History of Holland

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The earliest dynasty of the Counts of Holland--Dirks, Floris, and Williams--was a very remarkable one. Not only did it rule for an unusually long period, 922 to 1299, but in this long period without exception all the Counts of Holland were strong and capable rulers. The fiefs of the first two Dirks lay in what is now known as North Holland, in the district called Kennemerland. It was Dirk III who seized from the bishops of Utrecht some swampy land amidst the channels forming the mouth of the Meuse, which, from the bush which covered it, was named Holt-land (Holland or Wood-land). Here he erected, in 1015, a stronghold to collect tolls from passing ships. This stronghold was the beginning of the town of Dordrecht, and from here a little later the name Holland was gradually applied to the whole county. Of his successors the most illustrious was William II (1234 to 1256) who was crowned King of the Romans at Aachen, and would have received from Pope Innocent IV the imperial crown at Rome, had he not been unfortunately drowned while attempting to cross on horseback an ice-bound marsh.

In 1299 the male line of this dynasty became extinct; and John of Avennes, Count of Hainault, nephew of William II, succeeded. His son, William III, after a long struggle with the Counts of Flanders, conquered Zeeland and became Count henceforth of Holland, Zeeland and Hainault. His son, William IV, died childless; and the succession then passed to his sister Margaret, the wife of the Emperor Lewis of Bavaria. It was contested by her second son William, who, after a long drawn-out strife with his mother, became, in 1354, Count of Holland and Zeeland with the title William V, Margaret retaining the county of Hainault. Becoming insane, his brother Albert in 1358 took over the reins of government. In his time the two factions, known by the nicknames of "the Hooks" and "the Cods," kept the land in a continual state of disorder and practically of civil war. They had already been active for many years. The Hooks were supported by the nobles, by the peasantry and by that large part of the poorer townsfolk that was excluded from all share in the municipal government. The Cods represented the interests of the powerful burgher corporations. In later times these same principles and interests divided the Orangist and the States parties, and were inherited from the Hooks and Cods of mediaeval Holland. The marriages of Albert's son, William, with Margaret the sister of John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, and of John the Fearless with Albert's daughter, Margaret, were to have momentous consequences. Albert died in 1404 and was succeeded by William VI, who before his death in 1417 caused the nobles and towns to take the oath of allegiance to his daughter and only child, Jacoba or Jacqueline.[2]

Jacoba, brave, beautiful and gifted, for eleven years maintained her rights against many adversaries, chief among them her powerful and ambitious cousin, Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy. Her courage and many adventures transformed her into a veritable heroine of romance. By her three marriages with John, Duke of Brabant, with Humphry, Duke of Gloucester, and, finally, with Frans van Borselen, she had no children. Her hopeless fight with Philip of Burgundy's superior resources ended at last in the so-called "Reconciliation of Delft" in 1428, by which, while retaining the title of countess, she handed over the government to Philip and acknowledged his right of succession to the Countship upon her death, which took place in 1436.

G.E.

_November_, 1921

TABLE OF CONTENTS

PAGES

GENERAL PREFACE v

PROLOGUE vii-ix

CHAP.

I. The Burgundian Netherlands 1-11

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