Marnix, Philips Van

Marnix, Philips Van

 

(Baron van St. Aldegonde). Born 1540 in Brussels; died Dec. 15, 1598, in Leiden. Dutch political figure; diplomat; publicist during the bourgeois revolution.

Van Marnix was a nobleman of Brabant Province and a Calvinist. (He studied under J. Calvin in Geneva.) He was one of the organizers in 1565 of the anti-Spanish League of Nobles. A comrade-in-arms of William I of Orange, he carried out many diplomatic assignments for him. In late 1577 he became a member of the State Council; from 1583 to 1585 he was burgomaster of Antwerp. The surrender of Antwerp to the Spanish in 1585 led to his being suspected of treason, and he was dismissed from government service. His book The Beehive of the Holy Roman Church (1569) is a satire and biting parody on the scholastic epistle. His song “Wilhelmus,” published anonymously, became the battle song of the Gueux of the Netherlands.

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