BRITAIN SEEKS FOREIGN AID
COULD the king have employed none but British troops, the war by land against the colonies must have been of short duration. Sir Joseph Yorke, the British ambassador at the Hague, proposed the transfer of a brigade from the service of the Netherlands to that of his sovereign. The young stadholder made reply directly to his cousin, the king of England, declining the request. King George renewed his solicitation. In 1599, the Low Countries pledged to Queen Elizabeth as security for a loan three important fortresses, which she garrisoned with her own troops; in 1616 the Dutch discharged the debt, and the garrisons were withdrawn from the cautionary towns, except an English and a Scottish brigade which passed into the service of the United Provinces. William III. recalled the English brigade, and in 1749 the privilege of recruiting in Scotland was withdrawn from the other, so that its rank and file, consisting of more than twenty-one hundred men, were of all nations, though its officers were still Scotchmen by birth or descent. In favor of the loan of these troops, it was urged that the officers already owed allegiance to the British king; that common interests connected the two countries; that the present occasion offered to the prince of Orange “the unique advantage and particular honor” of strengthening the bonds of close friendship which had been “more or less enfeebled” by the neutrality of the United Provinces during the last French war.
In the states general Zealand and Utrecht consented; the