Letter ID: 1023
Reference: BL, MS Cotton Galba D VIII f.115r-116v
Citation: DCB/001/HTML/1023/008
Date: 23 March 1591
Copy of: 0292



Later Addition: [Belgia ]1591 stilo Romano 23 March To my L. Treasurer

Later Addition: Belgia: 1591: March:

May it please your good L. a letter from you of the 9 was delivered unto mee the 21 of this moneth: wherin you will mee from her Majesty to expostulate with the states for theyr slacknes in relieving the towne of Ostend. At sondry times before both her Majesty by her owne letters and also your L. in the name of her Highnes hath required my endevours to the self same purpose. And for mine owne parte I do assure your L. there was never any matter that I moved so often or so instantly urged as that of Ostend. But how the states stand affected, their letter to her Highnes which they sent by Sir John Norreis, and an other from my self, writt /which/ was written to your L. will certifie sufficiently. They are all of one Jugement, that the Governor hath no cause to presse her Majesty so far for any dout of the ennemy. Nevertheles upon this motion now againe, which I have made from her Majesty they have yelded to the sending thether of 2 companies of their owne nation: upon condition that when they shalbee prepared to go into the field, they may bee returned heer again. I have also obtained that such provision of powder and corne, as before they did but promise in generall termes, shalbee presently sent thether by order out of Zeland. Howbeit they do flatly avoutch that the publick magasin of the towne, hath bin alwaies by the countrey sufficiently stoared, but that it hath bin consumed in privat uses, by those of the garrison, without parmission from hence, & against the coustome of the Countrey. Moreover to such effect as before they have written once again, both into Zeland, & elsewhere, that good enquirie may bee made to learne the ennemyes proceadinges in those quarters of Flanders: to the end they may ordain whatsoever shalbee requesit. For as now they saie they know nothing of either sieg or surprise or other enterprise towardes. And though the Gouvernor have enformed her Majesty of many occasions of feare, yet neither hee him self did ever write so much to them nor any one of their officers that sejowrne in the garrison. which are as vigilant as may bee in every such occasyon.

Sir Edward Norreis is a gentleman of that merit, that every man hath knowen, & to mee in particular very friendly affected, for which I may be thought, both very unkind & inconsyderate to advertise any matter that is neither precisely within the compas of my charge, & may seeme in some sort to touch the credit of his actions. But forasmuch as my meaning being construed right fol.115v

Later Addition: Belgia: 1591: March:

is syncere & friendly & my duty to her Majesty must make mee sett aparte all private respectes, & because your L. I knowe will make no farder mention then is nedefull of my name, I will signifie somwhat how it standeth at this present between Sir Edward & the states. It is a general order of the contrey which every Gouvernor of any towne that belongeth to the States is strictly sworen to observe, that they shall not medle more or les with the matters of contribucion, of impost & accise, or of any point, that shall partaine to the civill pollicie of the place. Not onely thos that are Gouvernor deputed by the states, but they that have the charge of the cautionary townes are in that respect restrained by a spetiall article of the treaty. The case is very evident, & there is no Gouvernor of the Countrey that doth seeke to be exemted. nevertheles Sir Edward Norreys doth usurp that authority, & being often required to take an ohter course doth seem to heed yt so litell, as they have entered into speech to remove him from thence. hee pretendeth unto them, that hee doth nothing of him self, but by order from home, & by her Majestyes direction, which doth very much amuse the Councell of st[ate] & doth foster in manie an old rooted Jalousye, that her Majesties ministers would bee maisters of their townes & bring theyr Country into servitude as much as the Spaniard: whose gouverment they abjured for defence of their liberties. In effect I know theyr humor so well, and I see they are so peremptory in all theyr purposes as unles they bee obaied in their owne jurisdiction they care not if the Towne should fall to the Ennemy. and this in truth is the chiefest occasyon, that they hearken so unwillingly to any motion of the Gouvernor. For otherwise they know the Importance of the place as well as is possible. and they saie they will tender yt as much as shalbee requesyt, if they may bee respected as by all other gouvernours. Th[e] Gouvernor they Imagin to serve his private tourne is an author to her Majesty of many wrong impressions, and devised alarmes, making his desseing, to manege all thinges alone, & to conve[rt] the benefit of the generall meanes to his private uses: [or] at least to be disposed as hee himself without them shal[l] think most expedient. I am alwaies earnest to [persuade] them otherwise, alleaging his want of experience in [the affaires] of these countreys, and other matter of excuse, as [I have also] written to himself, & wished him in any wise to with[stand these] beginninges, & to apply his course somewhat more to the [nature of] fol.116r

Later Addition: [Belgia: 1591: March]

this gouverment. But because his aunswer hath bin, that hee frameth all his doinges with the notice of her Highnes, I have nothing to replie. For my self I see not, nor I cannot conjecture, how her Majesties service may be bettered by it. But I am verie much afraid, unles they have their willes, the end wilbee but trouble & danger to the place. the consideracion wherof and of my duty to her Majesty, & my confidence withall that your L. will suppresse my name in this matter, doth enforce mee to imparte this advertisment at length: Besides I thought not impartinent to give your L. to consider, the copie of a lettre which the Councel of late hath sent unto the Gouvernor. Two daies past I Rxd a lettre of the 22 of February writen at Dresden from Sir Horace Palavicine: Hee moveth mee therin to help to sett forward a second contribution, but I not douting, but the first was alredy heer accorded, & to signifie unto him, how the forces of that levie, might bee best employed for the benefit of these countreys.

For the matter of contribution Monsieur de Touraine was put in good hope at his beinge in the Hage, that the Provinces would yeeld to 10000li sterling. But they shall not finde them now so forwarde as then they made acchount. For unles it were Holland, which are well enough affected in respect of their portion, the rest of the Provinces wilbee hardly brought to any thing. Of a second collection there was never no speech, & I hold it in vaine to trust upon it. For as it should appeare by Sir Horaces letter, hee supposeth that the States wilbee drawen to contribute great sommes in regard of the service that the armie passing this waie may do to the Countrey. Howbeyt I do not finde that there is any opinion in these men heer, that the use of those forces can much advantage theyr estate. For they saie in private conference, that if the staie of the armie should bee long in thes quarters, it would turne the countrey to a great deale of detriment, and the opportunity would bee lost of assisting the King: as one the other side they can reape but litel benefit by a littel tariance. All the help that they expect is 3 or 4 daies service in the assault of Balduc, & the spoile in theyr passage of the ennemies countrey; moreover wheras yt is supposed both by Monsieur de Touraine & Sir Horace Palavicine that the States will joyne of their owne forces as well english as fol.116v

Endorsed: To my L. Tresurer March 23 1590

Later Addition: [Belgia 1591 March]

others, to accompanie the armie into Fraunce (for they spake to mee to that effect when they were at the Hage) I signified then unto them, & still I am parswaded, that any no the states will never yeeld that any nomber of their forces, shall go farder from the Provinces, then as they may finde a commodious retrait. What I write unto your L. I will certifie Sir Horace, & of any thing besides, that I can any waie conjecture to bee fit for his purpose. The Brute is much encreased, of Parma his resolution not to go into France, & because wee are advertised, that 40 peeces of battery ar provided at Anwerpe it is very much suspected, that hee will give some attempt upon Berghen, or Breda. The want of paie among his souldiers doth /cause/ a great discontentment in sundry of his garrisons, as now wee have intelligence of 2 ensignes of hye Dutche in Grave that are newly mutined, & by the rest of that garrison driven out of the towne. Verdugo as yt seemeth hath had some intelligence of that we have entended against Deventer & Zutphen, which he hath notified unto them, & they therupon are very buisily occupied in the fortification of theyr townes, & thus for this present I take my humble leave. Hage March 23 1590./