Marnix, Phillippe de
(1538-1598)
   Born in Brussels, Philippe de Marnix's family came to the Low Countries from Savoy at the beginning of the reign of Emperor Charles V. As a youth, Philippe studied under John Calvin at Geneva and he subsequently took an active part in opposition to King Philip II's rule. He joined other nobles in presenting the petition to Margaret of Parma calling for tolerance (1566) and during the wars of religion he was forced to emigrate. Spanish authorities condemned him in absentia (17 August 1568) and he was permanently banished. An intimate councillor of William of Orange, he was sent to Brussels to act on the lat-ter's behalf (1577) and he was instrumental in securing the Second Union of Brussels. His hopes for a reconciliation of all the Netherlands with Spain on the basis of religious tolerance proved illusory, and, in 1589, he addressed a letter to Protestants in Brabant, Flanders, and Hainault urging them to leave for the northern Netherlands. He died in Leiden, the Netherlands, on 15 December 1598.

Historical Dictionary of Brussels. .

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