Letter ID: 1015
Reference: BL, MS Cotton Galba D VIII f.102r-105v
Citation: DCB/001/HTML/1015/008
Date: 01 March 1591
Note: The folios are shorter vertically than most in the volume. There is ink hatching over the blank space of c.10cm above the text of fol.102v. There is a signature 'Q' in middle of bottom fol.102r.
Copies: 0289 



Endorsed: From the Queene the first of Marche 1590.

Addressed: To our trustie and welbelovid servante Thomas Bodley esquier our Counsellour in the Counsell of State of the United Provinces of the Lowe Countryes/



Later Addition: Belgia: 1590 February

Later Addition: Belgia 1591 Stilo Rom Pre: Martij To Master Bodly

Sign Manual: Elizabeth R

Trusty and welbeloved wee greete 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 Treasurer of England owr good liking of yowe in owr service theare, and have manie times when wee directed him to write to yowe, what was owr pleasure to be done by yowe in sundrie owr Cawses theare; Commaunded him to geve yowe knowledge of owr good Acceptacion of yowr service, and that spetiallie for that yowe alwaies preserved the Estimacion of owr princely authoritie in yowr Negotiacion with the States, Therefore wee dowbt not but havinge knowledge of owr favorable acceptaunce of yowr service yowe will continue the same Corse: And at this time spetiallie also wee doe allowe of yowr discretion in usinge of late owr Aucthoritie to staie certaine owr Capteines with their Bandes from repairing from theire places of Garrisons to the Sea side, for that yowe understood of the Prohibicion thereof, by the publicque Commandment of the States Generall, and of the Generall murmur and mislikinge of the universall Cuntrye: And nowe what owr Resolucion hath latelie been, to have the service 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 perticulerly understand the same at Sir John Norrice comminge thither by owr owne letters, both to the States, and to yowr self./

And wheare of late also wee understood that theare was an expec tation of certaine Ambassadors that weare sent from the Emperor fol.102v

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to offer Conditions of Peace in the K. of Spaignes name to thos 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 Papesticall faction on all partes, least the vulger people being also wea- ried with the warre, might be soe abused and entised with plawsible wordes, not wiselie looking to the Event and sequell, which could noe- wise be but dangerous, and thearebie the States and Gouvernors thowgh theare understanding might serve them to suspect thos persons /offers/, might yet not soe providentlie forsee in the beginninge before the offers showlde be made to refuse the Coverture of anie Treatie: therefore wee did cawse a Collection by waie of a Project in writinge 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 ane Communicacion or Treatie thereof with anie from the Emperor, or from the K. of Spaigne, or from anie of his Ministers: According to which Collecion in writinge, being sent to yowe, wee dowbt not but yowe have as yowe weare directed, pro ceaded, and proffited thearein, to the avoiding of the great danger that might otherwise ensewe, if the States showld be negligent to withstand the begin- ninges of soe dangerous purposes, whearein by all Circumstances of this time maie be vearie manifestlie discovered, that the intentions of anie fol.103r

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offers, are grownded onelie uppon dissimulacion, and to the advantage of the Spaniardes, and anie of thos Lowe Cuntries./ But nowe uppon later Advertisementz geven us owt of thos Lowe Cuntries, whereof wee doe nowe hearewith certefie yowe, not knowinge howe trewe the same are, thowgh the Advertise of duetie signifieth to us, that he feareth them to be trewe: wee cannot but with more Ernestnes renewe to yowe as a newe charge, to cawse yowe to be more Carefull hereof, and as yowe shall finde cawse to thinke them likelie to be trewe, so to endevor yowr self with the States Generall, or the Counsell as yowe maie discover the trewthe thereof, and accordinglie prosecute the withstandinge of the said reported purposes, or to reverse them utterlie./

The matters to us advertised are thes 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 was, 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 thes cannot be trewe, but that theare hath passed aforehand secretlie vearie dangerous practizes, not discovered by yowe: neither can the second bringe but danger also to the Common Cawse, if the same showld prove trewe: and of the latter wee have more Cawse to thinke it maie be trewe, bicawse wee heare that both at Dunkirk and Newport, theie are providing of sondrie shippes to come to thos Seas, and that certaine french Leguer shippes, are to come with them, and wee doe not understand that /of/ anie shippes of Flusshinge to be on the Seas./ Nowe therefore wee will have yowe speedelie discover whither thes be trewe, or that theare be anie likehood 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 fol.103v

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as so expreslie directed by us, requier the States Generall, and the Counsell to Consider, howe neither it can stand with their owne savetie nor with dewe regard to us, the onelie Prince of Christendome, that hath openlie protected them, to hir owne danger: nor with theire owne Bandes and Contract to assent, or to geve eare to anie Treatie of any 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 us, or of owr Gouvernor generall: such are the expresse wordes of theire Covernant: as for the daunger that maie ensue to themselves to accept of anie Condition of Peace or trewce, whearebie the K. of Spaigne maie for the time use all his forces of thos Lowe Cuntries against the French K.and consequentlie against us, and afterwardes to exercise his rooted hatred and his Ambition to Conquer thos Cuntries, and make them either Spanish and slaves, or vassils to Spaigne, yowe maie saie to the States, theie cannot be ignorant of the sequell thereof, having so often published to the world the manifest reasons of theire like danger, spetiallie when theie shall have abandoned owr defence, and shall stand uppon theire owne power farre to weake to withstand the vearie breathe of such a Conqueror, as the K. of Spaigne mindeth 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 loving subjectes: yowe maie avowe that noe Prince Christened havinge a Roiall hart can endure such an Injurie or indignitie: And for the last howe Contrarie it is to theire owne Covenant, yowe shall write to them, or deliver to them in writinge, the vearie Article of the Treatye 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 had hath been by some thowgh untrewlie alledged) at the time owr Commissioners treated with the K. of Spaignes Commissioners at Ostend, that by the next Article beinge the xxijth wee weare prohibited to treate with the K. of Spaigne withowt the fol.104r

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consent 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, [how] 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 yt appeareth wee have not Covenanted 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 unreasonable to have exclu- ded owr self generallie from Treatie with the K. of Spaigne, spetially the same beinge offred to us, beinge a thinge Notorious that wee maie have manie Cawses for owr owne dominions and peple to treate at anie time with the K. of Spaigne, seperatlie withowt treating for the state of thos Lowe Cuntries./ And soe wee would have yowe make it manifest to them, if yowe find anie of them of a Contrarye minde, that wee are not prohibited by anie wordes that ever passed from us by speeche or writinge, but that at anie time wee maie treate to have and keape Peace with the K. of Spaigne for owr owne domi- nions, and yet observe the whole Treatie with the States, yea give them Aide and succor as wee doe, if in makinge of the peace for owr owne Cuntries, the K. of Spaigne in respect of his other Cuntries can find it convenient for himself, soe 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 owrselves, soe as wee would have left the defence of the States and thos Provinces: But contrariewise to thos large and favorable offers wee utterlie refused to assent to anie Accord with the K. for owr self except he would have yelded to the States, a firme peace with all Conditions both of Relligion, and of theire Pollecies & liberties,is fol.104v

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is largelie as he had been by them hearetofore required. The refusall whe[re] of on the part of /by us to/ 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 Realme was browght, and howe ever since wee and our Realme have been burdened with a most chargeable and dange- rous warre, whearein wee are yet as the world seeth still encombred- soe as yt maie appeare wee did not treate to the prejudice of theire States, but refused peace for owr selves, to preserve theire States entiere./. Wherefore yowe maie first use thes former reasons as yowe see cawse to mouve them to forbeare to herken to anie offers withowt owr liking: But to all naturall men of anie wisedome, theare can be noe greater nor more weightie reason, in the sight of God and man, than this later, when wee refused peace for theire sakes, whearebie theie are bownd to us, even for themselves and theire posteritie, with the Bond of all humanitie, besides the Bond of Revenue, which theie owe to us, never to assent to anie offer of peace, or Treces by the K. of Spaigne, withowt owr privitie, liking, and Consent./ Thus wee have delivered to yowe owr minde to the intent to Instruct yowe howe to deale in this great Cawse, if yowe shall finde anie disposicion in thos States to herken to anie offer before owr assent be had theareto, accordinge to theire owne Goverment./.

Furdermore of late wee recommended 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 soddenlie made by the D. of Parma nowe whilest he is makinge his preparations for France, before he goe owt of Flanders, and the more wee maie dowbt the state thereof, con- sideringe the report of the newe preparations of the shippinge owt of Dunkirk, Newport, and 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 wise to be delaied: and that also yowe move them, to sett from shipping to the Seas to encownter that which maie be enterprised by them of fol.105r

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Dunkirk and Newport, and so also wee meane speedelie to Arme summe of owr owne shippes to lie uppon thos Coastes, and therefore wee should 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 Fortifications of the same Towne, and the defences against the Sea, and thearewith also that Sir Edward Norrece the Gouvernor theare, whoe deserveth to be Cherished and mainteined, as theie maie see by his good & valliant services, maie likewise have his enterteinment enlarged owt of thos Con- tributions, and so the rest maie be awnsweared 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 thearein./. Geven at owr Mannor of Grenewich the first daie of Marche: in the xxxiijth yeare of owr Reigne. 1590.