FARNESE, Alexander (1545-1592). Governor of the Spanish Netherlands and Duke of Parma etc.
Letter Signed in French ('Alexandre') to Valentin de Pardieu, seigneur de La Motte, governor of Gravelines, 1 page 4to, Mons, 29 July 1580. With integral blank leaf with docketing on the verso (a few wormholes and light foxing). With a complete transcript.
Giving permission as Philip II's Regent in the Spanish Netherlands to attempt a deal with the Welsh soldier Thomas Morgan to regain control of strongholds held by Protestant rebels.
A striking example of Farnese's pragmatism in winning back key strategic territory in Flanders during the Protestant revolt against Spanish rule. La Motte's terms for Thomas Morgan, then serving under John Norris in the Netherlands, are to be bluntly financial. In exchange for any one of Tournai, Ypres, Nieuport, Bruges or Dunkirk, Morgan will receive an annual life pension of 6000 florins, on the strict condition that the yielded town obey and serve the King as it did Charles V (Farnese's maternal grandfather). Following the Union of Utrecht in January of that year, which united the seven northern provinces of the Netherlands in revolt against Catholic rule, Farnese had launched what was to prove a prolonged campaign for the reconquest of Flanders and the Brabant. This was mostly achieved by military force; this letter suggests that financial muscle also had its part to play.
Thomas Morgan (d. 1595) was a professional soldier of Welsh descent who went on to participate in the defence of Ghent and Antwerp in the same campaign. He received a knighthood in 1587.
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