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Letter from Elizabeth I to Sir John Norris ordering him to reinforce Flushing and Brill

By the Queene

Elizabeth R

Having of late by sondry meanes bene given to understand of the strange alteracions and disordere growen in those partes & therby the imminent daunger lyke to fall out upon /our/ for[ces] there if speedy remedy be not fourthwith used to prevent the same; We haue though[ms. torn] meete, as before we gave you in charge by letters written in our name from our Cousin of Leycester So now by these from our selfe to will & require you with all speede to reinforce the garrisons of our Cautionary Townes of flushing and Briel with such strength and nomber of Souldiurs as by our sayd Cousin of Leycester ye were directed to doo using the lyke order in all the maritime Townes of importence and such other places as lye open and neerest to the danger & practise of the enemy which our opinion is ye may best doo by distributing into those places som parte of our forces that lye now scattered abrode and very yll prouided for to the danger of themselves and foyle of the Countrey And this our pleasour is to have don in such sorte as the States & all others may evidently see the necessitie if this action to proceede from the daunger we know those place to be in through the practise of the Enemy And so to make no other construction therof than that our true & playn meaning is to keepe the Townes in safetie as well for their as our own indemnitie Requiring you allso to use better regarde heerafter than it seeming you have of late had in discharging the companyes of Sir Edwar Edmund Carye Sir George farmer & Mighell Harcourte placed in garrison by our Cousin of Leycester & now displaced by you which companyes our pleasour is you should be more carefull of and see them so bestowed in fytt & convenyent places as may be thought best for our service wherin & in all other your proceedinges we looke you should heerafter laye a syde all private respect or passion and bend your mynde wholly to the advance[ment] of the service you have in hand Gyven under our Signet at our Manour of Grenwich the third daye of Marche 1586 in the xxixth year of our Raigne

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Letter from Elizabeth I to Sir John Norris ordering him to reinforce Flushing and Brill

Author
Elizabeth I
Date
3 March 1587
Medium
Manuscript

In November 1586 Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, was recalled from his post as Lord General in the Low Countries by Elizabeth I (CSP Foreign, Elizabeth, June 1586-Mar. 1587, p. 234). This placed Sir John Norris, as Colonel-General, at the head of the Queen's armies. However, in the months preceding the Earl's departure, the relationship between Leicester and Norris had become increasingly hostile. Clearly horrified at the prospect of Norris gaining control of the English forces, Leicester issued orders freeing Norris's principal subordinates from his command (CSP Foreign, Elizabeth, June 1586-Mar. 1587, p. 234). The decision was to prove costly for in January 1587 two of those freed from Norris's command, Sir William Stanley and Rowland Yorke, defected and surrendered the town of Deventer and the forts blockading Zupthen to the Spanish (CSP Foreign, Elizabeth, June 1586-Mar. 1587, pp. 326-7). Eager to prevent the threat of Spain launching an invasion of England from the Low Countries, in this letter, Elizabeth orders Norris with all speed to reinforce the cautionary towns of Flushing and Brill and all maritime towns of importance. The Queen closes her letter with an attempt to end Norris's feud with Leicester, urging him to "laye a syde all private respect or passion and bend your mynde wholly to the advance[ment] of the service you have in hand."

Transcript

By the Queene

Elizabeth R

Having of late by sondry meanes bene given to understand of the strange alteracions and disordere growen in those partes & therby the imminent daunger lyke to fall out upon /our/ for[ces] there if speedy remedy be not fourthwith used to prevent the same; We haue though[ms. torn] meete, as before we gave you in charge by letters written in our name from our Cousin of Leycester So now by these from our selfe to will & require you with all speede to reinforce the garrisons of our Cautionary Townes of flushing and Briel with such strength and nomber of Souldiurs as by our sayd Cousin of Leycester ye were directed to doo using the lyke order in all the maritime Townes of importence and such other places as lye open and neerest to the danger & practise of the enemy which our opinion is ye may best doo by distributing into those places som parte of our forces that lye now scattered abrode and very yll prouided for to the danger of themselves and foyle of the Countrey And this our pleasour is to have don in such sorte as the States & all others may evidently see the necessitie if this action to proceede from the daunger we know those place to be in through the practise of the Enemy And so to make no other construction therof than that our true & playn meaning is to keepe the Townes in safetie as well for their as our own indemnitie Requiring you allso to use better regarde heerafter than it seeming you have of late had in discharging the companyes of Sir Edwar Edmund Carye Sir George farmer & Mighell Harcourte placed in garrison by our Cousin of Leycester & now displaced by you which companyes our pleasour is you should be more carefull of and see them so bestowed in fytt & convenyent places as may be thought best for our service wherin & in all other your proceedinges we looke you should heerafter laye a syde all private respect or passion and bend your mynde wholly to the advance[ment] of the service you have in hand Gyven under our Signet at our Manour of Grenwich the third daye of Marche 1586 in the xxixth year of our Raigne

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