Siege of Ypres (1678)
|Siege of Ypres|
|Part of the Franco-Dutch War|
|France|| United Provinces
|Commanders and leaders|
|Dom Francisco de Pardo|
In October 1677, Mary Stuart, niece and possible successor of Charles II of England, married William III of Orange, concluding the rapprochement between England and the Dutch Republic, who had been at war with each other until 1674. Louis XIV decided to invade the Spanish Netherlands to counter a possible English military intervention against him.
On March 18, the French, led by Vauban, started digging approach trenches towards the citadel. The city was defended by a Spanish garrison under Dom Francisco de Pardo, who ordered the surroundings of the city flooded. But the French had already advanced too much to be stopped by this action. The city was pounded by 22 high caliber guns and 12 mortars. After one week, the works had advanced so far, that Louis XIV ordered an attack in the night of March 24–25. The city was quickly conquered and the defenders capitulated by dawn. Only the citadel held out for one more day, after which the surviving 1600 valid men and 600 wounded also surrendered.
In April, Vauban started reconstructing and modernising Ypres' fortifications, giving it the form that can still be seen today. Louis de Crevant, Duke of Humières became governor of the city.
In England, Charles II raised some 20 regiments to be shipped to Ostend, but then hesitated to go to war with France. In the meantime, negotiations started between France and the Dutch Republic, leading to the Treaty of Nijmegen on August 10. Ypres became part of the Kingdom of France until 1697, when it was returned to the Spanish Crown, under the Treaty of Ryswick.
- Abel Hugo, France historique et monumentale : Histoire générale de France depuis les temps les plus reculés jusqu'à nos jours, 1843.
- Camille Rousset, Histoire de Louvois et de son administration politique et militaire, Volume 2, 1862.
- Luc-Normand Tellier, Face aux Colbert : les Le Tellier, Vauban, Turgot-- et l'avènement du libéralisme, Édition presse de l'université de Quebec, 1987.
- Histoire de Louvois et de son administration politique et militaire... page 490
- Histoire de Louvois et de son administration politique et militaire... page 492
- France historique et monumentale… p. 368.
- Histoire de Louvois et de son administration politique et militaire... p. 493.