Elizabeth: September 1588, 21-30

Pages 214-232

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, 21-30

Sept. 21. Sir William Russell to Burghley.
Her Majesty consented that he might come over to England as soon as the Duke of Parma removed his forces out of Flanders. It is very necessary he should come over, both for the town's business and his own private affairs, and as the Duke's forces have now entrenched themselves before Bergues, he desires his lordship to obtain present leave for him. Cannot write certainly that the enemy means to attempt Bergues, as he has not yet planted his artillery, although he has all provision in readiness nearby and first appeared before the town 12 or 14 days ago.— Vlisshing, 21 September, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 339.]
Sept. 22. Memorial for Richard Thompson, sent to the Duke of Parma.
To repair at once to Calais; thence to send Gonsalvez de Sarza's letters to the Duke, and require a safe conduct.
When he has obtained licence and passport, he shall inform the Duke that her Majesty can be content to release, upon reasonable ransom, such Spaniards, and other subjects of the King of Spain, as were taken in the late conflict [over overthrow, struck out] of the Spanish navy.
Although large and particular offers have been made for these prisoners, yet her Majesty is willing, if the Duke, or his deputy, will enter into a special agreement for them all (except the principal persons), to release them upon payment at the rate of 15 ducats each, sufficient security for the payment being given.
Should the Duke agree, the security required "is of bands of merchants of Antwerp, or other of the King's subjects, for payment to be made, within a time to be agreed upon, here within the city of London."
The prisoners upon their release should be sent directly to Spain or Italy, not to the Low Countries.
For their transporting to Spain, the Duke may have his choice of these two ways: they may go in ships provided by him; or in English ships, at some reasonable and agreed rate, safe-conduct being granted for the ships' return.
Draft, with corrections. Signatures of W. Burghley, C. Howard, F. Walsingham copied at foot. Endd. 1½ pp. [Flanders IV. f. 301.]
Sept. 22. Memorial from Killigrew for Mr. Seoretary.
The States have farmed out their contributions, which will probably amount to the old 'quote' of 200,000 florins monthly, besides the "convoys and licences for the maintenance of their navy," which they think might be greatly increased were all traffic into Spain prohibited, save with passport from England or these countries.
Fears Captain Hitchock's delay will make his letters to Walsingham [margin: 4 September] very stale. Wrote at the same time to the Lord Steward: desires Walsingham to open that letter so that he may consider the suggested enterprise, of which another draft is hereinclosed. A like offer has been made to recover the land of Groeninghen.
The King of Spain, as all believe and as the prisoners assert, will assail England again next year, so her Majesty should do all possible to break the Duke of Parma's force this winter, it being the Spaniards' only means to attack England.
The Councillors that Utrecht sent hither, [margin: about the end of August] have returned, because they were not permitted to have two assistants in Council. Frizeland, once so forward, cannot yet be persuaded to send Councillors. In Overissell the sending of Councillors is delayed by the refusal of the town of Svoll.
The enemy of late [margin: about the 8 September] attacked the island of Tertoll, but was repulsed with loss, and now is before Berghen-op-Zoom. [Struck out. Encloses list of provisions sent thither.]
Count Maurice has returned. He bought Iselstein (one of Count Hohenlo's followers) out of his government of Huisden for 8000 guilders, and put Famas in his place, so that Bonmiell, under Colonel Balfoure, is the only town left at Count Hohenlo's devotion. Count Maurice goes to look to the defence of Tertoll, for which 3000 men are considered necessary. Berghen requires as many or more. Sees not how they would maintain such forces. Has persuaded them to make an extraordinary levy of 2000 men for a month or two. They expect little from the English companies and believe that when the muster-masters (now appointed in each garrison town) view the forces, they will find but half the numbers promised by the treaties.
Sir Martin Skenck is in the Overquartier of Guelderland, and has victualled Bergh, it is said for 6 months. [Margin: About the beginning of September.] Skenck is at a fort called Bliembeck, hurt in the arm, but his forces are over the river, "into the land of Pele on Brabant side," to gather contributions. To guard their line of retreat he has 'raised' a fort on the other side of the water. Hears this morning [margin: 22 September] from Utrecht that Bon has made an honourable capitulation, "their bag and baggage brought to Bergh, themselves come with ensigns displayed, match light [sic], and bullet in their mouths," hostages being sent to Bergh beforehand for their assurance.
Sixteen Spaniards from Sluys recently came in a small boat within the lines about Zeeland, and carried off a kinsman of Councillor Valke. They came again, but were taken and hanged as 'freebuyters' by those of Rotterdam, who had received intelligence of their coming.
News comes from Antwerp of a funeral celebration with 800 torches, which suggests that some great man of the enemy's was slain before Berghen or Tertoll.
Those of Guelderland have written to ask for men, victuals, etc., for Arnhem etc., as they look to be attacked by the forces which were besieging Bon. But these people's means are very weak and they have no man of command to place in Arnhem, etc., the Marshal Viliers and Famas, "the only men of direction they have at this time," being otherwise employed, the one in Tertoll and the other at Huisden. They are determined to resist, but their means do not match their minds, for until the States General meet (probably about November 21) no extraordinary levy can be made. Meanwhile the whole burden rests upon Holland. Walsingham may judge whether it be expedient to relieve them "at this pinch."
Four Englishmen have deserted from Sir William Stanley's regiment and are at Sevenberghen. They say that they would have deserted before had they been able, and that a hundred more only await the opportunity.
Two of Captain Sherleye's company of horse, lying at Gorcum, have been taken for coining double ducats and dollars. The third and cunningest has fled.
Captain Buck sent his prisoners out from Berghen under his brother's charge, but some of them wounded the provost, forced the mariners to set them ashore at Steenberghen, and so escaped.
The States have promised M. Clermont, the King of Navarre's ambassador, who was lately here, that they will send four great pieces of ordnance to Rochell.
In the hand of Killigrew's clerk. Endd. 4 pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 343.]
Note of some service to be done in Flanders.
As the King of Spain clearly means to overthrow the realm of England, it would greatly benefit her Majesty if the Prince of Parma were cut off from communication by sea with Spain. Certain gentlemen desire to offer their services, as follows:—
They desire her Majesty to make preparations to throw a good army into Flanders.
They hope to raise six or seven thousand footmen, and, if their funds will stretch so far, a certain number of voluntary horsemen. If they lack money for the horsemen, they pray her Majesty to raise as many as seems good to her, under the command of Colonel Skenck. All will take the oath to her Majesty.
They suggest the Prince d'Espinoy as general, as he is the most likely to win over the towns, nobles, and gentry of Artois, Hainault, etc.
They hope that her Majesty will agree to garrison all the towns and strong places which may be captured, with native troops, the better to win over the others.
Should her Majesty agree to these proposals, they desire that she should give order for the money to be raised among the strangers from the Low Countries residing in her realm, and upon the towns of Oostlandt [Eastland], Embden, and the Low Countries. The sums to be apportioned by MM. de Meetkercke, Caron, and Burchgrave among men who shall be persons of quality; substitution may be allowed in case of illness, or other impediment. For the better contentment of the contributors, payments should be made by order of the Council of State and War (Conseil d' Estat et de guerre), named in the list below.
List of those suitable to be employed in this service:—
General-in-chief of the troops: The Prince d'Espinoy.
Colonels: Simple, Senoy, Groenvelt.
Council of State and War: The General-in-Chief, MM. Meetkercke, Caron, Schotz, Brounbanke, Vandenburgh; assisted, when necessary, by the Colonels.
The General and Council should have the appointing of other necessary officers.
Copy. Endd. "1588. This service is for the maintenance of 6000 men in Flanders for a year." French. 2 pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 345.]
Another copy of the above, probably enclosed in the letter from Killigrew to Leicester, 4 September, 1588. Endd. French. 3 pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 347.]
Sept. 22. Sir William Russell to Walsingham.
"Where this bearer, Captain James Fulforde, by some means understandeth that her Majesty hath a determination to send some more forces into these countries, which I can hardly believe she will; forasmuch as he is my kinsman, and one both valiant and desirous to follow the wars, these are earnestly to beseech your honour, if it shall happen hereafter that such supplies shall be sent, to show him your honourable furtherance that he may thereby receive the charge of some company . . . . ."—Vlisshing, 22 September, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. ½ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 341.]
Sept. 23. The Queen to the Count de Moeurs and the States of Utrecht.
Her pleasure upon learning of their success in ending all differences and establishing the union, which she recommended to them as so necessary to the common cause, and in which she now exhorts them to persevere. Promises not to decide any petitions, etc., concerning them until they have been heard. [A recommendation that Deventer be continued for another year in the office of burgomaster, is crossed through.]—23 September, 1588.
Draft, much corrected. Endd. French. 1 p. [Holland XXVI. f. 349.]
Copy of the above, with slight verbal variations. A recommendation of Deventer is again struck out.—St. James', 23 September, 1588.
Endd. French. 1 p. [Holland XXVI. f. 370.]
Sept. 23. The Privy Council to Sir John Conway.
Understand by his letter of the 8th that he has appeased the mutiny of the soldiers at Ostend, and obtained his own and the captains' liberty, which is very acceptable to her Majesty and to them. Her Majesty, upon Conway's persuasion and his good report of the soldiers' penitence, has yielded to grant the pardon for which they ask, as he will see by the enclosed warrant under the great seal. They will be 'careful' of the supply of 300 men to replace the two hundred sent to Bergen-op-Some, but, considering the great burden lately layed upon the shires of the realm, they are loth to charge them as yet with any new levy of men. Moreover, the town is now fortified and the enemy far away, so that the soldiers need not be burdened this winter by keeping their ordinary watches in such great numbers, for when the town was in the States' hands it was never guarded by more than five or six hundred men, of whom a convenient number were appointed to the night-watches.
The weekly lendings shall be duly continued, and they hope that her Majesty will soon give warrant for a full pay to be made until October 12 last.
As soon as they shall hear that, after the 'denunciation' of her Majesty's pardon, things are thoroughly quieted, they intend to act upon Conway's advice and remove some of the companies, replacing them with others from other garrisons.—23 September, 1588, St. James.'
[Below is written: "Mr. Fulk Greville you shall be forthwith satisfied for your demand."]
Minute, with one correction by Burghley. Endd. with date and note of contents. 2 pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 352.]
Another minute, considerably corrected to correspond with the above. Undated, and without the sentence concerning Fulk Greville.
Endd. September, 1588. 2 pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 350.]
[Sept. 23.] Letters patent to Sir John Conway, Governor of Ostend.
Whereas sundry companies of soldiers serving under him lately committed grave disorders, made unlawful assemblies, disobeyed his commands, and imprisoned him and some of the captains, for which they deserve severe punishment; yet, understanding from him of their penitence (notwithstanding their "colourable pretences" of not having had full satisfaction of victual and wages) and that during their disorder they continued the watch and ward and other services necessary for the safety of the town, swearing always to hold it against the enemy (with whom they had no dealings), and that finally they have submitted to obey him as their governor, requiring his mediation to obtain their pardon: Her Majesty for these reasons is pleased to show them mercy and to remit their offences in the following manner. Conway is hereby authorised to give assurance under his hand of her Majesty's grace and remission to all who have acknowledged their offence and whom he shall judge likely to deserve it. As the number will be very great, the clerks of every band shall give him rolls containing the names of all present in Ostend at the beginning of the disorders; he shall strike out the names of such as committed no offence and of such as will not submit or are unlikely to continue in their duty hereafter, and then write these words on the said roll; that by authority of these present letters patent under her Majesty's great [over privy crossed through] seal and signed with her hand, he assures all, whose names are not excepted by him from the said roll, of her Majesty's grace and pardon for their contempts and disorders from the beginning of the said disorders until the date of their submission. He shall sign and seal the roll, and cause other captains, who have had no part in the mutiny also to subscribe. The rolls are to be handed over to the captains, or to whomsoever each band shall choose. He shall also inform them that order has been given for the GovernorGeneral in the Low Countries to cause their complaints of lack of good victuals and of such wages as other garrisons receive to be examined, that those who had the charge thereof may, if found guilty, be duly punished, for on her Majesty's part good order was given to all officers to see them supplied with all things requisite, as well or better than any other garrison in the Low Countries. In witness, etc.
Draft, corrected by Burghley. Undated. 32/3 pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 354.]
[Sept. 23 ?] Pardon for the soldiers of Ostend.
Letters patent under the privy seal, granting her Majesty's pardon to all such soldiers of the garrison of Ostend as Sir John Conway, their Governor, shall adjudge to be worthy thereof; for their disorders and disobedience and their imprisoning of their governor, to the endangering of the town. Her Majesty is moved to grant this pardon by Conway's assurance that the soldiers intended no disloyalty and had no intelligence with the enemy, and that they are now heartily sorry for what they did—Given at —, the—day of—in the thirtieth year of her reign.
Draft. Endd. "Copy of a pardon for the soldiers of Ostend." 5¼ pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 356.]
Sept. 23. Lord Wyllughby to the Privy Council.
Sir Thomas Morgan, according to her Majesty's commandment, is placed as governor of Berghen, which is still besieged. The greatest soldier in the world might find beyond his single capacity the tasks of advancing the fortifications, governing the town and defending it against "so qualified an enemy as the Duke of Parma." Mr. Morgan, however, is "somewhat affected to his own humour, and opinionated of himself."
Has often advertised them of the weakness, ill-furnishing, and large circuit of the town. What help is to be expected from the States "may be conceived by their wonted care in the like and their cold proceedings now, and the rather when it shall be considered that the enemy is furnished both with victuals and other necessaries by their continual passports, without which it were impossible for him to stay in the field." [Marginal note by Burghley: " The States are to be informed hereof, and stay made during this siege."]
If a relief of men and means were sent, there is now a fair chance to overthrow this great army which "hath seemed to threaten all those of the reformed religion throughout Europe." The honour and good would be especially her Majesty's, as would be the hazard and dishonour if the occasion be 'forslowed' to second the victory by sea with this action by land. Were there but the number necessary for the town's defence, which is 5000 men [underlined. Marginal note by Burghley, "5000 men"], doubts not but that half the enemy's camp would be defeated. Haste is necessary, "for it will be too late to rely on the States."
On Friday last there was a two hours' skirmish, fought hard by the enemy's camp, in which the besieged gave no ground but retreated with honour, slaying divers and taking some prisoners, with small loss to themselves.
Leaves others to report to what extent he himself has stretched both his purse and his credit to further the defence of that town.
The enclosure will inform their lordships of the good service of Mr. Grimston, ensign to Capt. Baskervile [underlined]—Midleburgh, 23 September, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd., with note of contents. 1½ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 364.]
[Sept. 24.] [The Privy Council] to Lord Willoughby. (fn. 1)
For the reinforcement of Berghen-op-Zoone, one company is to be sent from Brill, and two each from Vlisshing and Ostend, whilst 1500 footmen under Sir John Norreis (sent over on other business) are being sent from England, together with 500 levied by the churches of the strangers, under Captain Medkerke. Willoughby shall deal with the States for the reimbursement of her Majesty's charges herein. He himself is not to stay in Berghen.
Copy. Endd. with date and note of contents. 1⅓ pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 366.]
Sept. 24. Lord Wyllughby to the Privy Council.
"The treasure last appointed, being sent over by way of exchange, neither can be had so readily as were requisite, and yet, being delivered in light money, doth much discontent the soldiers. In these actions of war losses grow daily and therefore it were very necessary, with your lordships' favour, that the Treasurer himself were here with some convenient quantity of treasure to answer all occasions."—Midleburgh, 24 September, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. with note of contents. Seal of arms. ¼ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 368.]
[Sept. 24.] "Notes to be remembered for Sir John Norreys his dispatch into the Low Countries."
"First, her Majesty's letters to the States General, and particular of Holland and Zeeland, for their assistance both of men, munition, and shipping towards the voyage."
"To deal with the States to furnish from thence the levy and payment of these soldiers that shall be sent for the succour of Berghes."
Endd. with date. ½ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 372.]
Sept. 25. Buzanval to Walsingham.
If the bruits which run about the town are true, nothing can be more wretched than the Spanish army, or more happy than her Majesty's success.
Prays for pardon if joy makes him too presumptuous in suggesting that, as M. de Chateauneuf has so far forgotten himself as to offer her Majesty no demonstration of joy for the great happiness and honour which God has sent her, it would be well for her to dispatch a gentleman to the French King to inform him fully of her happy success, forasmuch as she supposes he has been left in ignorance of it by those to whom it is in no way pleasing.
It will be well to send him a little account of the proceedings and overthrow of that army, which doubtless, if he is still at all well inclined, he will impart to the League and use it to abate their presumption and to fortify himself against their practices.
Recommends to his honour the proposals of M. d'Epernon, made by M. Clar, who awaits an answer. Desires above all that Epernon should be satisfied in the matter of Boullogne.—London, 25 September, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. French. 1 p. [France XVIII. 165.]
Sept. 25. H. Kyllygrew to Burghley.
A herald has recently come from the King of Scots to demand satisfaction for the services done by Sir William Stuart and others in these countries, threatening reprisals if no remedy be provided within a certain time. Leonard Vought, doctor of law and pensionary of Delft, is to be sent to Scotland by way of England "to procure such recommendation as he may." Killigrew has been asked to write to Burghley to obtain his good offices with her Majesty for a letter of recommendation for Vought to her ambassador in Scotland, and, if it be thought expedient, "in some sort to interpose her authority in this case," seeing the inconveniences to these poor provinces which would follow so heavy a charge or so sharp a course of reprisals. They are said to be already setting forth 24 sail in Scotland. Those of Enchuisen lately took a man-of-war of the Lord Roberts of Orckney suspecting it of many piracies. The King now demands its restitution and satisfaction for damages and interest. "These proceedings may give occasion to suspect some jar and quarrel likely to arise between these Provinces and Scotland..."—The Haghe, 25 September, '88.
Signed. Add. Endd. "By D. Vought." 1 p. [Holland XXVI. f. 307.]
Sept. 25. H. Kyllygrew to Walsingham.
In favour of Leonard Vought sent into England in the matter of Sir William Stuart's demands, as in his letter to Burghley.—The Haghe, 25 September, '88.
Signed. Add. Endd. "By Doctor Vought." Seal of arms. ¾ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 376.]
Sept. 25. A note of the money due to divers captains and officers in the Low Countries, being part of their entertainment for the year ended 11 October, 1587.
"Divers officers, 1797l. 17s. 2d. Captains of horsebands, 6900l. 4s. 1d. Captains of footbands, 32,277l. 15s. 10d. Sir Thomas Sherley, Treasurer at wars, for his 'superplusage,' 2917l. 4s. 11¾d. Total, 43,893l. 2s. 0¾d."
"Whereof:—Imprested to divers captains and officers, 2,400l. Paid to divers officers and captains cashiered, 8862l. 19s. 2¾d. Paid to divers creditors, 5000l. 9s. 3¼d. Total, 16,263l. 8s. 6d."
"And so remaineth, 27,629l. 13s. 6¾d." [Note by Burghley: "whereof payable to me in England per estimationem, 14,000l. So to be paid for the Low Countries, 13,000l."]
"Memorandum. The extraordinary cannoneers have not been reckoned withal since their first coming, in November, 1585, which by estimation will amount to, 1000l." [Note by Burghley: "for the lending there is now due from the 10 of October, 1588, for two months to the 10 of December, 12,000l."]
In a different hand on the next folio: "Footbands: 1, Sir John Bourghe. 2, Captain Darcy. 3. Sir Charles Blunt. 4. Sir Edward Norreys. 5. Sir Henry Norreys. 6. Capt. Vavasour. 7. Captain Hill. 8. Captain Harte. 9. Captain Hinder. 10. Captain Browne."
"Horsebands: Sir Robert Sydney. Captain Boucher."
Endd. and with note by Burghley, "delivered by Sir Tho. Shyrley, 26 September, 1588." 1½ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 374.]
Sept. 26./Oct. 6. Extract of a letter from Colonel Ruberto d' Eggenbergh to the Duke of Parma, from Bonn.
Is forced to write, as the Prince of Syme refers him to his excellency. The soldiers have been marching and in the field all the winter and spring, and are worn out. They lack shirts, coats, shoes, and food, and winter is again at hand. They owe twice as much as they have The captains have shared all they have with them. Fears that unless help and money are sent, they will all desert when called upon for any action.
Extract from another letter of the same date, from Spinelli, master of the camp.
The soldiers being in the trenches, worn out and wanting food, the captains a second time pledged their property in Cologne to relieve them. They desire repayment for their expenses on these two occasions.
Endd. Spanish. ¾ p. [Flanders IV. f. 307.]
Sept. 26. The Burgomaster and Pensionary of Ostend to Walsingham.
Protest against the malicious calumnies, reported to them by Walsingham, that they delay in England not for any business they have at Court, but only to enjoy their entertainment of 40 sous [scelles] a day. Actually the entertainment, as he knows, is but 12 sous [scelles] a day for the two of them, and payment of that is hardly to be looked for, Ostend being so impoverished that the expenses of this journey will have to be met out of the burgomaster's (M. Cornille Kien's) own purse, at the hazard of being repaid only so much as the state of the town makes possible.
Their business concerned the alteration happened at Ostend, but they had other matters to urge as well, mostly contained in the petition sent to Walsingham by Captain Sir Edward Norrytz. They were advised by certain lords not to importune her Majesty until matters at Ostend were settled and an amnesty granted. They did not learn of the amnesty until the day before yesterday, whereupon they at once petitioned her Majesty to give General Norrytz commission to move the States General for the repairing of the dykes at Ostend, to save the town from destruction by the sea this winter, although they (the States General) are so occupied with the maintenance of the fleet and of Bergen-opZoom. If this is neglected they fear that the sea will wash away the ramparts, palisades, and bulwarks, or at least overthrow them into the ditches and so make a road for the enemy to enter dryshod. Desire Walsingham's good offices with her Majesty.
They have commission also to ask for alms for the poor of Ostend from the Flemish and French churches in this town. They could obtain no answer herein until quiet had been restored at Ostend and that town made secure. The said Cornille Kien will stay to conclude this arrangement, as well as some private business with Sir William Knollys and others, but without any expense to Ostend. The pensionary will leave as soon as possible.
Desire him to explain to the lords of the Council the reasons for their long stay here.—London, 26 September, 1588, stilo anglie.
Signed. Corn. Kyen, burgomaster: [illegible] pensionary.
Add. Endd. Seal of Arms. French. 3½ pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 378.]
Sept. 26. Foot companies in her Majesty's pay in the Low Countries. Names of captains, arranged under their garrisons: as in the muster roll [p. 137, above (August 15)]; except that Captain Vavasour's company does not appear. There are lines against the names of Sir William Russell, Captains Dennys, Hender, and Randolf, all at Flushing: and crosses against those of Lord Audley, Captain Lambert, and Sir Edmund Cary ("nunc Barker") at Ostend.
Total: 40 companies, i.e. 6000 men "after a hundred and fifty to a company."
Notes by Burghley on the dorse. "Horsemen:—L. Willoughby 200 lances, Lieutenant Polley; Parker 100; Utrecht, Captain Blunt 100; Utrecht, Captain Shyrley 100; Flushing, Sir William Russell, 100; Captain Thomas Knollys 100 [underlined]; Captain Matthew Morgan 100; Dewsborog, Sir Robert Sidney 100 [underlined]; Sir John Borogh 100, in Amersford [underlined].
Endd. 1 p. [Holland XXVI. f. 381.]
Sept. 27. Sebastian à Bergen to Walsingham.
Thanks him for his favour towards him in this his mission from the Senate of Hamburg. Earnestly desires that M. Adam may be sent to him to-day with a recess [recessus] or reply signed by the councillors, and letters from her Majesty, which he understands Mr. Wulle [Sir John Wolley] is to prepare. Has been already three months absent from home, and, winter being at hand, he cannot detain the sailors longer without serious loss to himself.—London, 27 September, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Latin. 2 pp. [Hamburg and Hanse Towns III. 12.]
Sept. 27./Oct. 7. John Zamoiski, Chancellor of Poland, to the Queen.
Has prayed Mr. William Herbart [?Harborne], her Majesty's ambassador, now returning home, to offer her his humble services. Is desirous to make a league of amity between her and the King of Poland, and asks to know her pleasure therein.—Zamosc, 7 October, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. with note of contents by Lawrence Tomson. Latin. 1¼ pp. [Poland I. 43.]
Sept. 28./Oct. 8. The Bailiff, Burgomasters, Échevins, and Council of Flushing to Burghley.
In the behalf of a baker's widow of the town, for payment of a debt of 2234 florins [margin: 223l. 8s.] owing to her for two years by Captain Hender and his company. Hender has gone to England, and they fear he may thus escape making the payment.—Flushing, 8 October, 1588.
Signed, A. Oillarte. Add. Endd. with note of contents. French. 1¼ pp. [Holland XXVII. f. 56.]
Sept. 29./Oct. 9. A. Foeck to his cousin.
Understands from his letter of October 3, received on the 5th N.S., of his arrival, in very stormy weather, at Middelburg on Saturday. Was growing anxious at the lack of news of him. Advised him at Utrecht of the matter to which he has this morning received a reply. They were too busy to write, and still have much to do, though everything has turned out well, despite appearances to the contrary, as he will now briefly relate. Last Wednesday night, September 25, Deventer, Trillo, Francis Geritsen, and Captain Cleerhaghen, with their accomplices, determined to seize Berntstel, Peter de Vos your father, Jehan Grieftousen, Cornelis Gijsbertsen of Culenborgh, and other burghers, and to execute some of them. Cleerhaghen's foot company was placed in the square of Our Lady, with an English company in the cemetery of Our Lady. A company of burghers under Captain Renyer Verreem and Francis Gerritsen that night kept the watch in the town. Certain of the burghers, their suspicion aroused, thereupon stood to arms in their houses, and the others then entered the house of Pijper and Jehan Griffoensen and put them both into the town prison. Francis Geritsen had ordered the guard in the square to allow no burghers to pass but to let Cleerhaghen's soldiers through without challenge. All this happened at four in the morning. Three or four hundred burghers posted themselves in the square and Bishop's Court, beside the Count de Meurs' who knew nothing of all this. Cleerhaghen and four others, coming towards the bridge of St. Martin, were challenged by the burghers in the Bishop's Court; on his answering that he was Cleerhaghen, they told him that he must go with them to the Count de Meurs. He refused and in the ensuing scuffle was dangerously injured, and carried before Pierre de Vos' house to the secretary's lodgings. The other four, who are thought to be Deventer, Trillo, Francis Gerritsen, and Meeteren, took flight, and their enterprise failed. All the burghers then turned out in arms and seized the town hall and released the prisoners. De Braquel and Jehan van Berch succeeded, not without considerable risk of bloodshed, in persuading the English and Cleerhaghen's companies, who were demanding their captain, to retire. At noon Deventer, Trillo and Francis Geritsen were made prisoners. Cleerhaghen's company was then put out of the town. De Brakel and Jehan van Berghe were imprisoned but released with a caution. Reynier Verreem and Meeteren escaped over the walls. On 26 September o.s. the magistrates and captains were renewed, when Dirck Canther and Dirck Devuyer, two good and trustworthy burghers, were chosen burgomasters. The eschevins and council are practically the same as those given in the enclosed list [missing], Pierre de Vos and other good burghers being among them; it is very different from the late magistracy. Great joy in the town. M. van Zuylen with all the gentry has returned and been restored to office, and M. Floris Thin came back later. The writer awaits the news that he may return. Desires to be recommended upon his arrival at Middelburg to M. Jaspar Vosbergh, councillor of the States of Zeeland and of the Admiralty: had no time to write to him. At Rouen desires him to recommend him to M. Floris' son: recommendations also to the pensionary of Flushing, M. Jehan van Beque.— Rotterdam, 9 October, 1588, stilo novo.
Translation from Flemish into French. 2 pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 382.]
Sept. 30. William Thomas, master-gunner in Flushing, to Burghley. (fn. 2)
Refers to former petitions made to the Privy Council for a renewal of Henry VIII's charter to the corporation of gunners. Financial gain to her Majesty thereby. Had there been a good supply of skilled gunners in her Majesty's fleet during the late action with the Spanish navy, "it would have been the woefullest time or enterprise that ever the Spaniard took in hand," instead of so much powder and shot being wasted to such small purpose. Their care for providing skilled gunners should be as great as their care to provide "so royal a navy" with "great and forcible ordnance."—Vlyssen, 30 September.
Holograph: very curious spelling. Add. Endd. 11/8 p. [Holland XXVI. f. 384.]
Sept. 30. Declaration by John Wayringe, deputy appointed to deliver victuals to the garrison of Ostend, that he has delivered out of her Majesty's store there from 26 June to 7 September, 1588, 319 hogsheads of London small beer, 66 hogsheads of London strong beer, 56,227 pounds of cheese, 20,000 pounds of butter, and 46 lasts of wheat. There remain 60 'chalders' of Newcastle coals in store.
Holograph. ½ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 386.]
[After Sept. 27. (fn. 3) ] Answer given to Mr. Sebastian van Bergen, Secretary and Orator of Hamburg.
Her Majesty commanded her 'chief Chancellor,' the Treasurer, and the Principal Secretary, to treat with the orator about the matters mentioned in the letters of July 9 last from the pro-consuls and senators of Hamburg. There seemed to be three principal points, "namely, excusing of neutrality; renewing of former residence of the Merchants Adventurers of England in the city of Hamburg; and an inhibition that the English men-of-war do not make enquiry of other ships coming into the Elve, as it is complained that certain Englishmen did the last year."
To the first point, her Majesty answers that their neutrality never displeased her, but that the answer they gave last year to the English commissioners made her doubt if it were sincerely showed towards England; "where then they pretended that the Duke of Parma by his threatening letters did command them not to grant residence at Hamburg to the Englishmen." Also it was due to Parma's envoy, Dr. Westendorp, that none of the former promises of the city of Hamburg were fulfilled.
Her Majesty is also aware that certain of the Hanse planned to unite their forces "to 'wreath' certain ancient privileges which they pretend are due unto them in this kingdom," and of late have daily expected to achieve their purpose. But God delivered her from all the practices of her enemies, and will, she trusts, protect her still. She requires that, as the Hamburgers mean to be neutral, they will not show themselves more addicted to one party than to the other. For she will have this neutrality according to the privilege granted to the Hanses and other merchant strangers by Edward I, namely, that they shall not without her express licence carry merchandise out of England into the lands of her manifest enemies. As the king of Spain by evident deed has lately showed himself an open enemy, her Majesty will not allow the Hamburgers or any of the Hanse "to carry either gunpowder, instruments for the war, victuals, or other such like, to so notorious enemies to her and to Christian religion. But if the mariners and subjects of her Majesty do in the ocean sea fall upon any ships of the Hanses which shall carry such things into the enemy's countries, it shall be lawful to take them from them . . . this excuse of neutrality notwithstanding."
To the second point, of the residence, her Majesty blames the Hamburgers themselves for its not being renewed last year, and considers that their decree of November 7 last, deferring (as they allege) the matter until they received her confirmation of the promises made to their commissioners at Nonsuch in 1585, was not the impediment, "but the inhibition of the Hanse cities and the threatening of the Duke of Parma by one Dr. Westendorp. . ." They first invited the English merchants, but when these merchants' commissioners arrived, the old excuses were renewed. Her Majesty thus had no assurance that her merchants would be given a convenient residence there, or that, after leaving Stoad, they would find any place in the Empire open to their trade. She cannot therefore permit them to remove from Stoad until her demands of April 30 last are satisfied.
The Merchant Adventurers' reply to their orator will sufficiently answer the eight articles sent from Hamburg to her Majesty, and two or three others delivered by the commissioners. Should, however, any hope be given of a sure residence, her Majesty will confirm to the Hanse league the promises made to Herren Schult and Liseman, 3 October, 1585, and will also "grant such moderation to the eight articles now proponed as equity shall require" when she is more particularly informed of the pretended griefs of the Hamburgers. Meanwhile she requires that provision be made in the future treaty that her merchants may have someone to preach to them and to administer the sacraments according to the rites of the church of England; that no difficulty shall hereafter be made for burial in the churches or churchyards of Hamburg; and that the ministers of Hamburg cease their insults to the "profession of the churches of this land," which, as they know, displeased the late King of Denmark, and cannot have the approval of the Electors, Princes, and states of the Empire.
As for the complaint against the action of the English mariners in the Elve, the Senate may understand from the Merchant Adventurers' answer to the Council, now delivered to their messenger, that they excuse it as a necessary measure of defence against their enemies, "allowed to all men both by the law of nature and of countries; and yet no man by them either hurt or spoiled." If adequate security is given them against such enemy ships, her Majesty hopes that they will not do the like hereafter, and so has commanded to them.
Lastly, concerning the privileges and commissions granted to Hamburg by the Emperor, "and of the necessity of defence of their rights against the Stoaders; for which they pretend that the King of Denmark hath written to her Majesty." Her Majesty hopes that the Emperor will do nothing against her merchants or Stoad contrary to the law of nations and ancient treaties; and that, if the Senate of Hamburg have anything to object against the Stoaders, they will proceed by order of law in the Imperial Chamber or before the Emperor or other lawful judges. Should they proceed by unlawful or hostile ways, counsel and aid will not be wanting to defend her subjects.—St. James',—September, anno 30.
Copy. Endd. "Copy of her Majesty's answer given to Sebastian van Berghen, the last messenger from Hamburg." 2¾ pp. [Hamburg and Hanse Towns III. 13.]
[Sept.] The state of the shipping at Dunkirk.
The mariners were discharged with two months' pay for eleven months' service. The flyboats of the governor, Denys de Brye, and Ste. Crusse, and M. Guerneval's (governor of Graveling in La Mothe's absence) boat, each of 70 tons, are all now at sea. The 'provedor's' boat, of 80 tons, has not been heard of since she sailed seven weeks ago: she probably went to Hamborrowe, where her captain lives. There are 20 'topmen' in the haven, without sails or ordnance. 20 flat-bottomed boats of St. Thomas and 15 of Bridges are left. The victuals have perished: part was given to the French, who are all discharged. All the ordnance, powder, and shot, sent to Dunkerck has been sent to Andwarp. The saddles, horsemen's staves, boots, and spurs, remain in the store houses. The spades, mattocks, shovels, lanterns, and such corn as is good, have been sent to Antwarp. The biscuit they prepared lies in barrels in the church at Dunkerck, being spoilt. Three of the topmen—two commanded by Hamborrowe men, Frederick Stock and Peter Jasperson, the third by Captain Alonso, a Spaniard, the first two carrying 100 men apiece, the third 60,—carry all the ordnance saved from the galleass, and "the anchors and cables let slip near Callis by the Spanish Armada." Each of the three has eight of the galleass' pieces of ordnance mounted in her. They will probably be ready to pass for Spain in 14 days: they may easily be taken. A ship or two laden with merchandise, one of them Bodnam's, comes with them.
Endd. as above. ¾ p. [Flanders IV. f. 303.]
[Sept.] The Captains of Bergen-op-Zoom to the Privy Council.
Denying the bruits that most of them dislike having Sir William Drury as their Governor: on the contrary, they are eager for him to remain in his office. His experience is not great, but his care and diligence, his discipline, and his policy both in matters of war and in the common causes of the town, have been more sufficient than any they have known since they came hither. Since he came here, many "men of science and occupation" have returned to the town, and many more would have returned but for the burghers' opposition. By his good government he has, during the short time he has been here, done more to strengthen the place than was done in 18 months before.
Signed. Nicholas Parker, Edmund Uvedall, John Scott, John Hichines, Thomas Baskervile, Richard Hall, F. Vere. Add. Endd. "Sept. 1588." Seal. ¾ p. [Holland XXVI. f. 316.]
Sept. Drafts of various letters from James Digges.
[f. 390.] James Digges to [Killigrew.] Would have visited him and the other Councillors of State, but has been commanded into England by the Lord General upon service connected with the musters. On his return will send to him certain serviceable observations for reforms in the musters. Has now two requests: (1) That the States send commissaries to take the musters at Vlishinge, the Brill, Dewesbroughe, and other places not mustered by any from the States since 12 October, '87. Until this is done, the accounts for this year, ending 11 October, 1588, cannot be made up. (2) To obtain sufficient imprest from her Majesty for the commissaries resident, that they may take no fees or entertainment from the captains. Some take 2s. 6d. weekly of every company. Desires that those who, having reasonable imprest, yet take money of the captains, be punished. The fault has grown general since his brother's discharge, and he cannot remedy it unless supported by authority.
[f. 391d.] James Digges to Lord Willoughby. Detained at Vlishing by contrary winds. Heard of late from his brother and others in England that he will not be crossed there in anything of which his lordship thinks him worthy, though Mr. Webbe and others seek, for their own benefit, to get him discharged as well as his brother. Will continue sincerely in his brother's honest courses and the industrious performance of those duties with which his lordship shall entrust him, without respect of persons or personal gain. [f. 391]. Has 'conferred' the book of musters and warrants brought into his office, but can determine nothing of the checks, etc., since 12 October, '87, at Vlishinge, Brill, Dewesbroughe, etc., as the States have taken no musters there since that date. Desires his lordship to get Mr. Killegrew to move the States to send commissaries to view the garrisons, as the time approaches for making up the year's accounts. Also desires that all her Majesty's commissaries resident may send their books to him in convenient time. Has had no book of musters or warrants from Bergin since December, '87. [f. 394d.] Could save much in the checks, but if other garrisons refuse to send in their books, etc., as Bergin has done, this would be impossible. Learns certainly that a commissary took 2s. 6d. as weekly lendings of the captains of every company—an offence punishable with cashierment in his brother's time, when their entertainment was far less than now.
[f. 392.] James Digges to [Lord Willoughby ?] News came to-day from England to the Governor here, that 47 ships of the Spanish Armada are upon the west coast of Ireland, where many Spaniards have been slain, and some principal persons taken, by Sir Edward Denie or his substitute. Three carracks cast away "upon the flats athwart Galloway." Sir Walter Rawely and Sir Richard Grindfeld and others, with 30 merchant ships and some royal ships, are to go to intercept them. The Earl of Cumberland prepares a new Indian voyage. Sir John Norrice "with the flower of English gentlemen" is also bound for Portugal. Mr. Candish is back with only one ship, another having become separated from him during a storm, and two pinnaces being sunk for want of men. He is said to have brought greater riches than Sir Francis Drake did, and much of it gold bullion. Most of this news is too good to be true, which he refers to "his lordship's" judgment.
[f. 392d.] James Digges to Mr. Higham. Would be reluctant to imperil their mutual goodwill, both having served one honourable master lately deceased. Desires him to inform him frankly if he or his wife repine at his (Digges') entertainment of 13s. 4d. a day for the general execution of the office of musters. Could do little service without an allowance for his clerks and his travelling expenses, and even with an allowance, etc., will put little into his purse at the year's end. His brother had thrice as much, yet when right is done him he will be no great gainer and is meanwhile 1000l. worse off, having paid quarterly from his own purse the entertainments of all commissaries resident. Would be financially better off as a particular commissary at Vlishing, Bergin, or Utrecht, at 6s. 8d. a day than he is at present. [f. 393]. Even were he to obtain a third more than any before him, he would deserve it by his service and leave her Majesty the gainer and the gentlemen well contented. Could save her Majesty 1000l. a year were negligent courses reformed. Finds no fault in Higham's courses.
Desires to know if Higham said recently that certainly Digges would not have the oversight of the musters, and that he had no commission for it as the Lord General had never favoured him and would not now seal his patent. This is most false. His lordship always favoured Digges more than he could deserve, and signed his patent, within two days of receiving the letters from the Privy Council, [f. 390d.] in as large a sort as his brother had it although with less certain entertainment, e.g., not allowing him to pay the commissaries resident as his brother did. Certain commissaries thought still to play rex and live without controlment, and are therefore hostile. Will prove the untruth of these reports upon their author. Meanwhile will think of Higham as his answer shall merit. [f. 391.] Hopes that the discourtesies and misconceits occasioned by sinister reports may be satisfied and their friendship be continued.—"From my lodgings."— September.
[f. 393d.] James Digges to [Lord Willoughby ?] Was to take over the records of the musters during his brother's time. Had to hire a bark of this town, as he could not ship in one of her Majesty's vessels. Waited for prosperous wind, and once was driven back after putting to sea. Would gladly do his lordship any service he can in England.—Vlisshing.
[f. 395.] James Digges to Killigrew. Wrote lately asking him to move the States to send commissaries to review the chief garrisons (where there have always been commissaries resident for her Majesty) or at least to muster at once the garrisons of Vlishing, Brill, Dewesbroughe, and other dispersed places not reviewed by any from the States since 12 October, '87. This must be done before the year's accounts are made up on October 12, "now at hand," otherwise there will be confusion and future question at the reimbursement, as well as protests on both sides of breach of contract.
Lack of orders for martial discipline since his excellency left the government: also of instructions for the ordinary course of the musters. The former orders are disregarded, and the great disorders in the army [f. 394d.] cannot be equitably punished until there is some certain order and definition of offences. Punishment at discretion would be mere tyranny, breeding general confusion and corruption. On his return will impart to Killigrew some "necessary observations . . . . gathered from daily experience . . . . [to] restrain if not thoroughly reform the most abuses in the affairs of musters. . . ."—Vlishing.
Drafts, much corrected, scrawled in several directions across the pages. 10 pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 390.]
[End of Sept. ?] Advertisements.
"B. is not yet come hither. I look for him according to your lordship's direction. If he do his part, he will speak of wonders, now that Simple is returned out of Scotland. For it is not kept in secret that the 120 chests of silver, which arrived the last week at Donnkerck, and the 200 chests that are to come from Lixbone [are] to buy the King of Scotland's goodwill to suffer the clergy to invade England by some footing in his country."
"As the Armado went homeward they saw many places both in Ireland and Scotland very beneficial to serve their turn, which they hope to enjoy so long as the King in substantial show seemeth not to deny the same."
"The D[uke] of Medina landed at Alaredo in Biscay; divers others went to Ferrall and to the Groyne. The number is uncertain, and a great many went to the Tersera to waft the Indias fleet. The Spaniards say they lost 12,000 men and 30 ships."
"It is said there shall come a new governor in the D[uke] of Parma's stead, but it is not said who."
"It is said, the D[uke] of Lorraine to claim a part of the D[uke] of Guise' challenge in these Salique matters."
"It is given out for policy by the Spaniards at Donkerck, that the D[uke] of Medina is taken prisoner in Ireland, and that there is not above 40 ships saved of all the Armado, but it is very true that there [are] 90 sail of good ships in Lixbone, which should have seconded the repulsed Armado."
No date, address, or endorsement. 1 p. [Flanders IV. f. 305.]
[End of Sept.] Advertisements.
Three pataches are reported to have brought 250,000 crowns in cash to Dunkercke to the Prince of Parma. They left Laredo 15 days ago to-day; the Duke of Medina had arrived there, Oquendo was at St. Sebastian with 40 great ships, some pataches, and a single galleass; Jehan Martines de Ricalde, Admiral, with another squadron of 40 or 50 ships, had not yet arrived. He became separated from the Duke one night by a storm off the Scottish coast, on their way back to Spain. Nothing has been heard of him since. Two pilots, who were on the galleon St. Martin with the Duke, came in these pataches: the ships were badly battered by artillery fire. There came also a man who left Lisbon 18 days ago; he says there were there 40 large urcas, 10 Levantine ships, 2 new galleons, and some others, 90 in all, with victuals and munitions: they were to come to Corunna with four or five thousand soldiers. It is so long since the writer received any letters from Spain or Portugal that he knows not whether to credit this. The messenger sent to Havre de Grace with letters for the captain of the galleass, has not yet returned. Will learn the details as soon as he does return.
French. 1¼ pp. [Flanders IV. f. 306.]
[End of Sept. ?] Matters to be remembered to Mr. Secretary, [by Sir John Norris].
To advise which shall be the 13 companies to be employed on this service out of the Low Countries; and which companies of horse. That her Majesty's letters be sent to Lord Wylloby that the 13 companies of foot and the six of horse may be appointed to be ready to ship at such time and place as Sir Edward Norreys shall think fit. That George Lester be commanded to furnish such pay and victuals as he has contracted for, for the said companies, into the hands of Sir J. Norreys and Sir Francis Drake, so that they may use it "for the providing of the said companies in their voyage."
In Sir John Norris' hand. Endd. "Sir John Norrice Memorial." 1 p. [Holland XXVI. f. 388.]


  • 1. Printed in Acts of the Privy Council, xvi. 288–90, under date Sept. 23.
  • 2. Printed in Laughton, Armada Papers, ii. 258–60.
  • 3. See Sebastian à Bergen's letter of Sept. 27th, above, p. 224.