1. The Spaniards are coming
Meanwhile, a Spanish army was on the march to the Netherlands, consisting of ten thousand men, Spaniards, Napolitans, and German auxiliaries. Their commander was Fernando Alvarez de Toledo, the third Duke of Alva (1507-1582). Until the present day he has a very bad press in the Netherlands, not wholly without reason, although modern historiography has pointed to some brighter sides of his character, for instance, that he was popular with his soldiers, because he had their interests at heart. But he and the Netherlanders were totally incapable of seeing eye to eye. Dutchmen are, or perhaps rather, conceive of themselves as easy-going, not fanatical, tolerant in religious matters, somewhat materialistic, ready to obey those whoe rule them, but not wanting to be bullied or terrorized; they have also a cosmopolitan outlook, because of their commercial interests.
Alva was a narrow-minded Castilian, aristocratic, contemptuous of merchants, cold to the point of rigidity, authoritarian and puritanical. Add to this that he suffered from a permanent bad humour, plagued as he was by the gout. What is most important in this context: he was an austere Roman Catholic, without even the slightest measure of comprehension for the claims of the Reformation. Confronted with it, he had only one an answer: repression, armed repression, which occasionally caused him to be extremely cruel. It is as though Philip II deliberately had chosen the most unfit man to pacify the Netherlands. His high-handed proceedings led to a full-scale rebellion, developing into a regular war, the so-called `Eighty Years' War'(1568-1648).[i]
2. Preliminary remarks
First of all, it is not my intention to describe the military course of events and the political repercussions accompanying them. The subject of this disquisition is the impact Calvinism had on the Low Countries, and to this I will stick.
A second point, closely connected with the former, is the question of what exactly the war was fought for. Was it either because of freedom - haec libertatis ergo - or was it because of religion - haec religionis ergo. This has been from the very first a moot and hotly debated point. When the Spaniards besieged Leiden in 1574, there was a shortage of money in the city. The city council had emergency paper money printed, with the inscription haec libertatis ergo. This made a Calvinist pastor, Adriaan Jansz Taling, so angry that he raged against it in the Sunday service. It should be religionis ergo; he compared the magistrate to pigs that did not look further than their fodder. The secretary of the council, Jan van Hout, a humanist and a poet, showed his pistol to his neighbour, burgomaster Pieter Adriaensz van der Werff, saying: "Shall I pick him off?". But Van der Werff did not approve of this proposal.[ii] Alva himself was convinced that it was `all about religion'; this talk about freedom and privileges was only a cover-up.
During the nineteenth century there were two historiographical schools. There was a national Calvinistic school, that considered the Netherlands as a Protestant nation, under the guidance and protection of the House of Orange-Nassau, the bulwark of the Reformed religion.[iii] In this vision the Catholics (40 % of the population) did not count for much. Its prophet was Guillaume Groen van Prinsterer, statesman and historian (1801-1876), who stated categorically: "It was above all because of religion that the struggle began; it was above all sometimes only because of religion that it was continued ... Through the fight for free exercize of religion by the Reformed Church the State of the United Netherlands was formed."[iv]
Already during the seventeenth century Hugo Grotius (1583-1645) argued that both freedom and religion were important elements, giving, however, pride of place to the wish to preserve the old laws and privileges. During the nineteenth century a liberal-nationalistic school elaborated this theme. In the vision of Robert Fruin, professor of history at Leiden University and the founder of modern Dutch historiography (1823-1899) the revolt was not about religion; it had broken out because Alva attempted to impose a system of government on the nation that was experienced as alien. This school got the wholehearted support of the American scholar John Lothrop Motley (1814-1877), whose two books The Rise of the Dutch Republic (1856) and The History of the United Netherlands (1860) were influential and became famous.
The Roman Catholic historian Willem Nuyens (1823-1899) had his own reasons to protest against the dominant Protestant idea that the Catholics of the sixteenth century had in fact been traitors, siding with the Spanish tyrant, a stigma then still resting on his co-religionists. He argued convincingly that the large majority of the population of the sixteenth century had been Roman Catholic, and that the Calvinists were a minority. The rebellion would have been impossible without the support of the Catholics. When Alkmaar was besieged by the Spaniards in 1573, the city was successfully defended by its population, of which no more than 5 % was Reformed. Is it conceivaable that such a small group could have manned the walls for so long?
After a century of discussions and after the publication of a whole library, the fruit of assiduous research, a consensus has been reached. The religious was doubtless important, but not only to the Calvinists. The whole nation, fundamentally tolerant as it is, did not want the repression and abhorred the Inquisition. Yet, by the same token, it was deeply indignant about the brutal inroads Alva made on the ancient feudal privileges, in fact, on the way the nation was governed.
3. Alva's opinion of the Netherlanders
To return now to Alva, to him, as I wrote above, it was really `because of religion'. In August 1567 the Spanish regiments crossed the southern frontier. On the 22nd their commander presented himself to the governess, Margaretha of Parma. From the first she did not like him. Because she understood that she would have nothing to say now, she resigned in September. It goes without saying that Alva was appointed in her place. Such a harsh tyrant the Netherlands had never had!
It appears from his behaviour that the new governor considered his subject as a bunch of heretics and traitors to the crown. "It have tamed men of iron," he is reported to have said, "why should I not be able to kneed this people of butter?"[v] Terms like `taming' and `kneeding' demonstrate how dualistic his attitude was; it is evident that he did not have any respect for those kaaskoppen, those `Dutch cheeses'. He billeted his soldiers, the feared tercios, on the citizens of the towns of the southern Netherlands, even in cities where there had been no problems at all. It was meant to cow the population, but it did not help. It was rather counterproductive; soon there incidents with Spanish soldiers.
4. Alva's judicial procedures
Alva also needed a judicial apparatus in order to judge and condemn all those whom he considered as guilty of rebellion. Because he did not trust the sitting judiciary, he instituted a new and special court, the Conseil des troubles, in Dutch the Raad van Beroerten, soon called by the populace the Bloedraad, the `blood council'.[vi] It had a staff of a hundred and seventy. In a few years' time it judged eight thousand and ninehundred and fifty people from all classes of society. Of those more than a thousand were condemned to death and executed; others were imprisoned and fined. Ten thousand accused who had fled the country were sentenced in absentia to confiscation of their goods. Many castles were searched for documents and weapons; Alva had a garrison placed in Orange's castle at Breda, where a great cache of weapons was found. The total of emigrants is estimated at sixty thousand. Naturally, the Blood Council spread fear, but it also hardened the will to resistance.
A special object of Alva's wrath was Orange's eldest son, by Anna van Buren, Philips Willem (1554-1618); this thirteen-year-old boy was then studying at Louvain. He was abducted and brought to Spain. It was hoped that he could take the place of his father as Prince of Orange. He remained a good Catholic and was loyal to the Kings of Spain. However, he once cut down a Spanish nobleman who spoke ill of his father. He never saw his father again and returned to the Netherlands only once, in 1608.
That loyalty to the king meant nothing at all to Alva was proved by the treacherous arrest of Egmond and Horn. Both were loyal subjects of Philip and were good Catholics; they had not taken part in the troubles; both were respected members of the distinguished Order of the Golden Fleece. Moreover, Egmond was a famous general, who had won important victories for Philip II in the war against France. They thought they had nothing to fear. They accepted an invitation by Alva for a banquet in Brussels; on September 9, 1567, they were arrested, imprisoned, judged, and sentenced to death.
Who does not know the scene in Schiller's Don Carlos, where Philip stands at his desk, pondering over the indictment against Egmond. Then he suddenly takes his decision, throwing the act on the pile of the condemned, saying: "The victory of Saint Quentin is long spent; I throw him to the dead.[vii]" This is probably not historical, but nonetheless it comes very near the truth. The two men were publicly beheaded on the Grande Place in Brussels on June 5, 1568. The crowd openly sympathezid with the nobles; many stood weeping. Four days earlier eighteen other nobles had preceded them. Violent anti-Spanish pamphlets began to circulate.
5. Educational policy
The new bishops were neither popular nor influential, viewed as they were as Alva's and Philip's stooges. The Catholic Counter-Reformation made only very slow progress. Since the schools were often the channels through which hereterodox ideas seeped into the population, the bishops wanted above all to cleanse them of undesirable elements. Yet it proved no easy task to replace suspected rectors and teachers by good Catholics. The bishops had in fact no direct authority over the Latin schools in the cities. The city councils acted as the boards of these schools and did not want the bishops to tell them who they should fire and who appoint.[viii] Neither the bishops nor Alva were able to control what happened in the classrooms. As I used to tell my students, when you have closed the classroom door behind you, you are your own master. Thus the aforementioned channels remained open.
6. Taxation policy
Much unrest was caused by Alva's taxation policy. He introduced three new taxes. Nobody loves taxation, least of all on revenues that had always been free. This was exactly what Alva did. The most impopular of the three was the so-called `Tenth penny', the tiende penning. It was the equivalnet of the modern value added tax (VAT): a tax of ten percent was to be paid on all sales. This was a hard blow for a mercantile country (but Alva, as a Castilian nobleman, found commerce something inferior). Moreover, it was feared that the money raised by the new system would be paid to finance a standing army that could keep the Netherlands in check.
7. The outbreak of the Revolt
Orange, still considering himself as a loyal subject of the king, was at first not at all willing to play the role that made him the `Father of the Fatherland'. We still sing in the Wilhelmus, the Dutch national anthem: "I have always honoured the King of Spain." He changed his mind in 1568, when he heard that he had been condemned as a traitor and that his goods were confiscated; he then decided to took action. He did, however, not consider the Netherlands as a sovereign state; still less it was his intention to make the Reformation triumph (he was then still a Roman Catholic, although not a fervent one). What he wanted in the personal line, was first of all to have his goods back, and further to be reinstated as Stadtholder. With regard to the nation, he wanted to rid the country of Alva's Spanish troops. In fact, he intended to protect the king against his helpers. Naturally, he knew very well that Philip II stood squarely behind the governor and his policy, but he would not be put down, neither nationally nor internationally, as a rebel against his lawful sovereign.
Firmly resolved now, Orange set to work in order to organize the resistance. He was well placed to do so; he was an exceptionally able diplomat, whereas he never displayed conspicuous military talents. As count of Nassau he was an important member of the German feudal world; as Prince of Orange he was even a sovereign ruler, considering himself as Philip II's equal. He began with raising considerable amounts of money, for, as is well-known, money is the nerve of war. He also assembled quite a staff, consisting of nobles who had fled the Netherlands. One of these was Philip Marnix, Lord of St.Aldegonde (1540-1598), who used his considerable literary talents to propagate Orange's cause.
Although this Fleming was a convinced Calvinist, his main theme was haec libertatis ergo, because the king had violated the old privileges and customs. Marnix has been wrongly supposed to be the author of what later became the Dutch national anthem. Actually, it is the work of an unknown poet. The Wilhelmus is a very long poem consisting of fifteen stanzas (of which only the first and sixth are sung)[ix]. It portrays Orange as the protector of the people, depicted as `my poor sheep,' against the `tyranny', which he will `drive away' (the first letters of the fifteen stanzas form together Orange's name, Willem Nassov).
8. The first hostilities
Troops were levied, consisting of German and Walloon mercenaries, replenished with hundreds of volunteers, coming from the Netherlands. The strategic plan implied a threefold attack on the Netherlands, to be executed in 1568; one army would attack in the north and a second in Gelderland, while Orange himself would lead the main thrust across the Meuse towards Brussels. This ambitious plan failed. It began, however, propitiously. Orange's brother Louis of Nassau invaded Groningen and defeated its Stadtholder near Heiligerlee on May 23, 1568; both the Stadtholder and count Adolf, another brother of Orange, fell in battle. Alva himself hastened northward with his battle-hardened troops, chased Louis' army over the frontier, and defeated it near Jemmingen on the river Ems on July 21. Louis escaped the massacre by swimming over the river.
The attack on Gelderland did not even materialize. Orange crossed the Meuse on October 7 and penetrated into Brabant. The wily Alva, however, avoided joining battle. The winter was near and the Prince was running out of money. Finally, he was forced to withdraw; he had to sell his silver in order to pay his soldiers. Thus, in the beginning of 1569, both causes, that of freedom and that of religion, looked hopeless, the more so because at the approach of the liberation armies hardly a city had risen against Alva.
9. The Sea Beggars in action
Then, out of the blue, the prospects for both libertas and religio suddenly brigthened. Groups of Dutch exiles, the so-called Watergeuzen, the Sea Beggars, lived in the English channel ports. Another base of the Sea Beggars was the Ems estuary. Both groups were active as freebooters and searobbers, not being dainty in the choice of their methods. In March Queen Elizabeth I suddenly had enough of these unruly bands and ordered them to depart. About twenty-five ships, manned by six hundred men and commanded by count Guillaume Lumey van der Marck (ca. 1542-1578), a first class war criminal, put out to sea, not knowing where to go. Wind and weather pushed them into the Meuse estuary, where they anchored before the small town of Den Briel on the island of Voorne. It was an easy prey for the Sea Beggars, because Alva had withdrawn its Spanish garrison, which he needed elsewhere. Without meeting any resistance they captured the town. This became a historical moment in the history of the Netherlands, for with this feat of arms the Revolt truly began. It was the first of April 1568.[x]
Yet it was not the Revolt's finest hour. Den Briel was thoroughly plundered; its churches were cleansed of all that was `popery'. When shortly afterwards the Sea Beggars had also captured Gorcum on the river Merwede, far more inland, they arrested twenty-two priests, brought them to Den Briel, and hanged nineteen of them (three defected).[xi] They were murdered because they were priests.
Five days after the fall of Den Briel the Sea Beggars captured Flushing (Vlissingen), a much larger city, that commanded the mouth of the Scheldt; soon the rest of island of Walcheren followed, with the exception of Middelburg. It did not last long before they were master of the whole estuary of the great rivers. It did, however, their cause no good that they everywhere plundered churches and monasteries and walked about with the stolen ornaments around their necks. On June 1, Lumey's lieutenant Diederik Sonoy (1529-1597) seized the city of Enkhuizen, an important Zuiderzee port in North Holland; soon he had the whole of West Friesland under his control. Here he began a terror regime against the Catholics of which also contemporary Protestant historians spoke with disapproval.
10. Changes of allegiance
Many cities preferred not to await the arrival of the Sea Beggars to change their allegiance. In July 1568 Hoorn and Alkmaar changed sides, and on July 1 the important city of Haarlem, farther south. The city council put a church at the disposal of the Reformed on July 23, a sure sign of things to come. In the whole of the northern half of the county of Holland only Amsterdam remained true to the king.
In the southern half the situation was different. Whereas the north had been almost completely denuded of troops. Bossu, the Stadtholder, maintained strong garrisons in the southern half. The city councils feared them, but also, and perhaps even more, their own populace, which clamoured loudly for a change of regime. It was the Sea Beggars who tipped the balance. After having captured Oudewater, they appeared before Gouda, demanding that it should submit to the Prince of Orange. Reluctantly the city fathers gave in. A few days later Leiden followed; here the churches were thoroughly sacked. Bossu or no Bossu, there was no stopping the movement; the Spanish garrisons were ordered away to the south, and all the other cities, Rotterdam, Schiedam, Delft, Woerden, you name them, went over to the Prince. The last Spanish troops left The Hague at the end of July. Everywhere friars and priests were mishandled, monasteries pillaged, statues broken, and churches sacked. About four thousand priests and magistrates fled to safer places; only a few members of the Court of Holland stuck to their posts.
11. Orange's second campaign
Although all this happened in the name of Orange, the Prince himself was far from happy with the turn events were taking. As the Erasmian Christian he was, he advocated a society in which Catholics and Protestants would live peacefully together. This ideal was put in jeopardy by the overbearing behaviour of the Calvinists and by their violence. He also saw how his hands were forced by the arbitrary actions of the Sea Beggars, so that he had to strike before he was ready for it. Orange's brother Louis was the first to attack. On May 24 he captured Bergen (Mons), the capital of Hainault with a few thousand men; soon Alva laid siege to the town with twenty thousand troops.
An invasion of the eastern Netherlands by an army, led by Willem IV, count van den Bergh (1527-1586), was fairly successful, at least initially. Many cities in Gelderland opted for the Prince, and after this almost all the cities of Overijssel. Encouraged by this success, many cities in Friesland revolted. Here, however, the Stadtholder kept firm and began to repress the revolt; soon Leeuwarden, the capital, was in his hands again. Van den Bergh's troops, most irregulars, committed much violence against churches and monasteries.
It was only late in July that the Prince invaded Limburg with an army of twenty-four thousand men. He captured Roermond on July 23, but was unable to prevent his Lutheran soldiers from savaging Catholic buildings and murdering priests and friars. This did his cause no good. When he at last had crossed the Meuse on August 27, most cities, especially Louvain and Brussels, kept their gates closed to him. Hope of Huguenot assistance vanished into thin air because of massacre of St.Bartholemew. The Prince was unable to relieve Bergen, which capitulated on September 19. He led his disorderly and underpaid troops back over the Meuse and disbanded his army in Roermond at the end of September.
12. Change of regime in Holland
Orange did not return to the Dillenburg, but went north with sixty companions, crossed the Zuiderzee, and arrived in Holland on October 20, "to await there what it should please Him [God] to do there". He had no great hope for the future; he said that he went to Holland, `having resolved to find his grave there.'[xii]
Meanwhile, there had been important developments in Holland. The county was thoroughly disorganized. There was in fact no governmemt; Bossu had fled, and the Court of Holland, that had to act as his substitute, hardly existed. Dordrecht is the oldest town in Holland; therefore, its pensionary took things in hand and convoked the States of Holland. They assembled in this city on July 19, 1572. From a legal point of view it was an irregular and perhaps unlawful affair. Two of the most important cities, Amsterdam and Delft, did not attend; the nobility was represented by only one member and the clergy not at all. The delegates from the cities were all homines novi, most of them Reformed or sympathetic to the Reformation. The Prince sent Marnix, his secretary, as his representative.
The decisions that were taken are characterized by Israel as "a radical breach with the past in several respects and exerted a not inconsiderable influence over the subsequent evolution of the Revolt and formation of the Republic,"[xiii] and, let me add, on the later history of the Netherlands. Orange had always claimed that he had been unlawfully dismissed as Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, and Utrecht; the States now recognized his claim. They went even further by recognizing him as the `Protector' of the Netherlands, thereby implying that they no longer acknowledged Alva as governor-general. The Prince also asked for a substantial financial subvention, which was accorded to him. Most of the money needed was raised by the sale of ecclesiastical possessions, which, as the States declared, served no public good. Marnix stated to the assembly that there would be freedom of religion for both the Catholics and the Reformed, but it remained to be seen whether the rebellious cities would honour this intention.
13. Alva's revenge
As soon as Orange's troops had left Brabant, Alva had his hands free to redress the situation. His revenge was terrible. On November 14, 1572, he captured Zutphen, where hundreds of citizens were massacred. He needed not march farther, for at this news all the rebellious cities of Gelderland, Overijssel, and Friesland opted for the king again and took in Walloon garrisons.
Certain now of the submission of the eastern and northern provinces, Alva turned his back on them and marched westward, convinced that the cities of Holland and Zeeland would throw open their gates to him, which would mean the end of the Revolt. Yet the very first city he found on his way, the small town of Naarden, kept its gates closed. However, its fortifications were in a bad condition, so that the city surrendered on December 1, hoping to be spared. This was not to be. Almost the whole population was massacred; only a few people escaped in the dark, helped by the fact that it snowed. A few days later Alva was in Amsterdam, where he thanked God for having accorded him the grace to execute this punishment, a perfect instance of pur sang dualism.
In spite of Alva's cruelty, the cities of Holland did not allow themselves to be cowed. The first result was the sterner measures against the Catholics were taken; nobody dared raise his voice in support of the king. In Haarlem, for instance, the greatest church of the town, the still standing St.Bavo, was cleansed of everything that was reminiscient of Catholicism, after which it was given to the Reformed.
On December 11, Alva's army appeared before the town; it steadily grew to thirty thousand men. The city was defended by a force of four thousand Sea Beggars and other irrregulars, assisted by six hundred militia men. They succeeded in withstanding the enemy for six months. Attempts organized by the Prince to relieve the besieged city all failed, while the whole countryside between Haarlem and Amsterdam became a desert, ravanged as it was by troops from both sides. At last, famine forced the besieged to surrender, but Alva's son Don Frederick (Don Fadrique Alvarez de Toledo, Duke of Huesca, (1529-1583), who commanded the besieging army (that is said to have lost twelve thousand men during the siege), would not hear of conditions. On July 12, 1573, the gates were opened and the tercios streamed in. The citizens were spared, with the exception of a few who were summarily executed, but the greater part of the defenders were massacred; the ordeal ended with three hundred of them, bound in pairs back to back, being thrown into the river Spaarne. The hundreds of unburied corpses lying in the fields around Haarlem caused the outbreak of a pest epidemic that made numerous victims.
14. Alva's failure
The immediate strategic result of the fall of Haarlem was that the county of Holland was cut into two, what with Amsterdam still loyal to the king. However, the Spanish forces were weakended and discouraged. The half year of the siege, from December to July, had given the cities time to organize their defenses and repair their walls. And everywhere the Calvinists, who were the most determinate, strengenthed their positions, so that the contours of a Reformed Church became visible.
Leading his army northward, Alva laid siege to Alkmaar on July 16, 1573; just in time the city had taken in a detachment of regulars. The Spaniards were unable to deploy their forces in the marshy meadows around the city nor could they find sufficient firm ground for their artillery. With the autumn rains coming the Spaniards folded their tents on October 8, 1573, and departed. "From Alkmaar the victory begins," became a Dutch saying.[xiv]
There were two more successes. During a naval battle on the Zuiderzee on October 11, Bossu's fleet was defeated by that of the Sea Beggars; the king's Stadtholder of Holland was made prisoner and interned in Hoorn. In the island of Walcheren the important city of Middelburg was Spanish. From September 1572 to February 1574 rebel forces besieged it, until famine forced the Spanish garrison to surrender.
Naturally, nobody in the Netherlands was more deeply hated than Alva, but he was also impopular in Spain. This stern and grim man, who did not possess a drop of `the milk of human kindness', had few friends and many enemies at the court. The king was dissatisfied with him, because he had not been able to suppress the Revolt; it began to dawn on him that his governor's cruelty had only made things worse. Realizing that his position became evermore untenable, he asked for his dismissal, which was granted to him on October 19, 1573. "God and men are against me", he is reported to have said.[xv] He left the Netherlands on December 19. Back in Spain, he retired to his goods, in the knowledge that he no longer had a role to play.
BLOK, P.J., Geschiedenis van het Nederlandsche volk. II. Leiden, 1913² (18961).
GROEN VAN PRINSTERER, Guillaume, Handboek der Geschiedenis van het Vaderland. II. Amsterdam, 1852.
ISRAEL, Jonathan, The Dutch Republic. Its Rise, Greatness, Fall 1477-1806. Oxford, 1995.
KAPTEIN, Herman, De beeldenstorm. Serie: Verloren verleden 18. Hilversum, 2002.
OTTERSPEER, Willem, Groepsportret met dame. I Het bolwerk van de vrijheid. De Leidse Universsiteit, 1573-1672. Amsterdam, 2002.
[i].. In recent times the Dutch professional historical guild has decreed that one should no longer speak of the `Eighty Years' War', but of the `Revolt'. It is argued that, since there was no sovereign Dutch state, there could be no `war', since war is an armed conflict between states. I find this a typical intellectual ploy, to which I cannot get used, although I am a member of the guild myself (nobody asked my opinion). Since my days in primary school it is `Eighty Years' War' for me, and I am too old to change it.
[ii].. Otterspeer, Groepsportret met dame I, 69.
[iii].. I remember very well the enormous commotion because of the fact that princess Irene, second daughter of Queen Juliana, became a Catholic in 1964. Prayer meetings were organized to prevent the catastrophe that a Catholic would ascend the Dutch throne. What was the world coming to, if a member of the House of Orange-Nassau became a Catholic? In consequence the princess lost her conbstitutional right to the throne. However, since then she has abandoned her new religion.
But `the times they are a-changing'. When Crown Prince Willem Alexander, eldest son of Queen Beatrix, announced in 2001 that he was going to marry Màxima Zorreguieta, nobody made a problem of the fact that she is an Argentinian Roman Catholic. As far as I know, she has not joined the Dutch Reformed Church as yet; therefore, the possibility exists that the Netherlands will once have a Catholic queen. In my opinion it was also an important factor that Màxima is a very charming young woman with whom the whole nation immediately fell in love.
[iv].. Groen van Prinsterer, Handboek der Geschiedenis van het Vaderland II, 111.
[v].. Quoted by Kaptein, De beeldenstorm 67.
[vi].. It became proverbial. The pupils of the grammar school I attended called the staff meeting at the end of the schoolyear, which decided on promotion (or not) to the next form, the Bloedraad.
[vii].. Friedrich Schiller, Don Carlos, Infant von Spanien (1788), 3. Akt, 5. Auftritt, Der Sieg bei Saint Quentin war längst verwirkt. Ich werf' ihn zu den Todten.
[viii].. Israel, Dutch Republic 165/166.
[ix].. During reformed services more stanzas are sung sometines.
[x].. An old Dutch proverb says: Op de eerste april verloor Alva z'n bril, on the first of April Alva lost his spectacles (= bril = Briel).
[xi].. Roman Catholics still venerate them as the `Martyrs of Gorcum'; one of the parish churches of Amsterdam is devoted to them.
[xii].. Quoted by Blok, Geschiedenis van het Nederlandsche volk II, 79.
[xiii].. Israel, Dutch Republic 175.
[xiv].. There still is a soccer club in Alkmaar, called Alcmaria victrix.
[xv].. Blok, Geschiedenis van het Nederlandsche volk II, 90.