09 Biographies

Covering the many important, influential, or otherwise interesting individuals who called the Low Countries home – or played a significant role in the turmoil and cultural Renaissance that occurred there.

Maarten van Rossum and the Kasteel De Cannenburch

In the decades before the Eighty Years War (or Tachtigjarige Oorlog) that severed the Low Countries into a republican Dutch north and a Habsburg royalist south, another war raged. One largely forgotten about. The Habsburg dynasty was ascending. Charles V…

The Spanish Habsburgs & Their Governors

Holy Roman Emperor Charles V united the Low Countries under his personal rule and eventually abdicated in favor of his son Philip in 1555. From that point on, a revolving cast of Habsburg family members and close retainers would govern the Low Countries as the region descended into revolt and open war.

Malcontents & Royalists

The Dutch Revolt was not nearly as much an invasion by the Habsburgs as it was at first a civil war between Royalists and a small set of independently-minded provinces and cities. Among those Royalists were the “Malcontents” - former rebels whose Catholic faith brought them back to the king when the Calvinist faction rose in power in cities under rebel control.

Protestant Allies of the Dutch

The Dutch rebels were able to keep up the fight against the Habsburgs and Royalists in large part due to international support from other Protestant (and moderate Catholic) powers, including the towering historical presence of Elizabeth I of England.

Rebel Geuzen & Dutch Statesmen

“Do not be troubled, my Lady! These are just a bunch of… beggars.”

The epithet of geuzen (Dutch for “beggar”) was first hurled at noblemen protesting the policies of Philip II, but it quickly became a patriotic, highly political point of pride for the rebels who would fight to form the early Dutch Republic.

The House of Orange-Nassau

Originally a German noble family with holdings in the Low Countries, the Nassaus rose to singular prominence and influence through the actions of William “the Silent” and his brothers - of whom four out of the five would be killed in the first decades of the Dutch Revolt.