Letter ID: 0030
Reference: BL, MS Cotton Galba D X f.123r-124v
Citation: DCB/001/HTML/0030/008
Date: 04 May 1594
Note: Fire damage obscures some of the text. There are ink hatchings along the bottom margin of each page.
Copies: 0441 0029 



Sign Manual: Elizabeth R

Endorsed: An Instruction to Thomas Bodleigh esquire our servant, sent by us to the states generall of the Low Cuntries and the Count Maurice for the causes followinge. given the fowrth of May 1594

You shall use all expedition to deliver our lettres to the generall States, or in their absence to the Councell of State whereby we have required them to give you audience and to yeald to such requestes as you shall make unto them on our behalfe for the reasons followinge.

You shall declare unto them that the Spaniardes which are in Bretaigne have of late taken and fortified a speciall place in the haven of Brest, whereby if they shall not be speedely empeached, they shalbe commanders of that haven, being the moste principall place, whereby they shall become Lordes and commanders of all the trade by sea westward, ether towardes Bourdeaux, Rochell, Spaine, or other places westard whatsoever, and thereby shall also empeach and interupt all manner of marchantes passing from the east toward the west, as all men of knowledge and understandinge of the situation of that haven being one of the best havens in Europe and so neare to the streight betwixt England and Fraunce, may very well consider and fynde most necessary to be in the beginning with speed withstood. For which cause you shall lette them knowe that we have caused the sayd fortification so begunne by the Spaniardes to be be viewed, and the meanes also discouvered howe with con- venient force by sea, and with men to enter uppon the lande, the same enterprise of the Spaniard may be (if it be taken in hande speedely) ether defeated or made frustrate For which purpose we are determined to send certain shipping thither with a number of men to attempt this service, and for the more expedition besides some good numbers otherwise levyed and provided within our realme, we require the States to yeald some succor also by shipping on their part to accompanie ours accor- ding as is by speciall contract covenanted on their part. because the Spaniardes have already armed certain shippes and doe use them betwixt our Coastes of Eng- land and the partes of Fraunce toward the landes end of England where they have already taken some of our subjectes shippes, And beside that we understand by report that the Spaniardes doe mean to bring into that haven some new forces of shipping which they are preparing newely in Spayne wholy to possesse the sayd Harboroughe, being able to harborrugh and hold above a thowsand shipes of the greatest burden. And the greater number of shipping that they will yeald unto us they shall not onely therein greately content us but further that which shalbe proffitable for them and their generall state, which cannot be but damnefied and endaungered, considering the maintenance of the State of those Cuntries consisteth uppon the free trade of Navigation unto the west partes thorough our narrowe seas. And this ayd of theirs we require to be speedely fol.123v
speedely given, and to be sent towardes Portesmowth or Plimmo[uth] westerly portes of our realme where they shall have knowledge with our Navye which we have ordered speedely to repaire towa[[rdes]] of Brest.

Secondely you shall lett them knowe that we require to have suche [[sub]] jectes as be there in our pay to be speedely brought from thence to the [[.]] shipped there and brought to joyne with other our forces levyed and [[.]] to goe by sea toward the sayd porte of Brest; for conduction of wh[[.]] Sir Thomas Baskerville knight to take the generall charge of the [[.]] to bring them from thence by Sea, to whom we require the States [[.]] nable Commission for the saffe passage of him and the sayd compani[[e]] where he shall fynde them unto the Sea side, And that he may h[[.]] to take up and give sufficient shipping in Zealandfor the transp[[.]] sayd numbers uppon reasonable hyre of the same.

And though we did readely yeald of late at the request of the St[[ates]] cause to be Levyed one thowsand five hundred soldiors within our re[[.]] sent over thither by Sir Frauncis Veer, and did also direct to be sen[[t]] under the Count Maurice other numbers which before had served [[.]] some also out of Vlissing and Brile & other places: Yet we did yeald these succors to them uppon condition (and not otherwise) that that we should have cause given us by anie accident following [[.]] service of these our people, they should uppon our request returne [[.]] service in anie place that we should command them. And th[[.]] we doe imagine they will be loath to forbeare the service of these [[.]] because of their purpose by the defence of Covarden to recouver the [[.]] ghen, a matter we cannot denye but may be beneficiall unto the[[.]] comparable in common benefitte to the defeating of this purpose [[.]] for the possessing of Brest. And the matter touching us so neare [[.]] cannot forbeare to seake to have the ayd of our owne people being a [[.]] bound to serve us before anie others. Whereuppon you shall earn[[.]] them that they will give order to all such that be our naturall [[.]] there serving in bandes may be licenced to return under the charge [[.]] Sir Thomas Baskervyle. And if they shall object that the [[.]] newley Levyed by Sir Frauncis Veer are in their pay and have be [[.]] their charges. Yet you shall say that we thinke considering the [[.]] fol.124r
doe owe us, and that they never did yeald us anie benefitte in money or other- wise towardes the recompense of our excessive charges these manie yeares; they may forbeare that charge. And if otherwise they will not freely yeald it unto us as some token of their good will, we shall be content that such sommes of money as have been defrayed by them for their levye, and their wages there, may be accompted as a portion of the debte which they owe us, whereof we shall acquitte them. And because we thinke they will hardely be induced here unto: we are contented that uppon the peremptory refusall hereof for the yealding to us of the service of these xvC so newely levyed: You shall pre- cisely require them that the rest of our Companies being footemen that went from Ostend and other places towardes their service being in our pay may be returned. Adding that you will advertise us of such reasons as they shall alleage for the stay of the others, giving them some hope that if they will give some ayd of shippinge according to the contract, and give expedition for the returninge of our sayd numbers being now in their service and in our pay We may be the better contented with their manner of aunsweares. But in no wise you shall accept of them anie argumentes or aunsweares for the delay of the sending away of these our men that are in our pay wherein we doe not meane to have anie of our horsemen to be revoked. And if it shall so happen that they will (as here tofore they have), stand in termes. not to commande the comming away of our people by their Commission, but shall yeald to suffer them: Then you shall give Sir Frauncis Veer knowledge of our pleasure for the reduction of them from thence as you shall prescribe unto him for which purpose you shall have our lettres to him to followe your direction.

Item. because we take it that these our people are at this present in the field towardes Friseland under the commandement of Count Maurice as Generall of the armie of the States: you shall have our lettres also of Credette to him, to whom you shall ether by your lettres, or by your selfe if conveniently you may repayre to the Campes imparte these former reasons herebefore expressed to be shewed to the States for the having of our people from thence to this service above expressed. And if you shall fynde it difficulte to have the service of the xvC newely levyed under th charge fol.124v
charge of Sir Frauncis Veer: Then you shall lette the sayd Sir F[raunci]s understand that we are contented that he shall continew there with them, and [[he]] shall use all the expedition he can to return from thence under the charge of [Sir Tho]mas Basker vyle all the rest of the Companies that are in our pay. And for [[the ch]]arges of their reduction from thence and their embarking: we have given o[[rder to]] Sir Thomas Baskervyle shalbe furnished with money for the same purpose. [[.]] as soone as you have obtained this our request, considering we understa[[.]] you have cause for your own private busines to returne hither, we are con[[tent you]] shall so doe not doubting but you will employ your selfe to the uttermoste [[.]] as much of these our requestes as possibly you may.

If our forces which we require to be returned are so farre pas[[.]] Frizeland as a long tyme shalbe passed before they can be returned a[[.]]ht to Flushing to be there embarked. Then we have determined [[Sir]] Thomas Baskervyle fynding the same to require longer tyme to be [[.]] from Frizeland, then one service shall require, shall by vertue [[.]] to the Gouvernors of Flushing, the Brile, and Ostend receav[[.]] companie as shall make one thowsand & one hundred men which he [[.]] all speed that he may cause to be shipped at Flushing and Ostend, [[.]] them to Portesmowth For supply whereof we will that Sir Fraun[[cis Veer]] shall send from Frizeland or the Camp so manie of our forces as are [[.]] under him to the sayd number of one thowsand one hundred to serv[[.]] sayde Townes of Flushing, Brile and Ostend. And this our [[.]]tion you shall impart to the States if you fynde likelihood that th[[.]] cannot be brought with such speed as the service requireth and p[[.]] same to be executed, of which our purpose we have by our lettres cert[[ified to]] Frauncis Veer to whom you shall send the same. For a further reason to induce the States to yeald to the send[[ing .]] of these companies demaunded you may lett them knowe that [[.]] shall see that such men as we spare for their service cannot be [[.]] our owne Coastes are in daunger, they wilbe sory to be at charge of [[.]] sending forth /to/ their continewall consumption. William Burghley