Letter ID: 1357
Reference: BL, MS Harleian 287 fol. 160r-163v
Citation: DCB/001/HTML/1357/008
Date: 27 April 1590
Copies: 0919 fol.160r

Endorsed: To my LL of the Councell. /Treasuror/April 28. 90.

Later Addition: Belgia 1590 28 Aprill to my L Treasurer


Right honorable, and my singular good Lord, having lost Master Secretary Walsingham, whome I can not name unto yow, with any moderat grief, I beseeche your L. to hold me excused, that I putte yow to some troble in this addresse of my letters. for although I am not ignorant, that your L. should be spared in suche respectes, yet because I under- stand not as yet, whome her Majestie hath appointed to exercise that office, and because the mater wherof I purpose to informe, is of speciall qualitie and weight, I trust your L. will passe it with a fa- vorable acceptation. I doe not dout but your L. hath heeretofore bin made acquainted, with that whiche I have signified home, /my former informations/ about the towne of Groninghen. It was an assured persuasion of divers gentlemen of Friseland, Emden, and other places, who writte unto me about it, that the inhabitants of that towne were so weary of the Spaniard, and so well affected to her Majestie that if those good meanes were used, which her Higghnes with a smalle charge might put in execution, they would be easely drawen to submit themselves unto her: Alwaies provided that they might not any way be subject to the states of these contreis. I Having /[.]/ certified hereof, what /home/ /with suche other/ informacions I recea- ved, /for the parties to which whereto/ Master Secretary /set this/ made no answear [.] unto me That her Majestie by reason of her excessive charges otherwise, would not enter into a further expense, by sending over ether mony, or forces: but if by using her name, autoritie and countenance, they could finde the meanes to withstand, or annoy the Enemie, I should give to them of the towne, what encouragement I could. The effect of this answear I imparted fol.161v
presently to those from whom the motion first pro- ceeded, who signified againe, that there was no hope of any good to be done, unles her Majestie would vouche- safe to send her letters to the towne, with /and/ promise to maintene bothe them and their liberties against their Enemies and /and/ cause to be presented suche fur- ther assistance and succors before the towne, as ha- ving revolted, they may /might/ be able assuredly to make it good against the Enemie. Finding her Majestie thus unwilling to take the enterprise in hand, in respect of the charge, and in those of Groninghen no maner of inclination to deale with the states; consi- dering also that if her Highnes should attempt any thing in these quarters, without the privitie of the states, it would be both hardly perfourmed and give a great occasion of suspicion among them /to [.] ill [.]/ I knowe no better course for e contentacion of all parties, then to acquaint the Councel of state with the whole mater: whiche I did accordingly. For I declared heere in Councel /[.]/, what offers were made unto her Majestie, for what cause she refused them, howe willing she was, that the contrey should take the benefit of using her autoritie, what letters had bin written unto me from sundrie places and persons, and what answears I had returned. Among others I shewed that letter, wherof I send the copie heerewith, whiche by the advise of certaine gentlemen of Emden, I writte to the Magistrats and commons of Groninghen. In effect I made as many cir- cumstances knowen unto them, as might induce them to advise, howe to reape the fruite of that /that/ over- ture. Wheruppon it was resolved that I should persist in writing to those of Emden, and take as perfit informacion, as I could, of the nombers of fol.162r
those that were well affected in Groninghen, of the meanes which they had to compasse their purpose, with suche necessarie pointes, /besides/ as the enterprise required. And this I perfourmed to their satisfaction alwaies shewing those letters which I writte and re- ceaved. Moreoever to the end I might the better stand assured of the true estate of all thinges, I sent this bearer Christopher Persival to Emden, who, of a special devotion to the service, adventured uppon his owne charge, and not without great dan- ger, to approche within half a mile of the towne, and where he taried certaine daies in a village, and found the meanes to conferre with divers of the Bur- ghers, which /who/ resorted unto him at several times, and thereby understood, /gave him good i[.] of/ the disposition of the Commons, with suche other particularities as he himself will declare. For which good service I have put him /heer/ in some hope, that by your honorable /L./ meanes he shalbe somewat considered./. In one of my letters, which I writte to those of emden I had signified, that we had cer- taine intelligence by letters newly intercepted, that the D. of Parma was resolutly bent, by one meanes or other, to place a Garrison in the towne /Groninghen/ of Groninghen, and to that purpose had charged Verdugo the Governor there, to take the very first and spediest opportunitie. This letter of mine was sent by those of Emden into Groninghen, up= pon the sight wherof the people caused all the Spa- niardes and Fributters in the towne, being to the nomber of 210 /& more/ to depart /avoid/ presently, and ordered withall that Verdugo himself should not come neere any port in the night time. Not to troble your L. with a needeles /tedios/ rehersal of all that hath passed, the Councel of state, and likewise fol.162v
Count William the Governor of Friseland, who hath also conferred both with them and with me in this mater, doe apparantly finde that the interposition of her Majesties autoritie, may /very/ easely allure the towne to unite it self with these Provinces. And seing her Majestie, to whome they should seeme to be only ad-dicted, will not deale for her self, not those of the towne be persauded to seeke /yeld/ unto the states, from whome they have revolted, it is thought there is no readier way to atchieve the enterprise with a gene- ral good liking, then to entreat her Majestie to signe to that letter, or the like in substance, as I have sent heerewith to your L. which is written in the Flemmish tongue, by the advise of the Councel, because fewe in Groninghen understand the Frenche, and that the /it is/ /[.] tht the/ common people may /shold/ understand it the better How- beit I have sent the translation with it, and likewise a letter from the Councell to her Highnes and an other from Count William. /Moreover/ There is mention made in this /the/ letter, which is desired to be signed by her Majestie of a former letter which I /was/ written unto the towne, /Magistrats [.]/ being the same, as I signified before, and /commons of the towne/ /wherof I/ have sent the transcript [In margin: Wherto I was advertised by my My frindes of Emden did advise me unto it and]
Which /Yt/ is thought very necessary to be sent againe that the copie therof shold be sent [inclosed] in her Majesties letter because it is given out by divers in the towne, that it was nether my letter, nor written by her Majesties order, but a devise of Count William, or of the states: wheras nowe inclosed in her Majesties letter, it will both ratifie that, and our other proceedinges. It is intended also, that when the letter to be signed by her Highnes shallbe returned, Sir Francis Vere being /lieng/ at Disbourgh, /which is/ within one daies jorney of Groninghen, shall joine his forces with Count Williams, who are able both together to raise to the nomber of 3000 wheras the Enemie in those quarters is not above 2000 fol.163r
and shall present themselves before the towne, and send the said letter by a drumme or trompet. Wheruppon it is conceaved, that if her Majesties frindes be the greater nomber, they will presently come to capitulat: or if thei be the weaker part, yet fin- ding assistance without, they will happely be able to deliver a port, or give some other entrie unto them. Howsoever it succeed, the attempt hath nether charge nor daunger, but /and/ in all probablitie will endommage the Enemie exceedingly. More- over to animat those of the towne, I have put them in hope, that her Majestie may be wonne in time to drawe the trade of her marchants Adventu- rers thither, whereunto they seeme to listen very gladly. I can not /also/ omitte to make it knowen to your L. that Count William doth persuade himself, that if the enterprise take place, her Majestie will be pleased to commit the place to his government. /And/ were it otherwise, I doe as- sure my self that nether he, nor the states of Frise, would intermeddle in the Action. And to /To/ /[.]/ deliver my [.] opinion to your L. considering his sufficiencie, whereto /against which/ there is no exception, and the good /[.]/ meanes that he hath, to assist the towne, as neede shall require, with succors out of Frise- land, besides the right which he pretendeth to the Government, as being a parcel of that whiche he hath in Frise, I can not conceave howe any other person, can better fitte with the people, or the place. [In margin: I have [.] to your L. w[.] of that what /[reciprocall]/ assurance the towne will give for them /will be yelded/ from the towne for their obedience /from those/ of them [.] [.] For it is to be compounded wher of [.] comes in question for their levies For I as /doe/ /doe/ [.] parceave that they will [never] /not/ admit any garrison among them, /in Groninghen/, thogh I /[.]/ [.] they will [.] to give the cautionary townes: which is all /then/ to be debated whye the mater in qustion]

/And/ Thus in general termes I have imparted unto yow /to your L./ a dessiegne of suche moment, as your L. it may please /will conceave to consider/ knoweth, and /which/ I am humbly to be- seeche yow, to /and/ relate unto her Majestie procuring withall /unto it/ suche dispatche of answear, as your L. fol.163v
wisdome shall judge convenient. And so I take my humble leave. From the Hage. April 27 Anno 90. Your L. most humbly bounden Tho. Bodley.