medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Phyllis Jestice wrote:
> Two modern "saints"
> The first is a Protestant, the savior of the Reformed Church in the
> Netherlands---William the Silent of Orange, assassinated on this day
> in 1584.  He came to the leadership of the Dutch rebels/religious
> reformers after the duke of Alva's draconian suppressive measures
> killed several other Dutch leaders.  William put up an extremely good
> fight against the troops of Philip II.  He seems to have been rather
> religious ambivalent himself, eventually converting to the Reformed
> church at a late stage in his career.

William was really the natural leader right from the beginning.  Not only
for his personal qualities (he was just about the only person on any side to
act with integrity) and his leadership, but because he was both the leading
nobleman and landowner (he was by far the richest man in the Netherlands).
He also had the practical advantage that, as Prince of Orange, he was a
sovereign in his own right (although a vassal of Philip for his lands in the
Netherlands - his ancestral estates were in Germany) and thus entitled to
wage war upon his enemies.  And as Philip had kidnapped his eldest son and
was holding him hostage in Spain, he certainly had legitimate grounds for

John Briggs

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