- In April 1567 William of orange fled to Germany.
- He had not decided yet to become a rebel but judged it best to await events from a position of safety.
- Orange sent Alva a letter in 1567 to test the ground asking whether he could be of service.
- In response he was condemned in his absence by the COT and had his estates confiscated. His former colleagues were beheaded.
- The punished meted out by COT left him little choice but to become a rebel.
- Orange saw himself as the leader of the opposition to Alva with the other chief confederates and nobels gone or dead.
- In 1568, Orange invaded the Netherlands with the help of a mercenary army from Germany.
- Campaign was a complete failure; troops rapidly defeated, not one town rose in his name.
- Orange tried to resore his fortunes and increase his allies.
- In 1567 converted to Lutheranism---> motivated by political considerations, could call to his aid co-religionists in exile.
- Established close links with Huguenots, fighting alongside them against Catholics winning over Admiral Coligny (dominant voice in Charles' court).
- Presented himself as 'national leader', 'father of his country'.
- His aim was the overthrow of a tyrannical regime; promised to restore the lost liberties of the Dutch.
The invasion plan of 1572
- Second invasion plan; Netherlands invaded from Germany by 2 armies; mixed force of exiles + Huguenots would attack from France.
- They would later be supported by a French army led by Coligny.
- From the sea, a fleet fitted out by Orange would attack Holland and Zealand, helped by privateers who sailed under Orange's flag- the 'Sea Beggars'.
- Orange did not estimate them highly and they were not vital to his plan but they became decisive military factor in the events of 1572.
- Orange and rebels acquired a permanent foothold in the Netherlands thanks to the Sea Beggars from which it was impossible to dislodge them from.
- Orange was once again in flight by November 1572 taking refuge in the unvanquished provinces of Holland and Zealand.
The Sea Beggars
- A motley crew of pirates, exiled noblemen and Calvinist seafarers drawn to Orange's side to povide maritime support in 1568 invasion.
- They survived mainly by piracy after Orange's defeat.
- They harrassed the coast and attacked both Spanish and neutral shipping, selling captured vessels in England.
- Their activities were so damaging to trade, Elizabeth expelled them in March 1572.
- They sailed to holland and on 1st April seized the unguarded port of Brille, having nowhere else to…