Letter ID: 1275
Reference: BL, MS Cotton Galba D XI f.224r-228v
Citation: DCB/001/HTML/1275/008
Date: 1595


Wheras your L. doth require, that sith her Majestie hath bin charged with the warres of these contreis for a very long time, whereby her Treasure hath bin wasted, and her subjectes consumed to the great impairing of her state; and sith it is apparant, that through the succors of her Highnes next after God, they are nowe in better case, both for weal safetie and for wealth then at any time before, sins their troubles first began, I should therupon deliver my opinion unto yow, whether of the two were more ex- pedient for her service, To demaunde the resti- tution of her mony out of hand, or to forbeare it for a time; I must for answear to your L. preferre the later course, as farre the fitter to be embraced for many important considera- tions. For to my understanding as the incon- veniences are great, that may ensue of the one, so the benefit is evident that proceedeth of the other. To make it manifest in bothe by an ample allegation of as muche as this mater doth minister unto me, it would be but supar- fluous in regard of your L. and happely un- beseeming and unmeete for me to doe it. For which I trust it may suffice to present unto your reading my principal reasons, which your L. in your wisedom may censure and correct as they seeme to give occasion. And first to shewe in my conceat what incovenience will fol.224v
come of it if her Majestie intend to requir[e .] mony presently, There is nothing more re[.] then that the aswear of the States will have [.] long replies, and be full of alteration, a[.] delaies, and yet at last it wilbe neg[.] which if her Highnes shall be pleased to dis[.] their handes, if so be she see them bent [.] her demande; then I leave to be considere[d .] then it were not more convenient, that the [.] should be spared. But in case she be re[.] having made the motion to them, to adm[.] [neall]; then me thinkes it would be r[.] determine before, by what meanes she will [use] to drawe them to this paiment. For unl[es .] procure it by some violent action, or po[.] the last some [.] course, which are [.] tedly as yet very dangerous proceeding /and too timely to be us[ed]/ people of this contrey, I can not readi[ly see] howe any thinge will be gotten. For [there] are many which they will produce, to [.] their refusall: aswell by averring that [.] of the Treatie thei are not yet bound [.] remboursement, as by pleading pouver[ty and] want, being wholy unprovided of m[ony to] perfourme it. They will urge [.] the 2 article of the Treatie, which doth fro[.] altogether from repaieng their mony, ti[ll their] state be reduced to peace and tranquillitie. W[hich is] also confirmed by the Act of A[mpl]iation made up[on .] fol.225r
the Contract /same Treatie/, whereby it is accorded, and pre- cisely so expressed, that unles the states be de- sirous to anticipat their terme, they should not be tied to satisfie her Majestie, untill the end of these warres. To this they will also adde the great insufficiencie of those general meanes with which these warres are supported: wherof they will make their proofe, by the extraordinarie subsidies which they have raised upo the contrey for these 4 yeres together, amounting every yere to ninetie thou- sand poundes at lest. Which hath growen in part by their offensive warre, which they have waged heere /more/ of late /then at any time before/; and partly by their often and char- geable relieving of the French Kinge in his greatest distresse; aswel with ready mony with other special succors. In consideration wherof, and of other pre- [In margin: [.]ing in so doing [.]ing of him, the [.] of themselves.]
tenses, which they will explicat better, then I can doe for them, they will inferre that every several Province is farre in arrierages: in so muche as Holland alone doth continually pay for the interest of two hundred and fourtie /eightie/ thousand poundes: /taken up upon /their/ townes and borowed by [revenues]/ for which they and the rest, I am very [In margin: [. g]reatest part [. b]orowed of [.]]
well assured, unles they /chance to/ stand in feare, that some forme of constraint will be used against them, (wherof at this present /in like maner/ the successe would be /also very/ doubtful) they will yelde no other answear then an abso- lut refusal. I knowe it may be replied, that they have enjoied her Highnes assistance for nine yeres together: that very great summes of mony, and also the lives of many thousandes of her sub- jectes, have bin spent in their service: and that fol.225v
their wealth and assurance doth farre exce[ed their] wonted state: for which they should not so mu[ch .] to the wordes of the Contract, as admitte [.] construction in common equitie and reason [.] though they should /could/ not restoare so muche [.] be demanded, yet to notifie their gratitu[de by] paieng of some portion. Howbeit they [.] avoide all this by an usual allegation, [that I] heard them often utter in their privat co[.] tion, That if they might have had in [.] promised assistance of five thousand foote [and .] thousand horse, according to the Treatie, th[.] dition by this time, God prospering the[.] had bin better by muche for the answearing [of the] debt. But they have not onely not bin [furni-] shed of those numbers that were promised [.] could never yet be masters of those forces [.] had, because they lost them often times [,] troupes together, being taken from them [on the sod-] daine, /and/ without their contentes, even then [.] were used in actual fight against [.] And therfore standing alwaies doubtfu[ll .] rest that remained, should be sent for in[.] ver, they could never frame their pro[.] the advantage of the contrey. They w[.] in this kinde many grievous complainte[s .] will not stande to argue, howe forceable [.] they may be judged for their purpose. Th[.] where it may be supposed, that their late recoverie of many special good townes hath muche amen- ded their abilitie, and highly enriched their fol.226r
general meanes, they doe earnestly protest, and make remonstrance to the contrarie, as if in eve- rie of those places they had rather bin surchar- ged, then eased by it hitherto: Howsoever it [In margin: [.]eth, they will [.] in the charges of [.] there /which they have/ placed [.] townes of /the necessarie repararations and/ forti- [.] cations at [.] and by that which they [.] that that the boores co- [.] but litle better [.] was in former]
is I should repute /esteeme/ it very needefull to be wary in preventing the alienation of their mindes, and the deepe discontentment, which I am sure will possesse both the highest and lowest in every part of these Provinces, if this motion shall be made. For when the people shall perceave that /nowe/ for many yeres [In margin: [.] they hoped for [.s]olace and ease [of their b]urdens after [.] victories]
to come /heereafter,/ their taxes and levies will falle to be more heavie then they have bin heeretofore, First by reason of their ordinarie charges, and then by the losse of her Majesties forces, and last of all by this remboursement, it may be feared very muche, that they will runne a wronge course in the heate of their dislike. And that is chiefly to be hee- ded at this very instant, because it is adverti- sed, that the Princes of Germanie are alltogether /solemnly/ agreed to renue a treatie of Pacification: which no doubt they will propose with more plausible con- ditions, /and in a farre better forme then hath bin/ then were offered yet unto them. Againe there may be some suspition, that the Frenche King himself will leave no practise unattempted, if any gappe be left open, to gette good footing in this contrey, which hath sought in former times to be protected by that Crowne, and have given very lately many eminent tokens of their liking unto him. Moreover it is worthy to be thought /on,/ whether it be not very requisit, that her Majestie in regard of her princely reputation, and of the opinion of the world /people/ of her honorable dealing, fol.226v
should not presse them as yet to the paim[ent of] this debt. For though it be not for me to [de-] cide suche a point, yet to touche it in a w[orde with] all dutiful reverence, as incident to that [which I] have taken in hand to prove, it is gre[atly to] be doubted, that in the opinion of other ma[.] chiefly of other Princes (to whome in [.] this people will appeale, in case they shou[ld .] ruled) it will be thought a hard procee[.] calle upon them for their debt, before the [.] of restitution, which she her self hath assig[ned .] But nowe to cast the very best, that any [.] can expect, that by solicitation and persuas[ion they] may be wonne in the end, to discharge sm p[aiment] presently, yet the case is very cleere that [.] every circumstance, as the charges of their [.] townes, of their annual interest, and of [the or-] dinarie bandes which they must keepe of [. ne-] cessitie, for their bare defense onely, it ca[n be no] great somme which they can levie to suche [.] and yet this will be the sequele, though the [.] but smalle, that of force they must surceas[e .] an offensive warre, because their reven[ues will] not serve, to supplie their turnes in bothe [.] And if the Enemie then after, should co[.] their places, as the likelihoode is great th[ei will] not lette slippe suche a profered opportun[itie .] may quickly be driven to the self same [.] nitie, as when her Highnes at first undertook[e .] protection. Wherupon what will folowe it is easie to conceave, when she can nether reape the fruites of her former expenses, and shall be forced fol.227r
then a freshe, to assist them as at first, in res- pect of her owne indemnitie. To conclude this former part, I doe but point a farre of to certaine principal perils, having /many/ more /of moment/ to intimat /heerein/ which if they should not be eschued by her Majesties wisedom, they might diversly redound to her prejudice and detriment. But according to that which I declared at first, as the danger is great in one respect, if her Majestie will insist to have present satisfaction, so againe in an other, if the time shall be prolon- ged, it will turne in my opinion to her sigular benefit. For they are fully nowe determi- ned with their speediest opportunitie, to besiege the towne of Dunkerke, which is a place of that importance, as every man knoweth, and aswell it doth con- cerne the subjectes of her Majestie as the people of this contrey, to have it taken from the Enemie. They are in that behalf in a good disposition to undertake it with the soonest: and their power to perfourme it is ether of it self sufficient enough, or it craveth litle aide, whereby there is apparance, that the event will be fortunat. And if it come to so to passe, they shall presently be lordes of an other newe contrey with a large contribution; they shall disbourden themselves of excessive expenses in maintaining shippes of warre, to continue in garde, upon that coste; and their trafficque by sea being bettered by it, their impostes and customes will be greatly increased; which be all ready waies to inable these contreis to make her Majestie good paiment. fol.227v
Moreover, as occasions are presented, they w[ill all-] waies be in action to gaine upon the Ene[mie .] every other Province: so as by their exploites, [not] onely they themselves, but also her Majestie a[nd her] charges shall be singularly steeded, the secu[rity of] this contrey exceedingly strengthned, and [.] ches so augmented, as by common course of [.] they may very well be able in very [.] to rembourse more mony in a yere, then no[w they] can in five. And so muche the sooner, f[.] places and townes which they have conquered of [.] that yelde them as yet no commoditie at all [.] pretend in their owne behalf) will be bro[.] into traine in a very litle time, and gi[.] great a revenue, as any other like townes, [.] part of these Provinces. Nether is there [.] ple to be made in this mater, as if whe[.] were effected, that I have presupposed, th[.] yet become backward in paieng their d[.] this is out of all question, and easie to de[.] that ether nowe, or in time to com, whensoe[ver her] Highnes will, if her cautionarie townes b[e .] kept, she may recover at her pleasure a[ll] of her mony: and though they would be[.] froward in returning excuses, yet she [.] she please, and the opportunitie be for her /it/, be [.] to her self, in appointing both the summes a[.] of their paiments: whereby at this present, and alw[aies] heereafter she may make full account, that there is so muche at home sette a side, in her cofers, as is comming unto her by the debt of the Provinces. fol.228r
And so to shutte up mine answear to that which your L. hath moved unto me, I doe not knowe any meanes more behoofull for her Majestie in respect of her owne Treatie, and of the judgement of the world /people/ /the worlde/ of her roial proceeding: in respect of geving this peo- ple a kinde contentation, and meeting with a number of imminent dangers: and lastly in respect of her special desire, both to gette this contrey well as- sured, (which is the savegard of her owne) and to have her mony duly paied, then to spare them so muche leasure, as till their state shall be furnished of competent abilitie. I may very well con- jecture that in her Highnes affaires, the occasions are many of consuming her stoare, and that there /are/ also urgent causes, why it should be repared by all convenient recoveries of any thing due unto her: but there are divers other waies in an other kinde of qualitie, by which her Highnes may take order, to save a rounde somme /of/ mony of that which is de- fraied by her self in these warres. And though it be not by any course, that will greatly content the States of these contreis, yet it is not of a nature to distast them very muche, and it may be better maintained with more coulorable reason, then that other kinde of dealing. But because it doth re- quire a particular discourse, and doth som way con- cerne the state of privat persons, to whome I may presume that my preferring of suche maters may be somwhat unpleasing, I hope your L. in this will ether pardon my silence, or at lest give me leave not to touche it in writing.