Siege of Sluis (1587)

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Siege of Sluis (1587)
Part of the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo-Spanish War (1585–1604)
Engraving of the Siege of Sluis of 1587 by Frans Hogenberg.
Collection Rijksmuseum Amsterdam.
Date June 12 – August 4, 1587
Location Sluis, Zeeland, Low Countries
(present-day the Netherlands)
Result Spanish victory[1][2]
 United Provinces
Commanders and leaders
Kingdom of England Earl of Leicester
Kingdom of England Roger Williams
Spain Duke of Parma
Casualties and losses
700 killed and 400 wounded[3] 92 killed and 243 wounded[3]

The Siege of Sluis of 1587 took place between 12 June and 4 August, 1587, as part of the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo-Spanish War (1585–1604).[1][2] On 12 June, 1587, Don Alexander Farnese, Duke of Parma (Spanish: Alejandro Farnesio), Governor-General of the Spanish Netherlands, and commander-in-chief of the Army of Flanders, laid siege to the strategic deep-water port of Sluis, defended by English and Dutch troops under Sir Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, Governor-General of the United Provinces, and Sir Roger Williams.[2][4][5] On 24 June, the bombardment began, and on 4 August, after of 13 days of constant fighting around the walls, the English garrison surrendered.[6] The lost of the English-held port of Sluis revealed the inability of Leicester to assert his authority over the Dutch allies, who refused to cooperate in relieving the town,[7] and led to recriminations between the Governor-General and the States of Holland.[4][8]

Other notable English soldiers under Leicester's command were Sir Thomas Baskerville and Sir Francis Vere.[9] In the following months, the Earl of Leicester launched a series of unsuccessful attacks against the Spaniards.[10] In September, 1587, Leicester attempts to capture Leiden, but failed,[10] and his plans to capture Enkhuizen and Hoorn, two important ports of West Friesland, also failed.[9] On 16 December, 1587, Leicester returned to England.[9]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Parker/Martin p.126
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Van Nimwegen p.153
  3. 3.0 3.1 Vázquez, p. 307
  4. 4.0 4.1 Parker p.126
  5. To replenish the companies of Englishmen, he brought with him 3,000 fresh troops on the Queen's payroll, and 1,500 for units on the payroll of the States General. Tracy. Insubordinations, sedition, and mutiny, 1587–1588
  6. Parker/Martin p.126–127
  7. Wilson p.291–294
  8. The surrender of Sluis (5 August) was but another occasion for mutual recriminations between the Governor-General and the States of Holland. Tracy. Insubordinations, sedition, and mutiny, 1587–1588
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Olaf Van Nimwegen p.153
  10. 10.0 10.1 The Eighty Years War 1568–1648


  • Martin, Colin./Parker, Geoffrey. The Spanish Armada: Revised Edition. Published 1989 by Penguin Books. ISBN 1-901341-14-3
  • C. Duffy. Siege Warfare: The Fortress in the Early Modern World 1494–1660. Volumen 1. London. ISBN 0-7100-8871-X
  • Tracy, James. The Founding of the Dutch Republic: War, Finance, and Politics in Holland 1572–1588. Oxford University Press. First published 2008.
  • Wilson, Derek (1981). Sweet Robin: A Biography of Robert Dudley Earl of Leicester 1533–1588. Hamish Hamilton ISBN 0-241-10149-2
  • Van Nimwegen, Olaf. The Dutch Army and the Military Revolutions 1588–1688. First published 2010. The Boydell Press, Woodbridge. ISBN 978-1-84383-575-2
  • Hammer, P.E.J. (1999). The Polarisation of Elizabethan Politics: The Political Career of Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, 1585–1597. Cambridge University Press. Great Britain. ISBN 0-521-01941-9.

Further reading

External links