Letter ID: 0292
Reference: TNA, SP 84/41/278 f.278r-281v
Citation: DCB/001/HTML/0292/008
Date: 23 March 1591
Note: Fol.278r is the address leaf. There are two florilegia beneath the endorsement. At the word 'expostulat' on fol.279r, there are three vertical lines inscribed in the left hand margin.
Copies: 1023 



Addressed: To the right honorable my very singular good Lord, the L. Burghley, Lord highe Treasuror of England.

Endorsed: 23 Martij 1590. Master Bodeleie from the Haghe./


May it please your good L. a letter from yow of the 9 was delivered unto me the 21 of this moneth: wherin yow will me from her Majestie to expostulat with the states, for their slacknes in relieving the towne of Ostend. At sundrie times before, both her Majestie by her owne letters, and also your L. in the name of her Highnes hath required my endevors, to the self same purpose. And for mine owne part I doe assure your L. there was never any mater, that I moved so often, or so instantly urged, as that of Ostend. But howe the states stand affected, their letter to her Highnes which they sent by Sir John Norreis, and an other from my self, which was written to your L. will certifie sufficiently. They are all of one judgement, that the Governor hath no cause, to presse her Majestie so farre, for any doubt of the Enemie. Nevertheles upon this motion nowe againe, which I have made from her Majestie they have yelded to the sending thither of two companies of their owne nation: upon condition, that when they shalbe prepared to goe into the filde, they may be returned heere againe. I have also obtened, that suche provision of powder and corne, as before they did but promise in general termes, shall be presently sent thither, by order out of Zeland. Howbeit they doe flatly avoutche, that the publicke Magasine of the towne, hath bin alwaies by the contrey suffi- ciently stoared; but that it hath bin consumed in privat uses, by those of the Garrison, without permission from hens, and against the custome of the contrey. Moreover to suche effect as before, they have written once againe, both into Zeland, fol.279v
and elswhere, that good enquirie may be made, to learne the Enemies proceedinges in those quar- ters of Flanders: to the end they may ordene, whatsoever shall be requisit. For as nowe, they say, they knowe nothing of ether siege, or sur- prise, or other enterprise towardes. And though the Governor hath informed her Majestie of many occasions of feare, yet nether he himself did ever write so muche to them, nor any one of their officers, that sojourne in the Garrison: whiche are as vigilant as may be, in every suche occasion.

Sir Edward Norreis is a gentleman of that merit, that every man hath knowen, and to me in particular very frindly affected. for which I may be thought both very unkind and inconsiderat, to advertise any mater, that is ne- ther precisely within the compasse of my charge, and may seeme in some sort to touche the credit of his actions. But for as muche as my meaning, being construed right, is sincere and frindly, and my duty to her Majestie must make me sett a part all privat respectes: and because your L. I knowe, will make no further mention, then is needefull, of my name, I will signifie somwhat, howe it standeth at this present, between Sir Edward and the states. It is a generall order of the contrey, which every Governor of any towne, that belongeth to the states, is strictly sworen to observe, That they shall not meddle more or lesse, with the maters of Contribution of Impost and Accise, or of any point that shall per- tene to the Civill pollicie of the place. Not only those that are Governors deputed by the states, but they that have the charge of the Cautionarie fol.280r
townes, are in that respect restrained, by a spe- cial article of the Treaty. The case is very evi- dent, and there is no Governor of the contrey, that doth seeke to be exempted. Nevertheles Sir Edward Norreis doth usurpe that autoritie, and being often required to take an other course, doth seeme to heede it so litle, as they have entred into speeche to remove him from thens. He pre- tendeth unto them, that he doth nothing of him- self, but by order from home, and by her Matjesties direction: whiche doth very muche amuse the Councel of state, and doth foster in many an old rooted jalousie, That her Majesties ministers would be masters of their townes, and bring their contrey into servitude, as muche as the Spaniard, whose government they abjured for defense of their liberties. In effect I knowe their humor so well, and I see they are so peremptorie in all their purposes, as unles they be obeied in their owne jurisdiction, they care not if the towne should falle to the Enemie. And this in truth is the chiefest occasion, that they hearken so un- willingly to any motion of the Governor. For otherwise, they knowe the importance of the place as well as is possible, and, they say, they will tender it, as muche as shall be requisit, if they may be respected as by all other Governors. The Governor, they imagine, to serve his privat turne, is an autor to her Majestie of many wrong impressions, and devised alarmes, making his designe to manege all thinges alone, and to con- vert the benefit of the generall meanes, to his privat uses, or at lest to be disposed, as he himself without them shall thinke most expedient. I am alwaies fol.280v
earnest to persuade them otherwise, alleaging his want of experience in the affaires of these con- treis, and other mater of excuse: as I have also written to himself, and wished him in any wise to withstand these beginninges, and to applie his course somwhat more, to the nature of this Gover- ment, but because his answear hath bin, that he frameth all his doinges, with the notice of her Highnes I have nothing to replie. For my self I see not, nor I can not conjecture, howe her Majesties service may be bettered by it: but I am very muche afraid, unles they may have their willes, the end will be but trouble, and danger to the place. The consideration wherof and of my duty to her Majestie and my confidence withall that your L. will suppresse my name in this mater, doth enforce me to impart this advertisment at length. Besides I thought not impertinent, to give your L. to consider, the copie of a letter, which the Councel of late hath sent unto the Governor.

Two daies past I receaved a letter of the 22 of February written at Dresden; from Sir Horace Palla- vicinie. He moveth me therein to helpe to sette forward a second contribution, not doubting but the first was already heere accorded: and to signifie unto him, howe the forces of that levie might be best imploied, for the benefit of these con- treis. For the mater of Contribution, Monsieur de Touraine, was putte in good hope, at his being in the Hage, that the Provinces would yeld to1000li sterling. But they shall not finde them nowe so forward, as then they made account. For unles it were Holland, which are well enough affected, in respect of their portion, the rest of the Provinces will be hardly brought to any thing. fol.281r
Of a second collection there was never no speeche, and I hold it in vaine, to trust upon it. For as it should appeere by Sir Horaces letter, he suppo- seth that the states will be drawen, to contribut great summes, in regard of the service, that the armie pas- sing this way may doe to the contrey. Howbeit I doe not finde, that there is any opinion in these men heere, that the use of those forces, can muche advantage their estate. For they say in privat conference, that if the stay of the armie should be long in these quarters, it would turne the contrey to a great deale of detriment, and the opportunitie would be lost of assisting the King: as on the other side they can reape but litle benefit, by a litle tariance. All the helpe that they expect is 3 or 4 daies service in the assault of Bolduke, and the spoile, in their passage, of the Enemies contrey. Moreover wheras it is hoped, both by Monsieur de Tou- raine, and Sir Horace Pallavicinie, that the states will joine of their owne forces, aswell Englishe as others, to accompany the armie into Fraunce, (for they spake to me, to that effect, when they were at the Hage) I signified then unto them, and still I am persuaded, that the states will never yelde, that any nombers of their forces, shall goe farther from the Provinces, then as they may finde a commodious retraict. What I write unto your L. I will certifie Sir Horace, and of any thing besides, that I can any way con- jecture, to be fitte for his purpose.

The bruite is muche increased of Parmaes reso- lution not to goe into Fraunce: and because we are advertised, that 40 peeces of batterie are provided at Andwerpe, it is very muche suspected, that he will give some attempt, upon Berghen or fol.281v

Later Addition: 23 March 90/1

Breda. The want of pay among his souldiers, doth cause a great discontentment in sundrie of his Garrisons: as nowe we have intelligence, of 2 Enseignes of highe Dutche in Grave, that are newly mutined, and by the rest of that Garriso[n] driven out of the towne. Verdugo, as it see- meth, hath had some intelligence of that we have intended against Deventer and Zutphen which he hath notified unto them, and they therupon are very busily occupied in the fortification of their townes. And thus for this present I take my humble leave. From the Hage. Marche 23 1590. Your L. most humbly bounden Tho. Bodley