Letter ID: 0727
Reference: Hatfield, MS 30/15
Citation: DCB/001/HTML/0727/008
Date: 25 January 1596
Copies: 0780 1284 


May it please your good L. I have imparted as yow willed her Highnes pleasure to the States, for the calling away of Sir Francis Vere, to be conferred with a while in some attempt of great importance, against the Common Enemie. And to the end that his departure might not seme over strange, nor falle prejudicial to the actions of the Contrey, I lette them knowe that her Highnes was desyrous to proceed with their privitie, and good lyking. Wherto they made no other scruple, in their answear unto me, but that they would consult with the Councell of Estate, and likewise with Co. Maurice, who had all the conduction of the affaires of the warres, and doe me therupon, to witte their answear to her Majestie: wherin it may be they will signifie, howe muche it doth preju- dice the State of their affaires, to have any chief commander revoked on the soddaine (for so thei do debate it, in their privat communications) and will therupon request, to have him presently returned. But I thinke they will not use any other opposition: and though they should, I know it will not prevaile with Sir Francis Vere. My L. of Essex dispatche, with her Majesties lettres, I sent [presently] for Duisbourgh, by a Post of this Contrey, that was trustie and speedy: that I recken for his coming within two or three dayes, and that longer then he taketh his leave of the State, he will not stay in this place. Two dayes past, to goe forward where I ended in my last to your L. which I hope yow have receaved) Master Bar- nevelt returned, having bin, as I signified, im- ployed into Zeland: And to tell a long tale as short as I can, he and other five of the Province of Holland, with fower out of Zeland, were all that were deputed to meete in that session. And though they came for other businesse, yet that beyng ended, they were contented all at last, being dealt with all fol.15v
before, and privately prepared by Master Barnevelts dili- gence, to deliberat there together, about the mater of the Ouverture: which they discussed at the least for ten or twelve meetinges. Many dangers and doubtes were alleaged among them, aswell in regard of inconve- nience to the Contrey, which as divers discoursed, by a voluntarie dissolution of their Treatie with her Majestie might be mightilie damnified, as of perill to themselves, and their owne proper welfare, when as they should be noted, to be movers and advan- cers of suche kinde of Projectes. The effect of their objections I have formerly declared, by sundrie lettres to your L. They urged most of all, the composi- tion of their State, of suche diversie of factions, humors, religions: where so many were desyrous, if good mater were offered, to sette all a fire: the weightie bourden of their imposts, and other kinde of [tallages] the peoples weerinesse in generall to continue still in warre: the faire conditions of Accord presented by the Enemie, which their neighbors the Germaines, as the Enemies pledges would undertake to see perfourmed, [and a] number of other baites and fraudulent devises, which would be practised, they thought, by some that were corrupted, or ill disposed of themselves, to which when this shall be added, of her Majesties intention, to end her Contract with the Land, whereby they shalbe forced to surcharge the Common people, to raise another regiment, some were wonderfull afraid, it would turne upside downe all, and cause a great confusion.

Against those in the ende other arguments prevailed to which through orderly persuasion, they thought the people would give eare, Her Highnes huge expences, for ten yeares together, her present urgent neede in her domesticall affaires: her earnest poursuite so long continued, for some convenient remboursement: her impression deepely fixed of their unthankefull dispo- sition: her assistance reduced to very fewe companies fol.16r
and those not unlykely to be cassed and revoked: her undoubted inclination not to Leave them un- assisted, if so be that heereafter they be driven to extremitie: and lastly, but in special, her sus- pected resolution (for they doubt it very highly) to watche a time of revenge, when they shall happilie be forced to a large restitution.

Upon this they concluded by pluralitie of voices, For the first point, that it was expedient for them to intertaine 4000 sodiers of the English na- tion, not onely in respect of their valor above others, but to countenance their warres, as- well in the opinion of their owne inhabitants, as also of other contreys, and of the Enemie chiefly as if her Majestie would protect, and support their cause, unto the Last. For the second point, that it should be referred to her Highnes choise, to discharge or continew her Auxiliarie forces. For the third, that at the day of her Highnes birth, or Coronation, or what other tyme she shalbe pleased they will present a certaine paiment, not yet agreed upon among them, but, as it seemed, no lesse, then 20000li sterling /every yere/. Fourthly that they will not enter into Treatie with the King of Spaine, as they will also require, that her Majestie would not, without mutual consent.

Fivethly, that thei will alwayes be readie, as they are at this present, to send unto her Majestie suche nombers of shippes, with convenient provi- sion, as their abilitie will permitte, and her occasions shall require. Lastly that heere after, when they shalbe united, with the rest of the Provinces, or be otherwise established in peace and tranquillitie, thei will present unto her Highnes a farre greater portion, then the former: wherof, as before, there was neither any summe fol.16v
in speciall, nor yeres accorded of continuance: but thei left it as a mater, that would be easilie resolved. This communication was kept very close among themselves, which was had in the towne of Zuricksea the place of their assembly. From thens it was concluded that they should presently returne to their several Colleges, and should cary this con- ference with verie great secrecie, every man endevo- ring underhand, and by degrees, to procure the li- king of the best, and the meetest persons of their Collegues by imparting to them privatly the whole plotte, or a parte onely, and more, or lesse, as the parties gave occasion. And that publikely they should forbeare, to propose abruptely any Articles, to the effect a fore mentioned. Onely this in open place was accoun- ted sufficient, that assoone as they returned, thei should deliver out of hand the tenor of my last proposition, and of the rest of my speeches to the Generall States, and therupon demonstrat howe behoofull they had found it, in their forsaid Consultation, to consider of some good course, howe to gratifie her Majestie, for which it would be very requisit, that some should be deputed, with competent autoritie, to move the generall College at the Hage, to resume that mater solemnly, and to advise upon some offer, that might both be agreable, to her merites and dignitie, and not unpleasing heere at home, to their townes, and to the multitude. With this determination they departed to their principals with mutual protestation, that they would use such diligence, dexteritie and care to prosecut the Ouverture, as unles the Contrey would oppose too egerly against it, which they did not suspect, they would appeere with full Comission, in the generall College within twentie dayes after: and then labor to per- suade the rest of the Deputies: and by them the lesser Pro- vinces: which doe commonly concurre without any contradiction fol.17r
with Holland and Zeland, as the principal contri- butors in all money maters. I will not weerie your L. with a tedious recitall of other pettie plottes betweene me and Master Barnevelt, by which I am to negociat, with some persons in privat, in an other kinde of forme, for the better digesting and ripning of the mater, which I finde more and more full of weightie considerations: and were the motifes unto me of my last unfortunat returne, for that I was desirous, where the project was so hard and so quaisie, and so intricat heere, and so newe in like sort to her Majesties eares, to gaine and compasse that, in a very short space, by the meanes of my presence, which could not, I was sure, be maneged, by lettres, or by messengers, for many special causes, but very lamely and defectu- ously, and with a dangerous loose of a great deale of tyme, and of the present opportunities.

Wheras your L. would knowe what opinion is held of Count Hohenloes affection to the causes of this Contrey, I doe not finde in conversation, that the better sorte heere doe judge him to be Spanishe, or ill affected to the State, but rather on the other side, so sure and so sounde in his love to the Contrey, as they make no question of it. True it is that two monethes agoe there was secret notice given by lettres out of Germa- ny, from some persons of qualitie, that in lykely- hood had the meanes to understand it directly, that he had uttered some speeches in favor of a Peace, among the Princes of Germany: and that besydes he had determined to salute the Prince of Orenge, in his passage towardes Brussels. Againe it is observed that there is very muche inwardnesse between the Duke of Brunswicke and him; who is undoubtedly supposed to be a minister of Spaine. For the Duke hath of late resigned unto him divers lordships fol.17v
heere in Holland, as the Baronnie of Liesvelt, and the Seigneurie of Woorden, with dyvers other quillets, which can not yeeld him so litle, as a thousand markes by the yeere. But whether it be so that all that proceedeth of benevolence in the Duke, or that the Count hath dis- boursed some money, or other wise forgone of his owne in exchange, I can not come to learne. Once these are suche ocasions, for which of late he hath incurred the suspition of wavering, and of a hollowe harte unto the State, in the judgement of some fewe. But his continual profession of one religion, which was never yet stained with anie report, together with his long and loial services heere, his marriage of late with the Countesse of Buren, who is zelous in religion, and exceedingly addicted to all the causes of this Contrey; and then the interest that he hath in her States and possessions; with his late newe investure in the D. Brunswickes landes, which lye heere in Holland, are counted special arguments of his trust and affection. Howbeyt it is certaine, that Co. Maurice and he are become incompatible, how- soever in their meetinges they passe it with a shewe of a shallowe Civill courtesie. For which many doe wishe that Co. Maurice in his cariages towardes him /would/ use him better, or altogether worse, and determine with himself to be fully reconciled (wherof there is no hope) or devise some quiet meanes to cause him to depart. For every man doth feare, that this lingering hart bur- ning with mixture of disgraces, will drive him in the end to some desperat course of dealing, which by reason of his alliance and acquaintance with the Germans, is nothing needefull for this Contrey. The States I doe finde could be willing enough to give him his passeport, but thei owe him at the least for the arrierages of his services, three score thousand poundes Sterling: for recove- ring wherof, he will be able with his frindes to vexe fol.18r
and molest every Province in this Contrey. It is not doubted very muche, but that he meant to goe see and visit, the P. of Orenge, if his voyage had bin neere him, for the singular love, that he bare to his father (wherof he maketh often mention) and for his matching with his sister: which may move him perhaps to treate with the Prince, to forgoe his Seigneuries in these Provinces, of which the Prince is proprietarie, by the right of his mother the Countesse of Buren, though his sister reape the revenue. There hath nothing yet passed, by writing, or by mes- sage, nor heere is nothing given out of any hu- mor in the Prince, as favoring or hating the people of this union. But one that hath bin ever as his Gouvernor with him, doth nowe, as heeretofore, at his being in Spaine, both send and write to the Countesse of Hohenlo, about the receaving of his rentes, wherof the Countesse hath alwayes, and doth allowe him a certaine portion.

Of the nombers remaining of the English bondes, that are heere in the service and pay of the States, because they were not mustered, sins the moneth of November I can come to no certaintie, but what they were then, your L. shall see by the list heere inclosed, with the places of their garrisons. In other affaires of these Provinces, and in the actions of the Enemie, there is nothing heere in talke, but is either uncertaine, or of that na- ture, as your L. will not care to understand it.

The Cardinal cometh slowely remayning yet in Lorrayne, or as some men say at Luxembourgh, with 6000 foote, and 1200 horse. and till his coming, we imagine there wilbe no- thing by them attempted, against us, and for us, wee are not readie to doe any thing of mo- ment. And thus I take my humble leave. From the Hage January 25 95. Heere are fol.18v

Later Addition: XVII. 88

Endorsed: Copie of my lettre to my L. Tresurer January 25 95

Postscript: Heere are some of opinion, upon lettres out of Gelderland that Sir Francis Vere is either gone, or going about some peece of service: which I am very certaine, if the Post come to him, before his departure, he will give over: if not, for that I ghesse, it is onely some ex- ploit of surprise, or to beat some convoy of the Enemie, it wilbe quickly perfourmed./.