The Fall of Antwerp on 17 August 1585 took place during the Eighty Years' War, after a siege lasting over a year from July 1584 until August 1585. The city of Antwerp was the capital of the new Protestant-dominated Dutch Revolt, but was forced to surrender to the Spanish forces. Under the terms agreed all Protestants were given four years to settle their affairs and leave the city. Many migrated north, especially to Amsterdam, which became the capital of the Dutch Republic. Apart from losing a high proportion of its mercantile population, Antwerp's trade suffered for decades as Dutch forts blockaded the River Scheldt.
|Siege of Antwerp|
|Part of the Eighty Years' War|
Dutch Finis Bellis, a fortified ship meant to break the Spanish blockade.
|Commanders and leaders|
|Philips van Marnix||Alessandro Farnese|
|Casualties and losses|
At the time Antwerp, in modern Belgium, was not only the largest Dutch city, but was also the cultural, economic and financial centre of the Seventeen Provinces and of north-western Europe. On 4 November 1576, unpaid Spanish soldiery mutinied: they plundered and burnt the city during what was called the Spanish Fury. Thousands of citizens were massacred and hundreds of houses were burnt down. As a result, Antwerp became even more engaged in the rebellion against the rule of Habsburg Spain. The city joined the Union of Utrecht (1579) and became the capital of the Dutch Revolt, which no longer was merely a Protestant rebellion but had become a revolt of all Dutch provinces.
Relieved from the great battles with the Ottomans in the Mediterranean, Philip II of Spain turned his attention back to the uprising in the Low Countries and in 1579 sent Alessandro Farnese, Duke of Parma to head his army in Flanders to regain control over Flanders, Brabant and the United Provinces. When the siege of Antwerp began (1585) most of the County of Flanders and the Duchy of Brabant, including Brussels, had been recaptured in the preceding year. The army of Flanders had been reinforced in the previous years, both in quantity and quality, and in 1585 it had 61,000 men under arms.
During the recapture of Flanders and Brabant, Parma improved the logistics of the Spanish army in Flanders by further investing in what is dubbed the "Spanish Route." It was a main road leading north from Habsburg holdings in Northern Italy into the Low Countries, protected by forts built at strategic intervals, to provide the army with a reliable flow of supplies. When the siege of Antwerp began Parma's army was well supplied. The first stage of the siege saw encirclement lines constructed around Antwerp and forts built along the Scheldt estuary.
The second stage consisted of commencing a long siege of Antwerp and constructing a bridge across the Scheldt, effectively closing off the city's waterways. The bridge, a unique feat of siege engineering at its time, consisted of a strong fort (reinforced with cannons) on each side of the Scheldt with a bridge of connected pontoons (paintings show sizable rowing boats) running between them. (This bridge is believed to have been 730m long.)
In response to the closure of the Scheldt by this bridge, the Dutch flooded the lowlands adjacent to the Scheldt, effectively submerging most roads in scattered areas and leaving Spanish forts either flooded or isolated on small islands. Despite the Dutch using these floodplains to try to regain control over the Scheldt (using low draft oar and sail boats with small cannon emplacements on them), the Spanish position largely held firm, as many of the Spanish forts had been equipped with cannon and high quality troops. Several attempts were made by the Dutch to steer "fire ships" into the Spanish pontoon bridge, but the troops stationed in the adjacent forts managed to push them off course with pikes – though with heavy loss of life when the fire ships exploded. 800 Spaniards are said to have been killed, Caspar de Robles being one of the casualties.
At one time, the rebels sent the Finis Bellis ("End of War"), a huge floating platform into which they put great hope, against the bridge, but the mission failed. In the end the Dutch abandoned their efforts, considering Antwerp a lost cause.
On 17 August 1585, Antwerp surrendered. After the siege, the Dutch fleet on the river Scheldt was kept in position, blocking the city's access to the sea and cutting it off from international trade. Parma stationed experienced Castilian troops within Antwerp to make sure the city would not fall into enemy hands. The moderateness of Parma's demands and the behaviour of his troops were a complete surprise given the bloodiness of the siege and the rampage of 1576. Parma issued strict orders not to sack the city. The Spanish troops behaved impeccably, and Antwerp's Protestant population was given four years to settle their affairs before leaving.
Some returned to Roman Catholicism but many moved north and ended what had been a golden century for the city. Of the pre-siege population of 100,000 people, only 40,000 remained. Many of Antwerp's skilled tradesmen were included in the Protestant migration to the north, laying the commercial foundation for the subsequent "Dutch Golden Age" of the northern United Provinces. Although the city returned to prosperity, the Dutch blockade of commercial shipping in the Scheldt remained in place and prevented the city recovering its former glory. The blockade was maintained for the next two centuries and was an important and traumatic element in the history of relations between the Netherlands and what was to become Belgium.
Adriaen van Nieulandt (1587, Antwerp- buried July 7, 1658, Amsterdam) was a Dutch painter, draughtsman and engraver of the Baroque period.Antwerp Citadel
Antwerp Citadel (Spanish: Castillo de Amberes, Dutch: Kasteel van Antwerpen) was a pentagonal bastion fort built to defend and dominate the city of Antwerp in the early stages of the Dutch Revolt. It has been described as "doubtlesse the most matchlesse piece of modern Fortification in the World" and as "one of the most studied urban installations of the sixteenth century".Berenberg family
The Berenberg family (Dutch for "bear mountain") was a Flemish-origined Hanseatic family of merchants, bankers and senators in Hamburg, with branches in London, Livorno and other European cities. The family was descended from the brothers Hans and Paul Berenberg from Antwerp, who came as Protestant refugees to the city-republic of Hamburg following the Fall of Antwerp in 1585 and who established what is now Berenberg Bank in Hamburg in 1590. The Berenbergs were originally cloth merchants and became involved in merchant banking in the 17th century. Having existed continuously since 1590, Berenberg Bank is the world's oldest surviving merchant bank.
The Berenberg banking family became extinct in the male line with Elisabeth Berenberg (1749–1822); she was married to Johann Hinrich Gossler, who became a co-owner of the bank in 1769. From the late 18th century, the Gossler family, as owners of Berenberg Bank, rose to great prominence in Hamburg, and was widely considered one of Hamburg's two most prominent families, along with the related Amsinck family. A branch of the family was later ennobled by Prussia as Barons of Berenberg-Gossler (Hamburg was a republic and had no nobility). Several members of the Berenberg and Gossler families served in the Senate of Hamburg from 1735, and Elisabeth Berenberg's grandson Hermann Gossler became head of state of the city-republic. Richard J. Evans describes the family as one of Hamburg's "great business families." The Gossler Islands in Antarctica are named for the family. Elisabeth Berenberg and Johann Hinrich Gossler presently have descendants with names including (Berenberg-)Gossler, Paus, Bernstorff and other names.
Members of the Berenberg family have founded several other companies. A London branch of the Berenberg family were prominent merchants in the West Indies trade from the 17th century and co-founded the London firm Meyer & Berenberg. Berenberg-Gossler & Partner was Hamburg's leading corporate law firm and later merged into the current law firm Taylor Wessing.Compagnie van De Moucheron
The Compagnie van De Moucheron (Company of De Moucheron) was a pre-company and precursor of the Verenigde Oost Indische Compagnie from the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands that was founded by Balthazar de Moucheron, a ship owner from Antwerp in the Southern Netherlands. After the fall of Antwerp he moved his business to Zeeland. The fleet of the Compagnie van De Moucheron was made up of three ships, 'Ram', 'Schaap' (Sheep) and the pinasse 'Lam' (Lamb) and was headed by Joris van Spilbergen. Its fleet left on 5 May 1601 and returned to the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands in 1604.Dutch Revolt
The Dutch Revolt (1568–1648) was the revolt of the northern, largely Protestant Seven Provinces of the Low Countries against the rule of the Roman Catholic Habsburg King Philip II of Spain, hereditary ruler of the provinces. The northern provinces (Netherlands) eventually separated from the southern provinces (present-day Belgium and Luxembourg), which continued under Habsburg Spain until 1714.
The religious "clash of cultures" built up gradually but inexorably into outbursts of violence against the perceived repression of the Habsburg Crown. These tensions led to the formation of the independent Dutch Republic, whose first leader was William the Silent (William of Orange), followed by several of his descendants and relations. This revolt was one of the first successful secessions in Europe, and led to one of the first European republics of the modern era, the United Provinces.
King Philip was initially successful in suppressing the rebellion. In 1572, however, the rebels captured Brielle and the rebellion resurged. The northern provinces became independent, first in 1581 de facto, and in 1648 de jure. During the revolt, the United Provinces of the Netherlands, better known as the Dutch Republic, rapidly grew to become a world power through its merchant shipping and experienced a period of economic, scientific, and cultural growth. The Southern Netherlands (situated in modern-day: southern Netherlands,
Belgium, Luxembourg and northern France) remained under Spanish rule. The continuous heavy-handed rule by the Habsburgs in the south caused many of its financial, intellectual, and cultural elite to flee north, contributing to the success of the Dutch Republic. The Dutch imposed a rigid blockade on the southern provinces that prevented Baltic grain from relieving famine in the southern towns, especially from 1587 to 1589. By the end of the war in 1648, large areas of the Southern Netherlands had been lost to France, which had, under the guidance of Cardinal Richelieu and Louis XIII of France, allied itself with the Dutch Republic in the 1630s against Spain.
The first phase of the conflict can be considered the Dutch War of Independence. The focus of the latter phase was to gain official recognition of the already de facto independence of the United Provinces. This phase coincided with the rise of the Dutch Republic as a major power and the founding of the Dutch Empire.Economy of the Netherlands from 1500–1700
The history of the Dutch economy has faced several ups and downs throughout the 16th and 17th centuries. It has undergone moments of prosperity and was once noted as one of the most dominant world powers in the 17th Century. It was heavily involved in the Atlantic Trade that had a large impact on its economy and growth. There is no clear definition for the Atlantic Trade, but researchers have concluded it may be referred to as: Trade with the New World, and trade with Asia through the Atlantic including, but not limited to, imperialism and slavery based undertakings. Among the most important of these traders were the Dutch and the British. It is noted that these two nations experienced a more rapid growth than most due to their non-absolutist political institutions. This is only one of many benefactors that played a large role in the shaping in the growth and economic change within the Netherlands that occurred throughout the 16th and 17th Centuries.Emmanuel Adriaenssen
Emmanuel Adriaenssen (c. 1554 in Antwerp – buried 27 February 1604 in Antwerp) was a Flemish lutenist, composer and master of music. He authored he influential Pratum Musicum, which contains scores for lute solos, and more importantly settings of madrigals for multiple lutes and different ensembles involving lutes and voices. He also had an important influence on the next generation of lutists through his activity as a teacher of music in his own music school.Hieronimo Custodis
Hieronimo Custodis (also spelled Hieronymus, Heironimos) (died c. 1593) was a Flemish portrait painter active in England in the reign of Elizabeth I.A native of Antwerp, Custodis was one of many Flemish artists of the Tudor court who had fled to England to avoid the persecution of Protestants in the Spanish Netherlands. He is thought to have arrived in England sometime after the fall of Antwerp to the forces of the Duke of Parma in 1585.Three English portraits by Custodis signed and dated 1589 firmly establish him as resident in London by that year. Sir Roy Strong attributes a portrait of Sir Henry Bromley dated 1587 to Custodis, suggesting an earlier arrival, and has verified the recent attribution of a portrait of the young Edward Talbot dated 1586 to Custodis. In 1591, he was living in the parish of St Bodolph-without-Aldgate where "Jacobus the son of Ieronyme Custodis A Paynter" was baptised on 2 March. He is assumed to have died in 1593, as all of his known works are dated between 1589 and 1593, and his widow remarried that year.Custodis's unsigned but dated works are identified by "palaeographical peculiarities" in the inscriptions which can be closely matched to those in his signed portraits.Isaac Le Maire
Isaac Le Maire (c. 1558 in Tournai – September 20, 1624 in Egmond aan den Hoef) was a Walloon-born Dutch entrepreneur, investor, and a sizeable shareholder of the Dutch East India Company (VOC). He is best known for his constant strife with the VOC, which ultimately led to the discovery of Cape Horn.
Isaac Le Maire was born in 1558 or 1559 in Tournai. He learned the trade from his merchant brother-in-law Jacques van de Walle. Isaac had four brothers, three of them were merchants. Already in 1584 he was registered in Antwerp as a wealthy grocer. At the time, he was also captain of the company of the Antwerp militia. He rented the house of Bourgognien Schilt, but in 1585 after the fall of Antwerp he fled to the northern Netherlands.
In 1585 he settled in Amsterdam. He was married in Antwerp to Maria Jacobsdr. Walraven and they had 22 children, and one of them, his son Jacob, would go down in history as an explorer. In 1641 his son Maximiliaen became the first VOC chief of Dejima in Japan.
Initially, Isaac Le Maire was the largest shareholder in the VOC.Joachim van den Hove
Joachim van den Hove (1567? – 1620) was a Flemish/Dutch composer and a lutenist. He composed works for lute solo and for lute and voice. Moreover, he wrote many arrangements for lute of Italian, French, and English vocal and instrumental music, and of Flemish/Dutch folk music. Van den Hove disputes with Adriaensen and Vallet the distinction of being the most important representative of 17th century Dutch lute music.
Van den Hove was born in Antwerp, where his father, Peeter van den Hove, was a respected musician. After the Fall of Antwerp in 1584–5 the family fled north. From at least 1593 to 1616 Joachim lived in Leiden, where in 1594 he married Anna Rodius (originally "de Roy") from Utrecht. There he was a lutenist and also lute teacher. His most famous pupils were the young Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange and Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange.
Van den Hove's financial fortunes declined and in 1616 his properties were confiscated. Before his Leiden home was sold by public auction in 1618, he had fled to The Hague, where he died in poverty in 1620.Published collections of his works are:
Florida, sive cantiones (Utrecht, 1601)
Delitiae Musicae (Utrecht, 1612)
Praeludia testudinis (Leiden, 1616)Works in manuscripts:
Christoph Herold - Lautenbuch, 1602
Joachim van den Hove - Lautenbuch, 1615 (Autograph)
Ernst Schele - Tabulaturbuch, 1619Joos van Winghe
Joos van Winghe (1544–1603) was a Flemish Renaissance painter.Nicolaes Jonghelinck
Nicolaes Jonghelinck (1517-1570) was a merchant banker and art collector in Antwerp. He is best known for his collection of paintings by Pieter Bruegel the Elder and Frans Floris. His brother was the sculptor Jacques Jonghelinck.
In the archives of Antwerp, a writ of guarantee by Jonghelinck, dated 15 February 1566 and declaring to be worth 16.000 guilders, for his friend Daniel de Bruyne lists "sixteen paintings by Bruegel, among them the Tower of Babel, a painting with the title Christ carrying the Cross, the twelve Months of the Year, and all the others whichever they might be". Jonghelinck probably commissioned these paintings though that has not been recorded, for his fortified country house outside of Antwerp that was designed by his brother Jacques in 1547 and sold in 1554 to Nicolaes. It can still be seen on a map dated 1582 though it was destroyed during the Fall of Antwerp.Pallas-class frigate (1808)
The Pallas class constituted the standard design of 40-gun frigates of the French Navy during the Napoleonic Empire period. Jacques-Noël Sané designed them in 1805, as a development of his seven-ship Hortense class of 1802, and over the next eight years the Napoléonic government ordered in total 62 frigates to be built to this new design. Of these some 54 were completed, although ten of them were begun for the French Navy in shipyards within the French-occupied Netherlands or Italy, which were then under French occupation; these latter ships were completed for the Netherlands or Austrian navies after 1813.Philippe van Lansberge
Johan Philip Lansberge (25 August 1561 – 8 December 1632) was a Dutch Calvinist Minister, astronomer and Mathematician. His name is sometimes written Lansberg, and his first name is sometimes given as Philip or Johannes Philippus. He published under the Latin name Philippus Lansbergius.
He is best known as the author of a set of astronomical tables, Tabulae motuum coelestium perpetuæ, for predicting planetary positions. These were later found to contain certain errors, in part because he (erroneously) did not accept Kepler's discovery of elliptical orbits. He served as a Protestant clergyman.
Martinus Hortensius was one of his students, and Landsberge subsequently collaborated with his former pupil.
He was born in Ghent in modern-day Belgium in 1561. He grew up in France and studied in England. After the Fall of Antwerp in 1585, he moved to the northern part of the Netherlands. He stayed in Leiden for a short time, and then he went to Goes to become a preacher. Lansbergen lived there until 1613. In that year, he was fired because he did not agree with a mayoral election. The fifty-two-year-old Lansbergen decided to move to Middelburg to devote himself to astronomical research, which he did until the end of his life.
Lansbergen supported the heliocentric theory of Copernicus, who claimed that the Earth revolves around the Sun. This theory was controversial in both Catholic and Protestant circles, where the geocentric theory had been more widely held.
He married Sara Lievaerts in 1586 and they had six sons and four daughters. He had a great reputation, because of his rare knowledge and expertise. Not only in matters of the church, but even more in mathematics and physics. In 1611, his son Pieter (1587) became a preacher in Goes. Jacob, another son, moved to Goes as well, but became a medical doctor. Lansbergens' oldest son, also called Philippus, was a preacher in Kloetinge and died there in 1647.
Lansbergen wrote several books. One of those, "Considerations about the daily and yearly movements of the Earth", became a best-seller. One could say that Lansbergen was the first Dutch author that wrote a popular book about the movements of the planets around the Sun.
Kepler and Galileo, who lived in the same period, were very interested in the work of Lansbergen. Based on his tables, they could predict the movements of the planets more accurately. (citation needed)
Lansbergen probably lived in the "Spanjaardstraat" in Middelburg. He had frequent contacts with sympathizers, like the Dutch poet Jacob Cats. Cats wrote three poems about the "very wise, famous, and honored Philippus Lansbergen".
He died in Middelburg in December 1632.
The Philippus Lansbergen Public Observatory in Middleburg is named after him, and so is the lunar crater Lansberg.Siege of Lier (1582)
The Siege of Lier of 1582, also known as the Capture of Lier or Betrayal of Lier, took place between 1 and 2 August 1582 at Lier, near Antwerp (present-day in the Belgian province of Antwerp, Flemish Region, Belgium), during the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo-Spanish War (1585–1604). On 2 August the Spanish army commanded by Governor-General Don Alexander Farnese, Prince of Parma (Spanish: Alejandro Farnesio), supported by part of the States garrison (a discontent group of Scottish troops led by Captain William Semple), captured and seized the town, defeating the rest of the Dutch, English and German troops under Governor of Lier. All garrison was killed or captured. The news of the Spanish success at Lier produced a great shock to the States-General at Antwerp, where the sense of insecurity was obvious, and many of the Protestant citizens sold their houses, fleeing to the north of Flanders.
The consequences of Semple's action were considerable because Liere was a strategic position, regarded as "the bulwark of Antwerp and the key of the Duchy of Brabant". The betrayal of Bruges in the following year by Colonel Boyd was probably prompted by his countryman's example. After a short visit to Prince Alexander Farnese at Namur, Semple was sent to Spain with a strong recommendation to King Philip II of Spain, who according to the Italian Jesuit Famiano Strada, handsomely rewarded him.The next Spanish success was on 17 November, when the Spaniards led by Johann Baptista von Taxis (Spanish: Juan Baptista de Taxis) captured Steenwijk (taken by Dutch States forces on 23 February 1581) forcing the Protestant troops to surrender.Spanish Netherlands
Spanish Netherlands (Spanish: Países Bajos Españoles; Dutch: Spaanse Nederlanden; French: Pays-Bas espagnols, German: Spanische Niederlande) was the collective name of States of the Holy Roman Empire in the Low Countries, held in personal union by the Spanish Crown (also called Habsburg Spain) from 1556 to 1714. This region comprised most of the modern states of Belgium and Luxembourg, as well as parts of northern France, southern Netherlands, and western Germany with the capital being Brussels.
The Imperial fiefs of the former Burgundian Netherlands had been inherited by the Austrian House of Habsburg from the extinct House of Valois-Burgundy upon the death of Mary of Burgundy in 1482. The Seventeen Provinces formed the core of the Habsburg Netherlands which passed to the Spanish Habsburgs upon the abdication of Emperor Charles V in 1556. When part of the Netherlands separated to form the autonomous Dutch Republic in 1581, the remainder of the area stayed under Spanish rule until the War of the Spanish Succession.Veerse Compagnie
The Veerse Compagnie (Company of Veere) was a pre-company from the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands that was founded by Balthazar de Moucheron, a ship owner from Antwerp in the Southern Netherlands. After the fall of Antwerp he moved his business to Zeeland. The fleet of the Veerse Compagnie was made up of two ships; 'Leeuw' (Lion) and 'Leeuwin' (Lioness) and was headed by Cornelis Houtman. Its fleet left from Veere on 28 March 1598 and returned to the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands in 1600.Willem Jansz Verstraeten
Willem Jansz Verstraeten (c. 1590s – 1655) was a Dutch Golden Age tin-glazed maiolica maker in Haarlem.
Willem Verstraeten was the son of the Antwerp merchant Jean de la Rue, who left Antwerp probably soon after the Fall of Antwerp and moved to the Northern Netherlands, translating his French name to the Dutch "Jan Verstraeten". He moved to Haarlem in 1590. Willem was probably born shortly afterwards in Haarlem, and his father sent him to Delft 1613, where Willem worked at "De Porceleyne Schotel" factory. In 1617 Willem is documented there as a "contractant". In 1625 however he was back in Haarlem where he opened his own porcelain factory "Geleyer Plateelbackerije" in the Begijnhof where he made "Hollands Porceleyn". He must have been able to grow his business quickly, because in 1628 "Willem Jansz op het Begijnhof" was mentioned by Samuel Ampzing as a noted "plateel" manufacturer. The archives of Delft and Haarlem have documents that reflect various aspects of his life and that of his sons, most notably Gerrit who continued his business in Haarlem. Willem was a successful businessman and held leading positions in the Haarlem Guild of St. Luke from 1638. He died in Haarlem in 1655.Zacharias Heyns
Zacharias Heyns (1566 – 1630) was a Netherlands printer and engraver from the Northern Netherlands.
Heyns was born in Antwerp as the son of the schoolmaster Peeter Heyns, who was known for his French schoolbooks and translations from Dutch to French and back. The Heyns family moved to Frankfurt after the fall of Antwerp and when the elder Heyns moved to Stade in 1592, Zacharias became a publisher in Amsterdam near the Oude Kerk and married Anne Hureau. His first published works were a few Latin books by Eilhard Lubinus and schoolbooks by his father, and after his father's death he published maps of Holland with poetic comments under them in Den Nederlandtschen Landtspiegel in 1599. A copy of this book was found recently found by the Flevoland archives in a moving box originally from the Rijksdienst voor de Ijsselmeerpolders and won a contest for "archive piece of the year". In Amsterdam he became one of the founding members of the chamber of rhetoric called Wit lavender for which he wrote two plays. He became friends with many Southern Netherlands refugees in Amsterdam and Haarlem, including Karel van Mander and others.
Heyns moved to Zwolle in 1606, where he opened a publishing company located behind what is now the Vrouwenhuis. It is there where he wrote an account of the 1609 international rhetoric contest in Haarlem for Trou moet Blycken. In 1615 and 1616 he wrote poetry for the Schiedam chamber of rhetoric called "De Roode Rosen", and in 1625 he published his poetry in an emblem book which became popular. He died in Zwolle.