Imperial Count was a title in the Holy Roman Empire. In the medieval era, it was used to designate the holder of an imperial county, that is, a fief held directly from the emperor, rather than from a prince, a vassal of the emperor or of another sovereign, such as a duke or prince-elector; these imperial counts sat on one of the four "benches" of Counts, whereat each exercised a fractional vote in the Imperial Diet until 1806. In the post-Middle Ages era, anyone granted the title of Count by the emperor in his specific capacity as ruler of the Holy Roman Empire became, ipso facto, an "Imperial Count", whether he reigned over an immediate county or not. In the Merovingian and Franconian Empire, a Graf was an official who exercised the royal prerogatives in an administrative district. A lord designated to represent the king or emperor in a county requiring higher authority than delegated to the typical count acquired a title which indicated that distinction: a border land was held by a margrave, a fortress by a burgrave, an imperial palace or royal estate by a count palatine, a large territory by a landgrave.
The counts were ministeriales, appointed administrators, but under the Ottonian emperors, they came to constitute a class, whose land management on behalf of the ruling princes favoured their evolution to a status above not only peasants and burghers, but above landless knights and the landed gentry. Their roles within the feudal system tended to become hereditary and were integrated with those of the ruling nobility by the close of the medieval era; the possessor of a county within or subject to the Holy Roman Empire might owe feudal allegiance to another noble, theoretically of any rank, who might himself be a vassal of another lord or of the Holy Roman Emperor. Nobles who inherited, were granted or seized such counties, or were able to eliminate any obligation of vassalage to an intermediate suzerain, were those on whom the emperor came to rely directly to raise and supply the revenues and soldiers, from their own vassals and manors, which enabled him to govern and protect the empire, thus their Imperial immediacy tended to secure for them substantial independence within their own territories from the emperor's authority.
They came to be recognised as counselors entitled to be summoned to his Imperial Diets. A parallel process occurred among other authorities and strata in the realm, both secular and ecclesiastical. While commoners and the lowest levels of nobles remained subject to the authority of a lord, baron or count, some knights and lords avoided owing fealty to any but the emperor yet lacked sufficient importance to obtain consistent admission to the Diet; the most powerful nobles and bishops secured the exclusive privilege of voting to choose a Holy Roman Emperor, from among their own number or other rulers, whenever a vacancy occurred. Those just below them in status were recognised as Imperial princes who, through the hereditary vote each wielded in the Diet's College of Princes, served as members of a loose legislature of the Empire; as the Empire emerged from the medieval era, immediate counts were definitively excluded from possessing the individual seat and vote in the Diet that belonged to electors and princes.
In order, however, to further their political interests more and to preserve their independence, the imperial counts organized regional associations and held Grafentage. In the Imperial Diet, starting in the 16th century, from the Perpetual Diet, the imperial counts were grouped into "imperial comital associations" known as Grafenbänke. Early in the 16th century, such associations were formed in Swabia; the Franconian association was created in 1640, the Westphalian association in 1653. They participated with the emperor and princes in ruling the Empire by virtue of being entitled to a seat on one of the Counts' benches in the Diet; each "bench" was entitled to exercise one collective vote in the Diet and each comital family was allowed to cast one fractional vote toward a bench's vote: A majority of fractional votes determined how that bench's vote would be cast on any issue before the Diet. Four benches were recognised. By being seated and allowed to cast a shared vote on a Count's bench an imperial count obtained, the "seat and vote" within the Imperial Diet which, combined with Imperial immediacy, made of his chief land holding an Imperial estate and conferred upon him and his family the status of Landeshoheit, i.e. the semi-sovereignty which distinguished Germany and Austria's high nobility from the lower nobility, who had no representation in the Diet and answered to an over-lord.
Thus the reichsständische imperial counts pegged their interests and status to those of the imperial princes. In 1521 there were 144 imperial counts; the decrease reflected elevations to higher title, extinction of the male line, purchase or annexation by more powerful imperial princes. In 1792 there were four associations of counties contributing the votes of 99 familie
The Dutch Revolt was the revolt of the northern Protestant Seven Provinces of the Low Countries against the rule of the Roman Catholic Habsburg King Philip II of Spain, hereditary ruler of the provinces. The northern provinces separated from the southern provinces, which continued under Habsburg Spain until 1714; the religious "clash of cultures" built up but inexorably into outbursts of violence against the perceived repression of the Habsburg Crown. These tensions led to the formation of the independent Dutch Republic, whose first leader was William the Silent, followed by several of his descendants and relations; this revolt was one of the first successful secessions in Europe, led to one of the first European republics of the modern era, the United Provinces. King Philip was successful in suppressing the rebellion. In 1572, the rebels captured Brielle and the rebellion resurged; the northern provinces became independent, first in 1581 de facto, in 1648 de jure. During the revolt, the United Provinces of the Netherlands, better known as the Dutch Republic grew to become a world power through its merchant shipping and experienced a period of economic and cultural growth.
The Southern Netherlands remained under Spanish rule. The continuous heavy-handed rule by the Habsburgs in the south caused many of its financial and cultural elite to flee north, contributing to the success of the Dutch Republic; the Dutch imposed a rigid blockade on the southern provinces that prevented Baltic grain from relieving famine in the southern towns from 1587 to 1589. By the end of the war in 1648, large areas of the Southern Netherlands had been lost to France, which had, under the guidance of Cardinal Richelieu and Louis XIII of France, allied itself with the Dutch Republic in the 1630s against Spain; the first phase of the conflict can be considered the Dutch War of Independence. The focus of the latter phase was to gain official recognition of the de facto independence of the United Provinces; this phase coincided with the rise of the Dutch Republic as a major power and the founding of the Dutch Empire. In a series of marriages and conquests, a succession of Dukes of Burgundy expanded their original territory by adding to it a series of fiefdoms, including the Seventeen Provinces.
Although Burgundy itself had been lost to France in 1477, the Burgundian Netherlands were still intact when Charles V was born in Ghent in 1500. He was raised in the Netherlands and spoke fluent Dutch, French and some German. In 1506, he became lord of the Burgundian states, among. Subsequently, in 1516, he inherited several titles, including that of King of Spain, which had become a worldwide empire with the Spanish colonization of the Americas. In 1519, Charles became ruler of the Habsburg empire, he gained the title Holy Roman Emperor in 1530. Although Friesland and Guelders offered prolonged resistance all of the Netherlands had been incorporated into the Habsburg domains by the early 1540s. Flanders had long been a wealthy region, coveted by French kings; the other regions of the Netherlands had grown wealthy and entrepreneurial. Charles V's empire had become a worldwide empire with large European territories; the latter were, distributed throughout Europe. Control and defense of these were hampered by the disparity of the territories and huge length of the empire's borders.
This large realm was continuously at war with its neighbors in its European heartlands, most notably against France in the Italian Wars and against the Ottoman Empire in the Mediterranean Sea. Further wars were fought against Protestant princes in Germany; the Dutch paid heavy taxes to fund these wars, but perceived them as unnecessary and sometimes downright harmful, because they were directed against their most important trading partners. During the 16th century, Protestantism gained ground in northern Europe. Dutch Protestants, after initial repression, were tolerated by local authorities. By the 1560s, the Protestant community had become a significant influence in the Netherlands, although it formed a minority then. In a society dependent on trade and tolerance were considered essential. Charles V, from 1555 his successor Philip II, felt it was their duty to defeat Protestantism, considered a heresy by the Catholic Church and a threat to the stability of the whole hierarchical political system.
On the other hand, the intensely moralistic Dutch Protestants insisted their theology, sincere piety and humble lifestyle were morally superior to the luxurious habits and superficial religiosity of the ecclesiastical nobility. The harsh measures of suppression led to increasing grievances in the Netherlands, where the local governments had embarked on a course of peaceful coexistence. In the second half of the century, the situation escalated. Philip sent troops to make the Netherlands once more a Catholic region. Although failing in his attempts to introduce the Spanish Inquisition directly, the Inquisition of the Netherlands was sufficiently harsh and arbitrary in nature to provoke fervent dislike. Part of the shifting balance of power in the late Middle Ages meant that besides the local nobility, many of the Dutch administrators by now were not traditional aristocrats but instead stemmed from non-noble families that had risen in status over previous centuries. By the 15th century, Brussels had thus become the de facto
Siege of Groenlo (1627)
For other sieges of the town see Siege of Groenlo. The Siege of Grol in 1627 was a battle between the Army of the Dutch Republic commanded by Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange and the Spanish controlled fortified city of Grol, during the Eighty Years War and the Anglo–Spanish War in 1627; the Spanish army led by Hendrik van den Bergh came to relieve Grol. The siege lasted from 20 July until 19 August 1627, resulting in the surrender of the city to the army of the United Provinces. During the siege, a-16 kilometer-long circumvallation line was made around Grol in order to prevent the enemy from leaving and to prevent liberation of the city from the outside. Ambrosio Spinola had used a similar technique during the Siege of Breda, after the successful siege of Grol Frederic-Henry would use it in other sieges in the Netherlands, such as at the Siege of's-Hertogenbosch; the success at Grol provided the first serious victory on land for the Republic after the Twelve Years' Truce. Though it was only a small city, Grol was of military strategic importance.
Grol was a flourishing trade center, well fortified and armed, it had a strategic position on the Hanseatic trade route to Germany. The area around Grol was marshy and difficult to reach, anyone in control of the city was in control of the region. Maurice of Nassau had taken Grol in 1597, after an unsuccessful try in 1595, Spinola retook it in 1606. Maurice tried to take Grol again during the same year, again unsuccessful, after which Grol remained in Spanish hands until 1627. Grol provided a defensible place to a freehaven for Spanish raids. Heavy taxes and import duties were collected here from the whole of the Achterhoek and Veluwe, which provided a steady source of income for the Spanish war treasury. Together with the fortified towns of Oldenzaal and Lingen, Grol could provide a base for attacking the republic from the east. After Oldenzaal had been captured in 1626 by Ernest Casimir, the States-General chose to invest in an army to capture Grol, instead of concentrating on sea battles with the Spaniards.
The Dutch Army of Frederic-Henry, totaling over 15,000 footmen and 4,000 cavalry, traveled by foot and boat via the Rhine and unloaded behind Emmerich. As was common practice in those days, the army consisted of mercenaries from all over Europe, including Scottish, High-German and French troops. English forces were under the command of Edward Cecil; the army arrived at Grol on 20 July 1627. All major roads leading to Grol were blocked by front runners of the cavalry. 1,000 carts brought gunpowder, bullets, 75 guns and all the equipment necessary for besieging and taking over a city. The next day, thousands of soldiers and hired workers began to speedily build a continuous earthen wall around Grol, 10 feet high, 16 kilometers long. Wooden and earthen ramparts and other fortifications were built along the line, including fortified defenses for the troops. Frederic-Henry used to let troops of the same nationality work together, so that an English fortification was built by and for the English troops, as well as one for the French, the Frisians and one for the troops from Holland.
Guns were placed strategically so. The reach of the guns placed in Grol was taken into account: they couldn't hit the line, 2 kilometers from the city. In just 10 days the work was done, though the circumvallation was continually reinforced during the siege. Frederic-Henry was aware that a large Spanish army was stationed in the south of the Netherlands, commanded by Hendrik van den Bergh. To distract the Spanish army and delay its arrival, thus avoid a battle in the open field where he would be outnumbered, Frederic-Henry carried out a feigned attack. Neighbouring villages around Grol were taken by commanders to prevent the Spanish obtaining a foothold in the neighbourhood. Sentries were placed all around the area and supply lines were set up to Deventer and Zutphen, to feed and supply the massive army now lying around Grol. Matthijs Dulken, a seasoned and wily commander, was the head of the Spanish army occupying Grol, he had around 100 cavalry, commanded by Lambert Verreyken. Food and supplies aplenty, Dulken ordered his troops to reinforce the defenses of the fortified city, specifically: "...by musket or cannonball, to hurt or damage the enemy any which way".
With the circumvallation line ready, Grol was being bombarded by the Dutch army while groups of Dutch, French troops dug saps towards the city. Damage done to the city's defenses were continually repaired by the besieged. However, 200 incendiary "fireballs" were shot into the city, causing heavy damage to buildings and people. Dulken himself gave command to Verreyken. Verreyken and his cavalry raided the attackers positions the trench digging positions and the rampart of Ernst Casimir of Nassau-Dietz, without causing many casualties. In Grol, due to the carelessness of a soldier, two barrels of gunpowder exploded, causing forty bystanders to perish. Meanwhile, the English digging team had managed to first reach the canal which lay around Grol and was supplied by the river Slinge. In order to facilitate a crossing, the lock north of the city was blown up, resulting in the lowering of the water in the canal by five feet, which left just nine feet. After that, the Dutch army tried to cross the canal by building a dam, but they were under heavy gunfire
Cádiz expedition (1625)
The Cádiz expedition of 1625 was a naval expedition against Spain by English and Dutch forces. The plan was put forward because after the Dissolution of the Parliament of 1625, the Duke of Buckingham, Lord High Admiral, wanted to undertake an expedition that would match the exploits of the raiders of the Elizabethan era and in doing so, would return respect to the country and its people after the political stress of the preceding years. Following an abortive trip to Spain by Prince Charles and the Duke of Buckingham to propose a marriage between Charles and the Spanish Infanta Maria Anna of Spain, the two switched positions and began advocating war with Spain, they persuaded King James to summon a new Parliament which would be invited to advise on foreign policy. The resulting Parliament of 1624 was a triumph for Charles and Buckingham, as it advocated war with Spain. However, James had a dilemma stemming from mutual distrust between Parliament, he feared that if he went to war, Parliament would find an excuse to avoid providing the finances to support it.
Parliament, on the other hand, feared that if they voted the finances, the King would find an excuse not to go to war. James died shortly afterwards, leaving foreign policy in the hands of Charles, who rather naively assumed that if he followed the policy Parliament had advocated, it would provide the funds for it. War was duly declared on Spain, Buckingham began the preparations; the planned expedition involved several elements, including overtaking Spanish treasure ships coming back from the Americas loaded with gold and silver, assaulting Spanish towns, with the intention of causing stress within Spain's economy and weakening the Spanish supply chain and resources in regards to the Electorate of the Palatinate. By October 1625 100 ships and a total of 15,000 seamen and soldiers had been readied for the Cádiz Expedition. An alliance with the Dutch had been forged, the new allies agreed to send an additional 15 warships commanded by William of Nassau, to help guard the English Channel in the absence of the main fleet.
Sir Edward Cecil, a battle-hardened soldier fighting for the Dutch, was appointed commander of the expedition by the Duke of Buckingham. This choice of commander was ill-judged, while Cecil was a good soldier, he had little knowledge of the sea; the expedition began on 6 October 1625. Stormy weather threatened the ships, rendering many of them seaworthy and causing major delays. By the time the fleet escaped from the storms and arrived in Spanish waters, it had become apparent that they were too poorly supplied to conduct the mission properly, that they were too late to engage the West Indian treasure fleet, due to the storms they had encountered. Cecil chose to assault the Spanish city of Cádiz and, after sailing to the Bay of Cádiz and landing his force, he was able to take the fort that guarded the harbour of the city. However, he soon found that the city itself had been fortified with modern defences, began to make serious errors. Spanish vessels that were open to capture were able to get away because most of his forces waited for orders and did not act.
The Spanish ships sailed to the safety of Puerto Real, in the easternmost anchorage of the bay. The ships used in the assault were largely merchant vessels conscripted and converted for warfare, the captains or owners of these ships, concerned about the welfare of their ships, left much of the battle to the Dutch; the attack on and capture of El Puntal tower proved a mistake, as this fortification did not need to be captured to be able to attack Cádiz. When Cecil landed his forces, they realised that they had no drink with them. Cecil made the foolish decision to allow the men to drink from the wine vats found in the local houses. A wave of drunkenness ensued, with none of Cecil's force remaining sober. Realizing what he had done, Cecil took the only course left open to him, ordered that the men return to their ships and retreat; when the Spanish army arrived, they found over 1,000 English soldiers still drunk: although every man was armed, not a single shot was fired as the Spanish put them all to the sword.
After the embarrassing fiasco of Cádiz, Cecil decided to try to intercept a fleet of Spanish galleons that were bringing resources back from the New World. This failed as well, because these ships had been warned of danger in the waters, so were able to take another route and were able to return home without any trouble from Cecil's ships. Disease and sickness was sweeping through the ranks and, since the ships were in a bad state, Cecil decided that there was no alternative but to return to England, having captured few or no goods, having made little impact on Spain. So, in December, the fleet returned home; the expedition cost the English an estimated £250,000. The failure of the attack had serious political repercussions in England. King Charles, to protect his own dignity and his favourite, made no effort to enquire about the failure of the expedition, he turned a blind eye. The House of Commons was less forgiving; the Parliament of 1626 began the process of impeachment against the Duke. Charles I chose to dissolve Parliament rather than risk a successful impeachment.
Roger Manning, Oxford, An Apprenticeship in Arms: The Origins of the British Army 1585–1702
Margaretha van Mechelen
Margaretha van Mechelen was a noblewomen of the Southern Netherlands and the mistress of Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange, with whom she had 3 sons: Willem of Nassau, lord of the Lek Louis of Nassau, lord of de Lek and Beverweerd Maurice of NassauThough Maurice refused to marry her, he did state his intent to do so from his death bed. This would threaten his half-brother Frederick Henry's place in the succession and so Frederick Henry summoned Amalia of Solms-Braunfels and married her a few days before Maurice's death. Portrait in the Digitaal Vrouwenlexicon
A heerlijkheid was a landed estate that served as the lowest administrative and judicial unit in rural areas in the Dutch-speaking Low Countries before 1800. It originated as a unit of lordship under the feudal system during the Middle Ages; the English equivalents are manor and lordship. The heerlijkheid system was the Dutch version of manorialism that prevailed in the Low Countries and was the precursor to the modern municipality system in the Netherlands and Flemish Belgium. A typical heerlijkheid manor consisted of a village and the surrounding lands extending out for a kilometre or so. Taking 18th-century Wassenaar as an example of a large hoge heerlijkheid, it was 3,612 morgens in size and had 297 houses. Nearby Voorschoten had 201 houses. Nootdorp was an ambachtsheerlijkheid of 58 houses. There were 517 heerlijkheden in the province of Holland in the 18th century. All fell into the last three categories in the list below. Not all heerlijkheden were the same, they differed in composition. A heerlijkheid should not be confused with a larger territory, like a county or viscounty, nor with administrative regions on par with an English shire, Dutch gouw, German Gau, or Roman or Carolingian pagus.
A Flemish castellany was larger and different from a heerlijkheid, but they were similar in some ways. There were different kinds of heerlijkheid: vrijheerlijkheid -- allodium; these heerlijkheden were found at the edges of a county and were called ‘free’ because they were allodial instead of a fief held by an overlord. Erfheerlijkheid — a feudal barony. Hoge heerlijkheid — a great barony or ‘honour’, either a fief or allodium. In these large lordships, the lord had jurisdiction to appoint a bailiff instead of just a reeve, to administer capital punishment, it was possible for a heerlijkheid to be both large. The largest were mini-counties within the county. Ambacht or ambachtsheerlijkheid — a serjeanty located inland rather than on the borders. Serjeanties sometimes consisted of nothing more than a castle and a few hectares of land, although most were larger than this; the serjeant did not have the power of ‘pit and gallows’, i.e. the power to impose the death penalty. Schoutsambt — a reeveland, the territory under the charge of a reeve, thus equivalent to the jurisdiction of a heerlijkheid The central figure was the lord of the heerlijkheid and its owner—the manorial lord or lady.
In Dutch, the lord was called the lady vrouw. The lord was referred to by the Latin word dominus. A rarer English alternative is seigneur. There were different kinds of lord and lady: vrijheer and vrijvrouwe — allodial lord or allodiary, tenant of an allodial lordship. Erfheer and erfvrouwe — feudal baron or mesne lord, tenant of a fiefdom. Baanderheer — tenant by knight-service. Under the feudal system, a manorial lord was himself the vassal of a higher-ranking tenant-in-chief a highborn noble, in turn the crown vassal of the king or emperor. However, sometimes there was no mesne tenancy; the heerlijkheid was ruled directly by a viscount or a baron. It was not uncommon for the lord to be ecclesiastical, e.g. a prince-bishop or prince-abbot. Heerlijkheden were held by the nobility. However, starting around the 16th century, lordship over a heerlijkheid was not synonymous with nobility. A heerlijkheid could be sold. Many ended up in a political class known as the regents. In addition, many were bought by boroughs.
In the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, it was not unusual for a borough to purchase the heerlijkheden around it in order to gain control and ownership of the surrounding land and the resulting economic advantages. Boroughs were themselves not part of the manorial system: the countryside and villages were governed by lords, whereas boroughs were self-governing; the heerlijkheden came into being as a result of the feudal system, in particular the sovereign's delegated judicial prerogative. The crown, as lord paramount, granted the right to govern and to exercise judicial authority to a crown vassal a confidante or as a reward for military service or political support; the crown vassal—e.g. A count or duke —thus exercised all or part of the sovereign's royal authority. In turn the crown vassal granted rights to the mesne lords of the heerlijkheden; because a fief originated out of a bond between vassal and lord for military service, vassalage was personal not heritable. With the advent of professional armies, the vassalage bond fell into disuse or was replaced by scutage.
One of the consequences of this was that, on the death of the vassal, the fief escheated to the lord. The vassal's heir was able to retain the heerlijkheid through the commendation ceremony, the process of paying homage and swearing fealty officiated at the head manor court; the new vassal made a symbolic payment (leen
Sluis is the name of both a municipality and a town located in the west of Zeelandic Flanders, in the south-western part of the Netherlands. The current incarnation of the municipality exists since on 1 January 2003; the former municipalities of Oostburg and Sluis-Aardenburg merged on that date. The latter of these two municipalities was formed from a merger between the previous municipality named Sluis and the former municipality of Aardenburg; the town received city rights in 1290. In 1340 the Battle of Sluys was fought nearby at sea. There is a record of one of the first lotteries with money in 9 May 1455 of 1737 florins During the Eighty Years' War in 1587 the town was captured by Spanish troops under the Duke of Parma and was retaken in 1604 by a Dutch and English force under Maurice of Nassau. From 2006 until its closure in 2013, Oud Sluis was one of only two Michelin three-starred restaurants in the entire country. In addition to the town of Sluis itself, the municipality is made up of the following population centres: Sint Anna ter Muiden, with a population of only 50, is a small village about 1 km west of the town of Sluis, located on the westernmost point of the Netherlands.
The population of the city is 2,040. A ferry connection across the Westerschelde exists between Vlissingen. After the opening of the Westerschelde tunnel near Terneuzen in 2003, the ferry now carries only pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Seventeenth-century painter Jacob van Loo was from Sluis. Johan Hendrik van Dale, the creator of the Dutch Van Dale dictionary, Ernst Oppler, German painter, lived some years in Sluis Zwin Media related to Sluis at Wikimedia Commons Official website