Battle of Oosterweel

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Battle of Oosterweel
Part of the Eighty Years' War
Bor-Nederlantsche-Oorloghen 9145.tif
Battle of Oosterweel, showing the coast and village with a building on fire and the ships of the rebel Geuzen. From Pieter Bor (1559-1635): Nederlantsche oorloghen.
Date 13 March 1567
Location Near Antwerp (present-day Belgium)
Result Spanish victory
Dutch Rebels Spain Spain
Commanders and leaders
Jan de Marnix van Aldegonde   De Beauvoir
2,500 1,000
Casualties and losses
700–800 dead Unknown

The Battle of Oosterweel took place on 13 March 1567 and is traditionally seen as the beginning[1] of the Eighty Years' War. The battle was fought near the village of Oosterweel, north of Antwerp. A Spanish professional army under General Beauvoir defeated an army of radical Calvinists rebels under Jan de Marnix. The prisoners were considered rebels and all were killed. Some 700-800 Protestants died. William the Silent, the Burggraaf of Antwerp, did not allow the Protestants of the city to come to their aid, because he was, as lord of the city, bound by oath to support the Spanish King.

In literature[edit]

The battle and its aftermath are depicted in Cecelia Holland's novel The Sea Beggars - seen through the eyes of an idealistic young Calvinist from Antwerp who tries to join the rebels but (fortunately for him) arrives too late, to see them being overrun and killed by the Spanish cavalry.


  1. ^ The Dutch people typically view Louis of Nassau's surprise victory at Heiligerlee in 1568 as the first true battle of the Eighty Years' War.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°14′37″N 4°23′07″E / 51.2436°N 4.3853°E / 51.2436; 4.3853