The Treaty of Nonsuch was signed in August 1585. The treaty finally led to England providing the Dutch rebels in the Netherlands with a small military force that would aid the rebels in their fight against Spain. The Treaty of Nonsuch was a triumph for ministers such as Leicester and Walsingham who had used all of their powers of persuasion to change Elizabeth’s mind with regards to supporting men she considered to be rebels against royal authority. The most powerful of ministers, William Cecil, did not agree with Leicester and Walsingham but he stayed out of the discussions, as he did not want to antagonise both men with whom he had a good working relationship. Cecil, like Elizabeth, viewed those in the Netherlands as nothing more than rebels. His main fear was that the support of rebellion abroad might stimulate the like at home – something he wanted to avoid at all costs.


The Treaty of Nonsuch stated that:


“The Queen of England should send to the United Provinces an aid of 5000 footmen and one thousand horse, under the conduct of a Governor-General who should be a person of quality and rank, well-affected to the true religion, and under other good chiefs and captains, all of whom shall be paid by the Queen as long as the war lasts.


The United Provinces, individually and collectively, bind themselves, when, by God’s grace and her Majesty’s assistance, they shall be re-established in peace and repose, to repay all that her Majesty shall have dispersed, as well for the levy of troops and their transportation, as for their wages…….


For greater assurance of the repayment the town of Flushing, the castle of Rammekens, in the isle of Walcheren, and the town of Brill, with two fortresses in Holland shall within one month of the confirmation of the Contract be placed in the hands of such governors as it shall please her Majesty to appoint until she shall be completely repaid.”