History of the United Netherlands, 1597-98

John Lothrop Motley
History of the United
Netherlands, 1597-98

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Title: History of the United Netherlands, 1597-98
Author: John Lothrop Motley
Release Date: January, 2004 [EBook #4869] [Yes, we are more than
one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on April 9,

Edition: 10
Language: English
Character set encoding: ASCII


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William the Silent to the Twelve Year's Truce--1609
By John Lothrop Motley

Edition, Vol. 69
History of the United Netherlands, 1597-1598

Straggle of the Netherlands against Spain--March to Turnhout-- Retreat
of the Spanish commander--Pursuit and attack--Demolition of the
Spanish army--Surrender of the garrison of Turnhout--Improved
military science--Moral effect of the battle--The campaign in
France--Attack on Amiens by the Spaniards--Sack and burning of the
city--De Rosny's plan for reorganization of the finances--Jobbery and
speculation--Philip's repudiation of his debts--Effects of the
measure--Renewal of persecution by the Jesuits--Contention between
Turk and Christian--Envoy from the King of Poland to the Hague to

plead for reconciliation with Philip--His subsequent presentation to
Queen Elizabeth--Military events Recovery of Amiens--Feeble
operations of the confederate powers against Spain--Marriage of the
Princess Emilia, sister of Maurice--Reduction of the castle and town of
Alphen--Surrender of Rheinberg--Capitulation of Meurs--Surrender of
Grol--Storming and taking of Brevoort Capitulation of Enschede,
Ootmaxsum, Oldenzaal, and Lingen--Rebellion of the Spanish
garrisons in Antwerp and Ghent--Progress of the peace movement
between Henry and Philip--Relations of the three confederate
powers--Henry's scheme for reconciliation with Spain--His acceptance
of Philip's offer of peace announced to Elizabeth--Endeavours for a
general peace.
The old year had closed with an abortive attempt of Philip to fulfil his
favourite dream--the conquest of England. The new year opened with a
spirited effort of Prince Maurice to measure himself in the open field
with the veteran legions of Spain.
Turnhout, in Brabant, was an open village--the largest in all the
Netherlands lying about twenty-five English miles in almost a direct
line south from Gertruydenburg. It was nearly as far distant in an
easterly direction from Antwerp, and was about five miles nearer Breda
than it was to Gertruydenberg.
At this place the cardinal-archduke had gathered a considerable force,
numbering at least four thousand of his best infantry, with several
squadrons of cavalry, the whole under-command of the general-in-chief
of artillery, Count Varax. People in the neighbourhood were growing
uneasy, for it was uncertain in what direction it might be intended to
use this formidable force. It was perhaps the cardinal's intention to
make a sudden assault upon Breda, the governor of which seemed not
inclined to carry out his proposition to transfer that important city to the
king, or it was thought that he might take advantage of a hard frost and
cross the frozen morasses and estuaries into the land of Ter Tholen,
where he might overmaster some of the important strongholds of
Marcellus Bax, that boldest and most brilliant of Holland's cavalry
officers, had come to Maurice early in January with an urgent
suggestion that no time might be lost in making an attack upon the
force of Turnhout, before they should succeed in doing any mischief.

The prince pondered the proposition, for a little time, by himself, and
then conferred very privately upon the subject with the state-council.
On the 14th January it was agreed with that body that the enterprise
should be attempted, but with the utmost secrecy. A week later the
council sent an express messenger to Maurice urging him not to expose
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