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faire pour se defendre contre un si grand nombre de gens qui tous estoyent gens
experimented et vieux soldats. Le Colonel Jean Norris, fils du Lord Rycort, se
porta fort bravement avec ses Anglois. . . . Semblablement les Escossois sous le
Colonel Stewart et autres.' Le Petit says : ' A la premiere charge les Colonels
Norreys, Anglois, et Balfour, Ecossois, avec leur gens (dont aucuns combat-
tirent nuds en chemise comme ils se rafreschissoyent du travail du grand chemin
qu'ils avoyent fait pour se rendre a l'armee) se monstrerent fort valeureuse et y
firent paroistre leur vertu a les repousser et puis a les poursuyvre.' Cerisier also
notes the fact that the Scots fought ' en chemise. ' Renom de France says, ' Ceci
arresta bien le progres du Seigneur Don Juan.'

1 In the Appendix to Renom de France's Histoirc des Troubles des Pays
Bas is given a state ('dresse' in 1579) of the forces of the enemy, 'estans
presentement tant a Wervy qu'a l'environ sous la conduicte du seigneur de la
Noue,' which contains the following: — 'huict compagnies d'Anglois sous le
Coronel Norris.' . . . ' dix-huict compagnies escossoises le seze soulz le Coronnel


were difficulties with them owing to their pay not being forth-
coming. On the 3rd of January it was resolved 1 that the
Count Hohenlo should command in chief in the town of
Maestricht, Colonel Balfour being there with his regiment, to
whom the best contentment that it shall be possible to make
shall be given. In March there was a complaint from Mechlin
of the depredations of the Scots and English soldiers, and the
important city of Bois-le-Duc was lost to the Estates, because
of its refusal to admit any of the English, Scots, and French
troops sent to it from Brussels, although it was invited to
select from the three nationalities tendered. The arrangement
for the command and garrison of Maestricht was not carried
out when the Prince of Parma laid siege to it. On the 2nd
of March he advanced on Antwerp. His army was withstood
at Borgherhout by forty ensigns, ' tant Walons, Francois et
Anglois que Escossois," 1 who skirmished well for two hours, till
the odds being too great, they set fire to the village of
Borgherhout, and retired fighting to a position under the walls
of Antwerp, where the advance was checked by the fire of the
cannon. The engagement lasted till evening, more than 400
men being killed, mostly on the side of the Spaniards, and was
witnessed from the walls by the Archduke Mathias and the
Prince of Orange. With characteristic rapidity Parma moved
his army from the west to the eastern side of the theatre of
war, and commenced his famous siege of Maestricht, the
garrison of which consisted only of 1000 men, * tant Francois,
Walons, Escossois, qu'autres, 1 aided by 1200 well-armed
burgesses and 2000 peasants. After a heroic defence of four
months it was carried by assault, and ' peu de soldats des Etats
en eschapperent que tout ne fut tile.' 2

The Walloon provinces were finally reconciled to Spain in
the summer of 1579, but part of Brabant and Flanders adhered
to the Prince of Orange. On the 22nd of October, a gallant

Balfour et deux venues depuis, a cent hommes chascune compagnie tant
harquebouziers que piques font en tout deux mil hommes combattans.' . . . ' Et
si attendent le regiment du Corronel Stuart de huict compagnies escossoises qui
font huict cens hommes combattans parti picques et harquebouziers.' . . .
I Cavallerie . . . autres soixante chevaulx escossois en la forme de leur pays.'
1 Actes des Etats Generanx. 2 Le Petit.


piece of service was performed by Colonel Balfour and his Scots.
Information had reached Bruges that it was feasible to surprise
Menin, and scaling-ladders having been secretly prepared at a
country-house of the Burgomaster's, Colonel Balfour left Bruges
on the evening of the 21st, picked up his Scots companies at
Roosendaal, and before four o'clock in the morning, was under
the walls of Menin, with a brewer of the town who had been
persecuted by the Walloons as his guide. At the same time
four companies from Courtray arrived at the other side of the
town in boats, and as four o'clock sounded the ramparts were
simultaneously escaladed, the sentinels driven in, the guard
defeated, and the town taken. 1 Curiously enough at the same
time the Walloon forces in the neighbourhood and part of
the garrison of Menin were engaged in a similar attempt on
Courtray, which was defeated owing to their leader hearing the
commander of Courtray, who was listening for the alarm at
Menin, ask a sentinel if he heard anything, and on being told
' no, 1 reply ' the time is near. 1 In Menin the Scots secured a
large amount of booty which the Walloons had collected there.
On the 16th November, it fell to the Scots captains ' Setonand
Mornou 1 to conduct to Menin the prisoners taken by De la
Noue in a cavalry action near Halewijn. 2

1 Renom de France says, ' D'ailleurs l'opinion des capitaines du Roy portoit
que Menin surprinse mal a propos faisoit beaucoup de mal a toutes les provinces

2 In the ' Estat des gens de guerre servans aux Etats revokes, la soulde d'iceux
et repartissement des provinces,' given by Renom de France (Jan. 1580).

Among the troops assigned to be paid by Flanders were :

'Les 18 compagnies Escossois du Colonel Balfour.

Treize compagnies Anglois du Colonel Noritz.

Et les compagnies de Setton, Mornault, etc.'

(An item of Colonel Henry Balfour's estate (given up in eik dated 7th January
1593) was a debt of ' ane thousand florence' due to him by ' Capt. Henry
Seytoun. ')

Among those assigned to Zealand were :

' Cinq compagnies du Colonel Stuart Escossois.

Les compagnies fussent estoffees de cent cinquante testes, avec les capitaines
et officiers traictez comme s'ensuit.

Le capitaine par mois 90 liv., le lieutenant a 45 liv., l'enseigne a 40 liv.,
deux sergeants a raison de 24 liv. chascun, quattre caporaux a 16 liv., fourrier
our clercq 12A, deux tambours chascun 1 2 liv., un chirurgien a 12^, montant en
effet chascune compagnie a 1700 liv.'

The captains of Stuart's regiment appear from the documents afterwards sub-


In January 1580, Parma took by assault the castle of
Mortagne, which was garrisoned by three companies of Scots
and English. There were Scots companies in the force of the
gallant La Noue, when he was defeated and taken prisoner at
Ingelmunster in May. And in November, Balfour, who had so
long commanded the oldest Scottish regiment, met a soldier's
death. ' Le Colonel Balfour General des Escossois au service
des Etats, estans en garnison a Bruges en Flandre, sortit avec
sa compagnie de Cavallerie, et attaqua au village de Wassenaar
(du Franc de Bruges) quelque Cavallerie legere du Prince de
Parma quMl diffit ; mais y survenant secours Balfour qui n'avoit
que soixante chevaux apres avoir vaillament combattu, fut
defait et tue, non toutefois sans grande perte des Espagnols.
Son corps fut rapporte a Bruges et honorablement enterre. II
fut fort regrette pour les bons services qu'il avoit fait en Flandre,
aussi ne mourut il point pauvre. Sa femme accoucha tost apres
en la dite ville/ 1

In February 1581, the town of Courtray fell owing to the
dislike of the townsmen to receive an addition to the garrison,
and a stratagem of the enemy. The garrison consisted of two
or three Scottish companies, and a letter was written to the
governor purporting to be from friends offering to introduce
an additional force secretly by a little meadow near the castle.
At night the governor going to receive them discovered his
mistake when too late, but the assailants found the Scots already
turned out in good order in the market-place, where they
defended themselves for four hours, but were finally all killed
along with many of the townsmen. In the following month
the Scots in garrison at Vilvoorden mutinied for want of pay,
and drove away Colonel Stuart, their commander, but with
much difficulty they were appeased ; and Stuart's regiment was
afterwards sent with a French one to Flanders to occupy the
attention of the malcontent element in that province. The

mitted by him to the States-General to have been himself, James Stuart, Andrew
Stuart, Thomson and Anstruther.

1 The training the Scots were receiving In the Netherlands was carefully
watched from London, for in the instructions by Cecil for Sir R. Bowes, dated
i8th Sept. 1579, his attention was called to the fact that, 'the Scottish nation
is at this day stronger in feats of arms than it was aforetime, by reason of their
exercise in civil wars at home, and their being abroad in the Low Countries.'


Scots who were with La Garde when he recovered the Chateau
of Baerle from the malcontents set fire to it. In the beginning
of October, Parma laid siege to Tournay, which was in sore
straits, when, in the end of November, the Scottish Colonel
Preston set out from Menin with thirty horse, ' with a great
courage ' cut his way through the lines of the Germans forming
part of Parma's force, defeated the company of the Prince of
Chimay, took thirty prisoners and entered the town. Unfor-
tunately one of his soldiers was heard to say that they had
been to near Dunkirk in vain to meet the promised French suc-
cours under the Duke of Anjou (a mistake because their leaders
object had been to surprise Bourbourg or Gravelines), 1 which
so discouraged the besieged that it hastened the surrender. 2

While the Prince of Parma was besieging Oudenarde in the
summer of 1582, a force consisting almost wholly of English
under Colonel Norris, and Scots under Colonel Seton, 3 was sent
into Flanders and quartered near Ghent, with the view of
relieving it. Scottish troops — probably the same — formed part
of the force which fell back fighting before Parma under the
walls of Ghent, from which the Prince of Orange watched the
combat along with the Duke of Anjou, as he had watched a
similar one with the Austrian Archduke Mathias from the

1 See Strictures on Military Discipline, etc., p. 69.

2 A document from the archives of Ypres of about this date, quoted by Letten-
hove, mentions as quartered at Bruges, ' le regiment du Colonel Preston fort de
dix bannieres de cent cinquante hommes, et les cornettes du Mauregnat, de
Robert Maxwell et d' Archibald Hamilton.' Richard Preston, second son of
Archibald Preston, second baron of Valleyfield, and Giles Semple was a colonel
in the service of the States of Holland. — Douglas's Baronage.

In Feb. 1584-5 Gavin Hamilton, brother of the deceased Captain Archibald
Hamilton, brought an action against the widow and William Balfour, son and
heir of Colonel H. Balfour, for a sum of 1200 guilders Flemish money, and
the value of two horses, all received from said deceased Captain Archibald
Hamilton. — Acta et Decreta.

On 6th July 1581, a quaint proclamation was made by the Scots Privy Council
against the transport of loose women to Flanders, which proceeded on the pre-
amble, that since His Majesty's subjects went there to serve, ' thair hes cumit
thairfurth of this realm many and divers trowpis and cumpanis of licht women,
uncumly and indecent in thair maners, countenance, behaviour and array, not
being mens wyffis or having ony necessar knawin effaires or bissyness.' . . . 'to
the tynsale of the great reputatioun quhilkis the said subjectis in the partis
aforssaid hes to thame acquirit sin thair cuming thairto. '

3 Bentivoglio.


defences of Antwerp. In August of that year Captain William
Sempill, and his brother, who was his lieutenant, treacherously
betrayed the town of Lier to the enemy, ' pour se venger de
quelque disreputation ou tort (selon quil disoit) les Etats luy
avoient faict.' x

In January 1583 occurred the treacherous attempt of the
Duke of Anjou to make himself unfettered master of Antwerp,
which was known as the French Fury. When the subsequent
accommodation was made between the Estates and the Duke,
the English and Scottish troops who had mutinied in the ' pais
de Waes,' taken prisoners, and held the principal inhabitants
to ransom, took the same oath as the French, moved from the
country of Waes towards Rupelmonde, and crossed the Scheldt
to succour Eindhoven, now besieged by the Prince of Parma.
There were Scots in the army which took the Chateau de
Viersel, but it was too late to save Eindhoven, which fell on
the 23rd of April, having been defended by some French and
Scots companies ' qui s'acquitterent fidelement de leur devoir
tant a fortifier qu'a tenir la place.'' On the 20th of June,
Parma, having learned that there were differences between the
English and the Scots on one side, and the French on the other,
in the army under Marechal Biron, which lay at Roosendaal,
attacked it suddenly and defeated it. Several places in Flanders
having fallen into the hands of the enemy, to prevent which
the Scots and other troops, sent by the Prince of Orange, had
been despatched too late, the authorities of Bruges sent to
Colonel Boyd, ' whom they had themselves made colonel,'' 2 and
persuaded him to come to Bruges with his regiment of Scots,
which was in their pay, and abandon Menin, where he had
been in garrison. In the following year the Prince of Chimay,
who had temporarily joined the party of the Estates and had
been made Governor of Flanders, and Colonel Boyd, with
apparently the approval of the majority of the citizens, who
were mostly Catholics, changed the magistracy, with the result

1 Meteren. See note 2, p. 26. According to a document, quoted by Lettenhove,
dated 4th Dec. 1582 (Arch, of Bruges), the army of the Estates then contained
13 cornets of English and 13 of Scots. There were 20 German, 54 French,
and 18 raised in the country.

2 Meteren.


that Bruges also became 'reconciled to the king. 1 But the
Dutch historian notes that the most part of the Scottish
soldiery and captains did not bear the Prince much affection,
and when they left the town and were offered employment
under Parma, only Colonel Boyd and some captains would
accept it. Shortly before the English garrison of Alost, being
unable to get their arrears, had sold the town to Parma, and
taken service under the Spanish colours. An attempt was
made to play a similar game at Ghent, but it was unsuccessful,
and among the persons compromised were the Englishman
Rowland Yorke, who was afterwards the author of a greater
treason, and Seton, a Scottish lieutenant, who confessed that he
had been with Parma, and promised to deliver Denremonde. 1

On the 10th July 1584, William the Silent, Prince of Orange,
perished by the pistol of the assassin Gerard. The progress of
the Prince of Parma in reducing the southern provinces had
been so far successful that he now proceeded to take the pre-
liminary steps for the reduction of Antwerp. Three leagues
below the city, on the opposite banks of the Scheldt, were two
forts, Lillo and Liefkenshoeck, built to secure the passage of the
river. Liefkenshoeck was carried by storm on the day of the
Prince of Orange's death, but Lillo was gallantly held by
Teligny, son of the brave De la Noue. The Spaniards planted
four pieces of artillery against it, on a dyke, but just then the
Zealanders sent four Scottish companies under the conduct
of Colonel Balfour, 2 who, having entered the fort, as soon
as the garrison perceived the enemy and the position he had
occupied at once made a sortie to capture the cannon. But the
dyke was very narrow and the enemy's trenches strong against
assault, and they could not push their attack so far. However,
they killed a good three hundred of his men, and returned
bringing as their prisoner the principal miner, who revealed
all the mines that had been prepared. 3 The fort made so good
a defence that Parma ultimately gave up attempting to take

1 Meteren.

2 Barthold or Bartholomew Balfour, who served till 1594, and is found in
1603 acting as factor to the first Lord Balfour of Burleigh. Renom de France
says that * a la suite de certains differends il se retira en 1594.'

s Meteren.


it, and afterwards said that but for the way Lillo had been held
he would have had Antwerp six months sooner.

The respite of Antwerp was not for long. Ghent having
been ' reconciled, 1 and all Flanders subjugated, Parma re-
turned, and the famous siege began in earnest. The Scots
bore their part manfully in the defence. Among those
who fell in the fight at Austruweel on 13th August was
Captain Gordon. After Teligny was taken prisoner, in the
attempt to reach Zealand and lay the need of the garrison
before their countrymen, Captain Prop went successfully
on the same dangerous mission; and in the bloody struggle
on the Kowenstyn Dyke the side next the river was committed
to the English and Scots. Parma himself had to leap to the
waist in water with a pike in his hand, ' when he saw that his
men would go no more to the charge on that side, seeing that
the English and Scots were there doing their duty so well. 1 1
When owing to the flinching of the Dutchmen on the other
side, the islanders had sullenly to fall back, they left many
dead on the bloodstained dyke. ' The English and Scots under
Balfour and Morgan, 1 says Motley, who, writing at a time when
the echoes of the Trent affair were scarcely stilled, generally
shows scant appreciation of the British services to the Nether-
lands, ' were the very last to abandon the position which they
had held so manfully seven hours long. 1 2

It would seem that Scottish soldiers also took part in Count
Hohenlo's unsuccessful attempt upon Bois-le-Duc, for when
Cleerhaghen, the guide of the enterprise, leapt into the moat
after all was lost, he was saved by a Scottish soldier.

If Napoleon^ maxim was that 'Antwerp in French hands
was a pistol held at the head of England, 1 its capture by the
Spaniards was sufficient to spur Queen Elizabeth to action.
The Earl of Leicester landed with a large auxiliary force, and
was made Governor - General and Captain - General of the
Netherlands. Scots troops were detailed to share in the as-
sault when he took Doesburg in September 1586, but the
achievements of the campaign were unequal to the excellence

1 Meteren.

2 Captain James, one of the English officers, wrote, that after the Dutch gave
way ' the Scots seeing them to retire left their string. The enemy pursued very
hotly : the Englishmen stood to repulse and were most put to the sword.'


of the force at his command, and before long the relations
between him, Prince Maurice of Orange, and the other officers
in the service of the States in the days of William the Silent,
were strained. Renom de France mentions Colonel Balfour
among those to whom Leicester ' se rendit bientot odieux, 1 x
and the delivery of the city of Gueldres to the enemy by
Colonel Aristotle Patton, 2 in January 1587,is stated byMeteren
to have been an act of vengeance, because ' Leicester estoit
corrouce contre luy et qull avoit menace de vouloir mettre
Stuart en sa place. 1 Scots troops were in the force which
in Leicester's absence Prince Maurice led to Brabant with the
intention of relieving Sluys, and marched to meet the earl on
his return to Zealand. On the final departure of Leicester,

1 Renom de France says that the old ' chefs de guerre,' including Balfour,
? tous se joindirent aux Contes Maurice de Nassau et Hohenlo.'

Leicester himself confirms this. — ' 1586, nth July. — I have no liking for
Balford here, he is a bad fellow, and wholly at others' direction and not mine :
indeed, if the Master of Gray come not, he will look to be colonell-generall over
them all, which I will no way consent to. ' — Leicester Corresp07ide>ice.

2 The booty acquired by the famous freebooter, Colonel Schenck, in whose
absence Patton was commanding the garrison, and against whom also he had a
grievance, was appropriated by Patton, to which the proverb was applied, ' Du
diable vient au diable vat.' ' Ce Patton,' says Le Petit, ' par le moyen de son
grand argent en telle sorte acquis epousa la veuve diseteuse du feu Penthus de
Noyelle Sr. de Bours qui aida ci arracher le chasteau d'Anvers des mains de
l'Espagnol : Ceste Dame estoit de la maison de Bieure que le Sr. de Champaigny
pensoit bien epouser, mais ses gouttes et l'argent de Patton Ten empescherent le
soir mesmes qu'il la devoit affiancer.' Shortly before his death, in 1589, Schenck
encountered and defeated Patton, who only saved himself by swimming his
horse across the Lippe. In a list of the army of the Prince of Parma in 1588,
after the Spanish, Italian, German, and Walloon infantry, there came ' Irlandais
regiment du Sr. de Stanley, Ecossois regiment de Paton entremesle de Walons.'
Meteren says that in the army for the invasion of England were eight companies
of Scots, and that Captain Sempill, who had surrendered Lier, was sent to Scot-
land. He was a frequent intermediary between the Spanish Court and the
Catholic earls. On 15th February 1588-89, Thomas Pringall, who had served
twelve years, four under the States, and the rest under the Duke of Parma, was
executed at Edinburgh. He had been sent by Colonel Sempill to the Earl of
Huntly before Christmas, and had been in Scotland with Sempill the preceding
Easter, when Sempill ' escaped by his mother sending him a rope, by which he
conveyed himself out of a window, being lodged in one Gurley's house. ' Colonel
Sempill was, it is thought, a son of David Sempill first of Craigbet, brother of
the third Lord Sempill. See ' Colonel William Sempill,' Scotsman, 10th August
1896, by T. G. L. For a full account of his betrayal of Lier, see ' Gesckiedcns
der Stadt Lier,' by Anton Bergmann.


the conduct of the war fell wholly into the able hands of
Prince Maurice, and the Scottish jegiment is to be found
almost continually in the army with which he won his triumphs.
Upon the destruction of the Spanish Armada, the Duke of
Parma turned the fine army he had amassed to work at home,
and promptly besieged Bergen-op-Zoom. 1 Scots were sent to
the city from Brill and Ostend, and on 11th November,
Balfour, coming from Tholen with 500 picked men ' tant gens
du pais-bas que Escossois,"' co-operated with a sortie made by
the garrison. 2 During the following night Parma raised the

The services of the Scottish troops in the campaigns of
1589 and 1590 are not specially recorded by the historians ;
but ' Balfour, Colonel of the Scots, with ten ensigns, 1 3 was
present at the sieges of Zutphen, Deventer, Hulst, and Nime-
guen in 1591. In February 1592 the Estates sent Count
Philippe of Nassau with his regiment and the Scottish regi-
ment of Balfour, making in all twenty companies, to the
assistance of Henry iv. of France. In 1593 Balfour's regi-
ment was again with Prince Maurice, and at the siege of
Gertruydenberg it was posted at the west of the town, the
Scots and North Hollanders together facing one of the great
ravelins. 4 Scots also took part in a fruitless attempt to sur-
prise Bruges in November, when the troops lost their way in
a dark night, and Balfour himself was wounded in the foot,
serving with Count William of Nassau, in a skirmish with
Verdugo's troops who were retreating to Groningen.

1 Orlers, in the Lauriers de Nassau, mentions that in the question of the
; governorship, ' Les Anglais tenoyent plus le parti de Drurij que de Morgan, les

gens des Pais Bas et les Ecossais suivayent le parti de Morgan. '

2 According to Strictures on Military Discipline, etc., ' Colonel Scott com-
[ manded 500 Scots of the garrison and behaved with great bravery.' There was,
i however, an English officer of the name of Scott.

3 Their position is marked in the illustrations in the Lauriers de Nassau. See
\ also as to Zutphen, Renofn de France ; and Deventer, Meteren, fol. 333.

4 Meteren, Orlers, Le Petit. After the reduction, the Prince 'put General
I Balfour with his regiment, which had suffered greatly, into that place, giving

him the command, his brother, Prince Frederick Henry, whom he appointed
governor, being yet too young to have any command. ' — Strictures on Military
Discipline, etc. and Hist. Account.


In 1594 Balfour retired from the Dutch service, 1 and the
command of his regiment passed to Colonel Alexander Murray.
It is said that on the return of the Dutch ambassadors from the
christening of the Prince of Scotland, 2 a great many Scottish
gentlemen went over to Holland, taking with them about 1500
men. 3 Murray's regiment (still of ten companies) was present at

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