Siege of Bredevoort (1597)

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Siege of Bredevoort in 1597
Part of the Eighty Years' War
Map of the siege of Bredevoort 1597
Map of the siege of Bredevoort 1597
Date 1–10 October 1597
Location Bredevoort, Gelderland
(present-day the Netherlands)
Result Dutch & English victory
Belligerents
 Dutch Republic
 England
 Spain
Commanders and leaders
Dutch Republic Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange Spain Damien Gardot
Strength
6,000 infantry
1,200 cavalry
200 infantry (Bredevoort)
40 cavalry (Bredevoort)
Casualties and losses
Unknown 80

The Siege of Bredevoort in 1597 was a siege of Bredevoort by the military forces led by Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange, during the Eighty Years War and the Anglo-Spanish War. The siege lasted from October 1 until October 9, after that day Bredevoort was occupied by the besiegers. The siege was part of a campaign which Maurice conquered the cities Turnhout, Alphen, Rijnberk, Meurs, Bredevoort, Groenlo, Goor, Enschede, Oldenzaal, Ootmarsum and Lingen.

History[edit]

English troops attacking the Alter gate

Bredevoort was being defended by only two companies of (200) soldiers, led by a French captain Gardot Damien and his lieutenant Van Broeckhuysen, because of the absence of Count Hendrik van den Bergh and his supporting troops. Bredevoort was considered impregnable, because the city was surrounded by swamps. Those swamps made it very difficult to get guns within shooting range. Maurice was advancing towards the city with 6,000 troops and 1,200 cavalry which included 13 companies of English troops under Horace Vere. To tackle the swamps Maurice had brought a new invention: a bridge of cork. These bridges were light and mobile and not previously applied. The bridge proved successful and made it possible to get the guns nearby to shoot successfully the walls. Finally, they shot a big breach in the wall so Maurice's troops could storm the city, followed by a very bloody battle, the defenders retreated to the castle. Maurice's soldiers ransacked the town two days long, followed by negotiations to surrender. The defenders were allowed on payment of ransom to leave the city. A soldier of Maurice was in the night looking for loot. He did so by burning a bundle of hay. Carelessness hit the hay loft on fire. The fire hit on to other houses. Eventually burned across the city. Only 20 houses were spared. Citizens fled to the castle, soldiers fled the city. Maurice was very upset about the incident. On the other hand he also thought it was a deterrent for other cities could be.

Following the consolidation of the town, Maurice then went on to take Enschede and this time the city was spared destruction.

Sources[edit]

Commemorative coin of the campaign with the conquered cities Turnhout, Alphen, Rijnberk, Meurs, Bredevoort, Groenlo, Goor, Enschede, Oldenzaal, Ootmarsum and Lingen