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HISTORICAL MANUSCRIPTS COMMISSION.
Most Hon. THE MARQUIS OF SALISBURY, K.G.,
HATFIELD HOUSE, HERTFORDSHIRE.
PRINTED FOR HER MAJESTi*S STATIONERY OFFICE,
And to be purchased, cither directly or thrcugh any Bookseller, Ircm
Page 102, line 25, for Mr. Francis read Mistress Frances.
„ • 129, last line, for Comclougen read Comelongen.
„ 157. line 12 from bottom, for [Nieuport] read [Havre de Grace],
„ 283, „ 9, for ? last read 4.
„ 284. letter of Henry Cuffe does not belong to the year 1598.
„ 380, line 24, for Duislaken read Dinslakcn.
,, 400, ,, 14, for Flusden read Husden.
„ 421, ,, 14, omit P before Walpoole.
,, 439, „ 23, for Sir Thomas Gerald (Gerard) read James Gerald.
„ 557. The letter from the Earl of Essex to the Earl of Southampton probably belongs to the year 1000.
For the third time the material furnished by the Cecil papers for one year suffices to fill a volume. The period embraced in it, namely, January 1597-8 to December 1598, or the year 1598 according to modern acceptation, was a period differing somewhat in character from the preceding decade. It was in the main a year of the making of peace rather than the waging of war, and, in particular, during its course no hostile expedition left either the Spanish coasts directed against England or the English coasts directed against Spain. As regards English concerns abroad and at home, three events or series of events conspicuously mark the year, namely—taking them in their order of time,—the special mission of Sir Robert Cecil and others joined with him to the King of France consequent upon the negotiations for peace proceeding between France and Spain; the death of the Queen's aged, tried and trusted, great Minister of State, Sir William Cecil, first Lord Burghley; and the temporarily * successful rebellion of the Earl of Tyrone in Ireland.
With regard to the last of these topics, the "broken state of Ireland. "Ireland, most desperate and full of rebellion" (p. 381), it will be sufficient and convenient to say at once that it is not until the latter part of the year, several weeks subsequent to the defeat of Sir Henry Bagenall at Armagh, that letters and papers bearing upon it appear in this collection, but that in the last three months they are fairly numerous. They will be read and used, of course, in conjunction with the more voluminous documents deposited in the Public Record Office, and fully dealt with in the published Calendar of State Papers, Ireland, for the year 1598, edited by Mr. E. G. Atkinson.
In connexion with the embassy of Sir Robert Cecil, several Sir Robert
lengthy despatches are given in the succeeding pages, but they Embassy to
are not now printed for the first time, as they are contained in KingTM"011 Birch's "Historical View of the Negotiations between England,
Wt 18804 a
"France and Brussels." It has been thought, however, that their repetition here from authentic contemporary copies might not be unacceptable to students. In addition, there is a certain amount of minor correspondence connected with the mission. Associated with Cecil were Sir Thomas Wilkes, Clerk of the Council, who had been sent on many previous diplomatic errands, but whose last this was to prove, and Dr. John Herbert, Master of the Requests. The journey from Dover to Dieppe was made in tempestuous weather in February. On landing in France Cecil was delayed for a time by the illness of his colleague, Sir Thomas Wilkes, who got no farther than Rouen. From Rouen Cecil proceeded to Paris, and after some delay there, vainly awaiting directions from England, he and Dr. Herbert followed the King of France into Brittany, "not a "little vexed " at the necessity (p. 90), " the youngest of us both "being not humorous now of novelties." As for poor Sir Thomas Wilkes, he, indeed, would fain have been spared the journey altogether. After his "great voyages and charges incurred "therein," he had hoped, he says (p. 6), to have been employed for the future at home only. "Truly, Sir," he writes to Cecil, "such an employment could not have been laid upon me in a "more unseasonable time than this, for I protest unto you I am "in effect unfurnished of all things needful for such a voyage, "and no money in my purse to make provision, which, with the "shortness of the time appointed for your departure hence, doth "amaze me not a little." But the satisfaction to be obtained from a period of quiet employment at home was denied him. Not many weeks after he had thus expressed himself his life's journey ended at Rouen.
To attempt a complete view of this embassy and the negotiations connected with it, based upon the papers in this volume, would be premature, such a task being proper rather to the introduction to the Calendar of State Papers, Foreign, preserved in the Public Record Office, when that Calendar shall reach this period. It will be sufficient now to point out that the Hatfield papers of this year furnish a portion of the material for the complete history of these matters.
The United A similar remark applies to the more voluminous papers "" which appear here arising out of the relations between England and the Estates of the Low Countries, "our only constant and able "friends," as Lord Essex describes them (p. 170). George Gilpin, the English Resident at the Hague, and Sir Francis Vere are the principal authors of this correspondence; but among writers of other letters and papers coming under this head are Sir Edward Norreys, Governor of Ostend, Captain William Constable, John Chamberlain, and Sir Henry Docwra. A few emanate also from the States General themselves, from the Deputies sent by them to England, and from Count Maurice of Nassau. Early in January of this year deputies were appointed by the States General to visit England and France simultaneously (p. 13), with the object of " labouring" to break off the negotiations that had been begun between the King of France and the Archduke Albert, who was still (notwithstanding his surrender of the Cardinal's hat) most frequently referred to as "the Cardinal." Tempestuous weather and contrary winds were the alleged causes of the delay of the journeys of both parties of deputies until the month of March. The apprehensious raised in the minds of the Dutch by the prospect of the Queen of England making peace with Spain were such that, in order to prevent it (p. 54), they were prepared to "agree to any reason should be demanded of them." Indeed, the mere fact that negotiations were on foot seemed to them (p. 61) full of danger. Nor did they alone hold this opinion. Gilpin writes (p. 62), "Assuredly, whosoever makes other reckoning (if "either peace or truce be made) but that the Cardinal will "establish his estate, and then break off at his pleasure when "he shall see his time; and that of those presently united "provinces, the greater part will remain on his side rather than "to serve for frontiers and be subject again to such misery as "they have endured afore, doth neither know the state of these "countries nor the humours of the people." The reasons urged upon the Queen by the Dutch Deputies in England against the step they deprecated are set forth in a paper to be found on p. 84. The fear entertained by the Dutch was not so much (p. 190) lest peace might be made between France and Spain, as that "the Queen should be induced to incline to it." "All their "minds ran on her Majesty's favour and aid" (p. 193). Yet the task of persuading the various provinces to agree to her demands was not altogether easy. Deputies (p. 193) were despatched by the States General to the different provinces, which, writes