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