Letter ID: 0289
Reference: TNA, SP 84/41/208 f.208r-212v
Citation: DCB/001/HTML/0289/008
Date: 01 March 1591
Copy of: 1015



Later Addition: 1 March 1590/1 United Provinces.

Endorsed: premier Martij 1590 The Copy of the Q. lettres to Master Bodeley


Trustie and welbeloved wee greate yowe well./ Althowgh wee doe not often write to yowe to showe howe well wee allowe of yowr service theare: yet bicawse wee have signified often times to owr Threasurer of England owr good likinge of yowe in owr service theare, and have manie times when wee directed him to write to yowe what was owr plesure to be done by yowe in sondrie owr Cawses theare: Commawnded him to geve yowe knowledge of owr good acceptacion of yowr service, and that spetiallie for that yowe al- waies preserved the estimacion of owr Princelie Authoritie, in yowr negotiacion with thos States, Therefore wee dowbt not but having knowledge of owr favorable acceptance of yowr service, yowe will continue the same cowrse: And at this time spetiallie also wee doe allowe of yowr descretion in using of late owr Aucthoritie to staie certaine owr Capteines with theire Bandes from repairinge from theire places of Garrisone to the Sea side, for that yowe understood of the prohibicion thereof by the publicque commaundment of the States Generall, and of the Generall murmure & mislikinge of the universall Cuntrie: And nowe what owr resolucion hath latelie been to have the serrvice of the said Bandes, with the reasonable good will both of the States and Cuntrie, wee dowbt not but yowe have understood by letters written by owr order to yowe, by owr Threasurer, and shall more perticulerlie understand the same at Sir John Norrice comminge thether by owr owne Letters. both to the States and to yowr self/ fol.208v
And wheare of late also wee understood that theare was an expectacion of certaine Ambassadors that weare sent from the Emperor to offer Condetions of peace in the K. of Spaignes name to the Cuntries of Holland and Zeland, and other the Provinces United, and that it might be dowbted that by the perswasion of the said Ambassadors, and by great conninge of the Ministers of the K. of Spaigne, and otherwise also by the Papesticiall faction on all partes least the vulger people, being also wearied with the warre, might be so abused and entised with plawsible wordes, not wiselie looking to the event and sequell, which cowld not wise be but dangerous, and thearebie the States and Gouvernors thowgh there understanding might serve them to suspect those offers, might yet not so providentlie forsee in the beginning before the offers should be made to refuse the Ouverture of anie Treatie: therefore wee did cawse a Colleccion by waie of a Proiect in writing to be sent yowe conteininge a forme of sondrie Argumentes, howe the States might with honnor and reason, yea with the good allowance of all Princes and States that weare not partiallie addicted to the K. of Spaigne or to the Pope, refuse to heare of anie offers of peace at this time, or to enter into anie Communicacion or Treatie therof with anie from the Emperor, or from the K. of Spaigne, or from anie of her ministers: According to which Colleccion in writing being sent to yowe wee dowbt not but yowe have as yowe weare directed, proceaded, and proffited thearein, to the avoiding of the great danger that fol.281r
might otherwise ensewe, if the States showld be negligent to withstand the beginninges of so dangerous purposes, whearein by all Circum- stances of this time maie be vearie manifestlie discovered, that the intentions of anie offers are grownded onelie uppon dissimulacion, and to the advantage of the Spainiardes, and anie of thes lowe Cuntries. But nowe uppon later Advertisement given us owt of thes lowe Cuntries, whereof we doe nowe hearewith certefie yowe, not knowing howe trewe the same are, thowgh the Advertiser of duetie signifieth to us, that he feareth them to be trewe: we cannot but with more ernestnes renewe to yowe as a newe charge, to cawse yowe to be more carefull heareof, and as yowe shall find cawse to thinke them likelie to be trewe, so to endevowr yowr self with the States Generall, or the Counsell as yowe maie discover the trewthe thearof, and accordinglie prosecute the withstanding of the said reported purposes, or to reverse them utterlie./.

The matters to us advertised are there two: The first that theare showld be a purpose to have a meeting at Utrecht betwixt the Duke of Arscott, the Comte Mansfield, and certaine of the States, and that Richardott showld be theare for the K. of Spaigne/

The second nowe that theare was an intention to have a free trafficque, betwixt Dunkirk, Newport, and other townes of Flanders with Holland and Zeland./.

The first of these cannot be trewe but that theare hath passed aforehand secretlie vearie dangerous practises, not discovered by yowe: fol.209v
neither can the second beinge but danger also to the common Cawse if the same showld prove trewe: and of this latter, wee have more cawse to thinke it maie be trewe, bicawse wee heare that both at Dunkirke and Newport, theie are providing of sondrie shippes to come to thos Seas, and that cetaine french leguier shippes, now to joine with them: and wee doe not understand of anie shippes of flusshing to be on the Seas./. Nowe therefore wee will have yowe speedelie discover whither thes be trewe, or that theare be anie likelood of the sequell, and if not, yet as yowe maie, yowe shall discover, Uppon what Cawse, anie such purpose hath been reported. And if yowe shall find anie of thes to be intended, yowe shall then besides the reasons conteined in the former Project, which yowe weare willed to use as of yowr self, plainelie in owr name, as so expreslye directed by us, require the States Generall, and the Cownsell to Consider, howe nether that can stand with theire owne savetie, nor with dewe regard to us, the onelie Prince of Christendome, that hath openlie protected them, to hir owne danger: nor with therie owne Bandes and Contract to assent, or to geve eare to anie Treatie of anie peace or Accord whatsoever with theire Ennemies withowt the knowledge and avowe of us, neither with anie Prince, or Potentat a stranger withowt the knowledge of use, or of owr Gouvernor generall: such are the expresse wordes of theire Covenant: as for the daunger that maie ensue to themselves to accept of anie Condicon of Peace or trewce fol.210r
whearebie the K. of Spaigne, maie for the time use all his forces of thes lowe Cuntries against the French K. and consequentlye against us, and afterwardes to exercise his rooted hatred and his Ambition to Conquer thos Cuntries, and make them either Spanish and slaves, or vassalles to Spaigne, yowe maie saie to the States theie cannot be ignorant if the sequell therof having so often published to the world the manifest reasons of theire like danger, spetiallie whom theie shall have abandoned owr defence, & shall stand uppon theire owne power farre to weake to withstand the vearie breathe of suche a Conqueror as the K. of Spaigne min- deth to be: Secondlie howe much it maie towche us in honnor to have ventured owr State for theire defence, as wee have done, expended owr treasure, and the lives and [substances] of a great nomber of owr naturall lovinge subjectes: yowe maie avowe that noe Prince [Christend] having a Roiall hart can endure such an Injurie or indignitie./ And for the last howe Contrarye it is to theire owne Covenant, yowe shall recite /to/ them, or deliver to them in writinge, the vearie Article of the Treatie, being the xxjth, by which theie are bownd never to treate with the K. of Spaigne, withowt owr allowance/.

And bicawse it maie be that some of them will saie (as wee have [herd] hath been by some thowgh untrewelie alledged) at the fol.210v
time owr Commissioners treated with the K. of Spaignes Commissioners at Ostend, that by the next Article being the xxijth, wee weare prohibited to treate with the K. of Spaigne, withowt the Consell of the States: yowe shall require anie of them if theie shall be of that minde to peruse better the wordes of the same Article, howe farre the same differeth from theirs, for by the Article on owr part wee are onelie required that it might please us, for so are the wordes), not to treate with the K. of Spaigne in anie thinge concerninge the State of the Provinces, withowt theire Consent. Wheareby first it appeareth wee have not Covenented simplie by anie expresse wordes, that wee will not treate with the K. of Spaigne withowt theire Consent, for that had been vearie absurd, and farre unreaso- nable to have excluded owr self generallye from Treatie with the K. of Spaigne, spetiallie the same beinge offred to us, being A thinge notorious that wee maie have manie Cawses for owr owne dominions and people to treate at anie time with the K. of Spaigne separatlie withowt treatinge for the state of thos lowe Cuntries: And soe wee would have yowe make yt manifest to them if yowe find anie of them of a Contrarie minde, that wee are not prohibited by anie wordes that ever passed from us by speech or writinge, but that at anie time wee maie treate to have and keape place with the K. of Spaigne for owr owne dominions, and yet observe the whole Treaty with the States, yea geve them Aide and succowr as wee doe, if fol.211r
in making of the Peace for owr owne Cuntries, the K. of Spaigne, in respect of his other Cuntries can find yt convenient for himself doe to accord with us./ But to showe howe farre of wee have been to use that libertie in respect of owr love to the suretie of the States and theire Provinces, It was manifest to the world howe the K. of Spaigne by his Commissioners did offer to us as good Conditions of Peace, as ever had been betwixt the Emperor his Father, and the K. owr Father, or betwixt owr selves, soe as wee would have left the defence of the States and thes Provinces: But contrariewise to thos large and favorable offers, wee utterlie refused to assent to anie Accord with the K. for owr selfe, except he would have yelded to the States a firme peace with all Conditions both of Religion and of theire pollecies and liberties, as largelie as had been by them heretofore required: The refusall whereof on the part of the K. of Spaigne, was the onelie Cawse that wee refused the peace offred by him, by the sequell whereof, it was and is seen into what danger owr Crowne and Valure was browght, & howe ever since, wee and owr Realme have been burdened with a most chargeable and dangerous warre, whearein wee are yet as the world seeth still encombred: soe as yt maie appeare wee did not treate to the prejudice of theare States, but refused peace for owr selves, to preserve theire States entire. fol.211v
Wherefore yowe maie use thes former reasons as yowe see cawse to move them to forbeare to harken to anie offers withowt owr likinge: But to all naturall men of anie wisedome there can be noe greate nor more weightie reason, in the sight of God and man than this [later] when wee refused peace for their sakes, whearebye they are bound to us even for them selves, and their posteritie, with the Band of all humanitye, besides the Band of Reverence, which theie owe to us, never to assent to anie offer of peace or Trewces by the K. of Spaigne, withowt owr privitie, liking, and Consent./

Thus wee have delated to yowe owr mind to the intent to instruct yowe howe to deale in this great Cawse, if yowe shall finde anie desposicion in thos States to harken to anie offer before owr assent be had theareto, accordinge to their owne Covenat./. Furdermore of late wee recommende to the States the Consideration of the State of Ostend, that the same might be strengthened with two Bandes more, in respect of the Attempt that might be sodenlie made by the D. of Parma, nowe whelest he is making his prepa- rations for France, before he goe owt of Flanders, and the more wee maie dowbt the state thereof, considering the report of the newe preparations of the shippinge owt of Dunkieke, Newport, & Graveling, which maie be used by Sea to stoppe the haven of Ostend, whilest the Ennemies maie assaile the towne by Land. And this matter wee would have yowe most ernestlie present to the States to be speedelie considered and provided for, and in noe fol.212r
wise to be delaied: and that also yowe move them, to sett some shippinge to the Seas to encownter that which maie be enter- prised by them of Dunkirk, and Newport: and soe also wee meane speedelie to Arme sum of owr owne Shippes to lie uppon thos Coastes, and thearefore wee showld greatlie mislike them at this time, if theie would not joine theire forces with owrs at this apparant time of danger. Yowe shall also move them that theire Contributions at Ostend and the Cuntrie theareabowt, maie be emploied abowt the fortifica- tions of the same towne and the defences against the Sea, and thearewith also that Sir Edward Norrice the Gouvernor theare whoe deserveth to be cherisshed and mainteined, as they maie see by his good and valliant services, maie likewise have his Enterteinment enlarged owt of thos Contribucions, and so the rest may be awnsweard to the publicque, as the States shall thinke meete: Of all thes thinges aforementioned, wee require yowe to have Care speedelie, and to advertise us what yowe shall doe therein./.