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 Fleece, the prestigious assemblage of retainers that had been founded by Philip the Good, duke of Burgundy (10 January 1429), and won fame as the victor over the French at the battle of Gravelines (13 July 1558). He was appointed to the Council of State, where he clashed with Cardinal Granvelle (1517-1587), chief adviser to Margaret of Parma, in defending local prerogatives vis-à-vis those of the Spanish crown. Egmont repeatedly warned King Philip II about rising discontent but the king resolved to impose royal authority, including enforcement of the Inquisition. Egmont in turn allied himself with William of Orange, although he remained a staunch Roman Catholic. Reluctantly swearing an oath of loyalty to the crown demanded by Margaret of Parma of all military leaders, he declined William's request that he assist in raising a league to resist Spanish forces. Rather, he commanded a force of loyalists that succeeded in surprising and routing 3,000 Calvinist rebels in a skirmish on 13 March 1567 at Oosterweel, outside Antwerp, during which their leader, John Marnix, was killed. However, the authorities remained suspicious that Egmont continued to harbor seditious sentiments. He was arrested in Brussels on 9 September 1567, together with the count of Hornes, and imprisoned at Ghent. Denied counsel, Egmont was condemned for high treason by the Council of Troubles (Council of Blood). Returned to Brussels under heavy guard, he was beheaded on the Grand' Place on 5 June 1568. His death with that of Hornes helped to inflame rebellion. A statue of both forms the centerpiece of the place du Petit Sablon.See also Wars of Religion.
Historical Dictionary of Brussels. Paul F. State.
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