Letter ID: 0273
Reference: TNA, SP 84/40/37 f.36r-37v
Citation: DCB/001/HTML/0273/000
Date: 14 December 1590
Copies: 0984



Addressed: To the right honorable my very singular good Lord, the L. Burghley Lord highe Treasuror of England.

Endorsed: 14 December 1590 Master Bodeleie to my L. Towchinge the practise for betraienge of Berghen./.

Later Addition: 14 December 90


May it please your good L. the mater of Berghen wherof I referred the report to this letter, is thus in effect. The Governor is married, as your L. kno- weth, to the eldest daughter of Merode, a gentleman that liveth in a neutral place, but is partially affected to the Enemies cause. I may well remember that long sins I advertised your L. of certain letters intercepted by whiche it might appeare, that the Bishop of Liege had promised Parma, to persuade with Merode, (whose aboade is commonly in the Bishops diocese) to practise with his daughter, and with the Governor, to surrender the towne in to the Enemies handes. To bring this cunningly to passe, both the father and the sonne, who is also for the Enemie, have bin busily imploied. For they have sent at sundrie times, both letters and messages to the Lady Morgan (their hope to prevaile being most of all in her) to dispose her affection to the forsaid designe. Especially of late, there was a messenger sent unto her, who pretended somwhat els, to be the cause of his comming, but finding for his purpose a fitte opportunitie, presen- ted unto her a letter from her father: which being but of credence, before he would declare the effect of his mes- sage, he fell downe upon his knees, and besought her with teares, to pardon whatsoever he should utter unto her. Whiche when she had promised, after he had used those complementes, which he was willed from her father, whiche were full of kinde protestations of his fatherly affection,he told her in the end, That the only thing, wherein her father desired to be gratified by her, whereby she might also make her self great, and doe a singular service to God and the contrey, was to induce her husband, to resigne his government, to the handes of the Kinge. He should be rewarded for it, with suche honors and dignities, as no man before had receaved the like, for the like kinde of service. fol.36v
This was presently discovered by the Lady Morgan to her husband. Nevertheles she intreated him in regard of her worde, to be silent in the mater towardes the mes- senger: which though he promised in respect of the messen- ger, and suffered him as then, to depart away quietly, yet he made the mater knowen to the Councel of state.

Moreover this being done about two moneths past, the self same messanger is newly come againe, col- louring his comming with maters of contribution, but bringing secretly with him an other letter from her father. Whereby the Governor perceaving, that he was sharply bent to pursue his enterprise, caused an officer to sease upon him, and sent him hither to the Councel. And heere examined he confesseth as muche as I have signified before. The Councel of State, albeit they doe acknow- ledge, that they have bin alwaies in their warres, most faithfully served by the Governor, and will not seeme in this action to have him in suspicion: yet conside- ring his estate, which they thinke doth muche depend upon the benefit of that Government, they feare very muche lest in processe of time, the father will be able to persuade with his daughter, and that she may finde the meanes to persuade her husband, or at lest to make some ouverture, whereby the towne in continuance, may be wonne by surprise. For prevention wherof they have had the mater in debate, and have thought it very requisit, if there could be any meanes, to provide the Governor of some other government (where they might not stand in suche feare of the forsaied practises) that he should be then removed, with the first opportunitie. Alwaies understoode, that no alteration should be made, but with her Majesties allowance, and the Governors contentacion. Not to troble your L. with every circumstance, It was supposed heere in Councell, that my L. Burgh by rea- son of his youthe and valour, might affect some place fol.37r
of continuall service against the Enemie, and in that behalf be desirous, to exchange his Garrison for that of Berghen. Wherupon they concluded, if they found him willing therunto, to intreat her Highnes by their letters, to conferre the Brill upon the Governor of Ber- ghen. For there they are assured, there is no daunger of surprise, and those counterfait occasions, of the Ene- mies often sending, will surcease of thesmselves. To knowe the sooner in that matter, wherunto thei might trust, they were earnest with me, to use some conference with my L. and to feele his disposition, for accepting that offer. Howbeit my L. for divers causes, but specially disliking to hold any government from the states, would not harken to the motion. Whiche being certified unto them, because they knowe no other way, that will be pleasing to the Go- vernor, they have thought it expedient, to proceede no further in the mater. Nevertheles they have determined to execute the party, that undertooke the forsaied message, hoping thereby, that ether Merode and the Enemie will despaire of their purpose, and so give over those at- temptes, or that at lest by that meanes, they shall finde no more instruments, to deliver suche errandes.

This consultation of the Councel hath bin warely helde, without the privitie of the Governor, or of any man els, that is not of the Councel, my L. Burgh excepted. Lest notwithstanding it should come in question hereafter, or by those that knowe it but by bruites, be misreported to her Majestie I thought it my duty, to declare it wholy as it was, and so I take my humble leave. From the Hage. December 14 1590. Your L. most humbly bounden Tho. Bodley