“… another great folly is about to begin, the War of the Spanish Succession, 1701 – 1714, a World War more or less … the Grand Alliance resurrects”


“ … 1703 saw two major alliances, two uprisings and a grand design emerge. A Hungarian  revolt against Austrian Habsburg domination was proclaimed. The English manoeuvred Portugal into joining them against Spain. The two Bourbon kings were into their feared alliance and Savoy, which controlled the high passes between France and Italy, felt advised to join them. Anti-French Alliance campaigns were well underway – at the Northern Front, Hungary, Germany, Italy – while the Spanish army was bolstered by French soldiers and the Englishman John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, set about persuading others to implement his self-styled ‘Great Design’ for Europe. Is that the root source of today’s impossibly strained EU?”

The first year of the 18th Century marked the death of childless King of Spain Charles II, a Habsburg, who chose as his successor Philip V of Spain the favoured grandson of King Louis XIV of France and a Bourbon. The fourteen years of the War of Spanish Succession ensued and gripped all of Europe. A fear of eventual union between France and Spain prevailed. It was basically one European alliance acting together with another to prevent France from effectively controlling the Spanish throne. Louis had built-up for France a standing army of more than four hundred thousand men, including conscripts, and whilst this era amounted to a shuffling of appropriated powers between the French House of Bourbon and the Austrian House of Habsburg the dividing and diminishing of this grand troop was also one of its great motivations.

By 1714 King Louis had emerged intact. France was restricted to its original borders by the Treaty of Utrecht and the multiple wars – Louis’ desired ‘permanent wars’ – tipped it towards the social and financial collapse of the French Revolution. The newly-unified Britain won the Rock of Gibraltar which to this day controls sea-traffic in and out of the Mediterranean. The ‘golden age’ of the Dutch lowlands came to an end. The Bourbon dynasty reigned in Spain but King Philip V of Spain (d. 1746) was off the line of succession in France. The young French Bourbon Louis XV reigned over France from 1715.

The War of the Spanish Succession: a Summary

This war ran parallel to the War of Austria (which drew-in Venice and Poland) Queen Anne’s War with France in North America 1702-1713 and the Great Northern War of 1701-1714 between Russia and Sweden.

The succession lands to be considered were Spain, Florida, the Balearic Islands, separate parts of the Tuscan Coast, the Spanish Netherlands, Spain’s Italian dependencies (including Milan, Naples, Sardinia and Sicily) the Philippines, the Spanish West Indies, some cities of North Africa and much of the Continents of North and South America. This vast spread made the matter enormously important both to the countries of Europe and globally.

There were three principal disputants to this succession: the Dutch Republic, England and France. (Partitioning was mooted but the treaties failed.) Charles II had bequeathed all to the the House of Bourbon in the person of Philip duc d’Anjou. On his death Louis XIV of France declared the King of Spain to be Philip, his beloved grandson, and invaded the Spanish Netherlands.

The anti-France alliance (the Dutch Republic, England and Emperor Leopold’s HRE) was formed on September 7th 1701. Later Hanover, Portugal and Prussia joined plus some other German states.

Taking the side of France came Bavaria, Cologne, Mantua and Savoy (but the latter aligned with the anti-France league in 1703).

England’s John Churchill the first Duke of Marlborough was a leading figure on the battlefield along with Prince Eugene of Savoy, an Imperial General. This pair proved to be superior military leaders and a series of victories occurred from 1704 (Blenheim) through 1706 (Ramillies and Eugene’s famous Siege of Turin) and 1708 (Oudenaarde) to 1709 (Malplaquet). Spain itself, however, remained unconquered despite severe setbacks. 

In 1708 Louis XIV had sought an end to the war and offered the Spanish inheritances to the Habsburg family but England demanded that he used his army to remove his favoured Philip V which decidedly deflated the whole deal.

In 1711 the Archduke Charles became heir to the Austrian Hapsburg territorial possessions which raised the prospect of a resurrected monarchy-led confederation, the Spanish Empire. This rattled the Dutch and English who discontinued their military involvement. (Churchill Duke of Marlborough was removed from the English command.)

1712 brought peace discussions, each previous ally now dealing individually with France. In 1713 a set of treaties were signed in Utrecht which, like the later treaties of Rastatt and Baden, simply ignored the will of the late Charles II but accepted the continuance of Philip V as King of Spain. The Utrecht Treaty perhaps marked the rise of the British Empire which, as Nostradamus foresaw, lasted for three hundred years.

The war of the Spanish Succession started with the seizing by Louis XIV of a series of Dutch barrier fortresses in 1701 and closed in 1714 with those same fortresses then being employed to hold the Sun King back.


1557 Lyon Du Rosne

En l’an cinq cens octante plus & moins,
On attend le siecle bien estrange:
En l’an sept cents & trois cieulx en tesmoins
Que plusiers regnes vn à cinq feront change.

Out of interest, the letters in the following names may be extracted from the letters of the quatrain as a whole, with occasional duplication of a letter and once substituting ‘i’ for ‘y’ (in accord with Medieval anagram building):

Habsbourg Charles la seconde d’Espagne
… est mort sans héritier

Louis Dieudonné le Grand, le Roi-Soleil, Roi de France et Navarre

Philip V roi d’Espagne  (The alt. spelling Felipe will also work)

Le roi Charles le troisième d’Espagne  

Empereur Léopold le premier

Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban

Duc de Chartres

Duc de Villars, Claude de Savoie (by taking the ‘v’ from ‘vn’ or using the ampersand as a wild letter representing ‘v’) 

Nostradame dedicated his ‘Almanach pour 1560’ to a friend, Claude de Savoie, who was the Governor of Provence. Perhaps this identical nomenclature prevented Michel from lauding the famed French military leader duc de Villars too much by his given name

Duc de Marlborough premier

François-Eugène de Savoie

Michiel de Ruyter/Machgyel Adriensoon/Bestevaêr Ruiter

L’archiduc Charles

Bataille de Ramillies
Bataille de Blenheim
Bataille de Oudenaarde
Bataille de Malplaquet

République hollandaise

Premier & Second traité de partage

Spaanse Nederlanden (Dutch)
Heiliges Römisches Reich (German)
Sacrum Imperium Romanum (Latin)

This list adds to the items to be found in the Nostradamus Quatrain VI 2  THE YEARS 1580 AND 1703

In the year five hundred eighty (1580) more or less,
A well-strange age is tendered/is woven/ensues:
In the year seven hundred and three (1703) the heavens tell
That many domains one to five will be changed.

In the year 1580 things were very strange indeed in France, as the battle of the three Henrys raged. King Henry of Navarre was fighting Henry of Guise over the throne left vacant by Henri III of France, the last Valois King, who had died childless.
In the year 1703, things were similarly strange but more internationally so.

While Louis XIV King of France was defying all Europe and fighting for the lands of the Spanish Succession …

Portugal joined the Grand Alliance

The Hungarians rebelled

Mustafa II Sultan of the Ottoman Empire was dethroned

Habsburg Archduke Charles (HRE Charles VI) self-proclaimed
as the King of Spain

the Kurucs peasant army defeated the Austrians and their allies
(Denmark, Hungary and the Serbs) in what is now Slovakia

and a hurricane blowing from the Atlantic, called the Great
Storm, ripped through the South of England and the
English Channel with a death toll of 8,000 souls.

Well, we can find in there at least five domains that were somehow
changed in 1703.


Par mort la France prendra voyage à faire,
Classe par mer, marcher monts Pyrenees,
Espagne en trouble, marcher gent militaire,
Des plus grand; dames en France emmenees.


Because of a death representatives of France will undertake journeys,
Both across the sea and by forced march across the Pyrenees,
Spain in trouble, the military on the march,
The greatest (of these troupes) snatch French ladies away/take French ladies along with them.

I have no idea about the last line except that it refers to a military excursion. It may be a Nostredame revelation. He saw visions that he called ‘imaginings’ using the exercise of imagination in a very deep and wide sense indeed. Nevertheless this quatrain will fit well enough to the War of the Spanish Succession. Resulting from the death of Charles II of Spain, France embarked upon military excursions in support of the Empire of Spain’s armed forces with whom they even fought side-by-side against the Alliance and Austria. The maritime powers were at war and the English attacked both French and Spanish trader ships. Sea-borne soldiers of France sacked Portuguese Cape Verde in West Africa and abducted slaves. (See quatrain VII 10 below)

This is one of the Nostradamus quatrains most often quoted by researchers as being about the the War of the Spanish Succession 1701-14 but all this is vague without history’s confirmation of the clue in Line 4 and this quatrain might refer instead to the Nineteenth Century’s Peninsula Wars whereby French armies invaded Spain under Napoleon.



Par le grand Prince limitrophe du Mans,
Preux & vaillant chef de grand exercite :
Par mer & terre de Gallois & Normans,
Caspre passer Barcelonne pillé Isle.

By the great Prince on the edge of Civitas Cenomanus/Celmans/le Mans,
OR By the Royal Prince the Duke of Maine,
Hearted & valiant chief of a great army:
Of Galls & Normans, by sea & land,

To pass Caspe (en route to) Barcelona, stolen island. 
OR Cassard to pass Barcelona (en route to) pillage the island of Santiago.

Line 1. This vision is initially located in North West France. Le Mans is completely encircled by the Roman Wall. I imagine it to be a little like an island on the land. It is the principle city of Maine. OF ‘limitrophe’ means adjacent to the boundary, bordering on. If we read this line as referring to the royal personage governing over the place that bounds LeMans then it would be Louis-Auguste the Duke of Maine, a prince of the blood.

Line 2. The brave French Duke of Vendome was highly esteemed and admired by his troops and this formed a great contribution to his military successes during the War of the Spanish Succession. Likewise William the Conqueror successfully led disparate forces – though mainly Norman – through the great invasion of England that changed European history.

Line 4. My first guess as to the identity of ‘Barcelonne’ was that this could be a blind for ‘Brittaniae’, the island taken wholesale by William the Conqueror at a time when the region of Maine was under the control of the Normans.

Many Nostradamus researchers have taken ‘Caspre’ to be Mons Calpe the Roman name for the Rock of Gibraltar. I don’t think so. There is at least an equal argument for ‘Caspre’ being derived from the corsair Jacques Cassard’s expedition (a ‘capri’ being a type of ‘corsaire’ which with Cassard could possibly produce ‘Caspre’) in 1712 against Portuguese Cape Verde after Portugal had sided with the English against France. Departing from Toulon they would have passed Barcelona. They shipped 1,200 soldiers who pillaged the island of Santiago in the Bay of the city of Praia. Village houses were burned and then they fired the city of Cidade Velha or Ribeira Grande. The French soldiers arrested women and children and used them as hostages to keep the male residents hamstrung while they pillaged, burned and stole the slaves, the bullion and the moveable church property of value (I wonder who they would sell it to?) at here and the city of Praia then turning on Santo Antão, so wresting control of Cape Verde on the Senegalese coast from out of Portuguese hands.

(Praia as the Baie de la Plage may be found in the jumbled letters of the Second Couplet. Santiago may be found in the jumbled letters of Line 3. Ribiera Grande is available from the letters of the Second Couplet. Cap Vert is in the First Couplet. Santo Antão is Anton le Grand who is described that way in French to differentiate him from a plentitude of Saint Anthonys: Anton le Grand is in both the First and Second Couplets separately and simultaneously.)

Alternatively ‘Caspre’ could be the historic Aragonese town of Caspe (Caspolinos in Spanish), linked by road to Barcelona. The French-Spanish army at the Battle of Villaviciosa in December 1710 was led by Louis Joseph Bourbon the Duke of Vendome and Philip V of Spain. The Austrian forces retreated and were pursued by cavalry reducing them down to a few thousand by the time they reached Barcelona, a city under the authority of Archduke Charles of Austria, in January 1711. A political map of Spain at the time would have shown Barcelona and a few other Austrian-held places to be like isolated islands. In 1712 the fleet of Austria failed to seize the isle of Elba from the Spanish.

The jumbled letters of Bataille de Villaviciosa (with a duplicated letter ‘v’) and Louis Joseph Bourbon duc de Vendome are available separately from the letters of the quatrain as a whole.

We can also find Guillaume le bâtard, Duc de normandie, Roi d’Angleterre by duplicating the letter ‘u’ as was quite normal in Medieval anagrams.

So is this one story or two or more than two in this confusing quatrain? It has been observed that the quatrain’s numbering VII 10 might relate to the year 1710 but who can tell for sure?

(See the Nostradamus Quatrains X 27, VII 11 and IX 21 HISTORY ALMOST BY NUMBERS)

I cannot be certain that the immense quantity of jumbled anagrams, from quatrain sources usually greater than one word, that I’m discovering in the Centuries is not sheer coincidence. (Though the weight of evidence suggests otherwise.) Could it possibly be that this late night amusement of Michel’s was a governing factor in choosing the words for his crimped quatrains and that sometimes this pursuit went a little too far in adding to the corrupted understandability of them?

                                          NIGELRAYMONDOFFORD (C) 2017