Εικόνες σελίδας
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

Yet, Anno 1581, they declare, that Philip of Spain was fallen from his government; they renounce and abjure him for their sovereign ; they break his seals, change the oath of allegiance, and took a new oath of the people, never to return to the Spanish obedience.

This done, the states, for so they called themselves ever after, chose Francis, Duke of Anjou, to be their prince, during whose unfortunate government, the Duke of Parma prevailed in all places, especially after the death of William Prince of Orange, who was traiterously slain, Anno 1584.

Now were the Hollanders truly miserable, desperate of pardon from their inraged prince, and having no person of courage to head them, none of power to protect them, but such as were likely to regard their own profit, more than their interest. England was the only sanctuary they had now left, to which they sue, offering the queen * the sovereignty of their provinces. But that heroick queen, not intending to herself any thing, saving the honour of relieving her distressed neighbours, Anno 1585, took them into her protection, and concluded, amongst others, of these articles, viz.

That the queen should send them five-thousand foot, and a thou. sand horse into the Netherlands, to fight for them.

That they should pay her ten pounds per cent. for all sums of money, she should lend them, or disburse for them; and interest upon interest.

And likewise five pounds for every English gentleman, or officer, which should dic in their service.

All which sums of money were to be paid unto the queen, at the end of the war.

And that, for the reimbursing of the said monies, the Brill, Flushing, and castle of Ramekins were to be delivered unto the queen, as caution and pledges.

The queen, in performance of her agreement, sent them fire. thousand foot, and a thousand horse, money and a governor, the Earl of Leicester, and had the cautionary towns delivered unto her. The renowned Sir Philip Sidney was the first governor of Flushing, who died in their service.

Casimir also, the elector Palatine's son, drew down to the assistance of the states an army of fifteen-thousand horse and foot, at the instance and great charges of the queen.

When the Earl of Leicester came to wait upon the queen, at his going over to be their governor; she strictly commanded the earl, that he should have a regard of the English soldiers, and that they served God, and demeaned themselves religiously. Which they did with such exemplary zeal, that a sober man might have thought, that the United Provinces then stood in Christendom. And that pious queen did therein well, for the Christian religion was first planted in Holland, Zealand, and Friesland, by Willibroad, as

• Elisabeth of England.

Englishman, the first Bishop of Utrecht; whence by degrees it gained on the rest of the countries. But since, by the ill prac. tices of some amongst them, they are much fallen from the purity of it.

The queen now resolveth to set all the royal signatures of her favour upon the United Provinces, and give them the most eminent demonstrations of her bounty and kindness The staple of English cloth, that was formerly at Antwerp, she settled at Delf, in great quantities; by reason of the great concourse of people, which that trade brought with it, the town became rich, well built, and beautified with spacious streets.

Flushing, before the English came thither, was a very poor town, but by the countenance of the queen, the English garison there and the trade which the English brought thither, it flourished in a high measure; and, by their means, so did all their great towns and cities there. . She encouraged them in their trades, protected them in their navigation, gave them licenses to fish upon the British seas, which before was not permitted unto them, and the English did courage. ously fight for them, to vindicate their rights, whilst they were em. ployed in fishing, and in their manufactures, by which they in. creased in wealth. But one infelicity happened unto them, that the King of Denmark, having taken some displeasure against them, laid an embargo upon seven-hundred of their ships, which were passing backward and forward upon the Sound for corn, by reason whereof the people there were now more distressed with fear of a famine, than with the sword of the enemy. But the potent queen presently gave them relief, for she supplied them with great quantities of corn; and by her interest, with the disbursement of some monies, the ships were discharged, and came home to their several ports, in the United Provinces.

Now was the queen looked upon as their only patroness, and the English, the best sinews of their wars, and the atchievers of the greatest exploits among them: Near Newport was fought that memorable battle betwixt the Archduke Albert, and the state. The victory, next under God, was gained for the states, by the valour of the English, and the excellent conduct of those noble and gallant persons Sir Francis and Sir Horatio Vere.

Ostend was not walled till the Low-Country wars, and then with a mud-wall only; and not finished till the archduke sat down before it. Insomuch as the Archduchess Isabella is said to have sworn, that she should not shift her smock till the town was taken, who, had she kept her rash oath, had been very—i For the town being garisoned by the English, and under Sir Horatio Vere, who was governor thereof, held out against the archduke a siege of three years, and so many months; the Spaniards at this siege lost one-hundred thousand men.

Breda, a town well fortified, and the barony of the Prince of Orange, from whom being taken by the Spaniards in the beginning of the wars, it was again recovered by seventy valorous English

soldiers; who, hiding themselves in a boat covered with turf, were

conveighed into the castle, which they easily mastered, and made ? the prince lord again of all his dominions and territories there.

The speech of one of the soldiers there, upon that occasion, deserves never to be forgotten; who fearing lest by his violent noise in coughing (though he did repress it) he should, together with himself, betray his companions : Kill me,' saith he, "fellow.soldiers, lest we be killed.'

The particular actions, gallantry, and noble attempts of the English, here, would deserve a just volume of themselves. By their valour and courage most of the Spanish soldiers were so wasted and consumed, that the King of Spain was forced, to give a stop to their conquests, to send fifty-thousand veteran soldiers out of Spain and Italy into Flanders. And the queen did supply the states with answerable numbers of men and money, insomuch as she maintained for them forty-thousand horse and foot in their service.

She made many naval expeditions into America, and there did much intest the King of Spain, sinking his ships, burning his towns, battering down his forts and castles, and interrupting all his trade and commerce there; all this to bring that king to reason and justice, as to the United Provinces.

The King of Spain, hereat exceedingly incensed, Anno 1588, sends his invincible Armado * against England, raised a rebellion in Ireland ag einst the queen, sent many Spanish soldiers to Kingsale, to the assistance of the rebels ihere, and committed many depredations in Cornwall here; many sanguinary and desperate persons were encouraged to poison, murder, and destroy her, who made many attempts upon her royal person. So this excellent queen being incircled with so many infelicities and troubles, and beset with so miny calamities, and being wearied with the wars in the Netherlands, because they did so exhaust her treasure, and destroy her brave people, and finding the states to grow insolent, and to perform no agreements, and withal, observing their sub. jects to grow rich by the war, of which they made a trade and mrchandise, and her kingdoms to be thereby impoverished; she' resolved to make peace with the Spaniard, being assured the Bel. gick war was never to be ended by conquest, and to that purpose. she signified her royal pleasure unto the states; but finding her majesty to be in carnest, as she had great reason for it, they were much perplexed. For, if she had deserted them, they had lost their chief and only support; they sent over their ambassadors' into England, and, in the most humble manner that could be, petitioned her majesty, that she would not cast off the cause of God and man, and leave sixty towns, with a poor distressed people, a prey to the malice and avarice of the barbarous Spaniard. But she earnestly pressed them for the payment of her money, adding withal threats, that, if she was not obeyed therein, she would take

[ocr errors]

See the History of this Armado on page 42, &c. Vol. II,

such courses, as her lenity was not used to be acquainted with, and so dismissed them,

Ilereat the sta'es were much disturbed ; and thereupon, Anno 1588, the distressed states sent the Lord Warmond and others their humble suppliants unto her majesty, who, in the lowest posture of humility, did acknowledge themselves obliged unto her for in Gnite benefits.

But herein her majesty excelled the glory of her ancestors, that, by how much she exceedled others in power, by so much her majesty excelled them in acts of mercy and piety, by whose means and aid, the French * have gained many victories, and they +


As for the money, which the states owed her, they beseeched her majesty to consider the dangers daily growing upon them, their poverty and disability to pay, and that, by original agreement with her majesty, no monies were to be paid, till the wars were ended,

The queen, understanding their unjust practices and ill dealings with her, told them that she had been often deluded by their deceitful supplications, ungrateful actions, unhandsome cavilings, and pretences of poverty, when their rich cities confuted them; and she hoped God would not suffer her to be a pattern to other princes, to help such a people, who bear no reverence to supe. riors, nor take care for the advantage, reputation, or safety of any but themselves : And required them to pay her the money they owed her: And advised them for the future, that they should not seek a remedy against growing danger, from old accounts by compulsion, but rather merit new favours by their gratitude and thanks for the former.

At these expressions of her majesty, the poor distressed states thought themselves confounded, both for their former and future charges: Yet, considering the vame of alliance with England was of exceeding advantage unto them, they resolved to submit, as they could not avoid it, to such conditions as her majesty should lay upon them.

The queen again pressed them for the payment of her money, and for peace; but she could not incline them to peace, being never disposed to pay her money, which must be at the end of the

Yet, in compliance with her majesty, the account was stated. And the principal debt, besides interest upon interest, and the loss of her subjects in their wars, did amount to 8,000,000 crowns; and they did agree to pay her majesty, during the war, 100,000 pounds yearly, and the remainder, when peace was concluded, and the cautionary towns surrendered ; and that in the mean time 1500 English soldiers should remain in the garisons, and that the states should


them. The queen, having her debts stated, began to be more friendly to them, and wished them to follow their trade of fishing upon


[blocks in formation]

the British seas; which she gave them leave to do, that they might be the better able to pay her, and support the charges of their war, which they did effectually.

But I could never find, that they ever paid unto her majesty any of the money they owed her. For it is not to be conceived, that those persons, whom her majesty, for so many years, could not bring to account, would, at the last, pay her any thing.

But her majesty being grown into years, and those vigorous and great parts, she formerly had, somewhat declining; they, that the queen might not exact of them the payment of her money, according to agreement with her, continually by emissaries, which they had about her majesty, and their pensioners, did infuse jealousies into her head, and what plots and secret designs the King of Spain had against her majesty, and her dominions; which did $o amuse her, that I do not observe her majesty ever pressed them after for the payment of any money:

But from time to time she supplied them with men as they desired, and ever made good to them her own motto, Semper eadem.'

And as ber assistance to them was the first, so it continued to the last, that is until March 24, 1603, at which time she died, having lost not fewer than 100,000 of her subjects in that war; and having spent in naval expeditions, for their sakes, against the King of Spain, in America, or elsewhere, above a million of mo. ney, besides the debt which the states owed her.

King James being proclaimed king, and the undoubted heir and successor to the queen, the states sent their ambassadors to the king; and, after some compliments to him, they signify to his majesty, that they had lost her, whose goodness and benefits to them were not to be expressed in words, but they had found his majesty as the heir of her kingdom, so the imitator of her virtues, and persuaded him to a war with Spain, and begged supplies of him.

But King James being a wise privce, and not to be taken with their arts and cunning, told them, that he had no difference with the Spaniard, and also, that King Philip had voluntarily offered him his assistance, if any dispute should have arisen concerning his kingdoms. And, for the archduke, he made war with the queen, not with the realm.

This highly discomposed the states; but King James treated with the Spaniards, and concluded a league with them. And the states, such kindness had his majesty for them, were offered by King James to be comprehended in the articles of the treaty, but they refused ; yet, by the mediation of King James, a peace was pro. pounded to the states from the King of Spain; but they signified unto his majesty, that they would not treat with the King of Spain, till they were declared by him Free States, abstracted from all right and title unto any of the provinces or places by them pos. sessed, which he might pretend unto. All which, by the great endeavours of King James, were granted unto them by the King of

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »