Robert Spens – Poland – ca. 1582

Robert Spens was a young Scot who arrived in Warsaw in July 1582. According to the papal nuncio’s correspondence, he looked about 30 years old, claimed to know Greek, Latin, Italian, French, Spanish and German. Spens apparently left Scotland as a youth, entered Habsburg service, was captured at Barbary and then entered Duke John of Austria’s service in Flanders. When Spens arrived in Poland he offered 300 Scots for the king’s use.

R. Frost, “Scottish soldiers, Poland-Lithuania and the Thirty Years’ War” in S. Murdoch ed. Scotland and the Thirty Years’ War, 1618-1648 (Brill, 2001), p.197.

Service record

Arrived 1582-07-11
Capacity OFFICER, purpose MILITARY
Capacity PRISONER, purpose MISC