He took a brilliant part in the military- literary- courtly life common with the young nobles of the time and at the age of thirty-one was mortally wounded at Zutphen when assisting the Dutch against the Spaniards. Both through his family heritage and his personal experience (he was in Walsingham's house in Paris during the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre), Sidney was a keenly militant Protestant. In the 1570s, he had persuaded John Casimir to consider proposals for a united Protestant effort against the Roman Catholic Church and Spain. In the early 1580s, he argued unsuccessfully for an assault on Spain itself. Promoted General of Horse in 1583, his enthusiasm for the Protestant struggle was given a free rein when he was appointed governor of Flushing in the Netherlands in 1585. In the Netherlands, he consistently urged boldness on his superior, his uncle the Earl of Leicester. He conducted a successful raid on Spanish forces near Axel in July 1586.
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