Flanders : Brugge Revolt, 1488-1490

In 1482, Mary of Burgundy died; the Burgundian lands, including the wealthy County of Flanders, were inherited by her son Philip (later King Philip I. of Spain), still an infant. Maximilian von Habsburg (in sources also called Maximilian of Austria), in 1486 elected Roman King, ruled over Flanders and the other Burgundian lands, as regent, in the name of his infant son. The Flemish cities experienced increasing taxation, as well as a policy of centralization which infringed upon their old liberty (privileges).
In February 1488 the burghers of Brugge (in French : Bruges) rebelled. Maximilian's magistrate, Pieter Lanchals, was executed. Maximilian hurried to Brugge in order to terminate the rebellion; he was taken prisoner by the burghers. The revolt ended in May 1488, when Maximilian reluctantly approved Brugge's ancient privileges.
Maximilian took revenge by moving the staple market, visited by merchants from Portugal to Norway and the Baltic Sea, from Brugge to Antwerpen; Brugge, whose port was increasingly blocked by sand, lost her position as Europe's leading trading city on the Atlantic coast, to the latter.
In 1490, Brugge had to submit to Maximilian's general, Duke Albrecht of Saxony. In 1492, Gent (in Fr. Gand, in English Ghent), another important Flemish city, submitted in 1492.

Brugge Histoire, from Formatage, in French
Brugge 15th to 19th century, from Port of Zeebrugge
Pieter Lanchals, posted by Heemkundige Kring "Maurits Van Coppenolle" Brugge, in Dutch

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on April 2nd 2004, last revised on November 17th 2004

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