Letter ID: 0029
Reference: BL, MS Cotton Galba D X f.122r-v
Citation: DCB/001/HTML/0029/008
Date: 03 May 1594
Note: The text is copied into a central column.
Copy of: 0030


3 May 1594. Instructions given to Master Thomas Bode- leigh, being sent to the States Generall and Counsell of Estate, and the Counte Maurice for these hereafter following.

To deliver the letters with all expedition, and to desire audience.

To declare unto them that the Spaniards, which are in Brittagnie have taken and fortified an especiall /place/ in the Haven of Brest; if they be not em- peached, they will be commanders of it, whereby they shall become Lords of all the trade westward, either towards Bourdeaux, Rochell, Spayne, or other places westward whatsoever. They shall also empeach the trade from the East towards the West. Which in the beginning we must with speed withstood. For that cause you shall lett them knowe that wee caused the fortification to be viewed, and discovered, by which meanes this entreprise of the Spaniards might either be defeated, or made frustrate. That wee determined to send some shipps with a nomber of men to attempt this service, wee require the States to yeeld some succor, according as by especiall contract is covenanted. That they Spaniards have taken alreadie some of our shipps, and are preparing in Spaine new forces of shipping to place in the same haven, which is able to hold 1000 shipps of the greater burden. That the more shipps will send us, the grealier they will content us, and their Generall State can not be damnified by it, considering the maintenance of the State of those Countries consisteth uppon the trade of navegation into the west partes thorough our Narrow Seas, and this aide of theirs to be speedilie given, and to be sent towards Plimmouth, Portsmouth, or other westerlie ports of our Realme, where they shall have know- ledge how to meete with our Navie, which wee have ordered speedilie to repaire towards the said Haven of Brest. Secondlie that such soldiors and forces of our Subjects, as be there in our paie maie be shipped over, and putt in order to goe by Sea to- wards the Port of Brest, under the conduct of Sir Thomas Baskerville Knight, whom wee have sent to take the generall charge of the said nombers. And although wee did levie uppon the request of the States 1500 souldiors, yet wer it done upon such condition, that if wee should have cause given us by anie accident following to have the service of these our People they should returne uppon our request retourne from thence to our service in anie place wee should command them. And albeit wee doe imagine they will be loath to forbeare their service, because of their purpose by the defence of Covarden to recover the towne of Groninghen, a matter wee can not denie, it maie be beneficiall unto them yet nothing com- parable in common benefitt to defeating of his purpose of the Spaniard for the possessing of Brest, whereuppon you shall earnestlie require that they maie be licenced to returne under the charge of the fol.122v
the aforesaid knight. If they alleadge, that the 1500 which were newlie levied by Sir Francis Veer, are now in their paie, and have bene levied at their charges, you maie replie that wee considering the great debtes they doe us and that they never did yeelde us anie benefitt in monie, or otherwise, they maie forbeare that charge, if they will not, that wee will be content, that such summes of monie as have bene defraied by them of their levie, and their wages, w maie be accompted as a /portion of a/ debt which they owe us, whereof wee shall acquite them. which if they denie you shall preciselie require that those companies which being in our paie, were taken out of Ostende, and other places shall be returned, and you shall take no answers for the delaying of those men, that be in our paie. And if they will not yeeld no waies to our request, you shall [.] give Francis Veer to understand our pleasure of the reduction of them from thence. An because wee thinke that wee think our is in Frieze land with Counte Maurice in his campe, wee will you that you shewe letters of creditt unto him. And if you find it difficult to have the service of the 1500 newelie levied, then tell Sir Francis Veer, that wee be content that should tarie there, but give good order, to send over those which are in our paie.

And if they be so farr gone into Friezland with Counte Maurice, that it will be long ere they can be embarqued and doe us service, you shall have our letters of creditt to the Gouvernors of Flushing, Ostende &c. to levie 1000 men there to be brought over, which ought to be supplied again out of the campe by direction of Sir Francis Veer.