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Letter from Elizabeth I to Sir John Norris congratulating him upon the capture of a fort at Brest

By the Queene

Elizabeth R

Trusty and welbeloved Wee greete you well And do praise and thanck Allmighty God for the contynuance of his favours towardes us in all our Actions of any moment against our Enemyes and nowe especially for this late victory given by the service and direction of you as our Generall and by other our valiant Capteyns and souldiars by whose manhod and valure the prowde Spaniard was vanquished which obstinately held the fforte lately builded by order of the King of Spaine neere to Brest with intent to have possessed both the Haven and the Towne of Brest for which service wee do commend you and requyre you to give knowledge thereof to all the Capteyns and souldiars that have served in this action And nowe wee do give you knowledge of our determination to have the service of certaine of the fforces that have served under you to the nomber of Two thousand to be sent into Ireland for a service of greate moment And as wee hope tha shall both be for our honnour and for the commendacion of such as shall be employed therein And for this purpose wee do send to you herewith a Memoriall of such directions as are by you to be followed for the manner of the discharge of all our people under your charge out of Bretaigne and howe and to what places they shalbe shipped which directions wee requyre you to followe And as sone as you shall have made them redy to be shipped wee will that you shall with all \the/ speed that you can mak your repaire hither to us to thintent wee may conferre with you abowt thorder of these fforces in Ireland and in the meane tyme wee require you to committe the sayed fforces to be shipped for Ireland to the charge of your brother Sir Henry Norrice Given under our Signet at our Palace of westminster the one & Twentith daye of November in the seven and Thirtith yeere of our Raigne

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Letter from Elizabeth I to Sir John Norris congratulating him upon the capture of a fort at Brest

Author
Elizabeth I
Date
21 November 1594
Medium
Manuscript

At the close of March 1594 it was reported that the Spanish were building a fort named 'El León' at Crozon in an attempt to cut off the port of Brest in Brittany (List & Analysis of SP Foreign, vol. 5, pp. 38, 286; Hammer, Elizabeth's Wars, p. 181). A Spanish occuppied Brest posed a direct threat to the safety of England (Nolan, Sir John Norreys, p. 208). The task of reducing the fort fell to Sir John Norris, commander of an English army already serving in Brittany in support of Henry IV's succession to the French throne. After a month long siege, Norris led a combined English and French assault on the fort on 7 November (van Meteren, Discovrse Historicall, pp. 139-40). The Spanish garrison was overrun after five and a half hours of fighting (List & Analysis of SP Foreign, vol. 5, p. 310). In this letter, Elizabeth I congratulates Norris and "our valiant Capteyns and souldiars by whose manhod and valure the prowde Spaniard was vanquished." Norris's success at Crozon was to be the last act of his service in Brittany. The Queen closes her letter by ordering the recall of Norris and his army for service in Ireland.

Transcript

By the Queene

Elizabeth R

Trusty and welbeloved Wee greete you well And do praise and thanck Allmighty God for the contynuance of his favours towardes us in all our Actions of any moment against our Enemyes and nowe especially for this late victory given by the service and direction of you as our Generall and by other our valiant Capteyns and souldiars by whose manhod and valure the prowde Spaniard was vanquished which obstinately held the fforte lately builded by order of the King of Spaine neere to Brest with intent to have possessed both the Haven and the Towne of Brest for which service wee do commend you and requyre you to give knowledge thereof to all the Capteyns and souldiars that have served in this action And nowe wee do give you knowledge of our determination to have the service of certaine of the fforces that have served under you to the nomber of Two thousand to be sent into Ireland for a service of greate moment And as wee hope tha shall both be for our honnour and for the commendacion of such as shall be employed therein And for this purpose wee do send to you herewith a Memoriall of such directions as are by you to be followed for the manner of the discharge of all our people under your charge out of Bretaigne and howe and to what places they shalbe shipped which directions wee requyre you to followe And as sone as you shall have made them redy to be shipped wee will that you shall with all \the/ speed that you can mak your repaire hither to us to thintent wee may conferre with you abowt thorder of these fforces in Ireland and in the meane tyme wee require you to committe the sayed fforces to be shipped for Ireland to the charge of your brother Sir Henry Norrice Given under our Signet at our Palace of westminster the one & Twentith daye of November in the seven and Thirtith yeere of our Raigne

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