Today in History


On this day, in 1572, the fortified city of Brielle was captured from the Spanish by Protestant rebels known as Watergeuzen.

This was during the Eighty Years War between the Netherlands and Spain. ? The capture of the city is considered a turning point in the war, as many of the Dutch then began to support the ascendant William of Orange against the Spanish 3rd Duke of Alba, who had been sent by Spain to pacify the Dutch.

The victory ?is still celebrated by the inhabitants of the town to this day, on an evening known as “Chalk Night”, when the townsfolk deface the town with white chalk and lately, white paint.

The Dutch didn’t seem to concerned about keeping the place, as it became an English Territory in 1585, as security for Queen Elizabeth allowing 5000 soldiers to fight for the Dutch against Spain in the Treaty of Nonsuch. ? The city was returned to the Dutch in 1617