Letter ID: 0729
Reference: Hatfield, MS 31/35
Citation: DCB/001/HTML/0729/008
Date: 21 March 1595
Copies: 1292 



Later Addition: Master Bodley Bundle No. 92 Containing 381 Papers


May it please your good L. The remises and disputes, upon the pointes of my ouverture, have bin so many, and so long, and so intricat unto me, and all by reason of the number, and diversitie of Deputies, of divers Provinces and humors, as it would weerie your L. overmuche to heare the whole discourse. For it hath chanced very often, that when the mater /hath/ proceeded aswell as I could wishe, and gone cur- rantly forward to the point of knitting up it hath bin cast further backward, with one litle scruple, then could after be recovered in many consultations which continual expectation of their final reso- lution, hath bin a stoppe unto my course of wri- ting to your L. But yet yesterday they came to a kinde of conclusion, and sent presently unto me, to lette me knowe to what effect, and howe withall they had resolved to present their offer to her Majestie by delegates of purpose, and with petition to her Highnes to receave it with good lyking, as the greatest satis- faction, that the Contrey can affourd. So muche was accorded as my Ouverture conteyned, A full release to her Majestie of her Auxiliarie charges, Twentie thowsand poundes sterling, for an annuall payment, till the end of the warres, and then immediat- ly after for 4 yeares together the somme of fower hundred thousand poundes to be payed by equal portions: as also for the rest of the pointes of that Pro- ject, they have varied very litle in any Article of substance. But where I was of opinion, that their grant should have passed for the forsaid summes of money, to be paied to her Majestie without wordes of restriction, as in the Treatie 85 wherin I understand that in the name of her Majestie [is] included her successors, their intention is onely, and therein they conceave with very great earnestnesse, as if they would not be removed and that for in- finit occasions, which they say they have debated, and finde very weightie) to condescend to no other fol.35v
but a personal payment, to her Majestie onely, and that for as long, as her Highnes will require it, so there may be wordes allowed, to exclude the clame of others.

And this they urge in suche a maner, as if it were not to be doubted, but that her Highnes will accept it sith all their Treating was with her, and they [can] challenge of no other the perfourmance of that whereunto she was bound: wherby they argue that an other can take no benefit of those debtes. But yet their owne common lawe as farre as I can learne by others, doth make against them altogether: and I have pressed them besides with other special arguments, to which they answear by alleaging howe great a benefit of the leese, by releasing her Majestie of her Treatie with the Contrey, This hath held us together in a long disputation, in so muche as not agreeing on a point of suche consequence, I have signified unto them having thought it expedient, for discharge of my duetie, and for their satisfaction, that I would write about it into England with all expedition, to some about her Majestie, and that according to their answear, I would deale with them further. For which I am to beseech yow most humblie and earnestly to lette me knowe by this bearer, (whome I send of sette purpose to winne the more tyme) how her Highnes is affected: and that so fully, if yow please, as I may not be inforced to replie thereunto, and so attending some further lettre: nor they to picke a quarel to start from their offers, or to denie me or delay me, by taking newe occasions to repaire unto their Provinces. And to shewe your L. what I thinke, they have framed in their fancies so many dangerous inconveniences, that may falle upon their State, by binding themselves to her Majesties heires as they will give no way, to any motion, that may tend to suche a purpose. They enquire very often of me whether her Highnes be privie to anie part of my Ouverture, but I endevor what I can to keepe it from their knowledge. And I am told by Master Barnevelt, fol.36r
and doe otherwise perceave it by divers conjectures, that it is not yet imagined in the meeting of the States though it may be that some fewe may somewhat surmise it. For I have ever so caried the course of my dealing as all that I have done or sayed in these affaires, hath seemed still unto the multitude /to/ proceede as of myself and from my privat advise, and care of their pros- peritie. For so I did conceave, it would stand best of all with her Highnes contentation, not to seeme to understand, that they doe her any pleasure, in making suche an offer, but that they should repute it, for a singular grace, if their offer be accepted. And in this negotation to yeeld to Master Barnevelt his dewe commendation, he hath maneged all his maters so advisedly, and soundly and with suche special regard to her Majesties good liking, dignitie and State, for as farre as lay in him, as I can no choose but signifie, that although for my self, I had never no doubt of his carefull proceeding, yet nowe by proofe I founde it more then I had reason to ex- pect. He hath protested nothwithstanding, and I have cause to beleeve him, because I have bin very inward to his painefull course of dealing, and therein sundrie great hasardes of his credit with the Contrey, that were it integrum unto him, a very great offer should not drawe him nowe againe, to engage himself fur- ther then the rest of his fellowes. I should seeme by your L. last, that his delayes in this pour- suite, have discontented her Majestie, but if I may have the credit to be beleeved heerein, it was not possible for him to effect it any sooner: which I can manifest in his behalf, with so cleere a demonstration, as her Highnes I am certaine will conceave it very rea- dilie. For the weight of the mater with every circum- stance considered, as well in respect of the persons and humors, as of their doubtes and other obstacles, it is thought in this place very great expedition, to beginne it and ende it in 8 or 9 weekes: in so muche fol.36v
as all men heere affirme, that they never knewe [the lyke] so soone brought about, were the nature of the suite some other kinde, though it were to putte the Cont[rey] to a mater of further charge, they would passe [it] peradventure, at the instance of her Majestie with[out] any contradiction. As in that which I required [about] their sending to her Highnes certaine shippes of assi- stance, for the voyage nowe in hand, it was n[o soo-] ner by me proposed unto them, but they gran[ted] it willinglie, albeyt they are not tyed to doe it [by the] Treatie, but in cases when the Enemie shall [.] a Fleete, in the chanels betweene England and [.] or England and these Contreys: wheras it is [an ex-] pense, as they have made their computation [of .] thowsand poundes sterling: which with their often [.] of twentie thousand poundes and the charge w[hich] they must beare in entertaining other newe [compa-] nies, in lieu of the English auxiliaries, will [amount] for this yere, above a hundred thousand poun[des.] But this opinion among others hath gone curr[ant in] their College, and is still the assertion of the m[ost, that] the foresaid deboursement is not so hurtfull to [their] State, although they make it very bourdensome, [as is] the very bruite of the breache of the Contract, [although] it should be but maintained in warde and in [shewe] and they should not be relieved by any meanes [of her] Majestie. So muche they thinke it doth import [to use] her countenance and name and that this people [and] the Enemie should not alter their conceat of [her con-] tinuance of her succors. And in that respect [they have] thought it good, not to breake the mater plainly [to the] people of these Provinces, but to proceede with [the privi-] tie, and lyking of the chief, and so by vertue of [their] Instructions, which are commonly sufficient, and [ample] for the purpose, to take a resolution. Againe [to note] by one example how hard a passage I have [found] to arrive to my dessigne, it is 15 dayes a goe [that they] had sette downe in Articles the headdes of their of[fer and] fol.37r
were purposely assembled to finishe all in one day, before they would depart: when one or two of the Deputies not acquainted with the mater, for that they were but as then very newly arrived, stoode stiffely upon it against them all, that they ought not to determine a cause of that moment, without some special comunication with every several Province: wherin they tooke occasion to be muche more vehement, upon the message delivered by Sir Francis Vere.

For to pay unto her Majestie an Annual some of mony, to forgoe two thowsand two hundred soldiers, consi- dering what troupes, they have presently in France, and withall to charge themselves with suche a number of Shippes, as they have promised to arme, they held it very stoutely, for too great a resolution, to be taken among themselves without the generalitie. And these were onely two Deputies of one of the lesser Provinces, whose contradiction and refusal hath impeached their proceeding for so many dayes, and caused almost their Collegues, to come to termes of protestation. For they doe not in these cases pro- ceede by pluralitie, but must have every single suffrage. This I thought somewhat fitte to be signified unto yow, to give your L. some notice of the stoppes and the thwartes that have bin offered in this action. And as for my endevors, the respect that I carie to my duetifull obedience, and to her Majesties commandements shall ever have the force to make me thinke there is nothing too hard or too heavie, where any my poore labors may be pleasing to her Highnes, but otherwise in truth to speake of my self, and mine owne contentation (wherein God is my witnesse I speake unfainedly unto yow) if it were in my option to endure a yeres imprisonment, or two suche other monethes toyle, my minde would account it a farre better bargaine, to leese a yeres libertie, with some further discommoditie. I could say somewhat more upon the offer of this subject, but that I fol.37v
write unto your L. who of your honorable custome, equitie and favor, will both perfitly consider of the qualitie of my service, and will also recommend it, as occa- sion shall be offered: whereunto I have good cause to intreat yow more instantly, for that in this place I can take no fitte witnes of my industrie and care and at home there is no other, that hath so through- ly and directly understood my service as your L. As farre as I conjecture of mens inclinations here is nothing to be feared, as touching that point that [your] L. recommendeth, for their not geving care to any truce with the Enemie: albeyt it is perceived that [.] hath many secret Instruments, and doth omit to that ende no peece of practise in this contrey. [.] that which is worst doth finde more favors at this present then have bin noted or suspected at any tyme [in] ten yeeres. If Monsieur Sancy shall come hither to move his suite for further aide, that [.] which her Highnes doth requyre to be remembred, for [the] Kinge to give assurance, that he will yeeld to no [ac-] cord nor peace with the Spaniard, is so welcome and plausible to all that I have sounded which are di[.] of the principal) as they make no question of it. But to countenance the mater with more [autoritie] and grace, thei wishe it were concluded by some solempne notification, between her Majestie him [and] them. For other matters, of occurrence I have not knowen heeretofore, that [.] unfournished, as we have bin heer of late [.] a yere together. For the States of this Contrey are at a stand for any action of importance, and [all] that we can hear of the Enemies dooinges, is of the [ga-] thering of his forces in sundrie [.] rescue La Fere. Howbeyt we have no certaintie [that] he is yet in his marche, or what numbers he hath raised, though most men give it out, that it is not so fewe, as 15000 foote, and 3000 horse: we are persuaded that he hath neither the meanes to fol.38r
succor La Fere, nor doth not intend it, but under coulor of that enterprise, will be dooing on the suddaine, with some other place, which many imagine will be Calais, which is also so reported by lettres from Andwerp. And thus I take &c. From the Hage. 21 Marche 95.