642. Cornelius Bishop Of Killaloe (Laon), to Juan De
Reports arrival of Henry O'Ryan, with the two Spanish captains
who were sent to Ireland. Refers to the information there obtained
by them, and says that the chiefs have written to him (the bishop),
to join his prayers to theirs that his Majesty will send them the aid
they beg for, and if that cannot be sent this year, that he will send
1,000 men at once to enable them to keep the war alive until the
army comes. They pray for the Cardinal Archduke Albert for
their prince. Begs for a letter to the Spanish ambassador in Rome,
to induce the Pope to translate him from Laon and to send him to
Ireland with the fleet.—Lisbon, 6th June 1596.
643. Count Portalegre to Juan De Idiaquez.
The captains who went to Ireland arrived here (Lisbon) yesterday,
having left Ireland on the 24th May. Near this port, at
10 o'clock at night, they were met by an English ship, which, not
knowing they were a war ship, sent two boats to board them. They
attacked the ship, which was larger than theirs, and the fight lasted
a long time. We had only 14 men, and they discharged the pieces
twice. They killed three of our men, amongst them the captain, a
fine young sailor, an Aragonese, named Julio de las Cuevas. Our
ship got away and entered port in the morning. The Englishmen
in the two boats could not get back to their ship again ; and having
nothing to eat, surrendered to some fishermen in the evening. They
say that they left London two months ago, and at that time the
Queen had 100 ships in the fleet. They do not know the destination
of the fleet or anything else of consequence. (fn. 1)
The captains bring a reply from the four lords to whom his
Majesty wrote, and they also wrote to me. They have been joined
by another chief called the marquis of Connaught, who has taken
possession of nearly all that province. The substance of what
happened is that they all met in Donegal, after some difficulty, as it
was distant for some of them, and although they are in accord,
they are not so entirely so as to make it easy to bring them thither.
They were delighted with his Majesty's message and proposals ;
although two of them had already carried their negotiations for an
arrangement so far as to have given hostages, and had consented to
conditional terms, which would be difficult to carry out. The reply
the chiefs send is to the effect that they place themselves and their
forces, &c. at his Majesty's disposal to join the forces he will send.
They ask for arms for 10,000 footmen, and 200 mounted harquebussiers.
If the fleet cannot go this summer, they want 1,000
soldiers and the 200 harquebussiers, for whom they will find horses.
They will keep the war alive with these, until his Majesty sends a
fleet with six or seven thousand, when they will conquer the island
for him, and completely turn out the English. They say they are
sincere Catholics, admit no heretics amongst them, and will die to
shake off the yoke of heresy.
The fleet should anchor in Limerick, as the marquis of Cannaught
can help greatly there. The rest of them promise to keep the
enemy engaged, so that the fleet shall not meet with resistance.
There are no modern forts, and little ordnance ; but the Queen has
6,000 or 7,000 foreign soldiers, having no confidence in the natives,
who will all come over to us, these lords assert, as soon as they see
a foreign force in their favour.
If no aid be sent this year, the visit of the captains, they say, will
have done them much harm, and for this reason they decided that
Captain Medinilla should not stay there. I think they were wise
in this ; because if they are so hard pressed as to be obliged to come
to terms, they can say that they dismissed the captains without any
encouragement. The people seemed to the captains very fond of
fighting, and very apt for it. They can raise and place in the field
as many men as may be wanted, and they offer 40,000 for the
English enterprise. They have against them John Norris, who
commands. The forces that are sent must take victuals until they
get command of the plains. This is all I can say at present. I
should have sent one of the captains with the despatches to-day,
but the other would have been jealous at his going alone, as he
wants to do. I shall manage somehow to patch it up. I am more
anxious about the news from Scotland, which is of quite recent
date. I send with it the letter of the man who brought the news
to Colonel Semple.—Lisbon, 7th June 1596.
644. Count Portalegre to Juan De Idiaquez.
By the special courier I despatched on the 7th instant, you will
have received the account of what the captains had said and done in
Ireland. Cisneros got a knock on the leg which prevents him from
travelling, but he had concealed it from me, so as not to arouse my
I now enclose the despatches they brought, which are doubtless
for the purpose of accrediting them. Even if this be so, I do not
think there is anything more to be got from the captains beyond what
they have told me, nor from the ensigns who left Ireland before them,
leaving some of their number behind. I hope to God they have all
arrived safe, for it would be very unfortunate for the enemy to take
any of those ships. I opened Cisneros' letter to you, to see how he
wrote respecting the marquis of Connaught's letter, a piece of
trifling, arising out of the jealousy between Cisneros and Medinilla,
as I am told by the ensigns. To tell the truth, I think they might
well have avoided such conduct.
Medinilla began it by refusing to accompany the marquis of
Connaught and Cisneros by land to summon the chiefs to the
meeting, although Cisneros and the ensigns were of opinion that they
ought to be summoned, and it was so laid down in the instructions.
Cisneros got them together, and did very well, but he made a
mistake afterwards in refusing to bring an Irish priest named
Bernard (O'Donnell), who has been in Spain and is a servant of the
marquis of Connaught. I cannot understand why he objected to
bring him, as he was requested to do so by all of them, and
particularly as the Marquis is so important a person and got the rest
of them together. If he was influenced by the idea that the priest
might cut him out in the subsequent negotiations here, he was the
more to blame. I am vexed at this, as it may cause annoyance
there, but the bishop of Laon (Killaloe?) sends me word that it is
of no importance. Perhaps the priest will come in the ship that
remained there. The letter from the Marquis to which Cisneros
refers was brought to me secretly by Medinilla. Cisneros only
suspected who had shown it to me. The rest of this mission was
Cisneros is a man who may be entrusted with any business. The
other is a brave soldier but with less theory.
I also send the answers they gave to certain points in their
instructions (see page 621), although they are better set forth in my
letter of the 7th instant. The statement of the pilot also goes
herewith, which clearly shows the difficulty and false information
about that navigation. Please consider all these Irish papers, and if
the main aid cannot be sent them this year in consequence of the
English fleet, nor even the 1,000 men they request, see promptly
what answer his Majesty wishes sent to their letters, as their
negotiations for an agreement depend entirely upon that.
The ensigns Andrés Leal, Marcos Sanchez, both good soldiers, and
Antonio Zangroniz, a very smart, promising lad, all did very well,
and you might put them in the list of captains. They deserve it.—
Lisbon, 11th May (June) 1596. (fn. 2)
645. Relation brought from Ireland by the Ensigns Domingo
Jimenez and Cristobal Montero.
The Irish request arms for 10,000 infantry, corselets, pikes,
morions, harquebusses or muskets, powder, balls, &c., and 1,000 men
The earl of Tyrone and O'Donnell are as one, and the rest respect
The chiefs are all truly united, their principal reason for the war
being their dislike of heretics, none of whom are admitted in their
These chiefs on occasion can raise 3,000 men, horse and foot.
They take with them on the march butter, and milk for drink.
This with herbs, and a little oat bread suffices for them.
Their lands will not admit the passage of artillery, as it is very
There are rivers which are crossed with great trouble, as there
are no bridges or boats. We have reason to know this, as we
travelled 37 leagues with these chiefs. There is not a tree nor a
bit of timber in the north, with which to make bridges.
They have not enough victuals for themselves.
There are many water and bandmills, with material for as many
as may be required.
The ports are splendid, Killibeg, Tellin (Teelin), Sligo, and others
would accommodate a large fleet.
The harbours in the hands of the Qeeen are :—
Drogheda, an old walled city.
Dublin, the residence of the Viceroy, where the arms, &c., are
Wexford, an old-fashioned port.
Rosse, an old walled town.
Waterford, with a tower and some guns.
Dungarvan, an ancient castle and port, with some English.
Youghal, an ancient walled town.
Cork, an old walled port.
Limerick, with a good harbour, castle, and ancient walls.
Galway, an ancient walled seaport.
These are all the harbours held by the English.
If his Majesty sends a force, 1,000 lances, and 300 horse harquebussiers
will be required. Mounts for the latter will be found
They say they have pioneers, but picks, hatchets, spades, &c., and
instructors must be sent.
The Irish serve the Queen if forced, but they do not like it.
The Irish in the part held by the Queen will certainly join us.
The Viceroy is William Russell, and the General, John Norris.
Earl of Tyrone can put 600 footmen and 500 horse in the field.
O'Donnell, Rory his brother, O'Dogherty (and two minor chiefs
whose names's are unintelligible) can raise 1,000 foot and 150 horse.
Cormack, brother of the Earl, can bring 200 foot and 30 horse.
Maguire 300 foot and 80 horse.
Ardh Magee, brother of the earl, 30 foot and 20 horse.
O'Rourke, 500 foot and 30 horse.
Macwilliam Burke and his sub-chiefs, 1,000 foot and 60 horse.
—Magee, 200 foot.
—Magee, 500 foot.
Macarty, 200 foot.
O'Cahan (O'Kane), 50 foot and 30 horse.
Maginnis, 200 foot.
Macartan, 50 foot.
Jan Mackay (Maque), 100 foot.
Niel Mackay (Maque), 50 foot.
On Mackay, 50 foot.
A total of 5,900 foot and 1,080 horse. The men are now spread
about their estates, and have darts, bows, and arrows, shields, like
ours, and like Hungarian-bucklers. They have no muskets, and few
harquebusses. Their food is butter and milk, but even this is not
to be bought, as such is not their custom ; and if people go from one
part of the country to another, they receive butter and milk for
their sustenance from the natives of the country they go to.
The people are all Catholics, and they show signs of being able to
handle weapons well. They seem well-disposed people. It is
impossible to travel on the land, as you sink up to the knee, but it
is all land that may be cultivated. In the 40 leagues we have
travelled, we have not seen a single tree. It is, therefore, impossible
to transport artillery. The ports we have seen are Carlingford,
which is an excellent harbour, Sligo which is also good, Donegal, not
so good, and Limerick, the best of all.
Note.—The above report, evidently written by one of the ensigns, is
excessively illiterate, and in some places unintelligible, the names
as usual, being disfigured almost beyond recognition.
646. Count Portalegre to the King.
As your Majesty orders me to send Juan de Fonseca, I am
sending him, in the belief that your Majesty wishes to ask him some
other questions besides those contained in his declaration, sent in
another letter, with fresher news from Plymouth and Scotland, the
latter being dated the 31st ultimo.
We are now at the 10th June, and it is getting late in the season,
considering how early the English came in the year '89, and I do not
see much signs of apprehension of what I am anxious about, more
anxious than ever I was in my life about anything. Because,
notwithstanding the reasons of state and prudence, which persuade
others that it is impossible that that fleet (i.e., the English) should
come to the coast of Spain, I have convinced myself that it is
extremely probable that it may come to prevent the final union of
your Majesty's fleet, by cruising about the route and burning whatever
it may find unprotected between Viana and Lisbon. As to this bar
(i.e., of Lisbon) they could act according to the intelligence they
received of the city and ships, and of the flotillas which are expected
from all parts, and even if your Majesty's fleet succeed in gathering,
they might embarrass it greatly, and this might perhaps satisfy
them for this summer. It would all be frustrated if that which
your Majesty promised should be provided could arrive here. But
before it can be got together, the cause for alarm will have passed.
Your Majesty will have learnt from Flanders the grounds of these
rumours.—Lisbon, 11th June 1596.
647. Reasons for the establishment of a special Board in Flanders
to advise the Governor on English affairs ; and the principal
matters to be dealt with by the Board.
(The document enters at great length into the advisability of
establishing such a Board as that proposed. The arguments may be
summarised as follows.)
It is absolutely necessary, seeing the injury the English are doing
to Spain, that active measures should be undertaken. Such
measures can only be successful if guided by competent expert
knowledge, and constant prompt intelligence of events. Many
English nobles are willing to enter into understandings as to the
future, if they saw some authorised body, in whom they had
confidence, with whom to treat.
English officers holding fortresses in Holland, &c., are in the same
case, and would treat if they had such a Board to treat with.
The Board would be powerful to unite factions in England, and
would more especially to take steps to obtain a general agreement as
to the succession in favour of the Infanta. The Englishmen who
were against this view, and are said to be introducing disunion and
working against Spain, both in Rome and Flanders, are Charles
Paget, William Gifford, William Tresham, in Flanders, and Hugh
Griffith, Thomas Hesketh, Nicholas Fitzherbert, and others in
The Board would report to the King and Governor as to the
merits, &c. of the English in Flanders and elsewhere, so that they
might be treated according to their deserts. It could also find
employment for them.
The Board would be constantly active in devising means for
disturbing and distressing the enemy.
It is suggested that the Board should be appointed by the
governor of Flanders, two or three members to be Spanish and
the rest English. The president to be chosen by the members.
The following are proposed as fit persons for membership of the
Board. Colonel Stanley, Hugo Owen, Gabriel Treherne, and Doctors
Thomas Worthington, and William Pierse. In important matters
William Holt, Jesuit, might assist.
Note.—The above memorandum is not in Father Persons' handwriting,
but from the following document he would appear to have
been very active in advocating the formation of the Board.
648. Father Robert Persons to Martin De Idiaquez.
Memorandum headed "Principal points to facilitate the English
Considering the importance and difficulty of the business, and
that everything depends upon the hands of God, it would be very
advantageous if, in imitation of the Holy Kings of old, his Majesty
were to make some vow to our Lord, such as to promise Him if He
gave his Majesty the victory, to restore to the Church of England
the liberty and privileges it possessed at the time that king Henry
separated from the Apostolic See, and especially that his Majesty
would do his best to make some restitution or arrangement with
regard to the ecclesiasical property which was taken from the
church. This might be done in a moderate way, as is pointed out in
a memorial which was written with regard to the reformation of
England, which book Don Juan de Idiaquez has seen. It was there
proposed that only the ancient value of the revenues should be
restored, which would not reach a quarter of their present value,
but would still be a reasonable arrangement. The most Godly men
of the country with whom I have discussed the matter, agree that in
this way alone will God be appeased and bless the undertaking. They
think, indeed, that the former neglect to remedy this sacrilege was the
reason that religion so soon collapsed in England, and that it would
have stood firmer if a good arrangement had been made in the
time of Queen Mary. If it became known that his Majesty had made
some such vow as this, many good people would join us and conceive
certain hopes of success on this account alone.
2. In order to diminish the suspicion which our opponents arouse
as to the intention of his Majesty, namely, that he wishes to seize
the country for himself, they write to us from England that it is
very advisable that a declaration should at once be made by his
Majesty on this point, because, although the fervent Catholics,
looking to religion alone, will be willing to submit themselves
absolutely to his Majesty, a much larger and more powerful majority
do not wish the crown of England to be joined to that of Spain.
In order to please these, and disarm the other Christian princes,
who fear the same thing, it would greatly facilitate the enterprise
if his Majesty were to allow his views to be known on this point,
in the way he may consider most convenient. One very good way
would be for a little tract to be written by some reputable Englishman,
who might set forth that for the general welfare it would be
advantageous that all should agree to accept the Infanta of Spain.
The tract might assume, as a generally accepted fact, that his
Majesty does not, and never has, claimed the crown for himself.
Amongst the persons who might write such a tract is Sir Francis
Englefield, who would be a very fit person for it, if his Majesty
likes the idea. As it will be short, the tract might at once to be
translated into other tongues, and particularly into Latin, for his
Holiness, who is the principal person whose agreement is necessary
after his Majesty.
3. That his Majesty should take every opportunity in England
itself and neighbouring countries, to weaken our enemies, and
strengthen and increase the number of our friends. For this
purpose it would be well to support the Catholic nobles and
gentlemen of Scotland, for the Queen is more alarmed at 1,000 men
in Scotland than at 10,000 elsewhere. It will cost very little to
support those Scotsmen, and they will take islands and forts, to the
Queen's prejudice. The same thing may be said of the frish
savages, who should be encouraged by some trifling help, in the
form of money and arms (as they have plenty of men), and thus
the Queen might be kept uneasy. The Scots, however, can trouble
her most, as the Irish are across the sea and are less strong.
4. What would disturb and trouble her most of all, however, is
that the English exiles in Flanders should make constant raids,
summer and winter, with those little vessels they have in England.
This could be done with little or no expenditure, except the cost
of the ships themselves which are now rotting there, as the expenses
would be covered by the prizes taken. This was proved 10 or
12 years ago, when the two brothers Cary maintained themselves
for a long time and greatly injured the Queen, until the Flemish
port authorities, jealous of the prizes they took, interfered with
5. One of the great advantages of such raids by Englishmen on
England, (in addition to distressing the Queen, harrying the land,
capturing ships, arresting gentlemen in their own houses, and
hampering trade), would be that they would bring together a large
number of good hardy sailors and soldiers, who would serve his
Majesty in those seas. As they would know that if they were
caught, there would be no pardon for them, they would be very
desperate. Another advantage would be that those who came from
England would be employed in this way, and they would therefore
not all have to look to his Majesty for maintenance, as they do now.
But to begin this business, the Board of which we have spoken
in Flanders should be appointed. There should also be some
Englishmen in his Majesty's confidence there, to keep his Majesty
informed of what goes on. Thus much for weakening our enemies.
6. To strengthen and increase our friends, the best means would
be to unite them, and take away the reasons for division, by the
above-mentioned declaration of his Majesty's intentions with regard
to the succession of the English crown. Another means would be
to take away from the Flemish court, or employ them elsewhere,
two or three persons who have Scottish leanings, and who cause
disunion amongst our friends there. A third means would be that
his Majesty should treat with some amount of confidence his adherents
and friends. This would encourage others. The nobles and gentry
of England, who hold places and fortresses in Flanders, Holland,
and Zeeland, might be approached. They seeing the Queen old
and childless, would soon think of arranging matters with his Majesty,
if things looked propitious, and if they could do so without losing
reputation, and were secretly sure of the fulfilment of the promises
made to them. For this, and a thousand other reasons, it would be
well to convene the already mentioned Board in Flanders, and that
some worthy gentleman, especially Colonel Stanley, should be
treated well, as he being so noble, and having surrendered everything
in the world to his Majesty, is very highly esteemed amongst
7. Another way of strengthening our friends is that in any fleet
his Majesty sends to England, Ireland, and Scotland there should
go some high English ecclesiastic (such as Dr. Stapleton, or some
other in Flanders) with authority, both from the Pope and his
Majesty, to settle matters, and assure the English of his Majesty's
intentions, in opposition of the countless lies of our enemies. It is
necessary for a person of repute and authority of English nationality
to be there to persuade and reassure.
8. If, moreover, the Catholics do not see such a prelate come in
his Majesty's fleet, they will be confirmed in their suspicion that the
heretics have been telling the truth in saying that his Majesty
wanted to conquer the country ; and will doubt the Pope's intention,
as to absolving them from their oath of allegiance to the Queen.
This will cause doubt and division amongst our friends. It is a
most important point and must not be lost sight of, as on such an
occasion very many influential people will be guided in their course
by priests in England who will accompany this personage. To such
people it will necessary to write many letters ; and declarations will
have to be printed. For this purpose it will be necessary to carry a
printing press in the fleet, such as was prepared in Flanders for the
9. The excommunication of the Queen should be renewed by the
Pope, and there should some such public printed pronouncement as
was to be made by Cardinal Allen in '88, of which, although it was
never published, I have a copy here, and it can be reprinted. It is
also of the greatest importance that the first proclamation of the
general when he lands should be deeply considered here before it
is finally decided upon. It should be put into various languages,
especially in Spanish and English, and should clearly state his
Majesty's intention, upon which the success of the war largely
depends, for by sheer force, it is very doubtful if it will succeed.
10. If there is any difficulty in making Dr. Stapleton a cardinal,
for fear of the noise such an appointment might make, the Pope
could give him the title of one of the great English sees, such as
Durham or Ely, which could be done by secret brief, and he might
be made Nuncio Legate at the same time, as Gregory XIII. made
Dr. Allen in '83, when I went to Rome to urge it, and it was intended
to make a movement through Scotland. The brief at that time
remained in the hands of J. B. Tassis, the King's ambassador in Paris,
and was never used. In the same way a dozen briefs might be got
secretly from his Holiness for any gentlemen of Ireland, England, or
Scotland, to confirm and assure them, the names being left in blank.
I got more than 20 such briefs from Pope Gregory, and doubtless
they would greatly influence some great persons in favour of the
enterprise. Some private affectionate letters from his Majesty also
should be provided. Such letters from princes to private individuals
are always very efficacious.
11. If one or two other doctors in Flanders could be joined to
Dr. Thomas Stapleton it would be well. They should be energetic,
respected, and influential Englishmen, such as Dr. Thomas
Worthington and Dr. John Pierse. They might be granted two of
the minor English bishopries, such as Chester and Carlisle. This is
in the case of the fleet going at once to England, so that as soon as
it arrived in Cala's they could be ready to join it, and cross with it.
But if the fleet is to go to Ireland, it might be better to give the
title of archbishop of Dublin to another grave English priest, who
lives at Rome, and is a relative of Cardinal Allen. He lived in
Ireland many years and has many gentlemen relatives and acquaintances
there, and in Lancashire, his native province. This priest is
called Richard Haydone, and is well known to the ambassador in
Rome as being a firm adherent of his Majesty.
12. If matters be arranged in this way to conciliate people, I trust
in God that, in case his Majesty undertakes something promptly to
recover his prestige, either by way of Ireland or Scotland first, or to
England direct, which must be the main object, all will go well. I
write this on the understanding that something should be done
quickly to recover prestige, because otherwise, with the common
talk there and in all northern Europe, of the weakness of Spain, and
the rich plunder captured by the English (i.e., in Cadiz), 20 ships
will be fitted out for every one before, and they will come hither
13. With regard to commencing with England or Ireland, there is
much to be said on both sides, but the decision must turn upon
feasibility. If England is impossible, then a beginning should be
made in Ireland to recover reputation, and to have a point d'appui
from which to attack England next year, rather than doing nothing.
I am aware that if his Majesty attacks Ireland, many (ships) will
arm against him this winter to be ready for spring ; but they will do
so in any case, and it is better for him to gain something than
nothing, besides which, in the meanwhile many things may happen in
England, much negotiation may be carried on, and much diversion
effected in Flanders and Scotland. Above all, matters should be so
arranged, if possible, as to send the force to England in September,
as was proposed in a memorial to his Majesty. It is undoubted that
this would be the best course, and it is understood that this year
England could be won with a quarter of the force which would be
necessary next year, when the enemy would be fully prepared.
14. In any case, whether we begin this year in Ireland or in
England, it will be very advantageous that the earls in Flanders
should return to Scotland, and that the Catholics in Scotland, who
are awaiting his Majesty's decision, should receive some help in
money to raise troops. If we begin with England, it will be a great
diversion to force the Queen to keep her army on the Scottish
border, more than 100 leagues from London. If we commence with
Ireland, it will also be very useful to have the Scots in arms, as they
would help each other.
15. If no troops can be sent with the earls from Flanders, I am
told that it would suffice to send them to their own houses, with
some captains and two paymasters ; one with the earl of Huntly in
the north, and the other with the earl of Angus in the west, to pay
1,500 or 2,000 men in each place for eight months or a year. There
should be sent some confidential persons with the paymasters, to see
that no money was used except to pay soldiers in the way usual
there. This alone will enable them to put Scotland in turmoil, and
the king of Scots, himself, might be persuaded that it was all in his
interest, so that he would fulfil, without so much fear of the queen
of England, what his representative has promised in his name.
Consider (if this course be adopted) whether it would not be better
for his (James VI.'s) agent to return by way of Flanders rather than
direct to Scotland.
16. Finally, the great point which ought to be considered first is
to obtain very good information from England of everything that is
being done or said by the enemy. For some years the prince of
Parma obtained excellent intelligence, as did Don Juan of Austria
before him, but recently, partly from neglect and partly for want of
money, things in this respect have fallen off. An attempt may now
be made to amend matters, as Father Henry Garnet, provincial of
the Jesuits, writes that trustworthy men may be obtained in London,
who will get their information at the fountain head in the Council,
and they themselves will provide correspondents in the principal
ports, who will keep advising as to the warlike preparations.
Chateau Martin is maintained in St. Jean de Luz as a spy by the
Queen, who pays him 100 ducats a month, and one per cent. on all
English merchandise entering there. (fn. 3) This is only that he may
advise the preparations in Spain, besides which the enemy
has in every port in Spain as many spies as there are Dutch, Scotch,
Breton, or Irish merchants. It is no wonder she is better informed
than we are. This, however, may be remedied, and is a matter
which will appertain to the Board in Flanders. To set the matter
going and establish communications, Hugo Owen, and Richard
Versteghen, are very fitting persons, if money be given to them
17. It would be well for some fitting person also to go to England
to treat with those earls who twice sent their agent Stevello
to Flanders last winter, and to see what foundation there was for
the new offer about Flushing. Matters should not be allowed to
drag in this way, but information should be conveyed from time
to time to the Cardinal Archduke, and to his Majesty, by the
Board, as to the progress being made in them.
|649. Father Robert Persons to Martin De Idiaquez.
As you promised to keep in hand the matters I proposed in the
papers given to you last Sunday, I beg you will continue to remind
those gentlemen (i.e., the Council) of the following points, so as to
get some decision about them at once, which is most important in
his Majesty's interest :—
1. The declaration about the succession to the crown. 2. The
formation of the Board in Flanders on English affairs, as everything
else depends upon that. 3. The going of the Scottish earls to cause
a diversion. 4. The briefs for Stapleton and the others. If they be
not obtained in time they are of no use afterwards. Forgive my
importunity, but I see the danger of delay.