Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/486

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a body of 5000 peasants previously organised under arms by Coppenole and his brother, both of whom were in the end put to death. Then a deputation of notables waited upon Duke Philip at Malines; the usual penalties were once more inflicted, the wearing of white hoods was prohibited for ever, and a Peace of Ghent was once more proclaimed (June, 1492). Meanwhile, Albert had on his return been occupied with a rising in Kennemerland, Friesland, and the Texel, stirred up by emissaries from Alkmaar, where followers of Brederode had seized the power. The insurgent peasants bore banners of our Lady and certain saints of local repute, together with a strange ensign consisting of a loaf of rye-bread and a large lump of green cheese. (Arnoul Leclercq at Ghent had borne a plough in his banner, and we remember the Bundschuh.) After much debate they were admitted into Haarlem, which had itself been disaffected; but on the approach of Albert the peasant host, left to itself, was massacred at Hemskerke. Haarlem, Alkmaar, and the smaller towns all humbled themselves before him; and the Landsknechte, with the art-treasures of Haarlem stuck in their hats, prefigured their comrades of the sacco di Roma (May). It remained for Albert to finish his task by the reduction of Sluys, where Philip of Cleves, whom the death of his father during the siege made Lord zum Ravenstein, still held out. The slow progress of the siege, even after in 'July English vessels, sent by Henry VII, had arrived to take part in it, finds its explanation in the tenderness invariably shown by the House of Burgundy, and by Maximilian, to his wife's kinsman. In October Ravenstein very leisurely surrendered Sluys, and three years later he was formally acquitted of any imputation against his honour.

Meanwhile, Maximilian had (towards the end of 1490) made the great cast, and married by proxy Anne, the heiress of Britanny. Shortly before this he had concluded a close alliance with Henry VII, mediated by Ferdinand of Aragon. (For Flanders this was all the more important, since in 1486 Bruges had sought to gain English support by granting free importation of English cloths and in 1488 had entreated the new King to aid her against the Emperor and concluded a new commercial treaty with this object.) Although this had been a fortunate year for Maximilian, he could not expect that his successes would be crowned by the tame submission of France to such a provocation. In November, 1491, Anne of Britanny surrendered Rennes, and in the following month she gave her hand to Charles VIII. But Margaret of Burgundy was still detained in France, and nothing had been said as to the restitution of her dowry. Yet in the Netherlands there was little sympathy with the insulted Regent; and early in 1492 the French Court provided him with a new difficulty in the shape of a pretender in Gelderland. Charles of Egmond had in 1487 been taken prisoner at Bethune and carried off to France. The Geldrian towns eagerly came forward to pay the ransom demanded by the French government; but without its support they