Letter ID: 0393
Reference: TNA, SP 84/45/1 f.1r-6v
Citation: DCB/001/HTML/0393/008
Date: 01 June 1592
Note: At the words 'and to my self' on fol.2r there are four vertical lines in the margin.
Copy of: 1145



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

Endorsed: 1o Junij 1592. Master Bodeleie to my L. Received not before the 27 of June.


May it please your good L. The 24 day of May, within a daies jorney of steenwicke, I re- ceaved her Majesties lettres to the General states, and to my self, with one from your L. which were dated the 8 and the 9 of the same. Advertised thereby of the pleasure of her Highnes, that I should deale with the Councel, and Count Maurice, aswell as with the states, for sending further succors to the service of the King, I parted presently upon it, and came the same day, where the Count was en- camped. Having signified there unto him her Majesties desire, and used requisit persuasion, to move him to advance it, he made me this answear, that he was very well assured of the states resolution, not to send for this present any more into France: for that the contrey had as- sented to a large contribution, for the atchieving heere of those attemptes, which are determined this sommer: which also tend to the assuring of the Province of Frise, and that their honor was enga- ged in the enterprise of steenwicke. Wherupon for himself, as it was not a mater, that belon ged unto him, but to the states of the contrey, so he thought it very hard, to be pressed therunto, not willing to intermeddle ether one way or other. And astouching the troupes, which her Majestie required of her owne intertenment, he was fully persuaded, that assoone as they were gone, the states would revoke their forces out of France: and that besides it would occasion a great discontentment among the people of these Provinces, and cause that nothing will be done ether heere or in France: which would prejudice exceedingly both her Majestie and them. This was the substance of his answear unto me: fol.2v
wherunto I replied, that howsoever the states had already resolved, to imploie their forces heere at home, both her Majestie and they had but onely one designe, which was to ruine the Enemie, by all the meanes they could devise. And seing in all apparance, he was already reduced to suche termes of extremitie, as an opportunitie nowe served, to precipitat all his power, and that very shortly, by assisting the king with suche strength as they were able, they could not answear in reason to their frindes and allies, for their wilfull neglect of a notable advantage. And to that which he objected, that they had levied a sub- sidie, in regard of their owne estate, and were nowe in suche an action, as they could not well give over, with the credit of the contrey, or the peo- ples satisfaction, it importing the deliverance of a principal Province, from subjection of the Enemie, her Majestie in her letter had made sufficient answear, That if the Enemie in France prevaile of his designe, his losses heere at home of a fewe litle townes will soone be recovered. And for contenting of the people, which can not happely conceave, howe the expending of their mony, to support a forraine Prince, can redounde unto the contrey muche more benefici- all, then it may doe heere among themselves, in these intended exploites, which are done before their eies, are understoode of them all, and carie a kinde of certaintie of that successe that they desire, That I signified was a point, in which his owne good endevor, with the rest of the Gover- nors, and those that have the maneging of the af- faires of their state, was specially required. fol.3r
For if they would resolve, to concurre in some good forme of a publicke Remonstrance, and travel in suche sort, as they were able with the people, it would undoubtedly prove easie, to compasse their good liking. But howsoever they were inclined, for withholding of their owne forces, her Majestie did expect, that they would not refuse her, for the enseignes demaunded of the Englishe assistance. For they might drawe out of Holland, for a present supplie, as good as 15 companies of their owne pay, which were reser- ved heare behinde, for defense against the Enemie, while the armie is at steenwicke. They have also lately intertened, as I writte unto your L. the 17 of the last, 2000 men of Juliers, to be imploied in their service, upon certaine weekes warning: so as nothing can impeache, but that the intention of her Majestie for the use of those that she requireth, should be willingly accorded. There was nothing said to this, that was greatly material, nor to divers other pointes, that I proposed to like effect. But he concluded all his answear, that for his owne particular, he would nether make nor marre the mater, but leave it to the states. To the self same purpose, as I had dealed with the Count, I dealt the next day after with the Councel of Estate: who thought the motion out of season, their Campe being setled in the siege of steenwicke: the taking wherof would free the land of Frise of a great contribution, amounting yerely at the lest to 24000li sterling, which is paied to the Enemie by the frontier inhabitants: for which they thought it im- possible, to gette the states to yelde unto it. They also urged therewithall, that the affaires of the fol.3v
that the affaires of the King did alter very muche, and were nowe in an other state, then at the time of the date of her Majesties letter. For they had letters from sundrie places, that Parma was retur- ned, and in all probablitie, would give some on- sette at his comming. And where her Highnes did require 2000 of her owne subjectes, to be shipped out of hand they stoode upon the Contract, that they could /not/ in equitie be otherwise disposed, then the Contrey shall appoint: for that her Majestie hath cau- tions, for the answearing of her charges. In con- clusion they tooke it, for a mater appertening to the states of the contrey, and so remitted me to them.

As I had formerly replied to the Countes allegations, I delivered the same to the Coun- cel againe, to witte in suche pointes, as their spee- ches agreed; and declared besides to their further objections, that they knewe well enough, they were able for a time, to spare a good power to the assisting of the King, and yet retaine sufficient strength, for defense of all their places. And as for that, which they had pleaded, upon the mater of remboursement, it was not greatly pertinent. For in a manifest case, of suche advantage to the cause, they should deale very strictly with her Majestie if having suffered those of Holland, to send certaine Regiments into France, without asking the advise of the rest of the Provinces, they would sticke at her demaunde, which is so orderly imparted, and desired at their handes. Againe, al- beit they were unwilling, to take any order in this mater, but put me over to the states, they were not ignorant notwithstanding, that the states inter- medling in a cause of this qualitie, was a flatte usurpation, and /that/ all the actions of these warres, by fol.4r
graunt of the Contract, were belonging onely to her Majestie and to the college of the Councel, whereby her Highnes had autoritie, as muche as all the Councel, to appoint the imploiment of their forces, for the service of the contrey. I wished them at last, that although they would not send any more of their owne, they should not stand with her Majestie for the 14 Englishe bandes, which if they would not permitte to be presently sent, being most of them there, and en- gaged in the siege, yet because it was hoped, that in 10 daies after, the service would be ended, and because they had besides them, sufficient forces of the contrey, to perfourme the rest that they intended, for the attemptes of this sommer, they should not make any further question, when steenwicke was re- duced. To which effect I did desire, that they would falle in consultation and give the states their best advise. But to that they would not answear. I had this conference with the Councel the 25 of May, in the campe before steen- wicke. But because they left me to the states, to whome her Majesties letter was addressed expres- sely, and were residing at the hage, I came hi- ther therupon which all possible speede: where I founde their assemblie dissolved for a time, and divers of the Deputies departed home into their Provinces, so as those that were remaining, made some doubt of breaking open her Majesties letter, for want of their being in competent number. But when I had declared to some in particular, that this Recesse of the states, at suche a time as the contrey had greatest neede of their service, would seeme a practise for the nones, to defeate her Highnes of her purpose, and that I thought she would goe for- ward, without attending their meeting, they assem- bled then as many, as were abiding heere in place, fol.4r
and used divers communications and com- ings too and fro, to debate the mater with me: which was all to one effect, with the speeches of the Count, and Councel of estate. But this they added more, that for their levies in Juliers, they were for that provision, which they made for Bri- taine, and not to be imploied in any other part: for which also their shippes, which they pro- mised for their portion, are all in a readines: so as nowe they doe attend, what her Highnes will resolve. Moreover for the companies in Holland, which I alleaged they might use in lieu of the Englishe; they had freshe intelligence out of Brabant, that Mondragon was in feeld with 1500 footemen, and towardes 400 horse: and had taken Sgravenwesel, which was a place of good strength appertening to these contreis. From thens, as it seemeth, he marcheth towardes Tournhout and Westelo, which are also castels in our possession: and as his forces shall augment, as by report they doe daily, they feare some greater mater. For prevention wherof they might not suffer those troupes to be sent out of Holland. Lastly they told me, that they had newly given leave to their Coronels in France, who they thought at this present, had scarce in all a 1000 men, to raise their numbers to two thousand four hundred, which they were in hope would satisfie the King, considering their estate: as they doubted not also, but her Majestie but her Mat would be moved not to presse them any more, upon notice of as muche, as they had de- clared, which they praied me to certifie. For as yet they were uncertaine, whether in a fol.5r
mater of that consequence, being fewer then they should be, and therfore not autorised to as- semble as a college, they might answear her Majestie by way of a letter: which yet they meant to putte againe in further deliberation. I am borne in hand by Master Buzenval, that he hath dealt very earnestly, to helpe this mater forward, being so commaunded by the King: but hath had no other answear, then that which I have signi- fied. To give your L. some notice of my privat persuasion, If her Majestie at first, as she requested them to yelde some greater aide unto the King, had required therewithall in absolut maner, that the 14 Englishe bandes should be pre- sently embarked, I thinke they had not made any great opposition, and I am sure it had im- peached the composing of their campe, whereby there had bin hope, that in the end they would have spa- red some enseignes of their owne. More over I hold it my duty to certifie your L. that where her Majestie doth account, that the 14 footecom- panies should make 2000 men, they will not reache to that number, in common conjecture, by seven or eight hundred at the lest. For there are almost 300 comprehended in the allowance of the dead paies and of suche persons in every company, as never come to service. It is also supposed that their other defectes, for want of ren- forcement out of England, and by reason of other accidents, and their losses in this siege, toge- ther with the number that will runne from their captaines, before they come to be embarked will stretche in all likelihood, to twice as many more. For there were slaine and hurt, before I parted from the campe, not so fewe as a 100 Englishe: of fol.5v
which there were 60 in one day sent to Campen, Horne, Enchusen, and Amsterdam. And no doubt they have decreased continually sins, and will doe more and more, as they come to harder service in assaulting or otherwise. Upon this weak- nesse of the companies both the states and the Coun- cel did earnestly insist, that being drawen away from hens, they should be forced out of hand to dis- solve their armie, the King should receave but a small relief of men, and at last by that meanes no- thing would be done of the one side or the other.

Because I doe presume, that Sir Francis Vere, and Sir Robert Sidney will advertise your L. of all that hath passed, sins their first sitting downe, I should but overtrouble yow with my particular relation. There is very good hope, that we shall carie away the place: and we looke to under- stand it within foure or five daies. At my be- ing there, the towne was blocked on every side, approches made into the counterscarffe, and the most of their gabbions placed already. And by this time I suppose, they have planted their artillerie: of which there were 47 great peeces, and a 11 for the feelde: wherewith they purpose to batter in foure se- veral places, for the making of two breaches. They have also made a cavallier, upon which they appoint to place some peeces of ordinance, for skouring the rampartes, at the time of the batterie. Besides thei have sette certaine pioners a worke to sappe the walles, and divers ingenors to devise artificial fires, and are determined to putte all in execution in one day, for the more astonnishement of the Enemie. The towne is very litle, and what garrison is in it, we can not conjecture. For thei have caried fol.6r
themselves very souldierlike, and having made many salies, never left us a prisoner, by whome we might learne the state of the towne. Sir Francis Vere hath bin shotte with a harquebuze in the smalle of his left legge, and his brother Horace Vere in one of his armes: but I hope they will bothe re- cover it quickly. The hindrance of that which was intended at Enchusen, proceeded of the Enemie, who not fully contented with the person alone of the principal partie, that was con- triver of the practise, required him to bring some other pledges besides, and more then could be well perfourmed, but with losse of longer time, then could conveniently be spared, before the siege of steenwicke. But the partie doth yet conti- nue in the handes of the Enemie, and his pollicie undiscovered. In the Marchants buisnes, which her Majestie recommendeth, I have tra- velled as muche as is possible for me, and I doe thinke they doe rest indifferently well pleased. The decision of certaine pointes, was differred by the states, with the companies good liking, to the end of certaine monethes, which when they be resumed, I will helpe to end to their content. And so be- seeching your L. to acquaint her Majestie with my dea- linges, I take my humble leave. At the Hage. June 1 1592. Your L. most humbly bounden Tho. Bodley.