- T'Serclaes, Everard
- (ca. 1315-1387)Everard t'Serclaes was born into one of the great lignages, that of Sleeus ("the lion"), of which his family had been members for generations. Nothing is known of his early childhood and youth. Following the entry into Brussels of Flemish troops under Louis of Male, count of Flanders, in August 1356, t'Serclaes fled into exile at Maastricht. Informed that Louis had left the city for Paris following the English victory at Poitiers, t'Serclaes returned via the Forêt de Soignes and, on the night of 29 October, he slipped over the ramparts. He met friends and to the cry of "Brabant for the great duke" he rallied a motley collection of men, including cooks, tavern keepers, and craftsmen, to drive the Flemish guards from the city. Acclaimed the "savior of Brussels" he was knighted by Wenceslaus, duke of Brabant.T'Serclaes served as alderman in 1365, 1372, 1377, 1382, and 1387. He served as a key representative of the city's patricians in disputes with the duke. In 1387, he persuaded Duchess Joan not to sell a strip of crown land to Swedor van Apcoude, the lord of Gaasbeke, one of the last great barons of Brabant. Swedor swore vengeance. On 16 March 1387, t'Serclaes rode out on his mule from Brussels to Lennick, a small village near Gaasbeke castle. He was ambushed on his return. Slashed with swords and mutilated, he died 10 days later. Everard t'Serclaes was widely popular as his fame has endured. Put in place in 1898-1899, a recumbent bronze statue of the folk hero lies under the arcade of L'Étoile guildhall on the Grand' Place. Passers-by stroke its limbs as a gesture to ensure good luck.
Historical Dictionary of Brussels. Paul F. State.