Letter ID: 1184
Reference: BL, MS Cotton Galba D IX f.288r-289v
Citation: DCB/001/HTML/1184/008
Date: 04 September 1592
Copy of: 0414



Later Addition: 1592 4 September To my L. Treasurer

May it please your good L. I receaved the last of August at night, by the post of London, her Majesties lettre of the 22 of the same moneth, and one from your L. of the 21. The 2 of September I proposed to the States the points of my charge: which they required after of me, and I delivered them in writing: whereof heereinclo- sed I have sent you the transcript. In our conference together they requested me solemnly, as I tendered the good estate of her Majestie and the contrey, that I would signify plainly to them, whether her Highnes commandment for embarking the companies were directed unto me in suche paremptorie sort, that it might not be delayed for a litle longer time. Whereto in mine awnswear I praied them to thinke, that there was not any meanes, to differ the time in their behalf. They might allwayes parceave it by her owne often writing, and by the effect of those messages that I had delivered: which were to signify that purpose which is required at this present to be put in execution. And so I desired that they would understand it, and take some order out of hand, wherby her Majestie and the countrey might be served with content. And for their further assurance of her full determination, I offered them to reade the lettre sent unto me. They would not seeme to put in doubt the trueth of my speache, and therefore sought not to see what was written unto me: but being greatly dismaied went presently aside, and after communicacion had among themselves, they declared unto me, that if the state of their army were knowen to her Majestie considering how much it importeth her self, they were sure she would be moved to have her people imployed for the time of the siedge. For the Castel of Coevoerden was greatly distressed, and the Enemy to relieve it had assembled all his strengthe and was encamped close unto it. If the Englishe were withdrawen, and that supplie that was required for the garrison of Berghen, they should ether be constrained to dissolve their army presently, or by severing of their forces runne in danger of the ruine both of them and all the reste. Besides it would discredit the course of all their actions, and give occasion of murmur to the commons of the contrey, who had yelded this sommer to a great deale greater contribution, for an extraordinary Levie, then they had ever done before, amounting at the lest to six score thousand poundes sterling: which would all be cast away, and the people discouraged to doe the like hereafter. And where it might be supposed, that their army all together, surmounting every way the nombers of the Enemy, might make a good retraite, it was that which they doubted most. For the Enemies commanders were much to be respected, as men more sufficient, and of greater exparience, then Count Maurice had any. For defence fol.288v
of a sconce or of a towne and for besieging of a place and maintening a skermishe, they were well parsuaded of their service: but they thought them farre unable to marche awaye in parfit sort, without geving to the Enemy any special advantage, and to range themselves in that order, as if the Enemy should determine to bidde them battel upon the waye, they might answear it in skill as well as in courage. For these occasions they pretended that the lettres of her Majestie were wholy out of season, and therefore earnestly intrea- ted, that I would staye the publicacion of the pleasure of her Highnes and not certifie Sir Francis Vere, till they saw a little further, what the Enemy would attempt. I had not much to reply, in respect of those dangers, that they alleaged might ensue: but I declared unto them, that they were allwayes heretofore, to presume that the Enemy would rescue e place: and before that the siege was begunne by Count Maurice, they had knowledge from her Highnes that she would sende for the companies: that if any inconvenience shall followe therupon, by their comming from the campe, they should blame themselves and not her Majestie who could no longer forslowe the assisting of the King, aswell for her promise as for the urgent necessitie wherunto he was reduced, and they had reason to regard no lesse then herselfe. What her Majestie would resolve, if she knoweth their present state and heard their allegacions, I could not well conje- cture, but for mine owne particular, it was not left unto me, to doe as I would, and therefore prayed their assistance to the accomplishing of my charges. They knewe Sir Francis Vere was well affected to this contrey: he was nowe at the campe, and could judge by being present, if his troupes might be spared, without their prejudice. For if any such mater were apparant unto him, he would not be so wilfull, as to leave them in extremitie, which he was sure would not stande with her Majesties good liking. The mater thu[s] debated with speeches to and fro, when they sawe I would not yelde, not [to] signify to Sir Francis her Highnes intent, the whole assemblie was instant with [me] to refraine from sending to him, for no more but 2 dayes longer: whe[rewith] they thought they might be steeded, for that the Enemy was so neere, and [had] a purpose, as it seemed, and as Coevoerden required, to essay our forces [to the] uttermost. Their importunitie was so great, as to so s[mall a] demmande, which I hoped would not hinder her Majesties designes, and I parceave[d might] availe to satisfy their mindes, I was contented to assent and promise [not to] write, till that 2 dayes were exprered, to Sir Francis Vere, wherwith her Majestie, [I trust] will be nothing displeased, if your L. will vouchsafe, to thinke the [best] of my proceeding. We had intelligence to day, which is the se[cond of] the two, that they desired at my handes, that Coevoerden had compounde[d whereof] I have written this morning unto you, by a fitt opportunitie, which wa[s offred] fol.289r
me to send by one that went for Zeland. I have bin also with the States, to hasten their answear to her Majesties demaundes, and expecially to that which concerned the companies, declaring plainely to them, that I was minded this evening to dispatche unto Sir Francis. They signify thereupon that they will presently resolve, and will sett it downe in writing aswell for that mater as for the rest that I proposed, concerning Britaine, Ostend, and the 18 cannoniers, and send it me to day, or to morowe at the furthest. Which when I have receaved I will joine with this lettre and send it to your L. But if they happen to delay me, I will send away this lettre and conveye their answear when it cometh. Which I doe make a full accounte about the mater of the companies, will be altogether negative. And yet as farre as I parceave, by the maner of their dealing and by the opinion of others, they will not lette their passage. Howsoever they doe determine, I will right /write/ this night to Sir Francis Vere and send the copies of those lettres, that I have receaved, and the lettre unto him from my LL. of the Councell: which will cause him, I am sure, to come away fourthwith: and as soon as he is come, the directions sent unto us from my LL. the 1 of July last, shall be followed very thorowly. I have moved Master Caron, as your L. hath willed, to assiste me in my suite, to have the Companies away, with the liking of the contrey. He wanteth no good will, to doe his best in that behalf, but no doubt it is so, as he himself doth affirme, that it is not for him with this people, to make that motion for her Majestie. For considering their bent, he shall but purchasse an opinion of partiallitie in his dealing, and prevaile by no parsuasion. I can not learne by any meanes, to report upon knowledge, for what occacion he was sent for. To my understanding that which he doth pretend, about his privat estate is farre from the mater. For I am still of that opinion as when I writte to your L. the 20 of the last. Of the strength of the companies, that are with Sir Francis, as I have formerly advertised, the rolles were consigned, about the 10 day of August to the handes of Sir Thomas Wilkes, the musters being taken the 8 and 15 of July. I have sent heereinclo- sed the Abbreviat of them: having taken further order, that Master Allen the Commissary shall presently call a muster, when Sir Francis is returned. From the Campe we heare no more, but that the 2 of this moneth, Verdugo with his forces being fast by the Castel, it was surrendred to Count Maurice, having made their composition, to depart with bagge and baggage, and enseignes [disployed]. There were saide to marche away about the nomber of 500. It is advertised from neutral places, that are neere unto the Enemy, that in the attempt which they gave the 28 of the last, to enter our trenches, there fol.289v
were at the lest 400 slaine, and were all recovered by the Enemy, and carried away, unles it were a 100 which were killed in the trenches. Of ours there was one man onely slaine, and six others hurt, of which Count William was one being shotte a thwart the belly, but without a[ny] danger. Wheras we have bin told, that Count Charles Mansfield and Mondragon were there in parson, it seemeth by the occurrences, which come from neutrall places, that they are not with Verdugo. And thus I take my humble leave. At the Hage September 4 1592.