A+ A A-

HISTORY OF HOLLAND and the Dutch Nation



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


In Three Volumes
Vol. I
LONDON: G.Willis, Great Piazza,Covent Garden MDCCCXLI

Part 2



Charles. Marriage with Margaret of York. 'Alliance with England against France* Interview between the Duke of Burgundy and King of France at Peronne. Its Termination. Revolution in England. Hostilities with France. Truce. Disturbances in Holland; in Zealand. Renewal of the war. Truce. Affairs of Guelderland. Charles desires to be crowned. Meeting with the Emperor at Treves for this purpose. Disappointment of his wishes. His ambitious Schemes. Siege of Nuys. League with England. Siege of Nuys raised. War with Lorraine ; with the Swiss. Capture and Battle of Granson. Increase of Charles's Enemies. Battle of Morat. Siege of Nancy ; Battle, and Death of Charles. Accession of Mary. King of France takes possession of Burgundy. Assembly of the States of the Netherlands. Great Charter. Council of Regency. Ambassadors sent by Mary to France, and by the Council. Fate of the former. War with France. Marriage of the Duchess. Truce, and renewal of the War. Dissensions in Holland. State of the Country. Maximilian repairs thither. Injuries done to the Dutch Navy by France. Alliance with England. Renewal of Disturbances in Holland. War with Utrecht. Death and Character of Mary.


The truce which had beep concluded in 1443 between the late Duke of Burgundy and Henry VI. of England, had since that time been renewed from year to year, notwithstanding repeated complaints of its infraction by both parties, until 1466, when a negotiation was set on foot for the marriage of the Count of Charolois (whose wife, Isabella of Bourbon, had died the year before,) with Margaret of York, sister of Edward IV. A treaty of commerce and amity was likewise concluded in the October of the same year between Philip and Edward, which Charles confirmed immediately after his accession 1.

  1. Rym. Feed., torn. ii.,p. 664, 676, 680. Ph. de Com mines, liv. iv., chap. 6, p. 14.


In the next year he completed his 1468 marriage with the Princess Margaret; and made with Edward a league of mutual assistance and protection, expressly against their foes in general, but tacitly in opposition to Louis XI. of France, a formidable rival to both, as well from character as situation 1. Endowed with extraordinary personal courage, Louis was yet of a temper peculiarly cautious; slow and wary in forming designs, patient in awaiting, and skilful in seizing, opportunities for carrying them into effect; firm, but always ready to bend to expediency; absolute master of his passions, and of unfathomable dissimulation, he was in these respects an entire contrast to Charles, who, rash as he was brave, pursued his hasty and ill-digested schemes, with a headstrong obstinacy that defied all opposition: remarkable for sincerity, and for an uncontrollable violence of temper, he neither sought, nor was he able, to disguise his sentiments on any occasion. Differing in so many particulars, these princes yet resembled each other in their contempt of luxury, their unwearied diligence in business, and their utter unscrupulousness in the use of such means as they imagined conducive to their ends: both were equally selfish and tyrannical, but Louis rarely shed blood unless necessity appeared to require it, while Charles was by nature sanguinary and ferocious. Edward of England, unlike either, was handsome in person, gay, voluptuous, and indolent, except some great occasion called for exertion, when he proved himself deficient neither in energy, courage, nor talent.

Notwithstanding the threatening aspect which the close alliance between Burgundy and England gave to his affairs, Louis, having now nearly dissolved the "Confederacy for the Public Good," by treating separately with most of its members, induced Duke Charles to hold au interview with him at Peronne, one of the towns ceded to Burgundy by the treaty of Conflans.

  1. Snoi. Rer. Bat, lib. xi., cap. 150. Ryra. Feed., torn, xi., p. 615.


Charles appeared there at the head of a powerful and well-armed force; Louis, on the contrary, either persuaded by the treacherous advice of his prime minister, the Cardinal Balue, or wishing to make a favourable impression on Charles by the appearance of a perfect reliance on the safe conduct he had sent him, threw himself with an escort of only eighty archers and fifty horsemen into the power of a rival, by whom he was both hated and feared 1. It is possible, however, that the effect on the mind of Charles, who, sincere and confiding himself, loved the semblance of it in others, might have been such as to justify a step so extraordinary, had not an event totally unexpected by Louis' roused against him the irritable passions of his rival to the highest pitch. The Liegois, immediately on the death of Philip, had again revolted; but being defeated by Charles in a pitched battle, the city soon after surrendered, when it was dismantled, and deprived of its artillery and ammunition. Louis, before he resolved on renewing the truce with Burgundy, had sent emissaries to incite the inhabitants of Liege to a new insurrection; but upon the opening of the conferences, he despatched fresh instructions, commanding all movements in Liege to be suspended till further orders. It was no longer time: the Liegois had already taken up arms, seized and imprisoned the bishop, putting to death sixteen canons, with other noble persons attached to him, and made themselves toasters of Tongres.

  1. Commines, liv. ii., chap. 5. Preuves sur Commines,


The news was brought to Charles a few days after the arrival of Louis at Peronne, with the addition, that the emissaries of the King of France were present in the camp of the rebels 1. In the first transports of his ungovernable fury, Charles loudly proclaimed Louis a traitor and knave, commanded the gates of the town to be instantly closed, and the king to be detained a prisoner in the castle. For three days and nights the excess of his passion would not allow him to take any repose, or to decide upon one of the many projects of vengeance which presented themselves to his mind; and if, during this time, he had received the smallest encouragement from those around him, there is no doubt that the life of his sovereign would have fallen a sacrifice. Happily, however, none of Charles's confidential ministers counselled him to resort to violent measures; and Louis, following the advice of some secret friend, (probably the historian himself, to whom we are indebted for the account of this curious transaction,) manifested the utmost readiness to consent to all the demands imposed on him by Charles, who, on his part, received intelligence that a French army was advancing towards Peronne, to rescue or avenge their sovereign. The treaty, therefore, was concluded without difficulty: by it, those of Arras and Conflans were confirmed, the unmolested enjoyment of the herring fishery was secured to the Netherlanders, and Louis was obliged to promise that he would assist Charles in person to chastise the rebellious Liegois. The circumstances in which the king was placed did not permit him to refuse this injurious and shameful article ; and it was not until he had beheld the city of his allies taken by storm, and abandoned to the pillage of a brutal and rapacious soldiery, that he was permitted to return to France 2.

  1. Commines, liv. ii., chap. 7. Duclos, Hist, de Louis XI., torn, i., lir. 5, p. 378—380.
  2. Commines, liv. ii., chap. 7, 9,10,12,13,14. Recueil des Traites de Leonard, torn, i., p. 89. Snoi. Rer. Bat., lib. xi., p. 159.


Charles, on his departure from Liege, caused the whole city, except the churches and houses of the ecclesiastics, to be burnt down, and a vast number of the inhabitants to be drowned 1.

But the events which occurred not long after in 1470 England, indemnified Louis for the mortification he endured on this occasion, proving as much a source of satisfaction to him, as of anxietssy and difficulty to his rival. Edward IV., brother-in-law of Charles, had, by his marriage with Elizabeth Grey, and the favour he had shown to the different members of her family, estranged many of his friends and partizans, particularly Richard Nevil, earl of Warwick, to whom he was chiefly indebted for his crown. Warwick, therefore, having gained over the king's brother, George, Duke of Clarence, by a marriage with his eldest daughter, these two noblemen joined with several others of the disaffected in raising a body of troops to dethrone Edward, and restore Henry VI. to his kingdom; for which purpose, Louis, who held a watchful eye upon the transactions in England, promised his active assistance. Their enterprise, however, proved abortive; and they found themselves obliged to disband their forces and retire into Devonshire, whence they sailed toward Calais, of which Warwick was governor. Here they were refused admission by Vauclerc, the deputy-governor, and being forced again to put to sea, seized several Dutch merchant ships, besides the whole of the Dutch and Flemish fleet, returning from Rochelle 2.

  1. AEgid. de Roya, ad ann. 1468, p. 100, Com., liv, ii., chap. 14.
  2. Com., liv. iii., chap. 4.


The fact that some French ships, sent to meet Warwick and Clarence, had mainly contributed to this capture, and their having been permitted to bring their prizes into the port of Honfleur, enraged the Duke of Burgundy to the highest degree; he declared to Louis, that he should consider the protection afforded to the English nobles as an infraction of the treaty of Peronne, and wrote a threatening letter to the Archbishop of Narbonne and the bastard of Bourbon, then at the head of the admiralty of France 1. Nor did he allow his anger to evaporate in words, but speedily equipped a fleet, which, under the command of Henry van Borselen, lord of Veere, drove the ships belonging to Warwick to the coast of Normandy, and forced the crews to land; a sharp enCounter between the English and Netherlander^, ended in favour of the latter; several of the English vessels were burnt, and ten of the largest brought as prizes into the ports of Zealand 2.

Louis, fearing further hostilities on the part of Charles, if he allowed Warwick to remain longer in France, found it advisable to insist on his immediate return to England, when Borselen again put to sea, to prevent his landing in that kingdom. A storm, however, dispersed the Netherland fleet, and Warwick came safely to anchor in the harbour of Dartmouth. Edward, immersed in indolent pleasures, had neglected to take timely precautions for his own safety, and the party of Warwick increased within a few days after his arrival to 60,000 strong.

  1. The letter, strongly characteristic of the writer, was conceived in these terms:—" Archbishop, and you Admiral!—The ships which you say were sent by the king to meet the English, have already attacked the fleet of my subjects returning to my states. But, by St. George.' if you do not see to this, I myself, by the help of God, will take order for it, without waiting for your permission, your reasons, or your justice, for they are too arbitrary and too tedious."—Duclos, Hist, de Louis XI, torn, ii., liv. 6, p. 12,13.
  2. Reigersberg, ii. deel., bl. 359. Velius Hoorn, bl. 53.


The king advanced to meet the rebel forces near Nottingham, where, as the two armies lay encamped close to each other, a portion of Warwick's troops suddenly attacked the king's camp by night. In the confusion and surprise, the royal forces, scarcely attempting any resistance, were scattered in every direction; and Edward himself had barely time to escape, with a small retinue, to Lynn, in Norfolk, where some Dutch ships were fortunately lying, in one of which he embarked, and made sail* with all speed towards Holland. Evading the pursuit of some vessels belonging to the Hanse Towns, the king and his followers landed in safety near Alkmaar. Here lie found Louis van Brugges, lord of Gruythuyzen, the Stadtholder of Hollaud and Zealand, who received him with courtesy, conducted him to the Hague, and provided necessaries for himself and his followers; since in the hurry of his flight, the king was unable to secure either his money or jewels, and had been obliged to reward the services of the skipper who conveyed him over with the cloak, trimmed with costly fur, which he then wore 1.

The news of his arrival was anything rather than agreeable to Charles, who, it is said, would have been far better pleased to hear of his brother-in-law's death, than of his safe landing 2. He was, as far as personal inclinations went, attached to the family of Lancaster, with which he was connected through his mother, Isabella of Portugal; and it was from motives of policy alone that he had allied himself with the house of York 3. He declared, therefore, that he was by no means to be regarded as hostile to Henry VI., his kinsman, since he had no intention whatever of meddling in the contests for the English crown. Finding, however, that his advances were not attended with the desired effect, of weakening the alliance of Henry with Louis XI.

  1. Com., liv. iii., chap. 5.
  2. Idem, chap. 6.
  3. Idem, chap. 4,


Charles secretly furnished his brother-in-law with a sum of 50,000 florins, and provided funds for the equipment of four large vessels at the port of Veere, in Zealand; but fearful of drawing on himself a war with France and England united, he, at the same time, publicly forbade any of his subjects to aid or serve the dethroned king. The Dutch ships being joined by fourteen vessels from the Hanse Towns, hired and paid by Charles, Edward set sail with this fleet to England, where he was restored to the 1471 throne by a revolution as sudden as that which had the year before precipitated him from it. He did not forget, in his renewed prosperity, the services of those who had so effectually assisted him in his adversity; he made Henry van Borselen, commander of the fleet which brought him to England, his chamberlain and a member of the privy council; and in the next year created the Lord of Gruythuyzen, earl of Winchester, with permission to quarter the arms of England in the corner of his shield 1,2.

While Henry VI. was yet upon the throne of England Louis of France concluded with him a truce for ten years, both parties engaging to assist each other against their respective enemies. As this agreement was chiefly directed against Charles of Burgundy, Louis, having obtained from an assembly of the nobles of France a decision that the treaty of Peronne was contrary to the fundamental laws of the kingdom, and that the king was, moreover, discharged from his obligation to observe it, by the subsequent misconduct of Charles, immediately began to prepare for hostilities 3.

  1. Com., liv. iii., chap. 6. Acta Pub., toin. v., par. 3, p. 25.
  2. The permission to wear the whole, or part of the arms of a royal or noble family, was not uncommon, as a reward for some eminent service. —Velly, Hist, de France, torn, v., p. 77.
  3. Rym. Faed., torn. xii., p. 685. Recneil des Traites, torn* i., p. 108.


The campaign was opened by the surrender of 1470 St. Quentin and Amiens into the hands of Louis, to the latter of which Charles shortly after laid siege; but after remaining before its walls for six weeks, he found himself unable to effect its reduction, and consented to a truce until the following spring. During the interval, he summoned an assembly of the states of the Netherlands at Brussels, and represented to them, 60 forcibly, that the loss of these towns had been occasioned by his not having troops in readiness to take the field, that he induced them to grant the sum of 120,000 lis d'or for the purpose of keeping a body of 800 horse in constant pay to defend the frontiers, and thus formed the nucleus of a standing military force, which his successors lost no opportunity of seeking to increase 1.

At the expiration of the truce the Duke marched 1471 with so numerous an army towards Amiens, that Louis thought it advisable to avoid giving him battle, contenting himself with being able to cut off the supplies from his camp; and a short campaign was terminated in the October of the same year, by a treaty confirming that of Peronne, as well as the treaties of Arras and Conflans 2.

It was, doubtless, the change of affairs in England which prompted Louis to accept terms so disadvantageous; since Charles's army was reduced to the greatest straits for want of provisions, and could not much longer have kept the field. The condition, moreover, of a considerable portion of the Duke's dominions as such as to render him greatly desirous of a peace.

  1. Pont. Heut. Rer. Bur., lib. v, cap. 6.
  2. Com., liv. iii., chap. 2. Recueil des Traites, torn, i., p. 116.


The heavy imposts which his expensive undertakings obliged him to lay on the people, had long excited murmurs loud and general; especially when, in order to answer his frequent petitions, the governments of the different towns found themselves obliged to impose duties on articles of daily and necessary consumption. Among the rest, the senate of Hoorn had laid an excise of fifteen pence upon every barrel of beer brewed without the walls, and obliged the brewers within the town to purchase a license from the Duke. The people, however, stoutly refused either to drink the town beer, or to pay the tax upon that brought from the Country; and the magistrates, finding themselves unable to carry the measure into effect, applied to the Duke for his support.

The council of Holland sent three commissioners to assist the senate in enforcing the excise, which no sooner reached the ears of the people, than they assembled in numbers before the town hall, the weavers, fullers, and fishers, each under their respective banners, threatening death to the commissioners, and even to the burgomasters themselves. They likewise dragged out all the barrels of beer they could find into the market-place, broke in the tops, and, dipping out the liquor in bowls and platters, shouted insultingly that, "the masters must now keep a sharp look out, and reckon how much each had to pay to the excise." The deputies were secretly sent out of the town, and the senate for some days took no measure to still the uproar, avoiding any mention of excise, and satisfying themselves with noting down the names of the ringleaders. The tumult thus died away of itself, when the attorney-general came with some vessels into the harbour before the town, with which he surprised and captured the fishermen as they were in the act of putting out to sea to fish.


He then, with the help of the schout, burgomasters, and sheriffs, seized all the fullers and weavers that were to be found in Hoorn, many having already made their escape. Eight of the principal rioters were tried at the Hague, and executed: the rest released themselves from imprisonment by the payment of heavy fines; while sentence of perpetual banishment was pronounced against all such as had fled 1. Cloth-weaving, which had hitherto been a flourishing manufacture at Hoorn, fell afterwards into decay, owing to numbers of weavers and fullers who were driven from their homes on this occasion. The Duke afterwards published two edicts, wherein he commanded, on fain of death* that the excise should be paid not only on beer, but likewise on grain, salt, and wine, as was done in other places 2; and thus doubly sacrificed the privileges of the town, first by making the non-payment of the excise a capital offence, and taking it out of the jurisdiction of the municipal court; and next, by enforcing, on his own authority, the payment of a tax which the senate alone had the right of imposing.

Notwithstanding the warning afforded by Hoorn, similar commotions arose from a like cause in other towns; at Zierikzee, a priest, named John Simonson, and the bailiff, Michael van Heenvlietss, were murdered by the exasperated populace. The Duke's natural brother Anthony, and Adolphus van Ravestein, with the assistance of the Lord of Veere, easily quelled the sedition, causing some of the chief movers to be seized and beheaded. Most of the guilty fled, yet the punishment inflicted by Duke Charles on the whole town was not the less severe; the inhabitants being forced to receive a foreign garrison, and to pay a fine of 30,000 guilders 3.

  1. Velius Hoorn, p. 46—49.
  2. Idem, p. 50—£2.
  3. Boxhorn op Reigersberg, bl. 273. Snoi. Rer. Bat., lib. xi., p. 161.


The truce with France was scarcely concluded, when the refusal of Louis to ratify it caused the war to break out afresh. It became now more than usually oppressive to the Netherlander^ from the injury it inflicted on their fisheries, which were constantly interrupted by the ships of war that Louis had fitted out to cruize for this purpose about the coast of Holland

1472 Eighteen herring-busses were captured at one time, and the crews obliged to pay a ransom of 100 golden crowns each; but, on the other hand, some Holland and Zealand vessels, under the command of Paul van Borselen, natural son of the Lord of Veere 1, fell in with the French fleet near the coast of Scotland, and obliged it to retire into the ports of France 2.

Charles, meanwhile, invaded France, took the towns of Nesle and Roye, and though unsuccessful before Beauvais, afterwards mastered some small places in the land of Caux, in Normandy. But the advantages he gained in France were Counterbalanced by the ravages which the French army, under the Count of Auvergne, committed in Burgundy, and the conquests made by Louis over his ally, the Duke of H73 Brittany, which obliged this prince to consent to a truce for a year, wherein Charles himself was included 3.

The Duke now found employment of a more important nature than any results likely to be obtained by hostilities with France. The duchy of Guelderland had devolved, by female succession, upon Arnold van Egmond, a descendant of the most ancient and noble family in Holland.

  1. Henry van Borselen, the same who had afforded such efficient aid to Edward IV. of England.
  2. Com., liv. iii., chap. 9. Velius Hoorn, p. 63.
  3. Com., liv. iii., chap. 9,10,11. Recueil des Traites, torn, i., p. 121.


This prince, now advanced in years, had the misfortune, besides losing the affection of his subjects by his negligent government, to be at variance with his young wife and his son Adolphus van Egmond. Instigated by his step-mother, Adolphus placed himself at the head of the disaffected party, caused his father to be seized in his palace at Nimeguen, at the moment of his going to repose, forced him to walk five miles barefoot on the ice, and finally immured him in a prison at Buuren, where he detained him more than five years.

From the depth of his dungeon, however, the unhappy prince found means to make his complaint reach the ears of the Pope, and the emperor, his suzerain, by whom the Duke of Burgundy was authorised to hear and decide between the parties. Adolphus, thinking he should find a favourable judge in the Duke, readily submitted to his arbitration, and for this purpose brought his prisoner to Heusden. In a conference held there, Charles adjudged the duchy of Guelderland with the County of Zutphen to Adolphus, while the old Duke was to retain nothing but his title, the city of Grave, and a pension of 6000 florins. But the unnatural son refused to accede to these terms, declaring that " he would rather throw his father into a well and himself after him, than allow him to possess any portion of his states 1. Perceiving the impression which this impious speech made on the minds of those present, he quitted the town the same night in disguise; but was discovered, arrested, and sent prisoner to Vilvoorden, where he was kept in confinement during the remainder of Charles's life.

  1. J. J. Pontani Hist. Geld., lib. ix., p. 517, et seq. Commines, Hy. iv., chap. 1, Meyer, lib. xvii., ad ann. 1470, p. 349.


The old Duke Arnold could not, however, reinstate himself in his dominions, without the assistance of the Duke of Burgundy, t and even then, it was uncertain whether he would be able long to retain his authority; for this reason, therefore, and perhaps to punish his ungrateful son, he sold the duchy of Guelderland and the County of Zutphen to the Duke of Burgundy for 92,000 crowns of gold, besides the expenses already incurred by Charles; but as Duke Arnold died within two months after the conclusion of the treaty, the sum stipulated was never paid. Adolphus of Guelderland was condemned to perpetual imprisonment, and declared to have forfeited all his rights to the duchy, by a court composed of the Knights of the Golden Fleece: and the claim of the Duke of Berg arid Juliers, descended from a collateral branch of the family of the original Dukes of Guelderland, was bought by Charles for the sum of 80,000 Rhenish guilders 1.

As the Duke of Burgundy did not expect that this transfer of their Country would be very palatable to the Guelderlanders, he, having first obtained the confirmation of the emperor, went to receive their allegiance at the head of a force sufficiently powerful to silence all opposition. Nevertheless, the citizens of Nimeguen, to whom was entrusted the guardianship of the children of Adolphus, Charles, and Philippa, ventured to resist his summons, and withstood several murderous assaults; but they were at length forced to surrender, and to pay a fine of 80,000 florins to redeem themselves from pillage. After the reduction of Nimeguen, Charles was readily acknowledged by the rest of the duchy, and in the same year did homage to the Emperor Frederick III. at Treves, for his newly acquired states 2.

  1. Pontanus, Hist. Geld., lik ix., p. 549—552. Pont. Heut., Rer. Bur., lib. v., cap. 7.
  2. Meyer, lib. xvii., ad ann. 1473, p. 367,358. Pont. Heut; Rer. Bur., lib. v., cap. 7.


Thus the whole of the Netherlands, with the exception of Friesland, were at this time under the dominion of the house of Burgundy; but the possession of Guelderland, which Charles so eagerly coveted, entailed a long and ruinous war upon his successors.

The favourite object of Charles's ambition was now to be ranked among the sovereigns of Europe, and to revive in his own person the ancient title of King of Burgundy 1. He obtained the emperor's consent to invest him with this much-desired dignity by promising his only daughter and sole heiress, Mary, in marriage to Maximilian, son of Frederic, and a meeting was agreed upon between the two princes, to be held at Treves, for. the purpose of performing the ceremony of the coronation, as well as that of the marriage. Both repaired thither at the time appointed, with a splendid retinue 2; the crown, the sceptre, and the chair of state were already prepared, when the emperor insisted that the marriage of his son with the Lady Mary should be first solemnized; suspecting, not without reason, that Charles, when once crowned, would never fulfil his part of the engagement, since he had often been heard to say, that " On the day of his daughter's marriage, he would shave his head, and become a monk 3."

  1. He, however, possessed no part of the ancient kingdom of Burgundy, which comprised Franche Comté, Dauphiné, Provence, Lyonnois, Savoy, Brescia, and great part of Switzerland.
  2. The attendants of the emperor were more numerous, and excelled those of Charles in nobility of birth; but those of the latter far outshone the imperial train in luxury and magnificence. Snoi., Rer. Bat., lib. xi., p. 163. Charles himself wore a robe of 100,000 ducats value. Meyer, Ann. FL, lib. xvii., ad ann. 1473, p. 370.
  3. Besides Maximilian, he had entertained proposalsof marriage with his daughter, from the Duke Nicholas of Calabria, the Duke of Guyenn^ and Philibert, Duke of Savoy, although he never intended bringing any to a conclusion. Commines, liv<*iii., chap. 8.


Charles was equally determined that the coronation should precede the marriage; and the coldness and mistrust which this dispute created in the mind of Frederic was so great, that he suddenly quitted Treves, leaving the Duke overwhelmed with confusion and anger, an object at once of derision and suspicion to the German princes 1.

Thus defeated in his favourite project, Charles was now obliged to turn his ambitious views to another quarter, and since he could not raise his states to a kingdom, he sought to extend them still more widely, by the possession of all the fortified places on the left side of the Rhine, from Nimeguen, where this river enters the Netherlands, to Basle on the confines of Switzerland. Sigismund, Duke of Austria, had in 1468 pledged to him, for the sum of 100,000 Rhenish guilders, some territories in Alsace, with the fort of Ferette, situated in the immediate vicinity of Basle; and this, it was supposed, gave him the first idea of a scheme so wild and impracticable, which he had not even the prudence to conceal, and which, as it appeared to him, an opportunity now presented itself for realizing 2.

On the occasion of some disputes between Robert, J archbishop of Cologne, and the chapter of the diocese, the citizens of Cologne siding with the latter, refused I to acknowledge the authority of the archbishop, and I chose Herman of Hesse as protector of the see.

  1. Dados Hist, de Louis XI., torn, ii., lir. vii., p. 164. Commines, liv. ii., chap. 8. Pont. Heut., lib. v., cap. 8.
  2. Commines, lir. iv., chap, i., p. 86.


Herman fortified himself in Nuys, and Robert» being thus shut out from the two principal towns of his diocese» had recourse to the friendship of the Duke of Burgundy, who, regarding the possession of Nuys as the first step towards the attainment of his object» eagerly embraced the proposal of laying siege to it» made him by the archbishop 1. To guard himself from any enterprise on the part of Louis» he prolonged the truce with France until the May of the next year. The friendly 1474 relations of Burgundy with England, had suffered some little interruption in consequence of the Duke's ungenerous conduct towards Edward when obliged to take refuge in his states; but the political interests of the two princes did not admit of the continuance of any estrangement between them 2. In the year after Edward's restoration» therefore, the treaty of commerce and amity was renewed» and Charles now obtained from his brother-in-law, an aid of thirteen men-at-arms and 1000 English archers, still esteemed the best in Europe. In order, moreover, to be prepared when the truce with France should expire, he made another treaty with Edward, engaging himself to assist him with 6000 troops in recovering Normandy and Guienne, and in making good his claims upon the kingdom of France, unjustly possessed by Louis 3. 1474

Shortly after the conclusion of this agreement, Charles marched in person to the siege of Nuys, with an army of 60,000 strong; imagining, doubtless, that at the head of such a force, he should have completed the apparently easy task of reducing it, before the King of England's plans were ripe for execution, or the truce with France expired.

  1. Commines, liv. iv., chap. 1, p. 86. Pont. Heut. Rer. Bur., lib. v., cap. 8.
  2. Recueil des Traites, torn, i., p. 171. Commines, liv. iii., chap. 8. Ryro. Feed., torn, xi., p. 737-8.
  3. Rym. Feed., torn, xi., p. 701, 808.


He was soon undeceived. Herman of Hesse, and his brother the Land* grave of Hesse, had so well fortified and provisioned the town, and it was defended with such steady valour by the garrison and citizens, that despairing of carrying it by assault, the Duke was necessitated to turn the siege into a blockade. The expence proved enormous; and Charles, unable to extort sufficient funds from his exhausted subjects of the lay community, attempted to impose a tax on the clergy. Those of Zealand, and some few in Holland, complied with the demand; hut the greater number found pretexts for delay until after his death. He, however, seized the silver plate in several of the churches, which he caused to be melted down; and levied a contribution of 13,883 livres (tournois) on the newly-acquired province of Guelderland. Holland contributed a subsidy of 14,300 pounds (Flemish); and Zealand the small sum of 2650 pounds only, on account of the injury lately done to the dikes by an irruption of the sea. The whole military force of Holland and Zealand was summoned to the camp, and the payment of the scutage 1 strictly enforced from all the vassals who were unable to attend 2.

Notwithstanding these mighty preparations, mdntli 1475 after month passed away, and found Charles still engaged in this tedious and unprofitable [enterprise: the time had now elapsed when he should have afforded the promised aid to Edward of England, who, in compliance with the terms of the treaty, had entered Picardy at the head of 1500 lances and 15,000 archers.

  1. Money paid in lieu of military service, and called in Holland " Ruytergeld."
  2. Pont. Heut. Rer. Bur., lib. v., cap. 10. Groote Chronyk, divis. xxx., cap. 84—91. Boxhorn, Nederl. Hist., bl. 293 ct seq. Idem, op Reigersberg, deel. ii., bl. 2C1—279.


But Charles, knowing that the besieged began to suffer severely from scarcity of provisions, and having entrenched himself so strongly that the emperor, though he advanced to within a mile of Nuys, accompanied by nearly all the princes of the empire, with an army of 60,000 men, was unable to throw any succours into it, still hoped for a speedy surrender, and determined, with his characteristic obstinacy, to persevere in his attempt, although he was well aware that it had raised him up enemies on every side 1. The Swiss, dreading the neighbourhood of so powerful a prince, and irritated by numerous insults and injuries they had sustained from Hagenbach, the Duke's governor at Ferette, formed a league with the towns of the Upper Rhine, entered into an alliance with the emperor and Louis of France, and under the auspices of the latter concluded a treaty of mutual defence with Sigismund, Duke of Austria. Louis had likewise excited against Charles the hostility of Reynold, Duke of Lorraine, who invaded Luxemburg, and made himself master of several places in that duchy 2. At the expiration of the truce between France and Burgundy, Louis took possession of Montdidier, Roye, Corbie, and other towns belonging to the Duke in Picardy; and Charles, surrounded by difficulties, was glad to save his credit by consenting to the proposition of the Pope's legate, that Nuys should be sequestrated, and placed in the hands of the Pope, until the dispute between the bishop and Herman of Hesse should be decided 3.

  1. Commines, liv. iv., chap. 2. Pont. Heut. Rer. Bur., lib. v., cap. 10, Snot. Rer. Bat, lib. xi., p. 366.
  2. Commines, liv. iv., chap. 2 ; liv. v., chap. 1. Recueil des Traites, torn, i., p. 175—163.
  3. Commines, liv. iv., chap. 3, 5. Pont. Heut. Rer. Bur., Kb. v., cap. 10.


Meanwhile Edward of England, finding that he received no assistance from his ally, deemed hiknself no longer bound by the article of the treaty with Charles, which stipulated that neither party should make peace without consent of the other, and therefore hearkened to the terms of accommodation proposed by Louis, who promised to pay to Edward the sum of 75,000 crowns, immediately upon the withdrawal of the English troops from France, and an annual stipend of 60,000 crowns during their joint lives: it was agreed, besides, that the dauphin, when of age, should marry Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Edward. The King of England reserved to the Duke of Burgundy the right of acceding to the truce if he so desired. This Charles at first haughtily refused; but as the navy of France had inflicted considerable losses on the commerce of his Dutch subjects, and he was eager, moreover, to wreak his vengeance on the Duke of Lorraine and the Swiss, he afterwards consented to a truce for nine years, which was concluded early in the month of September, at Vervins 1. It was the cause of no small gratification to the Duke of Burgundy that the conduct of Reynold of Lorraine had afforded a pretext for declaring war against him, since the conquest of this duchy, situated between Luxemburg and Burgundy, was an object highly flattering to his ambition. Hardly two months elapsed, after the conclusion of the trace with France, when he invaded Lorraine, and in an incredibly short time subdued the whole duchy, except Nancy, the capital, which sustained a siege of nine weeks, but was at length forced to surrender 2. 1476

  1. Rym. Foed., torn, xii., p. 17, 19. Commines, liv. iv., chap. 6, 8. Velius Hoorn, bl. 55. Recueil des Trait: s, torn, i., p. 134.
  2. Commines, liv. iv., chap. 12.


He next turned his arms against the Swiss, the objects at once of his deepest hatred and contempt. In pursuance of the terms of their alliance with Sigismund of Austria, they had assisted him to recover from Charles the fortress of Ferette, but ignorant of their own strength, they afterwards sought, by every means in their power, to appease the resentment of the latter. They offered to break off all their alliances with other states, and to serve in the wars of Burgundy with 6000 men; they represented in the most moving terms, that their poor and barren Country was unworthy of his notice, and that all the riches it possessed would not suffice to furnish spurs and bridles for his army 1.

Yet did their submissiveness rather excite the disdain than soften the anger of Charles. Heedless of their prayers, as soon as his army was in readiness to march, he invaded their Country, and laid siege to Granson, on the lake of Neufchatel. The garrison surrendered on condition that their lives should be spared, notwithstanding which, Charles ordered them all to be put to death. Immediately upon the capture of Granson, a body of Swiss troops was observed marching up to its relief: the Duke, in opposition to the advice of all his officers, advanced to meet them before they had quitted the defiles of the mountains, and engaging in a position where his cavalry had no room to act, his vanguard was quickly driven back, and by its retreat threw the remainder of the army into confusion. The troops with one accord commenced an instantaneous flight, leaving behind the whole of their tents, ammunition, and baggage 2.

  1. The sagacious Louis XI estimated their strength more truly than either themselves or the Duke. On hearing of the intended invasion, he remarked, " I wonder my cousin of Burgundy did not make a truce with me for eighteen years. He is ignorant certainly of how heavy a burden he has taken on his shoulders, or of what a people he has determined to invade." Pont. Heut. Rer. Bur., lib.v., cap. 12.
  2. Com., liv. iv., chap. 12 ; liv. v., chap. i. Snoi. Rer. Bat, lib. xL, p. 166.


The mortification of Charles at this unseemly rout was still further enhanced by the cutting jest of his court fool, who, having frequently heard him draw parallels between himself tod Hannibal, cried out, as they ran away together with all the speed they could make, " Master, we are well Hannibalized now 1." The army was saved by the cupidity of the Swiss, who, unable to resist the temptation offered by the plunder of the Burgundian camp, ceased to pursue the fugitives. Yet they were so ignorant of the value of the booty they acquired, that a diamond belonging to the Duke, which was afterwards the second in the French crown, and estimated at the value of 1,800,000 livres, was sold amongst them more than once for a guilder 2".

The consequences of this battle were as disastrous ! as its termination. The Duchess-dowager of Savoy, the Duke of Milan, and Renée of Provence, king of Sicily, who had hitherto rejected all the advances of Louis, immediately forsook the alliance of Burgundy for that of France, while several of the German towns, instead of persisting as before in a doubtful neutrality, openly declared against Charles 3. To wipe out the remembrance of his disgrace, the Duke of Burgundy having reassembled his scattered troops, and reinforced them with a large number of mercenaries from Savoy and Piedmont, laid siege to Morat near Berne. He had been before the town about ten days, when the i Swiss army, commanded by Reynold of Lorraine, came down upon him.

  1. Duclos, torn, ii., liv. 8, p. 214.
  2. Idem, p. 215. Pont. Heut., lib. v., cap. xil.
  3. Commines, Uy. vi., chap. 1, 2.


Untaught by the last severe lesson, Charley instead of awaiting them in his entrenchments, homed forward to give them battle. The consequence was a second defeat, more fatal and bloody than the former, above 16,000 men being slain on the Burgundian side 1,2.

Anguish, spite, and shame, at this overthrow, raged in the breast of Charles with such violence, that he fell into a fit of sickness, which appeared to paralyze lus powers both of mind and body 3. For six weeks be lay, refusing alike consolation or companionship, until the news of the capture of Nancy, by Duke Reynold, aroused him at length from his benumbing trance 4.

He advanced by hasty marches to besiege the town, which defended itself with the most undaunted courage, and successfully resisted all his attempts to master it. The inhabitants were reduced to the lowest extremity of famine, and had been forced for some time to feed on dogs, cats, and even reptiles, when Reynold of Lorraine, with an army of French, German, and Swiss troops, encamped not far from the walls, with the design of forcing Charles to raise the siege. Reynold held a secret correspondence with one Nicholas Campobasso, a Neapolitan officer in the Burgundian camp, in whom Charles reposed a blind and fatal confidence 5.

  1. Commines, liv. v., chap. 3. Pont Heat., lib. v., cap. 12.
  2. The continuator of Monstrelet says 20,700; but the numbers stated by the different historians vary from 8000 to 20,000. Duclos, Hist, de Louis XI., liv. viii., p. 224.
  3. The effect of grief on his constitution was very remarkable; he was usually of so sanguine and choleric a temperament, as to be obliged to forego entirely the use of wine; whereas, at this time, it was found necessary to administer to him strong wine, without water, and to apply active stimulants to the vital parts of the body. Com., liv. v., chap. 6.
  4. Commines, liv. v., chap. 5.
  5. It is said, that the treachery of this man was the consequence of Charles's violence of temper: being importuned by him, on one occasion, for money to pay his troops, Charles grew angry, and inflicted on him a j blow, accompanied by threats, an injury which the revengeful Italian never forgave. Snoi. Ber. Bat., lib. xi., p. 167. This is in some degree confirmed by De la Marche, who says that the Count of Campobasso deserted Charles u pour certain deniers que Ie comte disoit que Ie due lui ! devoit." Liv. ii., chap. 8.


On the fifth of January, 1477, the two armies came to an engagement, which had scarcely commenced, when Campobasso, with 400 men-at-arms, went over to the enemy. After this desertion, the discomfiture of an army, twice defeated, and totally dispirited, was easy: the flight, begun by a few traitors whom Campobasso had purposely left among the 1477Burgundian troops, was speedy and universal; SOOO men were left dead on the field, among whom were the principal nobles of Burgundy and the Netherlands. Charles himself was slain, but in what manner is not certainly known; it is affirmed, however, that he received his death-wound at the hand of a traitor of Campobasso's party 1.

It was not till three days after, that the body of the unhappy prince was found, wounded in three places, and stripped entirely naked; his face frozen to the ground, and so disfigured, that it was only by some distinctive marks, such as the extreme length of his nails, (which he had left uncut since the defeat at Morat,) and the scar of a wound received at the battle of Montlhéri, that he could be recognized 2. He was honourably buried at Nancy, by command of the Duke of Lorraine; but the Netherlanders could not for a long time be persuaded to believe in the report of his death, imagining that he bad either been carried prisoner to France, or had escaped in safety to Germany, whence he would return at some future day, more terrible than ever 3.

Charles, although three times married, left only one daughter, by Isabella of Portugal, Mary, born February 8th, 1457.

  1. Others say, that in attempting to leap a small brook in his flight, his horse fell in, when he was killed by Claudius Beaumont, a Lorraine nobleman, in pursuit of him, not knowing who he was. Pont. Heut., lib. v., cap. 13, p. 14C.
  2. Snoi Rer. Bat., lib. xi., p. 168. Meyer, lib. xvii., ad ann. 1476, p. 373.
  3. Com., liv. v., chap. 7, 8. Meyer, lib. xvii., ad ann. 1476, p. 373. Duclos, torn, ii., Hv. 8, p. 227. Pont. Heut., lib. v., chap. 13,14.



The intelligence of Charles's death no sooner reached the ears of Louis, than he hastened to take possession of the duchy of Burgundy, which he re-annexed to France, according to the terms of the grant made by Charles V. to his brother Philip, which provided, that in default of heirs male, this fief should revert to the French crown 1. Before the end of the month of February, also, the towns in Picardy, that had been surrendered to the Duke of Burgundy, opened their gates to Louis, and he 'was already preparing for a descent into Flanders and Artois, intending, it is said, to make himself master of the whole of the states belonging to Mary. Shortly after her accession, the nobles, to whose guardianship she had been committed by Charles before his departure 2, summoned a general assembly of the states of the Netherlands at Ghent, to devise means for arresting the enterprises of Louis, and for raising funds to support the war with France, as well as to consider the state of affairs in the provinces 3,4. Charles, and his father, Philip, had exercised in the Netherlands a species of government far more arbitrary than the inhabitants had until then been accustomed to; and in the measures they pursued» the chartered franchises, and prescriptive customs inherent in the constitution of these states, were almost, if not altogether, lost sight of.

  1. Gam., lir. vi., chap. 1. Font. Heut. Rer. Bur., lib. ii., cap. 2.
  2. Among these, the principal were, John, Duke of Cleves, Adolphus of Cleres, Lord of Ravestein, Guido Brimeus, the Sieur D'Imbercourt, and William Hugonet, chancellor of Burgundy.
  3. Com., liv. v., chap. 11,13. Pont. Heut. Rer. Austr., lib. i., cap. 1.
  4. This is the first regular assembly of the states-general of the Netherlands : the County of Holland, before this time, does not appear to have sent deputies to the assemblies of the other states. In negotiations with foreign powers, it treated separately. Ryin. Fced.j torn, x., p. 806—849.


It now appeared that a favourable opportunity offered itself for rectifying these abuses; and the assembly, therefore, made the consideration of them a preliminary to the grant of any supplies for the war 1. Upon the proposition being made to assist in defending the duchess against the ambition and evil designs of the King of France, who had, without right or justice, possessed himself of several towns of Burgundy, the states testified every disposition to render all the service in their power to their new sovereign; but at the same time declared, that " the provinces were exhausted and impoverished by the wars of Duke Charles, and that they ought rather to be relieved than further oppressed," adding, that, " for many years, great encroachments had been made on the liberties and privileges of the provinces and towns which they desired to see restored 2.

They insisted so firmly on this resolution, that Mary, finding they were determined to refuse any subsidies till their grievances were redressed, consented to grant charters of privileges to all the states of the Nether* lands. That of Holland and Zealand, commonly called the " Great Charter," contained these provisions: that the duchess should not marry without the consent of the nobles of her family, and of the states; that some of the later subsidies demanded by Duke Charles should be remitted; that the duchess should bestow the offices of the County on natives only; that no one should be able to hold two at the same time; nor should they be let out to farm.

  1. Com., liv. v., chap. 16.
  2. Groot Plakaatb., ii. deel., bl. 658.


The council of Holland was henceforth to consist of eight besides the Stadtholder , six Hollanders and two Zealanders, and two supernumeraries, without salary, likewise natives; and no cause properly belonging to the jurisdiction of the municipal courts should be brought before the council, except by way of appeal. The right " de non evocando," or of not being summoned to trial out of the boundaries of their province, should be preserved to all the inhabitants inviolate. The governments of the towns were to be appointed and changed according to the ancient custom 1.

The towns might hold assemblies with each other, or with the states of the rest of the Netherlands, where and as often as they might judge necessary. No new tolls or other burdens should be imposed without consent of the states, and the freedom of trade and commerce should be preserved. Neither the duchess nor her successors should declare war, offensive or defensive, without consent of the states; and in case they did so, none should be bound to serve in such war, notwithstanding any custom, or any command of the late Duke to the contrary. The Dutch language should be used in all decrees and letters-patent. No commands of the sovereign should prevail against the privileges of the towns. No coin should be struck, nor any alteration made in the standard of money, without the advice and approbation of the states, and the mint should continue, as of old time, at Dordrecht. The towns should not be forced to contribute to any petition unless they had first consented to it; and the petition should be demanded of the states by the Count in person.

  1. The power of the Counts to change the governments of the towns, out of the due'course, had heen frequently exercised, even before the time of Philip, but never recognised by the states.


The duchess, and her guardians, John, Duke of Cleves, Louis of Bourbon, bishop of Liege, and Adol-phus of Cleves, Stadtholder -general of the Netherlands» affixed their seals to this charter, which they solemnly swore to observe. The assembly of the states, likewise, appointed a council of regency to assist Mary in the government, and obtained from her a promise, that she would in all cases abide by their advice 1.

The articles of this charter have been detailed somewhat at length, because it was afterwards a subject of contention between the Dutch and their sovereigns; and the violation of its provisions formed one of the principal reasons alleged for the deposition of Philip II. in the next century. It was insisted, on the part of the princess, that the charter was invalid as obtained from the Duchess Mary while a minor, and in the power of the citizens of Ghent; whereas the people, on the other hand, justly considered that no new privileges were extorted on this occasion, but those only restored which had been granted or recognised by the former Counts, and for the most part had formed their rule of government before the accession of foreign princes introduced those arbitrary notions of prerogative, which were received in France, but were in the highest degree unsuitable to the free spirit and institutions of the Netherlanders.

So far the relations between the Netherlanders and their young sovereign were on an amicable footing, although the Ghenters persisted in retaining possession of her person; but events soon occurred which interrupted the apparent harmony between them.

  1. Groot Plakaat., ii, decl., bl. 658.


While the subject of the charter was under consideration, the duchess, perceiving the sacrifices she must make to gain the support of her subjects in the war with Louis, had sent an embassy to France» consisting of William Hugonet the chancellor, Guy D'Imbercourt, Wolferd van Borselen, lord of Veere, and the stadt-hokfer of Holland, Louis van Gruythuyzen, to treat of peace. Louis, pretending a sincere desire for an accommodation and for the marriage of Mary with the dauphin, by flattering the ambassadors with the hope of obtaining both these objects, induced two of their number, Hugonet and D'Imbercourt, to consent to the preliminary cession of Artois to France. In this particular they went beyond their instructions; and Louis, desiring in fact neither the peace nor the marriage, determined, as a means of breaking off the negotiation, to sacrifice the unhappy ambassadors to the rage of their Countrymen, which he had now ample means in his power of exciting.

Shortly after the departure of Mary's ambassadors, the council of regency had also sent two deputies to Louis, Touteville and Baradot, with instructions to solicit that the king would adhere to the truce for nine years concluded at Vervins, and extend his protection to the heiress of Burgundy. In the first audience they had of Louis, he affected to doubt their powers, as not being recognised by the duchess: on their answering that she had bound herself to govern entirely by the advice of the council, he gave them a letter written by Mary herself, and delivered to him by her ambassadors Hugonet and D'Imbercourt, wherein she declared that her affairs should be conducted according to the counsels of four persons only, the Duchess-dowager of Burgundy, the Lord of RaVestein, Hugonet, and D'Imbercourt, and requesting him to confide all that he wished to communicate to her, to the two latter only.


Angry at finding themselves thus duped, Touteville and Baradot returned to Ghent, and in a full council of the town at which Mary was present, brought forward their complaint, declaring that the tenor of their instructions had been controverted, and their character as ambassadors disavowed, by the private letters of the duchess. Mary at first strenuously denied the fact; but on the production of her letter to the king the fatal evidence of her duplicity, struck with confusion at the discovery, and with dismay at the treachery of Louis, she remained silent and trembling 1. The Ghenters became furious: they seized Imbercourt and Hugonet, tried them at the council-house, not for the real delinquency of which they had been guilty, but upon an accusation of having assisted in suppressing the privileges of Ghent, and condemned them to death. Upon hearing that the sentence was about to be carried into execution, Mary, accompanied only by an aged priest, rushed into the midst of the crowd assembled round the scaffold, and with floods of tears, and piercing cries of anguish, supplicated that their lives might be spared. Her prayers were unheeded—the fatal blow was struck before her eyes, and the unhappy victims to popular fury died, asserting to the last their innocence 2. Louis having thus frustrated the negotiations for peace, possessed himself of Arras, Terouenne, and a large portion of Artois; but on the sea, affairs were more prosperous for the Netherlander, since the Hollanders were not only able to protect their own commerce, but likewise to capture twenty large vessels belonging to the enemy, and to bring a very considerable booty into their ports.

  1. Commutes, liv. v., chap. 15,16. ? Commutes, liv. r., chap. 17.
  2. Louis was deeply grieved at hearing of the fatal consequences of his own act, and made ample provision for the families of both the sufferers, whom he took under his special protection*


Anxious to provide a general, capable of making head against the French forces, the Ghenters released the parricidal Adolphus of Guelderland from his prison at Vilvoorden, with the design, it is said, of marrying him to the Lady Mary, and gave him the command of an army composed of troops collected from Ghent, Bruges, and Ypres. Adolphus marched without delay to the siege of Tournay, where he was slain in a sally made by the garrison, and thus the young duchess was delivered from an union so abhorrent to her feelings. His death, and the rapid advances made by Louis, who had subdued Artois and the County of Boulogne, and made himself master of Bouchain, Quesnoi, and Avenues, induced the states to hasten the marriage of the duchess 1.

Among the numerous suitors whom her late father had encouraged, the only question was now between Maximilian, son of the emperor of Germany, and the dauphin of France. But with respect to the latter—besides the probability that, from the disparity of age between the parties, the princess would despise her youthful bridegroom—-who had just reached his eighth year, while Mary was now past twenty, there were many reasons of policy that rendered the marriage little desirable to the king; among the rest, was the offence it must necessarily give to Edward of England, to whose daughter Elizabeth, the infant prince bad been contracted for above two years; and Louis would, moreover, have been obliged to receive, as the dower of the princess, Burgundy, Artois, and the rest of her dominions, of which he had already obtained actual possession by conquest.

  1. Pont Heut. Rer. Aust., lib. i., cap. 3, 5, 6. Vellus Hoorn, bl. 64. Commines, liv. r», chap. 14,15,17.


The Ghenters, who, being possessed of the person of the duchess, were the chief agents in this matter, were favourable to Maximilian, and the inclinations of Mary herself were supposed to point in the same direction. The contract, therefore, so abruptly brakes off at Treves in 1473 was again renewed, Maximilian was summoned to Ghent, and the marriage was solemnized in the month of August; not, how* ever, with a magnificence by any means suitable to the union of the son of the emperor with the richest heiress in Europe. It is said, indeed, that the poveity of the imperial exchequer was so excessive that the states were obliged to provide funds to defray the expenses of the bridegroom's journey into the Netherlands 1.

It was provided, by the marriage treaty, that the children born of this union should inherit the provinces on the death of either parent, and that in default of issue, the succession should devolve immediately on the next heir, and not on the survivor 2; This article was probably inserted to avoid the recurrence of disorders similar to those which the widowhood of Jacoba had entailed on the County of Holland. 1478 Maximilian's first care was to conclude a truce for a year with France, and early in the next spring he took the oath to the towns and provinces, and was acknowledged by them as protector of the Lady Mary and of the County in her name 3. The Guelderlanders, making some ineffectual attempts to obtain the duchy for the young Charles, son of Adolphus, did not take the oath of fealty to Mary and Maximilian until the year 1481 4.

  1. Mem. d'Oliv. de la Marche, liv. ii., chap, ix., p. 409, 410. Com., liv. vi., chap 3.
  2. Recueil des Traitus, torn. L, p. 208.
  3. Groot Plakaatb., iv. deel., bl. 7.
  4. Pont, Hcut. Rer. Aust., lib. i., cap. 11.



At the expiration of the truce with France, the king opened the campaign with the invasion of Hainaut, where Condé and several places of less importance capitulated; but on the approach of Maximilian's army to Valenciennes, Louis, who had no inclination to risk the loss of his acquisitions in a battle, and dreaded lest his continued successes should awaken the hostile jealousy of the emperor and England, abandoned Quesnoi and Cambray, burnt the fortifications of Condé, and consented to the Duke's offer of renewing the truce, restoring to him the conquests he had made in Hainaut and Franche Comte 1.

The internal dissensions in Holland, which the iron hand of Charles had crushed for a season, again grew rank after his death, and the two parties of hooks and cods renewed their persecution of each other, with a rage and bitterness, that reduced Holland to a state of extreme misery and desolation. The members of each faction, as they gained the temporary ascendency in the towns, not only thrust out their adversaries from the seats of government, but expelled them from the city itself: even women were driven from their homes with circumstances of violence and cruelty: the villages, no less than the towns, were filled with mistrust and hatred: relatives and neighbours laid wait for each others' lives, while duels and affrays were of daily occurrence 2. Louis van Gruythuyzen had been removed from the Stadtholder ship a few days after the granting of the great charter, (because, being a Fleming, his continuance in the office was contrary to its provisions,) and his place filled by a native, Wolferd van Borselen, lord of Veere. Wolferd, in order to put a stop to the disorders in Holland 1479, summoned a general assembly of the nobles and towns at Rotterdam.

  1. Pont. Heut. Ber. Aust., lib. i., cap. 8, 9.
  2. Velius Hoorn, bl, 60--68.


As he was supposed to be favourably inclined towards the hooks, John van Reimerswale, the bailiff, pretending that under cover of an assembly, the hooks designed to make themselves masters of the town, called out the schuttery, or burgher guard, and not satisfied with preventing the entrance of the deputies from those towns which belonged to the hook party, forced the Stadtholder himself to evacuate Rotterdam. This affront the cods followed up by another outrage. On the occasion of an affray at the Hague between the Stadtholder 's servants and those of some nobles of their party, they assembled a number of burghers from the neighbouring towns, bombarded, captured, and plundered the court-house, and drove away the horses from the Stadtholder 's stables. Upon the news of these commotions, Borselen, then at his lordship of Veere, assembled 7000 men from Utrecht and the hook towns of Holland, and marching through Delft to the Hague, repossessed himself of the courthouse, and by way of reprisal, caused the houses of the cods to be pillaged.

On his departure shortly after for Rotterdam, of which he made himself master, the cods, in revenge, began the work of plunder and destruction on the dwellings of the hooks. The Hague being thus kept in continual uproar, van Borselen removed the supreme court of Holland to Rotterdam; but a few councillors of the hook party only attended, and the causes tried before it were confined to those sent up from the towns on the same side. Finding, therefore, the torrent of party spirit too strong for him, the Stadtholder , leaving George, bastard of Brederode, at Rotterdam to conduct affairs as best he might, retired again to Veere 1.

  1. Groote Chronyk, divis. xxxi., cap. 21—23. Reigcrsberg, ii. deeL, bl. 298. Pont. Heut. Rer. Aust., lib. i., cap. 11.


The presence of the sovereign seemed now to be the only means left for putting a stop to these frightful disorders, 1480  and Maximilian accordingly repaired to Holland, as well for the purpose of restoring peace as of levying a petition, which, according to the terms of the great charter, must be done by the Count in person. The cods, in order to secure his powerful influence to their party, voted with alacrity a subsidy of 160,000 double schilds (of thirty pence) in ready money, and an annual sum of 80,000 schilds for the next eight years. They easily obtained, in return, the removal of Wolferd van Borselen from the 6tadtholdership, and the appointment of George de Lalaing, which, as he was a Hainauter, was a direct violation of one of the provisions of the great charter. The hook members of the council of state were, in like manner, dismissed, and their places filled by persons belonging to the cod party; and Maximilian then left to the new Stadtholder the completion of the work of pacification 1.

As the King of France did not withdraw  1479 his garrisons from Hainaut, according to the terms of the truce, hostilities never entirely ceased during its continuance, and it had no sooner expired, than Maximilian, hoping to repair his losses in Artois, assembled a more numerous army than any he had hitherto commanded, occupied Cambray, which the French garrison had evacuated, and laid siege to Terouanne. Upon the approach of the French forces he raised the siege and gave them battle near the hill of Guineguate, where a dearly bought victory deprived him of the flower of the Netherland nobility, in killed, wounded, and prisoners. The losses of the Netherlanders by sea, also, were very considerable.

  1. Groot Plakaat., ii. deel., bl. 675. Grooote Chron., divis. xx$i.9 cap. 24, 2o. Velius Hoorn, p. 68.


The fleet of France, under the command of Admiral Caulon, captured the whole of the vessels engaged in the herring fishery, besides eighty large ships returning with corn from the Baltic, and carried them into the ports of Normandy. It was supposed that more injury was done to the Dutch navy in this year than during the whole of the previous century 1.

1480 Maximilian took advantage of the conclusion of the usual armistice for the winter months, to renew the former treaties between the Netherlands and England, cementing his friendship with Edward by a contract of marriage between his infant son Philip and Anna, third daughter of the king 2. Edward was to send Maximilian a succour of 6000 men against Louis of France, Maximilian binding himself, on the other hand, to pay to Edward the annuity of 50,000 crowns he received from France, in case it should be withdrawn by Louis. This sum, however, which Maximilian had no means of paying, was, by a subsequent agreement, set off against the portion of the young princess of 100,000 crowns, and Edward engaged to declare war against Louis if he should reject the mediation of England. A severe sickness and the intestine commotions of his states, prevented Maximilian from reaping the expected advantage from this alliance; and the truce with France was, at his request, prolonged for another year 3.

The hooks of Leyden had in 1479 been expelled by their adversaries, and taken refuge for the most part in Utrecht; thence they now returned to the number of about 135, and taking advantage of the darkness of a winter morning, scaled the walls of their city, and before the members of the cod party could recover from their surprise, made them prisoners in their houses.

  1. Pont. Heut. Rer. Aust., lib i., cap. 0. Commines, liv. vi., chap. 6. Reigersberg Cliron., ii. deel., bl. 297.
  2. Rym. Fed., torn, xii., pp, 96,110.
  3. Idem, pp. 127, 138. Heraus Ann. Brab., ad aim. 1480. Pont. Heat. Rer. Aust., lib. i., cap. 11.


In order to recover Leyden from the possession thus gained by the hooks, the cod towns of the neighbourhood, Haarlem, Delft, and Amsterdam, obtained from the Stadtholder Lalaing a command to besiege it. As the burghers in a situation to bear arms in its defence were 6000 in number, the cods were unable to capture it by assault, but taking possession of the forts in the neighbourhood, reduced it to great straits for want of provisions 1.

While these events took place at Leyden, a party of cods, concealing themselves in two vessels apparently laden with rice, entered the town of Dordrecht, and suddenly attacking the hooks, who were there the ruling party, took many of them prisoners. The burgomaster, Giles Adrianson, who, in his haste to arm himself, had placed a copper pot on his head by way of a helmet, and the sub-schout were slain in the skirmish; the schout, and the other burgomaster, Theodore Beaumont, were arrested, and sent to take their trial at the Hague. Maximilian, being informed of the possession of Dordrecht by the cods, went thither from Rotterdam, and appointed a new government, consisting of men of that party, though without prejudice to the rights and privileges of the town in future. From thence he proceeded to Leyden, which was still in a state of siege, when the burghers, alarmed at his approach, resolved upon a timely submission; the chief persons among them, therefore, having dressed themselves in mourning garments, advanced to meet him without the walls of the town, and sued on their knees for pardon: it was granted with the exception of eighteen of their number 2.

  1. Groote Chronyk, divis.xxxi.,cap. 28. Snoi. Rer. Bat., lib. xii., p. 172.
  2. Heat., Rer. Aust, lib. L, cap. 11. Snoi. Rer. Bat., lib. xii., p. 173.


Having thus subdued Leyden, Maximilian repaired to the Hague to preside at the trialsof the hook prisoners. Adrian Westfaling, schout, and Theodore Beaumont, burgomaster of Dordrecht, were condemned to death. The chief grounds of their accusation were, the holding assemblies, and making leagues with other towns, preventing the execution of the edicts of the supreme court, under the plea that they were contrary to the privileges of the town; and voting for a general assembly of the states for the purpose of expelling the Duke's foreign troops from the County of Holland.

Although their conduct in these particulars was fully justified by the provisions, as well of the great charter, as of the former charters which it confirmed, the sentence was executed upon them in its utmost severity 1. The lives of nearly all the other prisoners were saved by the intercession of Margaret of York. They were, however, banished; a vast many more of the hook party voluntarily quitted their Country, and such as remained, were studiously deprived of power, and kept out of office by the influence of the Duke and the court 2.

The place of retreat generally chosen by the emigrants, was the city of Utrecht; where since the death of Charles, the authority of the bishop, David of Burgundy, had daily declined, and the influence of his former rival, Gilbert van Brederode, proportionably augmented; and the bishop, in consequence, found his residence in Utrecht rendered so irksome, that he retired to Wyk te Duurstede. To punish the Utrechters for their conduct to their bishop, as well as for the harbour they afforded to the refugees of the hook party, Maximilian confiscated all their property in Holland, and even put the persons of the Utrechters, who were then in the County, under restraint, until the hook exiles should be driven from Utrecht.

  1. Beverwyk Dordrecht, bl. 320.
  2. Groote Chronyk, divis. xxxi., chap. 31.


From this source a war arose, which, after a series of petty, but ruinous hostilities, carried on for nearly three years, chiefly with the province of Holland, was ended in 1483 by a treaty, stipulating that Maximilian should thenceforward be acknowledged as temporal protector of Utrecht. In this capacity he nominated Frederic van Egmond his Stadtholder 1.

The spring of the year 1482 was marked by the melancholy death of the young duchess, at the early 1482 age of twenty-five. While enjoying, in company with her husband, the sport of hawking, of which she was passionately fond, the breaking of the saddle-girths occasioned her a violent fell from her horse; and as she was then pregnant, and delicacy prompted her studiously to conceal the injury she had received, it proved fatal within a few days. She had borne to Maximilian three children, Philip, Margaret, and Francis, of whom the latter died in his infancy. Her body was interred at Bruges with great magnificence, and her heart carried to Antwerp, where it was placed in the grave of her mother in the church of St. Michael.

She was by no means handsome in person, her Countenance being disfigured by the large open mouth peculiar to the family of the Burgundian princes, and which her son and grandson inherited, though in a less degree, from her; of a bold and irascible temper, and masculine habits, greatly addicted to hunting and gaming, she was nevertheless tenderly beloved by her husband, who to the end of his life could never mention her, or hear her spoken of, without tears 2.

  1. Velius Hoorn, p. 70, 71. Snoi. Rer. Bat., lib. xii., p. 173—175. r Commines, liv. vi., chap. 3. Pont. Heut, Rer. Aust., lib. i., cap. 11.
  2. Idem, Elog. Mariae, lib. i., p. 64.

back to top