Letter ID: 0438
Reference: TNA, SP 84/46/103 f.100r-102v
Citation: DCB/001/HTML/0438/008
Date: 18 April 1593
Copies: 0027 



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

Endorsed: 18 April 1593. Master Bodeleie to my L. from the Haghe.

Later Addition: 18 April 93


May it please your good L. Having had some speeche with Sir Francis Vere, who hath signified unto me, what hath passed at the campe, in his dealing with Count Maurice, I see no other hope of obtening that demaunde wch he maketh for her Matie then I have formerly de- clared. For sith it was never but privatly re- solved, and onely wt condition, If her Majestie would assist them, they will make no other answear but privatly againe, and persist in that condition, without the whiche they have no meanes to compasse that ex- ploit. The place to be assieged is so deere unto the Enemie, as in every mans opinion he will straine to relieve it, with his uttermost power. And howe this contrey will be able to maintene suche a siege, both by land and by water, neither having a retraict, nor force sufficient to attend the Enemie, I knowe your L. doth consider. Were it so that a newe Levie of 2000 men would serve their turne, I should hope by good inducements they might be wonne thereunto. But they doe make their full account, that with a lesser armie, then ten or twelve thousand footemen complete, and two or three thousand horsemen, whereto I am assured they have not at this present, above 6000 foote and 1500 horse, they must never undertake it. It is not meete I should presume, to move her Highnes to doe somwhat for the advancement of this action, because I knowe it is considered, whatsoever can be said, both for the benefit of her countrey, and for the annoiance of the Enemie. But I am certainly persuaded, that if the place be obtened through her Highnes assistance, the statesmay be drawen to suche a reasonable treatie, as they will ether con- descend to a present remboursment of all her charges, fol.100v
upon the taking of the same, or deliver to her handes the possession of the place. I knowe not whether her Highnes be advertised thoroughly, of the revenue that is yelded by the villages and townes that are of that territorie. But I have very good intelligence, and suche as I doe thinke I may boldly write for certaine, that heeretofore in time of peace, the contribution brought in to the Gouvernor of that towne, hath amounted every moneth to ten thou- sand poundes sterling: which summe at this present is supposed to be greater: besides a further good it would bring unto her Majestie. That there should not in Ostende any garrison be needefull, but the towne to be deman- telled, or at lest so small a number, as seing it is supposed that 800 foote, and a 100 horse will suffice to garde the other, her Majesties yerely charges would not growe to be muche greater, then they are at this present.

Howsoever this attempt shall goe forward otherwise, I doe thinke Sir Francis Vere shall obtene an Englishe Regiment, to be paied by this countrey, if her Highnes will permitte it: and I hope it will be moved in the next assemblie of the states, which may be perad- venture about 15 daies hens. I will not trouble yow with relating, what we heare of their proceedinges, that are before Gertrudenbergh, for that Sir Francis being there, can deliver it more directly. But all occurrences agree, that the Enemie, er be long, will come forward to their aide. Some thinke they will endevor, to divert us from that enterprise, by plan- ting a siege to some towne in this contrey: for whiche the magistrates of Breda, Berghen up Zoome Tertol, steenberghen, have written earnestly hither for war- like provisions. Sir Edward Norreis doth advertise that by lettres intercepted, and prisoners lately taken, fol.101r
he is perfitly informed, that the designe of the Enemie is all upon ostende: wherupon he doth require, to be supplied of divers wantes. But for as muche as those of Zeland doe signifie nothing of it, nor no bruite is come of it from any other place, they make light of it heere, assuring themselves, that although the Enemie should intend it, yet the towne in all oc- casions may be easely succoured. Howbeit to sa- tisfie Sir Edward Norreis, I have procured an order for him, whereby he shall be furnished of all that shall be needefull. This day we have advertisment that a pigeon of the Enemie, which was sent from Boisleduke to Gertrudenbergh, with a lettre of encouragement, and with promises of reliefe, was taken by our people. The letter was in cipher, but presently deciphred, and an other letter written, with the very same cipher, which was fastened to the pigeon, and sent into the towne. The effect of it was, to will them to signifie, by making of two fires at a certaine houre in the night, if they were in state to holde out but 14 daies longer, before which time they did not doubt, but to worke their deliverance. But we knowe not yet heere, if the fires were so made at the time assigned. Out of Frise we understand, that Co. William and the enemie, mette bothe about a time, and at the passage where the Count did minde to erect his Fort: where bothe their armies were ranged in order of battle, and so continued together a good part of the day. But the Enemie would doe nothing, having taken by pre- vention the narrowest part of the passage, which was fittest for a fort. Nevertheles the Count doth proceede in the building of an other, in a place there fol.101v
adjoining, by which he hopeth that Groeninghen shall be greatly distressed. Heere is Coro- nel Stuart come lately out of Scotland, in message from the Kinge: of whose Instructions heereinclosed, I have sent yow a copie. It is interpreted heere, that all the other aricles, excepting the last, as touching his particular, and that which is owing from the states unto him, are but maters of complement, and pur- posely devised to grace his comming hither.

This Councel of Estate hath taken a resolu- tion, to deprive Sir Thomas Morgan of his gouvernment in Berghen, upon divers pretenses. First for that her Majestie had drawen her subjectes from thens, they were sure that her souldiers would not willingly obey him. Secondly that he had caried himself very ill, in the time of his gouvernment, to the prejudice of the state. and thirdly they would no longer have a gouvernor there, but as thei doe in other places, committe the charge to the Eldest Captaine: and change as they see cause. I have opposed against them as much as is possible, alleaging for the Gouvernor, that he is one of the ancientest souldiers, that hath ser- ved this contrey, that he was gone into his contrey, with their leave and good liking, that their souldiers have bin ruled very willingly by him, that he never yet refused, to come to answear any mater, wherewith they could charge him, that to condemne him in his absence, with/out/ citing him first, it had no forme of any equitie, that it could not be but taken very ill by her Majestie and be offensive to all that knewe it, with other speeches to like purpose. What my pleading will prevaile, I can not certainly say, because the fol.102r
mater may happen to be resumed by them But knowing, as I doe, their implacable humor, wheresoeover it takes a pitche, I am out of all hope of their better proceeding. And besides I may con- jecture by sundrie special tokens, that Co. Maurice un- derhande hath bin the autor of this course, and doth purpose, er be long, to place a favorit of his owne. And so I take my humble leave. From the Hage 18 April 1593. Your L. most humbly bounden Tho. Bodley.

Postscript: As I writte unto your L. in February last, their designe for this siege, hath bin imparted by Monsieur Buzenval to the King, who hath promised all the aide that he can possibly spare, both of horsmen and footmen, and he will joine with their forces, at the time of the siege, if any meanes shall be offered, to doe it conveniently.