to Berghen and brought details of the enemy's strength. (fn. 4) He said that the reason for the enemy standing to arms all this afternoon was that an English deserter had said that a sally was to be made.
This afternoon the Lord General told the burghers that if they would not willingly work in their own defence, they should be forced to do so, whereupon they yielded.
By the advice of the captains, etc. (who considered that no one man could at once direct the defence and the fortifications) the town was divided into three quarters: from Stenberghen port to the water-port under the Lord General, from the water-port to Wau port under the Sergeant-Major-general, and from Wau port to Stenbergh port under the Governor. Certain companies were appointed to guard, and certain burghers to work, in each quarter.
"In the Lord General's quarter without la gardes raveline was wrought a strado coperta with a traversing line flanking the mount, the north fort, and the haven."
"In the Sergeant-Major's quarter was wrought a fosse bray to prevent the mines."
17 September. His lordship got all the burghers to work and spent the day on the walls superintending them. The enemy "lodged their quarters somewhat nearer together" and brought faggots, presumably to make a bridge between their camps. Count Solmes and Marshal Villiers came this evening to see the fortifications, "which they liked very well;" they left next day. A 'drum' of Sir William Stanley's surrendered.
18 September. Sir Thomas Morgan arrived, with the States' commission for the government of the town. His lordship at once offered him the keys and all that to which his commission entitled him. Morgan refused this offer, and said that if his authority were thought insufficient "to command all her Majesty's forces there, he would have it published to all the captains and soldiers, and they should judge of it. For either he would absolutely command, or refuse all." His lordship refused to yield his own authority upon "such capitulations," unless by direction from her Majesty or her Council. In the afternoon Count Solmes and Marshall Villiers persuaded Morgan to accept the Lord General's offers. The Lord General soon afterwards desired him to prevent the soldiers from pulling down more houses, and to save the timber of those already pulled down: also to have the burghers brought to work at eight o'clock every morning on the fortifications, as he had begun. This evening the Lord General, Solmes, and Villiers required Morgan to send a boat into the river to Tertolle to learn the enemy's purposes, but this was not done. Hearing that the enemy was come down to a bank toward Tertolle, the Lord General offered to attack them there at the same time as Solmes and Villiers fell upon them from Tertolle side.
19 September. A council of captains resolved that the Governor should order the burgomaster and drossaard to quarter the town. Seven companies to go to the forts; the rest to stay in the town; the choice to be made by lot. Each captain in the forts to have seven lodgings reserved in the town for hurt and sick men. The walls to be quartered to the captains by billets.
Note of works, etc., to be presently advanced, delivered to the Governor. To advance those already begun. Two blinds inside and outside Wau port, to cover the drawbridges, also "the sally at the end of the traverse without to make a strada coperta. To cast a mine through the 'rampier' against the heronry upon the height of the foot of the gallery there intended. To make a blind to defend the beating of the heronry hill." A blind "on the corner of the 'rampier' next the watermill, to keep the curtain leading to the water-port from flanking." A blind "to cover the sally of Wau port upon the right-hand coming forth. To trench down into Sir William Drury's mount, to lead the men covert into the same, as also to cover and guard them there."
20 September. His lordship, to give the inexperienced troops practice, drew forth some horse and foot squadrons. The enemy fell upon them, a skirmish ensued, and the artillery fired from the walls upon the enemy, who lost divers slain and taken prisoner, among them Count Nicolo's cornet.
His lordship advised the Governor to issue a new proclamation commanding soldiers never to walk without their arms or leave their quarters: the former proclamation much disobeyed. This night the enemy "entrenched himself within caliver-shot of Wau port." This morning the Lord General and the Governor decided to make a sally there, but put it off because Captain Bannester brought a false report that the enemy was "drawing down round about." Might have undone the night's work in a couple of hours. The evening after very foul.
Endd. by Burghley. 7½ pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 325.]
Sept. 20. Petition of the Deputies of Ostend to the Queen.
Acknowledge that Oisthend, the only entry into Flanders now remaining open, owes its preservation to her Majesty's aid of men, money, and munitions. But the town is ruined, the houses overthrown and destroyed, the fishing industry broken by the flight of the richer burghers some years ago owing to the garrison's disorders. Cannot therefore compete with the towns and provinces of Holland and Zeeland, with their rich revenues from dues, licences, etc., upon goods arriving from this side and from other kingdoms and provinces. Oisthend, being a member of Flanders, abandoned by the States General though a member of the same union, is likewise competent to levy dues and grant licences for trade with Flanders, Brabant, and other provinces not of the union. This is the only way to a revival of its fortunes, to attract back the rich burghers and their ships, and to entertain the garrison more adequately. They desire her Majesty to grant her assent and permission for them to issue these licences. Otherwise the few remaining burghers will leave the town.
Endd. with date. French. 2¾ pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 331.]
[Sept. 20 ?] Petition of the Bailiff, Burgomasters, and Échevins of Ostend to the Queen.
Ostend being poor, is unable to pay its ordinary and extraordinary charges without the imposts, etc., long ago granted to them by their superiors the Counts and Countesses of Flanders, which her Majesty has confirmed and which the Earl of Leicester upon his entry into the government of the United Provinces swore to observe. Their lordships the Governors have had a reasonably good regard for these privileges, until certain English merchants undertook to bring to Ostend English goods, including wheat, cheese, and beer. Upon these goods they refused to pay any duty, alleging them to be for her Majesty's store there. This appears to be false as the beer was sold at a very high price to the captains, and victuallers and ale-house keepers, whether English, burgesses, or others. This refusal to pay the duty, will, whilst ruining the soldiers, deprive the town of privileges without which it cannot carry on the administration. They therefore desire her Majesty to give order that the merchants shall pay the duty upon those goods already sent over and upon all which they shall in future send.
Undated. French. 2½ pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 333.]
Sept. 20/30. Christoffel Roels to Walsingham.
Has received Walsingham's full reply to his last. Now the siege of Bergen gives him occasion to write three words. English goodwill is very necessary, because assistance is needed, and also something should be done to remove the misunderstandings between her Majesty's servants. The Council of State in accordance with her Majesty's letters, have placed Colonel Morgan in the government of Bergen, where Drury was in possession. Drury is favoured by Willoughby, who is himself assisting the defence of the town; both are much displeased. One of the two should be recalled, lest so important a town be lost through their disagreements.
The confession of the prisoner Damhoudre, which Ortel has probably communicated, will show Walsingham that the writer's fear of the avarice of English merchants was not groundless. Hopes he is no prophet, and that they may see the King of Spain's death, which would bring them the peace which they desire. Her Majesty and her Council know that, besides the common saying that faith need not be kept with heretics, Spain seeks to get the better of England, and then to get peaceful possession of these countries, meaning, doubtless, to seize the slightest pretext for revenge. Thanks him for giving order for Killegrey to repay this poor man who acquitted himself so faithfully.—Flushing, 30 September, 1588.
Postscript. Rejoices to have met Bornhem, who brought Walsingham's letter. Finds that in Sir Robert Sidney the perfections of the late Monseigneur de Sidney live again. Condolences upon the latter's untimely death.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Seal. French. 3 pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 337.]
Sept. 20. Adrien de Saravia to Walsingham.
Begs his favour to remove the stain cast upon the writer's name, and through him upon the Church, by the false public accusation of those of Leiden that he, and several others, are traitors. His life was in danger everywhere save among the late Earl of Leicester's suite or in the towns held by the English. Was neither called upon to answer, nor informed of the sentence against him, which he now learns is one of banishment and confiscation of goods, the grounds being that he did not reveal a plan to seize Paul Buys, Pieter Adrians, burgomaster, and Jan van Haute, clerk. He was not informed of the plan, and he did reveal what he knew to his Excellency the GovernorGeneral. Protests his innocence. Was cited before partial and incompetent judges who had twice been forbidden to proceed in his case. Left Leyden and came to England by order of the Lieutenant and Governor-General of her Majesty, his sovereign princess for 20 years, yet final sentence was passed during his absence. Has written twice in vain to Count Maurice and the Estates of Holland, and has sent a protest to the provincial Council of Holland. Desires Walsingham to write on his behalf to Kilgrewe and Guilpin, and to ask Ortel whether he has received any answer from the Estates of Holland to the letter which he promised to write.—Tattenhill in Stafforshere, 20 September, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. French. Seal. 2¾ pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 329.]
Sept. 20. "The places where the companies serving in the Low Countries are disposed."
[The names of the captains of the foot-bands and their positions as in the musters 15 August, p. 137, above. No numbers given.
The names of the captains of the horsebands, with the number of each band in list, as in the musters, 15 August, but without any details as to their positions and with the addition of Captain Thomas Knolles' band, of 100 in list.]
Endd. with date. 1½ pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 335.]


  • 1. Abstract in Bertie, Five Generations of a Loyal House, pp. 215–6: cf. H.M.C. Ancaster MSS., pp. 201 et seq.
  • 2. Abstract, with considerable quotation, in Bortie, Five Generations of a Loyal House, pp. 221–2.
  • 3. Abstracts from this are printed in Bertie, Five Generations of a Loyal House, pp. 214–21: cf. also, the Journal printed in H.M.C., Ancaster MSS., pp. 210 et seq., which varies somewhat from that here calendared.
  • 4. Underlined.