Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/488

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quite ready to risk a quarrel with England on the chance of the dethronement of the faithless Tudor. Henry VII replied by removing the staple for English wool, tin, and other products to Calais, stopping all intercourse between his subjects and the Netherlands, and expelling all Flemings from England. The Burgundian government retorted (April, 1494, and January, 1495) by prohibiting the importation of English cloth; and for two years there was a complete cessation of commercial dealings between the two countries. Finally, Duke Philip was prevailed upon to promise not to admit any enemy of England into his dominions; and in February, 1496, the Magnus Intercursus proclaimed on both , sides freedom of trade, i.e. the right of trading without special license or pass, and that of fishery. Though there was nothing novel in this famous treaty, it offered a solid foundation for the establishment of satisfactory mercantile relations; but time could hardly fail to be on the side of the English, to the sale of whose cloth the Netherlands were now open-with the important exception however of Flanders, where restrictions were still maintained. Even here it soon became difficult to confine this sale to the staples of Antwerp and Bruges-or from 1501 to Bruges alone- to limit it to large pieces, and to prevent the wearing of it by natives. And Philip's well-meant endeavours to revive the sunken prosperity of Bruges were seen to be hopelessly out of date. After in 1502 the Magnus Intercursus had been solemnly renewed, Henry VII, angered by the refusal of the Netherlands government to assist him in laying hands on the fugitive Earl of Suffolk (Edmund de la Pole), brought about a fresh stoppage of trade between the two countries, which lasted till 1506.

It was not only in commercial matters that Duke Philip and his advisers showed a disposition to emancipate themselves from his father's control. Maximilian had placed at the head of the Privy Council, composed of fourteen members, Count Engelbert of Nassau, the faithful servant of three generations of the House of Burgundy, but the leading voice in it was that of William de Croy, Seigneur de Chievres. He and those who thought with him resented as strongly as the Flemish and Brabancon towns the continuance in the land of the German soldiery, to whose chief commander Albert of Saxony the ducal treasury had pledged Haarlem and several other important places pending the payment of a heavy debt. The influence of de Chievres and the great nobles in general was accordingly in favour of maintaining peace with France, although in the Gelders difficulty above all she showed so little regard for Netherlands interests; and Philip on the whole inclined to follow these pacific counsels.

In May, 1494, Maximilian had at Kempten intervened in a dispute between Groningen and the rural districts of West-Friesland encroached upon by the city. His decision had been in favour of Groningen; and though he was anxious to keep the peace, further encroachments on her part induced the Schieringers of the Westergao in their straits to invite