Letter ID: 0762
Reference: LPL, MS 650 f.97r-100v
Citation: DCB/001/HTML/0762/008
Date: 22 February 1595
Copy of: 0467



Endorsed: Master Bodley his lettre to my L. Essex February 22 1594.


Maie it please your good L: to the effect that I writte the 14th of this moneth, there have ben certaine deputed in the meeting of the states to come in conference with mee, about my proposition; & this they have delivered from the rest of th'assemblie, That they were greatlie parplexed through those demaundes of restitution, not knowing how to frame the course of their proceeding. For though they cannot but acknowledge and doe it most willingly, that though her Majesties succours next to gods, they are in farre better state of securitie & assurance, then they have ben heretofore for many yeares together yet they have not attayned to that abillitie & power, as they can therewithall discharge this debte unto her Majestie. They alleage many lettes, but nothing so muche, as the extraordinary intollera- ble burthen of their extraordinary Subsidies, which have growen upon them more & more, for these fower or five yeares: and are raised of late to a very highe smmme, occasioned in parte by their offensive exploites, & partly by their often & chargeable relieving of the French King in his manifolde distresses. By reason whereof they doe inferre, that the chiefe contributing Provinces are farre in arrerages, & pay excessive summes of money, for the use of that they have borrowed. And though it might be surmised that they have aided the K: not soe much in /regard of/ his urgent necessitie as de gayete de coeur: & to wynne his affection for hidden respects, yet they protest there upon with very great vehemencie that they were evermore farre from any such jollitie, & would not have him to injoy a foote of ground in their country. For that which drewe them on to helpe and assist him, was the generall consideration of his condition & their owne: And they made this account that for as muche as her Majestie did support him with her forces, if they in like manner shoulde straine their estate to uphoulde him a litle, it would both be a meane to save him from falling, & to divert the enemie from themselves. where as otherwise if those of the League, had prevailed against him, these provinces at last must have bo/a/rne alone the weight of these warres, & then bin subject in the end, and her Majestie no lesse, to an apparant great nomber of moste perilous incon- veniences. And whereas it maie be argued that their late reduction of so many good townes, hath both greatlie assured the state of those Provinces & richelie augmented their generall means, whereby they are inabled to some portion of remboursement, they make remonstrance of the contrary, that in every of those provinces they have rather bin surcharged then eased hitherto: And that by reason of the excessive charges of newe fol.97v
of newe garrisons, of necessary reparations, fortifications & other extraordinarie occasions, & because the Boores contribution is very litle bettred of that it was in former times. Moreover they saie they finde it in debating very doubtfull & dangerous in what sorte they shoulde proceede for the answerring of her highnes to my proposicion. For in a matter of that qualitie to make a resolute answere, without the privitie & good liking of the Pro- vinces & people, they dare not of themselves & it will not stand for good. And then to acquainte the vulgar sorte with her Majesties demaundes, were to make it allso knowen to all the Enemies provinces, & soe to all men in generall: whereupon it would be bruited that her highnes hath withdrawen her accustomed assistance & hath regained present payment of her money disbursed which they are mightelie all afraide would turne verey quicklie to their inifinitt detriment: aswell for that th'Enemie, who is now in all apparance at a very great after deale, wilbe hartened thereby, & putt in practise newe designes, & multiplie his forces by all possible meanes, as because on the other side the people of these contries wilbe cast downe in courage & dispaire of withstanding the puissance of the Spaniard. For where they might have hoped after so many yeares endeavors, so large contributions, & so many late victories, to reape some solace and ease of their burdens and travells, if now they should proceave that for many yeares hearafter their taxes & exactions will fall a great deale more heavy, then they have ben heretofore, first by meanes of their ordinary & extraordinarie charges of the warres, & then by the losse of her Majesties forces, & moste of all by this remboursement, it wiere greatlie to be doubted that they will runne a wronge course in the heate of their dislike For that is it which they /to/ be a principall cause of the late entertay- ning of this Englishe regiment that the actions of the warres might be countenanced alwaies with the name & opinion, & reporte of assistance continued to them by her highnes in soe much as they pretend & for the most the meaner multitude are no otherwise yet informed, but that they staie as a parte of axuiliary forces & are in pay of her Majestie so as alwaies they have found in all the time of these troubles, that they have not onely made warres and annoyed the Enemy, with the aide of men & money but with very opinoins & conceites that they were favored and protected by the greatnes of her Majestie. these thinges fol.98r
These thinges thus delivered they said they were allso charged to participate unto mee the Scottish K: lettre, & his request by Coronell Stewart whereof they tolde me the contentes, & then redde the lettre to me and the Coronelles instructions translated into French, which I send here inclosed copied trulie by the originalls. Their speech unto mee upon it was this, in substance, that they for them selves were nothing well instructed of the state of the K: nor of those proceedinges of his Rebells: but if it were so as those writinges imported, & they had further understoode by the Coronells relation, there was great occasion offered to move her Majestie & them, and as many as are imbarked in this comon cause together, to heede it in good season, & to afforde the K: [th] a rounde assistance. For sith th'Enemy spedde no better in his former attemptes, all men might conjecture that he would not let slippe a fitt oportu- nitie, to make a breach by Scotland, for th'assaulting of Englande, & so to compasse all at ease, both here & in Fraunce all his other designes. For their owne partes they for their abillitie, would be willing to doe any thing to meete with these dangers: Not sturred unto it as some men might imagine, for some secrett purpose, but onelie in regarde of the generall cause: which provoked them at first to assist the K: of Fraunce, & doth move them at this time to tender the state of the scottish K: & if her highnes in like manner in her Irish commotions should have any kinde of neede to use their meanes or service their, they would stretch their strength to the uttermost to accomplishe her desires. And this they uttered with wordes of great assurednesse & earnestnes. They conclude in fine that first for the matter of remboursement, they would lay their allegacions open to her highnes before such time as they would publishe her message to the Provinces, & would beseach her to ballance the weight of their reasons with her princelie consideracion. They expected within this seavenight the comming of the Deputies of Guildres and Overissell who were busied in those quarters in parswading the people to this yeares contribution. As soone as they were returned I should presentlie receave their answere in writing: they praid mee the while to intimate so much by lettre to her Majestie lest parhaps it should be deemed that they have an intention to use some delay. And then secondlie they requested meee in the name of the States, sith they coulde not fol.98v
coulde not well determine what course to embrace in the foresaid motion of the K. of Scottes, that I in that respect would franklie com- municate my counsell unto them, to witte what I thought would best accorde with her Majesties acceptance, & the pleasuring of the K: because it was their full desire to proceede in those actions in full correspondence & not otherwise. I made my answere to this effect, that as touching those pointes which they had propo- sed, to manifest first their want & unabililitie to satisfie her Majestie & then the danger of dealing with the people therein they might very well parceave the same, that her highnes had examyned thse reasons alreadie & that their Agent in England had pleased them often & that shee thought them insufficient, to diswade her from her purpose. For where they doe complaine that the annuall burden of their extraordinary contributions doth lie so heavie upon the contrie, it was easie to demonstrate that the contrie was in case to parforme a greater matter. They have now in contribution which they had not heretofore, when they treated with her Majestie, the greatest parte of Brabant & Flanders the Ommelandes, the Drent, Twent, Linghen, the landes of Limbourgh & Valkenbourgh, & sondry other quarters which yeelde them every moneth a verie great revenue:

Besides that Guelderland & Rutphan, and allso Overissell doe paie a farre greater susidie then in former times. they are allso inriched exceedinglie by reason of their impostes in townes latelie taken as in Nieumeghen, Zutphan, Deventer, Steenwicke Breda, Hulst, Steenberghen, Groeninghen with other fortesand places of spetiall importance. Moreover they have had of late yeares a wonderfull augmentation of their customes and tolles, 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 inhabitantes, nor frequen- ted of forraniers so as hardlie howses can be hyred for money. These were evident & knowen meanes as there were many more besides to shewe the welth of their contryes, that if the revenues thereof be not greater then the charges, yet no doubt they are equivalent.

They could not judge otherwise howseover some discoursed but that her Majestie both spake & thought very honorably of their succours sent for Fraunce. Neverthelesse it is a great presumption that it comes of great abundance when anny Countrie shall make warre and winne upon the Enemy, & yet spare of the stoare to helpe other Princes. For which her highnes had very fol.99r
had good cause, after so long many years aide, the consumption of so much treasure, & the losse of the lives of so many of her subjectes for defence of these countries to call for restitution. but howe much she would demaunde to be presentlie restored, I could not saie upon certaintie thoughe I thought it might be lesse then they paradventure make account. for so that order might be taken for good payment hereafter, it would suffice for the present by some litle good beginning, to shew their thanckfull inclination to give to her good satisfaction. And where they made it a question whether it were expedient as their present state standeth to imparte so much to the people, it did but carry a shew of a dilatory answerre. For her Majesties demaunde was justie made & kindlie presented, & of the deputies of the Provinces would accompanie the same, with such kinde of parswasions as they knew in their wisedomes how to appropriate, it would either be accorded or nothing ill interpreted.

As concerninge those affaires which Co. Stewart did negotiat, it was not of my commission to say any thing unto them, and for ought I could conjecture they were unsignified unto her Majestie. And therefore if they pleased to accept of my advice as privatlie given and not otherwise, I know not how they could doe better then write unto her Majestie of it, & to crave her good direction as allso for heerafter not to deale with that contrey in any cause of consequence, but with her Majesties knowledge and continuall correspondence. My answer herein and the rest of my speeches to the pointe of restitution they promised to signifie to their publique assemblie: seeming everie way to me to allow of my advice, as fitte for them to follow for the matters of Scotland. Coronell Stewart in private communication hath intreated mee to further this message to the states, declaring how neere it concerneth hir Majestie aswell as the King, & that questionlesse my service would be greatefull to them both with other partinent inducementes. upon which I inquired whether the K: had imparted that matter to her Majestie his answere was that her highnes was acquainted with the state of the K: & saw he should be forced to crave the aide of his frendes. for which shee could not but allow of his proposall to the States. But yet otherwise fol.99v
yet otherwise allso he thought the shee knew it long agoe whereunto I replied that I was sure shee had notice of his pulique employment, before I came out of England, but I did verelie beleeve that his errand to this people was unknowen to her Highnes. Howseover it were not having charge to deale in his affaires: I was to pray him to excuse me if I were not very forward, onely this I would premise that if the Sttaes by way of talke should aske me, I would wishe them to write & take advice of her Majestie & that for many respectes: but most of all to prevent misconstruc- tions and jealousies. For he knew well enough that neighbours Princes thoughe they live in good amitie will conceave a litle jealousie of one anothers actions And whether her Majestie now in this prent case, all kinde of circumstances waighed (which I would leave to his discretion to examine thoroughly) might not thinke some what straunge of the K: proceedinges, & more paradven- ture of the States if they should yeelde to his demaundes and never aske any question of ther Majesties liking, he him selfe might be judge. As for me my endevors should tend to doe good offices & there could not be a better to my litle insight, then to minister all occasions of mutuall intelligence betweene her Majestie & them, & the States of these contries. I cannot tell very well how he liked of my counsaile but yet me thought but indifferently well, and he would presentlie dispatche to move the K: and the chauncellor to addresse to that effect some lettress to her Majestie which he also affirmed to be required by the states, whose remonstrance unto him was chiefly directed to shew how much it would please the generallitie heere, to understand the K: would frame himselfe in all his purposes to give her Majestie good contentment. I had this talke with Coronell Stewart somewhat after I had spoken with those that were sent from the states unto mee: who as I am parswaded told him presentlie what I had signified unto them, with such token of approbation as it caused him to yeelde to me the sooner in his /my/ former speech: being asked since of a frend how he went forward in his suite he said fol.100r
he said he could not tell, for that he found himselfe crossed, whe- ther he meant it of me, I am not certatine, but I suspect /it/ by diverse conjectures. I am toulde by some about him that he hath promised to bring ten thowsand Scottes, to serve against the Turke, if the Provinces of Germanie will give him entertainment for which he and his frendes are earnest sollicitors: & as I am informed have a graunt in a manner so that nowe he doth but treate about the assurance of his pay, for which he requireth bondes of some of the Hanse Townes. Of the death of Ernestus I thinke your L. hath notice & had it as soone as wee in this place because our first intelligence came by lettres out of Zeland.

It giveth great occasion of discoursing whether every thing considered it will proove beneficiall or hurtfull to this contrey. But the most are glad of it & they take it for a blessing. The rather because it comes in a time when the mutined Italianes are discontented a freshe & others since have begunne to follow their example in diverse places of the Provinces Frontiers: besides that every where we heare that aswell the commons as nobillitie were never more distasted of the spanish goverment: such oportunities as these are not offered often time to ruine downe right such an Enemy as the spaniard: And if the power of this people were but halfe to much more as it is at this present, they would thinke to effect it in very short time. That which I advertized in my last to your L. of the carriage of money out of Zeland into Scotland was signified unto mee by one of the states: but inquiring of it since it hath ben tolde me by others, that the money was was taken upp in royals of plate, by the Marchantes of the mynte, to whom the minting of money is farmed in Scotland, & that it was for their owne use. And thus excusing my length with the occasions presented, & beseeching your L. to make reporte unto her Majestie of as much as is convenient I take my humble leave. February 22.