The First Conflict
- Before departing to Spain in 1559, Philip appointed his half-sister Margaret of Parma as regent.
- Philip continued his father's policies of making close relatives regents.
- Margaret's experience of government was limited.
- Philip feared he would soon become a puppet to the aristocracy.
- And so, he set up a 'consulta' or inner council.
- The council had 3 loyal servants of the crown.
- Their principal task was to advise the regent and ensure she kept to Philip's instructions
- Head of the council was Antoine Perenot de Granvelle.
- Granvelle as a native of Franche Comté.
- Granvelle was a shrewd and experienced politician.
- Granvelle's most important qualification was his slavish devotion to his royal master.
- He was appointed Cardinal in 1561.
Grievances of the Grandees
- Between 1555 and 1559, the Grandees had been largely excluded from influence in the court.
- With Philip and his counsellors one, the Grandees hoped to be readmitted to the centre of political power.
- A anti-Granvelle campaign led by Counts Egmont and Hornes and William of Orange (the stadholder of Holland, Zealand and Utrecht) developed.
- After Granvelle's appointment as Cardinal, the 3 grandees and their supporters donned jester's caps in mockery of Granvelle's cap.
- They made plain in their speeches and letters that they wanted Granvelle dismissed.
- The Granvelle's were convinced they'd win the campaign, as Philip was at war with the Turks and couldn't pay attention to the events in the Netherlands.
- They had powerful allies in Spanish court in their campaign against Granvelle.
- Egmont, Hornes and Orange were virtually immune to reprisals if their plotting miscarried.
- William of Orange hoped his bride's German relatives would support him with an army.
The Bishoprics Scheme
- In 1561, Philip ordered a thorough reform of the ecclesiastical organisation of the Netherlands.
- He proposed the creation of 14 new bishoprics in the Netherlands based on a plan derived from his father.
- The foreign sees under whose jusrisdiction the ecclesiastical affairs of the country were currently placed were entirely displaced.
- The new prelates required an income so they would take over the revenues of the appointed abbots of nearby monastic houses.
- He stipulated that the new bishops should be educated in theology and equipped with inquisitors to check up on the religious orthodoxy of their flocks.
- Philip's scheme threatened nearly all the influential forces in the Netherlands.
- The new abbot-bishops would form a pro-Spanish lobby as the abbots traditionally sat in the provincial parliaments.
- The new scheme promised to close down the spiritul avenue of employment for the nobles younger sons as theological training was beneath them. This reduced the nobles influence.
- The appointment of inquisitors were seen as the preliminary of a new wave of religious persecution, meaning more arrests and burnings, a prospect repellant to many.
- Granvelle played little part in devising the bishoprics plan, however, he became the focus of discontent as the scheme envisaged him promoted primate of the Netherlands.
- The provincial parliament of Brabant, instigated by the Grandees, pressed for Granvelle's dismissal and refused to…