Letter ID: 0347
Reference: TNA, SP 84/43/133 f.133r-134v
Citation: DCB/001/HTML/0347/008
Date: 26 October 1591



Endorsed: Copie of my letter to the Bourgmasters and Bourgers of the towne of Groeninghen. October 26 1591

Later Addition: 16/26 October 1591


Right woorshipfull &c. It is two yeres agoe that I was informed, of the good inclination of some of your bourgeosie, to deliver their con- trey from the Spanishe servitude, and to restoare it againe to his ancient libertie, by the assistance and defence of my souveraigne Lady and mi- stresse the Q. Majestie of England: for which I thought it then my duty, residing heere in these contreis for her Majesties affaires, to notifie unto yow, that in case yow would dispose your selves thorowly to so sounde a resolution, I did not doubt, but to procure unto yow from her Majestie a very ample satisfaction, to the uttermost advantage of whatsoever thing in reason yow should require to that effect. Howe that letter was accepted, and what good it had wrought in the hartes of good patriots, I was never sins advertised. Nevertheles because I see to what termes your government is growen, and howe fast your miserie doth increase upon yow, by adhering to the Spa- niard, I am moved once againe to resume that subject of my former letter, and in con- formitie therof to advise yow most ear- nestly, to consider with greater care your ser- vile condition, and to propose some better meanes, then yow have practised yet hi- therto, for the preservation of your contrey. To use any arguments of persuasion, to in- duce therunto, I knowe it is superfluous. For it must be yow of your selves, that must persuade your selves unto it. Yow see fol.133v
before your eies the lamentable state, wherto those other Provinces, which are associat with yow, and in subjection to the Spaniard, are violently drawen: without respect at all in him to the good of any towne, but to accomplishe in generall his ambitious deseignes. Yow see in what flo- rishing measure these Provinces united are bles- sed by God, and howe they prosper continually, in all their actions and attemptes. Yow see yowr owne calamitie, and can conferre your former times, with your present declination: in which notwithstanding yow are not yet so deep ly plounged, but that yow may by a good aggree- ment, and by the benefit of trafficke with the people of these contreis, and also by suche favors, as yow may easely obtene of the Q. my souveraigne, repare your badde estate, and come to more prosperitie, then yow have ever yet enjoied. These are suche motives, to cause yow to sur- cease from your obstinat courses, as there can be nothing more effectual. For which I neede but referre yow to your owne cogitations, and to that which yow have founde by the experience of your selves. Onely this I am to signifie, and also to assure yow, in as confident ma- ner, as yow can any way require, That if yow shall determine in convenient time (before by force of armes yow be driven to suche conditions as the Conqueror will impose) to reduce your native contrey to his wonted an- cient dignitie, and fully to restablishe all your privileges and liberties: whether it be that yow resolve to attene therunto by the helpe of her fol.134r
Majestie and by submitting your Province to her onely Protection: or shall otherwise desire to be onely of the union, with the rest of these Pro- vinces, with good warrant from her Majestie that whatsoever composition yow and they shall sette downe, shall stande inviolable, yow shall finde her Highnes most ready to em- brace any course, that may best content yow. And for your better assurance, if yow please to depute any one from among yow, to come hither, or will have some person sent from hens, to some neutral place of safetie, neere unto your selves, I will take what order yow thinke best: and will make yow both pri- vy to a sufficient Co[mission, which I have had already from her Majestie to deale with your Province in those former respectes, and likewise undertake to procure the speedy ans- wear to any article or motion that yow please to make besides. And so recom- mending the consideration of your owne estate to your best discretions, and pro- mising for my self my carefullest ende- vor for the advancement of your libertie, I &c./. From the Hage. October 26 1591.