Mons in 1522, Valencienne in 1567, and help on a name.

+3 votes
97 views

Preparing to work on a profile for a Notable, and need to know what territorial designation to give Mons (now in SW Belgium) in 1522. Also Valencienne in 1567. The Low Countries, maybe?

Here’s the Wikipedia article for the gentleman. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guido_de_Bres

The name is given variously, so I need help on naming him appropriately for a WikiTree profile. 

Many thanks!

in The Tree House by Pip Sheppard G2G Astronaut (2.2m points)

3 Answers

+4 votes
Low Countries is correct, but I think it might be possible to be more specific. I think historically both Mons and Valenciennes would be considered to be in Hainaut, at least in a broad sense. The part which is now in France is also sometimes still called Hainaut, although the republic got rid of most old regional names.
by Andrew Lancaster G2G6 Pilot (107k points)
Although I do use the term Low countries myself ( a little bit too much) historically that is the wrong term.
In the time of Guido De Bres both cities, Mons and Valenciennes, would be part of the County of Hainaut  which would be part of the Habsburg Netherlands in 1522 and be called the Spanish Netherlands by 1567,  using the latter term would cover the early period, Mons would be the capital of the County of Hainaut under Spanish Habsburg rule .
Modern Mons is the capital of the province du Hainaut in Belgium and Valenciennes is the capital of de departement du Nord in France
Small things but...

1. Low countries is fine in English and originally means the same as Netherlands, Pays Bas, Niederlanden, Nederlanden etc. In English, Netherlands (confusingly based on a plural form) is now normally used as the name of "The Netherlands", clearly coming from the period when England helped try to create one united kingdom of all the Netherlands, even though other languages tend to give that modern country a name in a singular form. Therefore depending on the period, it is better to avoid "Netherlands" sometimes in English. Of course if it is a period where you can use a clarifying adjective, such as "Spanish" or "Austrian", then no problem using "Spanish Netherlands", and "Spanish Low Countries" would be odd. But that does not make "Low Countries" wrong as a name for the greater region over longer periods.

2. I think Lille is the main town in the departement Nord?
Yes, Lille is the préfecture for the department Nord, Valenciennes being one of the sous-préfectures. Unlike Valenciennes, Lille was historically part of Flanders.
Actually Andrew  the terminology is very relevant because each describes a specific period in the turbulent history of the countries (Counties Duchies etc...) that were located in the Paris plain ( area north of the Seine , Paris, Champagne Ardennes Lorraine all the way to the Rhine covering both banks Saarland, Rhineland-Pfalz, Northrine an Westfalia and up north to Friesland and Lower Saxony )
The "Netherlands" is an old dutch form  for low (nether) countries(lands) , which is why both are plural terms.  The [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netherlands wikipedia page ] gives a very good idea about what the terms "Low Countries", "Netherlands" etc refer to
AS Isabelle said in another reply the historically most correct answer is :
*Mons, County of Hainaut, Habsburg Netherlands (1522)
*Valenciennes, County of Hainaut, Spanish Netherlands (1567)

"Low Countries" would refer to the period before 1348 after which time we talk about the "Burgundian Netherlands" after that when the Habsburgs came into power at the end of the 15th century through Maximilian  it became the "Habsburg Netherlands" ( or the "seventeen provinces")
specifically for the whole Habsburg period in the south west of the netherlands you can use "Spanish netherlands" for the, covering the reign of Maximillian, Charles V holy emperor, and his son Filips II of Spain.  that  would not be considered a wrong statement,
However  in the north (north of breda) you would refer to differntl periods with the Habsburg Netherlands (or the "Seventeen provinces")  and after 1556 it would the Republic of the United Provinces of the Netherlands which declared independance from the spanish king around 1580 during the 80 years war
The spanish netherlands suffered the inquisition  and  became the Austrian Netherlands in 1715  during the latter part of the 17th century some of the counties of Flanders and Hainaut came into French hands ( house Bourbon)
The relevant wikipedia pages describe correctly and in quite some detail this history
Derek I agree terminology is relevant but I don't see that I've made any error yet? I've been involved in writing several of those Wikipedia pages you cite by the way.

...And Low Countries is fine in English for the region overall on a long term basis. It is not wrong. Spanish Netherlands is a good term for the region and period which was under the Spanish crown, which does NOT include Maximilian's time.

We were talking specifically about Hainaut, which has nothing to do with some of the things you mention.

(I find it odd that you think the Paris plain extends to Friesland and Germany, but again, I think you are off topic.)

On the practical topic, I think your suggestion is acceptable but an unattractive aspect is that you make the continuity less clear by using several different "country" names for a small area and a small period of time. If you can use one it might avoid giving a misleading impression.
+3 votes
Hainaut is the current Belgian Province name of which Mons is the current Province Capital. In 1522 Mons acted as the Capital of the County Hainaut under the reign of the Spanish Habsburgs.
by David Loncke G2G Rookie (290 points)
So, it seems that I should put: Mons Hainaut, Spanish Netherlands. I’m assuming for the place of death, too, as it was the Spanish who hung Guido in 1567.
Spanish Netherlands is correct from 1556 to 1678 (for Valenciennes, which became French at that date) or 1713 (for Mons - Spanish Netherlands became Austrian Netherlands).

Before 1556, the correct term would be Habsburg Netherlands.
+2 votes
Here are some sources about Guido de Brès
*[https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guido_de_Br%C3%A8s Wikipedia dutch]
*[https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_de_Br%C3%A8s wikipedia french] that clarifies that BRAY is town between mons and binche
*[http://www.prca.org/books/portraits/debres.htm portrait of De Brès]
*[http://www.rcus.org/the-martyrdom-of-guido-de-bres/]
*[https://standardbearer.rfpa.org/node/38178]
*[https://historiek.net/guido-de-bres-nederlandse-geloofsbelijdenis/65011/]

Based on these document I would use
*as his current name  : De Brès
*as his birth name : (De) Bray
* the other variants would be in other names
by Derek Giroulle G2G6 Mach 1 (10.8k points)
Excellent resources! Thanks, Derek!

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