Lamoral, Count of Egmont

Lamoral, Count of Egmont
Statue of Lamoral, Count of Egmont, before the castle of Egmont in Zottegem
Statue of Egmont and Hoorne, Petit Sablon / Kleine Zavel Square, Brussels.

Lamoral, Count of Egmont, Prince of Gavere (November 18, 1522 – June 5, 1568) was a general and statesman in the Habsburg Netherlands just before the start of the Eighty Years' War, whose execution helped spark the national uprising that eventually led to the independence of the Netherlands.[1]

The Count of Egmont headed one of the wealthiest and most powerful families in the Low Countries. Paternally, a branch of the Egmonts ruled the sovereign duchy of Guelders until 1538. Lamoral was born in La Hamaide near Ellezelles. His father was John IV of Egmont, knight in the Order of the Golden Fleece. His mother belonged to a cadet branch of the House of Luxembourg, and through her he inherited the title prince de Gavere.[2] During his youth, he received a military education in Spain. In 1542, he inherited the estates of his elder brother Charles in Holland. His family's stature increased further in 1544 when he wed, in the presence of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and of the Archduke Ferdinand I at Spires, the Countess Palatine Sabine of Simmern, whose brother became the Elector Palatine Frederick III.[1]

In the service of the Spanish army, he defeated the French in the battles of Saint-Quentin (1557) and Gravelines (1558). Egmont was appointed stadtholder of Flanders and Artois in 1559, aged only 37.

As a leading Netherlandic nobleman, Egmont was a member of King Philip II of Spain's official Council of State for Flanders and Artois. Together with William, Prince of Orange and the Count of Horn, he protested against the introduction of the inquisition in Flanders by the cardinal Antoine Perrenot Granvelle, bishop of Arras. Egmont even threatened to resign, but after Granvelle left, there was a reconciliation with the king. In 1565, Egmont went to Madrid to beseech Philip II, the king of Spain, for a change of policy in the Netherlands, but met with little more than courtesy.[1]

Soon thereafter, the Iconoclasm started, and resistance against the Spanish rule in the Netherlands increased. As a devout Catholic, Egmont deplored the iconoclasm, and remained faithful to the Spanish king.

After Philip II sent the Duke of Alba to the Netherlands, William of Orange decided to flee Brussels. Having always declined to do anything that smacked of lèse majesté, Egmont refused to heed Orange's warning, thus he and Horn decided to stay in the city. Upon arrival, Alba almost immediately had the counts of Egmont and Horn arrested on charges of treason, and imprisoned them in a castle in Ghent, prompting Egmont's wife and eleven children to seek refuge in a convent. Pleas for amnesty came to the Spanish king from throughout Europe, including from many reigning sovereigns, the Order of the Golden Fleece, and the king's kinsman the Emperor Maximilian II, all to no avail.

On 4 June Egmont and Horn were condemned to death, and lodged that night in the maison du roi. On June 5, 1568, both men, aged only 46 and 44 respectively, were beheaded in the Grand Place in Brussels, Egmont's uncomplaining dignity on the occasion being widely noted. Their deaths led to public protests throughout the Netherlands, and contributed to the resistance against the Spaniards. The Count of Egmont lies buried in Zottegem.[3]

Nowadays, a statue erected on the Petit Sablon / Kleine Zavel Square in Brussels commemorates the Counts of Egmont and Horn, in historical overview usually mentioned together as "Egmond en Hoorne" and hailed as the first leaders of the Dutch revolt, as the predecessors of William of Orange, who grew to importance and obtained the leadership after their execution, and who was assassinated in 1584 in Delft, having succeeded in liberating parts of The Netherlands in the early years of the Eighty Years' War (1568–1648).

Egmont's offices and vast estates were forfeited upon his execution. By inheritance he had been count of Egmont (or Egmond), prince de Gavre and van Steenhuysen, baron de Fiennes, Gaesbeke and La Hamaide, seigneur de Purmerent, Hoogwoude, Aertswoude, Beyerland, Sottenghien, Dondes, Auxy and Baer. Some of these lands were eventually returned to his heirs. By appointment, he was Captain General of the Lowlands under Charles V, knight of the Golden Fleece since 1546, and Imperial Chamberlain. Despite the taint of treason and the family's impoverishment, his niece Louise of Lorraine-Mercouer, was chosen to became the Queen consort of Henry III of France in 1575.

Literary treatments

The Count of Egmont is the main character in a play by Goethe, Egmont. In 1810 Ludwig van Beethoven composed an overture and incidental music for a revival of the play.

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b c "Egmont (Egmond), Lamoral, Count of". Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition. 1911. 
  2. ^ The complicated series of inheritances through which Gavre/Gavere in Flanders and its dependencies passed through the heiress Beatrix de Gavre to Guy IX de Laval and was sold in 1515 to Jacques de Luxembourg, is sketched in Arthur Bertrand de Broussillon, Paul de Farcy, Eugène Vallée, La maison de Laval, 1020-1605 (1895-1903), vol. 4 Les Montfort-Laval et leur cadets, 1501-1605, s.v. "Guy XVI" de Laval, pp. 5-7.
  3. ^ "Egmont (Egmond), Lamoral, Count of". Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition. 1911. "" the storm of terror and exasperation to which this tragedy gave rise Egmont's failings were forgotten, and he and his fellow-victim to Spanish tyranny were glorified in the popular imagination as martyrs of Flemish freedom. From this memorable usually dated the beginning of the famous revolt of the Netherlands."" 
Lamoral, Count of Egmont
House of Egmont
Born: 8 november 1522 Died: 5 june 1568
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Charles I van Egmont
Counts of Egmont
Succeeded by
Philip van Egmont
Preceded by
Francoise of Luxembourg
Prince of Gavere
Succeeded by
Philip van Egmont
Preceded by
Charles I van Egmont Lord of the Free and high Lordship Purmerland and Ilpendam
Succeeded by
Philip van Egmont

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Egmont, Lamoral, Count of — (1522 1568)    Lamoral, count of Egmont, was born on 18 November 1522 in a chateau at Ath in Hainault into one of the most powerful families in the Netherlands. He fought in Germany, was admitted in 1546 to membership in the Order of the Golden… …   Historical Dictionary of Brussels

  • Egmont, Lamoral, Count of — • Born at the Château de La Hamaide, in Hainault, 18 Nov., 1522; beheaded at Brussels, 5 June, 1568 Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • EGMONT, LAMORAL, COUNT OF —    born in Hainault; became attached to the Court of Charles V., by whom, for distinguished military and diplomatic services, he was appointed governor of Flanders; fell into disfavour for espousing the cause of the Protestants of the Netherlands …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • The Count of Egmont —     Lamoral, Count of Egmont, Prince of Gâvre     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Lamoral, Count of Egmont, Prince of Gâvre     Born at the Château de La Hamaide, in Hainault, 18 Nov., 1522; beheaded at Brussels, 5 June, 1568. He was a descendant of… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Egmont — or Egmond may refer to the following:* Egmond family (often spelled Egmont ), an influential Dutch family, lords of the town of Egmond * Egmond, a town in North Holland, the Netherlands. First mentioned in the 10th century, the family may be… …   Wikipedia

  • Egmont Palace — The Egmont Palace (Dutch: Egmontpaleis , French: Palais d Egmont ) is a large mansion at the Wolstraat / Rue aux Laines and the Kleine Zavel / Petit Sablon in Brussels, Belgium. It is being used by the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.It was… …   Wikipedia

  • Egmont — [eg′mänt΄; ] Du [ ekh′mō̂nt] Count of (born Lamoral Egmont) 1522 68; Fl. statesman & general * * * …   Universalium

  • Egmont — [eg′mänt΄; ] Du [ ekh′mō̂nt] Count of (born Lamoral Egmont) 1522 68; Fl. statesman & general …   English World dictionary

  • Eighty Years' War — Relief of Leiden after the siege, 1574. Date 1568 1648 Location …   Wikipedia

  • History of the Netherlands — This article is part of a series Early History …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”