Don John of Austria Does His Best To Quell The Dutch Revolt

January 4, 2018

Don Juan of Austria

Don John had had to use a great deal of patience, but at length in January 1578 three thousand of the Spanish troops which he had sent away after the Eternal Edict came back, and without losing a moment he marched from Luxembourg in a north-westerly direction. At Gembloux, just across the Brabant boundary, he fell in with the much more numerous army of the States. Many of its noble officers were at Brussels attending a wedding. The Walloons threw away their arms almost at once. The defeat became a rout. Nivelles, Diest, Thienen, Leuven capitulated; Maastricht was held, like Brussels, where the people insulted the nobles, calling them traitors; Don John did not yet dispose of a sufficient number of troops to attack the capital. Yet the States-General, with Matthew and the Prince of Orange, withdrew to Antwerp.

William of Orange quells the riot of the sectarians while Toulouse is being attacked by Launioy 1578.

What might not have happened had Don John been able to follow up his success! But while the course of events in his Netherlands was once again crying out for speedy decisions, Philip was sitting lost in the disentanglement of his half-brother’s vague projects against England; he suspected him of treason, had his agent Escovedo murdered in Madrid, and instead of reinforcements sent him congratulations. The States-General and the Prince of Orange obtained a respite to put the country in a state of defence.

Pieter Geyl, The Revolt of the Netherlands (1555-1609) (New York: Barnes & Noble, Inc., 1958), 160.

Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 608




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