Seabeggars (Watergeuzen)

   Nickname for a part of the polit ical opposition in the Netherlands against their overlord, the Spanish king Philip II. Among them were members of the impoverished lower strata of the nobility who feared the centralizing tendency in the gov ernment and the increasing influence of foreigners in the policy of Brussels. In the early phase of the Dutch Revolt, they joined the small armies of insurgents as privateers, some of whom organized successful land raids such as the surprise attack on the town of Briellein 1572.

Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands. . 2012.

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