Elizabeth: December 1588, 11-20

Pages 370-386

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, 11-20

Dec. 11. George Gilpin to Walsingham.
The winds continue contrary. Count Maurice has been "sick of a continual ague" since he returned from taking Schenck's last-made fort: he is now out of danger. They still mean to possess the other sconce held by the Amptman of Tiel. Count Moeurs, in whose government it lies, is to undertake its reduction. Then they mean to relieve Wachtendoncq, though their forces are inadequate to do more than victual Bercq and perhaps throw some 2 or 300 men, with powder and long weapons, into Wachtendoncq, where the besiegers are weakened by the bad weather. A gentleman who came to-day from Arnham says that Schenck told him that he would remain neuter in his house of Blyenbeecq and the fort of the Weirt, resigning all his other charges to the States: but as this would hinder the victualling of Berck and the relief of Wachtendoncq, those of Gelderland have induced him to continue his service and to assist in these operations, upon hope that the States will afterwards come to some new arrangement with him. Count Moeurs has gone to prepare his forces at Utrecht, and all help will be given him hence. Marshal Villiers, Barchon, and others, are to assist him. Friesland wants men sent to defend them from invasion during the frosts: few can be spared. Geertrudebergh's refusal to send men to the relief of Wachtendoncq is much disliked, "but that garrison is run into such a jealousy of the States and fear of themselves, that no better is to be looked of them than to continue and keep that place as a frontier against the enemy."
The ambassador [Sir J. Norris] has his answer and means to leave to-morrow. Famas, the governor of Heusden, has prevented a mutiny among his garrison, whose pay did not arrive on the muster day. "The soldiers that were lately employed in the island of Tertoele, Bergues-op-Zoom, and otherwise, having been kept ever since on shipboard by reason no town would receive them, being loth to have any garrison, were somewhat discontented to be so hardly used. And is doubted if they had gotten into any place where they had been masters, they would have fallen into some mutiny."
Disputes continue between the Admiralties and the provinces about licence, and liberty to ship on licence.
"The General States meet daily, but nothing yet appears of their doings."
"The enemy is no more heard of than if there were none," though the confusion of this government would assist him greatly.—The Haghe, 11 December, 1588, stilo Angl.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. 1½ pp. [Holland XXIX. f. 38.]
Dec. 11. Capt. Anthony Wingfelde to Walsingham.
"In the beginning of my sickness I wrote unto your honour of the execution we did amongst our mutineers at Ostend." Writes again to assure him they did not take so remiss a course as some seem to allege. Most of the town were admittedly in the first mutiny: after it was appeased the Lord General "had 200 away, wherein were 6 or 8 of the worst of every company, and gave them pardon upon his word and honour. After that went out my Lord Awdley's and Sir Ed. Carey's, two of the most unruly companies in the town." Some troublesome men were left, but cannot accuse more than 120 of open contempt or of persuading others to disorder. They had a strong party, but few would give themselves away by open act. Sixteen were executed and 11 banished. Wishes the like example were made of those who mutinied in her Majesty's own realm, who remain unspoken to, and also of those who were removed from hence before justice was done. Desires his honour not to think that he has previously made too much of this mutiny, or that those 120 could easily have been suppressed, or this justice done without the coming of the new companies. There were many more who were too cunning to show themselves except in open tumult. Asked the governor several times, while he (the governor) kept his chamber for six weeks, that they might "put it to a push with them rather than to live in that continual discontentment, which he would in no case assent unto, for avoiding of blood."—11 December, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1¼ pp. [Holland XXIX. f. 40.]
Dec. 12. Capt. Edmund Uvedall to Walsingham. (fn. 1)
Is glad to find by his honour's letters by Mr. Gremston that the report here, that he is in disgrace with his honour about Sir Thomas Morgan, is untrue. Morgan will admit, if he does him right, that Uvedall has yielded him rather more than less of what appertains to him.
Lord Welobe marches into Gelderland, with 1000 English foot and 500 horse, to assist the States' forces to relieve a town called Wackekendon, besieged by Count Mansfeld.—Dort, 12 December.
Holograph. Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Holland XXIX. f. 42.]
Dec. 13. The Queen to the States General.
Has communicated to Ortel reasons why he and Vooch should postpone their journey to Scotland. Had previously instructed her ambassador in Scotland to procure the suspension of William Steward's proceedings against those of the Low Countries, as well as the cancellation of the letters (fn. 2) which he has so earnestly pursued. The King did not refuse these requests, but put off his decision upon the coming of the States' envoys. Has now asked the King to put off their coming till the spring, so that meanwhile the common causes may the better be adjusted—for which Ortel's presence here is very necessary. So her Majesty allows Vooch to return to the States.—13 December, 1588.
Minute, slightly corrected. Endd. French. 1 p. [Holland XXIX. f. 44.]
Draft of the above, considerably corrected.
Endd. French. 1⅓ pp. [Holland XXIX. f. 51.]
Dec. 13/23. Count Maurice of Nassau to the Queen.
Thanking her for her letters of October by the ambassador Noreitz, and the report which Noreitz made to him. Noreitz' return makes a long letter unnecessary and the Count's indisposition prevents him from writing fully.—The Hague, 23 December, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. French. 1½ pp. [Holland XXIX. f. 49.]
Lord Wyllughby to Burghley. (fn. 3)
Dec. 13. Thanks his lordship for his "favourable letters full of your good opinion."
"The sudden departure of my lord ambassador is such as I cannot write at large. Your lordship shall see, I am sure, the state of the English garrisons which the States General have made, drawing from her Majesty's forces for the Portingall journey 2000 foot and 600 horse. In what weak sort Berghes and Ostend—the one compassed with the enemy, the other ruined with the sea—will be left, I leave to consideration. How the cautionary towns will be preserved, you shall hear by the governors' complaints." Ill-success in the field and in the towns certain to follow. Does not speak this against the Portingale voyage or against the gentleman who travails therein. "It were better they had all, except such as should thoroughly reinforce the cautionary towns, than that a few of us should be left, with great charge of her Majesty, to the enemy's mercy and the country's reproach, in a land of servitude where we are so far forth as, being called out like broken and scattered flocks rather than troops to the wars, are beforehand refused to be garrisoned at our return or to be provided of necessities at our going forth; yet upon our refusal they give forth [that] her Majesty keeps no contract and that we consume and cast away the country. Our misery is great, I assure your lordship, for want of pay and money, which being put out to exchange cannot before the day be gotten— matters which sudden accidents of wars suffers not." Hopes that before such great services are undertaken the troops may be accounted with for the past two years: or else that the Treasurer may always have certain extraordinary sums for extraordinary occasions. "If those troops [to] be called from hence have no pay, . . . they cannot march: if you pay them, and not those that stay behind, what a general discontent and wrong is done to us all." Some here are already cast down by "the braveries already bruited of the good payments of that journey."
Has learned that a soldier, having advertised the inconveniences and impossibilities, must yet obey when the prince commands, even if it be certain death. He must now obey the States and go as they command. Sends the Council's resolution on the journey, "somewhat impossible for us (though the States will not hear it) because they have granted of the forces we should march withal to Sir John Norreys."
Wishes his lordship would call home, even if only for a few hours, Mr. Kellygre, Sir Thomas Wilford, Mr. Gilpin, and himself, to "hear others' objections and our answers, compare our projects, consider the alterations of humours, persons, and governments, and if any will take upon them to know more than those I have named unto you, assure yourself it is self-weening and not knowledge. And in my simple judgment, one hour so debated before such a person as yourself would minister groundwork for a long time" . . .—Dort, 13 December, stilo veteri.
Postscript. They would waste no more time by waiting on his lordship at London, than in going from the Hagh to the provincial council at Mydleborough, for they could be sure of a quicker dispatch from his lordship.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Holland XXIX. f. 45.]
Probably enclosing:—
Declaration from Lord Willoughby.
On Thursday, Dec. 5, the Lord General, the ambassador, Count Nuenar, and Marshal Villiers were in council with the States about the relief of Wachtendonck. The Lord General was required to join the English forces with theirs for that purpose.
That afternoon at the Lord General's house the Lord General, the ambassador, Count Nuenar, and three of the States (Meynartson, Arnsma, and de Buy) discussed the forces available. The enemy reckoned at 1600 horse and 5000 foot. Against these could be put 1040 horse (Captains Berson, Voysin, Kinsque, Gronavelt, du Boys, Count Nuenar, Wolffe, Balle, l'Espine, and 400 English) and 2300 foot (6 companies of Scots which should be 700 men, 600 Dutch, 1000 English).
500 of the English foot were to be of the new companies, owing to the weakness of the garrisons. The ambassador agreed to this, but has since set down a far shorter time for their withdrawal than was then appointed.
No money to furnish these men, as that which was sent over was assigned to merchants by bills of exchange.
When the vice-treasurer informed his lordship of this, he sent him to ask the States to furnish these men, promising repayment as soon as the money was payable by the merchants, but the States utterly refused.
On Wednesday, Dec. 11, his lordship sent Sir Thomas Wilford from Dordrecht to the Hagh to move the States to appoint for these men some convenient garrison upon their return, but they refused to do this or to provide for their needs upon their going forth.
On Thursday, Dec. 12, his lordship received a letter from the ambassador asking that those who were appointed to go with him should be kept ready to embark and not be drawn into this service. The rest hardly enough to keep the places where they are in garrison, "and not a man that can be spared to the wars."
Endd. [Colman's crossed out] Declaration touching the affairs of the Low Countries, and by Burghley, from the Lord Willoghby. 1¾ pp. [Holland XXIX. f. 47.]
[Dec. 13.] Estimate of Lord Willughbie's charges in the Low Countries, and reasons why he has sustained them.
Until the siege of Bargen. Diet, with extraordinaries in his household, 30 Nov., 1587, to 13 Sept., 1588, at 10l. a day, at least 2880l.
Travelling expenses, at least 300l.
For espial, etc. 1200l.
During the siege. Victuals, etc., sent into Bargen 2000l.
Rewards, about 400l.
Diet, extraordinaries, and carriages 909l.
Total, 7689l.
Reasons why his lordship undertook these expenses.
Had to entertain the many who came to him, and prices are higher there than here, e.g. beef 3d. or 4d. a pound; mutton 4½d., 5d., and sometimes 6d. a pound; a capon 3s., 4s., 5s., or 6s.: other provisions and fuel extremely dear.
Had to travel a great deal (often upon instructions hence): boats, wagons, etc., dear, and his own men not allowed by custom of the towns to lade and unlade.
Gifts for intelligences, and rewards for services, a heavy charge.
His horse and foot bands have been a source not of profit but of loss. He had to raise from his own purse some 140 men to bring his horse band to its full strength of 200, whereas others have been allowed 10l. or 20l. a horse, and some have been without check for 8 months so as to raise and reinforce their companies. He has himself replaced lost horses. Some 20 native officers, cashiered by the States "for being too fast ours," have been received into his lordship's cornet, horsed and armed from his purse, and, although her Majesty allows but 5s. weekly, they have been allowed 40s., 30s., 20s., 15s., weekly: many of them recommended by letters from hence. He received his foot-company very weak: it is now always 40 or 50 above its normal strength, but he has had no allowance for the reinforcements thereof.
Not having a general's power to relieve captains and gentlemen from her Majesty's treasure, he has in extremities had to lend or give from his own purse, sometimes having to pawn plate or jewels.
He pays above 100l. sterling yearly for house-hire.
On his first coming from Denmark, he raised a horseband of 100, with which he served almost two years with no pay from her Majesty.
At Zutphen and elsewhere he lost many horses, but received no consideration.
"His lordship hath spent his whole revenues, being about 2200 or 2300l. per annum, save what was allowed unto my lady." He has sold great store of woods and all the stock his father left him. He mortgaged his lands in Norfolk to supply his wants in these wars, and has run into debts amounting to at least 4000l. Also he has pawned his plate and his own and her ladyship's jewels to the value of 1200l., which Mr. Allen borrowed upon interest in Holland during the siege.
Since his lordship entered as colonel of the infantry, about June, 1587, he has received but 4l. a day until December, 1588, and only 6l. a day since, as general.
His lordship leaves his services to her Majesty's consideration, and desires that he may be allowed 1000l. per annum toward his past expenses: the Council thought this reasonable. Also desires present payment for the supplies he sent into Bargen. He has "to take up the ordinary diet for his table on credit." If the States could be moved to allow him 2 or 3000l. sterling per annum, he would resign to her Majesty the said 1000l. for intelligences.
Endd. with date. 2½ pp. [Holland XXIX. f. 56.]
Another copy of the above, the estimate of charges signed by Morgan Colman; one or two figures noted by Burghley.
Undated. Endd. 2⅓ pp. [Holland XXIX. f. 53.]
A copy of the charges only, signed by Morgan Colman.
Undated. Endd. 2/3 p. [Holland XXIX. f. 55.]
Another copy of the charges only, signed by Morgan Colman.
Endd. Dec., 1588. 2/3 p. [Holland XXIX. f. 58.]
[About Dec. 13?] Reasons which have drawn the Lord Wyllughbie into great expenses in her Majesty's service, alleged not as in any way repenting of his charges and pains, but rather to prove how justly ("under your honourable favours") he may demand his due.
His expenses in Denmark were far above his entertainment, and though when he was last there he had to stay longer than he purposed, no allowance was made to him.
He went thence, upon the Earl of Leicester's letters, to the Low Countries: raised and maintained from his own purse 100 lances.
When he was appointed Colonel, he received from Sir John Norris only 16 lances, which he made up to the full 100; "and of 300 foot, but 60, to make up 200: the rest he raised and furnished with horse and arms."
When he became General, he received from the Earl of Leicester only 30 lances instead of 100: he made them up to 100 and raised 50 foot at his own charge.
He has lost men, horses, furniture, and arms, in the service, and had no allowance for replacing them, though it cost almost as much as the raising of two fresh double companies would have done.
He has equipped and entertained sundry Dutch captains, discharged for their goodwill towards England.
He has also had to pay house rent, carriage by land and water, for provisions at the highest rate, for rewards for service and intelligence, and had very heavy expenses at Barges.
He has spent all his father left him; all his revenues save her ladyship's allowance; great sums received for woodfalls; fines received for his revenues; 1500l. received from Martin la Phallia; 5000l. which he borrowed and still owes; and money from the sale of sundry chains and jewels.
He has received no entertainment from the States.
Undated. Endd. 1¼ pp. [Holland XXIX. f. 59.]
Dec. 13. Sir John Conway to the Lord Chancellor, Lord Treasurer, and Walsingham.
Need of a speedy resolution about this place and its garrison. On Dec. 9 and 10 the seas, with a north-west wind and very high and rough spring tides, carried away the rampire and the works done since mid-November along the whole side of the old town, leaving that side entirely open to the enemy. They have no timber, faggots, stones, planks, or lime, to begin the repairs. All the artillery on Bridges side is dismounted by the seas and the dyke from Bridges port to the seaside filled with hard sand: the foundation of the whole rampire is down.
Has asked assistance of the Lord General, the States, and Sir John Norres, but has had no answer. The States unlikely to undertake the expense, or to act in time. Repairs will be very expensive. The question to be answered is, whether the loss of the place would cause her Majesty greater annoyance and charge than the holding of it; and whether this garrison might serve more usefully elsewhere, or not? The garrison is numerous and sufficient to do good service elsewhere. But the evacuation of Ostend would greatly help the enemy by releasing forces now held in Flanders. The Duke's desire to possess the place proves this. Its retention valuable if her Majesty continue and increase good neighbourhood between England and the Low Countries. "The burghers of the towns in these parts and the inhabitants of the country" have petitioned Conway to solicit her Majesty to send forces amongst them. "They assure me the King hath not one town in all Flanders victualled for a month, and the most part of all the towns will presently revolt if they might see her Majesty's forces in the country." It would be a good beginning for the New Year if her Majesty's forces which are not hardened by service were employed to recover Dunkyrke and Newport, which would make England more secure and the passages more free. The forces could be very securely set down around Dunkyrk between the two rivers, and victualled there by small boats inexpensively. "The haven of Newport will be taken away in two days, and all their relief by land, so Nouvedan sconce be first surprised, through which passes all his provisions from Bridges and other places both to Newporte and Dunkyrk. They be places of no force and will be with ease recovered." In Newporte are three companies, with 30 horse; in Dunkyrke not 500 soldiers. If her Majesty decides to recover these places, Ostend should be held for the time. Could concentrate this garrison in the part around the haven, and leave much of the town to the sea.
Is confident they can still hold the place against the enemy if victuals and munition are sent over. Their victuals are gone and the burghers neither do nor will trade anything. Desires speedy resolution.
Sends other his letters of old date, delayed by contrary winds.— Ostend, 13 December, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Seal. 2¾ pp. [Holland XXIX. f. 61.]
[Dec. 14.] (fn. 4) Warrant to the Treasurer and Chamberlain of the Exchequer to issue the following sums to Sir Thomas Shirley, Treasurer at war in the Low Countries: 12,000l. for apparel for the army in the Low Countries, to be defalked half-yearly from their pay: and a further 8000l. on 1 April, 1589, for summer apparel. Also 12,525l. 18s. 8d. on 13 Jan., 1589, for weekly imprests from Jan. 28 until March 24: 12,525l. 18s. 8d. on 10 March, 1589, for weekly imprests from March 25 until May 19: and 12,525l. 18s. 8d. on May 6 for weekly imprests from May 20 until July 14.
Draft, corrected by Burghley. Undated. Endd. 12/3 pp. [Holland XXIX. f. 65.]
Another draft of the above warrant.
Corrected. Undated. Endd. 12/3 pp. [Holland XXIX. f. 67.]
Dec. 14. J. Ortell to Burghley.
On behalf of certain persons of the Low Countries, mostly of Holland and Zeeland, who have had a suit for twelve months before the Judge of the Admiralty against Robert Flicke, captain of the Merchant Royal, who wrongfully took from them 352 chests and 6 hogsheads of sugar: that they may have present restitution, or at least that their learned counsel may appear before his lordship and others of the Council and inform them of the said persons' complaints.—London, 14 December, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Holland XXIX. f. 63.]
Dec. 14. Walburga, Countess of Nuenar, to Walsingham.
Thanks him for his letter and hopes that her Majesty has recovered from the defluxion which prevented her from writing. Her devotion to her Majesty, and friendship for Walsingham.— Utrecht, 14 December, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. French. ½ p. [Holland XXIX. f. 17.]
Dec.14/24. The Bailiff, Burgomasters, and Echevins of Flushing to Burghley.
That Oliver de Renvber, who cannot now bring grain, as he is wont to do, to this town owing to her Majesty's prohibition of its export from her dominions, may have licence to transport grain hither upon giving surety to sell it only to the garrison and inhabitants of this town.—Flushing, 24 December, 1588.
Signed, A. Oillarts. Add. Endd. with note of contents. French. ¾ p. [Holland XXIX. f. 125.]
Dec. 15. Lord Wyllughby to the Privy Council. (fn. 5)
The States have agreed to let the ambassador [Sir J. Norris] have 2000 foot and 6 companies of horse of her Majesty's succours here. 13 companies are to be left for Berghen, 7 for Ostend, 7 for Vlishing and Ramekins, 4 for the Briel: a total of 31 companies. All the rest of her Majesty's foot and the 6 horsebands are to go on this voyage.
Yet the States peremptorily demand at least 1000 foot and 400 horse from her Majesty's forces for the relief of Wachtendonck, and refuse to appoint them to any garrison upon their return or to provide for their needs at their setting forth. Danger of withdrawing them from any garrisons. If the English refuse to do as they demand, they will blame her Majesty for breaking the Contract and her troops for doing no service. Berghen in great danger from the strong enemy forces around it, now the frost comes on. Ostend is so ruined by the sea that many men are needed to hold it. If the cautionary towns are weakened, "they have that then which they have long sought for" as they will be able to possess themselves especially of Vlishing, where the governor complains of their practices.
Thinks that it might be better to reinforce the cautionary towns and to withdraw the other English forces, "rather than to have them thus dispersed as in a land of bondage, where they are so badly entreated" . . .—Dordrecht, 15 December, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. with note of contents. 1 p. [Holland XXIX. f. 71.]
Dec. 15. Lord Wyllughby to Burghley.
The States desire Lord Awdley to be General of the Horse, with entertainment of 20s. a day. Recommends that the Privy Council agree to this appointment.—Dordrecht, 15 December, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. with note of contents. ½ p. [Holland XXIX. f. 73.]
Dec. 15. Thomas, Lord Burgh to Burghley.
The relief of a town in Guelders, besieged by Count Mansfield, is being discussed. It will not be easy, and the loss of the town would endanger Arnham and open a way to Utrecht.
The ambassador has effected his purpose quite successfully and is ready to depart. They hear that the Duke sends forces to those countries where they [the enemy] are likely to be attacked. Hopes the preparations in Portugal are not more advanced than they are imagined to be. If her Majesty would allow him to continue his charge here by his lieutenant, Burgh would gladly go on this journey. Does not wish to move anything that might be thought unfit.
"Mr. Secretary writ to me that he thought this place should be proportioned to the first number, and that the two companies come in since should be drawn out. I beseech your lordship consider of it well, for the town is stronger already of men than we be, but in the terms we are we can command them if need were; which if any of our number were diminished we should be too weak to do. And her Majesty had as good refer the whole trust to them, as to be charged with us here, and they of ability to expel us at their pleasure." Her Majesty should hold strongly these pledges of future performance and not trust too much that their need of her aid will make them fear to offend her. They may reconcile themselves with the King, and in any case "the sure holding of the cautionary towns holdeth them in better respects than otherwise they would be contained in."
His brother and Sir Harry Norris hope to go on this journey, which will make him weaker by two captains.—Brill, December 15.
Postscript. If any companies must be drawn hence, hopes it will be those which are left under lieutenants rather than those whose captains are here resident.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. 2½ pp. [Holland XXIX. f. 75.]
Dec. 15. Captain Arthur Brett to Walsingham.
Desiring his honour, as one esteemed "the chiefest by whose means such as profess arms are advanced," to advance him in this voyage wherein he desires to serve and in which he will adventure 500l. "gotten by service."—Bryell, 15 December.
Holograph. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Holland XXIX. f. 77.]
[About Dec. 16?] The Queen to Lord Willoughby. (fn. 6)
Hears by Sir John Conway's letters that the defences of Ostend have been weakened by the sea—a thing her Majesty has always feared would occur—owing to the negligence of the States, who have often refused to take order for the repairing thereof. In view of the peril to themselves, and to her subjects serving there should the enemy seize this opportunity to attack, her Majesty has decided, if the States still refuse to take present order for the necessary repairs, to withdraw her forces from thence to Berghen-upp-Zome, where Willoughby shall take order for their supply and employment. That the States may have no just cause of complaint, he shall explain that, owing to their persistent refusal to undertake the repairs required, the place is no longer guardable.
Minute, considerably corrected. Undated. Endd. 1¼ pp. [Holland XXIX. f. 117.]
[Dec. 16?] The Queen to Sir John Conway.
Perceives by his letters of [Nov.] 25 and [Dec.] 13 the damage done to the defences of Ostend by the rage of the seas, and that unless repairs are speedily executed the place will be untenable. If he has not received satisfactory answer from the States before the receipt of these letters, he and the English serving there are to withdraw to Berghen-upp-Zom or elsewhere as the Privy Council shall direct.
Credence for Captain Carlisle, this bearer, sent over to assist Conway, either in the withdrawal, or in keeping the place if the States give full order for the repair of the damaged defences and undertake the charge.
Minute, corrected. Endd. Undated. 1¾ pp. [Holland XIX. f. 303.]
Dec. 16. The Privy Council to Sir John Conway.
To the same effect as the above.—16 December, 1588.
Signed, Chr. Hatton, Cane.; W. Burghley; Hunsdon; Fra. Walsyngham. Add. Endd. Seal. 1 p. One of the Conway papers. [Holland XXIX. f. 87.]
Minute of the above, by Walsingham, corrected by Burghley.
Undated. Endd. 1½ pp. [Holland XIX. f. 308.]
Dec. 16. Thomas Bodley to Walsingham.
Reached Flushing on Dec. 5, and had to stay there six days owing to sickness. Then awaited Sir John Norris at Middlebourgh. Unsatisfactory answers from the States to points urged by Norris which Bodley was instructed to deal in if Norris failed to obtain satisfaction. Intends to consult with Mr. Kelligrew at the Hage upon the best means of pressing them again.
Has had free and familiar intercourse with St. Aldegonde, to whom he gave Walsingham's letters. St. Aldegonde seems to desire nothing more than to prove the uprightness of his conduct at Antwerp. No one, English or other, will say a good word for him. He lives very privately, but if the States would use him, he would gladly serve them. He criticises their careless proceedings, alleging that he warned them long since that Count Mannsfelt would besiege Wachtendoncke, but they took no notice. He desired Bodley, very secretly, to have an eye to the Count de Meurs in Utrecht, who has recently, he understands, had secret dealings with Parma, probably for the delivery of the town. Bodley will warn some of the States, though perhaps no such matter may be intended.—Middlebourgh, 16 December, '88.
Holograph. Add. Endd. with note of contents. Seal of arms. 1½ pp. [Holland XXIX. f. 81.]
Dec. 16. Thomas Bodley to Walsingham.
Wrote by Sir John Norris, who left this morning for Flushing. Since then the States of Zeeland have visited him to complain that Sir W. Russell will not allow them to withdraw four companies from Flushing for the relief of Wachtindoncke, as the States General appointed. Replied that order would soon be given to reduce that garrison to its wonted numbers, leaving the rest, as before, at their disposal. Need for this order to be speedily given: Sir John Norris was to promise that Bodley would bring it over. Sir W. Russell is unwilling to reduce his companies, but unless they are brought to the numbers allowed by the Contract, or the States' consent is obtained to keeping them stronger, Bodley can hardly keep putting them off with excuses. Leaves soon for Dort.—Middlebourgh, 16 December, '88.
Holograph. Add. Endd. with note of contents. Seal of arms. 1 p. [Holland XXIX. f. 83.]
Dec. 16. Sir Thomas Morgan to Walsingham.
The Lord General has written for three companies of English horse, five companies of foot, and 200 pikes, out of this garrison. They must be sent within these two days, and then there will remain only two companies of 'Dutch' horse, at most 100 in all, and 1100 men. Thought good to inform his honour, so that if any ill befall them, he would know the occasion thereof.
The enemy can bring 5 or 6000 men against them in eight hours, and now the nights are long and the frosts likely to come, they will certainly attempt something when they hear of the place's weakness.
The Prince of Parma is sick, and for two or three days was reported to be dead.—Berges, 16 December, 1588.
Postscript. The Lord General was sending a man into the enemy's country. Morgan knew the man, talked with him, and learned of his lordship's intention: he promised to advertise his honour of what he learns. The token by which to know that the news comes from him is, "that I wrung him by the little finger." This bearer desires favour for that he goes to take up soldiers for the Lord Marshal.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XXIX. f. 85.]
Dec. 16. Advertisements.
Letters from Parrishe of Nov. 23 report that the King of Spain makes a Parliament and demands 5,000,000 of gold and 50,000 men, to have his revenge upon England. Will probably come earlier than this year, because he will bring galleys to land men, probably in the west country. Many gentlemen of divers nations go from Flanders into Spain to join the ships. It is also written that the Duke of Savweigh has taken another hold of the French King, who prepares to go to Lyons and proclaim war against the Duke.
The Duke of Parma was lately at Dunkerke with twelve horsemen and went to set in order the frontiers of Flanders. So, probably "the King of Spain will maintain his wars against France by Flanders and Saveweighe, and so by this means he thinks to embrace all Christendom. And I think that his ambition will never cease till he be possessed of a piece of ground seven foot long."
Endd. with date. Not signed or add. ½ p. [Holland XXIX. f. 79.]
Dec. 17/27. St. Aldegonde to Walsingham.
Received his letter by Bodeley and at once gave Bodeley all the information he could about affairs in these countries. He seems a very sufficient man. His own readiness to serve her Majesty.
Wrote by the Sieur Casembroot of his plan to go to France. No further development, though the King of Navarre's agents here have made some suggestions of his going thither. His estate cannot bear the risk, especially as things are so uncertain there. Hence, he waits here until God shall dispose of his services elsewhere.
The enemy troops besieging Wachtendoncq are in mutiny. Count Maurice has been ill: some hinted at poison. Praises the Count.—Soubourg, 27 December, 1588, stilo novo.
Holograph. Add. Endd. French. 1⅓ pp. [Holland XXIX. f. 89.]
Dec. 18/28. The Princess of Bouillon to Walsingham.
Those of Jametz have been compelled, for lack of succour, to yield the town to the Lorrainers and to make a six weeks' truce, though the castle still holds out. Her heavy expenses in this unjust war force her to seek all means of aid. Has appealed to the King of Navarre and hopes for some help from him. Postpones troubling her Majesty until she can learn Walsingham's opinion upon the possibility of obtaining a small sum of money.— Sedan, 28 December, 1588.
Signed, Charlotte de la Marck. Add. Endd. French. ¾ p. [France XVIII. 176.]
Dec. 18. The Queen to the Count of Neuwenar.
Perceives by his letters of Nov. 5 that proceedings against Deventer continue. Desires that he would send to her the particulars of the charge against Deventer, and meanwhile stay the proceedings until her Majesty can consider of them. No intention of hindering the course of justice.—Greenwich, 18 December, 1588.
Copy. Endd. with note of contents. French. ¾ p. [Holland XXIX. f. 94.]
Another copy of the above, much corrected.
Endd. French. 1 p. [Holland XXIX. f. 93.]
Dec. 18. Sir William Russell to Burghley.
Writes, at the burgomasters' request, on behalf of this bearer, whom they send with a request to be allowed to transport a certain amount of wheat for the use of this town.—Vlisshing, 18 December, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. with note of contents. ½ p. [Holland XXIX. f. 91.]
Dec. 20. Lord Wyllughby to the Privy Council.
Wachtendonck rendered to the enemy by composition.
Now that treasure is "turned over by exchange to merchants," none is to be had upon any sudden occasion of service. His own credit will stretch no further. Desires their lordships to give order that, though the treasure be put over by exchange, there may always be a convenient sum available for special services.
If the 2000 foot and 6 companies of horse, granted by the States to Sir John Norreys, are withdrawn, the rest will not suffice for the guard of the garrisons they hold. Repeats his opinion that it would be better for her Majesty to reinforce the cautionary towns and withdraw the rest, " for otherwise neither can we draw a man to the wars (whereunto the States will continually urge us), and yet the frontier places held by her Majesty's forces in continual danger, and the cautionary towns also subject to all practices."—The Hagh, 20 December, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. with note of contents. Seal. ¾ p. [Holland XXIX. f. 95.]
[Dec. 20.] The answer to the articles about the exchanges.
London and Andwerp.
Calculated for a sum of 100l. sterling, first delivered in London on 30 Sept., 1587, for payment in Andwerp on 30 Oct.; and turned on the exchanges on each side six times during the ensuing year; the rates for 1l. sterling being, from London to Andwerp, outward:—
30 Sept., 1587: 31s. Flemish. 2 Dec., 1587: 30s. 9d. Flemish.
4 Feb., 1588: 31s. 13 Apr,, 1588: 32s.
16 June, 1588: 32s. 8d. 18 Aug., 1588: 34s.
And from Andwerp to London, homeward:—
1 Nov., 1587: 30s. 3d. Flemish. 3 Jan., 1588: 30s. 5d. Flemish.
5 Mar., 1588: 30s. 5d. 15 May, 1588: 31s. 9d.
17 July, 1588: 32s. 10d. 19 Sept., 1588: 33s. 8d.
Profit gained on the 100l. sterling in the year 10l. 8s. 4d. Flemish.
Less, brokerage, portage, and payment to the factor 3l. 18s. 4d. Flemish.
Clear gain 6l. 10s. 0d. Flemish.
i.e., at 31s. Flemish to the 1l. sterling 4l. 3s. 10d. sterling.
London and Middleborough.
Calculated for a sum of 100l. sterling, first delivered in London on 1 Nov., 1587, for payment in Middleborough on 1 Dec.; and turned on the exchanges on each side six times during the ensuing year; the rates for 1l. sterling being, from London to Middleborough:—
1 Nov., 1587: 32s. 4d. Flemish. 3 Jan., 1588: 32s. 2d. Flemish.
5 Mar., 1588: 32s. 5d. 6 May, 1588: 33s.
8 July, 1588: 33s. 6d. 10 Oct., 1588: 34s. 2d.
And from Middleborough to London:—
2 Dec., 1587: 31s. 6d. Flemish. 4 Feb., 1588: 31s. 8d. Flemish.
5 Apr., 1588: 32s. 5d. 7 June, 1588: 32s. 10d.
9 Aug., 1588: 33s. 7d. 11 Oct., 1588: 33s. 9d.
Profit gained on 100l. sterling in the year 9l. 3s. 4d. Flemish.
Less, brokerage, portage, etc. 3l. 18s. 4d.
Clear gain 5l. 5s. 0d. Flemish.
i.e. at 32s. 11d. Flemish to the 1l. sterling 3l. 3s. 9d. sterling.
London and Stode or Hamborough.
Calculated for a sum of 100l. sterling, first delivered in London on 4 Nov., 1587, for payment in Stode or Hamborough on 4 Jan., 1588; and turned on the exchanges on each side thrice during the ensuing year; the rates for 1l. sterling being, from London to Stode or Hamborough:—
4 Nov., 1587: 24s. Hamborough. 8 July, 1588: 24s. 10d.
6 Mar., 1588: 24s. 3d.
And from Stode or Hamborough to London:—
5 Jan., 1588: 23s. 6d. Hamborough. 9 Sept., 1588: 24s. 8d.
7 May, 1588: 33 [recle 23]s. 3d.
Profit gained on the 100l. sterling in the year 8l. 6s. 8d. Hamborough.
Less, brokerage, portage, etc. 1l. 15s. 0d.
Clear gain 6l. 11s. 8d. Hamborough.
i.e., at 24s. 2d. Hamborough, to the 1l. sterling. 5l. 8s. 10d.
The offerer of the questions upon exchange is much troubled that, whilst the monies of England, the Low Countries, and Stode, remain at the value and goodness at which they were coined, yet the exchange and rechange between England and the others rises and falls: so they think that the 'basing' of English money to the value of the others' would help matters.
The accounts show that the deliverer of money by exchange still looks to gain according to the time he forbears it.
True exchange should be according to the standards of the countries and the fineness and value of the coinages, but current exchange ever goes "as the taker needeth and offereth to the liking of the deliverer. Rich merchants' exchange riseth and falleth as there is plenty and scarcity of money, and as there be few takers and many takers, or much or few good commodities to be bought and sold where exchange lieth."
" Some merchant takers seek to make their exchange oversea as the gold goeth everywhere there, and coming to that reckoning they think their exchange goeth well with them. The merchant deliverer, both here and there, seeks ever to keep his exchange he delivereth under the value the piece of gold goeth for where he delivereth his exchange. Every man must humble himself to the loss and gain of the exchange outward and homeward for England as time and the merchant doth set it and trade doth order it."
" But to make the realm of England still, and all English merchants only, to gain upon the exchange here, and to drive away all strangers from the use of exchange, is to drive the merchant strangers and the denizen strangers also to make employment of all foreign wares they bring into England, as before King Henry VII's time they were bound to do by statute. And then to provide [that] our English merchants should carry out more English commodities yearly than they bring in of foreign wares, and so all merchant strangers and denizen strangers should not have a penny unemployed to deliver by exchange oversea, and our English merchants, carrying over more commodities than they brought home, should have money enough ever beyond sea of their overplus of wares there; and never Englishman here should need to deliver any money by exchange for beyond sea, because all our Merchants Adventurers should have money enough there to furnish them with, of the yearly overplus of English commodities more carried out than of foreign commodities brought in; and so our gold and silver should return again home by shipfuls. And doing not thus by Parliament again, never look to have our gold and silver to return into the realm."
"The rule was in Richard II's time that no merchant stranger, denizen or not denizen, should use exchange here in England without the King's licence under the Great Seal, and then such money as was delivered the stranger here to pay beyond sea, he was bound in Chancery to employ within six months after upon English commodities, and so the stranger could not transport nor use upon exchange that money."
Likewise in Henry IV's time merchant strangers were bound to employ within a certain time the money they received from foreign goods upon the purchase of English commodities.
" Then came King Henry VII, and he allowed strangers that their bills of exchange, of their money delivered here, should be accounted for sufficient employment; and so set all exchange and transportation of money at liberty unawares, for them that would use it."
Merchants' traffic the true cause of the rise and fall of the exchange, "for as merchants need money and money is scant, so the exchange will always rise . . . And so again, when there is plenty of money and few needers and takers up of money, then the exchange falleth as fast again."
"And lastly, to let these questioners see their ignorance in merchants' exchange, every shilling sterling of our money in Middleborough, Holland, and Zeeland is current now for 20d. Fl. a piece: and every of our angels be now current there for 16s. 8d. Fl., which make every 1l. sterling to be at 33s. 4d. Fl. So as if any of our men will take up 100l. sterling there of our own money at usance to be paid in London, he shall have but 32s. Flemish of our own money for every pound sterling paid at London. Whereby the questioner seeth the merchant gaineth 100s. and 100 groats, which makes 6l. 13s. Fl. gain at the first delivery thereof. And now if that 100l. sterling be returned straight again to Middleborough from London at usance after 31s. Fl. the 1l. sterling, now the questioner seeth how he receiveth now for his 100l. sterling but 31s. Fl. at Middelborow for every 1l. sterling delivered in London. Out of which 100l. sterling, if the taker carry it over with speed and have a good wind, he shall pay the deliverer but 31s. Fl. of his own money at Middleborough, and so shall get by it 11l. 13s. 4d. Fl. Which I take doth answer the questions sufficiently. And as for answering them by exchange made upon the French crown for Rone, Parys, and Lyons, the reckoning will be so full of fractions that it will be hard and unconceivable, because the exchange is that way made upon so many pence the French crown."
Endd. with date. 8¼ pp. [Holland XXIX. f. 97.]


  • 1. Extract in Bertie, Five Generations of a Loyal House, p. 233.
  • 2. 'letters of reprisals' in the draft.
  • 3. Extract in Bertie, Five Generations of a Loyal House, p. 234.
  • 4. See Domestic Cal., Addenda, 1580–1625, p. 260.
  • 5. Abstract in Bertie, Five Generations of a Loyal House, pp. 234–5.
  • 6. Communicated to the States General on Jan. 10th–20th. Japikse, Resolutien der Staten Generaal, vi. 440.