Monthly Archives: September 2009

Friday xxx. September 1586.

30 September 2009

This morning again unwell and methinks my wound doth ache more than yesterday so I sent again for the surgeon and bade him discover the cause of this its worsening but he could not tell anything further and so he went away again after dressing it and feeling fevered I kept to my bed and did sleep some and took no dinner and in the afternoon letters did come in a packet from George, including one from father who saith he and mother are well, from Mr. S. via Dr. N. and George saith that A.C. is again selling land and if I chose I could have him buy 2 pieces of property at Harolds Wood for a good price for me, the which I will have him do, Mr. S. did send xli. for this quarter past and for the expenses I have incurred, no return passport enclosed as yet; ate some pottage for supper and to bed early and pained from my wound.

Luke’s wound continues to pain him and the surgeon is being useless! At least letters have come. George is George Knowlton, Luke’s eldest brother and partner in his family’s firm. Luke’s father (also George Knowlton) has spent much of the summer with Luke’s mother on their estate near St. Albans. He will be coming back to town soon and his mother will follow him shortly after. George the younger has news that their wastrel cousin Anthony Cooke (also the younger, grandson of old Sir Anthony) is selling land yet again to support is extravagant lifestyle. George picked up some property the last time he unloaded things and wanted to give Luke a heads up that more prime real estate was on the market out near Giddy Hall. Mr. S. is Mr. Secretary Walsingham, for whom Luke provides regular intelligence reports and receives a small stipend. Dr. N. is Dr. Hector Nunez, a Portuguese physician, who acted as a “dead letter box” for Walsingham.

Hutchinson, Robert. Elizabeth’s spymaster: Francis Walsingham and the secret war that saved England. Macmillan, 2007.

McIntosh, Marjorie K. “The Fall of a Tudor Noble Family: The Cookes of Gidea Hall Essex, 1579-1629,” Huntington Library Quarterly, 41:4 (Aug. 1978), pp. 279-297.

Thursday xxviiij. September 1586.

29 September 2009

This morning, feeling unwell so I sent Cole for the surgeon that he might look over and dress my wound for it has ceased not to ache nor run with blood and discharge neither, and now it has been a week since I had it and I worry there may be more matter deeper in than the surgeon can find, he for his part seemeth not to worry and having paid him a shilling so off went he again; dined with Sir R.W. and so attended upon him the remainder of the day and then so back and to bed.

Luke is not feeling the greatest today.

Duncan-Jones, Katherine. Sir Philip Sidney : Courtier Poet. New Haven : Yale University Press, 1991.

Wednesday xxviij. September 1586.

28 September 2009

This day we again broke our fast with our host and his wife and while our men made us ready to depart Sir R.W. (and how I rejoice in his preferment and new station) and I to Sir P.S. and found him awake and in a very good humor and so we passed an hour or so and took our leave and rode back to camp and were almost immediately called up by his Ldship to attend upon him and tell him our intelligence of his nephew his health the which we were able to tell him that Sir P.S. is quite miraculously improved, God be praised, and his Ldship was much pleased and had us stay a while and bade us, in a most familiar manner, tell him more of our visit and thus we did and I did say I had sung for Sir P.S. and so his Ldship called for Wat Ridgwey with his lute a had me sing the songs I had sung for him and when I was done his Ldship praised me very much and so asked me more questions and desired to know about my service in the wars and so Sir R.W. did cry me up as a most brave and gallant gentleman the which words seemed to please his Ldship, and the which I hope may lead to my preferment; later in my tent there comes Mr. Outeman, his Ldship his secretary and gave me xs. with his Ldship his compliments for my services to him and to his nephew; ate supper of some pottage with Sir R.W. and so drinking of tobacco and ale but not late.

An exciting day or Luke, a brush with greatness. Walter Ridgwey was one of Leicester’s musician’s in this period and is mentioned in Leicester’s household accounts. Jean Houtman was one of Leicester’s secretaries and again is attested to in Leicester’s household papers.

Sir Philip Sidney : 1586 and the creation of a legend edited by Jan van Dorsten, Dominic Baker-Smith, Arthur F. Kinney. Leiden : Published for the Sir Thomas Browne Institute [by] E.J. Brill/Leiden University Press, 1986.

Duncan-Jones, Katherine. Sir Philip Sidney : Courtier Poet. New Haven : Yale University Press, 1991.

Household accounts and disbursement books of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, 1558-1561, 1584-1586 edited by Simon Adams. Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press for the Royal Historical Society, University College London, 1995.

Tuesday xxvij. September 1586.

27 September 2009

This morning, after breaking our fast with our host and his wife, so Sir R.W. and I to Mistress Grithousens her house to call upon Sir P.S. and we found him asleep and so went away again and I with Sir R.W. to buy some tobacco but found only a little and it very dear and then to an alehouse and had bit of dinner and we both rather melancholy and then again to Sir P.S. his lodging and found him awake and Mr. Martin again there and also his Ldship the Earl of Essex (who bad us stay with them when we would in courtesy depart) and Sir R.S. and to our great joy his fever was gone and he much himself of old and his wound, the which the surgeon showed us also seeming much improved and much less swollen and inflamed; after the dressing was done he took some little food and we did speak of the camp and the word that was come that the Prince of Parma would draw off and his Ldship spake most familiarly with us; then by an by comes young Batcheler with his lute to play for his master and so we spent as pleasant a day as we might and I did sing several songs especially Mr. Byrd his setting of Psalm xiij the which did please Sir P.S. greatly and he then prayed me sing Mr. Byrd his elegie for the late Mr. Tallis the which I would not have thought to sing in the circumstance but as he did especially ask it of me I was glad to sing and after a time we took our leave heartened at Sir P.S. his improvement; it being nearly supper we hied ourselves to an inn and so had a cheerful meal and in truth I think it God his providence hath shined upon Sir P.S. this day for never have I seen such a change for the better of such a grave wound as this.

Sidney really did show a marked improvement on the 27th and news of this was immediately sent to Leicester. Young Batcheler is Daniel Batcheler lutenist and composer who was Sidney’s page. Byrd’s setting of Psalm XIII is ‘O Lord, how long wilt Thou forget’ and the elegy for Tallis is “Ye sacred muses.”

Sir Philip Sidney : 1586 and the creation of a legend edited by Jan van Dorsten, Dominic Baker-Smith, Arthur F. Kinney. Leiden : Published for the Sir Thomas Browne Institute [by] E.J. Brill/Leiden University Press, 1986.

Duncan-Jones, Katherine. Sir Philip Sidney : Courtier Poet. New Haven : Yale University Press, 1991.

Correspondence of Robert Dudley, earl of Leycester, during his government of the Low countries, in the years 1585 and 1586. Edited by John Bruce. London, Camden society, 1844.Letter CLI.

Monday xxvj. September 1586.

26 September 2009

This morning up betimes to ready ourselves for the muster and then soon riding out to a field hard by the main camp where I and my men fell in with Capt. Williams his troop so to be counted, I and my men being myself, Ralph Cole (who in spite of him being my man, Capt. W. would have count even though he might not always be in a fight), Stephen Cooke and William Cooke his man, Henry Parker and John Andrewes his man, and Edward Morgan, we were paid (the which is only our pay through the 12th of April last!) and then his Ldship did address us all and called forth many of the captains and other gentlemen including Capt. W., Mr. Hatton, Mr. Unton, Capt. Sidney, Mr. Knollis, amongst sundry others and so made them knights for their gallant service before the walls of Zutphen and so they all dined with his Ldship and so captain, now Sir Roger Williams back to our camp and I did congratulate with him and rejoice in his new rank and station but we could tarry not long in camp but as we had planned before off went we to Arnhem to call again upon Sir P.S. and Capt. Sidney having heard we were to go forth desired to ride with us; prior Capt. W. had made arrangement with a Dutchman of his acquaintance to lodge at his house and so parting with Capt. S., he straight to his brother and we to our lodgings, then soon we did go to call upon Sir P.S. and found him still feverish and pained and we stayed a while, and by and by comes Mr. Marten the surgeon to dress him again the which he bore most manfully and we did see his wound and the which one of his surgeons the edges thereof hath sewn up but I would have thought the wound would have been better to have been kept open so that the poisons therein might drain away or that in truth why they did not take his leg off for if he doth live he will be at best lame and at worst a cripple that would needs be carried where he would go; after the dressing he desired sleep and thus we then left him and as we were leaving so comes Sir P.S. his secretary and gives us ijli. for our pains of coming with him on Friday and so to pay our costs and charges for our lodgings, we then took our leave and went to supper, and later in an ordinary as we were at our meat comes Capt. Sidney and we talked long with him and great was his concern for his brother and we drank wine and tobacco until late becoming quite melancholy from overmuch wine and finally to our lodgings and to bed, I lying again with Capt. W..

Sidney’s surgeon’s names are attested to in documentary sources. For whatever reason the surgeons decided not to amputate his leg, in spite of the fact that the bone was “shivered,” that is broken in many pieces, a wound which, if he had lived, would have no doubt pained him the rest of his life and certainly have left him crippled.

Sir Philip Sidney : 1586 and the creation of a legend edited by Jan van Dorsten, Dominic Baker-Smith, Arthur F. Kinney. Leiden : Published for the Sir Thomas Browne Institute [by] E.J. Brill/Leiden University Press, 1986.

Duncan-Jones, Katherine. Sir Philip Sidney : Courtier Poet. New Haven : Yale University Press, 1991.

Sunday xxv. September 1586.

25 September 2009

This day after prayers all the day awriting of letters and looking to my accounts, especially in preparation for the muster tomorrow morning; did eat supper with Capt. W. and after had my man look over my wound the which is still aching and inflamed and then so rather early to bed.

Sir Philip Sidney : 1586 and the creation of a legend edited by Jan van Dorsten, Dominic Baker-Smith, Arthur F. Kinney. Leiden : Published for the Sir Thomas Browne Institute [by] E.J. Brill/Leiden University Press, 1986.

Duncan-Jones, Katherine. Sir Philip Sidney : Courtier Poet. New Haven : Yale University Press, 1991.

Saturday xxiiij. September 1586.

24 September 2009

This morning up betimes and calling on Sir P.S. before leaving found him awake but greatly pained and fevered and dwelling upon his own mortality as a man would in his place and I told him I would return in a days time and perhaps sing for him if he had a mind to hear it and that seemed to cheer him and so I took my leave and with Parker and Cooke returned to the camp and an hour after dinner comes Mr. Fen and taking up the corpse we went to the graveyard and so he was buried and coming back I had got some ale and food and so had a funeral meal such as it was at war; this day my side still continues very sore and I had my man dress it again as best he could and I expect it is from the riding to Arnhem and back; Cousin Russell came around about supper and would know what of Sir P.S. and so ate we some pottage and spake of that and other matters and how he would be quit of this place if he was not to gain some preferment from his Ldship, and that in any case he would home for the winter and had written to the Ld Treasurer for his license the which I think I should do too, and so talking rather late so he lay with me this night it being too late to return to his quarters.

Licenses were required to travel both from and to England, and not having a license to return could land a person in as much trouble as leaving the country without one. Russell was irked that he had not gotten a plumb command and was ready cast off for home as soon as he could

Sir Philip Sidney : 1586 and the creation of a legend edited by Jan van Dorsten, Dominic Baker-Smith, Arthur F. Kinney. Leiden : Published for the Sir Thomas Browne Institute [by] E.J. Brill/Leiden University Press, 1986.

Bourne, H.R. Fox, Sir Phillip Sidney: Type of English Chivalry in the Elizabethan Age. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1891.

‘Elizabeth: September 1586, 16-20 & 21-25′, Calendar of State Papers Foreign, Elizabeth, Volume 21, Part 2: June 1586-March 1587 (1927).

Friday xxiij. September 1586.

23 September 2009

This day the enemy artillery played long on our camp and trenches as if to punish us for our saucy behavior of yesterday; last night when I took off my doublet I found the inside all bloody from a bullet shot in the fleshy part of my side but such had been the heat of the fight that I know not when it came, the surgeon saith that it is but in the skin and not broken into my belly so it should be well and he dressed it but I have found it aching this morning and had my man fetch him again and so he has dressed it again; poor Gill will be buried tomorrow in Wardenfled and I will have it done for xvjs. viiijd. (vs. burial in the churchyard, viiijd. for the gravedigger, vijs. for Mr. Fen, iiij. for the food) including his Ldship his preacher Mr. Fen has said he will speak, meanwhile he lieth here in his sheet, it seeming the best place to keep him and thankfully it continues cold that he might not begin to stink too fast; early went to see Sir P.S. and found him with a fever and great pain and why the surgeon has not given him juice of poppy I know not, but that he must have none; later I and rode with the train that took Sir P.S. by coach to Arnhem for it was decided that he would be better seen to in that place than here in the camp and also Lady Sidney might be there with him, she being sent for from Flushing; I will stay the night in the town and will be happy for good supper at an inn there a warm bed where I will lay with Capt. W., he and his troop also being come with me and mine and the train.

Luke’s man Humphrey Gill is getting a pretty decent send off, most soldiers were lucky to be upended into a hole in the ground. He will be buried in the churchyard there, some words will be said by Mr. Fen, Leicester’s preacher and some food will be provided. Gill will be buried in a shroud, as were most people, Luke isn’t springing for the cost of a coffin. Sidney was not doing too well so the decision was made to ferry him down to Arnhem, about 20 miles away. Lady Frances Sidney, daughter of Sir Francis Walsingham, was sent for.

Sir Philip Sidney : 1586 and the creation of a legend edited by Jan van Dorsten, Dominic Baker-Smith, Arthur F. Kinney. Leiden : Published for the Sir Thomas Browne Institute [by] E.J. Brill/Leiden University Press, 1986.

Bourne, H.R. Fox, Sir Phillip Sidney: Type of English Chivalry in the Elizabethan Age. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1891.

‘Elizabeth: September 1586, 16-20 & 21-25′, Calendar of State Papers Foreign, Elizabeth, Volume 21, Part 2: June 1586-March 1587 (1927).

Greaves, Richard L. Society and religion in Elizabethan England. U of Minnesota Press, 1981.

Thursday xxij. September 1586.

22 September 2009

About ij. hours past midnight comes word that a messenger had been taken trying to enter the town and that the Spanish would before dawn this day resupply the town, so Sir J.N. calling us all up and then us our men, we made ourselves ready to turn them back and so rode we out all the horse and the gentleman as well, who not be left out of this fight although they had not any troops of their own, and so did we ride to a place whereat we thought to lay an ambuscado and so in a very heavy mist, such that one could not see but v. feet off, so sat we down to wait and soon we did hear the noise of the train in spite of their efforts at quiet and after a short time, all of an instant the mist rose and we could see their host and marveled at the size of it, being near mmm. foot and m. horse and that it was barricadoed as we had been told the train would be but small and ill guarded, and near as soon as we had seen them so they did espy our men and so fired but his Ldship of Essex did cry to follow him for the honor of England and so with a great shout we did charge them and struck them hard with our lances, and I did see Ld Willoughby surrounded by the enemy fighting like unto a devil and broke through with some others and came to him cutting down two of theirs and found he had captured one of their officers the whom I later learned was Capt. Geo. Cresier captain of the Albanians; we then reformed and again charged and did kill many and I setting on sword to sword with an officer of theirs, very rich in velvet hosen and a gold laced cassock and struck him across the face with my sword and taking hold of his arm wrenched it round and so unhorsed him and I reckon luxated his shoulder in the bargain, at that time was Sir P.S. his horse shot from under him but remounting he did rejoin the fight and we set on them with swords and battleaxes and some of our number charged them yet again and so kept this up for over an hour and we had great sport when they did brake arunning riding them down and we killed perhaps m. of their number to l. or lx. of ours and of my men Humfrey Gill was shot through the cheek and died at the first charge and Andrews and Morgan had their horses shot from under them but towards the end Sir P.S. riding up almost as far as their trenches was shot in the leg by an arkabus at which his mount bolted and carried him back towards our lines, but God be praised he was the only man of note hurt here and some of the victuals were got from the wagons and Sir W.S. his wild Irish took iij. wagons and some other pickings were to be had before the retreat was sounded; coming back to the camp we found Sir P.S. in great pain and his leg broke from the arkabus bullet about iij. fingers breadth above his knee and with that he had rode all the way back to the camp, but I do fear for his life and pray God to preserve him for in my experience such hurts as this seldom end well; so the rest of the day in camp and thus we learned that the train of supply did enter in the town around nightfall.

Thus the Battle of Zutphen was fought and Sir Philip Sidney wounded. I have chosen not to include the two famous anecdotes of the Sidney myth, his discarding of his cuisses prior to the battle because Sir William Pelham didn’t have his, and his giving of his water to the dying soldier with the words, “thy need is greater than mine.” Neither of these stories appear in any accounts written at the time. Pelham’s dispatch mentions nothing of the cuisse incident, nor does Leicester’s dispatch mention either. The only place these stories appear is in Fulke Greville’s, Life of the Renowned Sir Philip Sidney. This work, written by Sidney’s greatest friend, was not written until decades after the fact by someone who wasn’t there  and frankly who was in love with him all his quite long life.

Sir Philip Sidney : 1586 and the creation of a legend edited by Jan van Dorsten, Dominic Baker-Smith, Arthur F. Kinney. Leiden : Published for the Sir Thomas Browne Institute [by] E.J. Brill/Leiden University Press, 1986.

Bourne, H.R. Fox, Sir Phillip Sidney: Type of English Chivalry in the Elizabethan Age. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1891.

‘Elizabeth: September 1586, 16-20 & 21-25′, Calendar of State Papers Foreign, Elizabeth, Volume 21, Part 2: June 1586-March 1587 (1927).

Greville, Fulke. The life of the renowned Sr Philip Sidney. : with the true interest of England as it then stood in relation to all forrain princes: and particularly for suppressing the power of Spain stated by him. His principall actions, counsels, designes, and death. Together with a short account of the maximes and policies used by Queen Elizabeth in her government. Written by Sir Fulke Grevil Knight, Lord Brook, a servant to Queen Elizabeth, and his companion & friend. London : Printed for Henry Seile over against St Dunstans Church in Fleet-street, MDCLII. [1652, i.e. 1651]

Sir Philip Sidney : 1586 and the creation of a legend edited by Jan van Dorsten, Dominic Baker-Smith, Arthur F. Kinney. Leiden : Published for the Sir Thomas Browne Institute [by] E.J. Brill/Leiden University Press, 1986.

Bourne, H.R. Fox, Sir Phillip Sidney: Type of English Chivalry in the Elizabethan Age. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1891.

‘Elizabeth: September 1586, 16-20 & 21-25′, Calendar of State Papers Foreign, Elizabeth, Volume 21, Part 2: June 1586-March 1587 (1927).

Wednesday xxj. September, 1586

21 September 2009

This morning word hath come that the Prince of Parma his army comes to reinforce the town so our troops and the pioneers set about to further strengthen our defenses and our men all ready to be at them and so in arms all the day with naught to do but look to our arms and mounts, at supper we took a small meal and so just napping or playing cards we spent the night in arms but ready at a moment should we be called up.

Sir Philip Sidney : 1586 and the creation of a legend edited by Jan van Dorsten, Dominic Baker-Smith, Arthur F. Kinney. Leiden : Published for the Sir Thomas Browne Institute [by] E.J. Brill/Leiden University Press, 1986.

Bourne, H.R. Fox, Sir Phillip Sidney: Type of English Chivalry in the Elizabethan Age. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1891.

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