Elizabeth: December 1588, 1-10

Pages 361-370

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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December 1588, 1-10

Dec. 2/12,
last date.
Notes of the above letter, and of that of Nov. 26, calendared at p. 341, above.
Endd. 1 p. [Holland XXVIII. f. 175.]
Dec. 3/13. The Bailiff, Burgomasters, and Echevins of Flushing to Burghley.
On behalf of Louis Verdurst, burgher of Flushing, who bought 130 kersies at St. Bartholomew's fair, London, three months ago. He paid the English customs, but the officers demanded strangers' custom as well, despite the grant made on behalf of her Majesty by M. de Sydney (fn. 1) the day after his arrival here (the ambassador Mr. Davisson being also present) by which burgesses of Flushing, having the necessary certificates from the magistrates and governor, were privileged to pay only the same customs as English subjects.—Flushing, 13 December, 1588.
Signed, A. Oillarts. Add. Endd. with note of contents. French. 2½ pp. [Holland XXIX. f. 9.]
Dec. 3/13. The Bailiff, Burgomasters, and Echevins of Flushing to Burghley.
That Robert Scott, an English merchant dwelling at Sandwich, who is wont to sell corn here, may have licence to transport and sell it to the inhabitants and garrison only, notwithstanding the restraint which her Majesty has made of all exportation of corn from England.—Flushing, 13 December, 1588.
Signed, A. Oillarts. Add. Endd. with note of contents. French. 2/3 p. [Holland XXIX. f. 11.]
Dec. 3/13. The Bailiff, Burgomasters, and Echevins of Flushing to Walsingham.
They hear that the Governor and principal officers of the garrison are to be changed. They greatly desire that Mr. Bourlas may be continued in his present office of lieutenant-governor, in which he has given general satisfaction. They also desire his honour to use his influence that the other principal officers to be appointed may be sufficient, and also good disciplinarians, conscious of the need for amity between garrison and inhabitants.— Flushing, 13 December, 1588.
Signed, A. Oillarts. Add. Endd. with note of contents. French. 1¼ pp. [Holland XXIX. f. 13.]
Dec. 3/13. Deposition of Colonel Joncheer Willem van Dorp touching Adrian Menninck.
Declares on oath that he was well acquainted with the prisoner Menninck, having been in garrison at Harlingen with him, and for many years before. Menninck was especially friendly with Tirasse and Cotton. In 1585–6 he lived at Cleve by the Prince of Parma's commission, directing as commissary of the Prince all the correspondence with the spies. Deponent was then in charge of the garrison at Heerenberge and captured certain of Menninck's spies, from whom he learned much about his conduct. Among these were Artus van Oldenzeel, who said that he had been previously in Menninck's service, and an Italian Don Jehan de Rogurs, who gave deponent certain of Menninck's letters. These letters are among deponent's papers at Medenblick: he undertakes to send them immediately upon his arrival there.
Headed Deposition, etc., taken before Dirck Jans Lonck, Mr. Franchois Vranck, Dr. Elias van Oldenbarnevelt, and Albrecht van Loosen, Niclaes Doublet being secretary; on 13 December, 1588, in the Chamber of the College.
pp. Dutch. [Holland XXIX. f. 7.]
Dec. 4/14. S. Lacy to Walsingham.
"Being present in the camp with Monsieur de Nevers sithence his passing the river of Loire, I have seen that which is already past and understood of that which is purposed, as well by the army at sea as this by land."
"The army for the most part passed the river at Saint More, being 12,000 foot and 400 horse: the infantry at this present 14,000, and 2000 horse, viz., the Duke Marcury 200, the Marquis Bell Ill a 100 men-at-arms being [sic] 450 horse, the Marquis Depien with 200 horse, the Marquis Armontes, with 50 horse, the Prince Genevill lately arrived with 600 horse, the companies of the Marshal Resso, and Berone daily looked for. They have already taken 3 castles and 2 walled towns, one called Mollione (where they used great cruelty to those of the Religion), the other Montigue rendered by composition the 7 of this month." They besieged Garnashe on the 9th and mean to go on to Bouvyes (six English miles away, on the coast), which the King of Navarre took from M. Mercury two months ago. Five ships sent to blockade the place. Twenty-five other ships are ready, all Bretons, commanded by M. Mercury's servants, mortal enemies to the English. "They purpose to take the Burdieux fleet: . . . letters of reprisal they have, to take Englishmen."
The Estates have appointed 12 great ships under the Marquis Bell Ill to go for the isles of Re and Hollorone. The whole fleet will be 60 sail, besides the gallies. They are very confident: "no speech in the camp but of the new army of Spain by sea, and that they shall be able now to give aid, which they purposed before if they had durst." From Bouveyes they mean to go to Thalmond, and thence to Fonteney, "by which time they will have the army ready by sea to hinder the aid for Rochell. At Fonteney the K[ing] Navar meaneth to give them battle . . . As yet he hath no army in field. Many presumptions that they mean not well towards England . . . which your honour should know if I were assured of the messenger. Monsieur Marcury is 'reculyd' to Nantes, the town better for him than the field. Monsieur Lavardine and he not friends. Lavardine gone to the Court. The K[ing] of Navar hath lost the towns already taken for want of cannon, for Montegu had been able to have endured 6 months if they had had cannon."
Means to go back again if the King commands him, as he probably will: if not, will repair to his honour.—14 December, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p., small writing. [France XVIII. 175.]
Dec. 4. Sir William Russell to Burghley.
Commending the bearer, the lieutenant-governor of this town [Borlas]. Desires that his own leave may be hastened.
Hears that the Duke sends Standley's and other regiments, with artillery, from Gaunt to Dunkirke, to be shipped thence to Spain or Ireland. Some fear an attempt upon Ostend.—Vlisshing, 4 December, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. 2/3 p. [Holland XXIX. f. 15.]
Dec. 5/15. Chateauneuf to The Lord Treasurer, Lord Admiral, and Walsingham.
The governor of Morlaix in Brittany writes that at the request of François le Gac, merchant there, he has stayed goods of Alderman Polisson and other English merchants, in respect of the spoil by an English ship equipped in warlike fashion, George Remond captain, committed more than two years ago. There being great traffic between Morlaix and English merchants, the governor stayed the sale of the goods until he should be certified of the denial of justice here to Martin Noel, le Gac's factor, who has come back expressly to pursue the matter.
Prays them, as commissioners appointed to do justice to the French, to satisfy the French merchant and so encourage this long-established trade.—London, 15 December, 1588.
Postscript. Noel has followed this cause for three years.
Signed. Add. Endd. French. 1⅓ pp. [France XVIII. 172.]
Dec. 5. Sir William Russell to the Privy Council. (fn. 2)
Has received their letter of Nov. 15. As regards the Estates' complaint that some points of the Contract have been broken by this garrison, he denies that he, or any here, have set forth any vessels to the Estates' or country's hurt: none of them have any vessels. In matters of civil government he has always had an understanding with the burgomasters, etc., that any soldiers who injure burghers shall be punished by himself, whilst they deal with their own people. Has, as instructed, conferred with Mr. Bodley.—Vlisshing, 5 December, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. ¾ p. [Holland XXIX. f. 18.]
Dec. 5. Sir William Russell to Walsingham.
"Whereas, by an agreement between my cousin and Captain Easley, there is due unto him one whole month's pay for November in the last year, which money the said Captain Easley claimeth; if your honour will vouchsafe to send for Mr. Thomas Digges he can acquaint your honour of the particularities thereof." Desires him to stay delivery of the money until Captain Denys can go over.
There is a sufficient gentleman, kinsman to Mr. Errinton, who can be trusted to keep Ramikins castle safely in Errinton's absence.
Hears that the Duke sends certain ordnance from Gaunt to Dunkirke, where shipping makes ready to carry it, together with Stanley's and other regiments, to Spain or Ireland. Some fear an attempt upon Ostende now that the sea has made a breach there.—Vlisshing, 5 December, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. ¾ p. [Holland XXIX. f. 20.]
Dec. 6. Sir John Conway to Walsingham.
Hopes that he may soon end his arduous service here, where he has already been three years. Would gladly go with Sir John Norres, who desires his company. The loss of his wife gives him "a better will to follow her Majesty's service than to live a retired life." Also thinks this garrison could be much better employed elsewhere. The place cannot be saved from the sea without infinite charge, as the enemy seems to know, for though he continually increases his forces he does not disturb them at all. In the last month or six weeks the enemy has built one new sconce on Bridges side and another on Newport side, where before he had neither forces nor fortifications. Lamot's troops complain of the strict watch he makes them keep. A man of Conway's brought news from the enemy's side that Sir William Stanley comes into garrison at Odnyborowgh, and that he has promised the Duke of Parma to do some great exploit against this place.
"M. Lamott hath retained eight soldiers of this garrison this month, whereof my man was one. Another is a Dutch sergeant of Captain Suderman's. The man is a tall soldier and one I take to be very honest. He hath used him very hardly. He hath persuaded him to serve the King, and upon his promise, he is now exceedingly well entreated and presently shall be sent: who, and the sergeant, hath promised to give him a guard for entrance of the town, which was the thing Lamott required of him." Knows in secret that this is true and hopes to prevent any attempt to perform the promise.
Fears the sea will not let them stay long enough to entrap Sir William Stanley, whose head or body shall be sent to England if he attempts anything here and allows Conway to come near him. Shortage of victuals. Sent 330 men out on Dec. [—], and they brought in from the gates of Newport 230 "fat beasts and milch kine," without losing a man, though the enemy horse and foot followed them back at a safe distance. This bearer took part in the foray.
Much shipping ready to sail shortly from Dunkirk and Newport for Spain.
Need of some present resolution for the defence of this place against the sea and for the supply of the garrison's wants. Has no undue prejudice against the place, but thinks it cannot be saved from the sea except by agreement of both sides. Could ruin the haven past recovery in one day and night, were shipping ready to take them off. "And the garrison are throughout in so good state of health, arms, and apparel, and so sufficient and able men withal to serve, and their bodies hardened, that they will do her Majesty more assistance in any service, for the number, than any garrison her Highness hath. Sir John Norres will think himself much bound to you, if you be the mean he may have this garrison, or the most part of them, to assist his service. He hath here four companies: I dare undertake the worst company in this garrison will be more worth . . . than all they, when he shall need the use of them. They are the most simple and unapt men to be soldiers that ever I saw. Such very young children, their joints unknit, as now they come to suffer cold, to go without beds, and to abide their watch, they fall lame and sick and die like unsound sheep. This place is not the stronger by them of one company. I have written to Sir John Norres the state of them and of the commanders. Captain Tanner hath lost his lieutenant. Captain Bond hath these two days lain speechless, and Captain Tanner very sick."
Desires that such captains as are absent, and not (as are Sir Charles Blount and Sir Edward Norres) attendant upon her Majesty, may be ordered back to their companies, which they shamelessly leave in want of many things. Is weary of writing to Lord Wylloughby about it. "Before these companies did come, I had but one captain, and these two being sick I have now the assistance of none."—Ostend, 6 December, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Seal. 2¾ pp. [Holland XXIX. f. 22.]
Dec. 6. Sir Thomas Morgan to Walsingham.
Still hears that the enemy's intentions stand firm for Portingale and England. Stanley makes great preparations at Anwarpe for the voyage, and the nobles who were here with the Prince have gone to do likewise in their own countries. They will doubtless attempt some notable enterprise "at the spring." Thinks there is "no means better for the preventing of their purposes than a speedy dispatch of our forces into Portingale."
The enemy still lies at Rossendale, where he means to build a town and make a continual garrison: "there is no let thereunto, for they receive victuals out of Holland at their pleasure. Here we daily take prisoners, and many times put many of them to the sword."
Begs for some relief for this garrison, the captains credit being very thin and the soldiers very bare.
Commends himself to Lady Walsingham and Lady Sidney.— Berges, 6 December, 1588.
Postscript. Has written to Sir Thomas Sherley about his (Sherley's) son. Mutiny of the Marquis Renti's regiment. Good effect might follow some practice in Artois and Henigo at this time.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. 1 p. [Holland XXIX. f. 24.]
Dec. 6. Sir Thomas Sherley's answer to the fourth article of Dr. Vocht And Ortell's Proposition.
Payment will be made for the provisions at the next full pay, if anything is due after her Majesty's extraordinary expenses for the States have been allowed. For payment for provisions from their general magazines consumed by her Majesty's forces, and for the lendings furnished by Vlishinge and Briell to the garrisons there.
The Treasurer knows of no money disbursed by the States to the garrison of Vlishinge, but that for 'Bills' [sic] will be answered at the general account.
He thinks that he should insist on them for his captains as well as himself. He was mustered by the States' commissaries, had their patents for his garrisons, and was allowed by them money for the levy and conduct of 500 men. Resents the charge of hindering the general cause, as he has spent above 5000l. of his own in their service. The States should also pay other unpaid English captains and soldiers. That the Treasurer shall not insist upon his particular demands for anything due under the Earl of Leicester's commission to him, which was made without the assent of the States General or the Council of State. A private man should not benefit at the expense of the generality.
Endd. as above. 1 p. [Holland XXIX. f. 26.]
Dec. 6/16. Geffrei Leathario to Jacomo Verzellini, at London.
Thanks him for his courtesy to him (Leathario) when he was in England. Wrote to him on October 17 last under cover to Mr. Richard Stapers. Writes now to ask him to deliver an ebony mirror, inlaid with ivory and set in diamonds, which he sends through Signor Battista Albinoni by way of Hamburg to England, to John Chamberlan, this bearer, to whom it belongs. It will be addressed to Mr. Stephen Powell.
Yesterday Verzellini's son, Jacomo, arrived from Lisbon: will assist him in every way possible.—[at head] Venice, 16 December, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Italian. 1 p. [Venice I. f. 61.]
Dec. 7/17. The King of Navarre to Walsingham.
"Je me plains a vous de ce que le cappitaine Jean Waddon, anglois, partant de ceste ville, ou la traffique tant pour luy que pour tous autres de votre nation est libre, a prins ung vaysseau charge de soixante douze tonneaux de vin, qui est a ung marchant de l' isle de Ré nommé Job Foran, et quelques autres marchandizes, quil a mené en Angletterre, nonobstant quil luy monstrast mon passeporte, lequel il a mis par despit en mille pieces. Je n'en escris point a la Royne vostre maistresse; le fait ne merite pas de l'en importuner, mais a vous qui estes asseuré de son intention, et a messire le conte d' Excees et l' Admiral. Je vous prie vous employer pour le recouvrement dudit vin. Je ne vous represente point la consequence de telles prinses, car vous la jugez assez, et m'asseure que vous y pourveyres. Surquoy je prieray le Createur, Monsieur de Valsingan, qu'il vous tienne en sa garde.—A la Rochelle, ce 17 jour de Decembre, 1588. [Autograph] Vostre meylleur et plus afectyonne amy, Henry."
Add. Endd. with note of contents. French. ½ p. [France XVIII. 173.]
Dec. 7/17. Robert Beckworth to [Walsingham].
Twelve sail ready at Dunkert for Spain, with merchandise. They are double manned, and convoyed by two great boats carrying the ordnance from the galleass stranded here. Mean to pass the Narrow Seas by night or by force. The [galleass ?] now salvaged and brought into harbour. Some are sad thereat, some rejoice.
A Dunkirk boat took a ship off the English northern coast, but she had nothing in her, so they cast her adrift, bringing the crew prisoners to Dunkert.
Rumour that the King of Spain offers 10l. sterling for every man sent to Spain for the galleys. Also that none of Dunkert may go to sea without promising to bring every man and boy home that they can take.—[at head:] " Laus Deo, in Calis, this 17th of December, stila nova."
Postscript. Two Dunkert flyboats laden here with wheat for Spain. Their masters are of Dunkert: one an old man and long bearded, the other, aged 50, has a bark taken from London with two falcons and two 'saconnets.'
Add. Endd. 1 p. [France XVIII. 174.]
Dec. 7. Sir William Russell to Walsingham.
Recommending the bearer, Mr. Bourlacy, who is in no way deserving of the evil opinion that the late Earl of Leicester had of him.
Desires his own recall from a place where neither he nor the bearer can get either profit or reputation.—Flushing, 7 December.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1½ pp. [Holland XXIX. f. 28.]
Dec. [8 ?]. The Privy Council to Lord Willoughby. (fn. 3)
To avoid transporting money out of the realm, certain merchants have undertaken to supply pay for her Majesty's forces in the Low Countries by way of exchange. They have licence also to take over a certain quantity of victuals and apparel in part payment. Weekly lendings to be increased, and to be delivered partly in victuals and apparel, partly in money.
Minute. Endd. "December, 1588," and with note of contents. 3 pp. [Holland XXIX. f. 1.]
Dec. 8/18. Memorial from the Council of State to Sir John Norrets.
To assure her Majesty of their desire for good correspondency with her Lieutenant-General and other servants.
1. That the companies in her Majesty's service be brought up to full strength and that the captains be present with them, the Lieutenant-General being instructed to discharge any who fail in their duty.
2. That the lendings of her troops be increased, as they are less than those paid by the States to their troops. The States have to supply them if they undertake any service.
3. The cavalry in her Majesty's service are so indebted that they cannot move out to any service on account of their creditors. Their disorders cause the contributions of the countryside to cease.
4. That all payments to her Majesty's troops be made with the knowledge of the Council of State and in the presence of representatives of the States, on pain of nullity, according to the Treaty.
The Hague, 18 December, 1588.
Endd. by Burghley. French. 2¼ pp. [Holland XXIX. f. 30.]
[Dec. 9.] The Queen to Schenck.
Her displeasure at the States' ungrateful treatment of him and at their disregard of her letters on his behalf, of which his letters of Oct. 5 last informed her. Before receiving his letters her Majesty had instructed Bodley (who takes Kellegrey's place in the Council of State) to urge the Council of State and the States General to content him. Desires Schenck to send to Bodley all instructions, etc., which may further this course. Her pleasure in his offer of service, of which she is afraid advantage cannot be taken at this present time.
Copy, corrected. Endd. with date. French. 1 p. [Holland XXIX. f. 32.]
Dec. 10/20. The Magistrates of Augsburg to the Queen.
Requesting her to grant safe-conduct to Mark and Matthew Welser, citizens and merchants of Augsburg, and their fellows.— 20 December, 1588.
Add. Endd. with note of contents. Latin. Parchment. ½ p. [Germany, States V. 81.]
Petition of Mark and Matthew Welser to the Magistrates of Augsburg.
Desiring them to write to the Queen of England to grant her safe-conduct for their goods and persons, their business depending largely upon obtaining goods in Spain to sell in the North.
Add. Endd. with note of contents. Latin. 1⅓ pp. [Germany, States V. 82.]
A copy of the Magistrates' letter.
Endd. Latin. ¾ p. [Germany, States V. 83.]
Dec. 10. Sir Thomas Morgan to Walsingham.
Hears that the Prince of Parma is trying to raise 10,000 men in Germany and the borders of Switzerland, and means to send 25,000 men into Spain from Italy. He still pursues his purpose for England. Some twenty men, who "were in Ireland and shipped out of Scotland," have brought the Prince news scarce worth the hearing.
Stanley still prepares for his journey. The enemy is well informed of "our forces which are appointed for Portingale and all their actions and proceedings." Hears that the Prince has letters out of England every fourteen days.
Wants of this garrison, horse as well as foot. Hay 40s. the load. The ordinary lendings are insufficient, and this may mean the loss of their horses. The captains [margin of this garrison] now in England will probably seek to get their pay while they are there: "it were not amiss they might be paid where they do their service, to the end their soldiers might not be defrauded."— Berges, 10 December, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XXIX. f. 34.]
[Dec. 10.] Questions made upon the exchange, by Horace Pallavicino.
Desires his lordship to consult some skilful merchant of London on the following questions.
Whether the price of the exchange at London for Anwerpte in Sept. and Oct., 1587, was not 31s. Flemish, and less, for 20s. sterling ? And whether it is not now 35s. Flemish; a loss of 13% on money that was then in England and is now beyond seas and to come to England ?
Whether the exchange for Hamborowghe was not then 24s. Flemish for 20s. sterling ? And is not now 26s. Flemish; a loss of 8% ?
Whether the exchange for Lyons was not then 73[d.] sterling for the French crown, and is not now 68[d.]; a loss of 10% ?
Whether the exchange for Venice was not then 57[d.] sterling for the ducat, and is not now 53[d.]; a loss of 8% ?
Endd. as above, Pallavicino's name written by Burghley. 2/3 p. [Holland XXIX. f. 36.]


  • 1. Cf. Calendar XX., 176.
  • 2. See p. 311, above.
  • 3. Printed in Dasent, Acts of the Privy Council, XVI. 376–8, under this date.