Letter ID: 0414
Reference: TNA, SP 84/45/223 f.219r-222v
Citation: DCB/001/HTML/0414/000
Date: 05 September 1592
Copies: 1184



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

Endorsed: Vth September 1592. Master Bodeleie to my L./

Later Addition: 5 September 92


May it please your good L. I receaved the last of August at night, by the post of London, her Majesties lettre of the 22 of the same moneth, and one from your L. of the 21. The 2 of September I proposed to the states the pointes of my charge: which they required after of me, and I delivered them in writing: wherof heereinclosed I have sent yow the transcript. In our conference together they requested me solemnly, as I tendered the good estate of her Majestie and the contrey, that I would signifie plainely to them, whe- ther her Highnes commaundement for embarking the companies, were directed unto me in suche pe- remptorie sort, that it might not be delaied for a litle longer time. Whereto in mine answear I praied them to thinke, that there was not any meanes, to differ the time in their behalf. They might al- waies perceave it by her owne often writing, and by the effect of those messages that I had delivered: which were to signifie that purpose, which is required, at this present to be put in execution. And so I desired that they would understand it, and take some order out of hand, whereby her Majestie and the contrey might be served with content. And for their further assurance of her full determination, I offered them to reade the letter sent unto me. They would not seeme to put in doubt the truth of my speeche, and therfor sought not to see what was written unto me: but being greatly dismaied went presently aside, and after communication had among themselves, they declared unto me, that if the state of their army were knowen to her Majestie fol.215v
considering howe muche it importeth her self, they were sure she would be moved, to have her peo- ple imploied, for the time of the siege. For the castel of Coevoerden was greatly distressed, and the Enemie to relieve it had assembled all his strength, and was encamped close unto it. If the Englishe were withdrawen, and that supplie that was required, for the garrison of Berghen, they should ether be con- strained to dissolve their army presently, or by seve- ring of their forces, runne in danger of the ruine both of them and all the rest. Besides it would discredit the course of all their actions, and give occasion of murmur to the commons of the contrey, who had yelded this sommer to a great deale greater contribution, for an extraordinarie levie, then they had ever done before, amounting at the lest to six score thousand poundes sterling: which would all be cast away, and the people discouraged to doe the like heereafter. And where it might be supposed, that their army all together, sur- mounting every way the nombers of the Enemie, might make a good retrait, it was that which they doubted most. For the Enemies commanders were muche to be respected, as men more sufficient, and of greater experience, then Count Maurice had any. For defense of a sconce, or of a towne, and for besieging of a place, and maintening a skirmishe, they were well persuaded of their service: but they thought /them/ farre unable to marche away in perfit sort, without geving to the Enemie any special advantage, and to range themselves in that order, as if the Enemie should determine fol.216r
to bidde them battel upon the way, they might ans- wear it in skill aswel as in courage. For these occasions they pretended, that the letters of her Majestie were wholy out of season, and therfor earnestly in- treated, that I would stay the publication of the plea- sure of her Highnes and not certifie Sir Francis Vere, till they sawe a litle further, what the enemie would at- tempt. I had not muche to replie, in respect of those dangers, that they alleaged might en- sue: but I declared unto them, that they were al- waies heeretofore, to presume that the Enemie would rescue the place: and before that the siege was begonne by Count Maurice, thei had knowledge from her Highnes that she would send for the companies: that if any in- convenience shall folowe therupon, by their comming from the Campe, they should blame themselves and not her Majestie who could no longer forslowe the as- sisting of the King, aswell for her promise, as for the urgent necessitie, wherunto he was reduced, and they had reason to regard, no lesse then her self. What her Majestie would resolve, if she knowe their pre- sent state, and heard their allegations, I could not well conjecture, but for mine owne particular, it was not left unto me, to doe as I would, and therfore praied their assistance to the accomplishing of my charge. They knowe Sir Francis Vere was well affected to this contrey: he was nowe at the campe, and could judge by being present, if his troupes might be spared, without their prejudice. For if any suche mater were apparant unto him, he would not be so wilfull, as to leave them in extremitie, which he was sure would not stand with her Majesties good liking. The mater thus fol.216v
debated with speeches too and fro, when they sawe I would not yelde, not to signifie to Sir Francis her Highnes intent, the whole assemblie was instant with me, to refraine from sending to him, for no more but 2 daies longer: wherewith they thought they might be steeded, for that the Enemie was so neere, and had a purpose, as it seemed, and as Coevoerden required, to essay our forces to the uttermost. Their importunitie was so great, as to so smalle a demande, which I hoped would not hinder her Majestie designes, and I perceaved might availe to satisfie their mindes I was contented to assent, and promise not to write, till that 2 daies were expired, to Sir Francis Vere: wherewith her Majestie, I trust, will be nothing displeased, if your L. will vouchesafe, to thinke the best of my pro- ceeding. We had intelligence to day, which is the second of the two, that they desired at my handes, that Coevoerden hath compounded: wherof I have written this morning unto yow, by a fitte op- portunitie, which was offered me to send by one that went for Zeland. I have bin also with the states, to hasten their answear to her Majesties demaundes, and especially to that which concerned the companies, declaring plainely to them, that I was minded this evening to dispatche unto Sir Francis. They signifie therupon that they will presently resolve, and will sette it downe in writing, aswell for that mater, as for the rest that I proposed, concer- ning Britaine, Ostend, and the 18 Canoniers, and send it me to day, or to morowe at the furthest. Whiche when I have receaved I will joine with this letter, and send it to your L. But if they happen to delay me, I will send away this lettre and convey their answear when it comes. Which I fol.217r
doe make full account, about the mater of the companies, will be altogether negative. And yet as farre as I perceave, by the maner of their dealing and by the opinion of others, they will not lette their passage. Howsoever they doe determine I will write this night to Sir Francis Vere, and send the copies of those letters, that I have receaved, and the letter unto him from my LL. of the Councel: whiche will cause him, I am sure, to come away fourth with: and assoone as he is come, the directions sent unto us from my LL. of the Councel, the 1 of July last, shall be folowed very thorowly.

I have moved Master Caron, as your L. hath willed, to assist me in my suite, to have the companies away, with the liking of the contrey. He wanteth no good will, to doe his best in that behalf, but no doubt it is so, as he himself doth affirme, that it is not for him with this people, to make that motion for her Majestie. For considering their bent, he shall but pur- chase an opinion of partiallitie in his dealing, and prevaile by no persuasion. I can not learne by any meanes, to report upon knowledge, for what occasion he was sent for. To my understanding that which he doth pretend, about his privat estate, is farre from the mater. For I am still of that opinion, as when I writte unto your L. the 20 of the last.

Of the strength of the companies, that are with Sir Francis, as I have formerly advertised, the rolles were consigned, about the 10 day of August to the handes of Sir Thomas Wilkes, the musters being taken the 8 and 15 of July. I have sent heerein- closed the Abbreviat of them: having taken further order, that Master Allen the Commissary shall presently fol.217v
calle a muster, when Sir Francis is returned: From the Campe we heare no more, but that the 2 of this moneth, Verdugo with his forces being fast by the [In margin: [Cor. Verde]]
Castell, it was surrendred to Count Maurice, having made their composition, to depart with bagge and baggage, and enseignes disploied. There were said to marche away about the nomber of 500. [In margin: 500]
It is advertised from neutral places, that are neere unto the Enemie, that in the attempt which thei gave the 28 of the last, to enter our trenches, there were at the lest 400 slaine, and were all recovered by the Enemie, and caried away, unles it were a 100 whiche were killed in the trenches. Of ours there was one man onely slaine, and six others hurt, of which Count William was one being shotte a thwart the belly, but without any danger. Wheras we have bin told, that Count Charles Mansfield, and Mondragon were there in person, it seemeth by the occurrences, which come from neutral places, that they are not with Verdugo. and thus I take my humble leave. At the Hage. September 4 1592. Your L. most humbly bounden Tho. Bodley


Postscript: I have kept this letter a day longer, expecting when the states would send me their answear. But because I doe perceave, it will not be today, and my messenger is ready to carie this presently, I thought I should doe best, to send yow this before, and after their answear, assoone as I re- ceave it. September 5 1592.