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Presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of Her Majesty.
PRINTED FOR HER MAJESTY'S STATIONERY OFFICE,
BY EYRE AND SPOTTISWOODE,
And to be purchased, either directly or through any Bookseller, from
These manuscripts consist of (1.) A inanuscript entitled “ Book “ of Musters, 1588;” (2.) A collection of letters froin James, Duke of York, to William, Prince of Orange, in 1678 and 1679 ; and (3.) A number of miscellaneous letters and papers between 1636 and 1789.
(1.) The general contents of the so-called “ Book of Musters” are fully described at the commencement of the Report. It will be seen that while it comprises much that may be found in other collections, on the other hand it furnishes a quantity of important materials which do not appear to exist in the public archives. It is proposed here to call attention to the fresh information now made available for the first time.
The designs of the French on Calais and the neighbouring territory were well known to Philip and Mary, and the final loss of the English possessions in France was not due to any want of foresight and preparation. This is evident from their commission to William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke, dated 3rd July 1557, in which they announce the declaration of war with France, and their intention to levy "an army or power” of their subjects, which should be sufficient not only to defend Calais against the anticipated invasion, but even to carry the war into the French King's dominions. Of this army the Earl was appointed their Lieutenant and Captain-General, with ample powers both for defence and offence, and for the administration of martial law.
In another commission to William Wightman, as Treasurer of the Army, dated 2nd July 1557, King Philip announces his intention to “pass the seas” and invade France in person, saying nothing about the preservation of Calais, the latter object being no doubt considered to be included in the former. A number of warrants and schedules relate to the payment of the Captain-General and the officers under him. Some of these warrants are dated at “the English] camp before Hawne," 15th September 1557. But the English troops were employed in assisting Philip in Flanders instead of being employed to U 93210. Wt. 10473.
garrison Calais, and consequently the town and territory fell an easy prey to the French.
In 1571 an army was sent “into Scotland” under the Earl of Sussex, and a paper copied in this manuscript gives the names of the gentlemen serving under him, and the amounts of their “entertainments.”
A comparative table of the numbers of foot and horse attending " the general musters” in 1574 and 1577, shows that the forces of the realm in the former year were a little under 300,000, and in the latter year considerably exceeded that number. The Isle of Wight and the coast of Hampshire were then supposed to be most liable to invasion, and an elaborate scheme was prepared for the concentration of the forces of that county wherever an attack might be made.
Between 1583 and 1587 there are copies of numerous Council letters, and a few of Queen Elizabeth, with instructions, certificates, and other papers relating to musters, training, ordnance, and ammunition. Many of these are also to be found among the State Papers. Some attention was paid to the defence of the Channel Islands and the Isle of Sheppey. Schedules on p. 107 show the total numbers of ships, masters, and mariners throughout England in 1583. Other schedules give many details of the composition of the Royal Navy, apparently in 1587.
The preparations of the King of Spain for the invasion of this country were known to the Council early in 1587, and orders were given for putting both the inland and the maritime counties in a posture of defence. The instructions sent to Devon, Cornwall, and Wales for opposing the landing of the enemy are to be found here, but not among the State Papers. A special warrant was issued to the Master of the Ordnance to supply certain counties with various kinds of guns and ammunition out of the Queen's “ Store” in the Tower of London. In August, the barons of the Cinque Ports were reprimanded for their remissness in not defending the coast of Kent against the spoil of the Dunkirkers, and in not making reprisals. : From this point the manuscript is professedly devoted to recording the measures taken by the English Government to encounter the Spanish invasion. Directions were from time o time sent to the Lords Lieutenants in every county; and
though in some cases there were several counties under one Lord Lieutenant, every county on the south coast had a separate head. The Earl of Leicester was “ Lieutenant-General” in Essex and Hertford, and Sir Walter Raleigh was “the “ Lieutenant" in Cornwall, while he was also one of the Deputies in Devon. The instructions given by the Queen and Council to the Lords Lieutenants are minute, and vary according to the needs of each district. No detail was considered too small for the attention of the central authorities. The actual mustering and training of the troops, however, devolved chiefly upon the Deputy-Lieutenants in each county.
As early as 5th October 1587, the Council announced to the Vice-Admirals that the Queen had “ordered that her own. “ Navy should be forthwith made ready to pass the seas," and that it should be reinforced by the ships and mariners of her subjects. The Vice-Admirals were therefore to lay an embargo on such ships, and to charge the owners not to quit their respective ports till they should receive directions from the Council or the Lord Admiral. As, however, it is stated that the Vice-Admirals made no return to this order, it was probably countermanded.
The official date of Lord Howard of Effingham's commission as "Lord High Admiral, being appointed to go to the seas," is 21st December 1587, but his instructions are here dated the 15th (p. 109). The Queen states therein that she had been “sundry ways most credibly given to understand of the “ great and extraordinary preparations made by sea, as well “ in Spain by the King there, as in the Low Countries by the “ Duke of Parma, and that it is also meant that the said forces " shall be employed in some enterprise to be attempted either “ in our dominions of England and Ireland, or in the realm of “ Scotland." To “impeach any descent” on Ireland or on the south-west parts of the realm, Sir Francis Drake was to be instructed by Lord Howard to “ply up and down” between the Irish coast and the Scilly Isles or Ushant; and if any forces were sent by the enemy in that direction against Scotland, Drake was to "intercept and distress” them. To withstand any attempt which might be made from the Low Countries, Lord Howard himself was to, "ply up and down, sometimes.