Hook and Cod wars

The Hook and Cod wars (Dutch: Hoekse en Kabeljauwse twisten) comprise a series of wars and battles in the County of Holland between 1350 and 1490. Most of these wars were fought over the title of count of Holland, but some have argued that the underlying reason was because of the power struggle of the bourgeois in the cities against the ruling nobility.

The Cod faction generally consisted of the more progressive cities of Holland. The Hook faction consisted for a large part of the conservative noblemen.

The origin of the name "Cod" is uncertain, but is most likely a case of reappropriation. Perhaps it derives from the arms of Bavaria, that look like the scales of a fish. The Hook refers to the hooked stick that is used to catch cod. Another possible explanation is that as a cod grows it tends to eat more, growing even bigger and eating even more, thus encapsulating how the noblemen perhaps saw the expanding middle classes of the time.

Hook and Cod wars
Locator County of Holland (1350)
Hook league Cod league

Margaret of Bavaria vs William V

After count William IV was killed in 1345, his sister Margaret inherited the county. She was married to Emperor Louis IV and resided in Bavaria. She appointed their second son William (the later count William V) as her representative.

In 1350, the nobles of Holland asked Margaret to return to Holland. As a reaction, the Cod league was formed on May 23, 1350 by a number of supporters of William. On September 5 of the same year, the Hook league was formed. Soon afterward, these factions clashed, and a civil war began.

Edward III of England, husband of Margaret's sister Philippa, came to her aid, winning a naval engagement off Veere in 1351. A few weeks later the Hooks and their English allies were defeated by William and the Cods at the Battle of Vlaardingen, which ruined Margaret's cause. Edward shortly afterwards changed sides, and the empress saw herself compelled (1354) to come to an understanding with her son, he being recognized as count of Holland and Zeeland, she of Hainaut. Margaret died two years later, leaving William in possession of the entire Holland-Hainaut inheritance (July 1356). William was married to Maud of Lancaster, sister to Blanche of Lancaster.

Jacqueline of Bavaria vs Philip of Burgundy

Although there were a number of smaller fights in the period after 1356, the main battle re-emerged at the death of William VI, Count of Holland and Hainaut in 1417. Both William's brother John and his daughter Jacqueline claimed the county. The Cods chose the side of John, and, after his death, of Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, while the Hooks supported Jacqueline.

The result of these battles and especially of her defeat at the Battle of Brouwershaven, was that Jacqueline was allowed to retain the titles of countess of Hainaut and Holland, but that Philip would rule the county. Philip was named heir to the county, and Jacqueline, who was childless, was not allowed to remarry without Philip's consent.

The treaty became void when Jacqueline remarried in 1432 with Frank van Borssele, and she had to hand her territories over to Burgundy.

The Bishopric of Utrecht vs Burgundy

The period between 1430 and 1450 remained reasonably calm, but when Philip the Good tried to expand his influence into the Bishopric of Utrecht by appointing his natural son David of Burgundy as Bishop, Hook resistance re-emerged in Utrecht. This led to the Siege of Deventer (1456), and two civil wars, (1470-1474) and (1481-1483), concluded in favor of the Cods and Burgundy after the Battle of Westbroek and the Siege of Utrecht (1483).

Frans van Brederode vs Maximilian of Austria

When the House of Burgundy had died out with the death of Mary of Burgundy in 1482, the Hooks revolted one more time against her husband and successor Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor. The revolt was led by Frans van Brederode, but crushed in 1490.[1]

See also


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-12-27. Retrieved 2013-12-26.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

External links

Arnold I, Lord of Egmond

Arnold I of Egmond, in Dutch Arnoud, Arend, or Arent van Egmond, (c. 1337 – 9 April 1409) was Lord of Egmond and IJsselstein.

He was the son of John I of Egmond and his wife, Guida of IJsselstein. From 1372, he was a member of the ministerial council of Albert of Bavaria. In 1394 he founded a Cistercian monastery outside the walls of IJsselstein. In Egmond aan den Hoef he renovated the chapel at the ancestral castle, surrounded the castle with a moat, and had a canal dug to connect it with Alkmaar. In 1396, he participated in the military campaign in West Friesland. In 1398, he was enfeoffed with the Lordships of Ameland and De Bilt. He was commander of the Dutch troops who were tasked with stabilizing Frisia. There was a dispute with Count William VI of Holland, because Arnold supported the Cod side in the Hook and Cod wars.

Arnold died at the age of 72 and was buried in the monastery at IJsselstein.

Arnold married Jolanthe of Leiningen (d. 24 April 1434, the daughter of Frederick VII of Leiningen-Dagsburg and Jolanthe of Gulik). They had two surviving sons:

John II (c. 1385–1451), his successor

William (c. 1387–1451)

Battle of Brouwershaven

The Battle of Brouwershaven was fought on 13 January 1426 in Brouwershaven, Zeeland. The battle was part of the Hook and Cod wars waged over control of the Low Countries and resulted in a significant victory for Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy.

Battle of Vlaardingen (1351)

There was a civil war in Holland and Hainaut (which was in a personal union with Holland) in 1350 between the Hooks and the Cods. The Hooks were fighting for the Countess Margaret of Hainault, supported by England, while the Cods were fighting for Margaret's son William, who was ruling Holland in name of Margaret. William defeated the Hooks and the English in the Battle of Vlaardingen in 1351.

Battle of Westbroek

The Battle of Westbroek was a battle that occurred on December 26, 1481 between the armies of the prince-bishopric of Utrecht and the county of Holland. It was one of the last battles of the Hook and Cod wars.

That war had already been decided in Holland in favour of the Cods and their Burgundian allies. But in Utrecht, they had lost the power, when Bishop David of Burgundy, who had ruled Utrecht since 1456, was chased there after the outbreak of the Second Utrecht Civil War.

On December 26, 1481, David sent an army of 4-5000 men from Holland in the direction of Utrecht. When they reached the village of Westbroek, they burnt the village to the ground and killed all the inhabitants.

When this news reached Utrecht, an armed mob headed towards Westbroek to take revenge. But when they saw the size of the army of the enemy, they fled back to the city. The Hollanders pursued them and killed everybody they could. No mercy was given and some 1500 Utrechters are said to have been slain.

Coat of arms of Haarlem

The coat of arms of Haarlem is the official symbol of the city of Haarlem. The sword and stars can be found as public decorations throughout the city.

Counts of Hainaut family tree

This is a family tree of the Counts of Hainaut, sometimes spelled though not pronounced Hainault from 1055 to 1432, when the County of Hainaut and the County of Holland were incorporated in the estates of the Duchy of Burgundy, following the end of the Hook and Cod wars. Rulers previous to 1055 are omitted.

Dirk III van Brederode

Dirk III van Brederode (ca. 1308 – Haarlem, 11 November 1377) was lord of Brederode.

He was the son of William van Brederode and grandson of Dirk II van Brederode. His mother was Elisabeth of Cleves (also called Elsbee), a daughter of Diederik II of Cleves. Dirk III was officially named lord of Brederode in 1333 by William III, count of Holland. In 1350/51, during the Hook and Cod wars, Dirk supported the faction of Margaret of Bavaria, but was captured at the battle of Zwartewaal (also called the battle on the Meuse). He was later released in return for a monetary payment.

Dirk III married around 1334 with Beatrix van Heinsberg and Valkenburg, a daughter of Reinoud I van Valkenburg. They had at least four children together:

Reinoud I, 6th lord of Brederode, (1336–1390).

Walraven van Brederode, (1338/1340 – 17 August 1369)

Dirk van Brederode, knight, (1340/1342 – 1387)

William van Brederode, owner of the lordship of Waalwyck (1346–1390)

First Utrecht Civil War

The First Utrecht Civil War (also called the Burgundy-Van Brederode conflict) took place between 1470 and 1474 when the Hook and Cod wars spilled over into the Bishopric of Utrecht.

David of Burgundy, illegitimate son of Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy had been appointed as bishop of Utrecht in 1456 with support of the Cods. The Utrecht chapters, however, had elected the Hook-favoured provost Gijsbrecht van Brederode as bishop. But Philip the Good used force to make David's appointment be accepted.

Nevertheless, opposition against his rule remained, and David of Burgundy even found it safer to leave the city of Utrecht and take up residence in Wijk bij Duurstede. The van Brederode family was at the center of the opposition.

In 1470, David of Burgundy imprisoned Gijsbrecht van Brederode and his brother Reinoud II van Brederode, and had them tortured. This action stirred up the century-old animosity between the Hooks who supported the family van Brederode and the Cods who supported Burgundy. A civil war broke out that lasted until 1474.

The status-quo returned, until a Second Utrecht Civil War broke out in 1481.

Jan van Schaffelaar

Jan van Schaffelaar (c. 1445 – 1482) was a cavalry officer in the duchy of Guelders (or Gelre), the Netherlands. Born in the region of Barneveld in the Veluwe Quarter about 1445, he was in the military service of David of Burgundy, the Bishop of Utrecht during the region's factional war known as the Hook and Cod Wars. He famously jumped to his death to spare his besieged troops.

John V, Lord of Arkel

John V, Lord of Arkel (11 September 1362 in Gorinchem – 25 August 1428 in Leerdam) was Lord of Arkel, Haastrecht and Hagestein and stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland and West Frisia.

He was a son of Lord Otto of Arkel and his wife, Elisabeth of Bar-Pierrepont.

He acquired the Lordship of Haastrecht in 1380 and Hagestein in 1382. When he inherited Arkel from his father in 1396, he became a member of the court council of the Count of Holland.

During the reign of Albert I, the county suffered from a series of conflicts known as the Hook and Cod wars. John V sided with Albert I and the Cods. However, during a campaign in West Frisia, John V came into conflict with Albert's son, William VI, who sided with the Hooks. The murder of Aleid van Poelgeest may also have played a role in their animosity. Albert informed his father that John was no longer a faithful ally and John declared himself independent and refused to participate in further campaigns against the Frisians. This triggered the Arkel War, in which William VI conquered Arkel. John V lost his land and spent the years 1415-1426 in captivity.

John V died in Leerdam in 1428. His son William inherited his claim on the Land of Arkel.

Margaret II, Countess of Hainaut

Margaret II of Avesnes (1311 – 23 June 1356) was Countess of Hainaut and Countess of Holland (as Margaret I) from 1345 to 1356. She was Holy Roman Empress and Queen of Germany by marriage to Emperor Louis IV the Bavarian.

Philip I, Duke of Brabant

Philip I, Duke of Brabant, also known as Philip of Saint Pol (25 July 1404 – Leuven, 4 August 1430), was the younger son of Antoine, Duke of Brabant and Jeanne of Saint-Pol, and succeeded his brother John IV as Duke of Brabant in 1427. He had already been given Saint-Pol and Ligny as an appanage on the death of his grandfather, Waleran III of Luxembourg, Count of Ligny, in 1415 at the Battle of Agincourt.

He commanded the Burgundian forces occupying Paris in 1419, but he returned to Brabant in 1420, where the populace complained of his brother's misadministration. He was then declared ruwaard (regent) of Brabant. In 1421, he was reconciled with his brother and resigned the regency. The citizens were pacified by John's "Nieuw Regiment" in 1422.

During his own reign, Philip was forced to grant concessions to the nobility in 1428. Wary of the rise of his cousin and heir Philip the Good in the Hook and Cod wars, he sought a marital alliance with Louis II, Duke of Anjou, against Burgundy, marrying his daughter Yolande of Anjou.

Because this marriage produced no children, his death in 1430 placed Brabant in the hands of his cousin Philip the Good, the next heir, whilst Saint-Pol and Ligny went to his great-aunt, Joan of Luxembourg, by proximity of blood. His wife Yolande was placed in the guardianship of Philip the Good, until she remarried in 1431 to Francis I, Duke of Brittany.

Second Utrecht Civil War

The Second Utrecht Civil War took place between 1481 and 1483. It was a war between factions of the population of the Bishopric of Utrecht, influenced by the ongoing Hook and Cod wars in Holland. It was also a battle for control over Utrecht between the Dukes of Burgundy in the person of ruling Bishop David of Burgundy, and the Duchy of Cleves who wanted to replace him by Engelbert of Cleves.

Siege of Utrecht (1483)

The Siege of Utrecht took place between June 23 and August 31, 1483 as part of the Hook and Cod wars and the Second Utrecht Civil War.

Treaty of Delft

The Treaty of Delft, also called the Reconciliation of Delft, was signed on 3 July 1428 between Jacqueline of Bavaria and Philip the Good, Count of Flanders and Duke of Burgundy.

The agreement ended hostilities during the Hook and Cod wars in the County of Holland, between the Hooks, supported by England and the Cods supported by the county of Flanders. Based on the terms of the agreement, Jacqueline remained nominally Countess of Holland, Zeeland and Hainaut, but Philip the Good would administer the government of the County of Holland, County of Zeeland, and the County of Hainaut. Moreover, should Jacqueline perish without any offspring to succeed her, Philip the Good would be declared the heir to the throne of the Counties of Holland, Zeeland and Hainaut.

Furthermore, Jacqueline was forbidden to remarry without the consent of Philip.

When Jacqueline married Frank van Borssele without Philips consent in 1432, the treaty was considered broken, and Philip took full control of the 3 counties.

William van Brederode (admiral)

Willem van Brederode (1380 – France 1451) was an admiral-captain and an important partisan of the Hook faction during the Hook and Cod wars.

He was the son of Reinoud I van Brederode and Jolanda van Gennep van der Eem. William was knighted in 1402 by William VI, count of Holland. William was strongly aligned with the Hook faction and supported Jacqueline of Bavaria in er claims on the inheritance of Holland and Zeeland, and he was present at the siege of Haarlem as commander of the fleet situated along the Spaarne river. He lost the naval battle of Wieringen, but managed to secure his freedom through his noble status. He again supported Jacqueline during the siege of Gouda, but this battle was also lost. William died at the age of 71 in France.

William van Brederode married Margaretha van Merwede and Stein, but their marriage remained childless.

Wolfert VI of Borselen

Wolfert VI of Borselen (c. 1433 – 29 April 1486, Saint-Omer) was stadholder of Holland, Friesland and Zeeland, Admiral of the Netherlands outside Flanders and Lord of Veere.

He was the son of Henry II of Borselen, and was able, through his fathers good relations, to marry in 1444 with Princess Maria Stewart, daughter of King James I of Scotland. By his marriage he became Earl of Buchan. They had two sons.

After the death of Mary on 20 March 1465, Wolfert remarried in 1468 with Charlotte of Bourbon-Montpensier (1445–1478), youngest daughter of Louis I, Count of Montpensier. They had two daughters.

In 1464 he was made Marshal of France by Louis XI of France.

In 1466 he became Admiral of the Netherlands outside Flanders (general admiral de la mer d'Artois, Boulonnais, Hollande, Zélande et Frise).

The next year, he became stadholder of Holland and Zeeland, and in 1478 Knight in the Order of the Golden Fleece.

When Wolfert VI of Borselen could no longer control the situation in the Holland and Zeeland, during the Hook and Cod wars in 1479, he was replaced by Joost de Lalaing.

He held his other functions, but when he chose the side of the Flemish Revolt against Maximilian of Austria, he lost all his powers.

Zuylen Castle

Zuylen Castle (Dutch: Slot Zuylen - Dutch pronunciation: [slɔt ˈzœylən]) is a Dutch castle at the village of Oud-Zuilen just north of the city of Utrecht. It is located along the river Vecht at the southern end of the Vechtstreek.

The castle was originally built in the 13th century by lord van Suilen en Anholt as a simple donjon. In 1422 during the Hook and Cod wars the castle was completely demolished. In 1510 rebuilding started. In 1752 the castle was modified for the last time. It holds a tapestry by the Delft carpet weaver Maximiliaan van der Gught. Its past inhabitants include Steven van der Hagen and Belle van Zuylen.



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