An history of the late warres

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Introductory notes

Galeazzo Gualdo Priorato (1606-78) was a historian and mercenary soldier who, early in his career, fought under both Protestant and Catholic factions, represented by Maurice of Nassau (later Prince of Orange) and Abrecht von Wallenstein. In 1663, Priorato was appointed court historian to Emperor Leopold I of Habsburg. He then retired to Vincenza in 1664 and wrote several historical works, including the four-volume history of the wars of the Habsburg emperors and Philip of Spain against Sweden and France between 1636 and 1641. He is considered to have developed a secular theory of “political competence”. His history of the Thirty Years Wars was translated into English in 1648 by Henry Carey, Earl of Monmouth (1596-1661). The selected extracts provide a narrative of siege warfare; the manipulation of access to provisions and food was frequently likened to a (man-made) “famine” in early modern accounts of wars and sieges.

of the late
and other state affaires of the best part of
beginning with the King of Swethlands en-
trance into Germany, and continuing
in the yeare 1640
written in Italian by the Count Galliazzo
Gualdo Priorato:
and in English by the Right Honourable
Henry Earle of Monmouth.

Printed by W. Wilson, and are to to bee sold by John
Hardesty, Thomas Huntington, and Thomas Jackso,
at their Shops in Ducklane.

PUBLISHED BY W.Wilson 1648


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Maestrich was at this time streightly besieged by the Hollanders, a place of no small moment: The River Maes runnes through the midst of it, which taking its head from the furthest parts of Lorayne to wards France, after a long course falls into the Lake of Don in Holland; it is perfectly well Forti ied, and lying betweene the Countries of Liege, Juliers, and Braband , it is knowne to be the Key which opens [Page 118] and shuts the ingresse from Germany to the United Provinces.

The Spaniards, fearing this Citie should be besieged, not being of themselves able to succour it, and force the quarters of the Hollanders (which had quite surrounded it) perswaded themselves, that if Count Pappenheim (who was neerer those parts then any other of the Emperours Commanders) would joyne himselfe with the Spanish Forces, they should be able to relieve it. They therefore made their desires knowne to the Emperour, and to Walesteine, who yeelded thereunto, and the more to hearten Pappenheim, they promised him the Order of the Golden Fleece, and 100000 Crownes to boot, upon condition hee would rayse the Siege and relieve the Citie. These tydings being therefore brought to the Hage, my Lords the States were not slack in providing with all possible diligence for their Fortifications. They therefore reinforced their quarters; they put the Elector of Coln (who had profest himselfe to stand a Neuter) in mind that he should observe his promise, and doe nothing that might be prejudiciall to them. But availed but little, for the Elector making faire excuses, suffered Pappenheim to passe, and to refresh his men in the Townes of the Archbishoprick, who quickly joyning with the Spaniards, marched on to the designed enterprise.

The Prince of Orange, resolute not to rise from before the Towne, having provided all things fitting for his Quarters, and ordered Count William of Nassaw to advance with a good strength of men, prepared to resist the Imperiallists Invasion; which hapned luckily for the Hollanders; for the Austrians were bravely fought withall and beaten back; and though Pappenheim, madded at the difficulty he found by the obstinate defence of the besiegers, nor yet being according to promise seconded by the Spaniards, turned again to renew his assault upon the English Quarter, and though all meanes possible were used from the Citie by sallying out, yet was he forced to retreat with the losse of about one thousand of his Duchmen: the which, when the besiged saw, dispairing of any further succour, and wanting Ammunition and Victualls, they capitulated, and surrendred the Town, to the unspeakable sorrow of the Spaniards, and all the Roman Catholiques thereabout.

Pappenheim being gone from Westfalia, George Duke of Lunenburg had faire opportunitie to overrunne that Countrey, and to beset and take Duderstat, and Eimbeck (walled Towns, in the Dukedom of Braunswick) and likewise to besiege Wulfenbuttell, the Garrison whereof being strong, and well provided of all necessaries, did by their many sallyes much infest the Neighbouring parts; but this Siege lasted but for a while, for Pappenheimes returne made the Duke desist from that enterprise, two of his Regiments being hardly dealt withall by Pappenheimes men, who set upon them at unawares in their quarters not farre from the Citie.

The King of Swethland and Walesteine, stayd all this while in the Fields before Nurenburg, watching over each others wayes; the Famine grew greater and greater in both Armies as well for Man as Horse; so as each of the Generalls apprehending, that by being the first should rise, they might meet with some disadvantage in the open

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Field which might oblige them to a Battel upon bad tearms, and wheron the fortune of both Crownes consisted; both of them sent for their Souldiers from their Garrisons and Townes of greatest importance. The King, as he whose forces were weakest, desirous to get out of those streights and come into the Field, had not onely sent for Waymer and Bannier to come back, but likewise for all those Forces which lay in Swabenland, in the Bishoprick of Erbipoli and of Bamberg.

Walesteine likewise dispatched away Orders to Montecuculi, that he should come speedily to his Campe before Nurenberg, not thinking that had happened which hath beene said in Alsatia; for the Duke of Wirtenbergs march, and the comming of Gustavus Horne was unexpected. The Count departed, but first by sundry Posts informed Walesteine of the small number of his men, which came not to 2000 Foot and 1500 Horse, and what need Alsatia stood in of Forces, being assaulted by great numbers of the Enemy; and whil'st he staid, expecting other Orders from the Generall, he met with a new Commission not to stirre from Brisack.

The King, having his Army increased by the accesse 12000 Souldiers, brought unto him by Waymer and Bannier, went out of his Trenches in Battell Array, thinking to storm Walesteines quarters, by the intelligence held with two Souldiers sent by him a little before to that purpose into the Enemies Campe; the one being Master Sadler to Waymer, and the other a Sutler; the Sadler entred Walesteines Campe under pretence of his Trade, and the Victualler feigning to be of Auspech, a Towne not farre from those quarters, was brought by the meanes of Colonell Cornembergs Stewart, to be a Sutler to the said Colonells Regiment: When the Swedes were to give the assault, the Sadler promised to give fire to the Ammunition, and the Sutler to the Quarters, but they failed in this their Conspiracy, God not suffering such a scourge to fall upon the Romanists; for the Sutler having stolne a piece of Plate the day before out of the said Cornembergs Buttery, and endeavouring to go out of the Trenches, as he past through a Court de guard kept by

the said Colonells Souldiers, a Corporall casting his eye upon him, and finding he had somewhat underneath his Cassock which raysed it up, asked him whether he went, and what it was he had under his Cassock? The other replyed, It was bread, & that he was going for Victuals; whereat the Corporall desiring to have part thereof, found it to be a piece of Plate, so as he stopped him upon suspition: The Sutler being hereupon dismaid, believing that this had not befalne him onely for the Plates sake, but for his having intelligence with the King, presently confessed all, and peached his Compagnion, who was taken, and on the very day the King came to charge the Imperialists quarters, he and his fellow Colleague were broken upon a Wheele. Such events use often to bef ll Traytors, who for money sell themselves to death, and to eternall infamy.

The King went streight on to charge Aldringers Trenches; who being aware thereof, and expecting his comming, beat him back bravely with no little slaughter of the Swedes; so as seeing he was not here able to execute his intent, he wheeled about and fell upon those Trenches

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that were guarded by the Bavarians, by whom being likewise repulsed he resolved to plant some Cannon upon a hill neere a little wood, hoping by his frequent shot to make the enemy dislodge, and bring them into the field, where he might fight with them upon great advantage; e began then to play so furiously with his Cannon upon the Imperialists quarters, as that in lesse then six houres he had made above 400 shot at them: Walesteine perceiving how the Swedish Cannon molested some of his quarters, Commanded that all the Souldiers should keep themselves under the Trenches, and that all the boyes, women, and other uselesse people should withdraw themselves into a hallow Dell which lay between Gallasse his quarters and Aldringers, whereby he remedied the mischiefe he might have received; for all the shot flying over them did them no harme.

The King seeing how little good his Cannon did, removed from thence, and thought to possesse himselfe of the rise of another hill which more commanded the enemies quarters; but this being foreseen by Gallasse, who speedily brought two Regiments of Foot thither, and there Intrenched them, the King gave over the enterprise, and retired to his former station in a wood hard by; where being pursued by the Caesarians (who incouraged by Walesteine fought couragiously) a faire skirmish was begun on both sides, which continued from Friday night the 4th of September, till about Ten of the Clock the next Sunday-morning: great was the losse of both sides, but without comparison much greatest on the Swedes; for besides many brave Commanders and Gentlemen of Worth, they lost about a thousand Souldiers; there were slaine of the Imperialists about 400 amongst which Colonell Don Maria Caraffa a Neopolitan, and Colonell Fucari. Both Armies shewed singular valour in their behaviour, the King, Walesteine, and all the Commanders keeping still amidst the haile of Musketshot to give fitting directions.

This bloudy skirmish made the King know to his cost, that many times event sutes not with expectation; for besides the losse he suffered here, he foresawe a greater danger threatned by Famine, Victuals and Forrage for horse growing every day more scarce, so as on the 15th of September he held a long consultation with the chiefe of his Commanders, wherein was discussed how they might be gon from Nurenberg; but so as the Citizens thereof might not be left to the discretion of the Romanists: 'twas evidently seen that any longer stay there was prejudiciall to the Souldier, who was not therewithall contented, but beginning to waver on all sides, said, these were not the effects the King had promised them, to lye and moulder away before a Towne, and doe no good

they saw that the remainder of Victuals which were necessary for the maintenance of the Citizens, being consumed by the Swedish Army, the Swedes and Citizens would both of them be reduced to great streights; and Nurenberg being full of people would be for want of Victuals in great danger of falling into Walesteines power, who had cunningly sowen sedition amongst some of the Citizens; he for this and other reasons resolved to be gon; and having very well satisfied the Senate of the City with the necessity of

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his departing, renewed his friendship with them, and taking a friendly farewell of all the people, (who filled the aire with their wishing God to blesse him, and good fortune to follow him) leaving with them 2000 Foot for their better strength, he marched with his whole Army which consisted of 26000 fighting men towards Bamberg, to refresh his men wearied with continuall duties.

Walesteine who knew likewise he could tarry no longer there, his Victuals and Forrage being wellnigh exhausted, and fearing lest whilest he should finde it a hard businesse to take Nurenberg, the King might easily advance to some new designe, and that his Forces being weakened by lying before that Town, he should be the worse able to keep afterwards in the field, He likewise raised his Camp and marched towards Sindetspacke not farre from Nurenberg, where he haulted and mustered his men, who appeared to be 36000 Souldiers; he left Gallasse in the Reare with directions to fire all the Villages of those parts, (which he did) and that then he should go towards Misuia, to drive the Saxon Forces thence, whil'st he himselfe went to Bamberg, (a City in Franconia upon the Mayne, belonging to the Bishop thereof, who hath there the power of Civill Juridiction) and stayed with his whole Army in some neer neighbouring Villages: for his end was onely to entertaine the King, and not to put himselfe upon the danger and uncertainty of a Battaile, whil'st Gallasse and Holke going into Saxony with 10000 Souldiers, might ruinate the Country, and force the Elector

thereof to come to an accommodation, when he should see himselfe not succoured by the Swedes, who would have worke enough found them by Walesteines Forces He afterwards sent the Marquesse Grana, an Italian, with 4000 Foot, and 1500 Horse, (all Commanded men) to invade the Marquessat of Brait a jurisdiction of the same Province, not farre from the Diocesse of Nurenberg, which the Marquesse Grana did with good successe, and little trouble; Brait not being in condition to withstand a good Body of choice men, wanting Rampiers, Men and Munition, for their defence.

But Hornes proceedings in Bavaria (whereinto he was entred with eight thousand Foot and foure thousand Horse) occasioned fearfull confusion in those who were accustomed to the security of peace; and therefore the assistance of their Princes Forces being acknowledged to be necessary, it behoved the Elector to part from Walesteine, and with his men and those of Aldringers, amounting to the number of 14000 Souldiers, to returne into Bavaria towards Raim, (a place invironed with strong wals after the ancient mode, in a considerable situation upon the Leech, lying between Dunawert and Augspurg, which was the passage from Swabenland into Bavaria) aswell to guard those places which were threatened by the Swedes, as to stop the forwardnesse of the Austrian Country people about Lintz; who making use of the Imperialists taking up Armes against the King of Swede, and of their Princes troubles, tooke the liberty to take up Armes, and by way of insurrection, to hinder the navigation upon the Danube, by rifling the Barkes: yet this their insurrection lasted but for a while; for they no sooner knew that John Went, Colonell of the Catholique [Page 122] League was comming against them with foure Caesarian Regiments, then (as is usuall to basely minded people) they laid downe their Armes, and peaceably retired to their owne homes, terrified at the Chastisement inflicted upon some of the heads of the sedition: so as Walesteine seeing himselfe much weakened, and totally overcome by the misfortune of warre, for want of fitting accommodation in those Territories, he resolved to go from thence towards Coburg, to take that Towne and the Castle, which were very considerable: for it was seated in Franconia, upon the Confines of Thuringia, begirt with ancient Wals, and in some places fortified with Rampiers, and Ditches upon the River Asch, which taking its rise from within that Province towards Thuringia, after having made a small course fals into the Mayne, whereby he might hinder the Swedes from setting upon him on the Flanke, where at any time he should advance into Misnia to joyne with Holke and Gallasse.

The King was now at Newstat neere the Straij (a River which taking its head from the County of Henneberg, after having watered part of Franconia fals into the Mayne) when hee was advertised that Walesteine having raised his Camp from the territories of Nurenberg, and being parted from the Duke of Bavaria, bent towards Coburg, that afterwards he might proceed to prejudice Misnia, wherein Holke had already taken some Townes, as Gallasse had likewise done on the other side: therefore having an eye to the Imperialists proceedings, and finding that their end was to lead their Forces into Saxony, thereby to force the Elector to accept of peace, since they could not prevaile by their words and Treaties, hee commanded Duke Waymer to march with part of the Army towards Sindlypach, (not farre from Nurenberg) and that he should watch over Walesteines proceedings, and not lose sight of him; and that he should likewise have an eye to the comming of Pappenheim; who being thereunto solicited by continuall expresses from Walesteine was returned from Flanders, and was likewise gone towards Franconia and Misnia, to set upon them on the other side.

The King having left the Duke of Be kinfelt with a body of men raised by the said Duke, of 5000 Foot and 2000 Horse, to guard the Townes neer Bavaria, marched with his Army towards Nurenberg; where being advertised by the Citizens what dammage the Country thereabouts suffered by the Imperialists Garrison, left by Walesteine in Lauff, belonging to the jurisdiction of that Senat, upon the Pignitz, hee resolved by suddenly setting upon it to drive the Enemies Forces from thence; he therefore came before it with his Cannon, and set upon it, which though at the first it seemed resolute to stand out in its owne defence, yet at last resolved to submit to the Swedes discretion, there still remained the Fort of Listenaw between Nurenberg and Fortheim: but this proving a difficult businesse, as being conveniently well fortified by Art, strong by nature, and well garrisoned, so as some time would go to the winning of it, the King thought it not good to make any stay there, and lose his men whil'st his enemies were in the field, strong in men and resolution.

Leaving therefore Colonell Sperater with 3000 men in those parts for satisfaction of the Senat of Nurenberg, (which began to [Page 123] conceive amisse of the Swedes proceedings, that Citie being little lesse then destroyed for their sakes,) he led on his Army to Erfurt, the Metropolitan of Thuringia, divided by the River Jera, which takes head in that Province, and falls into Unstrutz there to prevent Pappenheim, before he should execute his designe of taking it in; who having left Count Gronsfield in the Bishoprick of Hidelsheim (a Country wch extends it selfe from the River Glien, to the Fuse in the Province of Braunswyck) with 7000 Souldiers to besiege Newburg, a strong place seated upon the side of Abre, used much diligence in his marching away with the remainder of his men, finding how irreparable an other Battell would be by reason of the being at hand of so great forces; and for the scarcitie of Victualls in those parts unmanured for want of Inhabitants, and abandoned by the Enemy, who could not any longer suffer the incommodities thereof.

Great was the diligence that this Count used to prevent the Kings arrivall at Erfurt, yet not such as could out-doe the King in speedy march; for fearing the prejudice he might receive if he should therein be prevented by the Romanists, he made his Vanguard march by day, and his Rereguard by night, loosing no more time then what was requisite in some sort to refresh the Souldier.

The King stayd two dayes in Erfurt to comfort his Army, and more particularly his Foot who were very weary with so long marches, in which time he understood how that Walesteine had wonne Coleburg, how his Cannon playd upon the Castle to render his Forces the more secure by the taking thereof; as likewise those of Pappenheim, who was marching to joyne with him, and what progresse Holke and Gallasse made to the prejudice of Saxony. The Kings Forces and Waymars being joyned, he call'd a Councell of Warre, where he, with his Chiefe Commanders, consulted upon what course was best to be taken;

Wherein some wisely weighing the present condition of affaires, were of opinion, It was not fitting for them to bring themselves to such a passe, as that they could not shunne a Battell upon disadvantagious termes; that the Imperialists had a considerable greater number of Souldiers then they, who were ambitious to win by their Swords Walesteines good opinion, who was a large rewarder of gallant actions (a thing worthy of consideration:) that the Enemy was protected by favourable situations, & fit places to retreat unto; that the Swedes on the contrary were an Enemies Country, and that devasted, there being no appearance of Provisions sufficient for them to keep the Field against the Imperialists, who were furnished with all things necessary from Bohemia; that there was not any more commendable resolutions to be had in warfairing then such as did secure the keeping of what was already got, and did maintaine the Souldier in strength and vigour; that to doe so, was more praise, worthy in a Commander in Chiefe, then the gaining of Townes; that such resolutions were alwayes blamed and prejudiciall, as were undertaken without having an eye to the event; that the whole ought never to be endangered for a part; that in the losse of one Battell, the downfall of all their already wonne renowne, their ruine, their being [Page 124] opprest by their Enemies, the amazement of the Subject and Souldier, and the fame and reputation of their Armes did consist: That Victory is thought best when wonne by Wit, not by the Sword; that wise men ought not onely to consider what advantage may accrue, but provide for what of damage may happen: That their opinion was to temporise upon the Confines, to incommodate the Enemy now upon the Flanks, now upon the Front, now upon the Reare; to take from them their Provisions, and to prejudice them more by the hardnesse of the season, and scarcitie of Victualls, then by committing all to the hazard of a Battell; that it was very advantagious to make good what they had alleady wonne; the which the Austrians having lost, they would be constrained to keepe their Campe in their owne Hereditary Territories, and so warring against themselves, and thereby weakned, they would the easilier be overcome.

These Reasons were attentively listned unto, and well liked of, almost by every one, and by the King himselfe; but it was considered on the contrary side;

That to seeme fearfull of the Enemy, is the first step to losse; that Armies were not said to be advantaged by the number of men, but by the Souldiers courage, and Commanders worth; that barren places were to be forgone, and the getting of more oppulent Cities indeavoured, against the which the Souldier goes the more boldly on incited by the hopes of gaine; that what was won by Armes, was not to be maintained without Armes; the bold undertakings whereof is usually favoured by Fortune, who when she finds her favourer abused, doth oftimes turne her backe.

Thus did the King speake and resolve; adding, That in Warre men ought not by speculary shadowes and imaginations of feare, to deterre that boldnesse which far from any thought of danger ought only to be confident of, and in it selfe: That he confessed, reflection ought to be had of past successes, but that it behoved not the Conquerour to shun encountring the conquered, that it was no reason to hazard all for a part, amongst those Enemies, in whom even that Army with so much difficultie recruited, being comprehended, the utter ruine of their Dominion did consist: That they were to fight boldly against those, who once beaten, were not likely to make head again; that it behoved them to fight who had nothing to lose, and those to shun fighting, who by losing might be undone; that it was never good to abandon those Confederates, who building upon their friendly protection, have without respect drawne the Warre upon themselves; that it was dangerous for them to faile in the promises they had made, and hopes they had occasioned: That the Elector of Saxony was worthy to be assisted, and to have good correspondency kept with him; that all delay was harmefull, neither could the Prince be blamed of error, who being deceived by his friend, for the preservation of his owne Estate falls to treat with the Enemy; that therefore they ought to thinke of advancing, and having an eye to the Imperialists proceedings, not to shunne an occasion of Battle; that they should succour Saxony where it had need of them; or by Invading Bohemia, recall Walesteine from his designes upon Misnia. These

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conceptions carrying more of weight and substance with them in the present conjuncture of time, then did the other, wonne the approbation of all: so as the King (leaving fitting orders for the good government of those Townes) went from Erfurt, the Inhabitants whereof running a vye to see the Kings preparations, and upon their knees doing reverence to him, they powred their prayers to Heaven out for him, and with much acclamation and confidence wisht him good fortune. 'Twas observed that the King being troubled at this their behaviour, broke forth into these words; What do these people fancy unto themselves; doe they believe me to be a god? O how they are deceived; we are all mortall; our soules may well be of steel, but our bodies are of glasse; I presage mischiefe to my selfe from hence, and apprehend Divine punishment.

These speeches though proceeding from a King that profest enmity to the RomanCatholique Religion, made many know he had a well composed minde: Having mustered his men (which he found to amount to 16000 Foot and 11000 Horse of divers Nations) hee gave the Vanguard to the Command of Duke Bernard Waymar, consisting of 4000 Horse, Dutch and Finlanders, 1000 Dragoones, and 6000 Foot divided into six Squadrons; hee recommended the maine Battaile to the Marshall Kneiphausen, with 6000 Foot divided into three Bodies, and 4000 Horse parted into eight Squadrons, and he himselfe kept in the Rear with 1000 choice Horse, 1000 Dragoones and 4000 Foot, every Battaglion of the Vanguard, as likewise of the Battaile, and other Squadrons of the Reserve having 5 fieldPieces in their Front.

In this order he began his march towards Nurenberg, but having notice by the way that Walesteine had raised his Forces from before the Castle of Coburg, that he had taken Leypzig, and that the quartering of his Army extended to Newburg and weisnfeld, (walled Townes upon the Sala, and upon the Confines of Saxony) possessing all advantagious places, he lead his Army to Newburg, a Towne seated a little lower upon the said River, towards Erfurt, that hee might make use of that station to joyne with the Saxon Army, (which was now about Torgaw, a place belonging to the said Elector, upon the bankes of Elb) consisting of about 12000 Foot and 4000 Horse, to oppose the designes of Holke and Walesteine, to whom Pappenheim being now joyned with 9000 Souldiers, hee notwithstanding kept still in his former quarters, to hinder the Saxons from joyning with the Swedes, Whil'st these went cautiously preparing how they might upon advantage fight with the Imperialists, the King was by his Scouts advertised, that Walesteine was gone from Weisnfeld, and had retired himselfe in close quarter towards Lutzen, a Village two Leagues off from Leypzig, and that Pappenheim was marched with part of his Army, towards Hall, to hinder the advancing of George Duke of Lunenburg, who being sent for by the King, for the better strengthning of his Camp, made long marches to joyne with the Saxons, that afterwards they might meet all in one Body with the Swedes.

The King resolved not to lose time, but to make use of that conjuncture which hee found [Page 126] fitting for him, to set upon Walesteine, who being severed from Pappenheim, had weakened himselfe of the best bands of his Souldiers, upon whom he might have relyed for Victory; so as the King thought he might easily bring his designes to their wished for end. Hee therefore arose from the quarters he had taken, and with flying Colours marched thither-wards, sending the Finlanders Horse who were then in the Van to discover the Country, who failed not in their duty; for the Kings commands were readily obeyed by all his Souldiers, the which they went the more cheerfully and willingly about, for that they were thereby invited to the hopes of a glorious Victory, big with booty and reputation.

Walesteine (being a wise Commander) having found the Kings designes, and foreseen that making use of Pappenheime's absence, hee would force him to a Battaile, upon the successe wherof, the Sum. Total. lay; and having many and various thoughts hereupon, weighing duly all that made against him, that he might go upon secure grounds, he resolved to advise with his Astrologer (whom he used to trust with his greatest secrets) who found that the Constellations of that Month were not answerable to the Kings former fortune, or rather that the Planets seemed to have an ill aspect towards him.

Grounding much hereupon, (for imitating the ancient Romans he had an opinion of A guries, and was wont to governe his actions by Astrologicall science which he had studied very diligently) he resolved to see whither the Starres (which had befriended him at other times) would now tell truth or no: he then secretly agreed with Pappenheim, that hee should temporise, and that each of them should advise the other when the King should advance, by the shot of Cannon set purposely in fitting places, and should by speedy messengers acquaint one another with the Kings proceedings, and that in this case he should speedily returne to his men towards Lutzen; for hee would entertaine the Swedes with skirmishes, and so afford him opportunity to come time enough. The King having made haste with his marches towards Lutzen, Walesteine gave quickly the signe agreed upon by a threefold Cannon-shot to Pappenheimes Centinels, who were placed at fitting distances to that purpose, and by speedy messengers gave him notice thereof; and this meane while fearing lest the King might advance further then he desired he should, he wrought all night in the digging of a Ditch, whereby he advantaged his station, and filling it with Muskettiers, which were flanked by Cannon, he stood expecting the comming of the Swedes; who arguing by this their paines, that the Imperialists were afraid, became the bolder. This meane while divers skirmishes were made between the Swedish Horse, and Isolani his Crabats, with equall losse, and herein was passed all the night; the King being by the breake of day, as it were Master of the field; for Walesteine keeping himselfe close within his Ditch, would not quit his advantage till Pappenheime should be come to him.

The King stay'd all night armed in the field, not minding what his body suffered; and being desired by his Captaine to repose himselfe and take some rest, he answered, That the example of the Generall [Page 127] sweetens the suffering of the Souldier; that to forgoe his vigilancy would shew his care over his men to be but small, and make it seeme he did it that he might not feele the incommodities of his owne life; which they who doe respect, ought not to be in the Saddle with foot in stirrope, but at their owne homes, upon their downebeds; that the troubles of many suited not with the peace and rest of one alone; that the world appertained to the industrious, not to the sloathfull; that rest was the daughter of idlenesse, and peace, labour the mother of glory and achievements.

Thus calling his chiefe Commanders about a little sire, (which he had caused be made to moderate the ridgednesse of the night) he in a sprightly and couragious manner, acquainted them with his intentions of joyning Battaile with Walesteine.

Some there were that advised him hee might doe well to stay for the Forces of Saxony and Lunenburg, and others, who were upon their march not farre from him, with the which hee might the more boldly assault the Enemy; that the Swedes being as well in numbers as in situation short of the Imperialists, they ought not to hazard the Victories of so many Moneths, upon the event of one day; that Walesteine commanded an Army who coveted Battaile incited thereunto by necessity, and out of a desire that they might injoy the fruits of so many Victories, which they had not yet forgotten, and driven thereunto by despaire, seeing themselves onely subject to sufferings: that fortune was unconstant, and oft-times a friend to the desperate; that Walesteine had Commanders under him desirous of revenge, obedient Souldiers, and who more apprehended their Generalls frowne then the Swedes Swords; that Pappenheim was not so farre off, but that if he came not time enough to the Battaile, he might come soon enough at least to fall upon the wearied, and so totally oppresse them; that hee had people with him ancient in experience, and advise, but young in respect of their daring and ambition; and that fortune was obliged to pay tribute to his valour; that respect ought to be had to the comming up of the Saxon Forces, without which they should fight upon unequall tearmes.

These reasons though strongly maintained, were notwithstanding confuted by the King, with lively Arguments made good by the heat of his desire, and by his will. Too much presuming upon a mans selfedarkens the wisedome of the wisest.

Hee replyed that Pappenheime was very farre off; that Walesteines Army was now dismembred, both of Men and Commanders, and that it did not exceed the number of 30000 fighting men; that this might be said to be an occasion offered by fortune, which ought to be taken by the foretop, setting upon the Enemy before he should be more incouraged by accesse of greater Forces; for that Walesteine being beaten, they might be sure to beat Pappenheime; that to expect the comming of the Saxons and Lunibergheses, was a certaine losse of time, and an appearance of fearing the Enemy; that the same time which went to the bringing of them unto the Swedes, did not inhibit Pappenheime and others from joyning with the Roman-Catholiques, so as they should be still upon the same tearmes; that in warre occasion [Page 128] was not to be fore-slowed; that Fortune was painted with a lock in the forehead, to shew she ought to be layd hold off; that there was no fitter time to set upon an Enemy, then when he was discovered to be apprehensive; that Walesteine was so; who by fortifying himselfe, indeavoured to shunne giving Battell; that he himselfe would shew the way to any one that should be backward; that temporising was then good when advantage might be had by delay; that when an Enemy hath put on feare, he must not be suffered to disrobe himselfe thereof; and on the contrary, when ones owne men are incouraged, the time which timely shewes it selfe ought not to be let slip.

These speeches comming feelingly from a King, kept all his Commanders from opposing them; and for that it was a nationall custome for Subjects to suit with the inclination of their Princes, they durst say no more in opposition, either not to seem cowards by disswading from a businesse that bore danger with it, or lest the King should take the more notice of such as did oppose his reasons. Therefore, everyone applauding what he had said, they speedily withdrew themselves to their Colours, to order their Battaglions, and to incourage their people. Wherefore the King hasting upon the first entrance of Lutzen fields, did thus order his Army.

The plaine of Lutzen, extends it selfe for the space of one League from the North to the South, and is girt about from the West to the North by certaine Woods, which divide it from another plaine: towards the Northside thereof is the Village Cursits, which amidst the descent of a pleasant Strond that runnes in Crookes, sometimes more, sometimes lesse, is rather an Ornament, then hinderance unto it: Amidst certain Hills there lyes another space of ground towards the SouthEast, which parteth Cursits and Lutzen; on the Eastside stands Lutzen, from whence a plaine arising, the space between the East and South is back't by a delightfull ascent of Hills: The broadest part of the plaine falling downe betweene the West and the South, affords a Prospect not bounded by the eye: About a League from Lutzen lyeth a ridge of Hills environed by a little Rivolet; thence from West to East there runs a Trench almost demolish't; at the end whereof, not farre from the Village stands a little house, which serves for a shelter to the Inhabitants of four Windmils seated on the ridge of those Hills.

Upon the left wing of the Vanguard led on by his Majestie, who kept before it with some of his Domestick Servants, not attired like a Prince, but clad in plaine Spanish Leather, upon a dapple gray Horse, were 3000 Horse, all Gothes and Findlanders (old Souldiers) divided into six Squadrons, under the Colonells, Vansleben, Ruthen, and Wistumb, Gentlemen of tryed experience; amongst which were mingled five Rankes of Musquetiers, betweene the one and the other Flank to play upon the Enemies Horse, before they should come within Pistolshot: All these were well mounted, armed with Curasses, Pistols and broad Swords like Faulchions, which being drawn, and held up by them in their bridlehand, did by the reflection of the Sunne, adde to [Page 129] the lustre of their Squadrons, and to the terror of the lookers on: These were followed by foure Battaglions of Dutch and Swedish Foot, who marching in equall distances, from the one Flanke to the other, were appoynted for the reserve, part of them in black Cassocks, part in Yellow, under 28 Ensignes, all garnished with the Kings Armes, to which were joyn'd the Regiments of Vincher, Reglingem, and Duke Waymer, led on by Vildesteime, under 18 Ensignes; these were all commanded by Count Waissemburg a Duchman, who marched with his Pike in his hand foure paces before them; In the Battle it selfe, other foure Bodies of Foot marched with a large Front; and these marched after the former, so as they might without confusion enter into the voyd place of the one or the other Flanks; they belonged to the Regiments of Stechnits, Breesteime, Lunisteime, Steimbech, and Hanalt, all of them chiefe heads of the Army, under 34 Ensignes, led on by these Commanders clothed in glittering apparell, (an observation had in time of Battell, that they might be the better knowne) with each of them a Pike in his hand. On the left Flank were other 3000 Dutch Horse divided into six Squadrons, furnished with Curasses, Pistols, Swords, and Poleaxes, which had on the one side a Hammer, and on the other a wreathen poynt of Iron, wherwithall to throw Troopers off Horse back, pulling them therewithall, either by their clothes, or by the buckles of their Armour.

These were led on by Duke Bernard Waymer, who rid before them on a Sorrell Horse, with a Curasse on his back, & accompanied with two Cornets of Gentlemen of worth, who desirous to learne the art of warfare kept neer him, and amongst these were five Ranks of Musquetiers, mingled for the aforesaid purpose; amongst which were the Regiments of the Kings Guard, under 22 Standards of the Colonells Coleberg, Curlander, Branghells, Wishawsem, and Corfilice: Afore the right Flanke were 20 pieces of field Cannon placed, and as many before the left, to shoot bags of Bullets; the greater Artillery, to the number of 26. Being placed in the mid'st of the Front of the Foot Battaglions; Marshall Kniphausen led on the Reare mounted on a browne Bay, composed of English, Scottish, and French Regiments, belonging to the Colonells Milasi Chrestorfe, Torre, Hassia, Kniphausen, Offckercken, and Duke William of Waymer, under 52 Ensignes, divided into foure Bodies, soure in a square forme, foure with a long Front, and often Squadrons of Horse and Dragoones, five upon the right hand commanded by the Colonells Oemens, Bosse, Isalers, and Agafelt, before which, Armed at all pieces, did the Baron Offckercken march, and amongst these divers Rankes of Musquetiers. The left Wing likewise conteined five Squadrons of Horse belonging to the Regiments of Peckerman, Balarches, Galdesteim, Plato, and Duke William of Waymers; on the Front whereof marched these Gentlemen, followed by some of their Comrades, very well Armed and Horst.

His Army being thus ordered, and having called before him all the chiefe of his Army, and acquainted them with what orders he intended to have kept that day, commanding Psalmes to be sung throughout the whole Campe, and Prayers to be made to God for Victory, he got upon an ambling Nag, [Page 130] spotted blacke and white, and twice rode about and surveyed all his Squadrons, enlivening them all with his affable behaviour, sweetnesse of speech, and cheerfull countenance, telling them how confidently he relyed upon their knowne valour, how weake the Enemy was, incouraging them through the hope of bootie, this being the end of all their labours, the perfection of their glory, and the accomplishment of their greatnesse, which when they should obteine, nothing could stand betweene them and the Crowne of Victory; whereunto, being by all of them answered with joyfull acclamations, it was observed that some, as if they had presaged what was to insue, said unto him; Oh Sir, have a care of your Person, and feare not us; to which he answering, "My Valiant and beloved Compagnions, wee have hitherto had but our first course, courage, now we are to expect the banquet; and making the Baggage women and boyes, who were mingled amongst the Troopes to be set a farre off, he himselfe being got upon a dun Horse, the Army moved (enheartned by the sound of warlike instruments, and with cheerfull martialllike phrases, whereby every one was incouraged) and thus he advanced towards the Caesarians.

Neither was Walesteine wanting in vigilancy, but having received newes that Pappenheim had faced about, and was marching apace towards him, having calculated the time aright, and finding that he would come in very opportunely, he advised with his chief Co~manders, whether he should resolve to give the King Battell, or keepe undeneath Leypzig, and indeavour to overcome the Enemy, rather by Famine then by Sword. They all resolved upon fighting, and that they should in no wayes turne their backe upon the Swedes, who would thereby be the more incouraged seeing their King march't resolutely in their Front.


[Page 205]

Aldringer being returned from Laffinghen towards Friburg, and the Duke of Feria seeing his men dayly diminish (who being brought from Italy, were not accustomed to the German Fogs) and being thereunto perswaded by Aldr nger, and the other Commanders, since their hopes of entering into Wirtenberg was already lost, nor that they could not without some hazardous encounter passe into Flanders, by reason of the opinions which have beene spoken of, they joyntly resolved to Winter in Bavaria, and there to recruit their Army which was not a little lessened. They therefore raysed their Army from Friburg, and marched towards Biberach, wherein they were so much incommodated (for the Autumne beganne to grow very perverse) as that to boot, with the losse of many Souldiers in divers skirmishes with the Swedes, who still waited upon them on the Frontiers of Wirtenberg, fearing lest they might enter thereinto, and doe what they had formerly purposed; they left some thousands perish't by cold, Famine and flight.


[Page 274]

The Landgrave of Hessen had better successe then his other Confederates, who was at this time at the siege of Myndem, the Garrison whereof by continuall fallying out did much prejudice the besiegers; for in one sally they slighted two of their batteries, and tooke three piece of Cannon which they brought into their Citie, and tooke many prisoners. Yet did this little availe them, for duties and famine daily increasing, and having no hopes of succour, they were forced to yeeld the Towne unto the Landgrave, who freely gave them leave to march out with their Armes, Baggage, and two piece of Cannon, on the 24th of November

This is a selection from the original text


famine, jurisdiction, science, suffering, trenches, victuals, war, weight

Source text

Title: An history of the late warres and other state affaires of the best part of Christendom, beginning with the King of Swethlands en- trance into Germany, and continuing in the yeare 1640 written in Italian by the Count Galliazzo Gualdo Priorato: and in English by the Right Honourable Henry Earle of Monmouth.

Author: Galeazzo Gualdo Priorato

Publisher: W.Wilson

Publication date: 1648

Edition: 2nd Edition

Place of publication: London

Provenance/location: This text was transcribed from images available at Early English Books Online: Bibliographic name / number: Wing / G2167 Physical description: [12], 428, 66 p. : Copy from: Cambridge University Library Reel position: Wing / 815:15

Digital edition

Original author(s): Galeazzo Gualdo Priorato

Language: English

Selection used:

  • 1 ) title page
  • 2 ) pages 117-130 (Maestrich.... resolutely in the front.)
  • 3 ) page 205 (Aldringer ... famine and flight)
  • 4 ) page 274 (Landgrave of Hessen ...November)


Texts collected by: Ayesha Mukherjee, Amlan Das Gupta, Azarmi Dukht Safavi

Texts transcribed by: Muhammad Irshad Alam, Bonisha Bhattacharya, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Muhammad Ehteshamuddin, Kahkashan Khalil, Sarbajit Mitra

Texts encoded by: Bonisha Bhattacharya, Shreya Bose, Lucy Corley, Kinshuk Das, Bedbyas Datta, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Sarbajit Mitra, Josh Monk, Reesoom Pal

Encoding checking by: Hannah Petrie, Gary Stringer, Charlotte Tupman

Genre: Britain > Historical narratives

For more information about the project, contact Dr Ayesha Mukherjee at the University of Exeter.