1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Brielle

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BRIELLE (Briel or Bril), a seaport in the province of South Holland, Holland, on the north side of the island of Voorne, at the mouth of the New Maas, 5½ m. N. of Hellevoetsluis. Pop. (1900) 4107. It is a fortified place and has a good harbour, arsenal, magazine and barracks. It also possesses a quaint town hall, and an orphanage dating from 1533. The tower of the Groote Kerk of St Catherine serves as a lighthouse. Most of the trade of Brielle was diverted to Hellevoetsluis by the cutting of the Voornsche Canal in 1829, but it still has some business in corn and fodder, as well as a few factories. A large number of the inhabitants are also engaged in the fisheries and as pilots.

The chief event in the history of Brielle is its capture by the Gueux sur Mer, a squadron of privateers which raided the Dutch coast under commission of the prince of Orange. This event, which took place on the 1st of April 1572, was the first blow in the long war of Dutch independence, and was followed by a general outbreak of the patriotic party (Motley, Rise of the Dutch Republic, part iii. chapter vi.). "The Brill" was one of the four Dutch towns handed over to Queen Elizabeth in 1584 as security for English expenses incurred in aiding the Dutch. Brielle is the birthplace of the famous admiral Martin van Tromp, and also of Admiral van Almonde, a distinguished commander of the early 18th century.