Letter ID: 1230
Reference: BL, MS Cotton Galba D XI f.3r-6v
Citation: DCB/001/HTML/1230/008
Date: 1595
Note: Heavy fire damage. An initial signature is present on the middle of the base edge on f.3r. A lacuna is left for the date in the letter's title, and regarding the number of footmen and horsemen.
Copy of: 0462


Instructions for our Servaunt Thomas Bodeley esquier whome we have appointed to repair to the States general of the Unyted Provinces of the Lowe Countreis for caues herein mentioned. Given at our Manor of Grenwich the [.] of [.] in the xxxvijth yeare of our reigne 1594:

Sign Manual: Elizabeth R

Although it be not unknowen to you by th'experience that you have had of our service in the Lowe Countreis with what great reason we are to move the States to fall unto due consideracion of some present satisfaction, to be made unto us by the remboursement of some good portion of those great sommes, which we have expended only for their service, to the prejudice of our owne estate besides the costing of our Subjectes Lyves: Yet for that it is seldome seen but that in all Counsailes some adverse spirites may be founde opposite to anie demaund be it never so reasonable. Wee have thought good for the better fortyfyeng of your proposicions to them in lyke case to delyver you these principall heades following, which you may enlarge as tyme and occasion shall mynister (to your owne Judgment) use of the same, for the furtherance of our Service, wherein for that you may with better authoritie urge Th'estate in all thinges which in your discretion shalbe founde necessarie, wee have written our lettres of creditt in ample forme as the case doth require, which you shall (after accesse procured) present both to the General States and to the Councell of Estate, as occasion may serve.

First wee have had just cause these manie yeeres to have expected a gratefull offer from Th'estates of some yeerely portions of the great sommes [[by]] us expended towardes the discharge of the debt, or at least wise the [[di]]mynution thereof. But considering their forgetfulnes thereof as an argument of unthanckfulnes, and the great burthen by so manie yeeres excessive expences to us our Crowne and Realme, whereof no example can be remembred of such a burthen or of a tenth part thereof to the Realme of England or to anie other Realme in Christendome, in lyke circumstances for the yeerely quantitie of the money for so manie yeeres contynuance and want of anie recompence and for the wasting of so manie valyant people out of their naturall Countrie by death, slaughter, mayhems and sicknes: Wee can no longer indure the contynewance of such an intollerable burthen to th'impayring of the honor and dignitie of our Crowne, to the publike offence and fol.3v
grevaunce of our Subjectes but doe nowe informe Th'estates of [[.]] grief, and doe require them without delay to enter into consid[[.]] waightie a cause, and to devise some speedie satisfaction to [[.]] may see their due regard of these so large and excessive [[.]] uppon them so manie yeeres to their most notable profitt [[.]] preservation of their Countrie and people in their lyves po[[.]] from most notable subvertion, ruyne, and Captivitie.

Besydes these reasons, which cannot be denyed, wee would have [[.]] consider the processe of this Action how thesame beganne, [[.]] our Intention appeared to be only to helpe then without anie [[.]] for when Th'estates (being desperate of anie relief by their [[.]] offer unto us the Soveraignetie and direct domynion of thei[[.]] offering to become our Subjectes, wee not respecting anie [[.]] Terrytorities, though there might have ben good proofes, [[.]] to sondrie their domynions by succession of bloude in our [[.]] England, did not accept of that offer of domynion, and [[.]] uppon commiseration of their desperate estate and the [[.]] forces provyded and readie at hande to besiege and [[.]] Towne of Andwarpe, wee yelded to graunt them the[[.]] and 400 horse, which being readie to be employed for [[.]] thesame was sodenly recovered by the Ennemie part[[.]] Inhabitantes partly by force, which so succeeding did induce [[.]] feare to the whole Countrie, and apparance to recover [[.]] their Townes one after another, as Th'estates then [[.]] further comyseration of them. Whereuppon at their [[.]] wee increased our first aide from 4000 footemen to 5000 [[.]] 2000 which nombers were speedely levyed and transported [[.]] altogether at our charge, and to the great burthen of our [[.]] the conduct and governement of those nombers wee did make cho[[.]] Cousin the Earle of Leicester a principall Nobleman of our [[.]] fol.4r
of our privie Councell accompanied with the flower of Noble and valiant men of our Realme, which action beganne in the yeere of our Lord 1585, being now about tenne yeares since, and have so contynued, with the losse of manie of our Noble and valyant Subjectes, and excessive expences both of our owne treasure, and of our Subjectes by contynuall refreshing and new arming of the former Nombers as they did decay and were wasted.

And besides these excessive and inestimable charges, It is manifest to the worlde how this our aide to these Countries provoked the King of Spaine to make open warre against us, and our domynions both by Land and Sea, a good occasion for us to have revoked our forces, which were imployed in those Lowe Countries in maintenance of the people thereof, whome he declared to be Rebelles. But yet nevertheles we contynewing our Commiseration of those Countries very lyke to be ruyned by the King of Spaine, as intending to make a Conquest of them, and to bryng them into Captivitie, did still not only persist in our former aide in those Lowe Countries from yeare to yeare, but did also maintaine great Armies both by Sea and Land to with stand the Armies of the King of Spaine, yea with which wee did overthrowne his most memorable proude Navie in the yeere 1588. not yelding by anie his proude attemptes to withdrawe our Succours from the Lowe Countries.

Now it is to be seen what benefitt hath growen by these our Actions to the Unyted Provinces, and what losse to us, our Crowne and Subjectes, and by comparing thereof togither it followith necessarily for us to be eased of this contynuall burthen, aswell by rembursing our charges with reasonable portions yeerly untill the whole may be acquyted, as by the moderation of charges to followe.

Thestate of the United Provinces and the people thereof is manyfestly nowe knowne to florishe in more wealth, then ever was before their troubles, so as the greatest Countries of trade for merchandize, as all Holland and Zeland are free from anie noyse of warre of the Ennemie, the lyke may be also said almost for Friesland, Zutphen, and the open trade into Spaine, and free commerce with Andwerpe; So as comparing their present state with the former, when wee beganne to help them, it may be properly saide that they doe nowe rather injoye peace & tranquillitie, then that they are in anie warre: And for proof hereof, it is seen openly that they have had great prosperitie against the Spanyardes and other the stronge forces of the Kinge of Spaine, and the Kinges forces to become so weake by losse of great Townes fol.4v
and Countries that they doe of late sytt downe before no Towne [[.]] carrie it, nor are besieged in anie place, which they doe not [[.]] Ennemie attempt anie thinge of which they doe not faile. [[.]] their great good fortune it is saide that the Archduke Ernest [[.]] the King of Spaine, pretendith to have ample authoritie to [[.]] Unyted Provinces anie Conditions of Peace, that they can reas[[on]] And to that end he hath sent Mynisters with Commission to [[.]] thereuppon, And besides the Spanishe Councellors with the [[.]] sollicite [.] him and some other of the Princes Electors [[.]] great Princes towardes those Countries with offers of removing [[.]] forces out of the Lowe Countries. And though the States in [[.]] are not ignorant with what deceaveable mynde these large [[.]] by the Councell of Spaine, and with what infynite daunger (n[[.]] confusion to followe) these Projectes may be accepted, and the [[.]] are farre from thought to enclyne to adventure the same, Y[[.]] most manifest that their state is free from their former [[.]] they have not such neede to maintaine the lyke great nom[ber] warre neither of their owne nor of Auxilliarie, as in for[[.]] were forced to doe. And to this may be added also a[[.]] manifest Argument of their prosperitie and securitie in th[[.]] accommodated the French King with 3000 men in Normand[[.]] conduct of Conte Phillip, and now also of late sent as farre as Mettz the nomber of 3000 foote and conduction of them though the hart of the Ennemies [[.]] horse and [.] foote, whereof some were our forces. [[.]] well concluded that seeing they have ben content to [[.]] helpe others, It cannot be denyed to be an Argument to us, Yf they provyde us not satisfaction, without [[.]] contynued Princely support they had never ben able [[.]]

These foraine Actions out of their Countries are manifest[[.]] prosperitie and securitie from the Ennemie, But [[.]] Recytall should be made how by the helping of their [[.]] Estate, our Realme, treasure and people have ben [dampnyf[ied]] percase please the Commen Ennemy, and happyly in the sight of the worlde, wee and our Councell might be censured to hav[[.]] providence.

Therfore without particuler Recytall for avoyding of such Censur[[.]] States that are compounded of wysemen) can consider how inesty[[mable]] fol.5r
Charges are, that have ben bestowed in this our defence, which hath contynued almost full tenne yeeres, longer then anie warre in mans memorie hath contynewed betwixt anie Kinges Christian in France, Spaine, Italy, Germanie or els where in Christendome. Besides these Charges a great nomber of our serviceable people have ben wasted, great masses of our owne Princely treasure, which we had provydently preserved for defence of our Realme, the Armour, weapon and Munytion of our Kingdome spent and wasted, our Subjectes, (Besides their Subsidies) in sondrie Countries sore charged with levyeng, armyng, clothing, and conducting of all the Soldiors both horse and Foote, that have passed into those Lowe Countries besides our ordinarie wages for thesame Soldiors.

One other remarkeable Inconvenience and publick detryment hath for manie yeeres past accompanyed this charge, which is, that for the yeerly payment of our Army there in those Countries, the Coyne of our Realme both of Silver and Gould, wherewith our Subjectes and Realme did abounde, hath ben there spent without anie hope of retorne.

And though there be manie other Argumentes to fortefie this our demaunde, both in regarde of our owne indempnitie, by helping them, and the great and infynite addition to them of honor, wealth and safetie, deryved originallie from us, even when they were lyke to be precipitated into the Pitt of destruction; Yet such is our unwillingnes to use Commemoration to men so grave and wise, as for the most part wee knowe them to be, more then to preoccupate some adverse Conceipt of Spirites, who happely may be lesse sensible of the truthe of our preceedinges with them, as wee will not longer stryke uppon this subject, then by putting them in mynde of one late great good, which wee have procured them, and for which the rather wee expected some satisfaction, because it was tacitis verbis intymated unto us, that yf such successe might befall them, they should then be inhabled to performe such partes of gratutie, as the reasons of our urgent occasions might necessarily challenge at theire handes; wherein they are to be remembred that when the Towne of Gronynghen was unrecovered they made a most earnest sute for 1500 men, to be levyed in England for that service only, and then to be returned, to which Request being reiterated oftentymes unto us, wee were [willing] unwilling to have yelded, in respect of the former wasting of our people in those Countries, but that in th'ende, to tempt us thereunto, It was declared that without that helpe from us the besieging of Groninghen could not be attempted with anie certaine hope, and that the Recovery ther would make an end of the warres in those Provinces beyonde the Rhyne and recover to the States obedience so large Countries of great wealth, and fol.5v
able to contribute such yeerly Revenue to the States, as their abi[[lity]] be more increased, then by anie other meanes whatsoever, the rat[her] that it was affirmed by the wynning of Groninghen the Ennemy [[.]] expelled out of all friezland. Uppon which Intercession of th[[.]] out of our good will to them, forgetting anie our present occas[[ion]] content to Crowne the rest of our woorke now in th'ende with their desire, and for that purpose gave authoritie to Sir Francis [[Vere]] Th'estates had appointed for that purpose, to levie here in our [[.]] saide nomber of 1500 Soldiors, which were by him transported to Groninghen, to which place also for the furtherance of that [[.]] service, wee were contented that our Governors of Flushing & [[.]] should sende out of those two Townes certaine Bandes of th'ordyn[[.]] for the preservation thereof, wherewith wee have ben the better con[[tented]] considering the service of our people hath effected the wynning of [[.]] to the honor of Th'assaylantes, and the noteable reproche of th[[.]] being very stronge in Armes to have fought with Th'estates whole [[.]] to have saved the Towne and Countrie, where nowe by the reco[[.]] place the whole Countrie of Friezland is almost reduced to the [[.]] States, and abandoned by Th'ennemies. And now this Comparis[[on]] weighed betwixt the present prosperitie of the Unyted Provinces, [[.]] detryment to the State of our Realme of England, by the excessi[ve [charge]] for those Countries; It cannot be denyed but that we have most [[.]] cause to require present rembursement of some convenient port[ion [.]] satisfaction of us, and our Subjectes, and so we require Th'estates [[.]] the consideration of these former reasons, and so weigh them bot[h [.]] and humanitie, and thereuppon to determyne how and when [[.]] portion (respecting the immeasurable sommes by us expended) w[[.]] satsifaction.

You shall remember to Th'estates a matter, for the delay wh[[.]] of all other no good reason can be yeelded; That where [[.]] sute wee were content to become bound to Sir Horacio Palav[[incino]] sommes, which they ought him uppon delyvering of diverse comm[[.]] in diverse bondes due by them, they have suffered even the p[[.]] carelesly to ruine on, as we have paide both Interest [[.]] [more] to a great value, and yet remaine bounde to him for [[.]] of which somme amonge the rest wee desyre with the first a[[.]] exonerated, the rather for that by him dayly wee are impo[[.]] thesame.

And because the sommes expended are so great and so various from th[[.]] wee thincke it very reasonable & most necessarie, that there may [[.]] conference had betwixt our Officers & Mynisters, and theirs of the [[.]] fol.6r
Provinces, to understande the particuler estate of everie yeeres expence by it self: and for that purpose wee require that somme of the States Councellors and some of ours may meete in our Citie of London, to conferre hereuppon, so as the truth of th'expences, and the particuler accompt and dept of Th'estates may appeare, and yet in the meane season some portion to be presently aunsweared, of which wee thincke there neede no doubt to be made howsoever for the direct Accomptes to be more exquisitely cast up here; uppon further Conference there may be further computation.

Further it may be concluded that, as we are most gladd of all theire good and happie fortunes meerly for their good (whome wee have ever so tenderly conserved as our auncient Confederates) so yf we shall now fynde our self requyted, as honor and Civilitie would require, without persisting uppon Cavills of woordes or nyce Constructions, when with all freedome and hartie dealing wee have proceeded with them, surely wee are fully purposed never to be wanting to them hereafter in anie thinge, that can reasonably be required at our handes, but lyke a Prince of constancie and veritie will allway be as readie to help and protect them against what force or Tyrannie soever of anie, that shall seeke to oppresse them.