Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/482

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


invoked the authority of Charles VIII, which Maximilian refused tb acknowledge. Towards the end of 1483, after the French government 1 had ingratiated itself with the great Flemish towns by renouncing for ten years the appellate jurisdiction claimed by the Parliament of Paris, negotiations for an alliance ensued between the States of Flanders and Brabant and the assembly which, under the name of States-General, met at Tours in 1484. But the popular entente of earlier days was not to be renewed between the decaying communes and a people over which the power of the monarchy was already paramount.

Meanwhile the quarrel between Maximilian and the Flemings became more acute. The Knights of the Golden Fleece at Termonde declared his headship of their Order at an end, though he might still preside over its meetings during his son's minority. Bruges refused him admission if attended by more than a dozen companions, and sent to the block several persons who had laid a plot on his behalf. Humours of a similar plot were rife at Ghent; and Maximilian had clearly accepted the challenge of a people resolved upon completely throwing off his authority. He began by sending the faithful Olivier de la Marche to lodge complaints with the French government against the communes, and succeeded in provoking so much distrust in Flanders that, though a French as well as a Flemish army took the field in 1484, no decisive blow was struck. The Flemings however flooded Brabant, where the Archduke's appeal for support of the dynasty was very coolly received, and Count de Romont, the commander of the Flemish levies, proclaimed himself lieutenant-general of Duke Philip against his father. In January, 1485, Maximilian by taking Oudenarde snowed his determination to make himself master of Ghent. But after defeating the Ghenters under their own walls, and capturing their great banner, he was obliged by a mutiny for pay among his troops to retreat, while the French under Crevecceur (des Querdes) entered the city. Soon nothing remained to the Archduke but Brabant and Hainault. Fortunately, however, for him with the Ghenters the powers that were could never be in the right; and such a storm of popular indignation was raised by the misconduct of the French soldiery, that Crevecceur in his turn retired upon Tournay.

The French faction were now at the mercy of their adversaries. On June 21 Maximilian held his entry into Bruges, which had set the example of recognising him as mambourg. At Ghent, William Jlin and another leader of the French faction were decapitated, while Coppenole (said to be in actual enjoyment of a pension as a member of the royal household) and the rest only saved themselves by flight. On June 28 Maximilian, while confirming the privileges of Ghent and Bruges, was by the former also recognised as mambourg, and declared a general amnesty, with however some important exceptions. On July 6 Duke Philip was delivered into his father's hands at a