Letter ID: 1277
Reference: BL, MS Cotton Galba D XII f.1r-4v
Citation: DCB/001/HTML/1277/008
Date: 04 January 1596
Note: On fol. 1r there is the signature 'A'.
Copies: 0696 0781 



Addressed: To the right honorable my very singular good Lord the L. Burghley Lord highe Treasurer of England.



Later Addition: Galba DXII P. Plut: XIV D

May it please your good L. Upon the rea- ding of your lettre of the 15 of December which came to my handes the 28 before I did procure the meeting of the states, I founde it very requisit, to speake with Master Barnevelt: that if so be he could be wonne, to undertake his former offer, we might jointly cast a plotte, to sette the mater forward, and also make, if neede required some special addition, to the forme of that verbal which your L. had concea- ved. But I should use too many wordes to make a full report of his answears unto me. The chiefest were to this effect, That his forwardness and zele, to doe service to bothe sides had bin ter- med in England simulation and cunning: that the state of their affaires, since he and I talked, had bin notably changed, and that the college of the states was waxen very jalouse of his dealing in this mater (albeit he did not thinke, that they knewe the particularities) so as nowe the seconde time, to intermeddle in the same, it was to hasard overmuche his credit in the contrey, if it should not succeede to their general liking: which he had no reason to put in adventure sith it touched him no more, then every man besides. This was so in debate, for 2 daies together: but yet in the ende, with very much a doe, and many sortes of persuasions he made me this answear, That al- though it were apparent, that sins the time of that Ouverture, there had many thinges hapned heere, which were evident impeachments to the course that he proposed, fol.1v
yet he continued in his hope, that t[o stand in good] assurance of her Majesties amitie, and [to obtain a full] release of all her demandes, the contrey [might be dra-] wen, to yelde to some offer beyonde [their abilitie,] wherein he would take paines, to satis[fie her Majestie by] all the waies he could invent: howsoever [there had passed] just occasion of discouragement: but yet [it was not] in his power, to finde so ready meanes, to [attain to that] he would, as when it was integrum. For [which it would] be behoofull, to have a litle patience, till his [fellowe] might be wrought, by convenient degrees, t[o allow me] proposal. It was also to be thought on, that [he of all] others might not nowe, as at first, prop[ound the] mater in their college: but if I would be[thinke me] howe to sette it once a foote, I should see ever[y day by] his carefull proceeding, that he forslowed [no occasion] to seconde me soundly. Wherupon I tol[d him that] my commission would not beare, that I might [use any] speeche, in their publicke assemblie, of any [new mo-] tion, as proceeding from her Majestie. But ye[t I would] adventure, after time, as I had uttered [her pleasure] unto them, to cast out a worde in general [termes] by way of proposing my privat opinion, [and with a] true protestation, that I had no commis[sion from her] Majestie to doe it, to suche effect as this, Tha[t I had] weighed with my self, very often and throug[hly, as much] as they could alleage, in excuse of their [refusals] and that I sawe notwithstanding, howe back[ward soever] they had shewed themselves, that they mig[ht easily devise] to satsifie her Majestie and make no danger[ous dimi-] nution of the strength and welfare of the [Contrey,] fol.2r
and if after upon this, in their privat consulta- tions, he would take fitte occasion, to provoke his collegues to a conference,and to send some two or three, to knowe the meanes that I could plotte, to give her Highnes contentation, I would then, as of my self, breake the ice unto his handes, and recommend suche an ouver- ture, although I meant to make it better, as we had had in communication. Of this kinde of proceeding he tooke a good liking, so as 3 daies a goe, obtaining audience of the states, after I had imparted the pointes of my charge, I came to deliver my privat advise, as I had formerly used, in many other causes, with their approbation: but alwaies with a preface of sub- mission to their judgement, and with a special protesta- tion, that I spake but of my self without the notice of her Majestie. I reqested them to thinke, that although for the present, her Highnes had bin pleased, for some greater considerations, to seeme to say litle, and to winke at their dealinges, yet sith it was a mater that touched her in honor, in regard of her earnest and often poursuite, and the censure of the worlde, which would folowe upon the issue, she would not so give it over, but when the season served for it, they might be trou- bled with the fruites of a Princes indignation. So it might befalle, that these Spanishe preparations would prove but a scarecrowe: that the Enemie might other- wise be driven to his shiftes, by some notable dommage; or that they in their affaires might attaine by some attempt, to a great amendement of their meanes: in any of which cases, they were to imagine in their wisedome, that it would cost them very deere, so that her Majestie might perceave, that it were not to ruine the state of their contrey: fol.2v
wheras nowe, if they would, they m[ight prevent it all] in time, with some kinde presentation [to be made by] their Deputies, suche as she mighte accep[t with her dignity] and honor, and thei affourd with willing [minds, without] the imparing of their state. I hav[e no such occa-] sion to knowe their estate, as they ha[ve themselves,] yet of somwhat I was certaine, and cou[ld clear it unto] them, by plaine demonstration, that the contrey [was provi-] ded of competent meanes, for a reasonable o[ffer, so as if] they would but falle to fashion a project, a[nd recom-] mend it to the people, with some caution and ca[re, as they] had the skill to handle it well, it was like e[nough to] passe without any opposition. They should the[refore look] unto it, and speedely take hold of this offered [opportu-] nitie, and not spare a litle labor, to compound [so great a] mater: wherein I for my self, would be ready [when] they would, to communicat further, and to ye[lde any aid] in other sort, concurring with the duty and cred[it of my] place. To that which I decla[red in her] Majesties name, they made me this answear, [That] mervailed out of measure, at e sharpnesse of [my message,] when as they in their lettres had so plainely [reported the] state of their affaires, as they thought it im[possible, if] her Highnes had vouchesafed, to ponder every [reason, with] the exquisit ballance of her princely judgem[ent but that] she would have given way to their true alleg[ations.] They would consider further of it, and as occ[asion might] be offered, I should knowe their resolutio[n.] And as for that, which I had uttered, of mine [own pro-] per motion, they tooke it as proceeding from [affection] unto them, and of inward desire to make a [crooked] arrowe streight: for which they gave me many tha[nkes: but] yet touching the mater, they found it very ti[cklish] fol.3r
to be bruited abroade, that they and I were in talke, howe to finde out a way, to dissolve the Contract with her Majestie and to treate of /take order/ for remboursement: which might be hurtfull to themselves, for not being autorised, and pe- rilous also otherwise, for pushing on the people to some other alteration. Nevertheles thei would resume it, and discusse it among themselves, and after a while I should have worde, howe farre they durst proceede.

I had presently therupon some further talke with Master Bar- nevelt, by whome I was informed, that the answear made unto me, went currant in their meeting, as taken to be grownded, upon the very true reason and circumstance of thinges, as their state standeth nowe, and in the nature of this cause for which the mater yet required some time of digesting, which he would sette forward the soonest he could, and travel to effect it, with his greatest dexteritie. For it so be his collegues should be urged very hastely, he thought that out of question, they would ether not give eare, nor if thei should, and should not like it, it were no more to be renued wherupon he would endevor, not directly by persuasion, for that were too open, but by other kinde of preamble, to prepare underhand the humors of his felowes, which would be therfore the harder, because thei are not one mans children and hardly meete in one conceat, in the weightiest causes of the contrey. The lest con- tributing Provinces, as Guelderland, Overyssel, Utrecht and Groeninghen, are none of the stiffest in refusing a peace, and have nothing so muche feeling of her Majesties offense, as Holland and Zeland, that stand upon their trafficke, and can quickly make the reckning, to howe muche danger they are subject, if her Majestie would be drawen, to make trial of her puissance. fol.3v
Nevertheles because Holland and Z[eland by reason of their] their greatnesse, give the lawe in a ma[ner to all the rest,] he will first take upon him, to soun[d the chiefest] sort of them, and if they will comprehe[nd it as bene-] ficial for the state, he will make the les[s doubt of the] residewe of the Provinces. It comme[th happily to] passe, that he is newely nowe appointed [with certain] principals of Holland, to goe presently [for Zeland] about some publicke causes, which he doth ac[count will] keepe him away, some ten or twelve daies, [and give him] very good leasure, for maneging this mat[er with those] of that Province. And there will be then a[fter about] a fortnight, a full meeting of Holland, wh[ere he is] bent to doe his best, and thereafter as he fi[nds that these] are affected, he will /both/ in hande with some othe[r] lesser Provinces, and when the time shall b[e for it, he] will procure to have me called, to explicat [my mea-] ning, in my former proposition; and then a[fter to con-] clude, and determine upon it. So as I am [in good] hope, to knowe of or on, within fower or five [weekes.] once I hold my self assured, that there wil[be no de-] fect in Master Barneveltes endevors, who is v[ery earnest] with me, that there may be no speeches, of this th[at he intendeth,] nor no mention of his name, as of a plotte[r of this pro-] ject: which will rather disadvantage, then [advance her] Highnes service, and may peradventure pu[rchase him] a number of bitter foes. It may als[o en-] danger then further this mater, for me to [deal with others,] aswell as with him, unles that some men of the[mselves, will] give the first occasion, as hath bin done by /Master/ [Barnvelt] Againe I finde it not so easie, where men[s natures] are so jalouse, as they are in this Contrey, a[nd so feare-] full to listen to any newe devises, to ge[t them suddenly] fol.5r
to tast a point of suche consequence, as will bereeve them of the benefit of a singular Treatie, with a Prince of so muche power, whose counte- nance and aide hath maintained their estate so many yeres together, against the force of suche an Enemie. For which I take it to be best, till the mater shall be riper, to use the helpe of one alone, who is already gained for it, and for his credit and experience, doth serve in steede of many others: as likewise I must say, that for his soundnesse of dea- ling, I have had it in trial, for a number of yeres, in very many causes, in which I have found him often harshe, in regard of perfourmance, where his promise hath bin past: And so I trust I shall have cause, to report in this case: wherof I will advertise, as occasion shall be given, ha- ving nowe no other mater, for the affaires of this state, nor for forraine occurrence, that doth deserve to hold yow longer. For which I take my humble leave From the Hage January 4 95 Your L. most humbly bounden Tho. Bodley

Postscript: Theire purpose was heere, to have sent their [D]eputies for England, about the first [of] the next moneth, which is talked of no [m]ore, nor as farre as I can learne, [in]tended nowe not at all; for the speeche that I delivered in the name of her Highnes [u]nles that happely this be granted, [w]herein I am busied at this present.