Letter ID: 0810
Reference: BL, MS Cotton Galba D IV f.127r-128v
Citation: DCB/001/HTML/0810/008
Date: 31 March 1589
Copies: 0159 


Endorsed: March 31 to My L. Thresuror 1589.


Later Addition: Belgia 1589 31 March To my lord Treasurer

It maye please your L. as at the writtinge of my last, the towne of Geertrudenberche contineweth besieged: The first attempt that they without gave against it was at the walter syde, with fyer workes, and other artificiall engines, wherewith they had filled a shippe, supposinge by it to have cast downe a great parte of the walles, and to have sett many howses a fire. But it proved in tryall a weake devyse, scorned at by suche as stoode upon the walles, and that litell harme that it did fell upon them selves. There followed uppon it along batterie, which continewed divers dayes, and some nightes, untill the breache was esteemed resonable: and then sondrie of the chiefest in place, as the count of Solmes, count phillipp, Mareshall Villers, and others gave the assault with a greate furie, comminge to it with Flat bottom boates. But they were forced to retire immediatly, findinge the resistance of the garrison very resolut and desperat, and the meanes to assault out of their boates, full of comber and disadvantage. The Mareshall Villers was shotte into the knee, but like to recover it quickely. The Towe viceadmiralls of Holand & Zelande were shott into the armes: which it is thought the will be forced To cutt of. A Brother of Monsieur Brederode was slaine, and divers captaynes besydes, of good account and service, partly slaine, and partly hurt: as also a great parte of count Maurice gard, and of the common Souldiers. uppon the newes of This repulse, This counsell of State made request by Their letters Sent to the camp, To the States deputies There, That they wold use my presence and assistaunce for effectinge Some accord: whereto they never made answere, nor since the siege beganne nether /never/ writt hither To any of those assemblyes for any advyse. neverthelesse for a further discharge of my dutye in this place, and for That it was a common speeche of the people, that Sir John Winckefeld had intelligence with the ennemye, I writt a letter to Sir John whereby I requested him to be advertised from him, if any likelehoode were left among those in the towne, That I might be an instrument of a good composityon. I required him farther in hir Majesties name, to Take a speciall care, That the towne might not faule into the ennemyes possession. This letter I sent open to The camp, desiringe it might be sent, or Suppressed, as The count and the rest should most behoofull. howbeit They sent it immediately, and with muche adoe it was receaved, and the answere given not by Sir John, but by The rest, That they wold have no further dealinge with hir Majestie: or any of hir ministers, for that my L. willoughbyes proceedinges were discovered sufficiently. The cause of which answere proceded hereof. The count not willinge To come againe unto the assault, Thought by other practises To make a devisyon among those of the garrison, and there upon Sent a certaine act unto them, which my L. willoughby long sence, gave unto the count, To [asseure] him fol.127v
of his good meaninge for the delivery of the towne into his hands The sight of that act made a Sudden allteration among them for whereas before they pretended still To houlde for hir Majestie They began then To disclaime, and to use railinge speeches against my lord. and the inglishe natyon, that went about in that order To betraye them. and howe they intreated Sir John uppon it I knowe not yet certainelye: but it is bruted abroade, that they have him In custodye. my letter comming thither, upon the delivery of this act, tooke no other effect: and Since continewallye, they have answered the ennemyes fires, and sent unto them three out of their garrison To capitulat about yelding up the towne: with whome it is also Sayd, That the ducke him self being come to Breda hath had conference and hath allready skirmyshed with the count. heereuppon both he and the rest there wery very much perplexed, Sent yesterdaye To the counsell hither, requesting that I wold come in parson, and make Triall if better Succese wold come of it. I made an- swere, That if that course had bin taken at first, when hir Majesties name was used and respected in the towne, I douted not, but they might have bin brought To some tollerable condicions. But nowe the ennemye beinge come to the walles it seemed a desperat case: never the lesse I referred my service To the counselles disposition. requestinge Them to conferre many mens advertysementes together, towchinge the states of the towne, and then To resolve, as they should thinke best, about my imployement: wherein they bestowed somme tyme presently, and found it all to late, expecting letters every hower of the ennemyes entrye and The retraicte of our men: Not to troble your Lordship with the relacion of all particular accidentes, upon the occasyon of this enterprice, and the unhappy successe, There is nothinge heere but feare, & troble, and confu- sion, as well amonge the better Sort as the common people, Some fewe crienge out against Sir John Winckefeld, and The Inglishe natyon, but the farre greater part against The authors of the action: which I can not yet learne To have bin any other Then the count, Barnevelt, & Villiers; but Barnevelt in speciall, whose greedy desire of revenge against those of the towne, and my L. willughby hath wrought this effect. moreover their delivery of my L. Willoughbyes act is generally condemned as a dishonorable dealinge Towardes my lord, and very incon- siderate, in respect of them selves, for by it they exclu- ded themselves from all kinde of hoope of any good com- position. all their allegations in excuse of this exploict are very frivolous & fained. They saye That those of The towne have bin practisinge a longe tyme with the ennemye, That the losse of the towne, is of no suche importance, as men commonly give out, That the incove- nyence, which wold have ensewed in other garrisons, if fol.128r
The insolencie of those of Geertrudenberche should have bin wincked at, must needes have done Them great harme: with other like shiftes: and devises, both untrue, and of no moment. In effect the state of these provinces is weake at this present,Then it hathe bin these many yeares, & unlesse by hir Majesties extraordinarye assistaunce, and counsell it be presently holpen, there is litell apparance, that They can hould it long. The losse of this Towne of Geertrudenberge, the absence of hir Majesties lieutenant The withdrawinge of forces, and the imperfectyon of this government, are great opportunities To drawe the ennemy onward, and To dismaye The people. In which respect I doe expect nothinge more, then to knowe hir Majesties intention: the want whereof I must needes confesse to your L. doth Some what discourage me, as it is also a lett That I can not negotiat So effectually nor extend my service. to so many good purposes, as other wyse I might. Whereuppon I beseche your L. againe as in my last, That Some Speedy order maye be taken for good correspondence, referringe The rela- tyon of these occurrences to hir highenes and to my LL the of the counsell, to your wisdome, and good pleasure: wherewith I Take my humble leave. from the Hage Marche 31 89.