Elizabeth: July 1588, 26-31

Pages 84-97

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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July 1588, 26-31

July 26. The Commissioners to Walsingham.
Desiring that the 'carriors' and others who bring despatches may receive larger rewards, as they complain that they are rather losers than gainers by their journeys.—Bourborgh, 26 July, 1588.
Signed by all five. Add. Endd. "27 July." ½ p. [Flanders IV. f. 283.]
July 26. Sir Edward Norreys to Walsingham.
"I know not how the States should think it safe for her Majesty to withdraw her shipping from her own coasts, unless that their great fear of themselves make them careless of the rest. For it is certain that, although we have still advertisements that the whole burden of his malice will fall upon us now that his other higher enterprises by sea are broken by the dispersing of the King's 'flote,' yet doth he now at this instant greatly haste forward his shipping, causing all of them to be put in readiness to hoist sail and forbidding that no one boat, no not a fisher, shall stir out of the haven. Besides, Mondragon is come from his charge of Gaunt to the camp, with reinforce of two regiments; and four other also drawn down thither, and new regiments raised to be put in garrisons. A bruit also that there are 1500 new men come out of divers places."
"The Duke is looked for at Dunkerk now this full moon to see the shipping and the heights of the water. All the cavalry that they can possibly make do march towards Dunkerk. They have also sent for their forces that are before Boone. They say that their fleet is reassembled up in the coasts of Scotland, and that the King hath appointed them a quarter to land in."
"To conclude, the voyage of England now spoken more assuredly than ever. So that I doubt not but in your wisdom you will foresee what inconvenience may grow by being secure, which of ourselves we are too much given unto, and how necessary it be that her Majesty enter into action, continuing no longer her idle charges only attending their attempts (which though they should be hindered for awhile, would yet fall upon us at some sudden, when we shall be grown either weary or careless), but by diverting their forces to their own defence, which would be their ruin if, either at this place, or in Spain, Portugal or the Indies, they might be assaulted."
"I hope your honour will pardon me, that the zeal to my country and service of her Majesty hath transported me beyond that I am called unto...."—Ostend, 26 July, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. 2¼ pp. [Holland XXV. f. 147.]
July 27. Stafford to Walsingham.
Since putting up his packet, Mr. Haclytt has arrived with the first letter he has received from his honour for five weeks and more. Finds that Tupper and George will arrive to-night. All have been stayed by contrary winds.
Hears from Haclytt "that of certain our army and the Spanish army had fought, which was brought by a pinnace that went from him to my lord Henry Seimer," but knows nothing further. Beseeches his honour to send him news as soon as may be, as he and his will be in great anxiety until they hear. Haclytt says that continual shooting was heard at Deepe towards Portland from four to seven o'clock on Thursday morning. Another, come since, says it began again at ten o'clock.
Thanks his honour for his kindly answer "about the credit." If it can be done, "either about Degoly's means or otherwise" he will never forget it, for about the 20th they probably go from hence "and then there is no remedy but ready money and there was never such a time here of impossibility to get it."—Paris, 27 July, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [France XVIII. 135.]
July 27./Aug. 6. Stafford to Villeroy.
Has just received a packet from the Queen his mistress. In it are the depositions and examinations of those whom M. de Plassin asserts assaulted him, and of certain English witnesses. If the ambassador has misrepresented the proceedings herein, as he threatened to do, Stafford is to inform his Majesty of the truth and of her Majesty's desire that full respect be shown to any whom his ambassador avows. Sends copies of all the documents to Villeroy and desires to know of him how his brother-in-law has represented this, that he (Stafford) may thereupon determine his own course. Hopes that Villeroy's wisdom may help to quench the firebrands who would alienated their sovereigns. Knows the ambassador has no such thoughts, but some about him have.
Sends the ambassador's articles of complaint; the examinations of the Frenchmen, and of English witnesses; and the requests to the Council of the French [Huguenots], who were treated as delinquents and detained in prison a week longer than the ambassador's men, who were only used as the even greatest lords of England would be by the ordinary officers, who are no respecters of persons. As soon as they were known to be the ambassador's men they were at once released, whereas the others were kept until enquiry was made, and a week after that.
Will pass no judgment upon the case, but is sure the ambassador is too wise to allow insults to the King of Navarre to go unpunished if they were uttered. Considering the other party were servants of the King of Navarre, a week's imprisonment might seem sufficient reparation for the affront to M. Plassin, since they were provoked by his freedom of speech and the report that their master was guilty of his cousin's [Condé's] death.
Writes thus freely in the hope that Villeroy's wisdom and his own goodwill may prevent her Majesty from believing that the ambassador desires to stir up ill-will between her and his Majesty. Desires him also to command the ambassador's men to be less free in their speech. When Stafford has suffered any insult he has preferred first to approach Villeroy rather than make a great brouhaha.
Copy by Stafford: sent to Walsingham in his letter of July 27 or 31 (see his letter of Aug. 1, infra p. 98). Endd. French. 2½ pp. [France XVIII. 143.]
July 27. The Estates of Utrecht to the Queen.
Desiring an audience and favourable answer for Captain Meetkerchen, whom they are sending to her.
Regret that some are ungrateful to her Majesty. However, they feel confident, owing to her graciousness and their own good right (who have never departed from the general union or the treaty with England), that they will not be abandoned, nor the present matter put on one side.—Utrecht, 27 July, 1588, old style.
Countersigned. Strick. Add. Endd. French. ½ p. [Holland XXV. f. 131.]
July 28. Christian IV, King of Denmark to the Queen.
That satisfaction may be given to Bernard and John Schurmann of Copenhagen, whose ship was seized on 25 March, 1587, when returning from Spain, by two English pirates, Captains Strangewitz and Fuchs. The ship was taken into Helfort, where the goods were sold by William Pick, servant of Lord Simer, the vice-admiral, the ship being detained and the sailors imprisoned and most cruelly treated. Some French ships were likewise seized, and, being unable to obtain any redress, appealed to the late King [of Denmark] to intercede with her Majesty.—Copenhagen, 28 July, 1588.
Signed by the four Governors, Nicholas Kaas, Peter Munck, George Rosenkrantz, Christopher Valckendorff. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson, with note of contents. Latin. 3 pp. [Denmark I. f. 264.]
July 28. G. Gilpin to Walsingham.
His last, of the 20th, was left behind through the hasty departure of the Lord General's servant. On the 21st received Walsingham's of the 11th and her Majesty's to his lordship concerning the entertainment she has bestowed upon Gilpin. His thanks for this. Her Majesty's letter does not clearly specify the place of his service. Desires his honour to inform him, "for as I would not willingly presume to intrude myself into any place..., so would I also not neglect to employ myself there where I might do best service, which . . . both by my lord and Mr. Killegrewe is taken would be to be present in the Council of State...."
On his return to the Haegh, will go to Amsterdam to confer with the doctor who would undertake to cure Walsingham's disease.
Has not yet heard that Sir Thomas Sherley has sent to his servant in Middleborrowe for the payment of any money. Desires his honour's favourable word to him, "for in this time money is very scant and all things extreme chargeable, having been charged with two or three extraordinary contributions of late towards these wars." Cannot yet get any of the money which the States owe him for his services during the past year and more.
"Since my last all the soldiers are paid, amounting [to] 21,500l. sterling, besides the extraordinary charges of lendings during the alteration and expenses in travel, which I think amounteth to 4 or 5000l. at least. A hard bargain in this present time. And now they are ranged under their Governor and captains, but the officers chosen by the soldiers are such as were the most 'mutiners' and disordered among the whole company. And so jealous still, knowing how far they have offended, that the government will be very slender and uncertain, being hard to bring such men into order and good discipline."
Berck is straitly blocked and there is small provision within the town. It cannot hold out long. Colonel Skenck is at the Haeghe, preparing to rescue them. "The States will assist what they can, but I doubt the longness of their resolutions may chance to be the loss of the place, as it hath been heretofore of others. For about two months past the garrison both wrote and sent earnestly for provision... These be the fruits of government without a head."
"They of Utrecht are not agreed, and Friezlande not quieted. In Gelderland and Overyssel, want and misery, besides discontentment; and in Holland is proceeded as heretofore with longness and circumstances...."—Geertrudenbergh, 28 July, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. 2¼ pp. [Holland XXV. f. 152.]
July 28./Aug. 7. Pay roll of M. Dophem's company under the regiment of the Prince de Gavere, Count of Egmont, on which payment of two months' wages is made in cloth, 5 August, 1588.
Endd. "Rolle du paiement du drap, le 10 d' Aoust 1588." French. 15¼ pp. [Holland XXVI. f. 59.]
July 30./Aug. 9. Chasteauneuf to Walsingham.
It was ordered at their last meeting, at the Lord Treasurer's lodgings, that the Admiralty judge should issue to Jacques Fontaynes and Thomas le Doyen, French merchants, a warrant summoning before him Adrian Gilbert, an English merchant. This warrant was sent by a pursuivant, but Gilbert refused to obey. Desires the issue of another warrant to the Frenchmen to constrain Gilbert to appear.—London, 9 August, 1588.
Postscript. It was also ordered at the meeting that M. de Rallay should give satisfaction to a French merchant for sixteen tuns of wine, taken on the quay at Hampton and delivered to Rallay. Desires his honour's assistance herein.
He will see by M. Carroughes' letter [not found] how he is importuned on behalf of the two religieux [endorsement: "the two Englishmen that be of the religious house of Roan"], and also for the boy Hardi [endd. "the Frenchman"], prisoner in Bridouel. He is detained only for his charges, which may be deducted from the two hundred crowns which they have taken from him. Asks his honour's aid herein.
Holograph. Add. Endd. with note of contents. French. 1 p. [France XVIII. 136.]
July 30. Lord Wyllughby to the Privy Council. (fn. 1)
Received two letters to-day. The first, for the shipping, was left by a shipper with Wyllughby's 'Duch' maid at his lodging in Dordrecht, and found and brought on by one of his servants. The other, for 1000 shot, was delivered by Mr. Secretary's man about 3 this afternoon.
"For the shipping to be sent to sea, I had, before the receipt of your lordships' letters, so earnestly solicited, as the Vice-Admiral was departed from Vlishing with so many as could then be made ready. And now, upon my new request, there is no means left unessayed which may possibly join what forces they can at sea for that common defence. The motion for the 1000 shot . . . made the States doubtful what to resolve by reason it differed from my first request. It was here thought that these squadrons would be a means to break all those companies from whence they were taken, and that they could hardly arrive there in sufficient time to do any service."
"I have appointed Sir Thomas Morgan (as your lordships commanded) to conduct those men, and have given order to Captain Vere to take out of the companies in Berghen 360, and to deliver them to Mr. Morgan at Vlishing. Besides, from Utrecht shall presently arrive four score more. The rest I leave to Sir William Russell to appoint out of his garrison, to whom your lordships have written for that purpose."
"Before the last motion came for those 1000 shot the Count Maurice had resolved, and the States accorded to it, that in person he would have gone to the sea with 2000 men, and we would have lain upon all advantages to have attempted somewhat upon the Duke of Parma his forces... But that is now broke off (as they allege) by reason that these shot are called hence."
"But to answer all other occasions that may happen, myself to-morrow will depart toward Midleburgh, where (according such small means as I have) I will perform, so much as shall be possible, your lordships' directions."—The Hagh, 30 July, 1588.
Postscript. ". . . Upon certain report that the Spanish 'flote' was advanced so far, the Council of State have propounded unto the States General that an extraordinary contribution should be made to levy ships and men, both to assist her Majesty as occasion may require, and to defend these coasts if aught should be attempted."
Signed. Add. Endd. with note of contents. 1 p. [Holland XXV. f. 154.]
July 30. John Stubbe, scaeva, to Walsingham.
Asks his honour's pardon for not waiting upon him before coming over. Had promised to accompany lady Wilughby, who came across earlier than he had expected. Will not now interrupt his weighty affairs with an account of his 'travaile.' Leaves those better informed to report the state of these countries. Desires the continuance of his favour and is most willing to do any service he can.—The Haghe, 30 July, 1588.
Postscript. Was present at the treaty and conclusion between the States and those of Gertruydenberghen, and "also at the prosperous fight which the lord Wilughby and that garrison had with them of Breda; but your honour hath greater things now in hand. The Lord give his blessing."
Holograph. Add. Endd. Seal. 1 p. [Holland XXV. f. 156.]
July 31. Stafford to Walsingham.
What he sent from Lilly came mostly from his [Stafford's] good friends who have good knowledge of things there. This of Boullen is probably done to satisfy awhile the League's importunity. The King probably promises it merely to stop their mouths, because he has promised it in the accords, and also because Bernet, the Governor, and Campagnolle have defeated many of them since the accord. As for his honour's fear that this accord might lead to some attempt against her Majesty, dare warrant nothing shall be enterprised without he receives timely warning.
"I am still in the mind I was in, and I have it by many advertisements daily confirmed and from very good places, that we shall ere long see a great change, though for the time we see other appearances and preparations. Yet we must not in hope of uncertainties let our friends fall. If they be assured. I pray God send these sea matters have good effects, and I fear the less. I can assure you the King desired above all things the good success of it, upon my word."—Paris, 31 July, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. The portion in italics in cipher; decipher on fly leaf, annexed. 1 p. [France XVIII. 137.]
July 31. H. Killygrew to Walsingham. (fn. 2)
Sends this by his honour's servant. The Governor of Flushing sent a letter which he received from the Council, for soliciting the States of Zealand to furnish what shipping they could spare. As he has moved them there, so has Kyllygrew moved them here. Learns that Admiral Justinus has already gone with 30 sail from Flushing; more follow from hence and North Holland. So he doubts not "her Majesty's fleet will be strong enough, especially the merchants being now returned from Staden and St. Nicolas." The recent troubles have brought these people here so low that no great assistance is to be expected of them. Getruidenbergh cost them 215,000 florins, "for the supplying whereof they have been fain to stretch their credits to the uttermost." Finds no means to get them to agree to any extraordinary contributions, which he was instructed to move by Walsingham's letter by Burnham. The extraordinary charges are greater, they say, this year than for many years, chiefly owing to their preparations at sea. Her Majesty's letter to those of Getruidenbergh (fn. 3) was very acceptable to these men as it showed her honourable meaning, but it came too late, and they think it inexpedient to deliver it. They were also very pleased by Walsingham's letter to the Lord General touching the articles of peace. He is arranging for its publication. They have no means of discovering the authors of such malicious slanders, other than finding out how they came into the hands of Count William (who sent a copy from Frizeland to Count Maurice) and the Governor of Flushing (who sent a copy to Kyllygrew). The Council of State will write to the Count, and Kyllygrew has written to the Governor.
They are sending Sir Martin Skenck, with some horse and foot and credit for 30,000 florins, to relieve Bergh. Some English horsemen in the garrisons thereabouts are to join him.
The controversies at Utrecht have grown worse. It would be well for her Majesty to write, "requiring them in regard of the common cause, to lay down their particularities, etc."
The Lord General will send over the 1000 shot immediately, and is going into Zealand for that purpose.—The Haghe, 31 July, '88.
Holograph postscript. Little more aid to be obtained hence. They are reluctant to allow any of the English to return. "Their anchor-hold is the Treaty, and their towns in her Majesty's possession, and the unability they stand in to furnish Berghes and Ostend with any of theirs, who cashier of their own daily for want of means to keep them." Need of money to pay the English companies their lendings; no relief to be had here, unless the English merchants at Mydelborugh be moved to supply them at a pinch. "The drawing of so many out of Flushing may prove more dangerous than by taking the whole number from Ostend."
"I hear of great preparation in England to fight: but if London were trenched about as Paris was, it were a retreat in all events, and the only way thought by good soldiers to break all the enemy's designs to his utter ruin. Many hands will make light work. The Lord of all power show us mercy."
These men are moved to set forth the ship that took Count Hohenlo to Hambourgh, and also the wafters of the herring fleet, which have just returned. Has also urged Count Maurice and the Council to go into Zealand, but the matter is still in dispute and will not be resolved this week by the States General, who are still here assembled.
Has not heard from England since the 11th. Sir Thomas Morgan goes over with the 1000 shot. He has had no success here, though Kyllygrew has done his best for him, with small thanks. Thanks Walsingham for remembering Mr. Guylpin. Writes only to Walsingham at this time, so desires him to communicate what he thinks good.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. 3½ pp. [Holland XXV. f. 165.]
July 31. H. Kyllygrew to Walsingham.
Since Kyllygrew wrote this morning, Barnevelt, the Advocate of Holland, read in Council this afternoon a letter dated at Midleburgh last night. It says that a certain Mr. Domis [?] " being at sea in his way towards Calis, from whence he was minded to go to Cambray, saw the Spanish fleet between Cales and Dover, to the number of 120 sail, in this order: before, two galleons, in the midst the main fleet and behind, two galleasses; and that her Majesty's navy was at their heels.... The same night was heard a furious fight between the two fleets. The next morning the Spanish fleet was seen about Graveling, 45 less in number than before, and her Majesty's navy still at their backs. That before Dunkercke the Admiral Justinus lieth with this country fleet, not able to stand their coming, as it is thought, unless her Majesty's navy keep them in work behind. Those of Zeeland hereupon have called all their ships off the rivers to the defence of the coast, and have given order for their horse and foot to be in a readiness. The President Vandermile upon these news immediately propounded in Council to move the States General for an extraordinary levy of as much money as they can, by way of loan for two months, to raise a power of horse and foot, and to furnish out more shipping. The motion was generally allowed, and is now in hand to be drawn. . . . These news have wonderfully encouraged them, to hear that our ships and the Spanish are entered into fight, whereas before they were somewhat dismayed that all this time the two navies have been so near together and no more dealing, which made them conceive some suspicion all was but in show, to better the conditions of peace."—The Haghe, 31 July, '88.
Postscript. Sends the enclosed to show "the Spanish purpose and intent."
Signed. Add. Endd. 1¼ pp. [Holland XXV. f. 162.]
July 21/31. News of the Spanish fleet.
A sailor at the Brille says that while sailing from the south-west off Plainmue [Plymouth], they sighted the Spanish ships, 140 sail in all; among them four great galleasses, with 4 or 500 bronze pieces of artillery. There are also 12 Aragonese and Italians, 12 galleons of Siville, 12 galleons of Portugal; in all 80 warships, well equipped. The great Biscayans were among them, some of 7 or 800 'last,' and the smallest of 500 'last.'
The sailor was for two days in the Spanish fleet. The English Admiral tried to get to windward of the Spaniards, and when he had done so began a furious artillery fire, firing four shots to every one of the Spaniards. During the actions the Spanish great ships hastily withdrew towards the four galleasses. He heard from the Spaniards that there were 60,000 sailors and soldiers aboard. When he left them and as long as they were in sight, there were great fires, as if several ships were burning. Before the fleets were in contact he saw fire-signals appear in all parts of England. Her Majesty's army was of 100 warships, besides others which he saw coming out of Plainmue.
He heard from the Spanish captains that they meant to carry off the English women to Spain and that the King's commission instructed them to massacre everyone they met in England, even the children.
The English ships forced the Spaniards farther up the Straits and drove them along the English side. There were over 1000 monks and priests in the fleet. It had been in difficulties ever since leaving the Crogne, from which the King, irritated by former delays, bade them set sail or he would have them all hanged.
French. 1½ pp. [Holland XXV. f. 163.]
July 31. Sir Thomas Morgan to Walsingham.
Means, as he wrote before, to go with Shinck to the 'unsitting' of Berk unless her Majesty countermands it. Regrets that his long service thus "must end in misery," and that her Majesty's grant for his bettering should be disregarded by her subjects. Will not bear arms under such men unless her Majesty's letters are more respected. Protests against a report made to her Majesty that he would have betrayed Berghes-up-Zoom. Fears Berke will be lost. and with it two of her Majesty's best cornets of horse, Blunt's and Shurley's.
As for Berghes-up-Zoom, "if I had so fair a lady as now the governor there hath, to give the captains such entertainments as she doth, in court-like pomps, feasts, and dancings, both by day and night, then should I have been desired, and then would they not have underwritten against me for the continuance of any other. But suchlike soldiers are fittest for such governments. Here is a poor country governed, few captains able to show a full company or anything near. If any service happen, I fear me there will be few of her Majesty's forces will be spared from her own garrisons. I will not say her Majesty is deceived herein, but I may boldly say abused; and yet is there means of remedy, all which I will write to your honour's direction."
Encloses a letter to her Majesty for the Lord Steward and Walsingham to peruse, and, if they think fit, to deliver.—The Hage, the last of July, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal. ¾ p. [Holland XXV. f. 158.]
Sir Thomas Morgan to the Queen. (fn. 4)
Complains that lord Willoughbye refuses to obey her Majesty's letters on his behalf for the government of Berghes-up-Zoome and "the place of lieutenancy," the reward for his long service. Has written to Mr. Secretary Walsingham "to be a humble suitor unto your Majesty that it would please you to grant me your royal passport to serve where I may best find relief, such as must yield me maintenance either in sickness or age, and withal not to discontinue the exercise of my profession." Will remain her Majesty's dutiful servant and loyal subject.
Copy. 1 p. [Holland XXV. f. 160.]
July 31/Aug. 10. C. Coels to Walsingham.
Refers to his presentation to her Majesty of a copy of his translation of the Ecclesiastes of Solomon. Combes tells him that he must apply to Walsingham for any reward. Prays him therefore to present this trifle to her Majesty in the hope that it will bring to him (Coels) some refuge in his old age.—The Hague, 10 August, '88, stilo novo.
Postscript. As he is 70 years of age, and infirm, Mr. Ortel will present his petition.
Add. Endd. "From Jacques Coells." Seal. French. 2½ pp. [Holland XXV. f. 168.]
[After July 13.] The Deputies of the Churches of Guelders, Zeeland, Utrecht, Friesland, and Overyssel to the Queen. (fn. 5)
Thanking her Majesty for granting them audience and favourable answer. This matter of the treaty of peace gave them an opportunity of expressing otherwise than by letters their gratitude for her former favour. The treaty makes them anxious, firstly, because the Scriptures everywhere bear witness to the danger of communication with the enemies and persecutors of the truth, especially when, as in this case, they acquire power over God's church; secondly, because of the enemy's cruelty and his position as chief defender of the Pope's religion, which will never allow him to tolerate, except deceitfully, the religion of Christ; and lastly because the churches greatly need the favour and aid of Christian princes.
They were sent, as they mentioned in their remonstrance, earnestly to desire her Majesty (1) that the free exercise of the one true religion may be preserved, and the re-establishment of the papistical or any other religion prevented: (2) that she will continue her favour and aid to their churches.
Endd. French. 1½ pp. [Holland XXV. f. 170.]
[End of July.] Her Majesty's [commissioners] informed the Spanish commissioners that as the King's actions were quite contrary to the treaty of peace. they must require orders to be given for carriages and convoy for their return. The matter was referred to the Duke who sent no answer for 5 days, during which time her Majesty's commissioners were not allowed to leave. When the Duke's passport came, carriages and convoy were provided and the Spanish commissioners themselves escorted them very honourably to the frontier.
At the head, beginning of a note of the English commissioners' demands of 17 June, 1588 No heading or add. Endd. 1588. 1 p. [Treaty Papers V. f. 104.]
[July?] A Summary Report of the whole proceedings in Flanders between the Queen's commissioners and the Spanish commissioners in the treaty of peace, 1588.
The Queen's Commissioners arrived at Ostend, 26 Feb:, 1588: after waiting a few days, they sent a gentleman to inform the Duke of Parma, who sent Garnier, one of the Commissioners, to welcome them. Dr. Dale then went to the Duke at Gandt to name Ostend as the place of meeting, and to see the Duke's commission: the Duke agreed to any place near Ostend, but not Ostend itself, and promised to show his commission at the first meeting. He said, however, that some accident might disturb the treaty, and Richardot said in Cecil's presence that some accident might happen to England. The Duke then sent Garnier to ask them to name Burges, Gandt, or Antwerp, or some other place than Ostend.
Dr. Rogers then by her Majesty's command went to the Duke to demand a plain answer whether there was any meaning to invade England. The Duke assured him upon his honour there was none, and Richardot denied his former speeches.
Richardott and Maes then came officially to Ostend. Her Majesty's Commissioners said they would name the place of the next meeting if the others would consider this as the first meeting of the treaty. Richardott and Maes were agreeable, but had to refer it to the Duke for approval: when he consented, a place within cannon shot of Ostend was named.
There the Commissioners met in tents on 11 April. The lord Derby was ill with stone and ague, so they met first in his tent. The Spaniards gave them precedence. The Queen's commission was read, and then the Duke's to his Commissioners reciting his commission from the King who would, they assured the English, ratify what they concluded. Thereupon her Majesty's Commissioners proposed a cessation of arms, which was referred to the Duke (who was himself 'unknown,' present at the "sumptuous dinner" which followed the conference).
A day or two after Garnier came to Ostend to explain the Duke's inability to agree to the cessation, during which he would be unable to 'nourish' his army of 50,000 men. He would perhaps agree only to a cessation granted 'tacité' for the towns in her Majesty's possession, of which he would send word in a day or two. He confessed that the commission which had been read at the conference was inepta and promised to have another made. While they awaited the Duke's answer, Andreas de Lo wrote that the Duke would send to them no more, and advising them to send to the Duke one of at least the quality of Mr. Comptroller. They sent Morris, Mr. Comptroller's man, to Bruges to Richardot with written instructions agreeing to hold the conference there if the English fugitives were removed; desiring a cessation of arms for their Majesties' dominions during the treaty and for 20 days after, and to include Holland and Zeeland if they would join her Majesty in the treaty; and to see the King's commission to the Duke. Richardot refused the cessation, though he communicated a project thereon, and said that the commission was in letters containing other matters of state and could not be shown. Thereupon Morris forbore to name the place of meeting. He was next sent to advertise her Majesty, and during his absence Mr. Comptroller, of his own motion, went to Bruges, where he negotiated with the Duke, Champaygny, and Richardott upon the principal matters and gave them certain articles of demands, to which Richardott replied point by point most unreasonably, though it was said that there was a better answer given than the written one to Mr. Comptroller's articles.
Soon afterwards her Majesty commanded Dr. Dale to repair to the Duke to see his commission; to announce her readiness for a cessation limited to her towns and by agreement, not by proclamation; and to appoint Bruges or Bourborough as the place. The commission, dated only 17 April last, N.S., was produced, and the Duke agreed to Bourborough and the cessation for the 4 towns, but Richardott's project for the cessation was unacceptable as it precluded her Majesty from annoying any place in the Low Countries but allowed the King to attack England.
A conference was held soon afterwards at Bourborough to discuss the cessation. There was a delay in the arrival of a commission from the Duke. It was propounded that there should be a general cessation, but the King's Commissioners would not hear of including Spain: as Champaigny said, in Belgio bellum est and therefore the cessation must be for 'Belgium' only. They could not agree to restrain the Duke from invading England out of the Low Countries, and would only grant cessation to the 4 towns in the Low Countries in her Majesty's possession in the sense that 4 of their towns should forbear hostility against them, leaving all the rest of the Low Countries free to attack them. They would agree to the cessation lasting only for 12 days after the ending of the treaty, not for 20 days as was required, as appears by divers replications "which came to the number of Sextuplication." Then, according to her Majesty's pleasure, the English Commissioners made a lengthy discourse of her Majesty's good offices towards the King and of the evil offices of his ministers towards her and her realm; they went on to present her Majesty's demands for "renewing of the treaty, for the avoiding of strangers, for her Majesty's security, and upon the repayment of her Majesty's money due by the States and promised by the King to be repaid by his edict of Bruxselles; for the quietness of the Low Countries were demanded that they might enjoy their ancient privileges, be governed by their own countrymen and not by strangers, and that they might have toleration with exercise of religion for 2 years at the least and afterwards the matter of religion to be established by the States, and that the covenants of the pacification of Gant and other accords made with them might be performed, and as touching the towns in the Queen's possession these things aforesaid being concluded her Majesty would condescend to all reasonable conditions..." The Spanish Commissioners answered that they desired the peace and delivery of the towns before the renewal of the treaty which would take up much time; that the strangers could not be dismissed so long as the Hollanders refused to submit or the French were in arms; that they desired a balance to be struck between the Queen's money expended in the Low Countries and that which the King had spent in the recovery of his own; her Majesty had nothing to do with the countries' privileges, and no one should dictate to the King by what nation he should govern his subjects; exercise of religion was refused, but such toleration offered as has been allowed to those towns that have already submitted; the Prince of Orange and the States had broken the Pacification of Gant. The English Commissioners answered that the renewal of the treaty might be committed to one of either side; that neither her Majesty nor the United Provinces could disarm while there remained the danger that the strangers would possess those countries, and that until the United Provinces were reconciled the King would always have this excuse for keeping strangers there; that by the edict of Bruxelles the King was bound for what was borrowed from her Majesty whether before or after the edict or in the future, and her Majesty only asked that the States might have licence to collect for the repayment; that her Majesty is moved to defend their privileges by neighbourhood and because she is specially comprehended in certain of the pacifications, and her subjects cannot enjoy their privileges there unless those countries enjoy theirs; and her Majesty insists that those privileges be not denied to the Low Countries which were granted in the Pacification of Gant, the Edict of Bruxelles, the reconciliation of Hainault and Artois, and proffered at the Colloquy of Colin by the Duke de Terra Nova at the mediation of the Emperor and the Duke of Cleve; and that unless the Estates are governed by natives according to their privileges, there is no hope of their agreeing to any peace. Finally, the Provinces United are as determined not to forsake their religion as the King is to refuse them its exercise, and their banishment would result in the desolation of the country whilst no other country could receive so great a number; therefore the King should not refuse to his subjects what was granted by the Emperor his father in Germany, by other princes, and by his own Edict of Bruxelles, the breaking whereof has bred these troubles in the Low Countries, in France, and elsewhere, "and may bring much inconvenience to himself in his old age and to his posterity, being but in young years." The King's Commissioners made no other reply but persisted in their former answer.
Draft, with corrections. Endd. "1588." 12½ pp. [Treaty Papers V. f. 105.]


  • 1. Most of this letter is printed in Bertie, Five Generations of a Loyal House, pp. 207–8.
  • 2. Printed in J. K. Laughton, Armada Papers, i. 351–4.
  • 3. Cf. H.M.C. Ancaster MSS., pp. 170–1.
  • 4. Most of this letter, and some of that to Walsingham, is quoted in Bertie, Five Generations of a Loyal House, pp. 200–2.
  • 5. Dutch text in Bor, Nederlandsche Oorlogen, xxiv. f. 84: cf. Motley, United Netherlands, ii. 421–2.