Letter ID: 1226
Reference: BL, MS Cotton Galba D VIII f.312r-v
Citation: DCB/001/HTML/1226/008
Date: 19 December 1591



Later Addition: Belgia 1591. December

Later Addition: Belgia 1591 19 September to Master Bodly

After owr vearie hartie commendacions: Where as it hathe appeared unto us under th[e] hand of the Earle of Essex L: Gen rall of her Majesties forces in Normandy, that of the 7 companies now latly sent to him out of the United Provinces, (which should have made one thowsand men with the allowances of the xv dead paies to every company of the heades) ther were found in the whole, not above 638 men, most of the said companies not conteyning halfe theire numbers, & some but 50 or 60 for 150: to the shame of the Capteynes and of the Commaunders under whose charge they have served. Wherby it is apparant that in good order or discipline is observed, although great paynes have ben taken here in conceiving and setting downe of severall ordinances, for reformacion of the disorders found: her Majesties pleasure and purpose therfore is, that for the better mayntenance of the companies in strength (which her Majestie and we suppose to be in no better plight then theise before mencioned the Counsaill of estate there, be moved by yow (as so directed by us) to give order for some spedie viewe and muster to be taken by theire Commissaries of all the Companies under her Majesties pay, aswell within the cautionarie townes as other townes and places where any of them are in garison, that theire strength may be exactly knowen./ And that they will usually hereafter once in a monethe or as often as they shall thinke convenient, cause musters and viewes to be orderly taken of them, and theire Rolles certified hether, that comparing /them/ with the certificates sent from the Englishe Commissaries, it may be deserned /discerned/ in what state the companies as well horse as foote shall be, from tyme to tyme. And that the Dutche Commissaries or suche others as the Counsell shall send or appoint to take the said musters, may at all tymes performe theire charge, we have written owr earnest lettres to the Governours and chiefe Commaunders as well in the cautionarie townes as elswhere, that they shall not only suffer the Musters there so to be taken, but therin aide and assist the Commissaries at all tymes, as by a coppie of owr lettres here with sent shall best appeare unto yow./ Moreover to the end we may be daly certified of what strength the Companies shalbe alwaies found uppon theire severall musters, yow shall by aucthoritie hereof give charge to George Gilpin (ever as the Muster shalbe taken) to procure coppies of the rolles signed with the handes of the dutche Comissaries, and send them hether, to the handes of Thomas Wilkes, that by him we may be made acquainted with the said Rolles and strengthe of the Companies, whereof we pray yow likewise to have some care yowr selfe. And that it may appeere to the said Counsaile how carefully we have heretofore proceded to /the/ reforming of the common fraudes and abuses used in the Musters, yow shall doe well to acquaint them with suche Coppies of owr orders, (as well the printed, as the others) as have ben longe sithence sent unto yow. And lastly yow may not fayle fol.312v

Later Addition: Belgia 1591. December

Later Addition: Master Bodley

to let us knowe from yow, whether the Counsaill doe not take in good parte this owr offer and course taken for theire mustering of her Majesties said forces, in maner as herby is signified. So fare yow well. From the Cowrte at Whithall the xixth of December 1591. Yowr vearie Loving frendes John Cant William Burghley Charles Howard Hunnsdon Cobham Buckehurst Robert Cecill John Wolley Thomas Heneage Fortescue