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The damage sustained by the English merchants there;
tives; certified into the exchequer. In the month of November, the next year, viz. 1576, the The sacking king of Spain's soldiers sacked and spoiled the famous city
of Antwerp. of Antwerp; wherein they committed most cruel massacres,
VOL. II. PART II.
BOOK and many barbarous violences and oppressions, not only at
the first heats, when they entered and took it, but many Anno 1576. days after; killing in cool blood any Walloons they met
with, and seizing upon the wealth, treasure, goods, and merchandise of all in the place, the English merchants not excepted, notwithstanding the king's privilege of peaceable living and trade granted them. Which insolences I shall here the rather give some brief account of, because of several earnest embassies the queen despatched on this occasion soon after. Which I take from an English gentleman, that was at that very time at Antwerp, and was an eyewitness
of what was done, and escaped thence after imminent dan396 ger of his life, and faithfully reported when he came home.
He seemed to be some public person and agent of the queen's, and (as I am apt to believe) was Dr. Thomas Wylson, who was sent over but the month before.
Which account was soon after published by him. Account “ That there lay seventeen thousand dead bodies of men, thereof by i women, and children, in the town, slain at that time by gentleman “the Spaniards. That they neither spared age nor sex, present. Spoil of
“time nor place, person nor country, profession nor reliAntwerp gion, young nor old, rich nor poor, strong nor feeble;
“ but without any mercy did tyrannously triumph, when " there was neither man nor means to resist them. For “ age and sex, young and old, they slew great numbers of
young children, but many more women, more than four-
For time and place, their fury was as great ten days after their victory, as at the time of their entry. And as great respect they had to the church and
churchyard (for all their hypocritical boasting of the “ catholic church) as the butcher hath to his shambles or “ slaughterhouse. For person and country, they spared “ neither friend nor foe, Portugal nor Turk.
For profes“sion and religion, the Jesuits must give their ready coin; “ and all other religious houses, both coin and plate, with “ all other things that were good and portable in the “ church, were spoiled, because they had; and the poor “ was hanged, because they had nothing. Neither strength
“could prevail to make resistance, nor weakness move pity CHAP. “ to refrain their horrible cruelty. And this was not done “ when the chase was hot, but when the blood was cold, Anno 1576. “and they now victors without resistance.
“ I refrain to rehearse the heaps of dead carcasses which “ lay at every trench they entered: the thickness whereof “ did in many places exceed the height of a man. I for“ bear also to relate the huge numbers drowned in the new " town. I list not to reckon the infinite number of
poor “ Almains who lay burnt in their armour. Some, their “entrails scorched out, and all the rest of the body free. “ Some, their heads and shoulders burnt off; so that you
might look down into the bulk and breast, and take “ there an anatomy of the secrets of nature. Some, stand“ing upon their wastes, being burnt off by the thighs; and
some, no more but the very top of the brain taken off “ with fire, while the rest of the body did abide unspeak“ able torments. I set not down the ugly and filthy polluting of every street with gore,
and carcasses of men and “ horses, &c. I may not pass over with silence the wilful
burning and destroying of the stately townhouse, and all “the monuments and records of the city; neither can I “refrain to tell their shameful rapes and outrageous forces “presented unto sundry honest dames and virgins. It is a
thing too horrible to rehearse, that the father and mother “ were forced to fetch their young daughter out of a cloi
ster, (who had fled thither as unto a sanctuary, to keep “ her body undefiled,) and to bestow her in bed between
two Spaniards, to work their wicked and detestable will “ with her."
And now to come to their dealing with the English there. The Eng“ A poor English merchant, having redeemed his master's
goods for three hundred crowns, was yet hanged until humanly “ he was half dead, because he had not two hu dred
witbal. " to give them: and the halter being cut down, and he 397 “coming to himself again, besought them upon his knees “ with bitter tears to give him leave to seek and try
his “ credit and friends in the town for the rest of their unrea
lish merchants in