Category Archives: Pamphlets

Speeches and memoranda by the Spanish and French ambassadors

The character of the Fagel pamphlets changes remarkably during the time that Gaspar Fagel was Grand Pensionary of Holland, in the 1670s and 1680s. The collection resembles what we can call Fagel’s working papers: short, anonymous pamphlets containing official memoranda, speeches, resolutions, and ordinances, passing through Fagel’s hands in the offices of state.

Volume Fag.H.3.44 offers a prime example of this transformation. It contains 97 individual texts, all printed in 1684. These are largely composed of speeches and memoranda by the Spanish and French ambassadors in The Hague, during the War of the Reunions (1683-1684), which saw French forces overrun Spanish possessions in the Low Countries. During this conflict the ambassadors engaged in a new form of persuasion, which has recently been dubbed public diplomacy. This involved taking the diplomat’s task outside the closed circles of influence through a more direct attempt to sway public opinion. This was a new type of pamphlet warfare, mirroring lobbying efforts in the closed offices of state, but appealing beyond this to a broader public. The pamphlet highlighted here is an anonymous response to one of the latest memos of the French ambassador. The “getrouwe Hollander ” (loyal Hollander) urges Dutch support for Spain and accuses the French of stalling negotiations while strengthening their military position in the Southern Netherlands. It captures the essence of a new age of pamphleteering and diplomacy, so carefully laid out in the Fagel collection.

Antwoort van een getrouwe Hollander, op het memoriael, door den heere grave d’Avaux op den 15. may 1684. aen haer ho: mo: ingegeven (S.l., s.n., [1684]), Fag. H.3.44 No.38

The first major crisis of the Dutch Republic

A large number of the early volumes of the pamphlet collection are made up of hundreds of tracts documenting the first major crisis of the Dutch Republic. In the 1610s, during the Twelve Years’ Truce with Spain, a religious conflict erupted which pitted supporters of the truce against those who sought renewed war against Spain. The  tract below, written by the Contra-Remonstrant minister Rippertus Sixti (1583-1651), warned that the Dutch state was slipping back into the clutches of Spanish tyranny. This, he argued, was due to a fifth column at home: the Arminians, or Remonstrants, who, directed by a “Spanish Council”, sought to renew the truce in order to lead the Dutch back under Spanish sovereignty. It went so far as to accuse Johan van Oldenbarnevelt, prime statesman of the Republic, of selling the republic into Spanish hands.

The pamphlet was first printed anonymously by the Leiden printer Jan Claesz van Dorp, who was subsequently prosecuted by the city council, at that time made up predominantly of Remonstrants. But like many Contra-Remonstrant tracts published during this conflict, this was a bestseller, printed throughout the country after Van Dorp’s arrest. It also became a real collector’s item. The Fagel collection contains ten copies of this pamphlet, divided between seven editions. Two of these editions are found only in the Fagel collection.

Practiicke van den Spaenschen raet, dat is: Clare vertooninghe dat den raedt door I. Lipsium, Er. Puteanum, ende Fr. Campanellam, ghegeven alreede in’t werck gestelt is (S.l., s.n. [Leiden, Jan Claesz van Dorp], 1618), Fag.H.1.25 no.13

an extraordinary series of 278 bound volumes

Pamphlets
Members of the St Andrews Book group have been coming back and forth to Dublin for the best part of twenty years, drawn in each case by the fabulous riches of the Fagel collection. At first we worked exclusively on French materials. Most recently the extension of our on-line resource, the Universal Short Title Catalogue, into the seventeenth century, has inspired an effort to catalogue every one of the Dutch pamphlets in the collection.

These pamphlets survive in an extraordinary series of 278 bound volumes. They made up just two lots in the intended London sale, but they actually contain close to 6,000 precious, fascinating books. By November 2016 we will have examined and catalogued every one, revealing a mass of unknown editions, in a collection that offers comprehensive coverage of the political and religious turbulence of the Dutch Revolt and seventeenth-century Dutch Republic.

Since 2014 this work has been in the hands of the two Dutch specialists in the St Andrews group, Andrew Pettegree and Arthur der Weduwen, who have now worked with most of the major collections of Dutch pamphlets worldwide. There is no doubt that Fagel has bestowed on Dublin the greatest, most coherent collection of Dutch pamphlets anywhere outside the Low Countries. The unconsidered gems, many the only surviving copy of a rare pamphlet or broadsheet, are previewed in the accompanying digital images. For Arthur der Weduwen an undoubted highlight was the discovery of several issues of an unknown Brussels news serial, the Nouvelles Neutrelles, a discovery that has allowed him to demonstrate that there was a newspaper in Brussels thirty years earlier than previously thought: indeed, in the very first years of the press in the Low Countries. Such priceless nuggets illuminate a collection that casts telling new light on the process and priorities of government of Europe’s most dynamic new state, the seventeenth-century Dutch Republic.

Andrew and Arthur
Andrew Pettegree and Arthur der Weduwen

Highlights of the Collection:

Dutch declaration of independence
Dutch declaration of independence
The first major crisis of the Dutch Republic
The first major crisis of the Dutch Republic
Speeches and memoranda by the Spanish and French ambassadors
Speeches and memoranda by the Spanish and French ambassadors

 

 

 

 

The first major crisis of the Dutch Republic

A large number of the early volumes of the pamphlet collection are made up of hundreds of tracts documenting the first major crisis of the Dutch Republic. In the 1610s, during the Twelve Years’ Truce with Spain, a religious conflict erupted which pitted supporters of the truce against those who sought renewed war against Spain. The above tract, written by the Contra-Remonstrant minister Rippertus Sixti (1583-1651), warned that the Dutch state was slipping back into the clutches of Spanish tyranny. This, he argued, was due to a fifth column at home: the Arminians, or Remonstrants, who, directed by a “Spanish Council”, sought to renew the truce in order to lead the Dutch back under Spanish sovereignty. It went so far as to accuse Johan van Oldenbarnevelt, prime statesman of the Republic, of selling the republic into Spanish hands.

The pamphlet was first printed anonymously by the Leiden printer Jan Claesz van Dorp, who was subsequently prosecuted by the city council, at that time made up predominantly of Remonstrants. But like many Contra-Remonstrant tracts published during this conflict, this was a bestseller, printed throughout the country after Van Dorp’s arrest. It also became a real collector’s item. The Fagel collection contains ten copies of this pamphlet, divided between seven editions. Two of these editions are found only in the Fagel collection.

Switzerland Schweitzer
Switzerland Schweitzer

Dutch declaration of independence

The earliest texts in the pamphlet collection date from the sixteenth century, the founding decades of the Dutch Republic. This part of the collection served the Fagels as a historical reference tool, filled with official texts documenting the early struggle of the Dutch state. The pamphlet below, commonly known as the Plakkaat van Verlatinghe (Act of Abjuration), is one of the most important. The act was signed on 26 July 1581 by representatives of several Dutch provinces who declared themselves independent from royal authority. It was, in effect, the Dutch declaration of independence, and would be used as a model by the American rebels in 1776.

The Plakkaat van Verlatinghe was first printed in Leiden by Charles Silvius, the recently-appointed printer of the States. The rebels rapidly turned to the printing press to disseminate their ordinances and reinforce their authority. The USTC has documented 20 editions of the Plakkaat van Verlatinghe printed in 1581, including this unique edition in the Fagel collection, printed in the eastern town of Arnhem by Willem Jansz van Campen, state printer of the province of Gelderland.

Placcaert byden welcken men verklaert den coninck van Spaengien vervallen vande overheyt ende heerschappije van dese voorsz. Nederlanden (S.l., s.n. [Arnhem, Willem Jansz van Campen], 1581), Fag.H.3.8 no.3