Front Page Titles (by Subject) Letters from Flanders - The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, vol. 3
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Letters from Flanders - Sir William Clarke, The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, vol. 3 
The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, Secretary to the Council of the Army, 1647-1649, and to General Monck and the Commanders of the Army in Scotland, 1651-1660, ed. C.H. Firth (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1899). 4 vols.
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Letters from Flanders
October 3, 1657.
f. 117.Roade before Dunkirke.—Itt hath indeed bin intended by the French army to lay siege to Dunkirke, and in order therunto a conquest hath bin made of the sconce Mardyk, which did nott indure siege above 2 dayes before itt yielded uppon discretion,1 but since the taking thereof the resolution of beseiging Dunkirk beginneth to slacken, and I suppose will bee quitte layd aside for this yeare, partly by reason of the hard season of the yeare, and partly of scarcety of provision for the horse which are numerous in the French army.2 The said sconce of Mardick is such indeed as may be sufficiently maintained against a storme or sudden surprise, but may easly bee gained by one weekes approaches; therefore it is thought nessisary to renew an old outworke, which of ould times hath bin anexed to the said sconce, but since demolished againe by the Spaniards. This outworke when it is made upp againe will consist of three bullworks, and the capacity will afford acommodacion for 2000 foote more, which together with those that are in the sconce will make a sufficient guard to frustrate any attempt that the Spanish army can make upon their places this Winter; onely it will bee a worke of greate difficulty to repaire the afforesaid ruinous worke, and to make a sufficient number of lodgings for soe numerous a companie, and that in soe short a time. For the French army, which is now remooved from hence for want of provisions higher into the country, hath promised to come downe againe, and to give ten dayes attendence about the said sconce, that under their protection and their helpe the worke may be furthered.
Sowkirk, October 6, 1657.—
f. 118.Since the taking of Mardicke it was intended wee should besidge Graveling but there fell such raynes which fild all the ditches, which togeather with a high spring tide and the enemys sluses drowned all the country, which caused the army to quitt the low country; 3 of our battallions were left (by lot) at Mardicke, 3 at Bourbrogh, and the other six (wherein I am) marcht last night in hopes to goe neere Calis to refresh our selves, but I suppose wee must returne (as bad as the whether is, for wee cannott march one halfe day with out a greate loss of our men), to fortifie Mardick.1
[1 ]See Mercurius Politicus, p. 1664, September 24-October 1, and October 1-8, p. 7.
[2 ]See Thurloe, vi. 525, 526, 547, 579.
[3 ]This letter is probably by Joachim Hane See Thurloe, vi. 538, 547.
[1 ]See Thurloe, vi. 547, 548, 550; and Mercurius Politicus, pp. 37, 48, for the proceedings of the forces in Flanders. This letter is doubtless by the author of those dated October 13 and November 4.