Letter ID: 1388
Reference: TNA, SP 103/35/112 fol.288r-289v
Citation: DCB/001/HTML/1388/000
Date: 23 April 1594


Extract of my letter to my L. Tresurer 23 April 94 Their aunswear about the matter of remboursement is delivered unto me, but nothing sayed to that effect, as when I writte my last the 13 of this present, I well hoped to have heard in regard of a further offer of some annual satisfaction to be made unto her Majesty. For although they were in talke how somewhat might be done, yet doubting in parte how the contrey woulde parfourme it, and partely also how her Majesty would accept of a little, they grewe to no conclusion. All their aunswear in a maner, some certaine pointes excepted, is the same that I signified the 22 of February when I reported in like maner what was replyed againe by me, and I know not what more can be added now unto it. Againe I am parsuaded that nothing will prevaille, whatsoever I say besides, because the matter is so fitte for replyes and rejoinders, that there would be no ende of disputing upon it. That which they have alleadged of their detriments receaved by meanes of fluddes and water breaches, I suppose to be no lesse then they seeme to insinuat. For the like inundations were never seene of the rivers and land waters in the memory of anie. For all the Bettue, and Bommels wert, are overflowen, and a great part of the contry round about Utrecht, and Amersfort, in so much as the very gates of the towne of Amersfort, the suburbes of Vianen, and many dorpes and villages, are caryed cleane away, and multitudes of people, to the nomber, it is thought, of 3000 soules, are drowned. And the like is reported of the lande about Collen, where the waters are risen higher by six foote, then hath bin hitherto knowen by any recorde, which is supposed to proceede of the great abondance of raine and snow, that hath fallen in these and in the upper contries: and of the long continuance of this boistrous winde at West, which hath forced the rivers to swell out of measure. For there have bin some committed, to take particular information, of all the fol.288v
harme that hath bin done in every parte of these Provinces, and their losses doe amount to a very great summe, which is a principall cause of their slacknesse in assenting to this years comtributions. For the Provinces doe commonly passe their consents by the Last day of January or immediatly upon it, and now it so falleth out, that onely 3 Provinces, Holland Utrecht and Guelderland, have accorded their portions.

Where in the knitting of their aunswear they require, that I would signifie, what they had sayd by worde of mouth, and is omitted in their writing, I take no great pleasure in telling their tale, but yet to discharge my duety therein, this is all that I remember that resteth unsignifyed. They say they had oftentimes debated this matter of my message, and were excee- dingly parplexed in devising how to deale, that both her Majesty might be pleased, and their owne estate preserved: but although they had bin busied as never so much in any other matter, yet they founde it impossible to doe that which was required, and they thought very much to be pressed unto it. Wee doe all, say they, confesse that wee are bound to her Majesty next to God, for which it doth not becomme us to contest with her in wordes about the equity of our cause, but yet to say as the trueth is, and every man knoweth, wee are farre from that tranquillitie, whereupon wee concluded our Treaty with her Highnes. It is also to be shewed, that since the very first year, wee could never enjoy those forces and nombers, for which wee had contracted and pawned our townes. And that which payneth us most, is to see that her Highnes doeth continually disbourse very great sommes of monie for the payment of her people, and yet matters are so caryed th[at]neither she nor the contry, hath that use of their service as in reason is behoofull. For many more might be spared from the cautionary townes and from that of Ostende, then wee could ever obtaine by any instant intreaty: and of those that have bin sent us, wee were evermore uncertaine what account to make of them, through their often revocations, and cassings, and fol.289r
countermandes, and other doutfull messages, which put us cleane out of course of an orderly proceeding, both for casting our plottes and atchieving our attemptes. Againe her Highnes may remember that in the year 85 before the Treaty was concluded, we did flattly then refuse, as the preface thereunto doth expresse very plainely, to contract for a lesser nomber would but drawe our warres at lenght, and cause the people to dispayer, when they saw that their troubles would never have an ende, whereof we looked for no other but a soddaine composition and agreement with the Enemie. All this notwithstanding, we can not at this present, nor could not these two years bring 1000 men of her Majestys companies to the service of the fielde. These and other like speeches were deli- vered unto me by worde of mouthe, but in very humble termes and duetifull sorte. To make your L. partaker of my aunswears againe, were to trouble you indiscreetly with a tedious recitall. But after I had spoken what was meete for her Majestie, I lette them understand that wordes and writings were good cheape, and that needes they must determine to make some other payment. For though their state was not so good, as was com- monly supposed, they were not yet to seeke of a competent meanes to gratifie her Majesty. And if they should not by somewhat shewe their thanckfulnesse unto her, I doubted of the sequele in re- garde of her displeasure. But whatsoever I could alleage, they were wonderfull vehement in all their protestations, that they were desitute of meanes to satisfie her Highnes and that they could not yealde unto her, not onely that summe of a hundred thousand poundes, which your L. doth require to be payed every yeare, but not a farre lesser summe, without incurring the perill of their utter confusion. And where they understood that I meant to convey her answear to her Majesty and not to carrie it my selfe, as they had imagined, I would, soone after it was delivered in writing unto me, they sent of purpose to calle me into their publicke assembly, and there they intreated or rather [conjured] me (they spake with such affection) that in a matter of that fol.289v
moment whereon so much depended for her Majesties goods as well as theirs, I would take the paynes my selfe to returne with their answear and laye before her Majestie not onely those reasons which advaunce her demaunde, but sithe I know in like maner how to stoode with these contries, acquaint her also of my selfe directly with the full estate of their affaires, and that in every particular, which could not be expressed to be parfectly conceaved but by verball demonstration, which would cause her, they were certaine, to runne some other course, then such as might occasion the flatte subversion of the contrey. They would have willingly sent some Deputie of their owne, but that it could not be done without writing to the Provinces, which would make but a long worke, and was not so convenient. Having made my excuse for diverse causes, but chiefly for want of her Majesties licence, they urged me so earnestly, and promised me to write so effectually unto her, as I should not neede to doubte but that it would be well construed. At which their instant desire, because I doe consider, that heere I can doe little, till I see how her Highnes will proceede upon their answear, and that I may at her pleasure returne againe assoone as any messenger, I have thought it fitter for her service, not to stand upo[n] denyall. But that which moveth me most unto it, is an overture mad[e] unto me in privat communication by a Deputy of Holland, which whether it proceede from the partie alone, or with some notice of the States, I am not well assured. For he protesteth unto me with earnest assertion tht he doeth it altogether without the privity of his collegues, and although I doe beleve it, yet I can not but conjecture, that somewhat hath bin spoken in the meeting among them, wherby he hath good knowledge how the rest are affe- cted and doth direct himselfe thereafter. His drifte in this overture is so to proportion her Majesties demande with the contreis ability, as it may be brought to passe with the liking of the inhabitants, and both be very honorable and beneficial to her Majestie. Because the matter is but rawely imparted, and hath many pointes in it to be duely con- sidered, it may happily hold me heere some 7 or 8 dayes, before I take my voyage. I have sent the meane while their answear before with their lettres to her Majesty and the LL. of the Councell, of which one doeth concerne Sir Horatio Pallavicines debt, wherein whatsoever hath beene further said unto me, then their writing hath declared, I will signifie at my comming.