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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
Accession of Jacoba. Hostilities of John of Bavaria. Marriage of Jacoba with John of Brabant. Siege of Dordrecht. Loss of Rotterdam and South Holland. Compromise, Renewal of Hostilities. Dissensions between the Countess and Iwr Husband. Jacoba retires to England. Divorce. Marriage with the Duke of Gloucester. Alliance between Burgundy and England. Duke of Gloucester goes to Hainaut. Returns to England. Jacoba delivered into the lands of the Duke of Burgundy. Her Escape from Confinement. Siege of Schoonhoven. Trait of a Burgher of that Town. Death of John of Bavaria. Duke of Burgundy declared his Heir. Jacoba attacks and defeats her Enemies, Arrival of Reinforcements from England. English defeated near Brouwershaven, and loss of Zealand. Jaeoba in North Holland. Retreats to Gouda. Loss of Zevenbergen. Ill condition of Jacoba's affairs. Deserted by the Duke of Gloucester. Surrender of Gouda, and Compromise. Fourth Marriage, and Death of Jacoba.
The death of William VI. 1417 left the government of the County in the hands of his young and widowed daughter, who had barely attained the age of seventeen. Yet, endued with understanding far above her years and a courage uncommon to her sex, joined to the most captivating grace and beauty, the Countess had already secured the respect and affection of her subjects, which, after her accession, she neglected no method to retain, by confirming everywhere their ancient charters and privileges; and the Hollanders might have promised themselves long years of tranquillity and happiness under her rule, had it not been for the unprincipled ambition of her paternal uncle, John of Bavaria, surnamed the Ungodly 1, bishop elect of Liege 2.
- "Sine pietssate," from his refusal to receive holy orders; others give him the surname of "pitiless," which it is said he obtained by hi cruelties at Liege: but he gave no orders for executions there, except in conjunction with the Duke of Burgundy and Count of Holland. Mon-strelet* vol. ii., chap. 3.
- Meyer, lib. xv., ad ann. 1417, p. 250.
He had been chosen to this see many years since; but haying constantly refused to receive priest's orders, the burghers of Liege took upon themselves to elect Theodore, son of the Count of Parvis, as their bishop, and forced John to retire to Maestricht, He was afterwards restored to his see, chiefly by the instrumentality of his brother, William of Holland; yet so far forgot the debt of gratitude he owed him, as to endeavour at this time to deprive his only daughter of her inheritance 1. Being resolved to abandon the spiritual condition, and procure himself to be acknowledged Governor of Holland, he repaired to Dordrecht, where he had many partisans, and was proclaimed there, as well as at Briel, in the lordship of Voorne, this estate having been conferred on him by Count William, All the other towns, however, both of Holland and Zealand, and whether espousing the hook or cod party, refused to acknowledge him. Having, therefore, made a league with William van Arkel and John van Egmond, he, with their assistance, possessed himself of Gorinchem. On this commencement of hostilities by her uncle, Jacoba assembled her troops, obtained some auxiliaries from Utrecht and Amersfoort, and placing herself at their head recaptured Gorinchem, where, in a sharp enCounter, the followers of John were defeated, and William of Arkel, with more than a thousand men, slain 2. The presence of so formidable an enemy in her states, made it advisable that the young Countess should marry without delay.
- Herman. Cor., Col. ii., p. 1194. Johan. a Leid., lib. xxxii., cap. 3,10.
- Gheemeene Chron., Divis. xxvii?., cap. 6,7.
Her lather had in his will named as her future husband, John, eldest son of Anthony, late Duke of Brabant 1, and first cousin to Jacoba; and although she showed no inclination to the person of the young prince, the union was so earnestly pressed by her mother and John, Duke of Burgundy, her uncle, that, a dispensation having been procured from the Pope, the 1418 parties were married at Beervlietss early in the following spring 2.
John of Bavaria, to whom this marriage left no pretence for insisting on the regency, saw himself obliged either to resign altogether his claims to the government of Holland, or to adopt decisive measures for obtaining sole possession of it: and as motives of ambition swayed him, far more than those of natural affection, he determined to thrust his niece from the seat of her fathers, and found means to induce the Pope, Martin V., and the Emperor Sigismund, to lend their aid to his project.
Both the Pope and emperor were at this time attending the Council of Constance, opened in 1414 for the purpose of reforming the church in its head and in its members, and of terminating the schism of double Popes, which had now lasted for thirty-six years. Thither, therefore, John sent a trusty ambassador, to resign his bishopric into the hands of the Pope, and to solicit in return a dispensation from holy orders, and liberty to enter the marriage state.
- The Duchess Joanna of Brabant had, at the request of Philip I. of Burgundy, settled Brabant on his second son, Anthony; John, the eldest, inheriting Burgundy. Johan, a Leid., lib. xxxii., cap. 5.
- Meyer, lib., xv., ad ann. 1417, p. 250. Ghemeene Chron. divis. xxviii., cap. 7.
Martin consented without hesitation to his wishes, and a matrimonial alliance with Elizabeth of Luxemburg, widow of Anthony, Duke of Brabant, and niece to the emperor, gained him the favour and support of Sigismund, who declared the County of Holland and Zealand a fief reverted in default of heirs male to the empire, with which he invested John of Bavaria, commanding the nobility, towns» and inhabitants in general» to acknowledge allegiance to him, and releasing them from the oaths they had taken to Jacoba and John of Brabant 1.
Upon the strength of the imperial mandate, John of Bavaria assumed the title of Count, and was acknowledged at Dordrecht; but notwithstanding that he promised the towns an extension of their privileges, and among the most important, bound himself not to coin money without their advice and consent, he found none inclined to forsake their allegiance to the Countess Jacoba; they declared, on the contrary, that "the County of Holland and Zealand was no fief of the empire, nor was the succession in anywise restricted to heirs male 2.
So far from supporting the pretensions of John, the towns of Haarlem, Delft, and Leyden, had raised a loan for Jacoba of five hundred and thirty English nobles by the sale of annuities in Hainaut; and, uniting their forces with those of the other large towns, laid siege to Dordrecht, the expedition being commanded by the young John of Brabant. His troops were not in sufficient number to carry the town by assault, which was so plentifully stored and victualled, that, after a blockade of six weeks, he was obliged to abandon the undertaking from a scarcity of provisions in his own camp 3.
- Snff. Pet., p. 156. Ghemeene Chron., divis. xxviii., cap. 7, 8. Rym. Feed., torn, ix., p. 566.
- Herm. Cor., Col. ii., p. 1225. Balen Dordrecht, bl. 285. Ghemeene, Chron., divis. xxviii., cap. 9.
- Herm. Cor., col. ii., p. 1232.
Encouraged by this success, John of Bavaria advanced to Rotterdam, the capture of which John of Brabant found himself unable to prevent, and the former, in consequence, became master of a considerable portion of South Holland. John and Jacoba being precluded by this means from receiving 1419 succours from Brabant, consented to an accommodation under the mediation of Philip, Count of Charolois, son of the Duke of Burgundy, the Duke himself being at this time fully occupied with the affairs of France and England. By the treaty now made, Rotterdam, Dordrecht, and Gorinchem, with a considerable portion of South Holland, were surrendered to John of Bavaria, to hold as a fief of the Count and Countess of Holland; in case Jacoba died without issue, John of Bavaria was to be immediately put in possession of the whole, of her states. The government, moreover, was to be exercised in common by John of Bavaria and John of Brabant for the next five years. The members of the council of state, and the treasurers of the County, the schouts and sheriffs of the towns, with the bailiffs of the open Country, were to be appointed by them jointly; taking the oath, nevertheless, to John of Brabant and Jacoba, who were likewise to enjoy alone the revenues of the Counties of Holland and Hainaut. John of Bavaria agreed on his side to surrender all right to the County founded upon any imperial or papal grant, in consideration of 100,000 English nobles to be paid in two years 2.
- Meyer, lib. xvi., ad ann. 1419, p. 261. Suff. Pet., p. 156. Groot Plakaat., 3 deel., bl. 9.
Although this treaty was, it should appear, sufliciently favourable to John of Bavaria, he did not long adhere to its provisions, for John and Jacoba going to Brabant soon after, he took advantage of their absence to extend his authority in Holland, conferring upon his own adherents, chiefly members of the cod party, all the public offices, without the intervention of either the Count or Countess. Perceiving the course of conduct pursued by John, Philip van Wassenaar) burgrave of Leyden, and several others of the hook nobles, made a league with the citizens of Utrecht and Amersfoort, at once declared war against him, and took possession of Rhynsburg and other forts belonging to the cods 1. John of Bavaria, upon these unexpected hostilities, repaired to Gouda to assemble his troops whence he advanced directly to the siege of Leyden, garrisoned by four or five hundred Utrechters in addition to the burgher guards 1420. After a siege of about two months, provisions became scarce within the town; and the besieged, despairing of relief, since John and Jacoba were folly occupied in appeasing some disturbances which had arisen in Brabant, listened to the conditions offered them by John of Bavaria and consented to receive him as governor. Leyden, which until then had belonged to burgraves of its own, as a fief of Holland, was henceforward annexed to the County, under the immediate rule of the sovereign 2.
John, then, with the design of invading Brabant itself, marched to the frontier town of Geertruydenberg, which immediately opened its gates; but the citadel, under the command of Theodore van Merwede, held out for some days, and the delay occasioned by its reduction, though short, lost him the chance of conquering Brabant.
- Veldenaar Chronyck van Hoi., &c, bl. 118. Suff. Pet., p. 156.
- Divasues, Rer. Brab., lib. xviii., ad ann. 1420. Boxhorn, Theat. Urb., p. 100,101.
The nobles of that state, dissatisfied with the administration of Duke John, a prince of slow understanding, and addicted to indolent pleasures, summoned his brother Philip, Count de St. Pol from France, and conferred on him the office of governor of the duchy. This gave John of Bavaria a far different antagonist to contend with. Philip, on his arrival, lost no time in collecting a force sufficient to oppose his purposed invasion; and John was able to execute nothing more in Brabant than to surprise and pillage Lillo and Zandvlietss 1.
The feeble John of Brabant, at variance both with his brother and his subjects, was reduced to make a treaty with his rival, whereby he ceded to him Holland, Zealand, and Friesland, for the space of twelve years; and this conduct without bettering the condition of his affairs, served but to increase the dislike with which he had for some time been viewed by the Brabanters; nor was this feeling manifested by them alone. The Countess Jacoba had consented to the marriage with the young Duke of Brabant, without the slightest sentiment of affection towards him, yielding her own inclinations on this point to the persuasions of her mother: nor were the circumstances of their union such as subsequently to conciliate her love or esteem. The princess was in her twenty-second year, of a healthy I constitution and vigorous intellect, lively, spirited, and courageous; her husband, on the contrary, about two) years younger than herself, was feeble alike in body] and mind, indolent, and capricious.
- Meyer, lib. xvi., ad aim. 1420, p. 162. Aegidius de Roya, ad amul 1419, p. 74. Heda, in Fred., p. 273.
Through his incapacity, she now saw herself stripped of her fairest possessions, nor did there appear any security for her retaining the rest; he, moreover, maintained an illicit connexion with the daughter of a Brabant nobleman; and, with the petty tyranny which little minds are so fond of exercising, he forced her to dismiss all the Holland ladies from her service, and to fill their places with those of Brabant 1. Jacoba, bred up from her infancy in Holland and Hainaut, was devotedly attached to her Country and people; and this last act of injustice, on the part of her husband, increased the contempt and aversion with which she had long regarded him, to an uncontrollable degree. She secretly quitted the court; and, accompanied by her mother, escaped by way of Calais to England, where she was courteously 1421 received by Henry V., and a hundred pounds a month allotted for her maintenance. In the winter of the same year, she held at the baptismal font the infant son of the king, afterwards Henry VI. 2. Jacoba was now determined at all risks to procure the dissolution of the bonds that had become so odious to her; and Humphry, Duke of Gloucester, brother of the king, tempted by her large inheritance, and captivated by her personal charms, eagerly entered into a negotiation with her for a future matrimonial alliance» which had been projected even before her flight from Brabant.
An almost insurmountable difficulty, however, presented itself, in the necessity of procuring a dispensation from the Pope. Martin V. had granted one three years before, against the wishes both of the emperor and John of Bavaria, for her marriage with John of Brabant; and it appeared scarcely reasonable to ask him now to revoke it, when by so doing he must offend besides these princes, to whom her alliance with England would naturally be distasteful, the powerful Duke of Burgundy, who, in case Jaeoba and John of Bavaria should die without issue, stood next in succession to the County.
- Monstrelet, vol. v., p. 35, Meyer, lib. xvi., ad ann. 1420,1421, p. 162. Divteus Rer. Brab., lib. xviii., ad ann. 1421.
- Monsfcrelet. vol. v., chap. 50. Meyer, lib. xvi., ad ann. 1421, p. 162. Rym. Feed., torn, x., p. 67,120,134.
Despairing, therefore, of success in this quarter, Humphry and Jacoba applied to Benedict XIII., who had been deposed by the Council of Pisa in 1409, and was acknowledged only by the King of Arragon. Benedict, flattered with the recognition of his authority, and pleased with the opportunity of acting in opposition to his rival, readily granted a bull of divorce, which they pretended to have obtained from the legitimate Pope, and which Martin V. afterwards publicly declared to be fictitious 1.
Although such a divorce could not, by any means, 1422 be considered as valid, the marriage between the Duke of Gloucester and the Countess Jacoba was, nevertheless, solemnized in the end of the year 1422, having been somewhat delayed by the death of King Henry V. 2. But the advantages accruing from it to either party by no means Counterbalanced the discreditable circumstances under which it was contracted. Humphry could not establish himself in the states of his wife, without the assistance of English troops and money; but though he had been named, after the death of his brother, Protector of the kingdom, he found the people little inclined to make any sacrifice of either the one or the other to advance his private interests. They had now, during seven years, been engaged, with little cessation, in wars with France, which, although attended with brilliant successes, and the conquest of nearly the whole kingdom, inevitably proved an immense drain of men and treasure; while the marriage of Jacoba with the Duke gave cause of offence to an important and useful ally of England.
- Monstrelct, vol. ii., chap. 9. Divsus Rer. Brab., lib. xviii., ad ann. 1422. Monstrelet, vol. vi., chap. 31.
- AEgid. de Roya, ad ann. 1422.
We have before seen, that an alliance was formed by John, Duke of Burgundy, with Henry V. against France; subsequently to that treaty, he had reconciled himself with the Queen Isabella; but the dauphin being still devoted to the Orleans or Armagnac party, this event, instead of tending to reunite the two factions, served but to exasperate their animosities, and a series of outrage and massacre, revolting to humanity, was closed by a crime which, though but a just measure of retribution to him who suffered, branded with infamy him who, at an age when youth ought to have been a security for innocence, was persuaded to give his assent and Countenance to it. On the faith of a hollow and insidious peace, the Duke of Burgundy consented to an interview with the dauphin on the bridge of Montereau, when he was treacherously assassinated by du Chatel, one of the followers of the latter 1.
The intelligence of this murder naturally roused in the breast of Philip, Count of Charolois, his son, a desire of vengeance, which absorbed all principles of feudal allegiance and all considerations of policy. In conjunction with Queen Isabella, whose hatred towards her son was no less bitter than that of Philip himself, he had concluded with Henry V. the treaty of Troyes, 1420 whereby the succession to the crown, after the death of Charles VI., and the present administration of the kingdom, was conferred on Henry, on his marriage with Catherine, daughter of the King of France: for himself, he stipulated only, that Henry should assist in bringing to justice the dauphin and the other murderers of his father 2.
- Monstrelet passim et torn, v., p. 121.
- Rym. Feed., torn, ix., p. 825—840.
Philip used no less zeal in contributing to cany this treaty into effect, than he bad shown in framing it; and from that time had continued firmly attached to the interests of England. But the proximity of his claims to the County of Holland rendered the marriage of the English Duke with the Countess, in the highest degree, distasteful to him. She had no children by the Duke of Brabant, nor did it appear probable that «he ever would; but her union with Humphry might prove more fruitful, and the birth of a child effectually bar Philip from the succession. He therefore complained 1422 of this step as of an affront offered to himself, to the Duke of Bedford, elder brother of Gloucester, and regent of France, who promised for his brother, that he should submit the question of the legality of his marriage to the decision of the Pope.
He found Humphry, however, determined to resign, on no consideration, either his wife or his claim to her 1424 states; but having obtained for her an act of naturalization from the English parliament, together with subsidies of troops and money, he set out few Hainaut, where, Philip of Burgundy and John of Brabant being unprepared for resistance, the towns universally opened their gates to him 1.
But a very short time elapsed before the Count de St. Pol assembled an army of Burgundians and Bra-banters, who made themselves masters of Braine le Comte, where they put the English garrison to the sword.
- Monstrelet, vol. vi., chap. 24, 25. Parl. Hist., torn, i., p. 350. Rym. Feed., torn, x., p. 311. Divans Rer. Brab., ad ann. 1424.
Little else occurred during the campaign, except mutual defiances between the Dukes of Burgundy and Gloucester; and Humphry accepting the challenge of the former to single combat, in the presence of the Duke of Bedford, returned to England under pretext of making the necessary preparations, bat in reality, probably, from a conviction that he should not be able long to withstand the power of Burgundy. He left the Countess in Mons, which, shortly after his departure, was threatened with a aiege. Jacoba wrote a letter, couched in the most moving terms, to solicit succours from her husband, which, unhappily, never reached him, being intercepted by the Duke of Burgundy 1: she was delivered by the citizens of Mons into the hands of the Duke's deputies, and conducted to Ghent, to be detained there until the Pope should decide the question of her marriage 2.
After remaining some little time in confinement, Jacoba escaped, in male disguise, to Antwerp, and resuming the attire of her sex, proceeded thence to Woudrichem, which opened its gates to her, as well as Oudewater, Gouda, and Schoonhoven 3. The citadel of the latter resisted for some days the army which the hook nobles assembled to besiege it, but was ultimately forced to surrender on conditions. Their lives and estates were granted to all the defenders except one, named Arnold Beiling, the cause of whose reservation is not known. His conduct on the occasion proved that the high principle of honour, and undaunted courage, which we are accustomed to attribute peculiarly to the knightly and the noble, animated no less strongly the breast of a simple Dutch burgher.
- Vide Note G at the end of the volume.
- Meyer, ad aim. 1424, p. 268. Pont. Heut. Rer. Bur., lib. iv., cap. 2. Monstrelet, vol. vi., chap. 26—30, 32.
- Divans Rer. Brab., lib. xviii., ad ann. 1424. Monstrelet, vol. vi., chap. 36.
Note G. (Page 207
The following is the letter addressed by the Countess Jacoba to Humphry of Gloucester (commonly called the "Good Duke Humphry), as translated by Johnes from Monstrelet's Chronicle: "
--- My very dear and redoubted lord and father, in the most humble of manners in this world, I recommend myself to your kind favour. May it please you to know, my very redoubted lord and father, that I address myself to you as the most doleful, most ruined, and most treacherously deceived woman living; for, my very dear lord, on Sunday, the I3th of this present month of June, the deputies of your town of Mons returned, and brought with them a treaty that had been agreed on between our fair cousin of Burgundy and our fair cousin of Brabant; which treaty had been made in the absence and without the knowledge of my mother, as she herself signifies to me, and confirmed by her chaplain, Master Gerard Ie Grand.
" My mother, most redoubted lord, has written to me letters, certifying the above treaty haying been made; but that in regard to it, she knew not how to advise me, for that she was herself doubtful how to act. She desired me, however, to call an assembly of the principal burghers of Mons, and learn from them what aid and advice they were willing to give me. Upon this, my sweet lord and father, I went on the morrow to the town-house, and remonstrated with them, that it had been at their request and earnest entreaties that you had left me under their safeguard and on their oaths, that they would be true and loyal subjects, and take especial care of me, so that they should be enabled to give you good accounts on your return; and these oaths had been taken on the holy sacrament at the altar, and on the sacred evangelists.
"To this my harangue, my dear and honoured lord, they simply replied, that they were not sufficiently strong within the town to defend and guard me; and instantaneously they rose in tumult, saying that my people wanted to murder them; and, my sweet lord, they carried matters so far that, in despite of me, they arrested one of your sergeants, called Maquart, whom they immediately beheaded, and hanged very many who were of your party and strongly attached to your interest, such as Bardould de la Porte, his brother Colart, and others, to the number of 250 of you adherents. They also wished to seize Sir Baldwin the treasurer, and Sir Louis de Montfort; but though they did not succeed, I know not what they intend doing; for, my very dear lord, they plainly told me that unless I make peace, they will deliver me into the hands of the Duke of Brabant, and that I shall only remain eight days longer in their town, when I shall be forced to go into Flanders, which will be to me the most painful of events; for I very much fear that, unless you shall hasten to free me from the hands I am now in, I shall never see you more. Alas! my most dear and redoubted father, my whole hope is in your power, seeing, my sweet lord and only delight, that all my sufferings arise from my love to you. I therefore entreat, in the most humble manner possible, and for the love of God, that you would be pleased to haw compassion on me and on my affairs; for you must hasten to succour your most doleful creature, if you do not wish to lose her forever.
" I have hopes that you will do as I beg, for, dear father, have never behaved ill to you in my whole life, and so long as I shall live I will never do any thing to displease you, but I am ready to die for love of you and your noble person.
" Your government pleases me much; and by my faith, my very redoubted lord and prince, my sole consolation and hope, I beg you will consider; by the love of God and of my lord St. George, the melancholy situation of myself and my affairs more maturely than you have hitherto done, for you seem entirely to have forgotten me.
" Nothing more do I know at present than that I ought sooner to have sent Sir Louis de Montfort to you, for he cannot longer remain here, although he attended me when all the rest deserted me; and he will tell you more particularly all that has happened than I can do in a letter. I entreat, therefore, that you will be a kind lord to him, and send me your good pleasure and commands, which I will most heartily obey. This is known to the blessed Son of God, whom I pray to grant you a long and happy life, and that I may have the great joy of seeing you soon.
"Written in the false and traitorous town of Mons, with a doleful heart, the 16th day of June." The letter was signed " your sorrowful and well-beloved daughter, suffering great grief by your commands—your daughter, De Quienebourg."
He was condemned to be buried alive, but besought a respite of one month to arrange his affairs, and take leave of his friends: it was granted upon his word of honour alone, and he was permitted to depart without further security. He returned punctually at the time appointed, and the sentence was executed a short distance without the Walls of the town. The confidence with which this singular request was granted, showing, as it does, the habitual reliance placed on the good faith of the Hollanders, is only less admirable than the courageous integrity with which the promise was fulfilled 1.
The death of John 1426 the Ungodly, by poison, administered, as some say, at the instigation of the Countess-dowager, others, by his steward, a knight of the hook party, some months after the return of Jacoba to Holland, although it delivered her from an inveterate and powerful enemy, did not contribute to retrieve her fortunes. He had named Philip of Burgundy his heir in case he should die without issue, and that ambitious prince now took advantage of the event to obtain from John of Brabant the title of governor and heir to the County of Holland; John himself retaining the name of Count, and being acknowledged as such by all the towns which had held to the party of John of Bavaria 2. The Duke of Brabant confirmed the privileges of the nation, engaging that no offices should be given to strangers, and that no money should be coined without the consent of the council and the towns. He declared also, that no exiles of the hook party should be permitted to return to their Country without permission from himself and his council 3.
- Boxhorn in Schoonhoven Theat. Urb., p. 299.
- Tritenhemii Chron., ad ann. 1425. Meyer Ann. Fland., lib. xvi, ad ann. 1424, p. 268. Suff. Pet., p. 157. AEgid. de Roy., ad ann. 1424. Boxhorn op Reigersberg, 2 deel., bl. 197.
- Groot Plakaatb., deel. iii., LI. 13.
From this time he does not appear to have concerned himself in any way with the government of the County. He returned immediately after to Brabant, when Philip came into Holland, where he was acknowledged governor by the greater portion of the towns 1.
The Countess Jacoba remained meanwhile at Gouda, where hearing that some towns of the cod party, principally Haarlem, Leyden, and Amsterdam had united their forces to besiege her, she obtained assistance from the Utrechters, who had always remained faithful to her cause, and advanced at the head of her troops to meet her enemies near Alpen, where she gained a considerable victory over them 2. This success was followed by the welcome news, that an English fleet had been equipped for her service by the Duke of 1426 Gloucester, bringing five hundred choice land troops. It arrived, in effect, early in the next year at Schouwen, under the command of the Earl Fitzwalter, whom he had appointed his Stadtholder over Holland and Zealand. Philip, being then at Leyden, assembled an army of 4000 men, and sailed from Rotterdam to Brouwershaven, where the English, joined with the Zealanders of the hook party, were encamped. Immediately on the landing of the cods the troops came to a severe engagement, which lasted the whole day, and terminated to the disadvantage of the English and hooks; 1400 of the former, and some of the principal nobles of Zealand were slain; Fitzwalter himself being forced to seek safety by flight 3.
- AEgid. de Roya, ad ann. 1425, p. 73.
- Herm. Corn. Col., torn, ii., p. 1265.
- Diveus Rer. Brab., lib. xviii., ad ann. 1426. Pont. HeuU Rer. Bar., lib. iv., cap. 2.
This unfortunate enCounter lost Jacoba the whole of Zealand: nevertheless, she did not yield to despair, but taking advantage of the absence of Duke Philip from Holland, she engaged the men of Alkmaar, with the Kemmerlanders and West Frieslanders, to lay siege to Haarlem; this undertaking also was unsuccessful; but the Kemmerlanders made themselves masters of Enkhuyzen, Monnikendam, and several forts belonging to the cod party 1; they attempted likewise to gain possession of Hoorn, but found this city determined to defend itself with the utmost vigour. The animosity entertained by the burghers against Jacoba arose from a circumstance which affords but too strong evidence of the disregard into which, during this turbulent period, the numerous laws made to provide for the security of the subject had fallen. A young man, named John Lambertson, the son of Lambert Kuyf, burgomaster of Hoorn, happening to see the Countess at Gouda, incautiously observed, that it was a shame that so noble and lovely a lady should be dragged hither and thither like a common woman." This remark being repeated to Jacoba, the youth was seized, tried, and condemned to death by the supreme court of Holland. The unhappy father pleaded, in the most moving terms and with the offer of a large sum, for the life of his only son. He failed in obtaining a remission of the sentence; but hopes were given him, that at the last hour, on the scaffold, a mandate would arrive from the Lady Jacoba to stay the execution. They proved delusive, and the sufferer was beheaded on the day appointed. The deep resentment which an act of such lawless cruelty excited in the breast of the father was shared by all the members of the government, who came to an unanimous resolution never, in any case, to acknowledge Jacoba as Countess 2,3.
- Meyer Ann. Fland., lib. xvi., ad ann. 1426, p. 271. Monstrelet, vol. vi., chap. 38.
- Velius Hoorn, boek i., p. 23.
- * Slander ("Lastering"), under which denomination this offence would come, was punishable by fine only; and, consequently, not being capital, was within the jurisdiction of the "vierschaar," or municipal court, and did not belong to that of the supreme court of Holland. Grotius Inleydinge, &c, boek iii., deel 36.
The burghers, therefore, fortified their town, which as yet lay open, with astonishing rapidity, Lambert Kuyf applying to this purpose the whole of the money which he had offered for his son's ransom, and sent to demand assistance from Duke Philip against the Kemmerlanders. On the arrival of three hundred Picardins, under the command of Villiers de Lisle Adam, they attacked the besiegers in the suburbs of Hoorn, defeated, and put them to flight. The loss of this battle and the advance of Philip in person did not permit Jacoba to continue any longer in North Holland. She therefore retreated once more to Gouda, when all the towns in that quarter opened their gates to Philip. The hooks, exasperated at their defeat before Hoorn, vented their rage upon the town of Enkhuyzen; having collected a few vessels, they surprised it as the burghers were engaged in their midday meal, seized more than a hundred of the principal persons and beheaded them. Under pretext of securing them from similar assaults in future, Philip placed foreign garrisons in the greater number of the towns, and erected a citadel at Hoorn 1. The filling the town with foreign soldiers, an act unprecedented in the history of the Country, was the first of those violent and unpopular measures pursued by Philip and his successors, which, in the next century, lost them so rich and fair a portion of their dominions:
- Velius Hoorn, boek L, p. 23, 27, 28. Monstrelet, vol. vi., chap. 38, pp. 176,177.
It was followed by others no less inimical to the ancient customs and privileges of the people; the Kemmerlanders were punished for the support they had given to their lawful sovereign, by the forfeiture of their charters and immunities ; they were forbidden to assemble together for any cause, and to use any other arms than common knives without points; the towns and villages which had adhered to Jacoba were condemned to pay a fine of 123,300 crowns within six months, and to be subject to a perpetual tax of four groots (halfpence) for every hearth. Alkmaar was to furnish 8000 crowns as its portion of the fine, to be deprived of its municipal government, and the citadel and walls to be razed to the ground 1. The suspension of their privileges had before been inflicted on the Kemmerlanders by Count William III., in 1324, and it appears that the Counts claimed the power of imposing this penalty on any sufficient cause of offence 2; but that of fixing a permanent impost upon the inhabitants in general, or destroying the walls of the towns, had, on no occasion, been exercised by any of their sovereigns, and formed a precedent equally new and dangerous; the disarming them, too, was a mode of vengeance peculiarly offensive to a brave and spirited people, who were, moreover, bound by their laws to hold themselves in readiness for the defence of the Country. Even those towns which had been friendly to Philip, were obliged to contribute heavy "petitions" for the payment of his troops 3.
After the reduction of North Holland the Duke of Burgundy advanced to the siege of Zevenbergen, the frontier town of South Holland, on the side of Brabant.
- Handvesten van Kemmerland, bl. lviii., lix.
- Will. Proc., ad ann. 1326.
- Velius Hoorn., p. 27.
It was defended, during a considerable time, by the valour of Gerard von Stryen, its commander, but was at length forced to surrender; and the Countess Jacoba 1427 found herself reduced to the possession only of Gouda, Schoonhoven, Oudewater, and Montfort 1. Her affairs were now in a.desperate condition. The Pope had not only declared her marriage with the Duke of Brabant valid, but prohibited the contraction of any future marriage between her and the Duke of Gloucester, even after the death of John of Brabant, whose health and strength were rapidly decaying 2. This event 3, which occurred within a short time from the issuing of the papal bull, and the intelligence that the English parliament had granted 20,000 marks expressly for her relief, inspired Jacoba with hopes, nevertheless, that Gloucester would lend effective aid towards reinstating her in possession of her inheritance; and emboldened her to appeal to a general council of the Church against the decree of the Pope 4. But the Duke of Bedford having concluded a truce for his brother with the Duke of Burgundy, forbade him to go to Holland, and Humphry himself showed no inclination to second the efforts of the Countess. In spite of her remonstrances, and of the reproaches of his own Countrywomen 5, he forsook his noble and highborn bride for the charms of Eleanor Cobharn, whom he now married, after her having lived with him some years as his mistress. Jacoba, conscious of possessing, besides her princely birth and rich estates, all the alluring attractions of her sex, was struck to the heart by this cruel and unlooked for desertion.
- Schryver*s Graaven, 2 deel, bl. 359. Herm. Corn., col. ii., p. 1275. JSgid. de Roya, ad ann. 1426.
- Monstrelet, vol. vi., chap. 41.
- This prince, although from his deficiency in talent he appears in so contemptible a light, is said by historians to have been just, pious, and benevolent. His name is honourable to posterity as the founder of the university of Louvain in 1426.
- Meyer, lib. xvi., ad ann. 142G, p. 271. Rym. Feed., torn, x., p. 375. Groot Plakaat., deel. iii., bl. 14.
- Stowe tells us that, "One Mrs. Stokes, with divers other stout women of London of good account and well apparelled, came openly to the Upper House of Parliament, and delivered letters to the Duke of Gloucester, to the archbishops, and other lords there present, containing matters of rebuke and sharp reprehension to the said Duke, because he would not deliver his wife Jaqueline out of her grievous imprisonment, and suffering her there to remain unkindly, whilst he kept another adulteress, contrary to the law of God and to the honourable estate of matrimony."—Parl. Hist., vol. i., p. 359.
She remained shut up and inactive at Gouda, where she spent many long dreary months in constant expectation of a siege. It was delayed in consequence of the absence of the Duke of Burgundy in Flanders. At length, on his arrival before the walls, Jacoba and the hook nobles, seeing no chance of defending themselves against a force so superior to their own, oflered terms of compromise to the Duke, to which he readily listened, being indeed so favourable, that he could hardly desire more, even after the possession of Gouda 1.
By this treaty, Jacoba was to desist from her appeal to a council of the Church against the decree of the Pope; to surrender her states to the administration of Philip as heir and governor, but retain the title of Countess, with an engagement not to contract another marriage without the consent of the Duke, of her mother, and of the three estates 2; in which case, she was to resign, in favour of Philip, her claim to the allegiance of her subjects. The government of Holland, in the Duke's absence, was to be entrusted to nine councillors, of whom the Countess should name three, and the Duke the six others, three natives, and three from other parts of his dominions. (It had been an express stipulation in the marriage articles of Jacoba with the Duke of Touraine, that no foreigners were to be admitted to offices within the County.)
- Meyer, lib. xvi., ad ann. 1428, p. 272. Divaeus, Rer. Brab., lib. xviii., ad ann. 1428.
- In Hainaut, Zealand, and Friesland, the clergy formed a separate estate.
The Duke was to have the sole nomination of all the higher offices, both in the towns and open Country. The future revenues of the County, after the subtraction of salaries to public officers, and other necessary expences, were to be paid to the Countess. (We shall see, hereafter, that under one or other of these pretences, Philip reduced the income thus provided for her, to a 1428 very insufficient sum.) The exiles on both sides were to be permitted to return to their Country, and no one, under a penalty, should reproach another with the party names of hook and cod.
The Duke of Guelderland, and the Bishop of Utrecht, should be at liberty, if they so desired, to accede to the treaty, from which, all such as were concerned in the death of John of Bavaria were excluded 1. Jacoba was obliged to go through the towns of Holland with the Duke, and cause the oaths to be taken to him as heir and governor; and thus deprived of all authority in the government, she retired to Goes in South Beveland 2. The new council of nine was forthwith appointed, with power to nominate and remove bailiffs, schouts, treasurers, and other officers in the Duke's name, and to audit the public accounts. As six of the members of this council were named by the Duke, and the whole held their offices only during his pleasure, it is evident that the interests of the Lady Jacoba could have been very little cared for.
- Groot. Flakaat., deel. iii., bl. 14; deel. iv., bl. 2.
- Ghemeene Chronyck, diris. xxviii., cap. 39. Monstrelet, vol. vi., chap. 49, 50.
The council bad, however, no authority over her revenues, or the granting and withholding of privileges. Having effected this compromise, Philip appointed Francis van Borselen, a Zealand nobleman, his Stadtholder over Holland and Zealand, and returned to Flanders 1. After the loss of her states, the Countess Jacoba lived in comparative retirement at Goes and the Hague; but she soon found that, having neither offices, wealth, nor titles to bestow, her most devoted adherents began to desert her. Her revenues, after payment of the salaries of the public officers, barely sufficed for her support, and on the occasion of any extraordinary expense, she was obliged to have recourse for assistance to her friends of the hook party; but as they had neither advantages, nor even payment to expect in return, they soon became weary of such unprofitable generosity. One friend, and one alone, was left to her in this time of need. Francis van Borselen, although a conspicuous member of the cod party, and appointed by Philip Stadtholder of Holland, was ever ready to assist her with his purse and counsel, though at the risk of alienating his friends, and even of losing his valuable offices. The gratitude and esteem which such conduct naturally excited in the breast of the forsaken princess, soon deepened into feelings of the tenderest attachment; and under their impulse, she consented to a secret marriage with Borselen, though she well knew the penalty which must attach to a discovery 2. This event was soon known to Philip, who had too many of his partizans around her, to admit of its remaining long concealed; nor did he delay to make use of it as a means of depriving Jacoba of her title of Countess, all that now remained of her birthright.
- Ghemeene Chronyck, div. xxviii., cap. 40.
- Snoi. Rer. Bat., lib. ix., p. 140. Herm. Cor., col. ii., p. 1832. Pont. Heut. Rer. Bur., lib. iv., cap. 5.
His first measure was to cause Francis van Borselen to be arrested at the Hague, and conducted prisoner to Ruppelmonde; after which, he allowed a report to go abroad, that the unfortunate nobleman was to be released only by death; judging, with good reason, that the desire to save a husband so beloved, would reduce the Countess to such terms of submission as he should dictate 1. The issue justified his expectations. By the terms of the treaty of 1428, it had been provided, that if Jacoba should marry without consent of the Duke, her mother, and the states, she should forfeit the allegiance of her subjects. To this article she now consented without hesitation; and upon condition 1433 that the Duke should release Francis van Borselen and confirm their marriage, she renounced all right and title to the Counties of Holland, Zealand, Friesland, and Hainaut, reserving only a life interest in the baronies of Voorne, South Beveland, and Thoolen, with the tolls of Holland and Zealand: in the event of the Duke dying before her, the County was to revert to herself and her heirs. Philip afterwards created Borselen Count of Oostervant, and appointed him forester of Holland, but deprived him of the office of 8tadtholder 2. Such was the end of the troubled and 1434 disastrous reign of the Countess Jacoba.
- Snoi. Her. Bat., lib. ix., p. 140. Meyer Ann. Fland., ad ann. 1433, p. 280, 281.
- Ghemeene Chronyck, divis. xxviii., cap. 40. Pont. Heut. Rer. Bur., lib. iv., cap. 5.
There are many points in the character and story of this lovely and unhappy lady, which strongly remind us of the still more unfortunate Mary, queen of Scots: her personal beauty, captivating manners, masculine courage, and extraordinary talent; her early marriage to the heir of the French crown, with the disappointment of her high hopes, caused by his premature death; the disgust and misery attendant on her second union; and her final subjection to the power of an artful and ambitious rival. But, innocent of the crimes or indiscretions of Mary, she escaped also her violent and cruel death; and we may be tempted to believe, that the period which she passed in obscurity, united, for the first time, by the ties of affection, to an object every way worthy of her love and esteem, was the happiest of her life. If so, however, her felicity was but of short duration, 1436 since she died of consumption about two years after her abdication, at the age of thirty-six 1. The last marriage, as well as the other three, having proved childless, the County became permanently united to the already vast possessions of the Duke of Burgundy. In the year 1421, a dreadful and destructive flood happened in Holland, overwhelming seventy-two villages between Dordrecht and Geertruydenberg, twenty of which were never recovered: the loss of life and property was immense, many noble families being reduced almost to beggary. By this inundation, the Biesbosch was formed, and the town of Dordrecht separated from the main land of Holland 2.
- Snoi. Rer. Bat., lib. ix., p. 140,141.
- Meyer, lib. xvi., ad ann. 1421, p. 264. Heda in Fred., 274. Box-horn in Dord., p. 109,117.