Battle of Mookerheyde

Last updated
Battle of Mookerheyde
Part of the Eighty Years' War
Slag op de Moockerheijde.jpg
Date14 April 1574
Location
Result Decisive Spanish victory
Belligerents
Statenvlag.svg Dutch Rebels
German mercenaries
Flag of Cross of Burgundy.svg Spain
Commanders and leaders
Statenvlag.svg Louis of Nassau  
Statenvlag.svg Henry of Nassau  
Flag of Cross of Burgundy.svg Sancho d'Avila
Flag of Cross of Burgundy.svg Bernardino de Mendoza
Strength
5,500 infantry
2,600 cavalry
5,000 infantry
800 cavalry
Casualties and losses
3,000 dead or wounded 150 dead or wounded

In the Battle of Mookerheyde, Spanish forces defeated Dutch forces composed of German mercenaries on 14 April 1574 during the Eighty Years' War near the village Mook and the river Meuse not far from Nijmegen in Gelderland. Two leaders of the Dutch forces, brothers of William the Silent, were killed: Louis of Nassau (born 1538) and Henry of Nassau-Dillenburg (born 1550). [1]

Eighty Years War 16th and 17th-century Dutch revolt against the Habsburgs

The Eighty Years' War or Dutch War of Independence (1568–1648) was a revolt of the Seventeen Provinces of what are today the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg against Philip II of Spain, the sovereign of the Habsburg Netherlands. After the initial stages, Philip II deployed his armies and regained control over most of the rebelling provinces. Under the leadership of the exiled William the Silent, the northern provinces continued their resistance. They eventually were able to oust the Habsburg armies, and in 1581 they established the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. The war continued in other areas, although the heartland of the republic was no longer threatened; this included the beginnings of the Dutch Colonial Empire, which at the time were conceived as carrying overseas the war with Spain. The Dutch Republic was recognized by Spain and the major European powers in 1609 at the start of the Twelve Years' Truce. Hostilities broke out again around 1619, as part of the broader Thirty Years' War. An end was reached in 1648 with the Peace of Münster, when the Dutch Republic was definitively recognised as an independent country no longer part of the Holy Roman Empire. The Peace of Münster is sometimes considered the beginning of the Dutch Golden Age.

Mook en Middelaar Municipality in Limburg, Netherlands

Mook en Middelaar is a municipality in the upper southeastern part of the Netherlands, at the northern tip of the province of Limburg and is a part of Stadsregio Arnhem Nijmegen. The municipality is located about 100 km from provincial capital Maastricht and has an area of 18.81 km2 (7.26 sq mi) of which 1.42 km2 (0.55 sq mi) is water.

Nijmegen City and municipality in Gelderland, Netherlands

Nijmegen is a city in the Dutch province of Gelderland, on the Waal river close to the German border.

During the winter of 1573/74, Louis and Henry of Nassau raised a mercenary army in Germany of 6500 infantry and 3000 cavalry. They proceeded towards Maastricht to rendezvous with their elder brother William the Silent, Prince of Orange, who led 6000 Dutchmen. They planned to march their combined forces toward Leiden, which was under siege by a large Spanish force since October 1573.

Louis of Nassau nobleman of the Netherlands; military leader in the Eighty Years War

Louis of Nassau was the third son of William, Count of Nassau and Juliana of Stolberg, and the younger brother of Prince William of Orange Nassau.

Henry of Nassau, count of Nassau-Dillenburg, was the youngest brother of William I of Orange-Nassau.

Maastricht City and municipality in Limburg, Netherlands

Maastricht is a city and a municipality in the southeast of the Netherlands. It is the capital and largest city of the province of Limburg. Maastricht is located on both sides of the Meuse, at the point where the Jeker joins it. It is adjacent to the border with Belgium.

The strength of Count Louis' forces diminished en route. More than a thousand men deserted and seven hundred were killed by the Spanish in a night attack. The remaining troops were mutinous because the Dutch had been unable to pay them. Louis crossed the Meuse with only 5,500 infantry and 2,600 cavalry. Before Louis could join forces with William, Luis de Requesens temporarily lifted the Siege of Leiden so that 5,000 infantry and 800 cavalry could counter Louis' advance. The Spanish army was led by Sancho d'Avila and Bernardino de Mendoza. The armies met near the village of Mook. Well timed attacks by the Spanish lancers destroyed the Dutch cavalry, [2] and the Spanish proved victorious.

Luis de Requesens y Zúñiga Spanish politician

Luis de Requeséns y Zúñiga also known as Luis de Zúñiga y Requeséns was a Spanish politician, soldier and diplomat.

Siege of Leiden siege

The Siege of Leiden occurred during the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo–Spanish War in 1573 and 1574, when the Spanish under Francisco de Valdez attempted to capture the rebellious city of Leiden, South Holland, the Netherlands. In the end the siege failed when the city was successfully relieved in October 1574.

Sancho dAvila Spanish General

Sancho d'Avila was a Spanish general.

The Dutch suffered a disastrous defeat, losing at least 3,000 men. The Dutch army of mercenaries, still not paid, soon dispersed. William long hoped that his brothers had been captured, but Louis and Henry were apparently killed and their bodies were never recovered. [3]

The Spanish then resumed the siege of Leiden, which failed when Dutch forces relieved the city in October. [4]

In the course of the battle, Spanish forces seized the command baton that William the Silent had given his brother Louis. The baton, long forgotten, was discovered at the Jesuit residence in San Cugat in Catalonia. In 2017, the General Superior of the Jesuits, Arturo Sosa, returned the baton to King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands in a ceremony at the Vatican. The transfer was symbolic, in that ownership of the baton is retained by Catalonia as part of its cultural and historic patrimony. [5] The baton had passed to the Jesuits as part of the estate of Luis de Requesens, Governor General of the Spanish Netherlands in 1574. The Dutch plan to display it at the National Military Museum. [6] [7]

Sant Cugat del Vallès Municipality in Catalonia, Spain

Sant Cugat del Vallès is a town and municipality north of Barcelona in Catalonia, Spain. Known as Castrum Octavianum in antiquity and as Pins del Vallès during the Second Spanish Republic, it is named after Saint Cucuphas, who is said to have been martyred on the spot now occupied by its medieval monastery. The final part of its toponym, del Vallès, is a reference to the historical county where the town is situated, Vallès.

Arturo Sosa Superior General of the Society of Jesus

Arturo Marcelino Sosa Abascal is the thirty-first and present Superior General of the Society of Jesus. He was elected Superior General by the Society's 36th General Congregation on 14 October 2016, succeeding Adolfo Nicolás. As a Venezuelan, he is the first person born in Latin America to lead the Jesuits.

Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands King of the Netherlands

Willem-Alexander is the King of the Netherlands, having ascended the throne following his mother's abdication in 2013.

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References

  1. Arnade, Peter J. (2008). Beggars, Iconoclasts, and Civic Patriots: The Political Culture of the Dutch Revolt. Cornell University Press. pp. 240–1. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  2. van der Hoeven, Marco, ed. (1997). Exercise of Arms: Warfare in the Netherlands, 1568-1648. Brill. p. 85.
  3. Harrison, Frederic (1902). The Life of William the Silent. A. L. Burt Company. p. 150.
  4. Putnam, Ruth (1911). William the Silent Price of Orange and the Revolt of the Netherlands. G.P. Putnam's Sons. pp. 281–6.
  5. Scaramuzzi, Iacopo (22 June 2017). "Il superiore dei Gesuiti 'restituisce' uno scettro al re olandese". La Stampa (in Italian). Retrieved 22 June 2017.
  6. "Koning ontvangt eeuwenoude bevelhebbersstaf". Telegraaf (in Dutch). 22 June 2017. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
  7. "Dutch royals return from Vatican with royal heirloom". Washington Post. Associated Press. 22 June 2017. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
Additional sources