The 1577 Raid upon Amsterdam #2

Lawrence James Bailey

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Artist's Description

A micro re-enactment of the November 1577 raid upon Amsterdam by the Sea Beggars (Watergeuzen).

In this photo: After a small group secures entrance into the town, the remaining Watergeuzen raiding party start to emerge from their boats outside the town wall.


The story…. In the latter half of the 16th Century Spain controls much of The Netherlands. In a bid for autonomy a rebellion grows. A group of rebels known as Sea Beggars, or Watergeuzen, begin to seize Dutch towns formally under Spanish control.
In November 1577 a ill fated plan is devised to capture the town of Amsterdam.
A small group of Watergeuzen trick their way into the town and allow access to others of their group. Once in the town they become lost and disorientated before finding their way to the town hall. In the meantime the local militia are raised and the two opposing factions meet outside the town hall at Dam Square where a battle is fought.
Outnumbered the Watergeuzen retreat to the gatehouse where they entered and hold their position there, hoping for reinforcements to arrive.
Once their cause seems lost the towns folk support the militia in expelling the raiders with cannons brought from the ramparts of the city walls.
Few of the Watergeuzen survive the raid.

One year later in 1578 Amsterdam broke its ties with Spain and became part of the Dutch Republic.

Artwork Comments

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