Letter ID: 0027
Reference: BL, MS Cotton Galba D X f.71r-72v
Citation: DCB/001/HTML/0027/008
Date: 18 April 1593
Copy of: 0438


May it please your good L. having had some speech with Sir Francis Vere who hath furnished unto me what hath passed at the campe in his dealing with Count Maurice I see no other hope of obtaining that demaund which he maketh for hir Majesty then I have formerly declared, For syth yt was never but privately resolved, and onely with condition, yf hir Majesty would assiste them, they will make no other answere but privately againe and parsist in that condition withowt the which they have no meanes to repasse that exployt, The place to be assieged is so deere unto thennemy as in every mans opinion he will straine to relieve it with his uttermost power, And how this contrey wilbe hable to maintayne such a siege boath by land and by water, neyther having a retraict, nor force sufficient to attend the enemy, I know your L. doth consyder. Were yt so, that a niew levy of 2000 men woulde serve their turne I should hope by good inducement they might be wonne, thereunto But they doe make their full account that with a lesser army then 10 or 12 thousand footmen complete, and 2 or 3 thousand horsemen, whereto I am assured they have not at this present above 6000 foote and 1500 horse, they must never undertake yt. It ys not meete I shoulde presume to move hir Highnes to doo somwhat for the advancement of this action, bycause I know yt ys consydered, whatsoever can by sayd, both for the bennefytt of hir contrey, and for the annoyance of thennemy. But I am certainly parswaded that yf the place be obtayned through hir Highnes assistance the states may be drawen to such a reasonable treaty, as they will eyther condiscend to a present remboursment of all hir charges upon the taking of the same, or deliver to hir handes the possession of the place. I know not whither hir Highness be advertised throughly of the revenue that ys yeelded of the villages and townes that are of that territory. But I have verie good intelligence, and such as I thinck I may boldly write for certaine, that heretofore in time of peace the contribution browght in to the gouvernor of that towne hath amounted every month to 10000 powndes sterling which somme at this present ys supposed to be greater, besydes a furder good yt would bryng unto hir Majesty. That there should not in Ostende anie garrison be needfull, but the towne to be demantelled, or at least so small a nombre, as, seeing yt ys supposed that 800 foote and 100 horse will suffice to garde thother, hir Majestye[s] yeerly charges would not growe to be much greater then they are at this pnt, Howsoever this attempte shall goe forward er otherwise. I doo think Sir Francis Vere shall obtaine an English regyment, to be payd by this contrey yf her Highnes will parmitt yt and I hope yt will be moved in the next assembly of the States which may be paradventure about 15 dayes hence. fol.71v
I will not trouble you with relating what we heare of their proce[edings] that are before Geertrudenberghe, for that Sir Francis being there [can deliver] yt more directlie, but all occurrences agree that thennemy [er be long,] will com forward to their ayde. Some thinck ther will in[devor] to diverte us from that enterpryse, by planting a siedge to som[e towne] in this contrey for wch the Magistrate of Breda, Bergh[en op] Zome, Tertoll, Steenberghe, have wrytten earnestlie hither [for] warlicke provisions. Sr Edward Norreys doth advertise that [by letters] intercepted and prisoners lately taken he ys perfectly inform[ed that] the dessinge of thennemy ys all upo Oostende; whereupon he [doth] require to be supplyed of divers wantes, But forasmuch as th[ose of] Zeeland doo signify nothing of yt, nor no bruite ys com of yt from [any] other place, they make light of yt here, assuring themselves [that] althoughe the ennemy should intende yt, yet the towne in all [occasions] may be easely succoured. Howbeyt to satisfye Sir Edward No[rreys] I have procured an order for him, whereby he shalbe furnished [of all] that shalbe needfull. This day we have advertisment th[at a] pidgeon of the ennemy which was sent from Boisleduc to Ge[rtru-] denbergh with a lettre of incouragement and promis of reliefe [was taken] by our people. The lettre was in cipher but presentlie deciphe[red, and] an other lettre written with the very same cipher which was f[astened] to the pigeon and sent into the towne. Theffect of yt was [to will] them to signifye, by making of two fyres at a certaine ho[ure in] the night yf they were /not/ in state to hold owt but 14 dayes long[er] before which tyme they did not dowbt but to worck their [deliverance] but we knowe not yet here yf the fyres were so made a t[he] time assigned, Out of frize we understand, that C[ount William] and the ennemy mett both abowt one time, and at the pa[ssage] where the Count did minde to erecte his forte, where [both their] armyes were ranged in order of battaile and so continued tog[ether] a good part of the day. But thennemy would doo nothing havin[g taken] by prevention the narrowest part of the passage which was [fyttest for a] forte. Neverthelesse the Count doth proceede in the building of [an other] in a place theare adjoining, by which he hopeth that Groeningh[en shall be] be greately distressed. Heere ys Coronel Stewart [come] lately owt of Scotland in message, from the K: of whose instruc[tions] here inclosed I have sent you a copye. It ys interpretted here [.] that all thother articles excepting the laste, as towching his parti- ular, and that which ys owing from the States unto him are but matters of complement, and purposely devised to grace his coming hither fol.72r
This Councell of Estate hath taken a resolution to deprive the Sir Thomas Morgan of his gouvernment in berghen upon divers pretences. First for that hir Majesty had drawen hir subjectes from thence, they were sure that their soldiours would not obey him. Secondly that he caryed himselfe very ill in the tyme of his gouvernment to the prejudice of the State. And thirdly they woulde th no longer have a gouvernor there, but as they doo in other places commytt the charge to the eldest Captain. And chainge as they see cause I have opposed against them as much as ys possible, alledging for the Gouvernor that he ys one of the auncientest soldiours that hath served this contrey, that he was gon into his contrey, with their leave and good lyking, that their soulgiars have bin ruled verie willingly by him, that he never yet refused to com to answere anie matter wherewith they coulde charge him, that to condempne him in his absence, withowt citing him first yt had no forme of any equity. that yf could not be but taken verie evill by hir Majesty, and be offensive to all that knewe yt, with other speeches to lyke purpose, what my pleading will prevaile I cannot certainly say, bycause the matter may happen to be resumed by them, but knowing as I doo their implacable humor whersoever yt takes a pitche, I am owt of all hope to their better proceeding And besydes I may conjecture by sundry speciall tokens, that Co. Maurice underhand hath bin the author of this course, and dothe purpose ere be longe, to place a favorite of his owne. And so I take my humble leave from the Haegh the 18 April 1593.