Albrecht (Albert) VII., Archduke of Austria and Governor General of the Habsburg Netherlands (1559-1621). Letter signed.

Brussels, 1. VI. 1603.

Fol. ½ p. With autograph address and papered seal.

 2,500.00

To Philippe Le Vasseur Le Quien, Governor of Gravelines, concerning the financing of fortification works at Gravelines. Albert confirms having received a report and assures the Governor that he will instruct a member of the Council of Finances to provide the necessary funds, as it is his "intention that the said fortifications will be accomplished as soon as possible". He also asks Le Vasseur Le Quien directly to contact the mentioned councillor Conrad Schetz de Grobbendonck, Seigneur de Hingen, so as to inform him of the necessary means: "Nous avons veu [!] par v[ot]re l[ett]re xxvii du passé ce que vous rep[résen]ntez endroit les ouvrages et fortiffications à parfaire pour l'assurance de n[ot]re Ville de Gravelinges, que craindez ne se pourront achever ceste année a faulte de moyens, et comme les devises a ce nécessaires doivuent venir du costel de Flandres, et que n[ot]re Intention est que lesdit ouvrages, et fortiffications s'achévent au plustost, Nous escripnons [!] par nos adiounctus au Sr de Hinges d'adviser quelque expédient pour trouver Iceulx devises, parquoy sera bien que vous vous addressiez à luy, et regardiez de traitter avec luy sur le moyen qu'il y pourra avoir pour effectuer lesdites fortifications ainsi qu'elles ont esté pouriectées. Et quant aux munitions de guerre nous en aurons en temps et lieu la souvenance que de raison [...]".

The heavily fortified border town and port Gravelines was the scene of many battles. The 1598 Peace of Vervins brought relative stability to the region for four decades. Between 1639 and 1658 Gravelines was captured and recaptured several times by the French and Spanish. It was finally annexed to France in the Treaty of the Pyrenees of 1659. The reign of Albert VII as Governor General was marked by the Twelve Years' Truce from 1609. Although it was seen as a humiliating defeat for the Spanish, it allowed Albert to restore the damaged agricultural infrastructure of Flanders and advance the counter-reformation.

Counter-signed by Louis Verreycken, secretary of the Brussels Council of State. Slightly duststained and with an old waterstain. With three small holes and collector's notes in pencil.

Stock Code: BN#42431 Tag: