Two articles in the Bulletin reported (1842), and partially edited (1954), technical recipes for painters and illuminators, from c. 1200, which are preserved in Royal Library of Belgium MS 10147-58. The edition of 1954 omitted f. 26 vo as it was almost completely illegible. This paper identifies a series of parallel recipes from Montpellier MS H 277, c. 1350-1400. The similarities allow the content of f. 26 vo to be reconstructed. The Brussels MS is shown to be an important witness to an alternate textual tradition of the Romanesque craft treatise of Theophilus, its importance is confirmed as probably the earliest technical document relating to art from the Low Countries.
This contribution aims, with the help of seven accounts from the archives of the counts of Hainaut and Holland between 1304-1337, to shed light on the practices of paid employment at the court and in the count’s household. An analysis of the terms used in these documents to designate the services for wages and the people remunerated allows us to sketch a picture of the organisation of the comital household. Contrary to what normative texts, such as court ordinances, show us, these services were not rigidly structured according to a clearly defined schema. Rather they were (dis)organised pragmatically according to the changing daily needs of the count’s family, whose members were frequently travelling and often separated from one another, to the financial resources of the moment and to the fortuitous availability of the people involved to perform the various services. Over a period of roughly 25 years these snapshots reveal personnel with widely diverse skills, flexible and employable in multiple tasks, faithful to and valued by their employers but also often very active in other sectors than in the service of the count and his family.
This publication provides a critical edition of the lists of nobles and dignitaries that are preserved for different moments in the fifteenth and sixteenth century for the rural districts of Courtrai, Waas, Furnes and the Liberty of Bruges, as well as of a document that lists the nobility of the entire county in 1540-1543. Those documents are first and foremost important for future research into local elites, but they also help to contextualize a series of preserved surveys that cover the entire Flemish nobility and which were used by the central institutions of the Burgundian and Habsburg state to convoke the nobility for military duties. Those general surveys of the nobility were not the result of active prospecting by state officials, but must be understood as a compilation of more local lists of nobles and dignitaries that were provided by the administration of the rural districts of the county. In doing so, the central administration of the prince essentially relied on the judgment of the elites that dominated those local administrations to assess who was supposed to fulfill noble duties. As such, the documents edited in this contribution provide precious insight into processes of social hierarchisation in the upper layers of premodern Flemish society.
The majority of medieval accounts of the so-called cautside, the public pavement service of the town of Brussels, has been lost. Luckily, two documents dating from the 14th century have been preserved. Both are edited in this article: on the one hand the enrolled accounts for the year 1369-1370 and on the other a summary account for the period 1372-1379, which is conserved as an attachment to the urban edict of 22 October 1379. Obviously, the documents contain data on the operation and activities of the cautside itself, but are very interesting for the study of urban immigration, building materials and public works as well.
Within the framework of his seizure on the Duchy of Limburg and its appendants, Philippe the Bold orders in 1389 an investigation relating to his rights and the state of the fortresses which he just has acquired. This document was published in the Thirties by the historian Fritz Quicke. In 1406, Anthony of Burgundy, recently nominated Duke of Limburg, requires a new expertise of the castles in Limburg. In addition to a setting in prospect for these documents in their political context, this article proposes a critical edition of the act of 1406 as well as an analysis of its contents under the angle of the evolution from the way of besieging the cities.
On 16 November 932, Richer, bishop of Liège, devoted an altar to the Saint Trinity in Liège’s St. Lambert’s Cathedral and lavishly decorated it, a decision he recorded in writing. We obtained the foundation charter as an isolated historical copy, inserted into the Gesta episcoporum Tungrensium et Leodiensium from the Anselm of Liège canon. The article stresses the interest of this document as much for the history of the chancellery of Liège as for the Carolingian religious reform in the Lotharingian space. It has as an annex a new critical edition of the document, established based on a confrontation of seven copies divided into two classes according to a typology different from that of R. Koepke, editor of the Anselm chronicle for the Monumenta Germaniae Historica.
Preoccupied with the politics at the royal court of Charles VI of France, Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy and count of Flanders, appointed his nephew William of Namur, lord of Bethune, as Governor of Flanders, Antwerp and Mechelen with a special commission issued on 31 August 1387. Strikingly, the chancery of Philip the Bold also included a political memorandum to William of Namur, which specified the administrative, judicial and military authority of the governor. This set of instructions is important, because it highlights the political concerns of the ducal government in Flanders. Faced with a number of urgent problems, this statement suggested strong and explicit measures against favoritism in the election of the magistrates and against fraudulent practices of princely officials. Furthermore, the document urges the governor to react against the negligence of military and civilian duties, against the pursuit of political autonomy by the Flemish subjects and to arbitrate sensitive disputes within Flemish society. As such, this document provides a valuable inside perspective from the burgeoning administration of the Burgundian Low Countries.
The Jardinets de Hainaut (Small Gardens of Hainault) are heraldic representations of this county that present in different forms: theatrical stagings, poems, engravings, etc. The present article intends to retrace the tradition of these «jardinets» from their beginnings in the 14th-15th century until the end of the Ancien Régime. The very formalised structure of this heraldic and political representation of a principality shall be analysed in order to clearly identify the reasons for which they exist and their meaning. A few characteristic examples of «jardinets» shall then be presented with particular focus on representations of the inaugurations of the counts of Hainault, backed by text editions.
Although the dukes of Burgundy kept independent accounts of their artillery-expenses since 1458, they have all but one been destroyed during the French Revolution. Nevertheless, a significant number of documents related to the daily administration of the artillery has been preserved at the Archives départementales du Nord (Lille). Particularly well represented is the reign of Charles the Bold, which probably, and at least partly, is due to the accusations of fraud and corruption his receiver had to deal with. Anyway, the documents edited here, which are only a selection from these rich archives, bear witness to the desire of this prince to modernize his artillery, as well as to some difficulties he encountered while doing so. Considered from the administrative and decisional point of view, the documents show us the prince and his staff at work and could be useful for research in different fields: economy, finance, techniques, military organization, prosopography, etc. Only a glimpse of the richness of this, mainly unstudied, source material…
In the Hainaut after 1760, theatrical performances organised by rural youth seemed to have won public favour. Often, they would also gain approval from local authorities. On the other hand, once they were questioned, guardians, fiscal lawyers, the provincial council and central government were just as much resolute partisans of forbidding this entertainment, with concern for security and public order regularly invoked. Superfluous spending, the risk of costly court cases, the danger to public order as servants would blackmail their masters to participate in the show are arguments considered to be pertinent. The range of objections relies on a well-anchored conviction of the uselessness of the practice. However, what has been judged harmful for people from the countryside seemed to be a necessity for city dwellers, the private council believed, to the point of suggesting that the performances continue during lent. The paradox is apparent: again, it is the notion of opportunity that inspires the decision. In a city such as Brussels, theatre imposes itself like an adequate derivative to protect turbulent youth from more dangerous temptations. It also offers the means to attract strangers, especially the English, and install them in the capital for the greater good of local commerce, while waiting for the opening of the Spa bath season.
This contribution gives first of all an interpretation to the consultation of the minutes (1892-1940) of the central administrative bodies of the Belgian Workers’ Party (BWP). A unique set of sources that - after digitizing - is made available on the Internet for historical research.
The archival explanation including the study of the functioning of the Bureau and the General Council of the BWP provides an insight into the institutional development of the socialist party before World War II. An administrative history that until now has remained curiously neglected.
The reports provide a fairly complete and incisive view on the internal functioning of the BWP. The source is at its strongest in the period before World War I and after 1933 (due to stenographic reporting). But it concerns on the whole a primary historical source for the study of a political party of the social democratic type.
Sessions and reports 2010, p. 265-331.
Chancelleries princières et Scriptoria dans les anciens Pays-Bas.
Xe - XVe siècles
Vorstelijke kanselarijen en Scriptoria in de Lage Landen.
10de - 15de eeuw
Table of contents
- Zin en nut van het diplomatisch onderzoek in de 21e eeuw.
Les mérites de la Commission royale d’histoire
par / door Walter Prevenier (p.7)
- Sense and usefulness of diplomatic research in the 21st century.
The Merits of the Royal Historical Commission
by Walter Prevenier (p.13)
- Van scriptorium tot kanselarij
Du scriptorium à la chancellerie (p.19)
Monastères et scriptoria en Lotharingie (ixe - xe siècles)
par Jens Schneider (p.21)
Van privaatoorkonde tot vorstelijke oorkonde. De oorkonden van de eerste graven van Vlaanderen, inzonderheid voor de Sint-Pietersabdij te Gent (10de-11de eeuw)
door Georges Declercq (p.41)
Collectieve identiteit, sociaal gedrag en monastieke memoria in het liber traditionum van de priorij van Saint-Georges te Hesdin (1094 - circa 1185)
door Steven Vanderputten (p.79)
- Chancelleries épiscopales et chapitres cathédraux
Bisschoppelijke kanselarijen en kathedraalkapittels (p.113)
La « chancellerie » des évêques de Liège (xe - xiie siècles)
par Jean-Louis Kupper (p.115)
Chancellerie épiscopale, chancellerie canoniale :
unicité ou pluralité des institutions à Cambrai au xiie siècle ?
par Nathalie Barr (p.129)
L’élaboration des chartes épiscopales à Thérouanne au xie siècle
par Benoît-Michel Tock (p.147)
De bisschop, de heren en de stad. Het oorkondewezen in Utrecht
circa 1250 - circa 1320
door J.W.J. Burgers (p.187)
- Vorstelijke en heerlijke kanselarijen
Chancelleries princières et seigneuriales (p.217)
Actes princiers et naissance des principautés territoriales : chartes et pouvoirs laïques dans les espaces mosan et mosellan (fin xe - début xiie siècles)
par Michel Margue (p.219)
Actes princiers et naissance des principautés territoriales :
du duché de Basse-Lotharingie au duché de Brabant
(xie - xiiie siècles)
par Alain Dierkens et David Guilardian (p.243)
La chancellerie comtale en Flandre et en Hainaut sous Baudouin VI/IX (1195-1206) et pendant la régence de Philippe Ier de Namur (1206-1212)
par Els De Paermentier (p.259)
Des seigneurs sans chancellerie ? Pratiques de l’écrit documentaire chez les comtes et les barons du nord de la France aux xiie-xiiie siècles
par Jean-François Nieus (p.285)
- Organisation : personnel et gestion
Organisatie : personeel en beheer (p.313)
Trois clercs de chancellerie hennuyers au service des comtes de Hainaut, Hollande et Zélande (1299-1345) : au centre d’une réforme administrative ?
par Valeria Van Camp (p.315)
Meten is weten ? De toepassing van het Groningen Intelligent Writer Identification System (giwis) op Hollandse kanselarij-oorkonden, 1299-1345
door Jinna Smit (p.343)
Bewaren of weggooien ; afschrijven of verplaatsen.
Het papieren cartularium van de graven van Holland en Zeeland en de politieke en ambtelijke zorg voor het grafelijke archief in 1299
door Eef Dijkhof (p.361)
Enquête sur l’impact de l’incendie de 1185 sur les archives de la cathédrale Saint-Lambert de Liège et sur la rédaction d’un premier cartulaire
par Alexis Wilkin (p.381)
Archives, archivage et archivistique à la collégiale de Saint-Omer à la fin du xve siècle à la lumière d’un inventaire de 1480
par Jean-Charles Bédague (p.415)
Nouvelles tendances dans la recherche sur les scriptoria et chancelleries dans les anciens Pays-Bas : résultats et perspectives.
Nieuwe tendensen in het onderzoek over scriptoria en kanselarijen in de Lage Landen : resultaten en perspectieven
door / par Thérèse de Hemptinne (p.461)
New trends in research on scriptoria and chanceries in the Low Countries : results and perspectives
by Thérèse de Hemptinne (p.471)
This article sketches the characteristics of what can be called ‘lettered resistance’ in the medieval and early modern town. Two of the three texts it edits, namely the petition which the Bruges craft guilds composed during the city’s revolt of 1477, and a diary of a Ghent rebel who describes this revolt, show that the urban craftsmen maintained a notable ‘memory of resistance’. Due to multiple mnemonic practices, spatial arrangements, oral customs, and written accounts, rebels knew how to act during a revolt, how to mobilise effectively, how to deploy rituals and banners, and the like. The ideological consistency and ritual coherence of revolts spanning almost three centuries (c. 1280-1540) was preserved through many media of remembrance, such as the mentioned diary. The ‘social memory’ of the urban craftsmen provided them with arguments in the revolt, it justified their rebellions, and it was an essential element in the maintenance of their collective identity. The third text is the written report of a speech of the spokesman of Ghent, Willem Zoete, in 1488, in which he exposes the reasons why the city of Ghent rebelled against the regent of the count of Flanders, Maximilian of Austria. This text shows that not only the craft guilds in the town, but also the urban elite tried to hold on to acquired rights and corporate privileges which protected their privileged position in city politics. In short, this article shows that several social groupings in town held sophisticated political beliefs, which led to the creation of remarkable pieces of ‘lettered resistance’.
This jubilee issue of the Proceedings of the Commission Royale d’Histoire (CRH/KCG) presents a review of the Commission’s activities for the past twenty-five years (Claude Bruneel, "De KCG in de laatste vijfentwintig jaar", p. 37-66; in French: “La Commission royale d’Histoire pendant les vingt-cinq dernières années”), as well as the biographical information of those members that have deceased during that period and of those who remain in office (p. 67-159). Furthermore, each member of the Commission has contributed an original study to this issue, i.e. the critical edition of an unpublished source of Belgian history.
Henri Haag, Signification du traité de garantie du 19 avril 1839, d’après Léon Arendt
, p. 161-183.
Contrary to some beliefs, we do confirm that Belgium had a well-defined and structured foreign policy prior to 1914. This policy was based on the Treaties of 1831 and 1839, and on the guarantee contained in the Treaty of 19 April 1839. For a long time the Belgian government had doubts and concerns about the promises the great powers had made in 1839. This uncertainty escalated in 1904, when Great Britain and France concluded the Entente Cordiale. It stood to reason that, if a pan-European war broke out, Belgium would inevitably get drawn into it. What could be done to ensure that France and Great Britain would not treat the guaranteed they had signed up to as their own exclusive right without fully taking our own rights into account? This was, in our opinion, the main concern of the Department of Foreign Affairs on the eve of World War One.
Raoul C. Van Caenegem, De keure van Sint-Omaars van 1127: een politiek document, p. 185-202.
The borough charter of 14 April 1127 of William Clito, count of Flanders, for the town of Saint-Omer has been often studied as a source for legal history. In the present article the charter is analysed as a political document. The count and the commune of Saint-Omer had different agenda’s, which are revealed inter alia, by the provisions on the role of the aldermen and the jurati (the sworn judges of the commune), the income from the comital Mint or the supremacy of the law, to which even the count was subjected. The author finally offers some critical remarks on the French translation of 1789 and the English translation of 1982, and presents his own Dutch translation of the Latin original.
Reginald De Schryver, Koning Albert over zijn « Reis naar Parijs », 1-5 april 1919, ter ondersteuning van
de Belgische verlangens en belangen op de vredesconferentie, p. 203-212.
At the request of Paul Hymans, Belgian Foreign Minister, King Albert went to Paris early April in order to meet allied political leaders and to discuss with them some major Belgian interests in view of the peace conference. The Belgian wishes were four on number:
The main conversations of King Albert were with the allied leaders Poincaré, Clemenceau, Lloyd George, Balfour and President Wilson.
Jean-Jacques Hoebanx (†), Ordonnance pour la vendicion des Bois de Nivelle pour l’an 1587, p. 213-223.
For their owners, woods and forests are a heritage that should be protected. This was the case for certain woods in Walloon Brabant that belonged to the Nivelles chapter and the dukes of Brabant.
There are several rulings concerning these woods. The one dating from 1587 deals with the timber felled there and how it was sold.
Walter Prevenier, Vorstelijke genade in de praktijk. Remissiebrief voor Matthieu Cricke en diens mede-acteurs voor
vermeende vrouwenroof in oktober 1476, slechts geïnterneerd na kritische verificatie door de raadsheren van het Parlement
van Mechelen, p. 225-258.
In October 1475, Charles the Bold, duke of Burgundy, pardoned the actor Mathieu Cricke and his co-actors, who had been imprisoned following the complaint of Jan van Musene, a burgher from Malines, for the abduction of his mistress, the actress and former prostitute Maria van der Hoeven. Cricke and his companions submitted their letter of remission to the court of the Parliament of Malines, with the intention of obtaining its ratification. However, Van Musene and his co-plaintiffs submitted an official protest. In order to check the veracity of the presumed offence and the legitimacy of the protest, the counsellors of the Parliament began an investigation, on apar with the procedure. No less than eighteen eyewitnesses of the events were traced and cross-examined in Diest, Gempe and Louvain. The court’s final verdict ordered ratification and a pardon. Cricke and the co-accused were acquitted of the charge of abduction, but were convicted for the minor complaints of physical and verbal abuse against Van Musene and his co-plaintiffs. Settlement of the fine that was part of the verdict dragged on for years, since no bailiff had the courage to collect the arrears from the members of Cricke’s group, considered to be socially dangerous. The presence, in this case, of four different types of texts (a letter of remission, a request for ratification, investigation and payment of the fine) has the methodological advantage of demonstrating in concrete terms that a pardon is always carried out in phases, and should be put into perspective. Granting pardon was indeed the exclusive privilege of the prince, acting freely and without limitation. However, the juridical and political suitability of its execution depended on the verification of the facts by one of the ducal high courts. The many contradictions regarding these facts between the statements of the concerned parties and the numerous witnesses questioned, and the contradictory viewpoints of the judges and the ducal officers, present a unique opportunity for a deeper insight into the ideological opinions, social patterns of behaviour, and the impact of networks in the 15th century.
Ludo Milis, Getuigenverhoren als aanloop tot een proces. Elementen uit het Mechelse strafdossier tegen Jan Schuermans,
pastoor van Ename, in het midden van de zeventiende eeuw, p. 259-265.
In this article, the author publishes the statements of a number of women involved in a sex scandal in 1648. During the celebrations organised for the Treaty of Munster, Jan Schuermans, the vicar of Ename (near Oudenaarde), seduced a girl who became pregnant and gave birth to a child. An inquiry revealed that he had harassed other women and the scandal led to a trial held at the ecclesiastical court of the archbishopric of Mechelen. The conviction haunted Schuermans for the rest of his life.
Claude Bruneel, Sous le souffle de Paris : les Pays-Bas autrichiens au lendemain du 14 juillet 1789,
Simply judging by the press at that time, the events in France in 1789 aroused significant interest in the Austrian Netherlands. The progress towards the States-General and its consequences have aroused not only the curiosity of certain intellectuals, but also their enthusiasm. The storming of the Bastille caused less of a stir. The archives of the Secret Committee, constituted within the general Government Council, allowed the evolution of public opinion in various parts of the country to be followed almost on a daily basis. They also threw a new light on the central government’s official and unofficial information channels. In the cities, the high price of grain and the exacerbation of social differences pushed some to dream of imitating the Parisians. In more modest towns and villages, feelings fluctuated between passion and indifference, though the sense of material interests always prevailed. The border regions were naturally the most exposed. Local authorities were worried about the introduction of cockades or the arrival of a crowd of noisy Frenchmen and women, who in fact turned out to be in peaceful search of the food that was lacking in their own towns and villages. Unfounded rumours that refugees had been temporarily forced onto the roads also circulated. It was the local peasants and monks from the surrounding areas who feared the violence and pillaging of the hordes of vagabonds supposedly flooding in from Paris. However, the fever from France was quickly abated. The difficulties particular to the country came to the forefront. As a French diplomat predicted, “Revolution in the Netherlands is imminent”.
Jean-Louis Kupper, Aux origines de la cité de Liège. Sur deux chartes inédites de 1171 et 1266,
Owing to a lack of documents and details, little is known about the process of development of the city of Liège, which was originally a primitive “pre-urban nucleus”. While the existence of a “new market town”, or novus vicus, has been clearly confirmed and its site located, the site of the vetus vicus, or “primitive town” remains a mystery.
The purpose of this study is to demonstrate that the “old town” actually corresponds to the parish of Saint-André -sur-le-Marché, whose existence dates back to the 9th or 10th century.
Jean-Marie Duvosquel, Le tarif du tonlieu et du winage de Comines établi en 1354 et son renouvellement en 1542,
The town of Comines, in the country of Flanders, was in a commercially strategic position in the 14th century: this is where the Ypres road ended, which connected this cloth-making town with no port to the Scheldt basin via the Lys. It was also here that all the trade that came down (from Lille via the Deûle and leading to Ghent) or up through this region, passed through the “trou de Comines”, the precursor of today’s locks. The trade in goods was so great that the lord of Comines established a fief to collect circulation and selling rights. When a conflict occurred, a new tariff was established in 1354 in common agreement between the lord and the vassal (who was responsible for maintaining the ports) on the one hand, and the town (responsible for the roads) on the other hand, following an investigation of the practices in Lille, Menin and Warneton. Anything that concerned the draperie industry was obviously of major importance in this tariff.
Jean-Marie Cauchies, La confection d’un privilège pour le chapitre Saint-Ursmer de Binche (1458),
A petition on paper from the Saint-Ursmer of Binche chapter to the Duke of Burgundy and Count of Hainault, Philip the Good, was used directly to draw up the original draft of a ducal act, known in other sources. Furthermore, annotations in the margin allow us to reconstitute how it was compiled. Crossings out, corrections and additions bear witness to the way the canons’ text was processed and adapted by those responsible for drafting it, in court or in the chancellery. The aim of the text is the supposed legal immunity of the community of Binche as regards all the ecclesiastical and lay judges. The file also includes the original draft of a letter from Philip the Good to the bishop of Cambrai concerning the respect of this privilege. Above all, the preserved documents illustrate the process as well as a concern for the vocabulary of the authorities and executants involved in accomplishing the work.
Guy Vanthemsche, Britse diplomaten en Belgische hofintriges (oktober 1939). Enkele documenten over de aanloop naar
de Koningskwestie, p. 387-412.
Belgium’s internal and external political situation was very troubled in September and October 1939. A number of hitherto unknown documents from the British Foreign Office archives, kept at the National Archives in London, throw new light on certain episodes during this crucial period. Mention is made, on the one hand, of a supposed plan, put together in Court circles, in order to distance the incumbent Pierlot government from power. On the other hand, these documents give an account of the influence (considered to be detrimental by some) exercised by General van Overstraeten, military advisor to King Leopold III, within these Court circles. Former Prime Minister, Charles de Broqueville, endeavoured to encourage the British authorities to exert pressure to incite the Belgian sovereign to get rid of his advisor.
Claude de Moreau de Gerbehaye, Une dépêche cryptée adressée au gouverneur luxembourgeois de
la forteresse de Montmédy (1637), p. 413-446.
At the beginning of the 17th century, the southernmost part of the Spanish Netherlands was dotted with small fortresses along the border of the Duchy of Bar and a series of neutral estates and undivided enclaves. Richelieu’s government - a transition between the Wars of Religion and Louis XIV’s expansionism - wanted to pacify the fragile border of the Champagne region which overlapped the Meuse, neutralise the scheming neighbouring princes (Lorraine-Bar, Bouillon-Sedan, Verdun, etc.) and, if necessary, annex any neighbouring areas that would put them in a vulnerable position.
It is within this context that the south of the Duchy of Luxembourg slid into such a state of insecurity that the citadel commanders used coded messages. Constructed in a rather crude manner, the edited text completes and confirms the key points of the information provided by the narrative and accounting sources on the Maréchal de Châtillon’s campaign in 1637. In addition, the fear of interception also comes through in the text.
Gustaaf Janssens, Het “politiek testament” van de hertog van Alva: aanbevelingen voor don Luis de
Requeséns over het te voeren beleid in de Nederlanden (Brussel, 2 december 1573), p. 447-474.
December 2nd, 1573, a few days before leaving the Netherlands, the Duke of Alba wrote a memorandum for his successor, Luis de Requeséns. In this document, published as an annex to this contribution, the Duke explains his view on the way the Netherlands should be governed. The text helps us to understand the governor-general’s action in the Netherlands.
Jozef Van Loon, De Vita Landoaldi (anno 980) als prosopografische en historische bron, p. 475-507.
Since Oswald Holder-Egger’s article on the Vita Sancti Landoaldi in 1888, all historians have abided by his scathing judgment of the historiographical value of the document. However, according to a new analysis of the original, the facts reported therein are apparently far more authentic than was originally thought, and reveal many details on the mediaeval history of the village of Wintershoven and the bishopric of Liège. Upon close reading of the text, it is furthermore revealed that Heriger and Notker were only reluctantly persuaded to write the Vita, presumably under pressure from higher political interests.
Herman Van Goethem, In de spiegel van politieverslagen. De Antwerpse Jodenrazzia van 15-16 augustus 1942,
In autumn 1940, the secretary-generals of Belgium agreed in principle to the collaboration of the country’s authorities in the anti-Jewish measures organised by the Nazis. As a result, the Antwerp police participated in a massive roundup of Jews in August and September 1942, obeying the formal orders of their own chief superintendent, De Potter. The first roundup of 15-16th August is analysed in this text. Apparently, some officers were extremely indolent while others showed great zeal.
The analysis of the assistant police commissioner’s report from the 6th district reveals that few facts are noted in the report. It would seem that he wanted to deny all responsibility, nothing more. On the other hand, a number of officers also wrote reports during these roundups. Overall, these documents show that this was an event of unprecedented violence. It is therefore clear that the burgomaster, Delwaide, and the Crown prosecutor, Baers, had indeed been informed of what had happened on the night of 15th to 16th August.
Bruno Demoulin, La France et les Pays-Bas autrichiens à l’aube du XVIIIe siècle,
The instructions (1728) for Sr. Chaillon de Jonville, the first official French representative in Brussels in the 18th century, sheds new light on the policy of Versailles concerning the Austrian Netherlands. The remarkable continuity of French diplomacy from the 18th century to the present day in relation to its northern neighbour - except, of course, for the period between 1795 and 1815 - deserves to be emphasised.
Valérie Piette, Vivre la guerre 14-18. Vivre l’exil. Le journal de Marguerite de Villers Grand Champs,
The diary of Baroness Marguerite de Crombrugghe de Loorin-ghe, the wife of Villers Grand Champs, offers a rare perspective on the First World War. This diary, written between July and December 1914, plunges us into the daily life of an aristocratic family, soon to be disrupted by war and all its horrors. Birth and life rub shoulders with death, fear and anxiety. With the advance of the German troops, the Crombrugghe family left for the sea, hoping to escape to England. They were prevented from doing so and were forced to stay on the coast. Then followed strategies to find accommodation, food, receive news from friends and family, find money, etc. Marguerite, accompanied by her young children, left to join her husband Henry de Villers in England, sharing with us the history of Belgian exiles.
Jo Tollebeek, Een schooljongen op straf. Brieven van Karel van de Woestijne aan Gustave van de Woestijne,
This edition comprises five letters which poet Karel van de Woestijne wrote in 1918-1919 to his brother, painter Gustave van de Woestijne, who was staying in England. They are from the Gustave van de Woestijne Archive which is kept at the University archive of the K.U.Leuven. The letters show two worried brothers: how are we going to get over the war? At the same time light is shed on the two brothers’ artistic preoccupations: Karel van de Woestijne reflects on his isolation in Belgium and evaluates his own literary work, the oeuvre his brother made while in exile in England, and the creations of other artists, his own old Latem group or the younger generation. Besides these five letters, this edition also contains a letter dating from 1915 from younger brother Maurice van de Woestijne to Gustave van de Woestijne, in which Karel van de Woestijne’s political position during the war is discussed (among other things).
Jean-Marie Yante, Draps brabançons et conduit des foires de Champagne. À propos d’un acte de 1340, p. 635-654.
In 1340, the guardsmen and the chancellor of fairs in Champagne and Brie organised compensation for tradesmen from Dijon and Milan whose cloth from Brabant had been seized by the lords of Apremont at Marbotte, in the Haute Meuse region. The Count of Bar, holder of the high conduct, was jointly responsible for a repayment spread over seven years. The act sheds a welcome light on the conduct of the fairs - which were the cornerstone of these meetings in Champagne -, on the Brabant textiles’ market as these meetings dwindled, as well as on the activity of the Dijon-Milan trading duo, remarkable for its duration and multifaceted character.
Besides the administrative part (sessions held in 2007 and 2008 and report on 2006 and 2007), this volume contains four scientific contributions.
Based on a copy from the 17th century, Steven VANDERPUTTEN is editing a chronicle in Middle Dutch that belongs to the genre of gesta episcoporum: Het turbulente verleden van de Luikse prinsbischoppen door de ogen van een inwoner van het oude graafschap Loon: de Chronijk van Luyk, toegeschreven aan Petrus Treckpoel (1442-circa 1507-8), p. 5-88. This account is the work of an inhabitant of the county of Looz, perhaps Petrus Treckpoels (1442-1506 ?), who was in any case a close relative. The author provides a highly personal assessment of the facts that he had selected during the successive reigns of the prince-bishops of Liège up until 1506. These facts, which are of regional interest, all aim to illustrate the continuing tensions between the rebellious-natured inhabitants of Liège and the legitimate power. The comments are intended to have a moralising effect and are, in fact, imbued with a certain naivety.
José Eloy HORTAL MUÑOZ, La visión de un ministro « castellanista » sobre la situación de los Paises Bajos al final del siglo XVI : los « advertimientos » de Esteban de Ibarra, p. 89-166. The latter, adviser and first secretary to the Secretary of State and War, was closely involved in the affairs of the Netherlands. In 1596, he offered his experience to Archduke Albert by compiling a file that is currently kept in the Simancas Archives. The author extracted four pieces, which he is currently editing. They offer a portrait of the collateral council members and other important figures associated with managing the State.
Henri HAAG, Le mémoire de Léon Arendt et les Conseils des ministres d’août 1914, p. 167-257, offers an interpretation of Belgium going to war that differs from traditional views. He explains his point of view in a detailed introduction. This is the result of the analysis of a paper he is editing, which is little known to Belgian historians: “What shall we do in case of war?” This text was written in November 1911 by Léon Arendt, Director General of Policy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Indeed, well before 1914, the threat of a great war and an invasion was regularly brought to the government’s attention. The paper most certainly reflects the author’s opinion but it is one that was also shared by the other members of the department. The “system”, according to the term used by Arendt himself, is based on an ideal of permanent neutrality. The government accepted the main points of the plan in 1912. Consequently, Arendt’s views had a great influence over the country’s policies during the Cabinet meeting at the beginning of August 1914 and particularly at the one held on the 4th of that month. Contrary to what some claim, the role of the ministers of state was far from being decisive during the meeting of 2nd August. They were only consulted as a matter of form. The promoter of the neutralist policies was not the King but the Department, even before the beginning of the conflict.
There was a palpable increase in international tension in the 1930s. In Germany, there was no mistaking the dramatic rise in national socialism. On the other hand, a secret military agreement had linked Belgium to France since 1920. France considered it as a true alliance treaty, granting its troops the right to cross Belgium in case of necessity. Other provisions in the agreement also led to diverging interpretations. In order to prevent the country from being drawn into military action despite all, Baron Van Zuylen, Director General of Policy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was convinced of the need for Belgium to have a new international status. It would allow Belgium to conduct its own foreign policies, characterised by the nonalignment. In the study presented here, accompanied by the editing of thirty documents, Gustaaf JANSSENS (Paul-Henri Spaak en het begin van de Belgische onafhankelijkheidspolitiek (1936-1937), p. 259-391) has paid particular attention to three notes that the young socialist minister of foreign affairs sent to King Leopold III. Kept in the Royal Palace’s archives, these reports, which have remained almost unknown up until now, emphasise the minister’s vision regarding the international position of Belgium. They also illustrate the way in which he shaped this policy of independence and defined the priorities with his diplomatic advisers, the King and the Prime Minister.