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preparations for flight. The envoys were assured by De la
Marck and Treslong that no injury was intended to the
citizens or to private property, but that the overthrow of
Alva's government was to be instantly accomplished. Two
hours were given to the magistrates in which to decide
whether or not they would surrender the town and accept
the authority of De la Marck as Admiral of the Prince of
Orange. They employed the two hours thus granted in
making an ignominious escape. Their example was followed

* Bor states their numbers at two hundred and fifty, vi. 366. Hoofd
follows Bor. Mendoza, f. Ill, says there were eleven hundred in all. The
Duke of Alva, in his letter of 26th April, 1572 (No. 1107, Correspondance da
Philippe II.), estimates them at between seven and eight hundred. Benti-
Toglio, lib. v. 88, says one thousand.

t Bor, Hoofd, Van Wyn. J Hoofd, vi. 218.


by most of the townspeople. When the invaders, at the
expiration of the specified term, appeared under the walls
of the city, they found a few inhabitants of the lower class
gazing at them from above, but received no official commu-
nication from any source.*

The whole rebel force was now divided into two parties,
one of which, under Treslong, made an attack upon the
southern gate, while the other, commanded by the Admiral,
advanced upon the northern. Treslong, after a short struggle,
succeeded in forcing his entrance, and arrested, in doing
so, the governor of the city, just taking his departure. De
la Marck and his men made a bonfire at the northern gate,
and then battered down the half-burned portal with the end
of an old mast.i- Thus rudely and rapidly did the Nether-
land patriots conduct their first successful siege. The two
parties, not more perhaps than two hundred and fifty men
in all, met before sunset in the centre of the city, and the
foundation of the Dutch Eepublic was laid. The weary
spirit of freedom, so long a fugitive over earth and sea, had
at last found a resting-place, which rude and even ribald
hands had prepared.

The panic created by the first appearance of the fleet had
been so extensive that hardly fifty citizens had remained in
the town. The rest had all escaped, with as much property
as they could carry away. The Admiral, in the name of the
Prince of Orange, as lawful stadholder of Philip, took formal
possession of an almost deserted city. No indignity was
offered to the inhabitants of either sex, but as soon as the
conquerors were fairly established in the best houses of the
place, the inclination to plunder the churches could no longer
be restrained. The altars and images were all destroyed,
the rich furniture and gorgeous vestments appropriated to-
private use. Adam van Haren appeared on his vessel's deck
attired in a magnificent high mass chasuble. Treslong
thenceforth used no drinking cups in his cabin save the
golden chalices of the sacrament. Unfortunately, their
hatred to popery was not confined to such demonstrations.
Thirteen unfortunate monks and priests, who had been un-
able to effect their escape, were arrested and thrown into
prison, from whence they were taken a few days later, by
order of the ferocious Admiral, and executed under circum-
stances of great barbarity. J

* Bor, vi. 366. Hoofd, vi. 218. t Bor, vi. 366. Hoofd, Wagenaer.

J Bor, vi. 366, 367. Van Wyn op Wagenaer, vi. 84, note 10.


The news of this important exploit spread with great
rapidity. Alva, surprised at the very moment of venting
his rage on the butchers and grocers of Brussels, deferred
this savage design in order to deal with the new difficulty.
He had certainly not expected such a result from the ready
compliance of Queen Elizabeth with his request. His rage
was excessive ; the triumph of the people, by whom he was
cordially detested, proportionably great. The punsters of
Brussels were sure not to let such an opportunity escape
them, for the name of the captured town was susceptible of
a quibble, and the event had taken place upon All Fools'

" Ou April's Fool's Day,
Duke Alva's spectacles were stolen away,"

became a popular couplet.* The word spectacles, in Flemish
as well as the name of the suddenly surprised city, being
Brill, this allusion to the Duke's loss and implied purblind-
ness was not destitute of ingenuity. A caricature, too, was
extensively circulated, representing De la Marck stealing the
Duke's spectacles from his nose, while the Governor was
supposed to be uttering his habitual expression whenever
any intelligence of importance was brought to him : No es
nada, no es nada 'Tis nothing, 'tis nothing, f

The Duke, however, lost not an instant in attempting to
repair the disaster. Count Bossu, who had acted as stad-
holder of Holland and Zeland, under Alva's authority, since
the Prince of Orange had resigned that office, was ordered
at once to recover the conquered sea-port, if possible. \

Hastily gathering a force of some ten companies from the
garrison of Utrecht, some of which very troops had recently
and unluckily for government, been removed from Brill to
that city, the Count crossed the Sluis to the island of Voorn
upon Easter day, and sent a summons to the rebel force to
surrender Brill. The patriots being very few in number,
were at first afraid to venture outside the gates to attack the
much superior force of their invaders. A carpenter, how-
ever, who belonged to the city, but had long been a partisan
of Orange, dashed into the water with his axe in his hand,
and swimming to the Niewland sluice, hacked it open with
ft few vigorous strokes. The sea poured in at once, making

* Eor, vi. 366 : " Den eersten dag van April

Verloos Due d'Alva zijncn Bril."
t \*"*u Due d'Albe, i. 403. Van der Vynckt, ii. 142. + Bor, vi. 367.


the approach to the city upon the north side impossible.
Bossu then led his Spaniards along the Niewland dyke to
the southern gate, where they were received with a warm
discharge of artillery, which completely staggered them.
Meantime, Treslong and Kobol had, in the most daring
manner, rowed out to the ehips which had brought the
enemy to the island, cut some adrift, and set others on fire.
The Spaniards at the southern gate caught sight of their
blazing vessels, saw the sea rapidly rising over the dyke,
became panic-struck at being thus enclosed between fire and
water, and dashed off in precipitate retreat along the slippery
causeway and through the slimy and turbid waters, which
were fast threatening to overwhelm them. * Many were
drowned or smothered in their flight, but the greater por-
tion of the force effected their escape in the vessels which
still remained within reach. This danger averted, Admiral
de la Marck summoned all the inhabitants, a large number
of whom had returned to the town after the capture had
been fairly established, and required them, as well as all the
population of the island, to take an oath of allegiance to
the Prince of Orange as stadholder for his Majesty, t

The Prince had not been extremely satisfied with the
enterprise of De la Marck. + He thought it premature,
and doubted whether it would be practicable to hold the
place, as he had not yet completed his arrangements in
Germany, nor assembled the force with which he intended
again to take the field. More than all, perhaps, he had
little confidence in the character of his Admiral. Orange
was right in his estimate of De la Marck. It had not been
that rover's design either to take or to hold the place ; and
after the descent had been made, the ships victualled, the
churches plundered, the booty secured, and a few monks
murdered, he had given orders for the burning of the town,
and for the departure of the fleet. The urgent solicitations
of Treslong, however, prevailed, with some difficulty, over
De la Marck's original intentions. It is to that bold and
intelligent noble, therefore, more than to any other indi-
vidual, that the merit of laying this corner-stone of the Ba-

* "Door slyk, door slop, door dik en dun," are the homely but vigorous
expressions of the Netherland chronicler. Bor, vi. 367.
t Ibid., vi. 368. Hoofd, vi. 220.
J Bor, vi. 367, Hoofd, vi. 221. Wagenaer, vi. 348.
Bor, vi. 366. Hoofd. v. 219. Wagenaer, vi. 345, 346.



tavian commonwealth belv ngs.* The enterprise itself -was
an accident, but the quick eye of Treslong saw the possi-
bility of a permanent conquest, where his superior dreamed
of nothing beyond a piratical foray.

Meantime Bossu, baffled in his attempt upon Brill, took
his way towards Rotterdam. It was important that he
should at least secure such other cities as the recent suc-
cess of the rebels might cause to waver in their allegiance.
He found the gates of Rotterdam closed. The authorities
refused to comply with his demand to admit a garrison for
the King. Professing perfect loyalty, the inhabitants very
naturally refused to admit a band of sanguinary Spaniards
to enforce their obedience. Compelled to parley, Bossu
resorted to a perfidious stratagem. He requested permis-
sion for his troops to pass through the city without halting.
This was granted by the magistrates, on condition that only
a corporal's command should be admitted at a time. To
these terms the Count affixed his hand and seal.f With
the admission, however, of the first detachment, a violent
onset was made upon the gate by the whole Spanish force.
The townspeople, not suspecting treachery, were not pre-
pared to make effective resistance. A stout smith, con-
fronting the invaders at the gate, almost singly, with his
sledge-hammer, was stabbed to the heart by Bossu with his
own hand. * The soldiers having thus gained admittance,
rushed through the streets, putting every man to death who
offered the slightest resistance. Within a few minutes four
hundred citizens were murdered. The fate of the women,
abandoned now to the outrage of a brutal soldiery, was worse
than death. The capture of Rotterdam is infamous for the
same crimes which blacken the record of every Spanish
triumph in the Netherlands.

The important town of Flushing, on the Isle of Wal-
cheren, was first to vibrate with the patriotic impulse given
by the success at Brill. The Seigneur de Herpt, a warm
partisan of Orange, excited the burghers assembled in the
market-place to drive the small remnant of the Spanish
garrison from the city. A little later upon the same day a
considerable reinforcement arrived before the walls. The
Duke had determined, although too late, to complete the
fortress which had been commenced long before to control

Hoofd, v. 219. t Bor, -d. 36.

t Ibid. Hoofd, vi. 220, 221. | Meteren, 66. Bor, Hoofd, ubi sujv


the possession of this important position at the mouth of
the western Scheld. The troops who were to resume this
too long intermitted work ...arrived just in time to witness
the expulsion of their comrades. De Herpt easily persuaded
the burghers that the die was cast, and that their only hope
lay in a resolute resistance. The people warmly acquiesced,
while a half-drunken, half-witted fellow in the crowd va-
liantly proposed, in consideration of a pot of heer, to ascend
the ramparts and to discharge a couple of pieces of artillery
at the Spanish ships. The offer was accepted, and the
vagabond, merrily mounting the height, discharged the
guns. Strange to relate, the shot thus fired by a lunatic's
hand put the invading ships to flight. A sudden panic
seized the Spaniards, the whole fleet stood away at once in
the direction of Middelburg, and were soon out of sight.*

The next day, however, Antony of Bourgoyne, governor
under Alva for the Island of Walcheren, made his appear-
ance in Flushing. Having a high opinion of his own ora-
torical powers, he came with the intention of winning back
with his rhetoric a city which the Spaniards had thus far
been unable to recover with their cannon. The great bell
was rung, the whole population assembled in the market-
place, and Antony, from the steps of the town-house, de-
livered a long oration, assuring the burghers, among other
asseverations, that the King, who was the best-natured Prince
in all Christendom, would forget and forgive their offences if
they returned honestly to their duties, f

The effect of the Governor's eloquence was much dimi-
nished, however, by the interlocutory remarks of De Herpt
and a group of his adherents. They reminded the people
of the King's good nature, of his readiness to forget and
to forgive, as exemplified by the fate of Horn and Egmont,
of Berghen and Montigny, and by the daily and almost
hourly decrees of the Blood-Council. Each well-rounded
period of the Governor was greeted with ironical cheers.
The oration was unsuccessful. " Oh, citizens, citizens ! "
cried at last the discomfited Antony, " ye know not what ye
do. Your blood be upon your own heads ; the responsi-
bility be upon your own hearts for the fires which are to
consume your cities and the desolation which is to sweep
your land ! " The orator at this impressive point was in-

* Bor, vi. 369, 370. Hoofd, vi. 222. f Bor, vi. 370. Hoofd, vi. 222.

x 2


terrupted, and most unceremoniously hustled out of the
city. The government remained in the hands of the pa-

The party, however, was not so strong in soldiers as in
spirit. No sooner, therefore, had they established their re-
bellion to Alva as an incontrovertible fact, than they sent off
emissaries to the Prince of Orange, and to Admiral De la
Marck at Brill. Finding that the inhabitants of Flushing
were willing to provide arms and ammunition, De la Marck
readily consented to send a small number of men, bold and
experienced in partisan warfare, of whom he had now col-
lected a larger number than he could well arm or maintain
in his present position, f

The detachment, two hundred in number, in three small
vessels,} set sail accordingly from Brill for Flushing ; and a
wild crew they were, of reckless adventurers under com-
mand of the bold Treslong. The expedition seemed a fierce
but whimsical masquerade. Every man in the little fleet
was attired in the gorgeous vestments of the plundered
churches, in gold- embroidered cassocks, glittering mass-
garments, or the more sombre cowls and robes of Capuchin
friars. So sped the early standard-bearers of that ferocious
liberty which had sprung from the fires in which all else for
which men cherish their fatherland had been consumed. So
swept that resolute but fantastic band along the placid
estuaries of Zeland, waking the stagnant waters with their
wild beggar-songs and cries of vengeance.

That vengeance found soon a distinguished object.
Pacheco, the chief engineer of Alva, who had accompanied
the Duke ,in his march from Italy, who had since earned
a world-wide reputation as the architect of the Antwerp
citadel, had been just despatched in haste to Flushing t<>
complete the fortress whose construction had been so long
delayed. Too late for his work, too soon for his safety, the
ill-fated engineer had arrived almost at the same moment
with Treslong and his crew.|| He had stepped on shore,
entirely ignorant of all which had transpired, expecting to
be treated with the respect due to the chief commandant
of the place, and to an officer high in the confidence of the
Governor-General. He found himself surrounded by an

Bor, vi. 370. Hoofd, vi. 222. t Bor, vi. 370. t Wagenaer, vi. 351.
I Bor, vi. 370. Wagenaer, vi. 351. Van Wyn op Wagenaer, vi. 84, toq.
Bor, vi. 370. Hoofd, vi. 224, 225.

1572.] FATE OF PACHECO. 309

indignant and threatening mob. The unfortunate Italian
understood not a word of the opprobrious language ad-
dressed to him, but he easily comprehended that the
authority of the Duke was overthrown. Observing De Ryk,
a distinguished partisan officer and privateersman of Am-
sterdam, whose reputation for bravery and generosity was
known to him, he approached him, and drawing a seal ring
from his finger, kissed it, and handed it to the rebel chief-
tain.* By this dumb-show he gave him to understand that he
relied upon his honor for the treatment due to a gentleman.
De Ryk understood the appeal, and would willingly have as-
sured him, at least, a soldier's death, but he was powerless to
<lo so. He arrested him, that he might be protected from the
fury of the rabble ; but Treslong, who nov commanded in
Flushing, was especially incensed against the founder of the
Antwerp citadel, and felt a ferocious desire to avenge his
brother's murder upon the body of his destroyer's favorite.f
Pacheco was condemned to be hanged upon the very day
of his arrival. Having been brought forth from his prison,
he begged hard, but not abjectly, for his life. He offered a
heavy ransom, but his enemies were greedy for blood, not
for money. It was, however, difficult to find an execu-
tioner. The city hangman was absent, and the prejudice
of the country and the age against the vile profession had
assuredly not been diminished during the five horrible years
of Alva's administration. Even a condemned murderer,
who lay in the town-gaol, refused to accept his life in re-
compense for performing the office. It should never be
said, he observed, that his mother had given birth to a
hangman. When told, however, that the intended victim
was a Spanish officer, the malefactor consented to the task
with alacrity, on condition that he might afterwards kill any
man who taunted him with the deed.

Arrived at the foot of the gallows, Pacheco complained
bitterly of the disgraceful death designed for him. He pro-
tested loudly that he came of a house as noble as that of
Egmont or Horn, and was entitled to as honorable an ex-
ecution as theirs had been. " The sword ! the sword ! "
he frantically exclaimed, as he struggled with those who
guarded him. His language was not understood, but the

* Hoofd, who afterwards received the ring as a present from Simon da
Ryk, son of the officer to whom it was givcii by the unfortunate Don Pedro
Pacheeo. t Bor, vi. 370.


names of Egmont and Horn inflamed still more highly the
rage of the rabble, while his cry for the sword was falsely
interpreted by a rude fellow who had happened to possess
himself of Pacheco's rapier, at his capture, and who now
paraded himself with it at the gallow's foot. " Never fear
for your sword, Senor," cried this ruffian ; " your sword is
safe enough, and in good hands. Up the ladder with you,
Senor ; you have no further use for your sword."

Pacheco, thus outraged, submitted to his fate. He
mounted the ladder with a steady step, and was hanged
between two other Spanish officers.* So perished miserably
a brave soldier, and one of the most distinguished engineers
of his time ; a man whose character and accomplishments
had certainly merited for him a better fate.f But while we
stigmatize as it deserves the atrocious conduct of a few
Netherland partisans, we should remember who first un-
chained the demon of international hatred in this unhappy
land, nor should it ever be forgotten that the great leader
of the revolt, by word, proclamation, example, by entreaties,
threats, and condign punishment, constantly rebuked, and
to a certain extent restrained, the sanguinary spirit by which
some of his followers disgraced the noble cause which they
had espoused.

Treslong did not long remain in command at Flushing.
An officer, high in the confidence of the Prince, Jerome van
't Zeraerts, now arrived at Flushing, with a commission to
be Lieutenant- Governor over the whole isle of Walcheren.
He was attended by a small band of French infantry, while
at nearly the same time the garrison was further strength-
ened by the arrival of a large number of volunteers from
England. J

* Bor, vi. 370. Hoofd, vi. 225. Wagenaer, vi. 352. It is erroneously
slated by Bentivoglio, lib. v. 92, and Cabrera, lib. ix. 705, that Pachcco was
beheaded. Both these writers follow Mendoza. Tassis differs from all other
historians. " Sed snspensum sublime pcdibus vita privarunt," J. B. ds Tassis,
Comment, de Tumvdtibus Belgicis, xxvi. 149. Tliere is no doubt, however,
that the unfortunate gentleman was hanged by the neck, and not by the legs.

1 It was said, in extenuation of the barbarous punishment which was
Inflicted upon him, that a paper had been found upon his person, containing a
list of a large number of persons in the Netherlands whom the Duke of Alva
had doomed to immediate execution. The fact is stated in the " Petition
to the King." Bor, vi. 348369. Hoofd, vi. 225. Metereu, 71. Coropar
Wagenaer, vi. 352, 353; Van Wyn op Wagenaer, vi. 89, 90.

t Bor, vi. 371.


Municipal revolution throughout Holland and Zelaud Characteristics of th
movement in various places Sonoy commissioned by Orange as Governor
of North Holland Theory of the provisional government Instructions of
the Prince to his officers Oath prescribed Clause of toleration Surprise
of Mons by Count Louis Exertions of Antony Oliver Details of the cap-
ture Assembly of the citizens Speeches of Genlis and of Count Louis
Effect of the various movements upon Alva Don Frederic ordered to in-
vest Moiis The Duke's impatience to retire Arrival of Medina Cosli His
narrow escape Capture of the Lisbon fleet Affectation of cordiality
between Alva and Medina Concessions by King and Viceroy on the subject
of the tenth penny Estates of Holland assembled, by summons of Orange,
at Dort Appeals from the Prince to this congress for funds to pay his
newly-levied army Theory of the provisional States' assembly Source and
nature of its authority Speech of St. Aldegonde Liberality of the estates
and the provinces Pledges exchanged between the Prince's representative
and the congress Commission to De la Marck ratified Virtual dictator-
ship of Orange Limitation of his power by his own act Count Louis at
Mons Reinforcements led from France by Genlis Rashness of that officer
His total defeat Orange again in the field Roermond taken Excesses of
the patriot army Proclamation of Orange, commanding respect to all per-
sonal and religious rights His reply to the Emperor's summons His pro-
gress in the Netherlands Hopes entertained from France Reinforcements
under Coligny promised to Orange by Charles IX. The Massacre of St.
Bartholomew The event characterized Effect in England, in Rome, and
in other parts of Europe Excessive hilarity of Philip Extravagant enco-
mium bestowed by him upon Charles IX. Order sent by Philip to put all
French prisoners in the Netherlands to death Secret correspondence of
Charles IX. with his envoy in the Netherlands Exultation of the Spaniards
before Mons Alva urged by the French envoy, according to his master's
commands, to put all the Frenchmen in Mons, and those already captured,
to death Effect of the massacre upon the Prince of Orange Alva and
Medina in the camp before Mons Hopelessness of the Prince's scheme to
obtain battle from Alva Romero's encamisada Narrow escape of the
Prince Mutiny and dissolution of his army His return to Holland His
steadfastness Desperate position of Count Louis in Mons Sentiments of
Alva Capitulation of Mons Courteous reception of Count Louis by the
Spanish generals Hypocrisy of these demonstrations Nature of the Mons
capitulation Horrible violation of its terms Noircannes at Mons Esta-
blishment of a Blood-Council in the city Wholesale executions Cruelty
and cupidity of Noircannes Late discovery of the archives of these crimes
Return of the revolted cities of Brabant and Flanders to obedience Sack
of Mechlin by the Spaniards Details of that event.

The example thus set by Brill and Flushing was rapidly
followed. The first half of the year 1 572 was distinguished
by a series of triumphs rendered still more remarkable by
the reverses which followed at its close. Of a sudden,
almost as it were by accident, a small but important sea-


port, the object for which the Prince had so long been
hoping, was secured. Instantly afterward, half the island
of Walcheren renounced the yoke of Alva. Next, Enk-
huizen, the key to the Zuyder Zee, the principal arsenal,
and one of the first commercial cities in the Netherlands,
rose against the Spanish Admiral, and hung out the banner
of Orange on its ramparts.* The revolution effected here
was purely the work of the people of the mariners and
burghers of the city.f Moreover, the magistracy was set

Online LibraryJohn Lothrop MotleyThe rise of the Dutch republic; a history (Volume 2) → online text (page 32 of 55)