The Siege of Zutphen was an eleven-day siege of the city of Zutphen by Dutch and English troops led by Maurice of Nassau, during the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo–Spanish War. The siege began on 19 May 1591 after a clever ruse by the besiegers. The city was then besieged for eleven days, after which the Spanish garrison surrendered.
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 origins of the Dutch colonial empire, which began with Dutch attacks on Portugal's overseas territories, which at the time was conceived as carrying overseas the war with Spain due to Portugal being in a dynastic union 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.
Zutphen was a Hanseatic city on the east bank of the River IJssel. In 1572, with the resurgence of the Dutch rebellion against Philip II of Spain, Zutphen was first conquered by State troops led by Willem IV van den Bergh. The city was later recaptured by the Spaniards led by Don Frederick, and the population was punished and then slaughtered for the surrender earlier that year.
The Hanseatic League was a commercial and defensive confederation of merchant guilds and market towns in Northwestern and Central Europe. Growing from a few North German towns in the late 1100s, the league came to dominate Baltic maritime trade for three centuries along the coasts of Northern Europe. Hansa territories stretched from the Baltic to the North Sea and inland during the Late Middle Ages, and diminished slowly after 1450.
The river IJssel, sometimes called Gelderse IJssel to avoid confusion with the Hollandse IJssel, is the branch of the Rhine in the Dutch provinces of Gelderland and Overijssel. The Romans knew the river as Isala. The IJssel flows from Westervoort, east of the city of Arnhem, until it discharges into the IJsselmeer. The River IJssel is one of the three major distributary branches into which the Rhine divides shortly after crossing the German-Dutch border.
Philip II of Spain was King of Spain (1556–98), King of Portugal, King of Naples and Sicily, and jure uxoris King of England and Ireland. He was also Duke of Milan. From 1555 he was lord of the Seventeen Provinces of the Netherlands.
In 1586, the English under the Earl of Leicester took Zutphen's important outlying sconce, but soon English turncoat Rowland York handed the sconce over to the Spaniards, leaving Zutphen in their complete control.York died there of smallpox a year later, although he may have been poisoned by the Spanish to keep him from betraying again. As a consequence, William Stanley handed over the nearby town of Deventer to the Spaniards.
Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, was an English statesman and the favourite of Elizabeth I from her accession until his death. He was a suitor for the Queen's hand for many years.
A sconce is a small protective fortification, such as an earthwork, often placed on a mound as a defensive work for artillery. It was used primarily in Northern Europe from the late Middle Ages until the 19th century. This type of fortification was common during the English Civil War, and the remains of one such structure can be seen on Fort Royal Hill in Worcester, England. During the Eighty Years' War for Dutch independence, the sconces were often used to defend strategic places, but were used also during sieges and in circumvallations. Several more or less intact sconces remain in the Netherlands. The Zaanse Schans, one of the top tourist locations in the Netherlands, derived its name from its original function as a sconce. Sconces played a major part in the Serbian Revolution, countering the numerical superiority of the Turkish army.
A turncoat is a person who shifts allegiance from one loyalty or ideal to another, betraying or deserting an original cause by switching to the opposing side or party. In political and social history, this is distinct from being a traitor, as the switch mostly takes place under the following circumstances:
In 1590, Maurice had taken Breda by hiding soldiers within a peat barge and was thus able to use Breda as a base for further operations. The Dutch army could then launch an offensive at three points: to the South, to the East and to the North. Maurice headed towards Nijmegen to the East along the River IJssel.
The Capture of Breda or the Siege of Breda was a short battle during the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo–Spanish War during which a Dutch and English army led by Maurice of Nassau captured the heavily protected city of Breda. Using a clever tactic reminiscent of the Trojan horse a small assault force hid in a peat barge, entered the city of Breda, and proceeded to take it over resulting in a minimum number of casualties. It was the turning point of the war as the forces under Maurice were able to take the offensive.
Nijmegen, historically anglicized as Nimeguen, is a city in the Dutch province of Gelderland, on the Waal river close to the German border.
By the beginning of 1591, Maurice's first goal was to take back Zutphen. With the parallel waterways, he could then move the troops and artillery as quickly as possible and also keep the Spanish from reinforcing the besieged towns.The garrison of Zutphen itself consisted of nearly 1,000 Spaniards and Walloons, and on the west bank of the river lay the important sconce.
Walloons are a Romance ethnic group native to Belgium, principally its southern region of Wallonia, who speak French and Walloon. Walloons are a distinctive ethnic community within Belgium. Important historical and anthropological criteria bind Walloons to the French people.
Maurice's army consisted of 9000 soldiers and 1600 horsemen which marched to Zutphen, along with 100 ships.The rapid march in five days meant that Maurice could then prepare his artillery, which was stored on the ships; a far easier method of transportation than trying to haul them overland over boggy ground.
In order to take Zutphen, the sconce on the west bank had to be taken, as it controlled the main bridge to the town. Once this had been taken, the town could be besieged proper once all the heavy guns from the barges had disembarked.
Maurice hoped to use another ruse similar to the one he had used at Breda with the peat barge. Francis Vere, in charge of the English troops, wanted the 'dirt' removed from the 1587 treachery and thus wanted to lead the assault.Vere got his wish and Maurice ordered him to take the sconce on the Veluwe opposite Zutphen by sending no more than a dozen men and disguise them as farmers, some even dressed as women. It was hoped that the Spanish would think they were refugees escaping the Dutch army and would let them in. Once the sconce was captured Zutphen would have no hope of holding out.
Vere led the English troops to Doesburg and set the plan in motion. The disguised soldiers ran towards the fort, "pursued" by a fake cavalry charge. The garrison opened the gates and let the disguised soldiers in; the English then went as far as selling the guards butter, cheese and eggs.When the order was given the English cut down the guard quickly enough to allow the Dutch cavalry to rush in, followed by the rest of the troops as they had been hidden by a large mound nearby. Soon the Anglo–Dutch force overpowered the Spanish and turned the guns on Zutphen.
After this successful strategy, having secured the bridge and further reinforced by Count William Louis' Frisian companies, Maurice began the actual assault. The Dutch gunners then brought thirty artillery pieces up to three points, in case the garrison tried to retake the town, and then opened fire.The Spanish garrison soon saw that any further resistance was now futile and surrendered to the besiegers.
The town which had so eluded the Dutch was now firmly in their hands, while the Spanish had lost an important town.The terms of surrender were light: the garrison was allowed to retreat, the citizens were allowed three days to either depart or swear allegiance to the Dutch Republic. After setting up a strong garrison in Zutphen, Maurice marched north with his army, his artillery and munitions being sent down the IJssel in barges. His next target would be Deventer.
Vere was nicknamed 'the fox' after his successful ruse employed during the siege; he dug up the body of Rowland York and hanged and gibbeted it as a reminder of York's treachery.Zutphen would remain in Dutch hands for the rest of the war.
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.
The Siege of Deventer was a siege of the city of Deventer from 1 to 10 June 1591 during the Eighty Years' War by Dutch and English troops under Maurice of Nassau in an attempt to retake it from its Spanish garrison, commanded by Herman van den Bergh on behalf of the Spanish.
The Siege of Lingen took place during the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo–Spanish War by a Dutch and English army led by Maurice of Orange. Frederik van den Bergh defended Lingen for Philip II of Spain which was besieged from 25 October 1597. After a siege of more than two weeks, Van den Bergh surrendered on 12 November 1597. The siege was part of Maurice's successful 1597 campaign against the Spaniards.
The Capture of Enschede took place during the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo–Spanish War on 18 and 19 October 1597. A Dutch and English army led by Maurice of Orange took the city after a very short siege and threatening that they would destroy the city. The siege was part of Maurice's campaign of 1597, a successful offensive against the Spaniards during what the Dutch call the Ten Glory Years.
The Siege of Meurs took place between 29 August to 3 September 1597 during the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo–Spanish War. The Spanish occupied city of Moers under Governor Andrés de Miranda was besieged by Dutch and English troops under the command of Prince Maurice of Orange. The siege ended with the capitulation and the withdrawal of the Spanish garrison. The siege was part of Maurice's campaign of 1597 known as the Ten Glory Years, his highly successful offensive against the Spaniards.
The Siege of Rheinberg took place from the 9 to 19 August 1597 during the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo–Spanish War by a Dutch and English army led by Maurice of Orange. The siege ended with the capitulation and the withdrawal of the Spanish after much unrest in the garrison. The liberation of the city of Rheinberg was the commencement of Maurice's campaign of 1597, a successful offensive against the Spaniards during the period known as the Ten Glory Years.
The Capture of Ootmarsum in 1597 was a short siege, that took place during the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo–Spanish War by a Dutch and English army led by Count Van Duivenvoorde while Maurice of Nassau was besieging Oldenzaal. The siege lasted from 19 to 21 October, where the Spanish garrison of Ootmarsum under the governor, Otto Van Den Sande surrendered and was then occupied by the besiegers. The siege was part of Maurice's successful offensive against the Spaniards during the same year.
The Mutiny of Hoogstraten was the longest mutiny by soldiers of the Army of Flanders during the Eighty Years' War. Frederick Van den Berg's attempt to end the mutiny by force, with a siege to recapture the town, ended in defeat at the hands of an Anglo-Dutch army under of Maurice of Nassau. After a period of nearly three years the mutineers were able either to join Maurice's army or rejoin the Spanish army after a pardon had been ratified.
The Siege of Sluis (1604) also known as the Sluis Campaign or the Battle of the Oostburg Line was a series of military actions that took place during the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo–Spanish War from 19 May to 19 August 1604. A States and English army under Prince Maurice of Orange and Horace Vere respectively crossed the Scheldt estuary and advanced on land taking Cadzand, Aardenburg and IJzendijke in the Spanish Netherlands. This soon led to the culmination of the siege of the Spanish held inland port of Sluis.
The Siege of Hulst of 1596 was a Spanish victory led by Archduke Albert that took place between mid-July and August 18, 1596, at the city of Hulst, Province of Zeeland, Low Countries, during the Eighty Years' War, the Anglo-Spanish War (1585–1604). After a short siege, during which Maurice of Orange launched a failed attempt to relieve the city – the garrison of Dutch and English troops fell into Spanish hands on August 18, 1596.
The Siege of Steenwijk was a siege that took place between 30 May - 5 July 1592 as part of the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo–Spanish War by a Dutch and English force under Maurice of Orange. By taking Steenwijk the Republic's army would take out one of the two main transport routes overland to the Drenthe capital of Groningen, the other lay at Coevorden. After a failed bombardment an assault was made in conjunction with the detonation of mines under important bastions and with two out of three successfully assaulted; the Spanish troops surrendered on 5 July 1592 and handed over the city to the Dutch and English army. This siege was one of the first in history to make use of pioneers as a separate military unit although they were still at the time regarded as soldiers.
The Siege of Grave was a siege that took place between 18 July to 20 September 1602 as part of the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo–Spanish War. The Spanish held city of Grave was besieged by a Dutch and English army led by Maurice of Orange and Francis Vere respectively. After a siege of nearly two months the city surrendered when a Spanish relief army under Francisco de Mendoza was defeated just outside the city by the besiegers. The defeat was severe enough to cause a major mutiny in the Spanish army.
The Siege of Knodsenburg, Relief of Knodzenburg or also known as Battle of the Betuwe was a military action that took place during the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo–Spanish War at a sconce known as Knodsenburg in the district of Nijmegen. A siege by a Spanish army under the command of the Duke of Parma took place from 15th to the 25th July 1591. The fort was defended by the Dutch Republic's commander Gerrit de Jong and his company which was then subsequently relieved through the intervention of a Dutch and English army led by Maurice of Orange and Francis Vere respectively on July 25. As a result, the Spanish army was defeated and Parma managed to retreat by getting his army across the River Waal.
The Siege of Hulst was a siege of the city of Hulst that took place between 20–24 September 1591 by a Dutch and English army under the leadership of Maurice of Orange during the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo–Spanish War. The siege was part of Maurice's famous campaign of 1591.
The Siege of Coevorden was a siege that took place between 26 July and 2 September 1592 during the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo–Spanish War at the city of Coevorden by a Dutch and English force under overall command of Maurice of Nassau. The city was defended by Frederik van den Bergh who had been commissioned for the defence by King Philip II of Spain.
The Capture of Delfzijl took place during the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo–Spanish War by a Dutch and English army led by Maurice of Orange. The siege commenced on 26 June and lasted when the Spanish troops surrendered the city of Delfzijl on 2 July 1591.
The Siege of Geertruidenberg was a siege of the city of Geertruidenberg that took place between 27 March and 24 June 1593 during the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo–Spanish War. Anglo-Dutch troops under the commands of Maurice of Nassau and Francis Vere laid siege to the Spanish garrisoned city. The siege was unique in that the besiegers used a hundred ships, forming a semicircle in a chain on the Mass river to form a blockade. A Spanish relief force under the command of the Count of Mansfeld was attempted in May but this was defeated and he was later forced to withdraw. Three Governors of the city were killed - after the last fatality and as a result of the failed relief, the Spanish surrendered the city on 24 June 1593. The victory earned Maurice much fame and had thus become a steadfast strategist in the art of war.
The Siege of Nijmegen was a military engagement during the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo–Spanish War which took place from 17 to 21 October 1591. The Spanish garrison in Nijmegen was besieged by a Dutch and English force under Maurice of Nassau and Francis Vere respectively, which soon surrendered.
The Siege of Groningen was a two-month siege which commenced on May 19, 1594 took place during the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo–Spanish War. The Spanish held city of Groningen was besieged by a Dutch and English army led by Prince Maurice of Orange. The Spanish surrendered the city on July 22 after a failed relief attempt by the Count of Fuentes.