Ravenstein protested that he must take up arms in defence of his liege lord even against the Emperor. Henceforth the hostage became the guiding spirit of Flemish resistance to Maximilian. In September, 1488, he was received with acclamation at Brussels; soon Louvain and the smaller towns of Brabant fell into his hands. Flanders had likewise remained unreduced, while Maximilian was operating on the Lys and in Zeeland; Ypres was occupied by French troops, and the siege of Ghent, begun by the Emperor in person, had been abandoned. By October Frederick III had returned to Germany, and in the last days of the year Maximilian followed. In vain he had assembled the loyal States at Malines; for the time his field of action lay elsewhere. The Duke of Britanny had died in September, and the struggle with France would have to be resumed on a perhaps more favourable field. But his present task was to reconquer Austria.
Maximilian left behind him as governor-general, with full powers, Duke Albert of Saxony (Albertus Animosus, founder of the Albertine line), who in the organisation and conduct of armies was unsurpassed by any German commander of his age. With resources inferior to those which had been at Maximilian's disposal, Albert had in the first instance to suppress a fresh outbreak of the Hoeks in Holland, who, under the leadership of young Francis van Brederode, after surprising Rotterdam, organised a petty warfare in the style of the gueux of later days. But the States of Holland resolved on putting an end to this Jonker-Franzen war, and the rebel fleet was finally all but annihilated at Brouwershaven (July, 1490), Brederode himself dying soon afterwards of his wounds. Several of the other Hoek leaders died a violent death at Delft; but one of them threw himself into Sluys, which was in the hands of Philip of Cleves. In 1489 Albert restored the authority of Maximilian in Brabant, where the Peace of Frankfort, concluded for temporary purposes with France by the Roman King, was eagerly welcomed, for Bruges and Louvain had suffered unspeakably from war and pestilence. But it was some time before, at Montils-les-Tours, Maximilian's mambournie over Flanders was likewise acknowledged, and Ghent, Bruges, and Ypres undertook to sue to him for pardon, a commission being appointed to ascertain and restore the privileges enjoyed by them under Philip the Good and his successor.
The ink, however, was hardly dry upon the so-called Treaty of Flanders when, during Albert's temporary absence in Germany, the communal insurrection broke out afresh. At Bruges George Picquanet, elected hooftman, held out for a time against famine and Engelbert of Nassau, by whose soldiery he was ultimately killed. At Ghent, in May, 1491, a cordwainer named Remieulx, after admitting some of Philip of Cleves' adherents, slew the Grand Dean, and Coppenole was put in his place. A strange conflict ensued between this demagogue and one Arnoul Leclercq, a labourer who had been named hooftman by