Letter ID: 0467
Reference: TNA, SP 84/50/50 f.49v- 53v
Citation: DCB/001/HTML/0467/008
Date: 22 February 1595
Copies: 1239 0670 0544 0762 



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

Endorsed: 22 February 1594. Master Bodeleie to my L. From the Haghe./ the deth of the archduk Ernestus, Colonnell Stuard in the Low Contreis.


May it please your good L. to that effect that I writte the 14 of this moneth, there have bin cer- taine deputed in the meeting of the states, to come in conference with me about my Proposition, and this they have delivered from the rest of the Assemblie, That they were greatly perplexed through those de- mandes of restitution; not knowing howe to frame the course of their proceeding. For though they can not but acknowledge, and doe it most willingly, that through her Majesties succors, next to God, they are in farre better state of securitie and assurance, then they have bin heeretofore, for many yeres together, yet they have not attained to that abilitie and power, as they can therewithall discharge their debt unto her Majestie. They alleage many lettes, but nothing so muche, as the [In margin: burden of subsidy]
intolerable burden of their extraordinarie subsidies which have growen upon them more and more, for these fower or five yeres: and are raised of late to a very highe summe, occasioned in part by their offensive ex- ploites, and partly by their often and chargeable re- lieving of the French King, in his manifold distresses. By reason wherof they doe inferre, that the chief con- tributing Provinces are farre in arrierages, and pay excessive summes of mony, for the use of that they have bo- rowed. And though it might be surmised, that they have aided the King, not so muche in regard of his urgent necessitie, as de gayete de coeur, and to winne his affection, for hidden respectes, yet they protest thereupon with very great vehemencie, that they were ever more farre from any suche jollitie, and would not have him to enjoy a foote of grownde in their contrey. For that which drewe them on, to helpe and assist him, was the generall consideration of his condition and their owne: and they made this account, that for as muche as her Highnes did support him with her forces, if they in fol.50v
like maner should straine their estate to uphold him a litle, it would both be a meanes to save him from fal- ling, and to divert the Enemie from themselves: wheras otherwise, if those of the League had prevailed against him, these Provinces at last must have boaren alone the weight of these warres, and then bin subject in the end, and her Majestie no lesse, to an apparant great number of most perilous inconveniences. And wheras it may be argued that their late reduction of so many good townes, hath both greatly assured the state of these Provinces, and richely augmented their general meanes, whereby they are inabled to some portion of remboursment, they make remonstrance to the contrarie, as if in everie of these Provinces they have rather bin surcharged, then any thing eased hitherto: and that by reason of the excessive charges of newe garrisons, of necessarie reparations, forti- fications, and other extraordinarie occasions, and because the boores contribution is but very litle bettered of that it was in former times. Moreover they say they finde it in debating very doubtfull and dangerous, in what sort they should proceede for the answearing of her Highnes to my proposition. For in a mater of that qualitie to make a resolute answear, without the privitie and good liking of the Provinces and people, they dare not of themselves, and it will not stand for good: and then to acquaint the vulgar sort with her Majesties demandes, were to make it also knowen to all the Enemies Provinces, and so to all men in general: wherupon it would be bruited, That her Highnes had withdrawen her accusto- med assistance, and had required present paiment of her monies disboursed: which they are mightily all afraid would turne very quickly to their infinit detriment: aswel for that the Enemie, who is nowe in all apparance at a very great after deale, will be hartened thereby, and putte in practise newe designes, and multiplie his forces by all possible meanes, as because on the other side fol.51r
side the people of these contreis will be cast downe in courage, and despaire of withstanding the puissance of the Spaniard. For where they might have hoped after so many yeres endevors, so large contributions, and so many late victories, to reape some solace, and ease of their bur- dens and travels, if nowe they should perceave that for many yeres heereafter, their taxes and exactions will falle a great deale more heavie, then they have bin heeretofore, first by meanes of their ordinarie and extraordinarie charges of the warres, and then by the losse of her Majesties forces, and most of all by this remboursement, it were greatly to be doubted that they will runne a wrong course in the heate of their dislike. For that is it which they affirme to be a principal cause, of their late intertaining of this Englishe Regiment, that the actions of their warres might be countenanced alwaies, with the name, and opinion, and re- port of assistance continued to them by her Highnes in so muche as they pretend, that for the most the meaner multi- tude are no otherwise yet informed, but that they serve as a part of Auxiliarie forces, and are in pay of her Majestie. So as alwaies they have founde in all the time of these troubles, that they have not onely made warres, and an- noied the Enemie with the aide of men and mony, but with very opinions, and conceats, that they were favored and protected by the greatnesse of her Majestie.

These thinges, thus delivered, they saied they were also charged, to participat unto me the Scottishe Kinges letter, [In margin: Scottyshe]
and his request by Coronel Stuart, wherof they told me the Contents, and then read the letter to me, and the Coro- nels Instructions translated into Frenche, whiche I send heereinclosed copied truly by the originals. Their speeche unto me upon it was this in substance, That they for themselves were nothing well instructed of the state of the King, nor of those proceedinges of his rebels: but if it were so, as those writinges imported, and they had further understood by the Coronels relation, fol.51v
there was great occasion offered, to move her Majestie and them, and as many as are embarked in this common cause together, to heede it in good season, and to affourd the King a round assistance. For sith the Enemie spedde no better in his former attemptes, all men might con- jecture, that he would not lette slippe a fitte opportunitie, to make a breache by Scotland, for the assaulting of En- gland, and so to compasse all at ease, both heere and in France, all his other designes. For their owne partes, they to their abilitie, would be willing to doe any thing, to meete with those dangers: not sturred unto it, as some men might imagine, for some secret purpose, but onely in regard of the general cause: which provoked them at first, to assist the King in France, and doth move them at this time, to tender the state of the Scottishe King, and if her Highnes in like maner in her Irishe com- motions, should have any kinde of neede, to use their meanes or service there, they would stretche their strength to the uttermost, to accoplishe her desires. And this they uttered with wordes of great assurance and earnestnesse. They concluded in fine, that first for the mater of rem- boursment, they would lay their allegations open to her Highnes before suche time as they would publishe her message to the Provinces, and would beseeche her to balance the weight of their reasons with her princely consideration. They expected within a sevenight the comming of the Deputies of Gueldres and Overyssel, who were buisied in those quarters in persuading the people to this yeres contribution. Assoone as they were returned, I should presently re- receave their answear in writing: they praied me the while to intimat so muche by lettre to her Majestie: least per- haps it should be deemed, that they have an intention to use some delay. And they secondly they requested me in the name of the states, sit they could not well deter- mine what course to embrace in the forsaid motion of the King of Scottes, that I in that respect would frankly com- municat my counsaile unto them, to witte, what I thought fol.51ar
would best accord with her Majesties acceptance, and the pleasuring of the King: because it was their full de- sire to proceede in those actions, with good correspondence, and not otherwise. I made my answear to this effect, That astouching those pointes, which they had proposed, to manifest their want and unabi- litie to satisfie her Majestie and then the danger of dealing wt the people therein, they might very well presume, that her Highnes had examined those reasons already, and that their Agentin England had pleaded them often, and that she thought them insuffiicent, to dissuade her from her pur- pose. For where they doe complaine, that the annual burden of their extraordinarie contributions, doth lie so heavie upon the contrey, it was easie to demonstrat, that the contrey was in case to perfourme a greater mater. They have nowe in contribution, which they had not heereto- fore, when they treated with her Majestie the greatest part of Brabant, and Flanders, the Ommelandes, the Drent, Twent, Linghen, the landes of Limbourgh and Valken- bourgh, and sundrie other quarters, which yelde them every moneth a very riche revenue: besides that Guelderland and Zutphan and also Overyssel doe pay a farre greater subsidie, then in former times. They are also enriched exceedingly by reasons of their imposts in townes lately taken, as in Nieumeghen, Zutphan, Deventer Steenwicke, Breda, Hulst, Steenberghen, Groeninghen, with other places and fortes of special importance. Moreover they have had of late yeres a wonderfull augmentation of their customes, and talles, by meanes of their fishing and trafficke by sea, which was never so great as it is at this present: nor this contrey was never so full of inhabitants, nor frequented of forraines, so as hardly houses in most places can be hired for mony. These were evident and knowen meanes, as there were many more besides, to shewe the wealth of these contreis, that if the revenues therof be not greater then the charges, yet no doubt they are equivalent. They could not judge fol.51av
otherwise, howsoever some discoursed, but that her Majestie both spake and thought very honorably of their succors sent for France. Nevertheles it is a great presumption, that it comes of great abundance, when any contrey shall make warre, and winne upon the Enemie, and yet spare of their cause after so many yeres aide, the consumption of so muche treasure, and the losse of the lives of so many of her subjects, for defense of these contreis, to calle for restitution. But howe muche she would demaunde, to be presently restoared, I could not say upon certaintie, though I thought it might be lesse, then they peradventure make account. For so that order might be taken for good paiment heereafter, it would suffise for the present, by soome litle good beginning, to shewe their thankfull inclination, to give her good satisfaction.

And where they made it a question, whether it were expedient, as their present state standeth, to impart so muche unto the people, it did but carie a shewe of a dilatory answear. For her Majesties demande was justly made, and kindly presented, and if the Deputies of the Provinces would accompanie the same, with suche kinde of persuasions, as they knewe in their wisedomes howe to appropriat, it would ether be accorded, or nothing ill interpreted.

As concerning those affaires, which Coronel Stuart did negotiat, it was out of my commission, to say any thing unto them, and for ought I could conjecture they were un- signified to her Majestie. And therfore if they pleased to ac- cept of my advise as privatly given, and not otherwise, I knewe not howe they could doe better, then to write unto her of it, and to crave her good direction: as also for heer- after, not to deale with that contrey in any cause of consequence but with her Majesties foreknowledge, and with continual corres- pondence. My answear heerein, and the rest of my speeches to the point of restitution, they promised to signifie in their publicke assemblie: seeminge every day to me, to allowe of my advise, as fitte for them to folowe, for the maters of Scotland. Coronel Stuart in fol.52r
in privat communication, hath intreated me to further his message to the states, declaring howe neere it concer- ned her Majestie aswell as the King, and that questionlesse my service would be gratefull to them bothe, with other pertinent inducements. Upon which I inquired, whether the K. had im- parted that mater to her Majestie. His answear was that her Highnes was acquainted with the King, and sawe he should be forced to crave the aide of his frindes, for which she could not but allowe of his proposal to the states. But yet otherwise also he thought that she knewe it long agoe. Whereunto I replied, that I was sure she had notice of his publicke imploiment, before I came out of England, but I did verily beleeve, that his errand to this people was unknowen to her Highnes. Howsoever it were, not having had in charge, to deale in his affaires, I was to pray him to ecxuse me, if I were not very forward. Onely this I would promise, that if the states by way of talke should happen to aske me, I would wishe them to write and take advise of her Majestie, and that for many respectes: but most of all to prevent misconstructions and jalousies. For he knewe well enough that neighbors Princes, though they live in good amitie, will conceave a litle jalousie of one an others actions: and whether her Majestie nowe in the present case, all kinde of circumstances weighed (which I would leave to his discretion to examine throughly) might not thinke somwhat strange of the K. proceedinges, and more peradventure of the states, if they should yelde to his demandes, and never aske any question of her Majesties liking, he himself might be judge. As for me my endevors should tend to /doe/ good offices, and there could not be a better, to my litle insight, then to minister all occasions of mutual intelligence, between her Majestie and them, and the states of these contreis. I can not tell very well, howe he liked of my counsaile, but yet me thought but indifferently. Nevertheles he bare me in hand, that both it pleased him well, and he would presently dispatche fol.52v
to move the King and the Chancellor, to addresse to that effect some lettres to her Majestie: which he also affirmed to be requi- red by the states, whose remonstrance unto him was chiefly directed to shewe howe muche it would please the generallitie heere, to understand that the King would frame hmself in all his purposes, to give her Majestie good contentment.

I had this talke with Co. Stuart somwhat after I had spoken with those that were sent from the states unto me: who, as I am persuaded told him presently upon it, what I had signified unto them, with suche token of approbation, as it caused him the sooner, to yelde to me in my former speeche. Being asked sins of a frind, howe he went forward with his suite, he said he could not tell, for that he found himself crossed. Whether he meant it of me, I am not certaine, but I suspect it by divers conjectures. I am told by some about him, that he hath promised to bring ten thousand Scottes, to serve against the Turke, if the Princes of Germany will give him intertainment, for which he and his frindes are earnest solicitors: and as I am informed, have a graunt in a maner, so at nowe he doth but treate about the assurance of his pay, for which he re- quireth bondes of the some of the Hanse townes.

Of the death of Ernestus, I thinke your L. hath notice, and had it assoone as we in this place, because our first intelligence came by lettres out of Zeland. It giveth occasion of much discoursing, whether every thing con- sidered, it will prove beneficiall or hurtfull to this contrey. But the most are gladde of it, and they take it for a blessinge. The rather, for that it comes in a time, when the munited Italians are discontented a freshe, and others sins have begonne, to folowe their example, in divers pla- ces of the frontiers; besides that every way where we heare, that aswell the commons, as nobilitie, were never more distasted of the Spanishe government. Suche op- portunities as these are not offered often times, to ruine downe right suche an Enemie as the Spaniard: and if the power fol.53r
power of this people were but half so muche more as it is at this present, they would thinke to effect it in very short time. That which I advertised in my last to your L. of the transportation of mony out of Zeland into Scotland, was signified unto me by one of the states: but inquiring of it sins, it hath bin told me by others, that the mony was taken up in roials of plate, by the marchants of the minte, to whome the minting of mony is farmed in Scotland, and that it was for their owne uses.

And thus excusing my length with the occasions presented, and beseeching your L. to make report unto her Highnes of as muche as is convenient, I take my humble leave. From the Hage. February 22. 1594. Your L. most humbly bounden Tho. Bodley