Letter ID: 1097
Reference: BL, MS Cotton Galba D IX f.14r-15v
Citation: DCB/001/HTML/1097/008
Date: February 1592
Note: This document is badly fire damaged.
Copy of: 0374


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 pointe that passed heere between us. But yet as muche as is materiall I thought fitt to advertise with the first oportunitie. All his speeches tended to feele what I would say to his proposall of a peace: and by me to understand, howe her Majestie and the states were affected in the matter. But because I woulde not feede him with a frivolous hope of knowinge that by me, which I knewe not yet my self, I lette him plainly understand, that for her Majesties inclination it was unknowen unto me, and likewise of the states I would not speake but by conjecture. But in case he would acquaint me with the principall drift of his present Ambassade, and with the qualitie of those conditions that are intended to be offered, I would then as a privat privat person, and by way of communication, tell him frankely my opinion. Upon this he protested, that as alwaies he professed, and his father before him, the reformed religion, so he could not but tender the cause of these contreys: and in that respect would rather suffer any miserye, then become an instrument of the spaniard, whome he hated from his heart, 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 privatly spoken, without any Commission: upon confidence onely, that I would deale againe as roundly in retourning my opinion. First for himself, his present charge was no other but to negotiat with the states, that the rest of the Ambassadors 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 thei would send their Deputies to Collen. For the rest of the Ambassadors their commission was no other, but 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 fol.14v
any articles or matter to propose unto the states. Byt yet [he thought] 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 [King of] Spaine, whome by way abjuration they had exclu[ded for] ever from the rule of these contreis, they should therefore [condescend] to unite themselves in one with the rest of the 17 Provin[ces] all in general to acknowledge the Emperor for their S[overeign] and after his deceasse the heires of his body, or for f[ault of such] heires, to make choise in his familie, of whomsoever t[hey most] desire. He delivered this but as a plotte, not acco[rded as] yet by the K. of Spaine but projected by great p[ersonages] who, if the Treaty be accepted, make it easie enou[gh to] compasse: ether by procuring a mariage between the [Emperor] and the daughter of Spaine, and the inheritaunce of th[ese Countries] to be given in dowerie; or by some other suche persu[asion, as he] was well assured, would take good effect. So that [if the right] of Spaine were derived to the Emperor, and suche oth[er conditions] admitted withall, as the states might indent for their [further] securitie, there was no occasion to his understandin[g why that] ether the people of these Provinces, or any of their [allies,] should stand in any doubt of the puissance of the Sp[aniard] As touching the premises I made him this answear. [That] first for his owne suite, I sawe no likelihood of leave [for the] rest of the Commissioners to come unto the Hage, or to [any place] upon the confines. They were many in nomber, and som[e of them] they knewe by former experience, to be very ill affe[cted to the] cause of these contreis, and not any but himself well [instructed] in religion. By reason wherof we should alwaies [be in fear] of their couvert proceeding, and corrupting of the peop[le more] over 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 co[mmons of] this Contrey: and might turne to their prejudice both [in England] fol.15r
and in Fraunce: 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 other but to worke this people to a Treaty, it might aswell be perfourmed by one as by many, and assoone by their letters, as by their presence. For they should not neede to doubt, but that this Contrey would be foreward, 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 Emperor would endevor by vertu of his Imperiall autoritie among Christian Princes, to cause the Pope and Kinge of Spaine, to withdrawe their forces out of France, both the Queene and the Kinge would presently and willingly hearken to any Treaty, that might stand with their safetie. And untill suche time, as that be done, it was in vaine to my thinking, to make any motion to them or to this people. As touching that Project of reducing these Provinces to the Emperors obedience, being done in that order, as he had declared, by resignation of the Kinge, and suche couvenants accorded, as were meete to be requi- red, as farre as I could conceave in a matter 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 persuade 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 makinge over the inheritaunce of the contrey, it would require suche lenght of time, as I see litle cause to expect a good issue. Againe considering howe the Kinge shalbe touched in honor in the ende of so many yeares warres, and after the consumption of so great a treasure, to be forced by a handfull of people and by his owne Vassalls, to 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 fol.15v
minister unto him: that if he happen to prevaile in so[me battle in] France, he will presently retract all these offers of the Em[peror.] To reherse what he replied to every part of my speech [were] to comber your L. with unnecessary matter. In the ende h[e concluded] that he thought as I had saide, there was nothing to [be hoped] in dealing with the states, unles England and France w[ere 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, b[ut that] no intercession was used unto him, and of him self he [had no] cause. For in the sending of his Commissioners to dea[le with these] Provinces, he was moved unto it, by the Princes of G[ermany] being also bounde therunto, in as muche as these contre[ys depend] from the Empire, and were alwaies concluded in the circle [of Bur] gundie. But if the states would be persuaded to writ[e unto the] Emperor, and certefie expresslie, that without the notice a[nd assent] of England and France, they will not hearken to any [motion] he did not make any doubt, but that the Emperor therupo[n would] frame his course to their content. This is the summe [of a] longer conference, of which I humbly beseeche yow, to consid[er what] is fitte to be imparted to her Majestie and if any imperfec[tion be] noted in by my dealing, to excuse it with a worde of your h[onorable] favor. And so I take my humble leave. Hage February