ROTTERDAM - Spanish troops have caused a bloodbath in a raid in Rotterdam. There are surely slain forty Rotterdam, but it may be much more. Among the victims was also mayor Roos.

The inhabitants of Rotterdam, the Spaniards managed to take two days out of the gate. The first attack was repulsed yet last night. Then, negotiation, under the direction of Abbot Duifhuis of the St-Lawrence Church. It was agreed that could take about two hundred Spaniards in small groups throughout the city, towards the strategically located Delfshaven.

But when the gates were opened for the first group, stormed the entire Spanish regiment in the city. One of the first victims was farrier Zwartjan.

In the city soldiers chased numerous innocent civilians in death. Mayor Jan Roos was among them.

How many victims there are cases is unclear. There is talk of at least forty, but Spanish sources have it a hundred. Others say the number is much higher.

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The Spanish arrived two days ago at the east gate of Rotterdam. They had already sit up when a hard journey, full of setbacks.

Governor Maximilien de Hénin-Liétard, the Count of Bossu, had traveled with his troops toward Brielle, after news that the rebels had captured town.

As a part of the area was put under water, Count Bossu in Brielle had to turn back to make.

The next target was Delfshaven, that was occupied by the rebels. The Spaniards are afraid that will put north submerged the entire area from Delfshaven. That would make vulnerable the city of Delft.

An attempt to collect in Dordrecht provisioning failed, because Dordtenaren kept the gates closed hermetically. Then Bossu pulled Rotterdam.

But even there, the locals kept the gates closed, against the will of the Catholic city government. Because the Passover was the Rotterdam quite a bit drunk. Perhaps this played a role.

The Count of Bossu had forced his men to sleep outside Rotterdam city walls, which was a humiliation for the main Spanish soldier in the Netherlands. The next day was done the first attack on Rotterdam. When that failed, The troops were to hold a day later not.

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All the frustration that had sat in the Spanish troops, came out at the demolition tour of Rotterdam.

Thus the statue of Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam destroyed by the Spanish garrison. was smeared the image on the Market, smashed and then thrown into the water.

Erasmus was a humanist and was one of the inspirations for the Protestants who have recently separated from the church. The Spanish chaplain would have a great aversion to Erasmus.

Meanwhile have left most Spanish troops Rotterdam, the direction Delfshaven, where the rebels would stand now.

Hoe ging het verder?

The Spaniards managed to take Delfshaven. Also, the place was looted. The already best reputation of the ruler suffered a new blow on.

For that reason, many cities came to be in Holland with a dilemma. They would remain on the side of the Spaniards (like many cities then did) if they chose the Beggars? Those were no angels, appeared a few months later again, then was taken several clergy from Gorinchem Brielle and put to death.

But a few months later, when the first Free State Congress was held in Dordrecht, chose thirteen cities (o.a. Dordrecht, Delft, Leiden, Gouda, Gorinchem Oudewater) the side of William of Orange.


The invasion of the Spaniards was at the East Gate, on the spot where it is Oostplein. That is at the heart of the city, but that was then so the final frontier.

The blacksmith killed Zwartjan is now named the Black Janstraat, a shopping street in the Old North.

Albert Duifhuis, the abbot who had negotiated the entry of the Spaniards, takes the legs after the carnage.

The Spaniards Rotterdam long possession. Lodewijk van Oranje (brother William) threatened to take the city. That threat and the fact that more and more cities in Holland opted for rebellion, ensured that the Spaniards 25 June left the city again.

Rotterdam Also chose the rebellion. As another port, Amsterdam, Spanish remained long Forgiving, caused additional trade and economic prosperity for Rotterdam. Especially when, in the following decades many wealthy Belgians fled to the north, meant that an additional economic boost for Rotterdam.

In 1621 Rotterdam also has nineteen thousand inhabitants, a large number for that time in the Netherlands. only Amsterdam, Leiden, Haarlem, Utrecht and Middelburg had more residents.

The above article was written for the History Month 2018. The theme of this year's 'rebellion'. In this case, it concerns the Rotterdam trying to keep the Spaniards out of the gate. Whether there is rebellion or drunken behavior ... the scientists may still talk about this in the coming years.


Leiden University - Peter Verkaik / Erika Kuijpers – Dutch Revolt-Rotterdam

City Archives Rotterdam - Spanish terror

Wikipedia – Storming Rotterdam (1572)

RTV Rijnmond - Vergeten Verhalen: de dagen ná 1 april 1572

Author: Dave Datema

published: 01-10-2018

story number: 202

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