Letter ID: 0024
Reference: BL, MS Cotton Galba D X f.51r-v
Citation: DCB/001/HTML/0024/000
Date: After 24 March 159[3]


May it please your good L: yesternight I rxd 2 lettres from you, to wit of the 19 & 24 of Marche, which were both by Sir Francis Vere, who went out of Zeland directly to the campe, & sent mee these lettres from Middelborough hither, & some what in writing astouching his erand, differring the rest till his coming to the Hage. I have had some lettres in like manner from my L. Treasorer, in which the cause of his coming ys but told mee in general & for furder particularities I am referred to his report. And this is the occasyon that before I am acquainted with Sir Francis instructions, & that inwardly and fully I cannot as I would & as your L: doth desire, deliver my opinion concerning the successe. Nevertheles becaus I am uncertaine when to speake with him heere, & I finde at this present an opportunity to write, I will shewe your L: in a worde my private conceate upon that which I knowe, as touching this message: And if his comming to the Count hath some furder secret meaning for the service of her Majesty when I know the depth of yt, I hope to write to better purpose. As yet I am enformed that for the matter of his charge, it doth but tend to this effect, To encourage Count Maurice, to be[[siege]] the Towne of Donkerk, & to make her Majesties excuse, for no[[.]]ing any ayde. To signify to your L: what I think in that beh[[alf it]] would require a declaration, of that which heertofore I have writen in that matter to my L. Thresurer. And for that I am not sure, that it came to your L. knowledge, I have sent heerinclosed the coppie of that lettre: Wheruppon to goe forwarde it may please you to understand, that according to that which was the intended, both heere & in Frise. Count William is departed wth 15 ensignes of Frysons which amount unto the nomber of towardes 3000 to erect a fort uppon the passage between Groeninghen & Linghen, at a place called Wedde about 6 Dutch miles southwest from Groeninghen. It is also said that as many in nomber of the Enemy are marched thitherward with diligence, to defeate him of his purpose. If the Count theruppon shal be forced to retire hee shall also be constrained to parte his men in garrison for the defence of his townes & places wherby hee may be able to send a 1000 or 1500 to the enterprise of Donkerke or other exploit in these quarters. But if he have the time to fortify the passage before the arrival of the enemy, wherof wee are in dout, it is thowght that of necessity he must keepe his strength together for defence of his forte, unles the Enemy drawe backe. fol.51v
Count Maurice as your L. hath heard is engaged heere greatly [.] of Geertrudenberge: wher his approches were almost finished as [.] daies ago, but by reason of a spring tide, & a Northwest winde, [.] waters therabout were raised so highe, & came so suddainely upon the [.] as divers of the souldiers were drowned in the trenches, & the chiefest [.] these works were cleane overthrowen. By reason of the time which [.] force they must spend, to recover this losse, & because yt should [.] that those within that towne are better stoared of powder & of every [.] els, then Count Maurice made account, yt is like to prove a [.] siege, then it seemed at first we had cause to expect. Wh[.] to come to that which your L: would knowe I suppose by all app[.] that therafter as Count Maurice doth speede in this attempt, they [.] afterwardes happen to consult about Donkerk. And yet to p[.] that they will in good time be maisters of Geertrudenberg, [.] not well comprehend how sufficient they wil bee to beset the to[wne of] Donkerk, except they may be holpen with some power of her Ma[jesty] For unles they be assisted with some thousand out of Friseland, [.] the rest that the state is able to sp[[.]] not passing 6000 foo[te and] 1500 horse, of which they must leav[[e .]] Gertrudenberg bee taken there in garrison. The [[.]] then consydered, & how [.] carefully the Enemy will d[o their]] utmost endevor for preser[ving] of that towne, as by which they have bin & are very singularly [.] I can see but litell likelihoode of the matter going forwarde. [.] I think wil be the speeches of Count Maurice to Sir Francis. f[.] maner I am certaine that (to hope upon the best) he shall [.] no other from him, then a doutfull kinde of answere: as [.] not in his power to make any other: the matter depending [.] States resolution which are neither now together, nor like to [be] shortly for ought that can be learned. Al this notwiths[tanding] I am partly of opinion, if theyr attemptes fall out happely to[.] & in Frise, but chiefly this in Holland, the desire they will [.] to prosecute the victory, & the spetiall affection, that they be[.] Sir Francis Vere, will cause them to growe to some termes with h[er] Majesty for entertaining an Englishe regiment at theyr owne charge [.] to be conducted by Sir Francis, if so be that her Majesty will but ayde them a litell. And this is all of that matter, that I can signify or conjecture, til I talke with Sir Francis, and though it bee not to suche purpose, as your L: would have it, yet I repose so grea[t] a truste in your honorable kindenes, as for all kinde of errors of this quality. I will ever live in hope to have a pardon of course &c.