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A History of England Principally in the Seventeent

And in opposition to Austria and Spain


A.D. 1610.]

On the whole the general understanding which King James maintained with Henry IV secured a support for his State, and imparted to himself a political courage which was otherwise foreign to his nature. The two sovereigns also made common cause in the Cleves-Juliers question. Two Protestant princes with the consent of the Estates had taken possession of it on the strength of their hereditary title. When an Archduke laid hands on the principal fortress in the country, a general feeling of jealousy was roused: and even in England it was thought that the point at issue here was not the possession of a small principality, but the confirmation of the House of Austria and the Papacy in their already tottering dominion over these provinces of the Lower Rhine, which might exercise such an important influence on the State of Europe.[346] When Henry IV joined the German Union and the Dutch for the protection of the two princes and for the conquest of Juliers, James also decided to bestow his aid. He took into his own pay 4000 of the troops who were still in the service of the Republic, sent them a general, and despatched them to the contested dominions to take part in the struggle.

It does not appear that any one in England was aware of the great designs which Henry IV connected with this enterprise. When, on the eve of its execution, he was struck down in the centre of his capital by the dagger of a fanatic,

friends and foes alike were thrilled with the feeling that the event affected them all, and would have an immeasurable influence on the world. In England also it was felt as a domestic calamity. Robert Cecil, now Earl of Salisbury, said in Parliament that Henry IV had been as it were their advanced guard against conspiracies of which he had always given the first information: that the first warning of the Gunpowder Plot must have come from him; that he had as it were stood in the breach, and that now he had been the first victim. The crimes of Ravaillac and of Catesby had sprung from the same source.

The enterprise against Juliers was not hindered by this event. The forces of the Union under the Prince of Anhalt, and the Dutch and English troops under Maurice of Orange and Edward Cecil, with the addition of a number of volunteers from such leading families in England as those of Winchester, Somerset, Rich, Herbert, had already made considerable progress in the siege when, at last, at the orders of the widowed Queen, the French also arrived, but in the worst plight and suffering severely from illness, so that they could not carry out the intention, with which they came, of sequestrating the place in the interests of France. When the fortress had been taken it was delivered to the two princes, who now possessed the whole country. This was an event of general historical importance, for by this means Brandenburg first planted its foot on the Rhine, and came into greater prominence in Europe on this side also. It took place, like the foundation of the Republic of the Netherlands, with the concurrence of England and France, and in opposition to Austria and Spain, but at the same time by the help of the Republic itself and of those members of the Estates of the German empire who professed the same creed.

[Sidenote: A.D. 1611.]

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