Letter ID: 0670
Reference: Hatfield, MS 170/101
Citation: DCB/001/HTML/0670/008
Date: 22 February 1595
Copy of: 0467



Endorsed: L. Tresurer February 22 1594

Later Addition: Dr Birchs Memoirs Vol. 1 Page 209 [.]


May it please your good L. to that effect that I writte the 14 of this moneth, there have bin certaine deputed in the meeting of the States, to come in con- ference with me, about my proposition, and this they have delivered from the rest of the Assemblie, That they were greatly perplexed, through those demandes of restituion, not knowing how to frame the course of their procee- ding. For though they can not but acknowledge, and doe it most willing- ly, 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 yeares together, yet they have not attayned to that abilitie and power, as they can therwithall discharge their debte unto her Majestie. They alleage many lettes, but nothing soe muche, as the intollerable burthen of their extraordinarie subsidies, which have growen upon them more and more, for these fower or five yeares: and are raised of late to a very highe summe, occasioned in part by their offensive exploites, and partly by their often and chargeable relieving of the French King in his manifold distre- sses. By reason whereof they doe inferre, that the chiefe contributing Pro- vinces are farre in arrierages, and pay excessive summes of mony, for the use of that they have borowed. And though it might be surmised that they have aided the Kinge, not soe much in regarde of his urgent necessitie, as de gayeté de coeur, and to winne his affection, for hidden respectes, yet they protest therupon with very greate vehemencie, that they were evermore farre from any suche jollitie, and would not have him to enjoy a foote of grounde 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 lyke manner should strayne their Estate to upholde him a little, it would both be a meanes to save him from falling, and to divert the Enemie from themselves: whereas otherwise if those of the league, had pre- vayled against him, these Provinces at last must have bearen alone the weight of these warres, and then bin subject in the ende, and her Majestie no lesse, to an apparant great nomber of most perilous incon- veniences. And whereas it maye be argued that their late reduction of soe so many good townes, hath both greatly assured the State of these Provinces and richely augmented their general meanes, wherby they are inabled to some portion of remboursement, they make remonstrance to the Contrarie, that in every of those Provinces they have rather bin surcharged, then any thing eased hitherto: and that fol.101v
by reason of the excessive charges of newe garrisons, of necessarie repara- tions, fortifications, and other extraordinarie occasions, and because the boores Contribution is very little bettered of that it was in former tymes. Moreover, they say they finde it in debating very doubt- full and dangerous, in what sorte they should proceede for the aunswer- ring of her Highnes to my proposition. For in a mater of that qualitie to make a resolute aunswear, without the privitie and good lyking of the Provinces, and people, they dare not of themselves, and it will not stand for good: and then to acquaint the vulgar sorte with her Majesties demandes, were to make it alsoe knowne to all the Enemies Provinces and soe to all men in generall: wherupon it would be bruited, That her Highnes hath withdrawen her accoustomed assistance, and hath re- quyred present paiment of her monies disbursed: which they are mighti- ly all afraid would turne very quickly to their infinit detriment aswell for that the Enemie, who is now in all apparance at a very great after deale, will be hartened therby, and put in practise new designes and multiplie his forces by all possible meanes, as because on the other syde the people of these Contreis, will be caste downe in courage, and despaire of withstanding the puissance of the Spaniard. For where they might have hoped after soe many yeares endevors, so large con- tributions, and soe many late victories, to reape some solace and ease of their burdens and travels, if nowe they should perceave that for many yeares heereafter, their taxes and exactions will fall a great de[ale] more heavy, 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 very greatly to be doubted, that they will runne a wrong course in the heate of their dislyke. For that it yt which they affirme to be a principall cause, of their late intertaining of this English regiment that the actions of their warres might be countenanced alwayes with the name, and opinion, and reporte of assistance continued to them by her Highnes in soe much as they pretend that for the most the meaner multitude are noe otherwise yet informed, but that they serve as a part of Auxiliarie forces, and are in pay of her Majestie soe as alwayes they have founde in all the tyme of these troubles, that they have not onley made warres, and annoyed the Enemie, with the aide of men and mony but with very opinions and conceats, that they were favored and pro- ected by the greatnesse of her Majestie. These thinges fol.102r
thus delivered, they sayed they were alsoe charged to participat unto me the Scottish Kinges letter, and his request by Coronel Stewart, where of they told me the contents, and then read the letter to me, and the Coronels Instructions translated into Frenche, which I send heereinclosed copied truely 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 pro- ceedings of his rebels: but if it were soe as those writings imported, and they had further understoode by the Coronels relation, there was great occasion offered, to moove 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 Kinge a rounde assistance. For might /sith/ the Enemie speede no better in his former attemptes, all men might conjecture, /that/ he would not lette slippe a fitte opportunitie, to make a breach by Scotland, for the assaulting of England, and soe to compasse all at ease, both heere and in France, all his other dessignes. For their owne partes, they for their abilitie, would be willing to doe any thinge, to meete with those dangers: not sturred unto it, as some men might imagine, for some secret purpose, but onely in regarde of the generall cause: which provoked them at first to assist the K. of France, and doth move them at this time, to tender the Estate of the Scottish Kinge, and if her Highnes in lyke manner in her Irish commotions, should have any kinde of neede, to use their meanes or service there, they would stretch their strength to the utter- most to accomplish her desires. And this they uttered with wordes of great assurance and earnestnesse. They concluded in fine, that first for the matter of remboursement, they would laye their allegations open to her Highnes before suche tyme as they would publish her message to the Provinces, and would beseech her to ballance the weight of their reasons with her Princely conside- reation. They expected within a sevenight the comming of the Deputies of Gueldres and Overissel, who were busied in those quar- ters in persuading the people to this yeares contribution. Assone as they were returned, I should presently receave their aunswear in writing: they prayed /me/ the whyle to intimat soe much by letter to her Majestie, lest perhaps it should be deemed, that they have an intention to use some delay. And then secondly they fol.102v
requested me in the name of the States, sith they could not well determine what course to embrace in the foresaid motion of the Kinge of Scottes, that I in that respect would franckely communicat my counsaile unto them to witte what I thought would best accorde, both with her Majesties accep- tance, and the pleasuring of the Kinge: because it was their full desire to proceede in those actions with good correspondence, and not otherwise.

I made my aunswear to this effect, That as touching those pointes, which they had proposed, to manifest first their want and unabilitie to satisfie her Majestie and then the danger of dealing with 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 insufficient, to dissuade her from her purpose. For where they doe complaine that the annual burden of their extraordinarie contributions, doth lie /soe/ heavie upon the Contrey, it was easie to demonstrat that the Contrey was in case to perfourme a greater mater. They have now in contribution, which they had not heeretofore, when they treated with her Majestie the grea- test part of Brabant and Flanders, the Ommelandes, the Drent, Twent, Linghen, the Landes of Limbourgh and Wilkembourgh, and sondrie other quarters, which yeald them every monneth a very riche revenue: besides that Guelderland and Zutphan, and also Ovverissel doe paye a farre greater subsidie, then in former tymes. They are also enriched exceedingly, by reason of their imposts in townes lately taken as in Nieumeghen, Zutphan, Deventer, Steenwicke, Breda, Hulst, Steenber- ghen, Groeninghen with other fortes and places 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 soe great as it is at this present, nor this Contrey was never soe full of inhabitants, nor frequented of forrainers, soe as hardly howses in most places can by hyred for money. These were evident and knowen meanes, as there were many more besydes, to shewe the wealth of these Contreis, that if the revenues there- of be not greater then the charges, yet no doubt they are equivalent. They could not judge otherwise, howsoever some discoursed but that her Majestie both spake and thought very honorably of their suc- cors sent for Fraunce. Nevertheles it is a great presumption, that it comes of great abundance, when any Contrey shall make warre, fol.103r
and winne upon the Enemie, and yet spare of their stoare, to helpe other Princes. For which her Highnes had good cause after soe many yeares aide, the consumption of soe much treasure, and the losse of the lives of soe many of her subjectes, for defence of these Contreis to calle for restitution. But how 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 payment heereafter, it would suffise for the present, by some little good beginning, to shewe their thanckefull inclination, to give her good satisfaction.

And where they made it a question, whether it were expedient as their present State staundeth, to imparte soe muche unto the people, it did but cary a shewe of a dilatory aunswear. 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 wisdomes how to appropriat, it would either be accorded, nor nothing ill interpreted.

As concerning those affaires, which Coronel Stewart did negotiat, it was out of my Comission, to say any thing unto them, and for ought I could conjecture they were unsignified to her Majestie And therfore if they pleased to accept of my advise as privatly given, and not otherwise, I know not howe they could doe better, then to wryte unto her of it, and to crave her good direction: as alsoe for heereafter, not to deale with that Contrey in any cause of consequence, but with her Majesties foreknowledge, and with continual correspondence. My aunswear heerein, and the rest of my speeches to the point of restitution, they promised to signifie in their publicke assemblie: seeming every way to me, to allowe of my advise, as fitte for them to folowe, for the maters of Scotland. Coronel Stuart in privat communication, hath [imparted] me to further his message to the States, declaring howe neere it concerned her Majestie aswell as the King, and that questionlesse my service would be gratefull to them both, with other pertinent inducements. Upon which I inquired, whether the K. had imparted that matter to her Majestie. His aunswear was that her Highnes was acquainted with the State of the King, and saw he should be forced to crave the aide of his friendes, for which shee could fol.103v
not but allowe of his proposall to the States. But yet otherwise alsoe he thought that shee knew it longe agoe. Whereunto I replied, that I was sure shee had notice of his publicke employment, before I came out of England, but I did verilie 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 excuse me, if I were not very forward, onely this I would promise, that if the States by waye of talke shuld happen to aske me, I would wishe them to wryte and take advise of her Majestie, and that for many respectes: but most of all to prevent misconstructions and jalousies. For he knew well enough that neighbors Princes though they live in good amitie, will conceave a litle jalousie of one anothers actions: and whether her Majestie nowe in this present case, all kinde of circumstances weighed (which I would leave to his discretion to examine throughly) might not thinck somewhat 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 little insight, then to minister all occasions of mutuall intelligence, between her Majestie and them, and the States of these Contreis. I can not tell very well how he lyked of my counsaile, but yet my thought but indifferently. Never- theles he bare me in hand, that both it pleased him well, and he would presently dispatche to moove the King and the Chauncelor, to addresse to that effect some lres to her Majestie, which he also affir- med to be requyred by the States, whose remonstrance unto him as chiefly directed, to shewe how muche it would please the gene- ralitie heere, to understand that the King would frame himself in all his purposes, to give her Majestie good contentment.

I had this talke with Co. Stuart somwhat after that I had spoken with those that were sent from the States unto me: who as I am persua- ded told him presently upon it, what I had signified unto them, with such token of approbation, as it caused him the sooner to yeeld to me in my former speeche. being asked sins of a freend, how he went forward with his suite, he said he could not fol.104r
tell, for that he found himself crossed, whether he meant it of me, I am not certaine, but I suspect it by dyvers 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 Germanie will give him intertainment, for which he and his frindes are earnest sollictors: and as I am info/r/med have a graunt in a maner, soe that nowe he doth but treate about the assurance of his pay, for which he requyreth bondes of 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 considered, it will proove beneficiall or hurtfull to this Contrey. But the most are glad of it, and they take it for a blessing. The rather, for that it comes in a tyme, when the mutined Italians are discontented a freshe, and others sins have begonne to folowe their example, in dyvers places of the frontiers; besydes that every where we heare, that aswell the Commons, as nobilitie, were never more distasted of the Spanish government. Such opportunities as these are not offered often- tymes, to ruine downe right such an Enemie as the Spaniard: and if the power of this people were but halfe soe muche more as it is at this present, they would thincke to effect it in very short tyme. That which I advertised in my laste to your L. of the carriage of mony out of Zeland into Scotland was signified unto me by one of the States: but requiring of it sins, it hath bin told me by others, that the mony was taken upon royals 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 use. And thus excusing my lenght with the occasions presented, and beseeching your L. to make reporte unto her Majestie of as muche as is convenient, I take my humble leave./. February 22.