Letter ID: 0918
Reference: BL, MS Cotton Galba D VII f.115r-117v
Citation: DCB/001/HTML/0918/008
Date: 18 April 1590
Copies: 1358 fol.115r

Later Addition: Belgia: April 18 Anno 1590

Later Addition: Belgia 1590 April 18.


It may please your L. to be advertised, that with your L. letter of the 14 of Marche, whiche came to my handes the 4 of this present, I receaved one from my LL. of the Councel, of the 15 of the same moneth, and an other to the general states: with whome I have dealt, as I hope, in suche ample and sufficient maner, as the importance of those causes, and that credit required, whiche their LL. gave unto me. The copie of that whiche I proposed, I have sent your L. heerewith, and likewise a letter to my LL. of the Councel, which I humbly beseeche yow to present unto them, and if yow finde it expedient, to recommend to their furtherance the autoritie of this Councel. It is that, no dout, whiche would reduce the government of these contreis, if not to a perfitte good state, yet assuredly to suche an order, as they should finde by the effectes, to be muche more tolerable. Withall it would be a meanes, to cutte of the credit of suche among the General States, as take a special pride in contending with her Majestie. I have had many charges from home, to deale with the states in this cause, and I have used earnest speeches, to suche effect as I was willed: But because there hath nothing folowed uppon their careles answears, it [is] muche to be douted, that they take it all for no other, but for a mater of course. Although it were come to that point, whiche your L. doth wishe, that the General states could be induced to a newe Treaty, and to put in oblivion all maner of /former/ breaches on bothe sides, acknowledging their due debt to her Majestie yet I am fully persuaded fol.115v

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they will depart with no other places of assurance, then they have done already, for the remboursement of her Highnes charges. Also their publicke Act for ac- knowledging their debt, might be somwhat in shewe, in respect of sundrie defalcations, uppon whiche it is likely heereafter they will insist: but unles her Majestie were so possessed, as she is, of some cautionary townes, I see every day by their wrangling courses, in most mens causes, that when they are not inclined to make satisfaction, they will never want evasions to frustrat their Actes. It will be a great allegation among them, when they come to ac- count, That her Majesties assistance was never kept complete, that the Musters and paiments have bin made without their privitie, that the 15 dead paies were never allowed by the Contrey, and the number of absents ever greater, then was to be permitted, with divers other objections, whiche, all thinges conside- red, might be particularly and very reasonablely answeared, according to their several natures: but I have given them hitherto a general answear, That her Majestie notwithstanding her often and earnest soli- citation, could never yet obtene, that the Councel of state might be established in their full autoritie, whereby she might orderly come to the notice of those disorders, and withall resolve to cast the whole care of refor- macion uppon the said Councel, to whome by agreement between her Highnes and the contrey it doth only belong. The wrong that hath bin done to her Majestie and these Provinces in that respect, I have somwhat dilated in this last proposition. Howe it may stand with her Majesties suretie, to breake with these contreis, as farre as I can conceave, submitting my opinion to your L. correction, it will very muche depend uppon the prosperous successe of the Frenche kinges affaires. fol.116r

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Later Addition: Belgia 1590 April 18

For otherwise, if the Enemies forces should continue in that strength, as they have bin heretofore, I see now howe they can withstand, without the helpe of her Majestie. For were it so, that the Generall meanes of these Provinces, being husbanded accordingly, might en- tertene some thousandes more in service, then are heere at this present, as I thinke they are able, yet if her Majestie should forsake the contrey, it is thought that the people would despere, and falle uppon the soddaine to accord with the Enemie: wheras nowe on the other side the only name of her Majestie, the Enemies opinion of the valewe of her subjectes, and his feare of newe supplies in time of necessitie, is a very great aide, though there were no other. Nether is it so that the state heere doth not thorowly see into it: But it is supposed among them, and sometimes given out, that her Majestie of necessitie, and in regard of her owne safetie must continue their protection. And thus uppon the occasions that are offered in your L. letter, I have said my opinion: whiche whether it be well or ill conceaved, I trust your L. will affourde the best construction. Heere I hold it requisit to advertise your L. of a speciall injurie, which is offered to her Majestie by the meanes of Master Ortels

ortell no Agent Generall

being in England. For it seemeth by the letters of her Highnes and of my LL. of the Councel, that he is reputed there an Agent for the Generall states of these contreis, and that whatsover by worde or by writing, by way of answear or otherwise, is delivered unto him, to be imparted to the General states, or to the Councell of state of these contreis, is signified accordingly. Howbeit the truth is, that he is Agent only for the states

ortell agent only for Holland

of Holland, and hath no deputation from any other Province: and therfore maketh his dispatches, not to the councel of state, unles it be uppon speciall requisition, and in some special cause, but usually to Barnevelt the Advocat of Holland, or to that particular Assembly, fol.116v

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whiche doth not keepe correspondence with the Councel of state, but taketh advantage of relating, or concealing suche mater of his letters, as they list themselves. By this meanes, whatsoever her Majestie my LL. of the Councel, or any in their behalf hath delivered unto him, to be deli- vered heere to the general state of the contrey, is only addressed to the states of Holland, and by them ether notified, or suppressed, or imparted in suche measure as among themselves is deemed convenient. I doe not dout, but by her Majesties order there have bene many times many thinges communicated with him, about the affaires of these contreis, which if they had bene publi- shed heere, might have given the state a great satis- faction: but since my being in this place, I can not remember above 3 or 4 letters that he hath written to this councel. I doe not cast the whole fault of this abuse, uppon Master Ortel himself. For he hath his commission and entertenment from the states of Holland, and ther- fore bound to them only. And besides it should appeere that he himself is not privy to this couvert kinde of dealing, ether in Barnevelt, or in the states of Holland. For in his last answear to a letter whiche he sent to the councel of state, contening suche mater, as was deli- vered by Master Wilkes to their late demandes, he ma- keth mention of former answears sent unto them, about the self same requestes, which were never yet im- parted, but ether kept backe by the Advocat, or by the assembly of Holland. This maner of procee- ing hath bin used a long time, but unknowen to the Councel heere, till it came in question of uppon his last letter unto them, and uppon the copie of the Articles, whiche your L. sent unto me, exhibited by Master Ortel in the name of the General states, and Appostilled by my LL. of the Councel the 15 of Marche: which Articles and Appostils, though they con- tene suche mater, as belongeth only to the conduct of the councel of state, the were never opened yet unto them fol.117r

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whereby the Councel being ignorant what had passed, writt lately againe, about the self same affaires. And thus because the General states, the Councel of state, and the states of Holland, propose their causes a part, at several times, and in divers maners, their confused courses both putt my LL of the Councel to a great deale of troble, and occasion many times that the self same answears are not made to the same Propositions. For the redresse of this disorder, I have promised this Councel, which is muche aggrie- ved with it, to become an humble sutor both in their behalfes and mine owne, that whensoever Master Ortel hall solicit any mater in the name of the General states, or of the Councel of state, he may be charged there, uppon the receat of his answear, to send it di- rectly and immediatly to those, to whome it is inten- ded to be given, and not to the states of Holland, whiche is but one Province, wheras his negotiation doth concerne them all. The consideration wherof, and what is convenient to be done uppon it, I refer unto your L. wisdome, nothing douting, but if ether in this point, or in any of the former, there be any thing worthy to be reported to my LL. of the Councel, it will be signified unto them by your honorable meanes. Howe well this state is provided of forrene intelligence, your L. may conjecture in that it was more then a moneth, before we knewe any certaintie, ether by letters or otherwise, of the late battaile in Fraunce: wherof your L. letter to me brought one of the freshest reportes. For whiche I thanke your L. very humbly, and for the other pointes of your letter, whiche being very material, and comming from your L. are both a great comfort unto me, and a special furtherance to my service. Astouching the occur- rences heere, there is litle /other/ to be certified, but that the Ennemie practiseth to surprise the towne of Berghen. fol.117v

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For he increaseth his forces in those quarters, and by common conjecture hath some intelligence in the towne. It is not yet knowen nor suspected with whome, but for the Governors assistance in making enquirie and for other needefull alterations in the Garrison, Master Gilpin and others are sent thither. It doth ap- peere by one of those letters, whiche were deciphred by Monsieur St Aldegonde, that the King of Spaine doth purpose to gett the possession of the Dukedome of Cleve: for which the present opportunitie doth serve very fitly, because the yonge Prince is distracted, and in a more pitifull state then the father. Howbeit to pre- vent his intention the better, there are copies of the Kinges letters sent from hens to the Councel of Cleve, to the towne of Wesel (which are bothe well affected) and to their neighbor Princes. We have certaine intelligence from Bruges, that 3 regiments of Wallons being newly mutined, attempted to take a port of that towne, and were nerely /partly/ entred but by the diligence of the Burgers, there were 50 of them slaine, and the rest repulsed. It is spoken heere in secret, that Count Hollocke being highly discontented with the smalle regard that is had of him by the states, is fully resolved to take his leave of these contreis, and to serve the Frenche king. It is also said among some, that seeme to speake uppon knowledge, that it is heere in present deliberation, among some principal persons, to consitute Count Maurice Count of Holland. And thus most humbly craving your L. pardon for my tedious discourses, I take my humble leave. From the Hage. April 18. 90 Your L. most humbly bounden Tho. Bodley.