Letter ID: 0996
Reference: BL, MS Cotton Galba D VIII f.49r-51v
Citation: DCB/001/HTML/0996/008
Date: 02 February 1591
Note: On fol. 49r, there is the signature 'L'.
Copy of: 0374



Later Addition: Belgia 1591. February 2.

Later Addition: Belgia 1591. February

May it please your good L. in the conference desired by the Emperors Ambassador, wherof I made mention in my last to your L. I should be over tedious, to recite every point that passed heere between us. But yet as muche as is ma- terial I thought fitte to advertise with the first opportunitie. All his speeches ten- ded, to feele what I would say to this proposall of a peace: and by me to understand, howe her Majestie and the states were affected in the mater. But because I would not feede him with a frivolous hope of knowing that by me, which I knewe not yet my self, I lette him plainely understand, that for her Majesties inclination, it was unknowen unto me, and likewise of the states I could not speake but by conjecture. But in case he would acquaint me, with the principal drift of his present Ambassade, and with the qualitie of those conditions that are intended to be offered, I would then as a privat person, and by way of communi- cation, tell him frankly my opinion. Upon this he protested, that as alwaies he pro- fessed, and his father before him, the reformed religion, so he could not but tender the cause of these contreis: and in that respect would rather suffer any miserie, then become an in- strument of the Spaniard, whome he hated from his hart, to ruine their estate. For whiche his purpose was no other, but to deale as I requested, very roundly and sincerely, and to disclose the whole designe of this present legation. Howbeit he requested me to take it of him, as fol.49v

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privatly spoken, without any commission: upon confidence onely, that I would deale againe as roundly, in returning my opinion. First, for himself, his present charge was no other but to negotiat with the states, that the rest of the Am- bassadors might have licence to come hither: or if they might not be permitted to come unto the Hage, that some place should be assigned upon the frontiers, or at lest that they would send their Deputies to Collen. For the rest of the Am- bassadors theire commission was no other, but to induce the states unto a Treaty: and that a Treaty being admitted, they were to send againe unto the Emperor, for some further instruction, not having yet receaved any articles or mater to propose unto the states. But yet he thought that in the ende, the motions to be made would come to this effect, That seing there was no hope, to reconcile this people to the K. of spaine, whome by way of abjuration they had excluded for ever from the rule of these contreis, they should therfor condescend, to unite themselves in one with the rest of the 17 Provinces, and all in gene- ral to acknowledge the Emperor for their Sou- veraigne, and after his decease the heires of his body, or for fault of suche heires, to make choise in his familie, of whomsoever thei mos[t] desired. He delivered this but [[.]] a plotte, not accorded as yet by the K.[[.]] but projected by personages, who, [[.]] the Treaty be accepted, make it easie e[[.]] to compasse: ether by procuring a ma[[rriage]] fol.50r

Later Addition: Belgia. 1591. February

between the Emperor, and the daughter of Spaine, and the inheritance of these contreis to be given in dowerie; or by some other suche persuasion, as he was well assured, would take good effect. So that if the right of Spainewere derived to the Emperor, and suche other conditions admit- ted withall, as the states might indent for their further securitie, there was no occasion to his understanding, why that ether the people of these Provinces, or any of their allies, should stand in any doubt of the puissance of the Spaniard.

Astouching the premises I made him this answear. That first for his owne suite, I sawe no likelihood of leave, for the rest of the Com- missioners to come unto the Hage, or to any place upon the confines. They were many in nomber and some of them they knewe by former ex- perience, to be very ill affected to the cause of these contreis, and not any but himself well instructed in religion. By reason wherof we should alwaies be in feare of their couvert proceeding, and corrupting of the people. Moreoever there were many respectes, for which I thought they would refuse, to send any man to Collen. For the bruite alone of their sending, might cause an alteration, among the commons of this contrey: and might turne to their pre- judice both in England and in France: where the occasion of their sending would be knowen to a fewe, but most men would imagine, that they had yelded already to an actual Treaty with the Enemie. And if their errand were no fol.50v
other, but to worke this people to a Treaty, it might aswell be perfourmed by one as by many and assoone by their lettres, as by their presence. For they should not neede to doubt, but that this contrey would be forward, if her Majestie with whome they had contracted, and the French Kinge who was greatly interessed, would assent therunto. And for my self I was persuaded, that if the Emperour would endevor by vertu of his Imperiall autoritie among Christian Princes, to cause the Pope and King of Spaine, to withdrawe their forces out of France, both the King Queene and the King would presently and willingly hearcken to any Treaty, that might stand with their safetie. An[d] untill suche time, as that be done, it was in vaine to my thinking, to make any motion to them or to this people. Astouching that Project of reducing these Provinces to the Empe- rours obedience, being done in that order, as he had declared, by resignation of the King, and suche couvenants accorded, as were meete to be required, as farre as I could conceave in a mater of that moment, and so newly proposed, it would not be rejected. But yet I thought it would prove a tedious peece of worke. For to send first into England and France to per- suade their Majesties to embrace a Pacification: and then to use intercession with the Pope and with Spaine, to revoke their forces: and after [[to]] capitulat upon the pointes of making ove[[r the]] inheritance of the contrey, it would require [[.]] length of time, as I see litle cause to ex[[pect .]] a good issue. Againe conside[[ring]] fol.51r

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howe the king shall be touched in honor, in the ende of so many yeres warres, and after the consumption of so great a treasure, to be for- ced by a handfull of people and by his owne vassals, to his surrender his title in so many Provinces, it is to be presumed, that he will use as many shiftes to protract the time, as every light occasion shall minister unto him: that if he happen to prevaile in some battel in France, he will presently retract all these offeres of the Emperor. To reherse what he replied to every part of my speeche, were to comber your L. with unnecessary mater. In the ende he con- cluded, that he thought as I had said, there was nothing to be hoped in dealing with the states, unles England and France were first solicited, and cessation of armes procured in France. That had also bin alwaies the opinion of the Emperor, who he knewe was desirous to have made his motion there at first, but that no intercession was used unto him, and of himself he had no cause. For in the sending of his Commissioners to deale with these Provinces, he was moved unto it, by the Princes of Germany, being also bounde therunto, in as muche as these contreis depend from the Empire, and were alwaies concluded in the circle of Bur- gundie. But if the states would be persua- ded to write unto the Emperor, and certifie expressely, that without the notice and assent of England and France, they will not hearken to any motion, he did not make any doubt, but that the Emperor therupon, would frame his fol.51v

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course to their content. This is the summe of a longer conference, of which I humbly beseche yow, to consider what is fitte to be im- parted to her Majestie and if any imperfection be noted in my dealing, to excuse it with a worde of your honorable favor. And so I take my humble leave. At the Hage. February 2 1591. Your L. most humbly bounden Tho. Bodley.