The Battle of Gembloux took place at Gembloux, near Namur, Low Countries, between the Spanish forces led by Don John of Austria ( Spanish: Don Juan de Austria),Governor-General of the Spanish Netherlands, and a rebel army composed of Dutch, Flemish, English, Scottish, German, French and Walloon soldiers under Antoine de Goignies, during the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo-Spanish War (1585–1604). On 31 January 1578 the Spanish cavalry commanded by John's nephew, Don Alexander Farnese, Prince of Parma ( Italian: Alessandro Farnese, Spanish: Alejandro Farnesio), after pushing back the Netherlandish cavalry, attacked the Netherlandish army, causing an enormous panic amongst the rebel troops. The result was a crushing victory for the Spanish forces. The battle hastened the disintegration of the unity of the rebel provinces, and meant the end of the Union of Brussels.
Gembloux is a Walloon municipality located in the Belgian province of Namur, on the axis Brussels–Namur
The Low Countries, the Low Lands, or historically also the Netherlands, is a coastal lowland region in northwestern Europe, forming the lower basin of the Rhine, Meuse, and Scheldt rivers, divided in the Middle Ages into numerous semi-independent principalities that consolidated in the countries of Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, as well as today's French Flanders.
John of Austria was an illegitimate son of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. He became a military leader in the service of his half-brother, King Philip II of Spain, and is best known for his role as the admiral of the Holy Alliance fleet at the Battle of Lepanto.
After the Sack of Antwerpby Spanish mutineers on 4 November 1576, Catholics and Protestants of the Low Countries concluded the Pacification of Ghent, to remove all Spanish troops. The Spanish tercios were in fact withdrawn to Italy in April 1577, after the new Governor-General of the Spanish Netherlands, the famous Christian knight, and half-brother of Philip II of Spain, Don John of Austria (victor of Lepanto), had signed the Perpetual Edict.
The Sack of Antwerp, often known as the Spanish Fury at Antwerp, was an episode of the Eighty Years' War. It is the greatest massacre in Belgian history.
The Pacification of Ghent, signed on 8 November 1576, was an alliance of the provinces of the Habsburg Netherlands for the purpose of driving mutinying Spanish mercenary troops from the country and promoting a peace treaty with the rebelling provinces of Holland and Zeeland.
A tercio or tercio español was a powerful Spanish infantry division during the time of Habsburg Spain known for its victories on European battlefields in the early modern period.
However, in the summer of 1577, Don John of Austria (brandishing the motto In hoc signo vici Turcos, in hoc vincam haereticos)began planning for a new campaign against the Netherlandish rebels, and in July 1577 he took the Citadel of Namur by surprise without a fight. This action further destabilized the uneasy alliance between Catholics and Protestants. From December 1577, John of Austria, still based in Luxembourg, received reinforcements from Spanish Lombardy: some 9,000 battle-hardened Spanish troops under Don Alexander Farnese, Prince of Parma (Duke after the death of his father, Ottavio Farnese, Duke of Parma, in September 1586), complemented by 4,000 troops from Lorraine under Peter Ernst, Count of Mansfeld, and local Walloon troops from Luxembourg and Namur. By January 1578, he had between 17,000 and 20,000 men at his disposal.
The Citadel or Castle of Namur is a fortress in the Walloon capital city of Namur, at the confluence of the Sambre and Meuse rivers. It is originally from the Roman era, but has been rebuilt several times. Its current form was designed by Menno van Coehoorn, and improved upon by Vauban after the siege of 1692. It has been classified as a Wallonia's Major Heritage site.
Luxembourg, officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, is a small landlocked country in western Europe. It is bordered by Belgium to the west and north, Germany to the east, and France to the south. Its capital, Luxembourg City, is one of the four official capitals of the European Union and the seat of the European Court of Justice, the highest judicial authority in the EU. Its culture, people, and languages are highly intertwined with its neighbours, making it essentially a mixture of French and German cultures, as evident by the nation's three official languages: French, German, and the national language of Luxembourgish. The repeated invasions by Germany, especially in World War II, resulted in the country's strong will for mediation between France and Germany and, among other things, led to the foundation of the European Union.
The Duchy of Milan was a state of the Holy Roman Empire in northern Italy. It was created in 1395, when it included twenty-six towns and the wide rural area of the middle Padan Plain east of the hills of Montferrat. During much of its existence, it was wedged between Savoy to the west, Venice to the east, the Swiss Confederacy to the north, and separated from the Mediterranean by Genoa to the south. The Duchy eventually fell to Habsburg Austria with the Treaty of Baden (1714), concluding the War of the Spanish Succession. The Duchy remained an Austrian possession until 1796, when a French army under Napoleon Bonaparte conquered it, and it ceased to exist a year later as a result of the Treaty of Campo Formio, when Austria ceded it to the new Cisalpine Republic.
The Union of Brussels had 25,000 fighting men, but these troops were badly equipped and led, and above all very diverse: Dutch, Flemish, English, Scottish, Walloon, German and French, and religiously ranging from staunch Catholics to zealous Calvinists.
There were two Unions of Brussels, both formed in the end of the 1570s, in the opening stages of the Eighty Years' War, the war of secession from Spanish control, which lasted from 1568 to 1648. Brussels was at that time the capital of the Spanish Netherlands.
In the last days of January 1578, the Netherlandish army was camped between Gembloux and Namur. The army was in bad shape, with many sick. Its leaders, George de Lalaing, Count of Rennenberg, Philip de Lalaing, Robert de Melun and Valentin de Pardieu, were absent because they attended the marriage of the Baron of Beersel and Marguerite de Mérode in Brussels. The command of the army was in the hands of Antoine de Goignies, Seigneur de Vendege.Other notable commanders of the Netherlandish army were the Count of Boussu, Martin Schenck (who after the defeat at Gembloux, enlisted in the Army of Flanders), Emanuel Philibert de Lalaing, Philip, Count of Egmont, William II de La Marck, Lord of Lumey, and Charles Philippe de Croÿ, Marquis d’Havré.
George de Lalaing count Rennenberg, was stadtholder of Friesland, Groningen, Drenthe and Overijssel in the service of Philip II of Spain from 1577 to 1581. The Lalaing family came from Hainaut and had a tradition of governing. His father was Philip de Lalaing, count of Hoogstraten; his mother, Anna of Rennenberg.
Brussels, officially the Brussels-Capital Region, is a region of Belgium comprising 19 municipalities, including the City of Brussels, which is the capital of Belgium. The Brussels-Capital Region is located in the central portion of the country and is a part of both the French Community of Belgium and the Flemish Community, but is separate from the Flemish Region and the Walloon Region. Brussels is the most densely populated and the richest region in Belgium in terms of GDP per capita. It covers 161 km2 (62 sq mi), a relatively small area compared to the two other regions, and has a population of 1.2 million. The metropolitan area of Brussels counts over 2.1 million people, which makes it the largest in Belgium. It is also part of a large conurbation extending towards Ghent, Antwerp, Leuven and Walloon Brabant, home to over 5 million people.
The Army of Flanders was a multinational army in the service of the kings of Spain that was based in the Netherlands during the 16th to 18th centuries. It was notable for being the longest-serving standing army of the period, being in continuous service from 1567 until its disestablishment in 1706. In addition to taking part in numerous battles of the Dutch Revolt (1567–1609) and the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648), it also employed many developing military concepts more reminiscent of later military units, enjoying permanent, standing regiments (tercios), barracks, military hospitals and rest homes long before they were adopted in most of Europe. Sustained at huge cost and at significant distances from Spain, the Army of Flanders also became infamous for successive mutinies and its ill-disciplined activity off the battlefield, including the Sack of Antwerp in 1576.
When De Goignies learned that the Spanish army was approaching Namur, he decided to withdraw to Gembloux.
At dawn on 31 January, the Spanish army marched towards the rebel army, with the cavalry under Ottavio Gonzaga in forefront, followed by musketeers and infantry commanded by Don Cristóbal de Mondragón, and then the bulk of the army led by Don John of Austria and Don Alexander Farnese.The rear of the army was left in the hands of the Count of Mansfeld.
The Spanish cavalry had crossed the Meuse River and made contact with the rear of the rebel army. With the bulk of his army still south of the Meuse, John sent messages to his cavalry, now commanded by Alexander, not to approach the enemy too closely until the arrival of rest of the troops.But Alexander, seeing the sorry state of the enemy forces and advised by Mondragón and Gonzaga of the opportunity to surprise the enemy, gave the order to charge. After several clashes with the Spanish cavalry, the Netherlandish cavalry, which was protecting the rear of their forces, fled towards the army, causing an enormous panic amongst the rebel troops. The result was a crushing victory by Parma's cavalry. The entire army's order disintegrated, and the almost unopposed Spanish cavalry massacred fleeing troops.
The Netherlandish army tried to regroup, but a cannon and its ammunition blew up, causing many deaths and renewed panic. Meanwhile, part of the rebel troops, mostly Dutch and Scots led by Colonel Henry Balfour, tried to take defensive positions, but could not withstand the musketeers and pikemen led by John, Mondragón and Gonzaga.The Spanish victory was complete, De Goignies was taken prisoner, along with a large number of his officers, John captured 34 flags and banners and all the artillery and baggage of the enemy, and thousands of rebel soldiers were killed or captured. The Spanish casualties, however, were minimal, about 12 dead and a few wounded. Around 3,000 men reached Gembloux and closed the gates, but after negotiations the rebels surrendered to the Spaniards on 5 February and the city was spared from being sacked.
The defeat at Gembloux forced Prince William of Orange, the leader of the revolt, to leave Brussels, along with its nominal governor, Matthias of Austria (the future Holy Roman Emperor), who had accepted the position of governor-general by the states-general, although he was not recognized by his uncle, Philip II of Spain.The victory of John also meant the end of the Union of Brussels, and hastened the disintegration of the unity of the rebel provinces.
John died nine months after the battle (probably from typhus), on 1 October 1578, and was succeeded by Farnese as governor-general (last desire of John that Philip II confirmed), who at the head of the Spanish army reconquered large parts of the Low Countries in the following years.
On 6 January 1579 the provinces loyal to the Spanish Monarchy signed the defensive Union of Arras, expressed their loyalty to Philip II and recognized Farnese as Governor-General of the Netherlands.In contrast, the provinces loyal to the Protestant cause signed the defensive Union of Utrecht.
Alexander Farnese was an Italian noble and condottiero who was Duke of Parma, Piacenza and Castro from 1586 to 1592, as well as Governor of the Spanish Netherlands from 1578 to 1592. He is best known for his successful campaign 1578-1592 against the Dutch Revolt, in which he captured the main cities in the south and returned them to the control of Catholic Spain. During the French Wars of Religion he relieved Paris for the Catholics. His talents as a field commander, strategist and organizer earned him the regard of his contemporaries and military historians as the first captain of his age.
The Union of Arras was an alliance of a number of provinces in the southern part of the Habsburg Netherlands, who signed a declaration on 6 January 1579 about their intent to offer a vigorous defense of the Roman Catholic religion against what they saw as the encroachments of the Calvinists in other provinces. They started negotiations about a separate peace with the Spanish Crown in the Eighty Years' War which resulted in the Peace Treaty of Arras of 17 May 1579.
Margaret of Parma was Governor of the Netherlands from 1559 to 1567 and from 1578 to 1582. She was the illegitimate daughter of the then 22-year-old Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and Johanna Maria van der Gheynst. She was a Duchess of Florence and a Duchess of Parma and Piacenza by marriage.
The Battle of Zutphen was fought on 22 September 1586, near the village of Warnsveld and the town of Zutphen, the Netherlands, during the Eighty Years' War. It was fought by the forces of the United Provinces of the Netherlands, aided by the English, against the Spanish. In 1585, England signed the Treaty of Nonsuch with the States-General of the Netherlands and formally entered the war against Spain. Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, was appointed as the Governor-General of the Netherlands and sent there in command of an English army to support the Dutch rebels. When Alessandro Farnese, Duke of Parma and commander of the Spanish Army of Flanders, besieged the town of Rheinberg during the Cologne War, Leicester, in turn, besieged the town of Zutphen, in the province of Gelderland and on the eastern bank of the river IJssel.
Habsburg Netherlands, also referred to as Flanders during the early modern period, is the collective name of Holy Roman Empire fiefs in the Low Countries held by the House of Habsburg. The rule began in 1482, when after the death of the Valois-Burgundy duke Charles the Bold the Burgundian Netherlands fell to the Habsburg dynasty by the marriage of Charles's daughter Mary of Burgundy to Archduke Maximilian I of Austria. Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor was born in the Habsburg Netherlands and made Brussels his imperial capital.
Francisco Verdugo, Spanish military commander in the Dutch Revolt, born in 1537 in, became Maestre de Campo General, in the Spanish Netherlands. He was also the last Spanish Stadtholder of Friesland, Groningen, Drenthe and Overijssel between 1581 and 1594.
Cristóbal de Mondragón y Mercado (1514–1596) was a Spanish general during the Eighty Years' War.
Maximilien de Hénin-Liétard, Count of Boussu was a soldier and statesman from the Habsburg Netherlands. During the Eighty Years' War he was the royalist stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland and Utrecht from 1567 until he was made a prisoner of war during the Battle on the Zuiderzee in 1573. After being freed under the terms of the Pacification of Ghent he changed sides and became commander in chief of the forces of the States-General of the Netherlands.
The Battle of Rijmenam was a battle fought in the early stages of the Eighty Years' War between the forces of the States-General of the Netherlands and those of the Spanish Governor-General of the Habsburg Netherlands, Don Juan de Austria, on 31 July 1578, near Rijmenam in present-day Belgium. The Spanish forces were dealt a strategic defeat.
Claude de Berlaymont, lord of Haultpenne was a Flemish military commander in Spain's Army of Flanders during the Eighty Years' War.
Emanuel Filibert van Lalaing was a noble and army commander from the Low Countries.
The Battle of the Lippe was a cavalry action fought on 2 September 1595 on the banks of the Lippe river, in Germany, between a corps of Spanish cavalry led by Juan de Córdoba and a corps of Dutch cavalry, supported by English troops, led by Philip of Nassau. The Dutch statholder Maurice of Nassau, taking advantage of the fact that the bulk of the Spanish army was busied in operations in France, besieged the town of Groenlo in Gelderland, but the elderly governor of the citadel of Antwerp, Cristóbal de Mondragón, organized a relief army and forced Maurice to lift the siege. Mondragón next moved to Wesel, positioning his troops on the southern bank of the Lippe river to cover Rheinberg from a Dutch attack. Maurice aimed then, relying on his superior army, to entice Mondragón into a pitched battle, planning to use an ambush to draw the Spanish army into a trap. However, the plan was discovered by the Spanish commander, who organized a counter-ambush.
Philip de Lalaing was 3rd Count of Lalaing and Lord of Escornaix and Wavrin.
The Battle of Noordhorn, fought on 30 September 1581, was a pitched battle of the Dutch Revolt, fought between a Spanish army commanded by Colonel Francisco Verdugo – consisting of Walloon, German, Spanish and Albanian soldiers – and a Dutch States rebel army under the Englishman John Norreys – comprising English, Scottish, Dutch and Walloon troops – in the province of Friesland. In 1580, the Dutch stadtholder of Friesland, George van Lalaing, Count of Rennenberg, had shifted its allegiance from the Dutch to the Spanish side. This opened a new front at the back door of the Dutch Republic, forcing the States-General to dispatch forces to the north. That year the Dutch, under the leadership of John Norreys, succeeded in relieving the town of Steenwijk. In July 1581, Rennenberg died and was replaced by the Spaniard Francisco Verdugo, whose arrival in Friesland with reinforcements changed the situation. On 30 September Verdugo forced Norreys to give battle using a strategy of attrition.
The Battle of Steenbergen, also known as the Capture of Steenbergen of 1583, took place on 17 June 1583 at Steenbergen, Duchy of Brabant, Spanish Netherlands. This was an important victory to the Spanish Army of Flanders led by Don Alexander Farnese, Prince of Parma, Governor-General of the Spanish Netherlands, over the French, English, and Dutch forces led by the French Marshal Armand de Gontaut, Baron de Biron, and the English commander Sir John Norreys, during the Eighty Years' War, the Anglo-Spanish War (1585–1604), and in the context of the French Wars of Religion. The victory of the Spaniards ended the Treaty of Plessis-les-Tours, and Francis, Duke of Anjou (French: François de France), left the Netherlands in late June.
The Battle of Borgerhout was a battle during the Eighty Years' War, of the Spanish Army of Flanders led by Alexander Farnese, Prince of Parma, upon a fortified camp at the village of Borgerhout, near Antwerp, where several thousand French, English, Scottish and Walloon soldiers in service of the recently created Union of Utrecht were stationed. It took place during the reconquest by the armies of Philip II of Spain of the Burgundian Netherlands, whose different provinces had united in 1576 under the Pacification of Ghent to drive out the foreign troops out and to grant religious liberty to Protestants.
The Treaty of Arras of 17 May 1579 was a peace treaty concluded between the Spanish Crown, represented by Alexander Farnese, Duke of Parma, and representatives of the County of Hainaut, the County of Artois, and the cities of Douai, Lille, Orchies and Arras, all members of the Union of Arras, that had been formed the previous January, at the Abbey of St Vaast in Arras. It was a separate peace that formally ended the state of war that had existed between these entities during the Eighty Years' War. The provinces that had formed the Union of Utrecht continued the war.
The Malcontents in the context of the Eighty Years' War or the Dutch Revolt were a faction of Catholic nobles in Hainaut and Artois who openly opposed William the Silent, also known as Orange, the leader of the States General of the Netherlands in the Union of Brussels of the Habsburg Netherlands during the period after the adoption of the Pacification of Ghent. They formed the Union of Arras in January 1579 and negotiated a separate peace with the Spanish Crown, represented by the royal governor-general Alexander Farnese, Duke of Parma, in the form of the Treaty of Arras (1579), signed on 17 May 1579.