Page:VCH Surrey 1.djvu/464

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A HISTORY OF SURREY side of the county was evidently still thought to be exposed to imminent attack. At Godstone 836 infantry were to assemble, the same at Reigate, the same at Dorking, and at Croydon 2,500 infantry and 1 20 horse. 1 Counting four or five servants as attending on each lance in Essex, this makes a total of about 260 horse and 6,600 foot from the county. They did well if so many men really assembled. But we may fairly doubt if they were soldiers in any sense besides being Englishmen prepared to fight for their country. Arms supplies and, above all, trained officers and commanders must have been sadly want- ing to this last levy en masse. Happily by August 2 the Spanish fleet was scattered in the North Sea, and Parma was, by report, chafing at Ostend ' like a bear robbed of her whelps.' In fact, though, he was not sorry to be honourably rid of an enterprise of which he scarcely approved. But it was fortunate that the first commander and the finest army in the world, at that time, did not have the chance of meeting the Surrey levies, under their valiant squires, directed by the incompe- tence of Leicester and Hunsdon. It was impossible to keep the troops together for want of supplies. On August 4 the cavalry, such as they were from Surrey, were ordered home, 2 it being impossible to feed all the men collected near London ; and the 500 foot of Lord Hunsdon's force followed. 8 They were ordered however to keep themselves in readiness for service. The danger had passed, for weather and their demoralization prevented the Spanish fleet from throwing troops ashore in the north. The fear remained for a time. On August 1 2 the Bishop of Winchester wrote to More for intelligence concerning the 'dismal and depressing rumour' that the Admiral had returned from the sea with the navy. 4 So he had, with no powder and failing supplies, but the invader was in full flight. On August 24 Leicester wrote to More that the county levies must be still kept ready for service. 8 On September 4 Leicester died, and the more peaceful atmosphere that had suddenly supervened on the turmoil of the last few months is shown by the light in which Lord Montague regards his kinsman's death. It is an event which will render necessary some new arrange- ment for keeping the deer in the bailiwick of Surrey. 6 The inevitable process of paying the bill at once began. On December 26 Lord Howard inquired for the names of persons in Surrey competent to advance money to the queen on privy seals. 7 For the rest, the warlike remainder of Elizabeth's reign, the demands for money were constant. Besides Parliamentary subsidies, loans were in continual demand. In February, 1589, instant payment was ordered from those who had promised money, and a list of the names of those who had had the hardihood to refuse to lend. 8 Pressure was often being 1 Lord Buckhurst to Sir W. More and others, Canterbury Cathedral Library, MS. y, 7, 5.

  • The Surrey horse therefore were not at Elizabeth's famous review at Tilbury on August 9.

3 Loseley MSS. date cited, vi. 55. * Ibid, date cited, xi. 20. 6 Ibid, date cited. 6 Lord Montague to Sir W. More, Loseley MSS. September 8, 1588, x. 108. 7 Loseley MSS. date cited, xi. 44 (misdated in Hist. MSS. Comm. calendar). 8 Ibid. February 7, 1589, xii. 72. 392