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Letter from Elizabeth I to John Norris congratulating him upon the capture of a Spanish fort

By the Quene

Elizabeth R

Trusty and welbeloved we grete you well As we wer right glad to understand that your attempt for the wynning of the fort, hath ben accompanyid with that happy succes that you have aduivtised, wherin you have right well aunswered our expectation both of your valuer and good conduct: So, could we have liked best, you had remembred our particuler direction geven unto you to stand upon a defensive warr, aswell in respect of thextraordinary care we have of the preservation of our subjectes lyves which the offensive cannot but putt in to ever great hazard. as for that our meaning in the present action is (as we have publickly notified unto the woorld) to defend And herewith we cannot also but put you in mind of the speciall care we required you to have, at the tyme of your departure, that the yong gentlemen of best birth that did accompany you might be spared from all desperate and hazardous attemptes as this was, the place being not assaultable, for that we meane they shuld be reserved as much as might be, in respect of their valure and towardlynes, for our service here at home in cases of necessite. Geven under our Signet at our Manour of Richmond the Last Day of Octobre 1585: in the 27th yere of our riegn.

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Letter from Elizabeth I to John Norris congratulating him upon the capture of a Spanish fort

Author
Elizabeth I
Date
31 October 1585
Medium
Manuscript

On 12 August 1585 John Norris was named Colonel-General of an army raised by Elizabeth I to assist the Dutch Revolt against Spanish rule (CSP Foreign, Elizabeth, Aug. 1584-Aug. 1585, p. 655). He arrived in the Low Countries on 20 August at the head of two thousand foot and four hundred and fifty horse (CSP Foreign, Elizabeth, Aug. 1584-Aug. 1585, pp. 668-9; Hammer, Elizabeth's Wars, p. 120). On 14 October Norris led English troops in an assault against a fort in the defensive works of Spanish held Arnhem. The fort surrendered the next day (CSP Foreign, Elizabeth, Sept. 1585-May 1586, pp. 84-5, 87). In this letter, whilst offering her congratulations on his success, Elizabeth pointedly remarks to Norris that "so, wuld we have like best, you had remembred our particuler direction geven unto you to stand upon a defensive warr."

Transcript

By the Quene

Elizabeth R

Trusty and welbeloved we grete you well As we wer right glad to understand that your attempt for the wynning of the fort, hath ben accompanyid with that happy succes that you have aduivtised, wherin you have right well aunswered our expectation both of your valuer and good conduct: So, could we have liked best, you had remembred our particuler direction geven unto you to stand upon a defensive warr, aswell in respect of thextraordinary care we have of the preservation of our subjectes lyves which the offensive cannot but putt in to ever great hazard. as for that our meaning in the present action is (as we have publickly notified unto the woorld) to defend And herewith we cannot also but put you in mind of the speciall care we required you to have, at the tyme of your departure, that the yong gentlemen of best birth that did accompany you might be spared from all desperate and hazardous attemptes as this was, the place being not assaultable, for that we meane they shuld be reserved as much as might be, in respect of their valure and towardlynes, for our service here at home in cases of necessite. Geven under our Signet at our Manour of Richmond the Last Day of Octobre 1585: in the 27th yere of our riegn.

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