Maurice (Maurits), Count of Nassau

   This son of William I of Orange was appointed stadtholder of the ma jority of the northern provinces in 1585, along with his cousin Willem Lodewijk (in the provinces of Frisia and Groningen, from 1584–1620). After the departure of the Earl of Leicester in 1587, Maurice played a central role in the political and military stage. As a strategist and general, he reorganized the army (a “military revolu tion”) and, during the campaign against the Spaniards, he success fully conquered several towns (including Breda, Zutphen, Deventer, and Groningen). He was also admired for his victory in the battle of Nieuwpoort in 1600. During the religiouscontroversies between the adherents of Jacobus Arminius and Franciscus Gomarus in the 1610s, he chose the side of the Calvinistic counter-Remonstrants. This brought an escalation of the political conflict with the grand pensionary of Holland, Johan van Oldenbarnevelt, who sided with the Arminians or Remonstrants. At the instigation of Maurice, a special court sentenced Oldenbarnevelt to death in 1619. Two years later the Twelve Years’Truce in the war with Spain ran out. Maurice became prince of Orange after the death of his elder brother Philip William in 1618.
   See also Revolt.

Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands. . 2012.

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