Cecil Papers
July 1601, 1-15

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Institute of Historical Research

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R. A. Roberts (editor)

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1906

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261-287

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'Cecil Papers: July 1601, 1-15', Calendar of the Cecil Papers in Hatfield House, Volume 11: 1601 (1906), pp. 261-287. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=111870 Date accessed: 22 October 2014.


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July 1601, 1–15

George Nicolson to Henry Lock.
1601, July 1. I received your letter to the Master of Gray, and sent it him, as I hope he has advertised you. For news, these letters to you will show you much more than I can write. Only I desire that our old friendship may not grow old worn between us, and therefore I pray you command me in anything I can pleasure you.—Edinburgh, 1 July 1601.
Holograph. ½ p. (86. 132.)
Captain J. Holcroft to Sir Robert Cecil.
1601, [July 1 ?]. We came into Ostend yesterday betimes in the morning without any hindrance of the enemy. We were in all 7 companies, whereof 4 are English, Captain Cecil's, Sir Robert Drewrie's, Captain Fryer's and mine own. Till the morning of our coming it was not perceived that the enemy had made any approaches, but only shot with their artillery from both sides of the downs into the old town where they did some hurt; but now that all the soldiers are lodged in the rampart, they do let the hurt. Yesterday morning we perceived that they had cast up a trench across the downs between the battery and the town on the west side, and this morning another before that, for that they have begun their approaches. This day the governor sent out certain soldiers that are well acquainted with the country and well skilled in leaping ditches, who brought in four prisoners, two Italians and two High Dutches, by whom we learn, if we may believe them, that the army is not above five thousand foot and two companies of horse; and that they are ill paid and have no great hope of the town, but that what they do is rather for fashion's sake to please the States of Flanders, who have promised the Archduke six months' pay for his army, whereof three months he shall receive at his being encamped before Ostend and three months' when he hath the town, than for any other reason. The prisoners say also that because the States of Flanders have not paid the three months' pay which was due at his first sitting down before the town, therefore they begin to slacken their works and have little will to go forward. The town is in some want of men, munition and victual, but within a day or two we expect to be furnished. Otherwise it is very defensible, neither can the entrance easily be hindered, for there is a new haven made whereby ships may come to the old town with venturing only some cannon shot at random.—Ostend, this Wednesday, 31 of June (sic) Stilo antiquo.
Holograph.
Endorsed :—At Margate at 9 of the clock in the morning. Canterbury at 12 of the clock. Sittingbourn at 3 afternoon. Rochester the 3 day past 5 in the afternoon. Dartford the 3 of July at 9 of night. Seal. 1 p. (182. 78.)
Captain J. Holcroft to Sir Robert Cecil.
1601, July [2?]. Yesterday being Thursday (sic) the first of July 1601, sti : antiquo, about noon, the Governor sent out two captains and four others with loose staffs to coast along the left side of the west downs, to the end they might discover in what fashion the enemy held their guards, either for strength of men or trenches. After their return it was agreed that towards the evening there should sally eleven hundred with intent to force their foremost trenches and to nail their cannon which shoot at our ships. So at six of the clock in the evening there were drawn out, first, three troops of one hundred apiece with a captain over each, which were all light armed, and had direction to give on upon the trenches; for the seconding of them, or the warranting of their retreat, if they were beaten back, were two battalions appointed, whereof the first was of three hundred men, being all of the old garrison of this town, who had commandment, if the forlorn hopes prevailed, to second them through the trenches; if they were beaten back to receive them into their protection. The second battalion consisted of four hundred men which were out of Colonel Huctenbrooke's regiment, whereof two hundred were English; and their charge was, if the first were beaten, to make a stand till they were come home to them, and then to make an orderly retreat towards the same port they came out at, or if the troops prevailed, then they must march fair and softly (for being discovered) and so give them countenance or assistance as occasion should require. There was also a captain appointed with one hundred men to give right on upon the trenches along the downs, being but half a musket shot from the town. The forlorn hopes made great haste to the trenches, but drew out too far on the left hand, by reason whereof the greater troops that were appointed to wait on them were forced to march over ditches, which was a means to bring them in disorder. When the aforesaid troops came to the trenches, they gave on very gallantly, but found them so well manned that, after they had killed divers in the trenches and left some of their own upon the trenches, they were forced to retire; and by that time came on to the charge about thirty lancers of the Archduke's own troop, which made our troops begin to sway backwards for doubt of having those horsemen fall in between them and the town. Yet our shot so galled the horsemen that divers of them were killed and they brought away a dozen of banderoles; for by little and little we drew back into the town having not lost above 16 men, whereof 4 or 5 English, and it is believed that the enemy had the greater loss, especially amongst the horsemen We have a great many men shot, whereof between 20 and 30 English After we were come in again, an Italian came running from the East downs, being of the regiment of Don Alphonzo D'Avila, who confirms the former reports of the enemy's weakness, but that they hope for some Italians, but neither Count de Fuentes nor any Spaniards, for he says that he saw a letter but the night before his coming away wherein it was advertised that those of Barbery, about Argier or Fesse, have entreated aid of the King of Spain and that he sends them 100 galleys. Their hope of getting the town, he said, lies only in their artillery, whereof they have incredible provision, and also of other munition of war; and he affirmed that the Archduke hath 120 pieces of artillery, wherewith they mean to take away the haven, having also certain sloops to row up and down in the night between the town and the ships; and to make us weary of the town because we shall not lodge our men anywhere free. There came yesterday into the town the other two English companies which were at first appointed : the captains are Captain Maddison and Captain Drake; and with them came also one Dutch company : some of the mariners that rowed them on shore were killed with the artillery. So now we are 34 companies in town and about 2,500 fighting men.—Ostend this Friday, the second of July, 1601, sti : antiquo.
Holograph. Seal. 1¾ pp. (182. 79.)
Matthew Greensmith to Sir Robert Cecil.
1601, July 3. My last was of the 18 June, and for want of good wind kept till the 2 July, wherein I wrote you of the entertainment of Hany Walt, the Emperor's Secretary. But alas, if both citizen and husbandman had thought that his coming had been not to no better end, he had not been so welcome. The bruit of his coming was that in the name of the Emperor he desired a greater “scatting” against the Turk to maintain his wars. This was the watchword. But the match being made at Pruge between the Count Ennoe's commissioners and the Emperor's council that for the getting and bringing in of Essens and Whyttmond in and under this Earldom, which notwithstanding were under the homage and hold of the host of Burgonye, are by the Emperor's means brought under one Earldom, was constrained to promise great sums of money, which considering all things, if they were common matters to be bought, were paid for at the highest, what with that the Emperor must have and what with that his two daughters must have, being born to the aforesaid Earldoms by his first wife. But the Emperor's council as they willingly would pleasure the Earl in his requests, so if he would have it must pay for it, and in that the Earl's council might promise him the more so he content to grant the more liberty : that not only the Earl might give him a great sum of money, but also towards such a charge content to give the Earl leave to levy a tax twice as much upon the boors; and to be the better assured to get his purpose he demands three things. The one was for that he had granted that Essens and Whyttmond should come under the earldom of East Friesland, and that he carefully had agreed that the youngest daughter should have for her part thereof hundred thousand reichs dollars and the same to the profit of the orphan should be put out at rent—he as the “uppeist father of our Fantty” desired that money at rent and would put in sureties therefore. The second, in respect not only of the premises, but also that these parts were more in rest and quietness than other countries nearer joining to the Turk, thought it reason and was the Emperor's will that they should gratify and bestow on the Emperor a good and sufficient sum of money for a gratification. Thirdly, he demands “a double Turk's sold.” The first remains in the Earl's bethinking; to the last they refer them to the residue of the Westphalian Kreise (Westfellshe Kryetts) under which they are a member, but to the middlest, the gentility and their adherents have granted not only to give the Emperor but the Earl also, but in such wise that they will not give of theirs one penny.
Sir Richard Lee, being returned out of Muscovy, is the 28 June arrived at Stoud, where he is yet. It was his chance to come to Revel where Duke Charles' lady was brought to bed of a boy, to which he was godfather. Duke Charles is yet prosperous, and the 18 of the last month got in Cukenhuisen Castle, having lain before it some three months, having long gotted in the town. And after the taking in of the town, he caused all the Poles to be stripped and cast over the wall into the river, and caused his soldiers to put on the Poles' apparel and all signs of Polish arms in wars, and there being coming some 3,000 Poles to refresh the castle, they marched towards them out of the castle, having ambushments and great pieces standing upon advantage in the sand : and they thinking them to be friends little regarded them, which upon a sudden fell on them and slew the most of them. And now he is removed with his siege towards Dowmuind and Riga, and as yet small resistance. Our last news is that the King of Poland's forces are now ready, some 30,000 men, most horsemen, besides those which are against Duke Charles already. But there be many in his kingdom which wish not his prosperity : as the Duke of Prewces with his son in law the Duke of Brandenburg's son : also as principal the Wywoade of the Willd, one of the greatest in Poland and nearest joining to Leffland. This day is come to my house a page, being a Dutch boy of Sir Anthony Shirley's, which now 30 days past left him with the Persian duke and most of the Persians at Rome : where he kept house at the Pope's charge, and one day ebbs and other flows with money. All his old servants, yea, his nearest servants and necessariest, both counsel and “ell,” gone from him, and daily comes of idle sorts to him : he determining to go forward, as this saith, that way homewards, although, as he also saith, all passages is laid for him.—Emden, the 3 of July, 1601.
Holograph. Seal. 2 pages. (182. 80.)
The Earl of Northumberland to [Sir Robert Cecil].
[1601], July 3. The audit I shall make you of our doings here, I know will not be so profitable to you as the account you make me of your proceedings with her Majesty about my wife's jointure will be to me. For the project that was cast for Flanders, there is little likelihood that the enemy will draw this way to the succour of Berke to give us easy entrance there, for the siege of Ostend or the likelihood of it doth cancel all imaginations of our doing any good this year either for Sluys or Dunkirk. Besides that although his Excellency shall take this town, yet cannot he keep it, for the enemy may have it again whensoever he shall put his army before it, unless there were more of the neighbour towns taken withal, as Guildres (where are now the regiments of the Count of Buckcors and divers other soldiers) Stroll and Venloe; which was his Excellency's determination at his coming hither, but I doubt that he will not have time or means enough this summer : for now the enemy is so strong in all these places that though the places themselves be exceeding weak, it will give us a great deal of trouble to gain them. The taking in of the Castle of Moeurs, I conceive will be our next work, unless we be drawn from hence upon some greater accident, as fearing the enemy to take and enter the land of Was, which he may easily do if our troops should continue here, and then should he possess a land which should trouble the States more than the loss of Ostend. Therefore I conjecture that this work done, he will draw up these troops towards Bergen up Some, where perhaps he may give the enemy some small blows upon surprises. His Excellency hath no humour in the world to enter Flanders. He proves it by great reasons that it is impossible to do any good this year.
Upon the news of the enemy's coming before Ostend, the States sent for the 20 companies of English that was with us here, determining that Sir Francis Vere should have gone with them for the relief of Ostend with other companies that lie in Zealand, which would have been some 3,000 men in all. These together with some 3,000 in Ostend, or rather 2,000 as the world imagines, should have defended the town. But his Excellency would not let them depart, only sent eight of the companies and retained the remaining twelve with himself. He told me he was too far engaged in his honour here to leave himself so weak to be raised.
Now for the state of our business at Berke. His Excellency hath shewn himself in this siege a greater captain than ever : all the soldiers do confess that there never was the like art used in a siege since these wars began, and he doth so well understand his business that he desires the help of none. He is a master in his faculty, his scholars shall make profit by him if they will but observe, and he is willing to open himself to any that will learn—at least I find it so. He hath first built redoubts or sconces upon all the avenues, some 15 of them, round about his army with trenches passing from one to the other, and the trenches are very deep. Besides, he hath plashed all the avenues in the woods which the town is environed about almost withal. Over the river he hath made two bridges : an island where there was a sconce he hath taken, built many redoubts upon it, and all this is but the out-limits of the camp. His army is lodged in three quarters about the town. Each of these quarters is strongly entrenched round about, and trenches join the quarters together that the passages from one quarter to another may be secure for soldiers to pass with necessaries. Besides this, his approaches is made upon two sides of the town, the one wrought and led by the English and Frisians, the other by the French and Scots, so as they of the town are girt in from any succour by three defences, the first by the two approaches and the two marshes that all join together; the second by the three quarters and the trenches that do tie them together; the third by the sconces and trenches that environ all the rest. Our approaches are much advanced; we are come to the points of their counterscarp; we have mined under their counterscarp, and we yesterday assaulted their counterscarp, but were beaten back. Besides our 'mines,' we sap (“zappe”), and doubt not but to be masters of their counterscarp within these two days. Now we are so nigh as we have barred them all their sallies; before they made many every day not so few as five or six in a day, especially in the night upon our workmen. They have entrenched themselves with double trenches round about their counterscarp, which they never used before; that trick they imitated us in, who have made all our approaches in that fashion, which we never put before in practice. What of dead men, hurt and run away, I think the army is lessened by 2,000, it now consisting, as I take it, of 8,000 or 9,000, both foot and horse. There is a supply of ten companies coming hard at hand. The enemy within the town is strong, they were 2,500 in the beginning, a strong garrison for so little a town and where we can make our approaches but of two sides. We hear not of any wants they have but that some that is come out of the town reports the plague is amongst them, that both their surgeons are dead, so as the hurt men do perish. Fires they have made upon tops of their towers, which we construe as tokens of some wants given to their friends. There is 800 horse of the enemy hovering up and down watching advantages, which doeth our foragers much harm. We have lost many horses, as well horses of service as waggonjades. We have not yet summoned them of the town; if we were once masters of their counterscarp, I think we should have a parley and then proceed to a composition. We want nothing in the army, it is well victualled out of Holland; stores of hoys brings it down daily, yet do we pay dearly for it. To-morrow we approach our battery to the place where we mind to batter with 12 cannon on either approach. The town is already much beat with the artillery. Their artillery hath done much harm upon our men. There is about the camp 34 cannon, besides smaller pieces in the sconces : powder, spades and wheelbarrows we have great plenty. I will send you within a week a draft of all our proceedings. You must excuse my blots and delivery which aimed rather at giving you notice of all than of a few phrases. There is of our English at this time in the “gest house” 150, besides those that are slain. They will fight well, but they are the poorest sneaks (“snakes”) in the army for means and clothes. Their companies are very weak generally and yet the captains can hardly feed themselves. They run away daily to the enemy, who gives them two months' pay beforehand and clothes to their backs. Divers of them are taken prisoners when they go a foraging : the enemy uses them well, as I wrote before, if they will serve; if not, they give them pass to go for England through the country and crowns in their purses. Some of them after their captains have paid their ransom, they return again to the enemy after they have marched some mile towards us : they are in great misery and is glad to take any advantage to go from us. We are free from sickness in the camp, for it is large, tho' weather cold, and is seated in a very good air. I have yet escaped any knocks, though bullets now and then come whizzing by us : I am confident that I am not born to swallow any bullets.
PS.—This little part of white I may not leave unblotted to tell you that the sconce Isabella is returned to the Archduke, although by their letters they gave us hope, but there is no trust to be had of these mutineers. We say the forces are coming out of Italy and are almost in Lorraine, the Archduke having demanded passage for them of the Duke, who denies it till he know the King of France's will. If they come, we shall pull home our forces very fast.
Headed :—“Before Berke this 3 July.”
Holograph. Endorsed by Cecil's secretary :—“Earl of Northumberland to my Mr. 1601.” 4 pp. (182. 81, 82.)
Stephen le Sieur to Sir Robert Cecil.
1601, July 3. I have presumed to present this enclosed ready drawn bill, beseeching you to endorse it with two or three words of favourable recommendation, and to receive under her Majesty's hand her most royal liberality in my behalf.—This 3 July, 1601.
Holograph. Seal. ½ p. (182. 83.)
Examination of Stephen Michell, captain, taken the 3rd of July, 1601.
1601, July 3. Being charged with very lewd words he used at Padstow to David Atkinson, a messenger of the chamber, in the hearing of St. Aubyn, an innkeeper in that town, and both the examinations of Atkinson and St. Aubyn shewed unto him, and his own confession taken before Mr. Prydiaux, a Justice of the Peace :
He absolutely doth affirm that he never spake any word or meant to name Mr. Secretary, but hath always honoured him and prayed for him. But before supper, being told (being newly come from sea) that if Sir Ferdinando Gorge had not been, the Earl of Essex had been yet living and a true subject, and not drawn to that bad matter, which is the common voice in all the country, thereupon this examinate answered that it was no matter, that, “The crows will eat his flesh whatsoever the dogs do with his bones.” But of Mr. Secretary he protesteth, upon his salvation, he never conceived any such thought against Mr. Secretary. He further saith that asking what news there was at London, Atkinson told him that his friend, Sir Gilly Meyricke, was executed; whereupon this examinate answered, “The devil go with him, for I had been better by 500l. if he had been gone seven years ago.” Withal Atkinson said that one Cuffe was executed with him : whereunto he demanded, “Which Cuffe? Whether it were he that was in Ireland or not?” Atkinson answered, “It was he,” as he thought; then he said he would he had given a finger he had been alive if he were a true man, for this examinate's father called him, “brother,” and he called him, “uncle,” meaning him that is in Munster that is a Somersetshire man; for the other, he affirmeth, he never knew, nor to his knowledge ever saw him; and he saith it is above two years that this examinate was at London last.
He confesseth he did threaten Atkinson, because of the information, he gave against him, and the great loss he received of the profit which he might have made by his prize, but he protesteth he meaneth to do him no harm.
He humbly desireth their Honours to be a mean to Mr. Secretary to be satisfied with his submission, protesting his innocence towards his Honour. Having drunk water for above five weeks, many flocked about him, being glad of his coming home, and gave him wine. His meaning and speech was altogether against Sir Ferdinando Gorge not Mr. Secretary.
Signed by examinate and witnessed by W. Knollys and J. Herbert. 2 pages. (182. 84.)
Richard Ledes to the Governors and Company of the Mines Royal.
1601, July 3. Particulars of his 32 years' service at the mines in the north parts. By reason of the lease lately passed to the Germans of those mines he has no expectation of relief there. Prays for maintenance. Advises that the accounts between the Company and the Germans be looked into.—3 July 1601.
Holograph. Note by Cecil referring the matter to the resolution of the Company. 1½ pp. (1027.)
W. Temple to Sir Robert Cecil.
1601, July 4. Expresses his thanks for his enlargement upon bail.—Stepney, July 4, 1601.
Holograph. 1 p. (86. 138.)
Dr. John Du Port to Sir Robert Cecil.
1601, July 5. Coming up to the city about a month since, I was dismayed to hear of myself being called a temporizer as having been lately towards the Earl deceased, but now betaking myself wholly to your Honour. I was so terrified that for 20 days I forbore to show myself in your presence, and when I did venture to approach you, the issue sorted out so contrarious to my mind that I have since been a prey to most insupportable griefs. When you both were prosperous, I honoured you both in simplicity of heart, not knowing of any contestations between you, while you both continued in due allegiance; but when one forfeited his honour, then I betook me to the other. But I beseech you that I may be called before you for my further purgation.—From my poor lodging by Paul's at the sign of The Ship, 5o Julii 1601.
Holograph. Remains of seal. 1 p. closely written. (182. 85.)
William Gale, “Post” of Calne, to Sir Robert Cecil.
1601, July 6. He received a packet of letters under Cecil's hand directed to the Mayor of Bristow on the 4th of July, and sent them presently to the next post to Marshfield by his boy. Describes an assault committed on the boy by Thomas Bridges, who serves a cure in a parish church near Chippenham. Prays Cecil to give directions to the bailiffs or constables of the town to examine the matter.—Calne, 6 July 1601.
Holograph. 1 p. (86. 139.)
Isabel, Countess Dowager of Rutland to Sir Robert Cecil.
1601, July 6. I understand that the Earl of Rutland has or is about to assure certain lands to her Majesty about his fine, among which are contained some which are already in controversy between my son Roos and his Lordship, namely, the manor of Thorp upon the Hill, and the Rectory of Hoose, both which, together with other lands, are sued for in my son's behalf by bill in the Court of Wards, which suit is there depending. As you are Master of the Wards, I let you understand thereof, and beseech you that such course may be taken that my son Roos' title to those lands may not be entangled by anything the Earl of Rutland shall do or has done, nor charged with his debts to the Queen. Moreover, I hear the Earl has or intends by the estate he passes to her Majesty to defeat my son Roos of the fee simple of those lands. I beseech you to be a mean that, for the Earl of Rutland's offence, the punishment may not so light on my son to lose the state in fee left him by my Lord his grandfather.—Stepney, 6 July 1601.
Holograph. ½ p. (86. 140.)
Thomas Achym to [the Lord Chamberlain].
[1601, July 6.] I desire to do you service, but have been enforced to forsake my country through the malice of my enemy, who is now in that authority which covers the desire he hath to overthrow my life and gain my estate. Nor have I means to serve her Majesty save only good wishes, unless this news which I shall now inform you of prevent a worse event.
It was my chance in this country to meet with an English gentleman who, with a desire to do her Majesty service, was thereby like to lose his life and means, and so he could not certify you himself. He meeting with an Englishman bound for England, and understanding by French men that he was a priest and came to the town with Spaniards, this gentleman sought his acquaintance and dissembled his religion to the end to know the priest's intent, who doubting the gentleman to be no good Catholic (as he termed it) would reveal nothing till he promised him to go to the Mass, which he did, when the priest himself said it; and then afterwards the priest disclosed that he meant to go for England [marginal note by Cecil : “The priest meant to go for England”] and that the gentleman should soon hear of an alteration of estate and that her Majesty could not live long. But first he meant to go for Douai, an University of the King of Spain in the Low Countries, and that he came from the Jesuit College in Spain from whence he had divers letters to be delivered as well in England as at Douai, and withal promising the gentleman, if he would take the profession of priesthood, he would place him in Douai and bear his charges all the way; which he condescended, thinking to deliver him and his letters to the English Ambassador at Paris (that being their way). Where travelling, the priest made him acquainted with divers abbots and friars, by whom he understood that he was bound for England to kill her Majesty [note by Cecil : “The Abbots told the gentleman that the priest was bound for England to do that horrible act”] or lose his life for the performance of it : and himself did divers times tell the gentleman, “Whosoever did kill her Majesty could not choose but be canonized a saint, for the deed was meritorious,” and that if he thought he should not be executed, he would not go into England, for he assured himself he should be a saint for some meritorious deed which he doubted not but to perform, and for the better performance of what he took in hand, to avoid suspicion, he would live like a gentleman at Gray's or Lincoln's Inn; and having at last a good opinion of this gentleman, he told him his true name was Marckes Barkworth, a Lincolnshire man, but he named himself Marcks Lambert. A man in stature tall and well proportioned, showing strength, the hair of his head brown, his beard yellow, somewhat heavy eyed; and passing with him at Orleans, the gentleman was known by an Englishman to be a Protestant, who caused his religion to be revealed, which was the cause he hardly escaped with life, being so strictly followed by the priest.
Therefore I have thought necessary to acquaint your Honour with the desire I have to serve her Majesty with the care of the safeguard of her person. I am ready with the gentleman to approve what I have here written.
Holograph. Undated. Endorsed :—“1601, July 6. Achym's letter to the Lord Chamberlain—a priest letter.” Seal. 2 pp. (182. 86.)
William Killygrewe to Sir Robert Cecil.
1601, July 7. Thanks Cecil for his favourable remembrance of him. He sends Cecil's letter to his poor old brother, who will take great comfort to see Cecil's favourable care towards his poor distressed son-in-law.—Hanwurth, 7 July 1601.
Holograph. 1 p. (86. 141.)
William Rider, Lord Mayor of London, to the Lords of the Council.
1601, July 7. About five months since divers young men, apprentices, were committed to Bridewell for some attempt intended in the late rebellion, where they have been kept close prisoners, every man by himself, to the great charge of the said house; whereof the Governors desire to be eased, being otherwise overcharged with many idle and vagrant people, and the rather for fear of infection in this heat of summer, the prisoners being continually shut up in very close and obscure places, and one of them at this time in such extremity of sickness that, notwithstanding he be further enlarged, it is thought he cannot live.—From London, 7 July, 1601.
Signed. ½ p. (182. 89.)
Captain R. Wigmore to Sir Robert Cecil.
1601, July 7. By my progress to this place it should appear, according to the old adage, that the best speed is not always found in the greatest haste; for, albeit that without rest or repast I arrived here this morning in a very timely hour, passing by Sandwich and so coasting the sea shore unto Dover, yet in all this tract can I find neither Dutch nor English ship or pinnance other than the Vanguard, who even now liveth upon her last day's victuals. Notwithstanding, the regard of her Majesty's service so far prevaileth as that I am promised this evening to be carried towards Calais, where my hopes do promise me some Dutch man of war by whom I may be conveyed unto Ostend. These delays and the contrariety of winds, which still continue, must plead my excuse against the imputation of slackness.
All this morning, as my travel lay by the sea-side, I heard the impetuous thundering of the artillery at Ostend, in a manner without intermission; so as it should seem that they are very angry on both sides. And it is here said that the enemy hath already rendered the sea passage into the town somewhat difficult. But the power of your commandments shall either find or force my way thither.—Dover, this 7th of July.
Holograph. On the back :—“1601. Dover, the 7 day of July at six in the afternoon. Canterbury, at 12 at night 7th day. Sitting-bourne, this 8 day at 3 in the morning. Rochester, the 8 day at past 6 in the morning. Dartford, the 8 day at 9 before noon. At London past two in the afternoon.” Seal. 1 p. (182. 90.)
Sir Thomas Gerrard to Sir Robert Cecil.
1601, July 8. I am importuned by my Lord Bishop of Man to put you in mind for his despatch concerning the Islanders' petition, which is nothing but to pay the soldiers money instead of victuals. It will ease the country, benefit the soldier, and not diminish any of the number that has been ever maintained, and be more commodious for whomsoever shall receive the rents, besides a matter used in the late Earl's time.—Court, 8 July, 1601.
Holograph. Endorsed :—“Sir Tho. Gerrett.” 1 p. (86. 142.)
H. Towneshend to Sir Robert Cecil.
1601, July 8. I send the true copy, fair written in a book, of her Majesty's last instructions, by this bearer, which instructions, as far as I conceive, are very well liked of by this Council and by all the ministers and officers of this Court. I acquainted Mr. Newport how kindly you of yourself remembered to grace him to be of this Council, who I think in all duty will acknowledge it.—From her Majesty's house at Brydgnorthe, 8 July 1601.
Signed. Endorsed :—“Justice Towenshend.” 1 p. (86. 143.)
[Sir R. Cecil to the Master of Gray.]
[1601, July 9.] I am very glad to find by your letter of the 29th of June that you have had the honour of the King your sovereign's presence, for when either practice or error have wrought exile in princes' minds, I never found but that subject which could procure access doth commonly recover favour, a fortune which I do wish you, being, as I have ever found you, possessed with duty to your master and good affection to the Queen my mistress. And now, Sir, to the points that have been disputed between the Earl of Marre and you, for as much as has relation to me, I do thank you for your assumption in my behalf, that I was never so foul nor so foolish as to traffic with the Spaniards, either by your means or by any earthly creature. God hath forgiven his soul, I hope, who was the author of that poor invention. And where it seems that the E. of Marr mislikes to be conceived to have named you for a dealer with me about that matter : true it is that I did speak of you in that matter by way of preoccupation, and not in reply to him in hoc individuo, and yet, Sir, my speech was not so lightly grounded but that it was commonly talked of here, and written out of Scotland, that you being here was about some designs with me of the Archduke's, whereupon I fell into that particular point after the Ambassadors had represented generally the King's grief for her Majesty's many impressions and credulity of reports made of the King, which were things, he said, wrought by many of his subjects which had here great favour and credit : and therefore, Sir, in this point, of which many particulars are out of my head, the variety is not so great but it may be well reconciled, and therein do you plead that which is best for you, for as for myself, as my own reputation hitherto hath been in little question for any humour of false speaking, so when my honesty shall be balanced here, or there, no man's birth or greatness can have odds over me in that predicament. For the second point of my report, that the King had written you a letter, and that I did infer upon that, how incertain the King's favour or disfavour was, I have thus much to say, that I did never think you cared that it were understood by them, that her Majesty's favour to you depended most upon knowledge that you were in good terms with your King, for otherwise I would not have touched it, if I had thought it was meant for a secret; though, on my credit, I vow it to you it was written to me out of Scotland, after you had imparted it to me. But because your answer was therein very proper, I leave that matter, and only add this, that I did in very truth by accident represent unto the Ambassadors that we were not ignorant of their Court's factions, changes and jealousies more than they seemed to be of ours, having only this direction in regard of their extreme jealousies, to desire them from henceforth to let the Queen and her ministers know who were in the King's good grace by some other mark than by his passports, wherewith so many gent, came hither furnished, for otherwise, this being a Court of greatness, and apt to receive all travellers, might daily err in that kind, except some note might be fixed upon the parties so certain as they might not one year be held by us for his favourites and another year for fugitives : with which freedom of speech then they seemed both well pleased, howsoever now it might be christened as a style of boasting, of which humour I cannot yet accuse myself. And where you answered that only you wrote it to me, you did say no more than God knows to be true. As for any letters of yours extant, I hope you are sufficiently persuaded that I am no knave by birth nor profession, and therefore that was but a figure. True it is that seeing they know sufficiently that letters passed between us, I have by accidental discourse related many things, which did aptly serve to prove that your traffic and mine was about no base nor lewd subject, of which what comment may be made, when I hear it, I shall easily clear both you and me with naked truth. Further, Sir, where you desire liberty to show my letter of the 17th of April, I pray you, Sir, serve yourself of that and all the letters that ever my pen formed, for I shall think them best applied when they serve for testimonies of both or either of our innocencies. And thus in haste I end.
I am right sorry to see no better blood between you and the Earl of Marr, because I judge him by his carriage here no “boutefeux” in nature, nor found him any way malicious to your person; and of this assure yourself, that the King could have sent never a subject in Scotland that should have had such a welcome as he had in a time when the Queen was so disposed as the revelations and accusations which Essex delivered had made her : wherein, though I know he told much truth, yet in my conscience, to value himself and procure pardon, he told many fables. The Count Mawryce is before Bercke, like to carry it, and the Archduke before Ostend with 12,000 men and 60 cannon, his approaches made, and the town invested. Her Majesty sends away with all speed 2 or 3,000 men to relieve it. Vere is to put himself into the town, and I hope will give a good account of that siege. Thus do you see our terms of amity with Spain, wherein I am so affectionate.
Endorsed :—“1601, 9 July :” and in the hand of Simon Wyllis, “Copy of my Master's letter to the Master of Grey.”
3 pp. (86. 104, 2–3.)
Henry Lok to [Sir R. Cecil].
1601, July 9. I attended all this day a fit opportunity to have acquainted you with Captain Smith's arrival, who, it seems, has somewhat of present use in the service of Oestend to be delivered, and after to be disposed of as you direct.—9 July 1601.
Holograph. Endorsed by Cecil's secretary :—“Mr. Locke to my Mr.” 1 p. (86. 144.)
Sir Henry Nevill to Sir Robert Cecil.
1601, July 9. In the midst of all my misery I have received great comfort in the assurance of your constant favour towards me. And that, not only for the fruit and benefit I have reaped by it, being no less than the preservation of my life and state from those extreme courses, which otherwise, I doubt, would have been taken against me, but even as much for the hope that I conceived thereby, that you do not in your private judgment condemn me to have been so wicked and disloyal as my folly and misfortune together have made me to seem. I do with all humble thanks acknowledge the benefit, and profess to owe you my life, and that I will be ready to offer it in all occasions where it may do you service to spend it, and in the meantime to employ it by your commandment. And I do with like humbleness beseech you to continue your favourable conceit of me, and whatsoever other opinion I have deserved to lose, that you will vouchsafe still to hold me an honest man, for that is the highest title that I aspire unto, how odious soever I was lately made before you.
Touching my present occasions, I should be ashamed to importune you any more, having been so much bound already, even beyond the possibility of my merit, but that I know your honourable nature delights in doing good, as many have cause to acknowledge that were wrapped in these late misfortunes. And I am assured that you have not carried on the care of me hitherto with such true and honourable kindness, but with a purpose to finish the work that you have begun. I will be bold therefore to lay my state open before you, and so recommend it to that favour that I have had so good proof of.
The sentence that was given against me was, as I conceived, to pay 10,000l. for a fine; to lose all my offices; to forego a pension or yearly payment I receive out of the patent for ordnance, and to suffer imprisonment during her Majesty's pleasure. The offices I held are two parks, a walk in Windsor Forest, the stewardship of the manor of Sonning, and the keeping of the house at Windsor : all which together, in fees and commodities, may amount to 120l. or 200 marks by the year. Out of the patent for ordnance I had a yearly payment of 350l. So as there is taken from me of my present revenue well near 500l. a year. I hold also jointly with Sir Henry Killigrew a tellorship in the Exchequer, but by agreement between us I was not to meddle in it, nor to take any benefit of it during his time. When these things are gone from me, my revenue by my land will not be full 700l. a year. So that if it were in me to sell, two parts of the three sold would not pay the fine. But the truth is, that I have no power to sell any foot of that I have in Berkshire, my estate being only for life, and the inheritance being in my eldest son Henry, with remainders to my younger son, and so to my brother. In Yorkshire I have a parsonage racked out for 53l. a year, which is free for me to dispose of : and two other tithes there, the one let for 30l., the other for 39l., both which King Edward 6 gave to my father and the heirs males of his body, so as I cannot sell them without her Majesty's leave. And these three things are all I have in the world to make any money of. How my fine will arise out of them, I protest I do not know, nor consequently what offer or suit to make. I had more land free, but I have sold it, partly upon my first going into France, and partly since my coming over to pay my debts, so much as in all I received 4,000l. for. In this extremity of mine, I can plead nothing, but appeal to her Majesty's free grace and mercy, seeing all is of mercy. But more than my state will yield cannot be had. Therefore I apprehend nothing but misery and the continuance of her Majesty's indignation, seeing I am not able to make satisfaction in this course that she has been pleased to take with me. I humbly beseech you to afford me your advice and direction how I am to proceed. I beseech you also to grant leave to my wife to come to me, that I may confer and take some order with her about my poor estate, and likewise about suing and soliciting for me, as her infirmity will permit her. And so I end with my prayers to God to render you in full measure the goodness that I have found at your hands.—The Tower, 9 July 1601.
Holograph. 2 pp. (86. 146.)
The Attorney-General (Coke) to Sir Robert Cecil.
1601, July 9. I humbly pray your Honour, after her Majesty have signed the pardons which I delivered to you by her commandment, that you would be pleased either to detain them in your custody or to send them unto me, to the end that so much money as is to be paid in hand may be paid before the pardon pass the great seal.—9 July 1601.
Holograph. Seal. ½ p. (182. 91.)
Lord Burghley to Sir Robert Cecil.
1601, July 9. I have, since the receipt of your last letters, made known unto the Scottish pledges how their bills are filed, and letters written to the Queen's Agent in Scotland that, upon order given for the satisfaction of their charges, they shall forthwith be removed to the East and West Wardenries and delivered to the persons that have been indemnified by them. They are much contented with the news thereof, though not the nearer how to provide the money unless they may be first delivered. Neither, when they shall be delivered, do I think it is your meaning but that they shall put in security for their good behaviour as heretofore they have offered, either of English pledges, or their eldest sons, or both. Or else in my opinion it will be but canis ad vomitum and be as troublesome neighbours as they were before : so as nothing shall be otherwise effected but the payment of their charges and some restitution to the persons wronged, which I fear will be but little.
The two Carltons, whom I wrote unto you I had deferred from being arraigned at the last gaol delivery, since my coming, until the next assizes, I find it so dangerous for fear of their escape, receiving daily intelligences of divers plots that are laid for their delivery, as I mean very shortly to call a private gaol delivery for them; and yet if you saw their personages, with their youth and valiantness, you would pity them to die, or her Majesty to lose two such brave personages, were it not the many and odious outrages they have committed, which, considering the looseness of the West Borders as they stand at this present, were not to be allowed of. Yet the elder of them, which is the goodliest personage of them both, promises, upon hope of his reprieval, to detect many, which I fear is but to gain time in hope to break the prison, as I hear fifteen great malefactors have done lately at Carlisle.
Sir, be a mean with speed to haste the remedy of these Borders which at this present is more spoiled by a private faction than it could be by a foreign enemy.
I am glad of the news of her Majesty's good disposition, which giveth life and honour to our House. I pray you be a mean that her poor tenants of the Lady Lennox' lands may be sent down with good contentment. The charges the poor men has been at through long attendance is as heavy as their fines. Let the poorer sort be regarded and despatched, the wealthier may be drawn to pay the more. It is not so much for pleasing of those tenants only, though they be many, but the good, or hard, dealing with them will be generally well, or evil, received of the whole North.
The news of Ireland is very acceptable to as many as heareth it, and I would be glad that so great an enterprise as the reducing of the North parts of Ireland, which was never attempted before in our time, to equal obedience, as it is like the event may so fall out, shall fall out in her Majesty's time. I pray God I may live to see it.
Here is foolish news spread that my Lord of Northumberland should be recalled upon a falling out between Sir Francis Vere and him, and should [have] given Sir Francis Vere a bastinado. I know my Lord of Northumberland to be of a better temper than to venture his credit by so rash an attempt : and, therefore, though I believe it not, I pray you let me know the truth hereof.
I am glad of the honour done of late to those two noble men and my old and honourable friend, Sir John Stanhope. I hope the world shall not have now occasion to lie that our house ruleth all. Her Majesty hath chosen such as will breed no division in the Senate, nor are not to be touched with any notorious will, but always have carried themselves very modestly.
I am glad that it pleased you to report unto me the true relation of the late practices of those Jesuits, but I hope, by God's providence and your good care, such attempts shall be foreseen.—This 9th of July 1601. Your most affectionate brother.
PS.—I pray you let some of your men deliver these letters included according to their directions.
Holograph. Seal. 3 pp. (182. 93.)
Margaret Crumpe, widow.
1601, July 9. Petition to Sir Robert Cecil. Her injuries at the hands of Timothy Smith her brother. Prays for grant of the lease of “the lands.”—Undated.
Note by Cecil to the auditors and Mr. Hare to certify him when they have spoken with both parties.
Note signed by Walter Tooke, W. Curlle, and Jo. Hare, saying that Smith has dealt very honestly with petitioner, and assents to the grant of the lease as prayed for.—9 July 1601.
pp. (P. 197.)
George Beverley, Controller of the Victuals for the Army in Ireland, to Sir Robert Cecil.
1601, July 10. Prays for 4 or 5 horsemen to take with him from England to be at his direction in Ireland. His own entertainment for the most part will be defrayed in the wages of clerks and attendants at the several magazines, to view and give notice of the arrivals and state of the stores of victuals, according to the instructions now received from the Council, he proceeding from his own motion for a precedent to restrain the commissaries of the victuals in Ireland from the use of more clerks and ministers than is very needful. The providers of the victuals in England are now also accountable for the issue of the same to the army in Ireland; but of the skill and industry of their ministers in Ireland, they have little experience. It is therefore the more needful that they should be surveyed by one skilful and trusty on her Majesty's behalf. His travails and charges will not be little, and the perquisites, besides his entertainment, never amounted to the value of 10d. The Lord Treasurer allows his suit to be reasonable.—10 July 1601.
Holograph. 1 p. (86. 147.)
A petition from the same, to the same effect.
Endorsed :—“1601, 10 July.” ½ p. (182. 94.)
Henry [Robinson,] Bishop of Carlisle, to Sir Robert Cecil.
1601, July 10. Having received secret intelligence on the 8th that two strangers, being desirous to go into Scotland, had conveyed themselves into a bye corner within my diocese, and thereupon doubting that they were either seminary priests or some enemies to the state, I presently sent a certain number from my own house, who the same night apprehended the parties and brought them before me. In their examination they could be brought to confess nothing, but that they, being citizens of London, and farther indebted than they were able to pay, were desirous for a time to have gone out of the realm, that so order might be taken with their creditors, protesting all loyalty to her Majesty and conformity in religion. Notwithstanding, here being at the same time a great rumour of robbery to have been done against certain goldsmiths in London, by some persons who were fled into these parts, I committed them to ward. Now, upon more diligent search in the room wherein they were lodged at the time of their apprehension, the owner of the house brings to me the letter directed to Henry Leighe enclosed in this bill of debt, which I send here-enclosed, which he found put up into the thatch of the house. The two parties' names which are apprehended are Thomas Hoult and Arthur Hoult, goldsmiths, and brethren, as they say. The letter was negligently sealed, as you may see, and therefore I think it cannot be but that he which had the custody of it was privy to the contents of it. Because it contains matter of treasonable practice, I have therefore got the same conveyed presently to you by my servant George Clay. My purpose is to commit the prisoners to close ward till you give further direction. There were enclosed in the said bill the charter of the above named parties, their father's admission to the freedom of the city of London, and likewise of both themselves, which I thought needful to mention, because that also is a proof that they had the said letters in their custody.—Carlisle, 10 July 1601.
Holograph. 1 p. (86. 148.)
George Cotton.
1601, July 10. Confession of George Cotton, son of Richard Cotton of Bedhampton, Hampshire, subscribed at Dover Castle before Sir Thomas Fane, 10 July 1601.
About two years since, he took shipping at “Margerite” in Kent, and from thence went to Flushing and so to Amsterdam, and from thence to Antwerp and to Brussels, and so to S. Omers, where he went to school these two years. The reason he came from thence was that a gentlewoman, Mrs. More, who lately came out of England, told him that she had directions from a cousin of his, Mr. Pooly, that he should come over with her, whereupon he did so, and moreover went by the name Pooly, and in S. Omers was called by the name of Pooly and not known by the name of Cotton.
Holograph. 1 p. (86. 149.)
Siege of Ostend.
1601, July 10. The news of Jeronimo Schermar, which was in the Cardinal's camp before Ostend on Monday last.
He says, on Saturday last, that they of Ostend sallied out into the enemy's camp and very manfully behaved themselves, in such wise as they came to the enemy's cannon, which one part they endeavoured to carry with them, and other part very diligently employed themselves to nail them, but their purpose was broken by the mutiners of St. Andire's sconce, which very valiantly well provided and over their furniture came all in white shirts, and made skirmish so fierce as they of Ostend were forced to retire within their hold, having lost at that out sally 200 men, but what the enemy lost was not spoken of.
On Thursday come sevennight, he saith, is said that they have a day is called St. Jago, on which day they purpose to enter Ostend by force. In the mean time, this dark moon they purpose to mine, and also to place their cannon in such wise as by their mine and cannon they purpose to make a sufficient breach.
They of Ostend, seeing a troop together, made a shot at them and maimed 11 men.
The Monday, being the 6 of July, was slain by a musket shot out of Ostend a very valiant soldier called Don Jeronimo, a coronel, for which was much lamentation.
Flanders has promised to the Cardinal 1,200,000 guilders, which is in sterling money 12,000l., which is paid him as follows :—
3,000 at first placing of his army before Ostend.
3,000 at his battery against Ostend.
3,000 when he has gotten Ostend.
3,000 three months after he has gotten Ostend.
The Cardinal's army is very well furnished of all victuals. The number of the Cardinal's soldiers esteemed 8,000. The Cardinal has raised a mount in the west part of Ostend next unto Newporte, on which mount he has placed 25 cannons, and he has yet to the number of 50 cannons to be placed. The Cardinal expects daily for new and greater forces, viz., to the number of 5,000. The common report goes of 11,000.—Dover, 10 July 1601.
pp. (86. 150.)
Sir Thomas Gerrard to Sir Robert Cecil.
[1601,] July 10. Begs him to favour the petition of his near kinswoman, Mrs. Layghton, to the Council.—10 July.
Holograph. Endorsed :—“1601.” ½ p. (86. 151.)
Captain Holcroft to Sir Robert Cecil.
1601, July 10. It hath pleased your Honour to let me know by Captain Wigmore, of the receipt of some of those letters which I have written to you since my coming hither, and that your Honour doth vouchsafe to accept of my endeavour to serve you. Since I wrote last unto your Honour, which was the report of a sally made upon Friday, the 2nd of July (stilo antiquo), our General is arrived here and all the English in the States' pay, except Sir Calisthenes Brooke's company, but the enemy doth approach so warily that we have not attempted anything upon his trenches, only procured certain light skirmishes and those were done in favour of our workmen whom our General hath commanded to cast up a ravelin without the town upon the outside of the ditch of the counterscarp on the West side, within a musket shot of the enemies' approaches, which when we have placed artillery (“artiglierie”) in it, will either occasion the enemy to direct his approaches to that work and make him lose so much time, or else, if he go on with his approaches directly along the downs, as he hath begun, he must be very much endamaged by our cannon. We are now 54 companies in town, whereof 26 are English. The greatest hurt we are subject to is by the continual playing of the cannon, both from East and West, which cannot be avoided, the town being so full of men, and all the English quartered upon plain ground, as in the market place and in a piece of waste ground between the Governor's garden and the rampier on the West side of the town. In our new work also, they begin to do some hurt with their cannon, and this morning Captain Ogle was shot with a musket in the face, being in the same new work, but it is hoped that he shall be well healed without any danger.—Ostend, this Saturday (sic) the 10th of July 1601.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (182. 95.)
William Tresham to Henry Locke.
1601, July 10. Good Mr. Lock, some days past I did write to you by my good friend Mr. George Freman, the which, I hope, have safely found you. With them I made bold to write unto the honourable personage Mr. Secretary Cecil, beseeching him to favour my humble pretence for the returning into my country. I requested you to be a mediator and a remembrancer for me to Mr. Secretary, and, albeit I am a mere stranger to you, yet I presumed so much understanding of your good “natural and disposition” by the report of the Lord Gray of Scotland and of my friend Mr. Freman. I have been for two years attending the pleasure of her Majesty and of her Council; my desire is to serve her and my native country. I purpose to go towards Paris within these 10 days, and there to remain some days to hear answer of my business; and if before the month of September I hear nothing of hope from you, then will I provide for myself, as one desperate to have there any grace, though I had rather live in prison in England, known for an Englishman and loyal to my Prince, than in any foreign State to live in honour and dignity.
I am advertised of the manner of the siege of Ostend, a place of most importance for the States of Holland to continue and possess. The Archduke is before it, and hath placed as yet but some pieces to beat the defences, but purposeth to beat the town upon the West with 40 pieces of battery, and the North East towards the old town with as many more; in fine, he purposeth to rase all the ramparts down with the cannon and so to win it rather than by assault. The reason is because the assault is dangerous, the approaches being very difficile and perilous; but the expenses of powder doth cost him nothing, neither the pay of his camp, victuals, munition or pioneers, for all that is at the proper charge of the Province of Flanders. Sure if he become master of the place, he will be much esteemed : so contrariwise, if he fail of the enterprise, he will not only lose much reputation but withal will be put to great afterdeal and distress. In all the time that I served the King of Spain, that town was never attempted but first by intelligence within the same, and I am of opinion that the same cause is at this present the cause of the attempt, for sundry are fled forth of the town, both French and English, unto the camp of the Archduke, and sundry, as I am advertised, are hanged over the gates of the town in view of the Archduke's camp, the which doth signify always treason. If the town be provided of necessaries to repair the breaches, and specially with sarples of wool and trees or timber with fagots and earth, very hardly the place can be won with battery, because the balls, by reason of such matter fit to retain that which shall enter into it, will be as a rampier and defence of itself, or properly to term it, a fortification or strength to the rampier. Upon condition that after the siege passed I might enjoy her Majesty's good grace, I would that presently I were in Ostend to employ my industry there.—In haste, the 10 of July 1601, Calais.
Holograph.
Addressed :—“To Mr. Henry Lock, at the Sign of the Lute in the Strand by the old Lord Treasurer's house.” 3 pp. (182. 96, 97.)
Sir Nicholas Parker to Sir Robert Cecil.
1601, July 11. By the malicious practices and slanderous reports of Francis Glover, his reputation is, if not tainted, yet in suspense with the Council. Prays Cecil to grant a commission to examine such matters as are objected against him. If found faulty, he desires no favour, but if for his true zeal in the execution of her Majesty's service, he be thus scandalised by such a person, he prays that his reputation, which as yet is maimed, may by Glover's public punishment be cured.—Pendenas Castle, 11 July 1601.
Holograph. 1 p. (86. 152.)
The Earl of Northumberland to [Sir Robert Cecil].
[1601], July 11. What is done at Ostend, I know you understand better and much sooner than it is possible for me to make you account of : for what I hear comes first to the Hague, from thence to our camp, and for me to return it back again would be much slower than a very evil wind from Ostend would bring it to your hands. Sir Francis Vere is gone, as I understand : the enemy is set down before it : he batters with some few pieces afar off : he strives to impeach the entrance by water, which he cannot do : and His Excellency is of opinion he can do no good before the town, and that it is but to be doing somewhat there because he will not draw his forces from Flanders, lest we should then more harm him than now we can. The States did send again the next day after I had writ my last letter to you, for the rest of the English that was here, which his Excellency had stayed upon their first letters. Now they are gone, and our army here is altogether without any English companies. The forces that are gone to Ostend, the town will hardly receive conveniently. It is thought there is there in all some 5,000 foot (horse they have none), a garrison strong enough to defend a greater town against stronger enemy, who now is some 9,000, and expects daily the new supplies out of Italy, which is here said to be in their march : so as we hold opinion that we shall do a good summer's work if we may carry this town and defend Ostend.
For matters at Berk, almost they are in the same state they were in when I writ last, only this, that our approaches are drawn somewhat nigher than they were. Our cannon is brought to the nighest places of battery it shall be, which is some 30 or 40 paces of the counterscarp. To-morrow, we expect to begin to batter, that the enemy's artillery in their flanks may be dismounted, for they do us much harm as we go to our guards. The Frises that are the slowest in their approaches, yet are they so much advanced in their works, as with their zappe they are come close to the enemy's counterscarp, and one parapet serves for both their trenches, they being able to fight at the push of the pike one with the other. The French, Scots, and Wallons are much nigher, for they gained the counterscarp the 6 of this month at night by a mine, which took exceeding good effect, for it is known by some that was taken that night that they guarded upon that point 3 companies, and since we understand that the mine blew up 200 of them, some assurance and probability may be gathered by the dead carcasses that was found in divers places the next morning all torn, besides others that fell in the court de gard, where we were together, with part of the earth was blown up. We lost that night 250 men in making good that point of the counterscarp was won. The fire had made the ruin so great that our men lay much subject to the openness of the place to their shot, which played upon them all night from their ravelin, and the retrenchments they had made in their counterscarp. There was lost more officers that night than in any week before, for the Sergeant-Major of the Scots, one Scotch captain, 2 Wallon captains, 3 lieutenants, whereof his Excellency's was one, a French captain, or two, and divers ancients, whereof his Excellency's was one, lost that night their lives. Count Ernestus was that night shot in the hand, and has lost a finger or two. We yet only make good this place until the Frises have advanced somewhat more in their works, who now begin to mine, and within this two nights we shall try the same conclusion on their side. We are so nigh of all hands that daily there is lost 30 or 40 men in both the approaches, for they can no sooner look up but they have a volley of shot. The best is they are fair killed, for of all these, you shall not see 3 almost but they are shot in the head. Yesterday, in the Frises, approaches, there was 5 killed at one loophole was no bigger than twice my hand. I love to tell no wonders, therefore I will say no more.
The enemy is yet very strong in the town, by confession they are 2,000, besides burghers. They use all art may be for the defence of it. They wonder His Excellency summons them not. He minds not to do it, and would have them yield voluntarily. They would be glad of some colour, as is conceived. We are preparing to pass their ditch by galleries. If we can once get their ravelins, we shall hold the town ours.
The army is but weak in men, what with those companies are withdrawn, are dead, and hurt. Supplies come not in hastily, for the other day there came 3 companies from Watchtendonk, but they all consisted of 140 men, they were so weak. Another company came from Skinks sconce, and 3 from Newmeghen. These are all the supplies. The States are weary of the charge, and I think, this business ended, would be glad to retire home to garrison again. They discharge numbers of waggons and hoys.
Two nights past we took a great alarum in the camp, by certain horse of the enemy's that fell upon our outguards of horse, and beat them into our outer intrenchments. We were all night almost in arms, and all the horse of the army was drawn into field.
As I was writing, word was brought me that they were doing somewhat in the approaches of the French. Amongst the rest, I will tell you what has passed. We sought to force the retrenchment they had made. We threw in granados to make them quit it : they stood out at the push of the pike : but in the end we have beat them from it, and at our coming back, I understand that this morning a convoy of our horse, going to Wesell, have had all their throats cut, the wagons and their horses taken, and carried away. It is therefore time now to give your eyes respite from these idle notes of mine, which shall make me conclude with the old phrase I was wont to end my letters withal, that is, I am your true friend to be commanded, for ex abundantia cordis os loquitur.
(PS.)—This is the second letter I have writ since my coming to Berk. I shall be glad you receive them, because I know not the safety of the messenger, being sent from hence to the conveyance of Mr. Gilpin.—Berk, 11 July.
Holograph. Endorsed by Cecil's Secretary :—“1601, Earl of Northumberland to my Mr.” 3 pp. (86. 153, 4.)
Sir Henry Lee to Sir Robert Cecil.
1601, July 11. Thanks Cecil for asking of his health by Mr. Alexander. Cecil assured him of his protection in the office he holds of the Armoury. He stands in great danger of bonds for what is in his charge. For avoiding his further danger, he hears there is to be provided by warrant armour and swords belonging to the room he holds, as well as other provisions appertaining to the office of the Ordnance. Hears the warrant is “jointly to us both.” This is not safety for him, so he prays that it may be “severally to either of us,” so the less disgrace and wrong will be offered, and their poor reputations better maintained. His deputy is his cousin, John Lee. Thanks Cecil for his favour to Captain Smith.—Ditchlye, 11 July 1601.
Signed. 1 p. (86. 155.)
Eadithe Beale to Sir Robert Cecil.
1601, July 11. Prays for Cecil's favour to her suit to her Majesty for a fee farm to the value of 30l. yearly, for the relief of herself and her fatherless children, in consideration of her husband's long services.—Barnes, 11 July, 1601.
Signed. 1 p. (86. 156.)
The Earl of Rutland to Sir Robert Cecil.
[1601], July 11. Since it is her Majesty's pleasure to confine me to some of my friends' houses, my desire is I may be confined to my cousin, Francis Fortescu's, whom I know is willing to receive me, if it may stand with her Majesty's allowance.—From the Tower, which is now very hot.—This 11 of July.
Holograph. Endorsed :—“1601.” ½ p. (182. 98.)
Sir Ferdinando Gorges to Sir Robert Cecil.
[1601], July 11. I humbly desire your pardon for my importunacy. My miseries is best known to myself, for if I was presently to be discharged, I know how hard it will be for me to defray my charge in the house. As for my friends, those that are kind have no money. I beseech your consideration hereof. My soul was ever free from malice to any. I have lost much blood in her Majesty's service and have spent my whole time therein, as also that poor estate I had. My desire was to have deserved better than others, but my overweening affection for my unfortunate friend hath frustrated all my hopes : but I know the clearness of my conscience that could never be drawn to condescend to any vilely servile course or treacherous practice. I have offered myself to be disposed of by your Honour, and if it please you to accept of it, will endeavour to deserve the greatness of your favours done me. I have appointed my cousin Doddington to give his attendance and humbly to desire your answer, what resolution or hopes you think I am to depend on, though for my own part I can desire nothing but a short end to these my miseries.—From the Gatehouse, this 11th of July.
Holograph. Endorsed :—“1601.” Seal. 2 pp. (182. 99.)
William Rider, Lord Mayor of London, to Sir Robert Cecil.
1601, July 11. I received your letter concerning the impresting a servant of the Lord Compton. Wherein forasmuch as you have been informed that upon due notice given unto me that the said party was his Lordship's servant, I did not only refuse to dismiss him but to read his Lordship's letter written to me in his behalf; it may please you to understand that no such letter from the Lord Compton was offered unto me, but I find, upon enquiry, that Captain Dutton and the Committees appointed for that business, received a letter from his Lordship for the release of his man, and presently upon the receipt thereof, dismissed the party two days before the date of your Honour's letter. Which I thought good to signify your Honour, to give you a taste how unjustly such imputations are laid upon me.—From London, the 11 of July 1601.
Signed. ½ p. (182. 100.)
Mons. Noel de Caron to Sir Robert Cecil.
1601, July 12. I enclose a letter from the Sieur Sailly, which relates in part to English affairs.—Clapham, Sunday, the 12th day of July 1601.
Holograph. French. Seal. ½ p. (182. 101.)
Captain J. Holcroft to Sir Robert Cecil.
1601, July 12. The next day after Captain Wigmore's departure, divers ships with provisions came out of Zealand, and having unladen part into the long-boats, about ten of those boats were cast away by reason of the greatness of the billow which, with a western wind, goes very high upon this coast. The enemy did also tear one of those boats in pieces with a cannon shot, whereby all the provision was cast away and most of the men drowned, which mischance (though it be of little moment) will perhaps make the enemy believe he can forbid our entrance, and happening at noon day, encourage them to employ their uttermost in that behalf : and I doubt not but that it doth very much discourage our mariners that are destined to the use of landing provisions. Yesterday, also, our General viewed a piece of ground which lies on the further side of a river that runs directly between the town and one of the enemy's forts called Grotendurst, and we have this last night entrenched upon it; from which we may very well flank the enemy's approaches which he maketh to the town; and it is also a beginning of our approaches to the aforesaid fort, which it is thought our General means to besiege when the supplies out of England are come. Here is a report amongst us that the enemy hath promised to take the town upon St. James' day, or before, which though there be little possibility of, yet knowing his superstitious humour and particular devotions to that Saint, I do verily believe he shall find us very ready to entertain him to his loss.—Ostend, this 12th of July 1601.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (182. 102.)
John Sachfild, Mayor, and Others of Bath to Sir Robert Cecil.
1601, July 12. Being the 7th day of July last past given to understand by one Robert Corbett that Robert Everett had used speeches against your Honour at a place called Widcombe in the house of one John Bigg, being an inn, we did examine such persons as heard the words, namely, the said Robert Corbett and one John Reade. Corbett said that he, being in the inn in company with the said Reade and others, there passed by them one Richard Power, servant to one Spanly, a smith. Upon whose sight, Corbett used these or the like words : “Yonder goeth one in whose company I was the 8th day of February last, where I did see the bloodiest and most lamentablest day that ever I saw, for I saw the Earl of Essex and all his troop going into London.” Upon which the said Everett spake these words, viz. : “A pox upon Sir Robert Cecil, for it was upon his occasion. I would he had been hanged seven years agone.” The said Reade being examined, saith he heard the words spoken by Everett, but not those of Corbett. Wherefore we have taken and imprisoned the said Everett until we may understand your pleasure.—Bath, this 12th of July 1601.
Signed. 1 p. (182. 103.)
Richard Jones, Bailiff of Calne, to Sir Robert Cecil.
1601, July 13. In accordance with Cecil's letters of the 11th inst. he has examined witnesses as to the alleged abuse lately offered by Thomas Bridges, clerk, to a servant boy of William Gales, postmaster of Calne. Gives digest of the evidence, from which it would appear that the boy was the aggressor.—Calne, 13 July 1601.
Signed. 1 p. (86. 157.)
Sir Thomas Fane to Sir Robert Cecil.
1601, July 13. Having on Saturday morning last received your letters by Captain Smythe, I pursued the tenor thereof, and albeit I made diligent enquiry for his stay and apprehension yesterday morning, as well in all the inns and other places where haply he might seek to secret himself, yet could I by no means discover him, but am certainly advertised that he embarked on Saturday about 12 of the clock.—Dover Castle, 13 July 1601.
Signed. On the back :—“Dover the 13th July at 11 in the forenone. hast hast hast post haste with dilligence. Canterberye paste 4 in the afternone. Sittingborn at 7 at night. Rochester paste 9 at night. Dartford the 14 at 5 in the morninge. London at all most 9 in the fore noone.” ½ p. (86. 158.)
P. Gallwey to Sir Robert Cecil.
1601, July 13. The manifold favours afforded by Cecil to the citizens of Limerick emboldens him to crave that he would vouchsafe him private conference, to the end that he may inform him of certain matters tending to the safety of that city which he is by direction of the citizens appointed to discover only to Cecil himself.—13 July 1601.
Holograph. Endorsed :—“Patrick Gallway.” ½ p. (86. 159.)
William Paddy to Sir Robert Cecil.
[1601], July 13. Certifies to the truth of the petition of John Guy, a poor gentleman, in behalf of two orphans.—July 13.
Holograph. Endorsed :—“1601 D. Paddy.” ½ p. (86. 160.)
William Hals to Sir Robert Cecil.
[1601, July 14.] On behalf of his kinsman Captain James Tothill, who has spent 14 years in the wars, first in Ireland; after, in the West Indies under Sir Francis Drake; then in France at the siege of Amyans; also at Porterico under my Lord of Cumberland, who can testify of him; and since in Ireland again. Prays for Cecil's letters to Sir Francis Vere, in favour of Tothill, for his placing in the Low Countries.—Undated.
Holograph. Endorsed :—“14 July 1601.” 1 p. (86. 161.)
Sir Ferdinando Gorges to Sir Robert Cecil.
[1601], July 14. I perceive by my cousin Doddington that it hath pleased you to except at that part of my letter, whereby I acknowledge your Honour to have been no hinderer of those merciful favours I have received. I beseech you to be out of doubt that my meaning was no otherwise that, as you were no hinderer, so you are by me and my friends to be acknowledged to be the greatest furtherer of any good I have received. May this be satisfaction to your Honour from a man plunged into so many miseries as myself.—From the Gatehouse, the 14th of July.
Holograph. Endorsed :—“1601.” Seal. 2 pp. (180. 137.)
The Earl of Northumberland to Sir Robert Cecil.
[1601], July 15. Since my last, which was the 11 of this month, we have proceeded in our siege thus far further as to place our artillery upon the enemy's counterscarp, which now beats his flanks : we have passed three galleries after they were beaten from their retrenchments, one of them to one of the curtains, the other two to two faces of two bulwarks, in each of which we have made three mines, and have sapped a great deal of the bulwarks round about already. We hope to carry the town within some ten days, although the Frises are very slow in their approaches, having advanced no more than only to come into the ditch of the enemy's trench about the counterscarp, where one parapet serves both, and are oft at the push of the pike. The mines they have made to win the point of the counterscarp is not yet put to their execution. This night or to-morrow, I think, they will be blown up, being seven. Now we make what haste we can in our business, for his Excellency understands that the troops out of Italy are in the country of Luxemburgh, seven thousand, who is now very unwilling to be forced hence. Before, I conceived he lingered time as much as he could because he was so unwilling to the enterprise of Flanders; now he judges the year so far spent that there is no danger for him to haste forward in this he is about. The next news I shall write you will be that we are masters of the town or beaten away. His Excellency sent his trumpet to summon the town yesterday morning. The Governor, Don Luis Bernardo d'Avila, answered that he knew his Excellency to be a gallant prince and a great soldier who could not but know the duty he was bound to perform towards his master that had trusted him with the town—that it would be a disreputation for him to yield it up upon one day's siege, and that he must defend it so long as he was tied in honour to keep it.—Before Berk, this 15 July.
PS.—The Frises have won this morning a little piece of the enemy's counterscarp. The States have spent in very making of trenches before this town, 7,000l. sterling.
Holograph. Endorsed :—“1601.” Seal. 1 p. (182. 104.)