document goes on to recount other episodes of Alva's rule, in particular
the development of a new system of taxes in the face of widespread opposition.
the duke of Alva and then >the
Great Commander (who was sent by the king to replace
him, not to introduce any improvements but to continue the tyranny,
although less overtly) forced the other provinces - kept in
subjection to Spain by their garrisons and newly built fortifications
- to help them with all means in their power to subdue these
| Detail of Alba |
|However, the Spaniards had as little regard for the provinces which were forced to help them as they had for their enemies. They allowed the Spanish soldiers who, they pretended, had risen >in mutiny to force their way to Antwerp in the presence of the Great Commander and to live as they wished there for six weeks at the burghers' expense. [...] Thereafter the Spanish soldiers, committing yet more abominable infamies and violence, had the impudence >to take up arms openly against the country. First they
intended to capture Brussels and to turn the traditional residence
of the prince of the country into a robber's den. When they
failed in this design they surprised first the town of Alost,
then the town of Maastricht.
Finally they seized Antwerp, >where
they ransacked, pillaged and massacred [this
link will take you to the pictorial material page - please click
on the picture 2 text link at the top of the page], and
which they set on fire and treated as badly as the most cruel
and tyrannical enemies of the country could have done, causing
unmeasurable damage not only to the poor inhabitants but also
to >most of the world's
nations which had stored their merchandise and money there.