HISTORY OF HOLLAND and the Dutch Nation
FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE TENTH TO THE END OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY
Including an account of the municipal institutions, commercial pursuits, and social habits of the people
The rise and progress of the protestant reformation in Holland.
The intestine dissentious foreign wars
BY C. M. DAVIES.
In Three Volumes
LONDON: G.Willis, Great Piazza,Covent Garden MDCCCXLI
Charles meets the States at Brussels. Debates on the Supplies. Edicts for the regulation of the Government—and of the Court of Holland* Mary of Hungary appointed Governess. Proceedings of Christian II.) King of Denmark, in Holland. Blockade of the Sound. Debates on the Supplies for a Fleet. Truce with Denmark and Lubek. Rise of the Anabaptists; their increase in Holland. Missionaries to Munster. Conduct of the Anabaptists there, and at Amsterdam. Rupture of the Truce with Denmark and Lubek. Prohibition on the exportation of Corn—abrogated. League between the King of Denmark and Charles of Guelderland. Invasion of Groningen. Groningen acknowledges the Emperor. Truce with Denmark. Death of Erasmus. War between the Emperor and France. Assembly of the States. Attempt to impose m Excise. Proposition for a general taxation of the Netherlands; its failure. Truce with France. Disturbances at Ghent. Journey of the Emperor thither from Spain. Emperor comes to Holland Meeting of the States. Union of Holland and Utrecht. Prince of Orange Stadtholder . Increased severity against Heretics. Debates on the free exportation of Corn* Innovation on the Privileges of Holland. Expedition of the Emperor against Algiers. War with France. Alliance of France with the Duke of Cleves. Disputes between the Duke and the Emperor concerning Guelderland. Campaign of 1542. War Subsidies. Levy of the hundredth Penny. Income Tax. The Emperor invades Julien. Submission of the Duke9 and cession of Guelderland. Composition of the States of Guelderland. Emperor besieges Landrecy— forms Alliances with England and Denmark—conciliates the German Princes. Invasion of France by the Emperor and Ewg of England. Siege of St. Dizier. Death of the Prince of Orange, and succession of Prince William. Separate Treats between Charles and the King of France. Council of Trent. Edict against the Protestants in the Netherlands. Hostile Preparations against those of Germany. Subsidies demanded of the States—contributea with reluctance. Civil War in Germany. Discomfiture of the Protestant Princes. Death of Luther.
1530 On receiving intelligence of the death of his aunt, the emperor hastened to the Netherlands, where his presence gave the states of Holland *n opportunity of asserting, fece to face with their sovereign, those privileges, and of demanding a cessation of those grievances, which Margaret had always declared to be beyond her power to restore or redress; and we cannot but admire the courage with which this resolute little; nation vindicated its rights before a sovereign of whom all Europe stood in awe. At an assembly of the states 1531 general of the Netherlands, summoned shortly after his arrival at Brussels, Charles demanded of the states of Holland a grant of 600,000 guilders to be paid in six years. As the states had contributed 880,000 guilders in loans and subsidies since the truce with Prance in 1528, they appeared by no means inclined to consent to so heavy a charge: the nobles, and Dordrecht only, were of opinion that it should be granted on condition that the emperor would redeem the annuities borrowed for him by the states; but the deputies of the other towns refused to listen to any proposalsof lying on new burdens, until the restraints upon the exportation of corn, and other grievances, should be abolished, and the ancient mode of appointing the senates and councils of the towns restored 1.
Deputies being sent from the states to the court of the emperor ith these conditions, he desired that the petition should first be granted, promising to go afterwards into Holland and apply himself to the redress of their grievances 2.
- Aert van der Goes, bl. 154-165.
- The emperor had already successfully pursued this method of obtaining supplies before the redress of grievances, with the cortez of Castile, after the suppression of the revolts in that Country, in consequence of which the towns gradually lost the influence they possessed in the legislative government. Robertson's Charles V., book iii., p. 239.
1531 The states urged, on the other hand, that in consequence of the burdens of which they complained, and the decay of their trade, it would be impossible to pay the petition, even though they should give their consent to it; " their lives and property," they said, " were at the service of his majesty, but they could not engage themselves for more than they were able to fulfil." In reply to this, the emperor promised to excuse those who were unable to pay, and to take such good order for all things, that they should have ample reason to be satisfied, provided his Subjects would only trust him, and not require him to drive a bargain with them 1. With this answer the deputies returned from Brussels to the assembly of the states at the Hague, who manifested no disposition to consent to the emperor's demand.
Shortly after, the deputies were again summoned to Ghent, where they presented to the emperor a lamentable picture of the state of their Country; somewhat highly coloured, nevertheless, to suit the purpose they had to answer. They declared that they had disbursed 1,700,000 guilders in the wars which they had been obliged to sustain against Utrecht and Friesland, since his departure into Spain: that commerce, without which Holland would not be able to defray her own expenses, and which had always been protected and encouraged by her ancient Counts, was now entirely driven away from her shores by the new levies of tolls, and the exaction of permit money upon corn; that cloth weaving had declined; and that the storm, which had occurred in the November of the preceding year, had laid so large a quantity of land under water, and destroyed so much cattle, that many families, both of Holland and Zealand, were reduced from wealth to actual beggary. In conclusion, they consented to a sum of 40,000 guilders less than that demanded, expressing their hope at the same time, that their grievances would be redressed, 1531 otherwise, that the payment of the subsidy granted would be withheld 2.
- Aert van der Goes, hl. 157,158.
- Regist. van Aert van der Goes, bl. 159,162.
The people were thus not wholly worsted in the contest between privilege and prerogative, as the principal causes of complaint were, in fact (owing, perhaps, to the concluding hint of the states), remedied shortly after. The permit money upon the exportation of com was abolished, although, as we shall hereafter observe, the first favourable opportunity was laid hold of for again imposing it; and the breweries in the open Country were forbidden; an evil which had long been complained of by the towns, because, being exempt from the payment of the excise levied in the latter, the Country brewers were able to undersell those of the towns 1. Satisfaction was likewise given in various other particulars.
Numerous abuses had crept into the municipal governments, and into the administration of justice, both in the towns and County: the coin had also suffered a great depreciation of actual value; arid the want of uniformity between the currency of Holland and that of the neighbouring provinces, was highly prejudicial to their internal commerce. To remedy these defects, the emperor, having taken the advice of the states, published, together with a general edict to all the Netherland provinces, one to each in particular: by this, the former severe decrees against heretics were confirmed, with the addition, that any one found 1581 guilty of printing any book whatever,without having obtained permission,is condemned to be exposed on a scaffold,
- The towns had scarcely any other means of levying the funds necessary for the repair of their fortifications, and other municipal expenses, from which the open Country was free, than by an excise, since the Counts had taken into their own hands the assessment on houses, and the customs belonged of right to the sovereign.
to be branded with a red hot cross, or have one eye put out, or one hand cut off, according to the pleasure of the judge; the emperor declaring that he would be " an enemy to his own father, mother, brother, or sister, if they were Lutheran 1." The magistrates of the several towns were enjoined to reduce into writing the customs of each, in order to prevent the confusion arising from the different interpretation of prescriptive customs: all monopolies were prohibited ; but this useful regulation was Counterbalanced by the mischievous power given to the magistrates, of fixing a price upon provisions; a law highly beneficial in a trading community, was made with respect to fraudulent bankrupts, declaring them deprived, as notorious thieves, of the benefit of sanctuary: the most earnest care is manifested for the support and protection of the poor, sick, and aged, while beggary is strictly forbidden.
Numerous precautions are taken against drunkenness, a vice transmitted to the Netherlanders from their German ancestors 2, and prevalent among them in all ages; among others, a man who in a state of intoxication killed another, was made liable to be punished both for murder and drunkenness. Various sumptuary laws were likewise enacted to prevent the wearing of satin, velvet, and damask, less impolitic, perhaps, than they would be esteemed in the present age, since, at a time when manufactures were earned on only to a limited extent, the general use of these 1531 articles by natives trenched upon a valuable branch of foreign commerce.
- Charles had such a dread of the dissemination of heretical works that he made it an article of treaty with Henry VIII. of England, that no hooks printed in England should he sold in his dominions, and now printed in Germany should he sold in England. Rym. Faed*, torn, sir, p. 772,
- Tacit, de Mor,, cap. xxiii.
The regulation of the coin was provided for by a special ordinance of considerable length 1. The limits of jurisdiction had never been distinctly ascertained between the supreme court of Holland . and the several municipal courts: the former, it is true, possessed, except in special cases, the high jurisdiction, or the power of trying capital crimes, such as murder, sedition, sacrilege, and the like, while the low jurisdiction, or cognizance of minor offences, was left to the sheriff's court in the towns, and the bailiffs court in the open Country. By degrees, however, the supreme court drew to itself many causes in the nature of appeals, which should have been tried without appeal in the local courts: and, in the year 1462, Charles, Count of Charolois, had, in the name of his lather, Philip I., given a new "instruction" to the court, by virtue of which it was empowered to take cognizance of all matters which concerned the Count's dignity, privileges, rights, or domains, his officers, or the coinage, as well as the privileges bestowed on foreigners.
These powers were still further amplified by the instruction which the court now obtained from the emperor. It was enabled henceforward to decide, not Wily upon privileges granted to foreigners, but even upon those enjoyed by native subjects, as well as upon the validity of all customs, prescriptions, and charters; and also to take cognizance of all disputes between the towns and the open Country. As the members of this court were appointed by the Count, and removable at his pleasure, it is easy to perceive how much his authority must 1531 increase by means of its extended jurisdicties, while the privileges of the subject, being made to rest on the decision of a body dependent upon the sovereign, were annihilated the instant it suited his purpose to dispute them.
- Brandt's Hist. Ref., boek ii., bl. 106. Groot Plakaat., deel. ii., bl. 413.
The emperor then took leave of the states, having appointed his sister Mary, widow of Louis II., king of Hungary, governess of the Netherlands, together with a privy council to assist her in the administration, of which the Archbishop of Palermo was president 1.
At the time of her accession, the Hollanders were again threatened with hostilities from Denmark and the Hanse towns. Since the truce concluded between them in 1526, Christian II., the dethroned King of Denmark, had resided in East Friesland, where he now took a considerable body of forces into his pay, with the view of making a descent upon his former kingdom. Frederic, the reigning monarch, no sooner heard of his preparations, than concluding from the near connection of Christian with the emperor, whose sister he had married, that the subjects of the latter would favour his enterprise, he blockaded the Sound and Belt against all ships coming from Holland.
In this he was assisted by the Lubekkers, always jealous of the Dutch trade in the Baltic, and who now threatened to seize all such vessels as attempted the passage. Christian having collected an army of 10,000 men, and finding himself destitute of vessels to convey them into Denmark, solicited the loan of a fleet from the emperor, who was still in the Netherlands. His request was refused, and a prohibition issued to the Netherlanders in general, against aiding the banished king either with ships or in any other manner.
- Groot Plakaat., deel. iii., bl. C40, 706. Aert van der Goes RegnL, bl. 165.
By dint of solicitations, however, he afterwards obtained permission to hire 1531 some large vessels in Holland; and the towns of the Waterland were enjoined by the emperor to supply him with such ammunition and provisions as he stood in need of. Christian, finding them somewhat unwilling to obey this order, led his troops into North Holland, apparently for the purpose of embarkation, and permitting them to live there at free quarter, twelve ships were soon provided for his service from Hoorn, Medemblick, and other places; the emperor, moreover, hastened his departure by a gift of 50,000 guilders, as part of his sister's portion 1. In return, he promised the Hollanders a free trade throughout those kingdoms which he never regained. Being driven by a storm on the coast of Norway, he sustained a long siege in Apslo (now Christiana), and, obliged at length to surrender, he was detained in prison during the remainder of his days.
Although the Hollanders had been in a manner constrained to assist Christian, yet the reigning sovereign of Denmark professed himself none the less aggrieved, and directing his vengeance against them in particular, he, with the assistance of the Lubekkers, executed to the full the threat of seizing all their vessels which attempted to pass the Sound, or Belt. The Baltic trade being thus impeded, the price of corn in Holland rose from two pence halfpenny to above 1532 twelve pence a bushel, 400 merchantmen usually navigating that sea, lay idle in the ports, and 10,000 seamen being thrown out of employment, were reduced to a state of miserable poverty 2.
- Aert van der Goes, M. 170,171. Velius Hoorn, bl. 128—130. Hist. de Danne. de Mallet, torn, vi., p. 86.
- Velius Hoom, bl. 131,132. Aert van der Goes, bl. 180,
1532 These circumstances created in Holland an earnest wish for an accommodation. Although, therefore, a considerable fleet, furnished by the maritime towns had already put to sea, the citizens of Amsterdam, the principal corn mart of Holland, sent ambassadors to Copenhagen, where, as Frederic was informed of the active preparations for war making by the Dutch, they found the less difficulty in effecting a peace; the news of which was received with extreme joy in Holland, and occasioned a fall in the price of rye to four pence halfpenny a bushel.
It was, however, of no long duration. The fleet was scarcely unrigged, when the King of Denmark, incited by the Lubekkers, sent an embassy to the governess to demand payment of 300,000 guilders as an indemnification to him for the losses he had experienced in consequence of the assistance afforded by the Hollanders to Christian, which sum he declared, ought therefore to be levied on Holland alone, since he desired to live in peace with Brabant, Flanders, and Zealand, who had not taken part with his enemies against him.
Although the governess replied to the ambassadors that the emperor would consider the cause of the Hollanders as his own, and support them with all the strength of the Netherlands, and even of Spain itself, the insidious distinction made by Frederic was not altogether without effect in retarding preparations for war. Brabant, Flanders, and Zealand being still permitted to carry on their commerce in the north, endeavoured to shift the burden entirely on Holland; and those towns, even of Holland itself, which were not immediately interested in the Baltic trade, were anxious to fix the expenses of equipping the necessary ships of war entirely on the maritime towns, impoverished already by the large sums they had expended in the like preparations a short time before.
1533 The debates on this subject were prolonged in several assemblies of the states during the greater part of a year, until at length all the deputies, except those of Leyden, consented to a subsidy of 50,000 guilders, in addition to 30,000 contributed by the emperor, wherewith a fleet was equipped, and placed under the command of Gerard van Merkere, admiral of Holland. Directing its course late in the summer to the Sound, it kept that strait blockaded for some time against all vessels, except such as came from the Netherlands; the commander of the Lubek fleet, Mark Meyer, carefully avoiding an engagement. Meanwhile, Frederic I., king of Denmark, died, and his successor, Christian III., perceiving the great injury inflicted on his subjects by the disagreements with Holland, and that they were likely to lose their trade in corn with that Country, which was now beginning to import largely from Bremen and Hamburg, consented to a 1534 truce for thirty years; and the Lubekkers, unwilling to carry on the war alone, likewise made an accommodation with the Hollanders, permitting them to send as many trading vessels into the Baltic as they thought proper 1.
It appears that the penal edicts against the Protestants, however earnestly recommended by the emperor, had been but slackly executed, since at this time a new sect of Reformers began to excite alarm, as well from their increasing numbers, as from the violence of their language, and the dangerous nature of the tenets they professed. These were the Anabaptists, who differed from the Lutherans in maintaining the necessity of adult baptism; to this harmless, and not irrational opinion, they joined others, which rendered them objects of mistrust and suspicion to all constituted 1534 authorities.
- Aert van der Goes, 183—214. Hist, de Donne., torn, vi., p. 105—200. Vellus Hoorn, p. 135.
The founder of this sect was said to haw been one Nicholas Stork, a Saxon, who about the year 1522, or earlier, began to teach, "That the world, both temporal and ecclesiastical, had hitherto been governed by evil men; but that better times were drawing near, when God should raise up a holy people in the room of those he had determined to destroy; that it is not lawful for Christians to go to law, to bear any office of magistracy, or to have any property; but that all things should be in common 1.
Acting upon these principles, his disciple, Thomas Muncer, a priest of Saxony, had in the year 1526 headed a dangerous revolt of the peasants in Thuringia, who eagerly embraced his doctrines. After its suppression, many of the fugitives took refuge in Holland, where they rapidly gained proselytes, more especially among the lower ranks of people. The conduct of these zealots, both there and at Munster, during this and the following year, affords a specimen of religious frenzy, as extraordinary perhaps as ever appeared on the page of history; and I shall not hesitate to dwell on it at some length, because it presents human nature to our view, under a remarkable phasis, which it may not be unprofitable, though painful to contemplate.
One of the most striking characteristics observable in the Dutch, is a deeply-seated religious enthusiasm, which, guided by reason and education has prompted them to do, and to suffer more for the cause of conscience than any other nation upon earth, but which reigning in the breasts of the rude and ignorant, has too often degenerated into blind bigotry and senseless fanaticism.
- Letter of the Bishop of Munster to Pope Paul III. Apud Minn Dip. Belg., torn, i., p. 608. Sleidan, lib. iii., p. 52; lib. x., p. 190. Brandt's Hist. Ref., boek ii., bl. 100.
Among the converts to the new opinions, was one John Matthewson, a baker of Haarlem; a man of high 1534 courage, inordinate ambition, and a heated imagination, joined to no mean share of talent and eloquence. He gave himself out for Enoch; and haying deserted his wife, somewhat stricken in years, eloped to Amsterdam with the young and beautiful daughter of a brewer at Haarlem, whom he had seduced. From this city he despatched his missionaries to various places, appointing two to each place, for the purpose of teaching the Gospel. Bartholomew Bookbinder, and Theodore Cooper, were sent to Friesland; while John Bokelson, taylor of Leyden, and Gerard Bookbinder 1 repaired to Munster.
The Reformation introduced into this city by one Bernard Rotman, had gained ground so rapidly, that the Lutheran service was performed in six of its churches, leaving the cathedral only to the Catholics. Soon after the arrival of the two missionaries from Amsterdam, Rotman became a member of the anabaptist persuasion, and from that time the number of these sectaries increased daily. They sent missionaries to the neighbouring towns and into Holland, inviting all their brethren to Munster, to which they gave the name of the New Sion. Multitudes obeyed their call; and among the rest, Matthewson of Haarlem, Bernard Knipperdolling, Jacob van Kampen, and John van Geelen. The concourse soon became so great, that the Anabaptists, perceiving themselves by far the stronger party, and headed by John Matthewson, raised a violent tumult in the city, running about the 1534 streets with drawn swords, howling, and crying out, "Depart, ye ungodly, or repent and be baptised, for the scourge of God's wrath is at hand."
- The generality of the Hollanders who were not noble, had as yet no surnames; some were distinguished by the name of the trade they followed, or sometimes by one given them on account of some quality of mind or body for which they were remarkable, or by that of their birthplace ; while others added son to the Christian name of their father, or one of their ancestors. The nobles took their names from their estates.
Terrified at the uproar, nearly the whole of the inhabitants who did not belong to their sect fled, and left the town at the mercy of these reckless fanatics. Immediately on their departure, Matthewson gave orders that the principal houses and the churches should be pillaged, and all the books burnt excepting the Bible.
The wealth collected by the plunder he commanded to be brought into one common purse, and equally distributed by deacons appointed for that purpose 1. In the midst of his frenzy, however, he retained no small share of prudence in worldly matters; he appointed a regular government, consisting of two burgomasters and twelve councillors, strengthened the fortifications, obliged all people of the male sex to do garrison duty, and neglected no preparations for the siege with which he was threatened.
It was, ere long, undertaken by the bishop, Francis, Count of Waldek, who obtained the assistance of some of the German princes, the Duke of Guelderland, and the towns of Deventer, Kampen, and Zwol. The bishop's troops made a violent assault upon the city, which was repulsed with great loss. The next day, Matthewson, elated with his success, sallied out at the head of only thirty men, and attacked the camp of the besiegers. He was soon driven back, and himself with all his followers slain. His death excited the greatest consternation at Munster, the people having imagined that he was under the peculiar protection of God; but the government was instantly assumed by John Bokelson 2.
- Hortens. je Tumult. Anabaptist., p. 15,17. Sleidan, Ub. x., p. 192, 194. Heut. Rer. Aust., lib, i., cap. 10,
- Heut* Rer. Aust., lib. x., cap. 11.
This man was a tailor, of Leyden,who, endowed with some quickness of 1534 intellect and powers of rhetoric, had been accustomed to perform plays with the company of actors at Leyden, when the part of king or prince was generally allotted to him. His fanaticism was by no means so tempered with reason as that of Matthewson. One of his first exploits was to strip himself entirely naked and march through the streets, exclaiming, that "the king was come to Zion." After this, he sat in his house for three days without uttering a word, writing that, " the spirit had sealed up his lips." At last, he suddenly declared that the use of speech was restored to him, and that he was commanded from above to set up twelve judges in Israel. This he accordingly did, giving the office of executioner to Knipperdolling, who put to death all such as offered the slightest opposition to his decrees, or expressed a desire to return to the government of the bishop.
The twelve judges, after they had been a few weeks in authority, were again deposed, and John Duieendschoen, a goldsmith of Warendorp, affirmed that he had a divine mission to proclaim John Bokelson king, not only of the New Zion, but of the whole earth. The people received the intelligence with loud acclamations. The new king appointed ministers and councillors, chose a guard of twelve to be constantly near his person, and assumed a majestic dignity of demeanour, befitting that high station which he had so often filled in the mimic life of the stage. He was clothed in a tunic of purple velvet, with a collar of gold around his neck: on his head he wore a diadem, or golden crown, made in imitation of that of the ancient German sovereigns. When he rode, his feet were adorned with golden spurs: and at the head of his train marched two of his attendants, the one 1534 bearing the Old Testament, the other a drawn sword. Whoever neglected to kneel as he passed was immediately put to death 1.
- Hortensiua de Tumul., p. 32—44. Sleidan, lib. x^ p. 194—196. Anton. Corvinus, de miserabili Monast. obs. (orig. edit, unpaged).
This assumption of absolute power was soon followed by the most unbridled licentiousness. Besides the widow of John Matthewson, a lovely woman, whom he married while yet pregnant by her former husband, and who alone bore the title of Queen, he had fourteen or fifteen other wives of inferior rank. One of them he publicly beheaded with his own hand, for having ventured to express a doubt of his divine mission 1. His subjects were not slow in following his example of profligacy: every man took as many wives as he thought fit: nuns were dragged from their cloisters; and no female was permitted to remain unmarried after the age of fourteen.
Meanwhile, the Bishop of Munster finding his forces insufficient to carry the city by assault, had turned the siege into a blockade; and as he kept all the approaches strictly guarded, provisions began to fail within the walls. The besieged long cherished the hope of relief from without; but such of them as ventured to leave the town for the purpose of summoning their brethren from Holland and elsewhere to their assistance, were taken, and put to death.
Their 1535 distress, therefore, continued to augment, and the ' famine at length arrived at such a height, that the miserable creatures, after having been forced to feed on the flesh of horses, dogs, and rats, were reduced to devour leather as a means of sustaining life; and, as a climax of horrors, it is even said that the bodies of some children were found half eaten after the capture 1535 of the town.
- A. Corv. de mis. ob. Mon. Sleidan, lib. x., p. 199. L. Hortensiua, de Turn. Anabapt., p. 304—307.
In the midst of this wretchedness dances were held and plays represented; none made any mention of a surrender, the leaders of the Anabaptists continually assuring the people that God would save the town by the interposition of his miraculous power 1. Their prophecy was not destined to be fulfilled. John Laugenstrat, a deserter to the bishop's camp, having promised to deliver Munster into his hands, was entrusted with the command of a band of 400 men. With these he advanced in the night of the 24th June to one of the gates, and telling the sentinel that he brought a convoy of provisions, was admitted into the town, John Bokelson, too late aware of the danger, placed himself at the head of such of the inhabitants as had hastily snatched up their arms, and succeeded in closing the gates against 500 more Germans, who followed the troop of Langenstrat; a fierce battle then began with those already in the city, which lasted for above an hour, when the Germans would have been entirely defeated, had not their companions outside the town broken down the gates and hastened to their assistance.
Still the Anabaptists defended themselves with undaunted courage, even the women and children taking a part in the fight, until overcome at length by the superior strength and discipline of their foes, they threw down their arms. John Bokelson, their king, and Bernard Knipperdolling were taken prisoners, and for eight days the town became a scene of rapine and carnage 2. Bokelson and Knipperdolling were confined in separate cells for the space of six months, when they were brought to trial and condemned to death. The former, during his imprisonment, modified some of his 1536 doctrines, particularly that permitting a plurality of wives.
- A. Cory. de mis. Monast. obs.
- Pont. Heut. Rer. Aust^ lib. xi., cap. 2.
On hearing of his condemnation, he gave signs of repentance, consenting to listen to the exhortation* of the bishop's chaplain, and exclaiming that* "if he had ten lives to lose he should have deserved death ten times." Soon after, however, he declared that, though he had sinned against the government, he had not sinned against God. Knipperdolling remained immoveable in his opinions. They suffered, with unshaken firmness, a death of lingering and cruel torture; the flesh being torn from their bodies with red hot pincers 1.
The actions of the Anabaptists at Amsterdam rivalled in frantic absurdity those committed at Munster. Having met together to the number of twelve seven men and five women, at the house of one John Sybertson, a cloth factor, who was absent in the pursuit of his trade, they remained together until about three hours after midnight, when one of them called Dirk Snyder, (or the tailor) who gave himself out for a prophet,fell forward with his face to the earth, as if in prayer. When he arose, he said, that he had visited hell and heaven, and seen God in his glory. Shortly after the prophet took his helmet and armour, his side arms and even his clothes, and threw them all on the fire saying, that all which came out of the earth must be sacrificed to God* and destroyed by fire. He then commanded the whole of the company present to follow his example. They obeyed him without hesitation, every one throwing their garments on the fire without reserving a morsel to cover them. The woman of the house who wakened by the smell of the burning clothes, came down to ascertain the cause, was forced, in like manner, to strip herself.
- A. Corr. d« mis, Monas, obsidione.
Dirk then, commanding the rest to follow and cry after him, 1536 rushed out of the house accompanied by the whole troop; they ran like maniacs up and down the streets uttering horrible bowlings and cries of " Woe! woe! woe! the vengeance of God! the vengeance of God! the vengeance of God!" The schuttery having assembled in arms at the tumult seized all except one woman and brought them to the guildhall. Here when they were desired to put on clothes they stoutly refused* asserting that "they being the naked truth and God's image could never be put to shame." It was the middle of the month of February and the cold was intense. The door of the house in which they had left the burning clothes was found to be so firmly fastened, that it was necessary to blow it to pieces; and from this circumstance the magistrates justly conceived that a plot existed to destroy the city. Their suspicions were further confirmed by the arrival of more than 1000 Anabaptists in Amsterdam shortly after the execution of the prisoners which took place within a few days of their arrest 1.
In the same month, also John van Geelen, a leader of the sect, with 300 followers, seized the old monastery near Bolsward in Friesland, drove away the monks and destroyed the images and ornaments of the church. It was soon retaken by the Stadtholder of Friesland, George Schenck, when van Geelen escaped in safety, and, repairing to Brussels, obtained letters of pardon from the governess, by pretending to repent of his errors, and by promising to secure Munster, which had not then surrendered, for the emperor. Thence he went to Amsterdam, where he associated openly with the most respected of the burghers, but held constant and secret communication with the Anabaptists, 1535 and gained over so large a number to the same party, that he resolved upon a nocturnal attempt to make himself master of the city.
- Hortens. de Turn. Anabap., p. 53, 56.
The conspirators agreed that the ringing of the guildhall bell should be the signal for the onset. The day appointed for the enterprise was the annual festival of the Brothers of the Cross," which was usually attended by the members of the government and the most considerable of the burghers. The burgomasters, however, obtained information of the plot late in the evening, through one Peter Honey, who, to confirm his intelligence, showed them three pieces of small artillery, double loaded, and placed in the theatre, in such a position as to discharge their contents directly into the windows of the guildhall, which stood opposite 1.
While the magistrates, filled with doubt and terror, were hesitating what course to pursue, the Anabaptists marched about forty strong to the guildhall, and slew, or took prisoner the burgher guards who were keeping watch there; the burgomasters only escaped by a hasty flight. Fortunately, a drunken schout's officer, who was lying at the time among the stools and benches, at the first sound of the tumult, concealed, without knowing why he did so, the rope of the guildhall bell, and thus preventing the signal which the rioters had agreed on, in all probability, saved this illustrious city from utter destruction.
The Anabaptists soon became masters of the dam, as well as the guildhall. The burgomasters having put the schuttery under arms, one of them, Johnson Reekalf, resolving not to attack the rioter* before the morning, since it was impossible, in the extreme darkness, to distinguish friends from enemies, commanded that the approaches to the dam should be barricaded with sails, hopsacks, and such other materials as were at hand, behind which, sheltered 1533 from the fire of the Anabaptists, they might await the approach of day.
- Lambert. Horten., p. 57—02. Boxhorn in Amst., p. 256,257.
But another of the burgomasters, Peter Kolyn, being suspected, from the mildness of his treatment of the Anabaptists, of an inclination towards their doctrines and eager to clear himself of the reproach, hastily advanced to the attack, at the head of his own company only. He was so warmly received by the rioters, that the burgher troops were all driven back or killed, and himself cruelly slaughtered 1. Meanwhile, the burgomaster, Reekalf, collected a company of town soldiers 2,*promising them a month's pay, if, under the conduct of the burgomasters, they should succeed in expelling the Anabaptists from the guildhall and the dam.
The burghers remained quite still during the remainder of the night; the Anabaptists spent it in singing psalms. At break of day, Henry Goedbeleid, whom John van Geelen had associated with himself as leader of the enterprise, finding that their numbers did not increase, began to lose courage, and in a short time the dam was cleared of the rioters, who retreated into the guildhall, some few being slain. The burgher guards having taken possession of the theatre opposite, fired incessantly, from the cannon which the rioters themselves had placed there, into the windows of the guildhall; Reekalf, also, on the recovery of the dam by the burghers, caused two couleuvrines and a piece of heavy artillery to be brought thither, with which they soon levelled the door of the guildhall to the ground.
- Boxhorn in Amst., p. 258. Lambert. Horten., p. 62—64.
- Inhabitants who did military service in the town upon any emergency, and received regular pay as soldiers: they were called "Waardgelders."
1535 The burgher troops then rushed in: the Anabaptists fought witfh the courage of despair; but overpowered by numbers, the greater part, among whom was Goedbeleid himself were killed, and the few remaining made prisoners. Twenty of the burghers fell in the enCounter. John yan Geelen having retreated to the tower of the guildhall, placed himself in front of the fire from the theatre; he was soon struck, and thrown, while yet alive, into the street. The prisoners were afterwards condemned to a painful death 1: 116 men, and 25 women, of the Anabaptists, perished in the affray, and by the hand of justice 2.
Thus the tumult was happily appeased; but there appears little doubt, that if all those who waited in vain for the ringing of the town bell had joined in the attack, the issue must have been fatal to the city; 300 more Anabaptists, who had been invited by John van Geelen to Amsterdam, were on their way thither, when they heard of the failure of their comrades, and two ships filled with them appeared shortly after before the bar, which, on the tidings of the events in the town, sailed to England. The conduct of these sectarians drew upon them the most rigorous edicts; all their prophets, apostles, and bishops, were condemned to the flames, and every one guilty of being rebaptized to be put to the sword if men, and to be buried alive if women; and the magistrates were forbidden to show them the least mercy, * because of their evil designs.*
- The barbarities exercised on them are revolting to human nature: their hearts were cut out, while alive, and thrown into their faces; their bodies quartered, and hung upon the town gates, and their heads placed on stakes.—Lambert. Hort., p. 67
- Boxhorn in Amst., p. 259, 260. Aantek. op Vat. Hist, deeL ▼., bl. 33. Lambert. Horten., p. S4-r-67.
From that time, severe persecution was exercised, not only against the seditious among 1535 the Anabaptists but likewise against that peaceable and well-disposed sect of them who, following the doctrines of Menno Simonson, from whom they were afterwards called Mennonites, held the use of fleshly weapons unlawful 1. These unhappy disorders did calculable injury to the cause of the Reformation, and contributed, in a great degree, to retard its progress; they were not only pointed to by the Catholics as the inevitable consequence of wantonly forsaking that faith which had stood the test of so many ages, but, by justifying measures of severity against the Anabaptists, exasperated that spirit of hatred and bitterness of persecution, which the different sects of Reformers manifested towards each other, in no less a degree than the Catholics towards the Reformers. This disposition, however, was principally conspicuous in Germany and Switzerland; Holland was, for the most part, exempt from it, and it was with slowness and reluctance that the governments of the towns executed, even to the extent they did, the rigorous decrees of their sovereign.
The truce for thirty years, which had been concluded with Lubek and Denmark, lasted little more than one. The Lubekkers, dissatisfied with Christian III., on account of the treaty he had made with Holland, of which they complained as injurious to their trade, had formed an alliance with Christopher, Count of Oldenburg, for the purpose of restoring the captive king, Christian II., to the throne; and, in conjunction with him, they possessed themselves of Copenhagen, which was no-sooner accomplished, than they closed the Sound against all Holland vessels 2.
- Lambertas Horten., p. 68. Veliua Hooed., p. 130. Brandt',Hist. for Rtf„ boek ii., bl. 123,124.
- Hist, de Danne., torn, vi., p. 203. Velius Hoorn., bL 197.
The hindrance of the Baltic trade created, as usual, a scarcity of corn in Holland, of which the governess took advantage to renew the prohibition on its exportation. As the Hollanders were convinced that this was done for no other purpose than that the government might reap the profits of the sale of permits, they unanimously resolved not to publish the decree, and vehemently insisted on its immediate revocation; the deputies of the towns representing, that the prohibition to export, and the exaction of permit-money, by checking the purchase of foreign corn in the Country, prevented its being brought thither, and thus increased the scarcity it was pretended to remedy; and that thirty ships from Bremen, laden with grain, had, in consequence of the bare mention of this measure, passed by Holland and gone with their cargoes to England. By dint of presents. to the courtiers, the towns at length obtained a majority in the privy council, and it was decreed, that 1536 corn should be freely exported as of old, without any demand of permit-money 1.
The private views and interests of the emperor and his family widened still further the breach between Holland and Denmark and Lubek. Isabella, wife of the dethroned monarch and sister of Charles V., had died, leaving two daughters, of whom the eldest, Dorothea, in default of issue male, claimed the inheritance of her father. She had been married by the emperor to Frederic, Count palatine of the Rhine, and this prince now sought to make the commotions raised by the Count of Oldenburg the means of advancing the pretensions of his wife to. the Danish throne. As a first step, he determined upon endeavouring to raise the siege of Copenhagen, then invested by the king's 1530 troops, and for this purpose collected a numerous force, with the assistance of the emperor.
- Aert ran der Goes, bl. 234—240.
As it was necessary to provide vessels for the transport of the soldiers into Denmark, the governess demanded them in the emperor's name from the states of Holland. The Stadtholder laboured to excite the fears of the deputies by the tidings, that the Lubekkers, suspecting the designs of Frederic, had entered into negotiations for an accommodation with the reigning king, urging the great probability there was that he might be induced, in his present circumstances, to make such a treaty with Lubek as would prove a perpetual hindrance to the Dutch navigation in the Baltic; and that the best means of averting this danger would be, that the emperor should make himself master of the Sound, and if possible put the Count palatine in possession of the throne of Denmark.
He concluded with a requisition for twenty-five men of war, fifteen hoys, double armed and double manned. But the states receiving intelligence that the King of Sweden, Gustavus L, had occupied the Sound with forty ships, were fearful that Holland might be involved alone in a war with the combined powers of the north, and that the whole of their trade would in consequence be engrossed by Zealand, Flanders, and Brabant. They therefore urged that, under present circumstances, the governess should apply to a general assembly of the states of the Netherlands, when Holland would be found willing to con-,sent to a reasonable sum as their share in the support of the war, provided a like proportion were paid by the other states,but not otherwise. They likewise objected, that in case the ships required of them should Be detained, as it was probable, in the Baltic, they 1536 would incur a loss of 400,000 guilders. The governess, finding it impossible to prevail with the states of Holland, took upon herself the equipment of the fleet 1.
- Hist, de Danne., torn, vi., p. 289, 292. Aert van der Goes> VL $tf-249.
In order to prevent the execution of any plan formed in favour of Frederic, by raising up against the Netherlanders an enemy who should give them sufficient employment on their own frontiers, Christian III. formed a league with the Duke of Guelderlaod by which the latter was bound to assist the king with 3000 men, and eight ships of war. Charles, who entered into this alliance chiefly to obtain a pretext for renewing hostilities against the emperor, lost no time in levying the stipulated number of troops, but instead of waiting to co-operate with the Danish army, he sent them at once into Groningen, under the command of Memard van Ham, a general nominally in the service of the King of Denmark.
Upon his arrival there, Meinard entrenched himself strongly in Appingedam, whence he wrote to the citizens of Amsterdam, that in case the intended preparations at sea were proceeded with, he would lay waste the city, and surrounding Country, with fire and sword. The Amsterdammers were the more alarmed at this threat, because the town of Delft, having been shortly before almost destroyed by a conflagration, was not in a condition to offer any resistance to the passage of the Guelderlanders. They therefore summoned an assembly of the states at the Hague, for the purpose of soliciting the governess to send some troops to their succour. She, however, anticipated their desire, by commanding George Schenck, Stadtholder of Friesland,, a brave and skilful captain, to dislodge Meinard van Ham from 1536 Appingadam, and to employ in this semce the forces destined for the Danish expedition 1.
- Hist, de Danne, torn, vi., p. ����10, Heut. Rer. Aust., lib. i., cap. &, P- 256. Aert van der Goes, bl. 263.
The people of Groningen, between whom and the Duke of Guelderland many causes of dissatisfaction had for some time existed, being now still further alienated from him by a proposal which he made to erect a citadel within the town, and to surround Appingedam with walls, sent deputies to the governess, offering' to acknowledge the emperor as sovereign, in the quality of Duke of Brabant and Count of Holland, provided she would send them immediately a sufficient number of troops to protect them from the Guelderlanders.
The governess did not hesitate long to accept their proposal, but sent instructions without delay to George Schenck, to receive the homage of Groningen in the emperors name. The siege of Appingadam lasted two months, when it capitulated, the general, Meinard van Ham, remaining a prisoner of war. Coevoerden, some time after, likewise surrendered to Schenck, and before the end of the year, all the fortified places having acknowledged the emperor, he was confirmed in the fall possession of Groningen and Drent 1.
The diversion which the King of Denmark thus caused, though it had proved most unfortunate to the Duke of Guelderderland, entirely answered the purpose for which be himself designed it; since, while the Netherland fleet lay waiting for the soldiers employed at the siege of Appingadam, he obliged Copenhagen to surrender, and this event caused the Count palatine to desist from his intention of invading Denmark.
- Pontanus, Hist. Geb*., Hb. xi., p. 781. Heut. Rer. Aust., Mb. xi., cap. 6.
1536 Although, in compliance with the solicitations of the states of Holland, the equipment of the fleet had been carried on in Zealand, jet it was a source of great injury and vexation to the former province, as it was stripped of the whole of its artillery to supply the men of-war; and in order to procure seamen, a command was issued for arresting not only the merchant ships going to the north for timber and cod fish, but those also which traded to England, Spain, and Portugal. An embargo likewise was laid in Amsterdam on some vessels coming from the Baltic, which created a fear lest reprisals should be exercised by the nations to which they belonged 1.
At length, by the vigorous efforts of the Hollanders, a truce for three years was concluded with the King of Denmark in the next spring, in spite of the repeated attempts to break off the negotiations made by the ambassadors of the Count palatine at the Netherland court 2,
In this year died the renowned Gerard Gerardson, so well known to posterity under the name of Desiderius Erasmus, in the seventy-first year of his age. His statue still remains at Rotterdam, as a memorial of the just esteem which his fellow citizens cherished of his virtues and attainments.
The truce with Denmark failed in securing to Holland that peace which she so earnestly desired, since she was destined to no inconsiderable share in the evil consequences that resulted from the bitter personal hatred existing between the emperor and Francis L of France, and which brought so many calamities on the subjects of both sovereigns. Hardly was the treaty of Cambray concluded, when Francis began to devise methods of evading its provisions.
- Hist, de Danne., torn, vi., p. 318. Aeit van der Goes,bl. 103. 4 Hist, de Donne, torn, vi., p. 364. Vellus Hoorn, bl. 139.
Even at the time of its ratification he had, as with the treaty of Madrid, made a secret and solemn protest against it 1; and from that moment was unceasingly employed in forming alliances prejudicial to Charles. In order to seduce the Pope from his interests, he carried his complaisance 1533 so far as to give his second son, Henry, Duke of Orleans, in marriage to Catherine, daughter of Lorenzo di Medici, cousin of Clement VII.; thus allying the royal house of France with the family of a simple Florentine merchant. Henry VIII. of England was sufficiently inclined to share in his feelings of hostility against the emperor, on account of the influence which the latter had used with the Pope, first to retard, and then to prevent entirely, the divorce of his aunt, Catherine of Arragon, which Henry was earnestly bent on accomplishing.
Francis found, therefore, but little 1530 difficulty in inducing him to close the wool staple at Calais, for the purpose of injuring the trade of the Netherlands 2, though he was too much occupied with his domestic affairs to render it probable that he would afford any active assistance in case of a war 3. This, however, Francis was for some time in no condition to undertake; and when the ruin and disasters of the former campaigns had been in some measure repaired by a few years of peace, he found his political relations considerably changed. Clement VIL, whose alliance France had, as it afterwards proved, bought so 1530 dear, dying soon after, was succeeded by Alexander Farnese under the name of Paul III, an implacable enemy of the Medici, and from that cause hostile is the interests of France..
- Recueil des Traites, torn, ii., p. 869.
- Of how great detriment this measure was to the manufactures of the Netherlands may be estimated from the feet, that the question of the substitution of Spanish wools for English, being debated in the states, it *&8 decided that it was impossible for the Netherlander to do without English wool, notwithstanding the superior protection the emperor might be enabled to afford to the importation of those from Spain. Aert van der Goes, op jaar 1534, bl. 221%
- Rym. Feed*, torn, xir., p. 435.
The league of Smalkalde, formed in 1530 by the Protestants of Germany for their mutual defence, appeared calculated to strike a fatal blow at the power and authority of the emperor, and Francis was not remiss in his endeavours to turn so important a weapon to his own advantage. In order to gain their friendship he did not hesitate to affect some conformity with their religious opinions, and even invited Melancthon their favourite apostle, to Paris 1. But the success of his arts was defeated by the severities he thought it necessary to employ against the Reformers in his ova kingdom, after which proof of his insincerity, all the representations and blandishments of his ambassador Du Bellay, were unavailing to persuade the German Protestant princes to listen to any further overtures of alliance on his part 2.
Thus unsupported by any of the powers of Europe, Francis commenced the war against the emperor by sending an army into the states of Charles, Duke of Savoy; between whom and the emperor, a close alliance was maintained through the influence of his wife, Beatrice of Portugal, sister of the empress. Francis also laid claim to a portion of Savoy, in right of his mother Louise, daughter of Philibert II. by a first marriage. The French troops in a few weeks gained possession of the greater part of Savoy and Piedmont. At the time of the invasion of Savoy, the emperor was in Italy, returning covered with glory from his celebrated expedition against Tunis 3.
- Du Bellay, lib, iv., p. 167,Skidan, lib. ix,p. 186,187.
- Du Bellay, lib. vi., p. 307, et seq,
- The people considered it as an evil omen, that on the occasion of the emperor's entry into Rome, the ancient Temple of Peace was thrown down among other buildings to widen the wad,—Du Bellay, liv. v., p. 256.
The want of faith on the part of Francis, and his conduct to his ally, transported Charles to an excess of passion, wholly unusual to his steady and prudent temper; he indulged, in the presence of the assembled Pope,,cardinals, and ambassadors at Rome, in vehement Invectives against the aihbitJott and insincerity of his rival; enumerated all the injuries ha had sustained from him since his accession to the crown; and concluded by challenging him to single combat 1. Impelled by his anger and rejecting the advice of his wisest counsellors, 1536 he determined upon attacking the King of France in his own dominions, and at the head of an army of 40,000 infantry, and 10,000 horse, he invaded Provenc,,and laid siege to Marseilles. The able plan of defence pursued by the French general, Montmorency, in garrisoning only the strong towns, and laying waste the open Country, forced the imperialists to retreat at the end of two months, worn out with hunger, fatigue, and sickness. The emperor's arms met with little better success on the side of Picardy, where the Count of Nassau, having laid siege to Peronne with 80,000 men was obliged shortly after to raise it 2.
The mutual interests of France and the Netherlands, prompted the belligerents to tin agreement in the midst of these hostilities, that the herring fishery of both nations should remain unmolested. The security of this branch of their trade was a seasonable relief to the Hollanders under the heavy imposts they were obliged to sustain. The governess having assembled the states-general of all the Netherlands at Brussels, demanded of them a sum of money sufficient for the support of the 1537 troops returned from Peronne, and proposed to levy for this purpose an excise on wine, beer, silks, velvets, woollen, and linen cloths.
- Du Bellay, liv. v., p, 240—267.
- Idem, liv. viii.,.p. 415—422.
The proposition was received with much the same kind of feeling as the noted excise scheme of Sir Robert Walpole, in later times, in our own Country. The states of Holland summoned at the Hague to consider of this measure, regarded it as an unnecessary and vexatious innovation. The excise had indeed been levied by the governments of the towns, to pay the charges of those towns, or the County taxes when the assessments on houses and lands did not suffice 1, but as a general tax, and levied by the immediate authority of the Count, it was as yet unheard of.
The states of Flanders, also, supported those of Holland, the deputies declaring that they could not venture to ask their constituents for power to consent to the novelty of excises, nor had they the slightest hope of ever obtaining it. The deputies of no one of the other states appeared at all more inclined to give in their consent, and the governess at length found the opposition so powerful, that she was forced to yield, and the scheme of excise was laid aside for several years, when the enormous subsidies granted by the states rendered its adoption inevitable.
Another measure which she brought forward shortly after, met with the like ill-success. The sum of 1,200,000 guilders was judged requisite for the payment of the troops intended for the service of the next campaign, and instead of levying it by the usual mode of petitions to the separate states, the governess demanded the whole sum from the states-general of the Netherlands, proposing at the same time, that they should declare the provinces one undivided nation, and as such, levy a general impost of a Carolus guilder 1537 (twenty-two pence halfpenny) upon every hearth 2.
- Vide part ii., chap. 2.
- Or " Hole from whence smoke issues."—Aert ran der Goes, bl. 276. VOL. I. 2 E
This expedient was, however, unanimously rejected by the deputies from Holland, who declared, that so far from being paid, it would inevitably cause a rebellion throughout the County, since, being more populous, and having therefore a greater number of dwellings in proportion to the extent of her soil than any of the other states, she would have been forced to bear more than a due proportion of the burden. The proposition of the duchess was therefore rejected; but the states of Holland granted her an ordinary petition of 120,000 guilders annually for six years, and an extraordinary one of 120,000 guilders 1.
While the debates on the supplies were yet pending, Francis taking advantage of the delay they occasioned in the preparations for the campaign, and aware of the disordered condition to which the Netherland army was reduced for want of pay, took possession of Hedin early in the spring. No sooner, however, were 1538 the Netherland troops in readiness, than Egmond, Count of Buuren, marched at their head to St. Pol, which he took by storm, made himself master of Montreuil, and commenced the siege of Terouanne. During its continuance, the governess and Queen of Prance concluded a truce for three months between France and the Netherlands. This was followed in 1539 the next year by a general truce between the emperor and King of France for the space of ten years; negotiated under the mediation of Pope Paul III., who had manifested an extreme eagerness in bringing about a pacification between the two monarchs, in order that, 1539 their mutual animosities being laid aside, they might unite their forces, as well for the purpose of extirpating heresy, as of arresting the progress of the Turks in Christendom 2.
- Aert van der Goes, bl. 276, 277. Meteien, boek L, fol. 12.
- Du BeUay, liv. viii., p. 439—453. Sleidan, lib, xi, p. 282. Recueil dee Traites, tom. ii., p. 399, 407.
In compliance with his solicitation, Charles, after the ratification of the trace, made preparations for war against the Sultan of Turkey, Soljman, surnamed the Magnificent. In order to provide himself with a fleet, he despatched to Holland and Zealand, John van Henninlord of Bossn, who obtained from the states that an embargo might be laid upon vessels of all kinds, and a prohibition issued to seam, against engaging in any other service than that of the emperor. By these means, highly prejudicial to the commerce of the Dutch, a fleet of forty-four ships was collected in Zealand, and early in the next spring fifty-six more set sail from Holland. But the latter had hardly reached the Downs, when they were recalled, the emperor finding it necessary to postpone his expedition, as well on account of some movements among the Protestants of Germany, as of a revolt which had broken out in Ghent. A few of the leading circumstances of the latter event, though not in immediate connection with Holland, will not be irrelevant to the subject, from its effects on the temper and disposition of the sovereign towards the towns of the Netherlands and their franchises in general 1.
Owing, perhaps, to Flanders having been for many centuries a fief of France, the Flemings partook much more of the national character of the French than of the Germans, whom the inhabitants of the other Netherland states, except Hainaut and Artois for the most part strongly resembled; and although, in common with all Netherlanders, deeply attached to 1539 their ancient customs and privileges, they were prone to assert them rather with inconsiderate passion and inconstant vehemence, than with the passive courage and steadiness of purpose evinced by the Dutch on the like occasions.
- Heut, rer, Aust, lib,,., cap. 13. Velius Hoorn, bl, 141.
The origin of the present dispute between the Ghenters and the court was the subsidy of 1,200,000 guilders, demanded by the governess in 1536, which, as we have seen, it was found impossible to levy by a general tax throughout the provinces. It was therefore divided in proportional shares to each; that of Flanders being fixed at 400,000 guilders, or one-third of the whole. The states of this province were composed of deputies from the four members, as they were called, (" Leden,") of Ghent, Bruges, Ypres, and the Vryenland, of whom the three latter gave their consent, after some difficulty, to the payment of this sum, and likewise that it should be levied by means of a tax of one guilder on each hearth. The citizens of Ghent, en the contrary, persisted in refusing the demand, offering instead, to serve the emperor as of old time, with their own troops assembled under the great standard of the town.
In order to force them to compliance, the governess seized all the Ghenters found in Brussels, Antwerp, and elsewhere, and threw them into prison 1. This measure failed of the desired effect. The inhabitants of Ghent sent deputies to Margaret to solicit the release of their fellow-citizens, and to represent. to her that, according to the charters of Count Guy in 1296, of Count Louis de Nevers in 1334, and of Mary in 1478, they could not be bound to the payment of any subsidy, by the decision of a majority only of the states of Flanders. They likewise presented an 1539 appeal to the emperor in Spain, but received for answer, that they should obey the commands of the governess as if he were present, and that if they persisted in refusing the payment of 400,000 guilders, means would be taken to enforce it.
- Heut. Rer. Aust, lib. xi., cap. 11.
The other cities of Flanders showed themselves unwilling to espouse the cause of the Ghenters, who, finding they had no hope of support from them, or of redress from the emperor, took up arms, possessed themselves of the forts in the vicinity of Ghent, and despatched an embassy to Paris to offer the sovereignty of their city to the king, with a promise to assist him in recovering Flanders and Artois, ancient fiefs of France. The hope that the emperor would one day grant the investiture of the Milanese to his second son the Duke of Orleans, induced Francis to decline the tempting offer, and the Ghenters were left to sustain alone the consequences of their rebellious acts 1.
As there appeared no other mode of pacifying the town than by the presence of the sovereign himself Charles determined upon repairing thither in person; but the difficulty of performing the voyage in safety appeared almost insurmountable. If he attempted the passage by sea, it was not improbable that a storm, at this season of the year, might drive him into one of the ports of England where, as the feelings of the king were anything rather than friendly towards him, he might be detained prisoner. The route through Italy and the states of the Protestant princes of Germany was still more perilous, and Charles at length decided upon the apparently desperate measure of passing through the dominions of his rival, the King of France. Happily for him the same vanity which guided all the actions of Francis, and which induced him to violate the ties of good faith after the inglorious treaties of Madrid and Cambray, prompted him now honourably to preserve them, and to display to even an impolitic excess, the character of a generous and friendly host.
- Heut. Rer. Aust., lib. ,., cap. 11. Thuanus, lib. L, p. 28. Da Bellay, Uv. viii., p, 477.
He not only granted the emperor a free passage through his states, and received him with the honours 1540 due to a sovereign, but forbore, with an overstrained delicacy, to press him upon the subject of the investiture of Milan 1. Having taken leave of the French king, who accompanied him as for as St. Quentin, Charles met the states-general at Brussels in February, whence he advanced to Ghent at the head of two regiments of German foot, brought into the Netherlands by his brother Ferdinand, king of the Romans, and 1500 horse, which the governess had levied in the provinces. It was soon evident how little of mercy or forbearance the Ghenters had to expect at his hands 2.
In answer to the petition they presented to him, setting forth their claims and grievances, he declared, that the charters they relied upon in support of their pretended privilege of paying no taxes, except such as they had given their consent to, either applied to those levied upon the city of Ghent in particular 3, or to such as were levied by nobles without consent of the 1540 sovereign 4; excepting the great charter obtained from Mary, daughter of Charles I., which he affirmed was invalid, as extorted by force, she being at the time under age, and detained a prisoner in Ghent.
- Du Bellay, liv. viii., p. 477—479. Heut. Rer, Aust, lib. xi., cap. 12.
- He did not, however, exercise against them all the severity to which he was advised. Having asked the Duke of Alva, (the same who afterwards rendered his name so notorious in the Netherlands,) what punishment he thought they deserved, he answered, that the rebellious city should be entirely destroyed. Charles commanded him to go up into a tower from whence he might see the whole city. " And how many Spanish skins," said he to him on his return, "do you think it would take to make such a glove (Gand) as that Alva remained silent. Strada Da Bello Belgico, dec. i., lib. vii., p. 221.
- That of Count Guy in 1296.
- The one granted by Count Louis in 1324.
The judgment pronounced by the emperor, which the formidable body of troops within their walls left the Ghenters neither the power nor the inclination to resist, was marked by a severity calculated to deter the other cities of the Netherlands from a too bold assertion of obnoxious immunities. It was decreed that Ghent and all the other towns should abide by the decision of the majority of the states in the matter of subsidies: that the Ghenters, as guilty of treason, had forfeited all their franchises, their lives, and property: that besides their share of the 400,000 guilders, the primary cause of the disturbances, they should pay a fine of 150,000 guilders at once, and 6000 annually for ever: they were, moreover, to defray the expenses of a strong citadel erected within the town, to keep the inhabitants in subjection: twenty-six of the ringleaders, among the seditious, suffered death, and the others were condemned to pay heavy fines, or to undertake long and dangerous pilgrimages 1. As the great majority concerned in this rebellion were of the poorer classes, the exaction of large sums of money from the town, whereby the most wealthy and peaceful citizens bore the chief share of the punishment, presents an example of those peculiar rules of justice often adopted by powerful monarchy when the result of its execution is to bring supplies into their own treasury 2.
- Heut. Her. Aust, lib. xi., cap. 13^ 15*
- The conduct of the King of France, on a similar occasion, contrasts favourably with that of Charles, as well in respect of sound policy as of humanity. The Rochellois having mutinied against the collectors of the gabelle, were afterwards obliged to submit themselves to his mercy: Francis not only forbore to inflict any capital punishment on them, but restored their arms and franchises. Du Bellay, liv. ix., p. 621—624.
Peace being thus restored to Ghent, the emperor 1540 set out on a journey to Holland, whither he had been invited by the advocate, Van der Goes, in the name of the states. First visiting Zealand, he proceeded through Dordrecht, Rotterdam, and Delft, to the Hague, where he gave an audience to the states. They were again summoned at Haarlem, for the purpose of giving their consent to a petition of 100,000 guilders annually during six years.
The nobles and the towns of Dordrecht, Haarlem, and Amsterdam, only having acceded to this demand, the governess desired that the votes of the majority should be esteemed a fall consent, thus endeavouring to introduce into Holland the same system which had lately been carried into effect by force in Flanders. Yet the earnest remonstrances of the lords of Brederode and Assenfeldt, assisted by the advocate, Van der Goes, induced her to desist from this impolitic scheme, which would, in all probability, have met with more firm and lasting opposition in Holland, where the principle had always been recognized, that no measure should be considered as sanctioned by the states unless their votes were unanimous, and that the several members should not be called upon to bear any share in those taxes to which they had not given their assent.
Shortly afterwards the states, being again summoned at Utrecht, came to an unanimous resolution to grant the required subsidy; Amsterdam, for its forwardness in voting so considerable a supply, obtained a modification in its favour of the staple-right of Dordrecht, from which all the towns of Holland were desirous of being relieved. The emperor decreed that, all wares coming from the 1540 north, except oak planks, bent, and wainscoting timber; should be permitted to pass by the way of Gouda and the Yssel to Amsterdam, without being first exposed for sale at the staple of Dordrecht 1.
- Aert van der Goes, bl. 303—308.
From Holland the emperor went to Utrecht, the final union of which with Holland was completed about this time. It had been ardently wished for by the Hollanders, ever since its conquest from Charles of Guelderland; and in the year 1534 the Emperor had published an edict, declaring that, with the approbation of the Governess Mary, of the knights of the Golden Fleece, and of the members of the privy council and council of finance, the emperor, out of his mere knowledge, authority, and full power, united the city, towns, and Country of Utrecht, on this side the Yssel, to Holland, to be governed by one Stadtholder , and the states of both were to be henceforth summoned together 1. The councils still remained distinct 2.
The opposition of the Utrechters had delayed till the present time the full accomplishment of this union, the consequences of which were subsequently so important to both Countries. On the emperor's return to Holland from Utrecht, he appointed René de Chalons, prince of Orange, as Stadtholder of Holland, Zealand, and Utrecht: his father, Henry of Nassau, was a German, and his mother, Claude de Chalons, a native of France; and thus, by the violation of a privilege often and vehemently insisted on by the Dutch, that " no foreigner should be appointed to the offices of the County,* did this illustrious family become invested 1540 with a dignity which, in process of time, they rendered nearly royal.
- The states of Utrecht consisted of the nobility, clergy, and commons The clergy were represented by deputies, chosen by the chapters of the five principal churches; the commons by deputies from the city of Utrecht and Amersfoort. Guicc. Des. Bel., torn, ii., p. 194*
- Bor Oorsprong, &c, der Ned. Beroerten, boek x, bl. 794,
Charles likewise issued a new edict for the regulation of the government, of much the same nature as that published in the year 1531. Whatever toleration the emperor might show towards the Protestants of Germany, who were sufficiently powerful to force him to terms, by no means extended to the Netherlands, where a decree of additional severity was issued, and commanded to be published every six months, preventing anabaptists, and heretics of all persuasions, from disposing of their property by will, and declaring all fugitives condemned to death without trial 1.
Within a short time from the visit of the emperor to the Netherlands, the renewal of the prohibition to export corn was once more the subject of vehement debates 2. The fiscal advocate, who brought forward the project in the states, was with difficulty induced to wait for their decision, until they should depute some of their body to present a remonstrance against this grievance. Dordrecht alone refused to act in concert with the other towns, alleging that they had endeavoured to deprive her of her staple-right, and that she had a special permission to send corn out of the Maas. The deputies from the remainder, together with two nobles, were admitted to an audience of the 1541 governess at Binche, where they represented to her and the privy council, that the prohibition, and exaction of permit money, was not only contrary to their 1541 ancient privileges and customs, but also to the imperial edict issued in 1531:
- Repert der Plakaat., bl. 39. Brandt's Hist. Ref., b. Hi., bl. 141.
- At the assembly of the states held to consider of this subject, deputies from several of the small towns of the Waterland were present, their chief means of support being the export of corn, Van der Goes, bl. 313.
the foreign merchant, they said, would no longer come to fetch corn from Holland, nor would the Baltic traders bring it thither; and the northern powers would seek to burden the merchants of Holland with new imposts, equivalent to that which was thus laid upon their wares: to this they added a remonstrance, which rarely failed in its effect, that the trade of Amsterdam and the towns of the Waterland would fall into so great decay if this measure were persisted in, that they should be totally unable to con* tribute their share of the petitions.
The governed observing in answer, that the emperor did not wish to exercise his undoubted right of granting permits to the prejudice of the welfare of Holland, proposed as a modification, that foreign merchants not being able to sell their grain in Holland, might land, bond, and re-ship it, without payment of a permit; and that native merchants might freely export as much grain as they themselves had brought from the Baltic. To this it was objected, that foreign traders were never accustomed to bring their corn to Holland, unless for the purpose of sale, since the ports of England were much easier of access in case it were found necessary to unship it; and with regard to the second exception, they said that most of the merchants who brought corn from the Baltic were forced to sell immediately, in order to obtain ready money, and consequently, that it rarely happened, and then only among the richest merchants, that the same persons imported corn and exported it again; and that, therefore, this exception would be no relief whatever to the large body of less opulent traders, who were accustomed to buy their corn in the Country for the purpose of exportation.
No remonstrance or reasoning, however, proved of sufficient force to induce the governess to desist from her 1541 scheme. The states desired that they might plead the cause against the procurer-general before the great council of Mechlin, but were told that they should neither be heard or answered, but that the decree should be forthwith executed: a request that they might be allowed to petition the emperor was likewise peremptorily refused, and they separated in the highest discontent.
Hardly was the permit money begun to be levied, when the pernicious effects of the measure appeared. One hundred and fifty Baltic ships, accustomed to trade with Holland, sailed westward without coming into port. In Amsterdam it gave rise to some tumults, in which the receiver narrowly escaped with his life. The states, understanding that great difficulty was found in tiling the office of receiver, since men feared to undertake it in the present temper of the people, again sent to petition the governess for a repeal of the obnoxious impost. She agreed to it on condition that 25,000 guilders should be paid to the emperor as an indemnification for the loss he would sustain. The states gladly accepted her proposal, Amsterdam consenting to pay a third of the required sum, and thus Holland was again relieved for some years from this injurious restriction on her trade 1.
While Holland was thus struggling to secure the freedom of her commerce, she was obliged to be no less vigilant in her efforts to preserve her civil immunities. The burghers of many of the towns could not, according to their laws, be condemned to a forfeiture of more than a certain sum in addition to the penalty of death for capital crimes. Yet the supreme court *as now in the habit of continually inflicting the total 1541 loss of property, besides sentence of death, upon the followers of the new religious sects.
- Aert van der Goes,W. 810—335,
The still more important privilege, " de non evocando," was likewise perpetually violated, and causes which should have been decided in the supreme court of Holland, were summoned before the council at Mechlin; nor could the earnest and repeated endeavours of the states prevent these abuses 1.
The emperor had manifested more than usual anxietssy to procure supplies on account of an expedition he was preparing against Hayraddin Barbarossa, the corsair sovereign of Algiers. On his voyage thither in the summer of this year, he was accompanied by a large number of ships from Zealand as well as Holland: of the latter province, the town of Enkhuyzen alone equipped four large caraveels for his service. Immediately after the landing of the troops, which was effected within two days of the arrival of the fleet before Algiers, a violent storm arose, which drove the vessels from their anchors, when one hundred and forty were entirely destroyed; fifteen others being driven on shore, their crews were murdered by the Africans; and the remainder, having sustained considerable damage, were forced to seek refuge in the port of Metafuz.
The Algerines, taking advantage of the consternation occasioned by this disaster, made a sally on the besiegers, of whom they killed three hundred, and wounded two hundred more. Dispirited by this attack, and wholly destitute of provisions, the land forces with difficulty effected a harassing and disastrous retreat to Metafuz. Immediately on their re-embarkation, another violent tempest entirely dispersed the fleet: some of the vessels, with their crews perished, and the others arrived singly and at different times in die ports of Spain and Italy: the emperor himself landed safely at Carthagena in the month of November 1541 2.
- Aert van der Goes, passim.
- Pont Heut. Rer. Aust., lib. ix., cap. 15, p. 171,172.
No sooner did the tidings of these misfortunes reach the ears of the King of France, than he judged it a favourable opportunity for the renewal of the war with the emperor. Charles had, during his stay in France, led the king to expect the investiture of the Milanese for his second son, the Duke of Orleans, by a verbal promise to that effect; of which Francis, relying on the honour of the emperor, neglected ether to obtain a ratification in writing, or to exact hostages for its fulfilment. So far from abiding by. the pledge he had given, the emperor granted an income payable out of the revenues of the duchy to his niece, the widow of Francis Sforza, the late Duke of Milan, and whom he had married to Francis, eldest son of the Duke of Lorraine 1.
Filled with indignation at this breach of honour and good faith, and desirous of raising up enemies to the emperor on every side, Francis formed a league offensive and defensive with Christian III., king of Denmark, and Gustavus I., king of Sweden; a separate agreement being added to the treaty with the latter Country, permitting the king to purchase in France as much salt as he thought fit, exempt from the gabelle 2. As the Swedes had hitherto been accustomed to depend entirely on Holland for their supplies of salt, the object of Francis in granting this permission was, to ruin, if possible, this branch of their trade. Besides these two alliances, Francis formed a third, no less injurious to the interests of the Netherlander, with William, Duke of Cleves, between whom and the emperor, there had for some time existed a dispute concerning Guelderland,
- Pont Heut. Rer. Aust., lib. zi.. cup. 15, p. 271*
- Recueil des Traite,, torn, ii., p. 419, 422,429.
In the year 1538, the Duke Charles of Guelderland, being of a great age, and without issue, had endeavoured to induce the states of that duchy, to receive the King of France as their sovereign. But the states, wisely judging that this monarch was at too great a distance to protect them in case of an attack on the part of the emperor, which was to be apprehended as the consequence of such a step, refused their consent; and passing over the descendants of Philippe, duchess of Lorraine, sister of Duke Charles, they settled the succession on William, the son of John, Duke of Cleves and Juliers, descended by females from Reynold, the last reigning Duke before the accession of the family of Egmond.
This proof of neglect and contempt, from a people whose independence he had fought so long, and so bravely, to secure, broke the heart of the old hero. He fell sick, and died of grief and vexation; and upon his death, the Governess Mary sent to claim his states in the name of the emperor, by virtue of the covenants made to that effect with the late Duke and his grandfather Arnold in 1473. William of Cleves founded his pretensions, as well on the covenant of the states as on his hereditary right; which latter, Charles justly asserted, had been surrendered by Gerard, Count of Juliers, and his sons, in consideration of a large sum of money, at the same time that Duke Arnold made the transfer of the duchy to Charles of Burgundy. Both parties submitted their pretensions to the decision of the princes of the empire, and the case was still pending, when William, fearful lest their judgment should be given against him, sought to strengthen himself by an union with France 1.
- Pontanis, Gel. Hist., lib, xi, p. 793,Sll, Heut, Rer. Aust, lib, xi, cap. 15.
Before the ratification of the treaties with the 1542 northern powers, which was not effected till the May of the following year, Francis had two armies on foot, the one destined for the Netherlands under the Duke of Orleans and the Duke of Guise; while the other, commanded by the dauphin, inarched to besiege Perpignan, in the County of Roussillon. The Duke of Orleans invading Luxemburg, soon reduced the whole of the duchy except Diedenhoven and Thionville to submission; when abruptly quitting it to join his brother in Roussillon, the Prince of Orange reconquered all the strong towns in as short a time as they had been lost. The results of the campaign in Roussillon were equally unprofitable to the French, since the whole time was consumed in the fruitless siege of Perpignan, which the dauphin was obliged to raise on the approach of the rainy season 1.
The King of Denmark, meanwhile, besides blockading the Sound against the Netherland ships, kept Holland and Zealand throughout the whole summer in constant fear of an invasion. Outlyers were stationed in the Vlie and the Texel; the beacons at Goeree were removed, and the buoys taken up; the peasants of West Friesland likewise received commands from the Stadtholder to exercise themselves in arms, and to assist in garrisoning the neighbouring towns 2.
The Guelderlanders, and troops of the Duke of Juliers, under Marten van Rossem, turned their aims against Brabant, where the Prince of Orange advanced to meet them with only 500 horse and 3000 infantry, while the enemy numbered 12,000 foot and 1500 horse. Having fallen into an ambush laid for him by Rossem, near Brescot, he was forced to retreat to Antwerp, 1542 with the loss of the greater part of his men.
- Du Bellay, liv. Sx., p. 507—511.
- Velius Hoorn., M. 113.
Thither van Rossem followed him, flattering himself that the city, before it should recover from its first consternation, would surrender at his summons. In this, however, he was disappointed; and being destitute of artillery, he was unable to lay siege to this or any other strong town in Brabant. He therefore contented himself with ravaging the open Country, and retired to effect a junction with the French army in Luxemburg; when the Prince of Orange revenged the injuries committed in Brabant, by the invasion of Ruremonde, and the duchy of Juliers, where he made himself master of Juliers and some other towns 1.
For the support of the war, Holland had consented to two extraordinary petitions, one of 80,000, and another of 60,000 guilders; and Zealand to one of 16,000, and another of 20,000 guilders. This proved, however, insufficient; for the governess, aware that the King of France designed to employ the greater part of his forces during the next campaign to push the war with vigour in the Netherlands, assembled the states-general at Brussels towards the end of the year, and declaring that as all the monies voted had already been applied, notwithstanding which, large sums were still wanting, and that the usual means of ordinary and extraordinary petitions would avail but little in the pie-tent emergency, she proposed first, That a hundredth penny should be paid on the value of all the merchandise exported; secondly, that a tenth should be levied on the income of all immoveable property; and thirdly, the like proportion on the yearly profits of merchants. The deputies received a copy of this proposition in writing, with an order to re-assemble at Ghent in December 1542, and bring the answers of their constituents 2.
- Heut. Rer. Aust., lib. xi., cap. 16,17,18.
- Aert van der Goes, p. 348.
At the meeting then held, the states of Brabant consented to the levy of the tenth; others preferred paying a certain limited sum; while the deputies from the states of Holland excused themselves altogether from attendance, on account of the shortness of the time, the bad state of the roads from the recent thaw, and various other pretexts. During their delay, the governess threatened that if they persisted in refusing, she would exact from them 25,000 guilders a month for six months, and commanded them to attend at Brussels, with full powers to accede to the proposal, on pain of her severe displeasure.
She had already given orders for the levy of the hundredth penny on the value of goods exported. But the states of Holland meant nothing less than that it should be continued. On meeting at Brussels, the 1543 deputies plainly declared to the governess, that they could give no answer concerning the tenth, until this impost were abolished, which they held as a violation of the freedom from toll promised them by the emperor, and as directly tending to drive away their trade, on which they said they entirely depended for subsistence; adding, that if it were persisted in, so far from being able to contribute 200,000 guilders a year for the emperor's service as they had done, they should not be able to collect 50,000. The governess manifested high displeasure at these uncourtly remonstrances. She replied, that " She never would abolish the hundredth Penny since she had imposed it by virtue of the sovereign authority of the emperor, which she would in nowise allow to be impaired." The debates were carried on with much acrimony on both sides, when the deputies 1543 discovered from Mary herself, that the real cause of her obstinacy was not her fear of lessening the dignity of the emperor, but that she had already mortgaged the tax to one Jacob Doulx, for the sum of 200,000 guilders.
To save, therefore, the credit of their sovereign, they consented to the levy of the hundredth for one year. On the subject of the tenth, the governess had declared her willingness to accept of 150,000 guilders for six months in lieu of it. Amsterdam, Leyden, and Gouda, refused to go higher than 120,00; while the nobles, Dordrecht, Haarlem, and Delft, " who placed their votes in the mouth, and at the pleasure of the queen," did not cease to urge the other three to consent to the whole sum. The deputies, therefore, not being able to agree upon this point, consented to the levy of the tenth for an indefinite period. The Stadtholder also obtained from them the payment of 50,000 guilders, which he had expended for the public service; but they rejected the further demand of the governess, that they should liquidate the arrears due to the troops in Utrecht and Holland 1.
It happened now, as it had done in the year 1437, that while the Netherlanders were occupied with discussions concerning the means of maintaining the troops, the King of France opened the campaign within their boundaries. Landrecy, Bapaume, and Maubeuge, fell into his hands before the Netherland army was in a sufficient state of preparation to oppose his movements, and the duchy of Luxemburg was overrun with the same ease as in the preceding year. The Duke of Cleves, meanwhile, recovered all the places in Juliers which had been captured by the Prince of Orange, except Heusberg, and defeated the army sent by the governess, under Philip de Croye, lord of Aarschot, to throw supplies into that town, of which he commenced 1543 die siege;
- Aert van der Goes, W. 360-~366.
a reinforcement of troops advancing, under the Prince of Orange, forced him in a short time to raise it, when he surrendered the command of his army once more to Martin van Rossem, who invaded Utrecht, and made himself master of Amersfoort 1.
The emperor having much at heart the possession of Guelderland, resolved to direct the principal force of his arms against William of Cleves. Having assembled an army of 36,000 infantry, Spaniards, Italians, Germans, and Netherlanders, and 8000 horse, he marched at their head into Juliers, and laid siege to Duuren, the strongest town in that duchy. The garrison, commanded by Gerard von Vlakken, a nobleman of Juliers, consisted of no more than 2000 choice native infantry, with 800 horse, 1000 volunteers on foot, and 800 foreign cavalry.
The imperial army bringing forty pieces of heavy artillery to bear on the wall, soon effected a breach. The inhabitants defended themselves bravely for some time, but being overpowered by numbers, and their commander slain, the town was carried by storm, when the Spaniards and Italians, many of whom had been killed in the different onsets, commenced a fearful massacre. Having entirely pillaged the town, they, without the knowledge of the emperor, set it on fire. Terrified at this example, the other towns offered no further resistance, but hastened to tender their submission, and deliver the keys of their gates to Charles. William of Cleves, who had entered into the war upon the firm conviction that the emperor had perished in the African expedition, now finding himself unable to make head against so powerful an enemy, determined 1543 upon a timely submission.
- Du Bellay, liv. x., p. 533, 636, 643, 546. Heut. Rer. Aust., lib. xi, cap. 20.
He therefore repaired to the presence of the emperor, who had retired to Venloo, fell at his feet, and acknowledging his fault, humbly sued for pardon. Charles, whose policy it was at this juncture to conciliate the German prince, satisfied himself with enforcing his right upon Guelderland and Zutphen, restoring the states of the Duke entire, with the exception of the towns of Sittard and Heinsberg. William engaged to surrender his conquest of Amersfoort, to renounce the alliance of France, Denmark, and Sweden, and promised to admit of no innovations in the Catholic religion in his states. Martin van Rossem being included in the treaty, afterwards took service with the emperor 1.
Within a few days from this treaty, the states of Guelderland and Zutphen did homage to the emperor, who confirmed their privileges, and engaged for himself and his successors, to bestow no offices of the duchy except upon such as could speak the language, and were able to perform the duties of them in person; to appoint no Stadtholder who was ignorant of their language; and to impose no taxes except with the consent of the greater and lesser nobility, and deputies of the towns, according to the ancient usage 2.
So watchful were the Guelderlanders over their liberties, even when treating with a powerful prince, whom they might regard in the light of a conqueror. By the submission of Guelderland, the whole of the Netherland states were for the first time united under one sovereign. In Guelderland, the states were composed of three orders, of which the four great baronial families of Bronkhorst, Bergen, Baren, and Wissen, were esteemed the first; the second was formed of the vassalsof the Duke and the bailiffs of the open 1543 Country, the number of whom was uncertain, since it might be increased or diminished at the Duke's pleasure; afterwards, some of the more wealthy families came to be reckoned in this inferior order of nobility;
- Heut. Rer. Aust, lib. xi., cap. 22.
- Pontanns Gel. Hist., lib. xii, p. 833-836.
the third order, or commons, consisted of the deputies from the principal towns of the four districts into which Guelderland was divided; viz., Nimeguen, Ruremonde, Zutphen, and Arnheim.
The states were summoned by the Duke at such time and place as he thought fit; their business was to deliberate on all matters concerning peace and war; the forming alliances; the coinage; the taxes necessary to be imposed for the expenses of the government; and the alienation or expenditure of the public revenues: their decisions became law only after they had received the confirmation of the Duke.
After the termination of the government of their native sovereigns, the states were reduced to two orders only; those nobles who had obtained the right of voting by prescription, and the deputies of the four great towns. The council of state, in which the Duke or his Stadtholder presided, was composed of the treasurer of the duchy, the chancellor, and about twelve members; its judicial authority was more extensive than that of the council of Holland; and after the union of Guelderland with the other Netherlands, the council of state had the privilege, in common with the Stadtholder , of summoning the states of the duchy. The municipal government was essentially the same with that of Holland 1.
A final termination being thus put to the long and ruinous warfare with Guelderland, the emperor marched into Hainaut, to arrest the progress of the French arms in that province.
- Guicc. Belg. Des., torn, ii., p. 5—12.
On his arrival, he laid siege 1543 with his whole force to Landrecy; but Francis having succeeded in throwing a fresh supply of troops and provisions into the town, the undertaking was by this, and the advanced season of the year, rendered utterly hopeless; the emperor, therefore, withdrew his troops into winter quarters. The Netherlanders maintained during the whole summer a considerable fleet at set, by means of which they interrupted entirely the navigation of the French merchantmen. Ten transport ships belonging to the former entered the harbour of Bourdeaux in the month of May, captured seventeen vessels laden with wine and other wares for Normandy, sunk and burnt several others, and returned into the ports of Zealand enriched with valuable booty 1.
The events of this campaign had fallen far short of the emperor's expectations, and he therefore determined to make such alliances as would enable him to proceed in the next with renewed vigour His views were greatly facilitated by the conduct of his rival, and the imprudent alliance he bad formed with Solyman, sultan of Constantinople, at a time when men's minds, heated by theological discussions, were less than ever prepared to tolerate the entire sacrifice of religions scruples to political interest. Nor did Charles suffer so powerful an engine against him to lie idle. He had in the beginning of the year concluded a treaty with Henry VIII. of England, between whom and Francis many causes of dissatisfaction had arisen; and the emperor, in consequence, received the assistance of 6000 English troops at the siege of Landrecy 2.
- Du Bellay, liv. x., p. 549, 554.
- Rym. Feed., torn, xiv., p. 708.
The close union contracted by the French king with his enemies the Scotch, served to exasperate still further Henry's discontent, and induced him to enter into an engagement 1544 with the emperor, that they should invade France in concert 1, and march, the one from Calais, the other from the Netherlands, directly to Paris, without waiting to besiege any of the fortified towns on their route 2. Having thus secured the powerful co-operation of the King of England, Charles appointed Nicholas Perrenot da Granvelle and Viglius van Zuichem to negotiate a peace with the ambassadors of Christian III., king of Denmark, at Spires.
Christian had not reaped the advantages he promised himself from his connection with France, and had likewise found a sensible diminution in his revenues from the cessation of the tolls usually paid by the merchant ships of Zealand and Holland in the Baltic. He therefore easily consented to abandon the French alliance, to enter into a defensive league with the emperor, and to confirm the Holland merchants in all the privileges they had hitherto enjoyed 3.
While courting the aid of foreign potentates, Charles, by painting in the strongest colours to the Protestant princes of Germany the iniquity of the union formed between Francis and the Turks, and by granting extraordinary and important concessions for the security of their religion, induced them to furnish their full contingent of money and troops for his service 4.
- Robertson says, on the authority of Herbert and Du Bellay, with 25.000 men each (Hist. Chas. V., book vii., p. 26?). Hume, quoting no authority at all, says their forces amounted to above 100,000 men (chap. xxxiii., p. 245). The quotation from Du Bellay is not correct; he says that 70,000 or 80,000 foot and 18,000 or 20,000 horse were about the numbers of the two armies, liv. x., p. 277.
- Rym. Foed., torn, xv., p. 40. Da Bellay, liv. x., p. 676, 577.
- Sleidan, lib. xv*, p. 325. Dumont, Corps Dip., torn. iv., p. 2., pa. 274.
- Sleidan, lib. xv., p. 318—325.
1544 Thus strongly supported, and at the head of an numerous and well-appointed army, Charles conceived that the conquest of France would prove an easy task, and was heard openly to boast, that within three months the kingdom should be entirely conquered, and the king made tributary to him 1. Empty as the sequel proved this vaunt to be, appearances at the! time seemed almost to justify it. Francis, when the emperor commenced offensive operations against him, was unprovided with a single ally, except Scotland! alone, since he had found it advisable to renounce then friendship of the Turkish monarch, because of the obloquy he incurred on that account. Instead, however, of marching directly to Paris, as had been agreed upon with the King of England, Charles, having taken Commercy, and Ligny in the duchy of Bar, laid siege to St. Dizier in Champagne.
Henry, finding him thus employed on his arrival in France, conceived the idea that he intended to allow him to perform the expedition to Paris alone, while he himself secured the possession of Champagne. For this reason, instead of advancing further into the Country, he sat down before Boulogne 2; the Duke of Norfolk, with a part of the army, having shortly before united with the imperialists under the Count de Buuren, in laying siege to Montreuil. Before the walls of St. Dizier, perished Renée of Nassau, prince of Orange, and Stadtholder of Holland, in the twenty-seventh year of his age; while employed in viewing the trenches, a stone, shot from the wall, struck him with such violence on the shoulder, that he survived the injury only one day. 1544.
- Sleidan, lib. xv., p. 386.
- Some Netherland troops joined his camp at this seige, of whose prowess, however, he gives no very flattering account; for he writes, to the queen, " such as we have of them will doe no good where any daunger is, nor yet abide there with their wyll." Rym. FtaL, tegs, xt, p. 51.
He left the principality of Orange and his other states to his first cousin, William of Nassau, afterwards so illustrious in the annalsof Dutch history, the son of William Count of Nassau-Dillenberg, and at this time about eleven years of age. The Stadtholder ship of Holland was conferred on Louis, lord of Praat, descended from an illegitimate son of Louis van der Male, the last Count of Flanders before its union with Burgundy 1.
The siege of St. Dizier kept the arms of the emperor long employed; and it was only by a stratagem, it is said, on the part of Granvelle that its brave defender, the Count of Sancerre, was induced to surrender it.
Charles had lost many of his best troops in the frequent skirmishes which took place during its continuance; his army began to suffer from scarcity of provisions; and the mistrust between himself and the King of England, occasioned by the failure of both to fulfil their engagements, daily augmented 2. He was therefore by no means disinclined to hearken to the overtures of peace made by the French court; but as no cessation of arms had been agreed on, he continued to penetrate farther into France, taking by surprise Epernay and Chateau Thierri; he found at both places abundant stores of provisions, of which his army stood in the utmost need.
His advance served rather to hasten than retard the negotiations, by increasing the anxietssy of the King of France to bring them to a conclusion. A separate treaty was therefore made between the emperor and Francis, at Crespi, confirming in most of its particulars 1544 those concluded at Cambray and Nice;
- Du Bellay, liv. x., p. 577—583. Heut. Rer. Anst., lib. xii., cap. 3, p. 285. Adrian van der Goes Regist. op'tjaar 1544, bl. 47.
- Vide Letter of Henry, Rym. Feed., torn, xv., p. 50.
the conquered places were restored on both sides; the King of France made a fresh renunciation of the suzerainty of Flanders and Artois; and the emperor engaged to give his eldest daughter, or the second daughter of the King of the Romans, in marriage to the Duke of Orleans, settling the Netherlands as a dowry on the former, or the duchy of Milan on the latter. The emperor to whom the choice was left, afterwards declared in favour of the marriage with the daughter of the King of the Romans, but the sudden death of the Duke of Orleans prevented the fulfilment of the contract 1.
After the conclusion of the peace, the emperor attended in person the assembly of the states general of the Netherlands, held at Brussels, where he demanded of the deputies from Holland a supply of 100,000 guilders. The states, on meeting at the Hague to consider of this proposal, were not unwilling to consent to the whole subsidy, provided the tax of the hundredth penny should be first abolished, which, as they represented, was imposed only for a year, and continued on account of the war, but was in direct contravention of a privilege of exemption from tolls granted in 1495 by Philip, king of Castile, and had caused many merchants to desert Holland and remove to other Countries. Charles at length agreed to yield this much contested point, when the whole sum required was instantly voted 2.
While the emperor was still at Brussels, where he was detained by a severe attack of the gout, Pope Paul III. issued a bull, summoning a general council of the Church at Trent on the 15th of March of the following year (1544) 3.
- Du Bellay, liv. x., p. 583, 589. Recueil dêê Traites, torn, ii,, p. 430, 441. Heut., Eer. Aust., lib. xii., cap. 5, p. 289.
- Regist. van Adrian van der Goes, op'jaar 1844, bl. 53—62.
- Sleidan, likxvi.,p.349
This measure had long been vehemently called for by all ranks of men, both of the Protestant and Catholic religion, and no less dreaded by the Popes and superior clergy. To appease the universal clamour, and at the same time to avoid as much as possible the prejudicial effects to his authority which he apprehended from it, Paul III., in the year 1536, called a council at Mantua, where he might ensure the attendance of a majority of prelates devoted to the holy see: this was prevented, as well by the refusal of the Protestants to appear there, as on account of the difficulties raised by the Duke of Mantua.
A summons to another general council at Vicenza, in the territory of Venice, had been attended with the like issue, since neither the French nor German prelates were permitted by their sovereigns to be present 1. Finding it indispensable, therefore, that he should fix upon some place of meeting without the confines of Italy, the Pope had, in the year 1542, issued a bull of summons to all the prelates of Europe to repair in the month of November to Trent, a town in the Tyrol, under the dominion of Ferdinand, king of Bohemia. As the war then raging between the emperor and king of France rendered travelling unsafe for the subjects of both these monarchy the assembly was found to be composed entirely of Italian prelates, and even these were by no means in sufficient numbers to afford a pretext for denominating it a general council; it was therefore speedily dissolved 2.
- Sleidan, lib. xL, p. 229, 230; lib. xiL, p. 240.
- Idem, lib. xiv., p. 206. Lettres et Ménwires de Vargas, p, 20.
The one now summoned for the month of March, 1545 did not actually assemble until the December of the same year, being delayed from time to time by the objections which the Protestant princes offered to the place where the council was summoned, as being too near the papal dominions, and to the proposed constitution of the assembly, as placing it entirely under the direction of the Pope's legates. Neither were the emperor's schemes sufficiently ripe for execution to admit of his rousing the Protestants of Germany from that state of security into which his behaviour, before the last campaign in France, had so effectually lulled them 1.
Meanwhile, his conduct in the Netherlands was well calculated to give them a foretaste of what they had to expect. He there issued an edict, confirming all the former severe penal decrees against heretics.; the prohibition against printing any books, except by permission of the emperor, was renewed; and no one was allowed to keep a school unless he had been previously approved of by the public officers or pastor of the place where he resided; for the first offence a fine was imposed, and banishment for the second 2.
Deeply anxious as the emperor might have been to conceal the designs he had formed against the Protestants of Germany, the preparations he was under the necessity of making for their execution, soon rendered them apparent. He demanded of the Netherlands subsidies both in men and money. The states of Holland 3 granted him a petition of 600,000 guilders, to be paid in six years, with no small reluctance, 1545 indeed, since they were scarcely in a condition to contribute so large a sum, even for purposes far less repugnant to the views and feelings of a great majority of the inhabitants, than that to which it was to be applied.
- Sleidan, lib. xiv., p. 292.
- Repert. der Plakaat., bl. 50, 51. Brandt. Hist der Ref., bode iii, bl. 150.
- It was on this occasion that the emperor first demanded a petition without summoning any one of the small towns, according to the "old custom;" their number had been gradually decreasing, and the questions upon which they were summoned becoming fewer for some years before. Adrian van der Goes, op'tjaar 1545, bl. 40.
The people were, by continual exactions and the dearness of provisions, so grievously oppressed, that in some of the towns it was only by threats of imprisonment they could be induced to pay their proportion of the petitions. The new income tax of the tenth penny, laid on two years before, had proved singularly unproductive: numbers of persons had given in the returns of their incomes far too low, and the collectors, disinclined to lay open to the court the private affairs of their fellow-citizens, had generally connived at the deception: so that the tenth penny upon merchants' profits estimated at 75,000 guilders, produced no more than 1200, of which Haarlem, a town of extensive trade, particularly in broad cloths, paid but eighty-nine, and four stuyvers, (or 7l. 8s. 4d.,) while the payment upon the rents of houses amounted only to 939 guilders.
To remedy these deficiencies, the governess, with some difficulty, induced the states to consent that commissioners should be appointed, under an oath of strict secrecy, to examine the registers and accounts of the receivers. Their efforts to reform the errors or frauds committed by the latter appear to have been attended with success, since the complaints which had hitherto been frequent of their negligence and bad faith became much more rare 1.
- Thuanus, lib. ii., cap. 7. Adrian van der Goes, passim 1544, bl. 24, 26,28; 1545, bl. 31,40, 50.
While the emperor was endeavouring to amuse the Protestants of Germany with professions of a sincere desire for peace, the Count of Buuren assembled, in the Netherlands a body of 30,000 infantry and 4000 cavalry; he was joined by several of the principal nobility, Lamoral, Count of Egmond, Henry van Brederode, Andrew van Wassenaar, and others as valanteers, all eager to manifest their zeal for the faith. The nobility of Holland still continued, for the most part, Catholics, the reformed religion having spread itself chiefly among the inferior gentry, merchants, and partizans 1.
The noise of the emperor's preparations and the hasty zeal of the Pope, in declaring openly the resolution taken by himself and the emperor to extirpate heresy, at length awakened the Protestant princes to a 1546 sense of their danger. Though unable to obtain the assistance of any foreign ally, they assembled with incredible celerity an army of 70,000 infantry and 15,000 cavalry; a force so far superior to that raised by the emperor, that had his adversaries possessed sufficient resolution and promptitude to srike a decisive blow before the arrival of the Count of Buuren and the army which the Pope was to send from Italy, it is more than probable that they would have procured a lasting triumph to the Protestant cause.
But proceeding with unwillingness to such extremities against their sovereign, they deliberated when they should have acted, and by their hesitation allowed the Italians and Netherlanders to effect a junction with the imperial troops 2. The same irresolution marked the whole of their movements during this disastrous war; it was the distinguishing feature in the character of their leader, John Frederic, elector of Saxony; while that of the other chief of the confederacy, Philip, landgrave of Hesse, was marked by jealousy and precipitation 3.
- Sleidan, lib, xvii., p. 372,873. Heat. Rer. Aust., lib. xii., cap. 7.
- Thuanus, lib. ii., cap. 13, U, 15, 16. Sfeidan, lib. xrii., p. 376; 388.
- Such is the character of the two princes given by de Thou, (lib. ii., ^P,17, p. 80,)but although the Landgrave of Hesse showed great promptitude in advising that they should at once attack the emperor at Ingoldstadt with their whole force, yet it was he who insisted upon the dilatory and impolitic measure of waiting for the decision of the Elector of Bavaria; and he likewise wished that they should continue to give to Charles the title of Emperor, while the Duke of Saxony was of opinion that by so doing they would justify the accusation made against them of rebellion. Sleidan, lib. xvii., p. 394. Thuanus, lib. ii., cap. 15.
Of 1546 equal authority in the camp, and never acting heartily in concert, it generally happened that, while they were debating, the opportunity for action was lost. Even after the junction of the Italian and Netherlands troops the Protestants, instead of forcing the emperor to battle, when they would have had the advantage of their still superior numbers, and the energy which their cause should have inspired, allowed him to master one by one their strong towns, to cut off their supplies, and to consume their strength in useless and harassing marches.
It was in this enfeebled and dispirited condition that Charles obliged them to fight the celebrated and fatal battle of Muhlberg which, as it is well known, ended in the total defeat of the Protestants and the capture of their head, the Elector of Saxony. After this event, such members of the Protestant confederacy as were yet in arms submitted successively to the emperor, who levied upon them enormous fines as the price of their pardon. The Landgrave of Hesse likewise fell afterwards into his hands; and he carried with him these illustrious prisoners in a subsequent journey he made into the Netherlands, as well to gratify his own vanity and vindictive spirit, as to deter the Reformers in those Countries from the like attempts to resist his authority in religious matters 1.
- Thuanus, lib. ii., iv.; lib. v., cap. 8. Heut. Rer. Aust., lib. xii., cap. 10,13,15. Sleidan, lib. xviii.
Happily 1546 Luther did not live to behold the overthrow and oppression of his brethren in the faith; he had breathed his last on the 18th of February of this year at Isleben, his native town, whence his body was carried to Wittemberg, and buried there five days after 1.
- Sleidan, lib. xvi, p. 363.