Letter ID: 0318
Reference: TNA, SP 84/42/203 f.203r-204v
Citation: DCB/001/HTML/0318/008
Date: 11 July 1591
Copies: 1058 



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

Endorsed: xj Julij 1591. Master Bodeley to my L./

Later Addition: 11 July 91


May it please your good L. to be advertised that the 5 day of this moneth, when the Count with all his troupes was come before Steenwicke, there came intelligence from all quarters, that the Enemie was entred the Betuwe fast by Nieumeghen. There came also many letters from the General states the Provinces of Guelders and Utrecht, the Count of Culenbourgh, the Ammand of Tiel, and others, re- quiring very earnestly, that the enterprise of Steen- wicke, and all other purposes sett apart, the campe should come forward to the assistance of those places, which the Enemie might otherwise very mightily en- dommage. Upon this intelligence, and the instance of the contrey, it was presently resolved that thei would not stay at Steenwicke: and so muche the rather, for /that/ the Count and the army were nothing yet enga- ged, nether by summoning the towne, nor by plan- ting their artillerie, nor by quartering the compa- nies, nor by any other action, that might make their departure prejudiciall to their honor. Howbeit for the better preservation of those places, that were taken about Groninghen, it was deemed expedient that Count William with his troupes of Friseland, which were to the nomber of 2000 should remaine still in Frise: and that Count Maurice with the rest, ma- king at the lest, by all conjecture, 5000 foote, and [In margin: 5000 foot 1300 horse]
1300 horse, should marche towardes Arnham. Upon which resolution all our forces, aswell of horsmen as footemen arrived yesterday heere: where we hope to be renforced, from out of the Garrisons of these quarters, with 2000 men more. The furnishing of those fortes, that were taken about Groninghen, amounting by tale to 32 in all, did greatly di- minishe the strength of our army. Nevertheles for ought that we can learne by prisoners, spies, and other meanes, the Enemie for footmen is weaker then we are: but his horsemen, it is thought, are 2000 at the lest. Moreover we doe finde, that the fol.203v
Duke himself in person, with all his forces, two regi- ments of footmen, and 4 cornets of horse excepted, which are left beside Nieumeghen, for the custody of their bagage, are already in the Betuwe. He hath also made his approches, and planted 8 peeces of batterie before Cnossenbourgh, which is that fort, that we built the last sommer on this side the Wael, be- fore the towne of Nieumeghen. Albeit we have sent abroade very many, to learne his designes and the state of his army, yet we finde their infor- mations to differ so muche, that we can build upon nothing, but that thei are /in/ some miserie for want of victuals, wherein all doe accord. They are served of their victuals from Collen, Bosleduke, Grave, and from the land of Cleve, by the way of Emmericke, from whens they bring it all by land to certaine places by Nieumeghen, and there trans- port it by scutes to the Enemies campe. They have passed all their troupes, both horse and foote, with 2 great pontons, of which ether is thought suffi- cient, for 300 men at a passage.

This strange adventure of the Duke, in comming over the river, doth wonderfully astonishe the people of this contrey: who are all of one opinion, that he hath putte himself in so muche danger, as he can not any way goe backe, without notable losse. To the effecting wherof heere are two waies proposed, The one by sending over our forces to Nieumeghen side, thereby to cutte of his victuals, and to stoppe his returne: the other by passing the Rhine heere at Arnham, and by marching in the Betuwe, di- rectly towardes him: with suche good cautions for the order of their marche, for the making of trenches, and for using other martial meanes, as they will ether have in choise to fight if thei list, or being forced therunto, to doe it without the hazard of the body of their army. But howsoever, we hope it is a way, to relieve that Fort in some sort, that is fol.204r
presently besieged, and before the Enemie shall reco- ver the other side of the river, to cutte of some part of the arriergarde of his army. Howbeit the fort, though within it be all thing requisit, and 800 men in Gar- rison, yet we doubt it will be taken, or surrendred in the ende: as we also make account, when the Duke is departed, to recover it againe. Of the forsaide 2 waies, because the first is subject to very many diffi- culties, and wold be longe in perfourming, conside- ring that the troupes are to passe over 3 rivers, they are wholy as yet inclined to put the later in execution, for which their bridge for the Rhine is already provi- ded, and will be happely placed some time to day, so as all the souldiers may passe over towardes night. And this is nowe in summe the state of our affaires, which I doe signifie continually, as messengers and matter are presented where I am. And so I take at this present my humble leave of your L. From Arnham. July 11 1591. Your L. most humbly bounden Tho. Bodley

Postscript: We doe not yet understand that the Enemie hath begonne his batterie, but those within the fort doe shoote continually and have ether slaine or very dangerously the Count Octavio brought brother to Count Charles Mansfeld, and divers other Captaines.