Sunday, October 20, 2013

Treaty of Gorinchem and Treaty of Venlo

An agreement was reached between the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and Duke Charles II of Guelders on October 20, 1528 during the Guelderian Wars when they signed a treaty in Gorinchem, Habsburg Netherlands. The conflicts had started in 1502 between the Duke of Burgandy, who had control over the counties of Brabant, Flanders, Hainaut and Holland, and Duke Charles II of Guelders who controlled Frisia, Groningen and Guelders which were to the north. In the terms of the treaty Duke Charles, who was childless, agreed that Emperor Charles V would be his heir apparent and his lands would fall under his control. 

Duke Charles II of Guelders died on June 30, 1538 without an heir but did not want to live up to the treaty. He appointed Duke William of Jülich-Cleves-Berge, related through his great-grandfather Duke Reinald IV of Guelders and Jülich, as his successor. Emperor Charles V immediately disputed the claim so Duke William allied himself with the King Francis I of France. King Francis forced his niece Jeanne d'Albret to marry Duke William in 1541. Yet Duke William learned that France would not help when the forces of the Emperor invaded. Although he had allies to aid in the fight his forces were eventually overwhelmed and he had to surrender in 1543. Duke William agreed to the Treaty of Venlo where he was forced to give up Guelders and the County of Zutphen as they were combined with Habsburg Netherlands under the rule of Emperor Charles V. As a concession Duke William was allowed to keep Jülich. His marriage to Jeanne was annulled in 1545.

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