Most of the articles here derive from my unpublished thesis; James P. Ward, “The Cities and States of Holland (1506-1515). A participative system of government under strain”, Leiden, 9th May 2001.
These are numbered 2,4,5,7,8,9,10,11,14,15,16,17, some of which as is indicated in them have been published in learned journals.
Others numbered 12 and 13 have also been published elsewhere, and are related to my undergraduate studies at Leiden University in the years 1989-1995.
Numbers 1, 3 and 6 are related to incidental personal interests.

I thank Franciscus (Frans) J. Ward for setting up, extending and maintaining this website.

  1. Recently recovered writings of Dr Christina Cruickshank Miller
  2. Emperor Maximilian I and his Generals in Holland and Brabant (1506-1515)
  3. Letters from Dr Christina Cruickshank Miller (1899-2001)
  4. Security and Insecurity, Spies and Informers in Holland During the Guelders War (1506-1515)
  5. Military Pay and Taxation in Early 16th Century Holland during the Guelders War
  6. Louise von Baden and Christoph von Schmid’s “Biblische Geschichte"
  7. The Government's use of hostage-taking (Gijzeling) in Early Sixteenth Century Holland to enforce extra-ordinary aides for the Guelders war
  8. Keynesianism before Keynes? Unemployed weavers and a proposal made at Leiden in 1523
  9. Military Drill and Words of Command. Queen Elizabeth II’s “Spin-wheel” and Emperor Maximilian I’s “Snail”
  10. Participative government in Holland in the Early Sixteenth Century: Claude Carondelet’s report on dyking the Zijpe Estuary (1509)
  11. Hadrianus Barlandus and a catalog of the counts and countesses of Holland published at Amsterdam by Doen Pietersz
  12. Boudewijn van Zwieten's legacy of the Horae canonicae at St Peter's, Leiden 1443
  13. Guillaume de Clugny, Guillaume de Bische and Jean Gros: Mediators between Charles the Bold of Burgundy and the cities of Holland (1460-1477)
  14. A Selection of Letters (1507-1516) from the Guelders War
  15. Prices of Weapons and Munitions in Early Sixteenth Century Holland during the Guelders War
  16. The Military Role of the Magistrates in Holland during the Guelders War
  17. King James IV, Continental Diplomacy and the Guelders' War
  18. Jim Ward promoveert op Hollandse steden
  19. Alumnus Profile Jim Ward



James P. Ward


This article contains three recently found additions to the 21 letters of Dr Christina Cruikshank Miller to me, which I published earlier on my website

Addendum 1: A letter on ‘airmail’ paper.

42/14 Polworth Gardens,
Edinburgh EH 11 1LN
14 January 1990

Dear Jim,

I was delighted to receive your letter of 16 December on 3 January. We had of course no deliveries on 25 and 26 December and 1 and 2 January, and there has been a hold up somewhere. Although I started my “end of year” correspondence in late Oct. I soon got tired of it and had a breather, which resulted in the usual rush to complete operations by 19 December for delivery before Christmas. In the end I failed by two letters, one long, yours, as I had written to you on 14/3/89. In future I’ll have to write more letters during the year instead of at Christmas. There is something to be said for collecting data from all sources and then disseminating the news.

It is good to know that you got your pension arrangements sorted out, as it was essential to know where you stood before retiring. Apparently you are more than satisfied, which must be a great relief.

By this time you will be a confident student, having adequately passed the test during Term I. Congratulations on your good marks. Do you study in the train morning and evening? In 1920 when I saw Sir James Walker about doing a Ph.D. under him he told me to get up German during 1920-21 when I had to attend the Heriot-Watt in order to complete my 4-year course there. That year I traveled daily from Kirkcaldy and studied German in the train via [sic] Hugo’s well known [sic] course. So the train journeys involved no waste of time. Incidentally, I got up Dutch via a Hugo course before going to a glass blowing course at Leiden in 1926!

I’d like to know more about your degree course. What kind of history you are studying and what the additional classes are. Presumably all lectures are in Dutch, but you must have mastered the language long ago. You don’t mention how Miriam is getting on with her English literature course, but I hope she has got well dug in, although daily travel is rather tiring. One year was enough for me.

So Frans has taken the plunge and married his Yvonne. The wedding would be the chief excitement for 1989. Is Frans still studying at evening classes for the qualification in Information Technology or has he now collected it? I suppose Yvonne will be at work too as is the norm in these days. Has Michael got down to doing something worthwhile for a living?

I deduce that 1989 has been a happier year, for you left Unilever feeling you had achieved a lot of good work on the research side. A total of 50 publications, especially in industry, is something to be proud of.

You will be interested to know that I reached nonagenarian status in August. I was not amused and made no plans to celebrate, having no family to participate. However, there were surprises. At 11 a.m. on the day Drs R. & B. Gould came from K. B. with a beautiful basket of flowers as a gift from Chem. Dept. Accompanying it was a kind appreciative letter from Prof. Ramage, Head of the Dept, whom I have [‘not’ erased] never met. In the afternoon, Dr Anderson’s wife, Joan, and youngest daughter, Judy, who bears my name as her third forename, arrived with a luscious birthday cake (home baked), with which we had a nice birthday tea. Several people had somehow got wind of the occasion, resulting in my receiving 21 cards, instead of the usual 7 or 8, and several small gifts. Prof. Campbell, who has the same birthday but is 4 years younger, was in Pitlochry with his wife for his celebration. They called to see me after their return home, both looking very well. Their younger son announced his engagement a month or two ago to a Linlithgow lady – wedding in April. The Campbells are due to celebrate their golden wedding in I think, May but I don’t know the exact date. In my financial records I found that I had contributed to a departmental gift in the week ending 12 May 1940! I must endeavor to find out the exact date.

Sundry ex EU friends, covering graduation years 193-1958, have been here during 1989. Evelyn Hay called in May, feeling renewed in health after a holiday in Morocco and her now easier lifestyle. She now has a flat with a sun balcony in South Oswald Road, off Blackford Avenue, and likes it very much. Winnie Stafford retired in September, as expected, and is likewise enjoying her freedom. An unexpected visitor was Dr R. F. Neale (1955) [error‘1954’ corrected], who came as representative of Dr Myra Rennie (née MacDougall) who was on a short visit to her mother in a Trinity retirement home and had insufficient time to see me. You demonstrated to both. Frank retired early from B.P. Grangemouth and now lives in Balerno, sometimes doing a little work in H-W Univ. After the closure of Stirling Univ. Chem. Dept, Prof. J.M. G. Cowie was transferred to H.-W. where he has got a new chair in Materials Science. Myra has a very exacting job as headmistress of a privately run school for girls (boarders and day) in Derbyshire, yet enjoys the challenge. John Hunter looks in occasionally. His adopted boys are now 18 ½ and 17, the younger carrying on at school to take Highers. The older boy goes from one job to another and does not seem to know what he wants to do, which is a bit worrying.

The McDowells (Dr E. Percival) called in June while visiting family in the city. They were going North afterwards to Kyle of Lochalsh where they had very good weather suitable for many lovely walks. Elizabeth was 84 a week or so ago and is still very active. I had Dr Beevers along for tea one day. He does approximately half time work at K. B. and enjoys it. Dr Ritchie’s widow and Dr Betty MacBean (1942) were here in Sept. together from Peebles. The latter did her Ph. D. with Prof. Campbell and was eventually appointed as a lecturer and to be my understudy on Adv. Lab. However, to my great regret she soon left to marry. Her older brother, Ian Barclay (1936), and his wife from Bridlington appeared unannounced one day. He was a forensic chemist in Harrogate and had a lot to do in connection with the Moors Murders, work that he found very horrible.

My Inverness friend brought greetings from Andrew Stanners in Kingussie. Elinor is married and living in West Calder, John is a school lab technician at Culloden Academy, and Adam an architect in Glasgow. Jim Headridge has a variety of ploys in Sheffield including giving courses of lectures in the Polytechnic. His wife got a B. Ed. degree at Cardiff and does part-time teaching. The elder girl is married and teaching. Jim and Anne have a fancy to go abroad to teach, but each has an elderly mother to consider. Hans Ehrlich is very busy in his firm in Essex and has to find time to visit his mother who is alone in Germany but now in a home for old people, as she had a stroke that affected her memory. The three Ehrlich boys have all got degrees now and also jobs but none is yet married. George Charalambous is determined to go on as long as he can. Last year he was associated with a conference in Crete which was very successful. He is now a grandpa, his son having got a daughter. George’s daughter was married during the year. The Knox clan is increasing rapidly, twin grand-daughters and a grandson last year.

Since I last wrote, the severity of the tinnitus that has plagued me for 30 years has not diminished and my balance has worsened. Between the two I feel very unstable and find walking outside for more than a short distance most unpleasant and indeed precarious. With general muscular arthritis added, I have to be extremely cautious. I have not ventured on a bus for months and am reduced to walking to the shops nearby, whereas I used to manage Bruntsfield. Being so alone in the world, I try to avoid all risks. However, I still cope in this flat and pay proper attention to meals. I shall doubtless have to get a home help before long. Everybody tells me to buy all the help I can get before contemplating going into a nursing home, which I am definitely not doing yet. I have reached the conclusion that it is best to live a day at a time.

This year I have lost my chief holiday chum whom I met at H.-W. College in 1918, and my oldest friend with whom I started school at Hawick in 1905. The former died in April, completely senile, the later virtually helpless but mentally alert in late November. Did you know Heather Alexander (1954)? I was shocked to read of her death on Good Friday. A cousin informed me that she had known she had inoperable cancer that would soon prove fatal.

Are you getting reassuring news about your mother and is she still able to live on her own, having a son and a daughter able to look in at intervals? I am very thankful that my memory loss is not yet one of my problems and I hope it never will be. Has your brother recover from the shock of being 50?

How does Jetty occupy her time when you are all out of the house? I know she plays a lot of bridge but I seem to recall that she likes painting. You won’t have much time for music just now

Very best wishes to you, Jetty, the family for 1990.

And kindest regards from
Chrissie Miller.


Addendum 2: A Simon Elvin illustrated letter card, showing an address book together with a vase with roses.

9 December 1997
[No address]

Dear Jim,

Many thanks for your newsletter of 16/12/96. You certainly work hard at your studies, as does Evelyn Hay at her History of Art. I hope Jetty and Michael completed the re-decoration of the house satisfactorily. Frans and Yvonne would have a lot to tell you about Australia. A great many people I know have been there. A century and more ago some of my mother’s relatives emigrated to it and “disappeared”.

Is Miriam still sticking to her flat, and does she have a permanent job now, also, has Michael got fuller employment? I note that they all visit their parents for meals, not the other way round! However, it is nice to see offspring attached to the old home.

I suppose you will know of Elizabeth Percival’s death in April at the age of 91. She wrote as usual last Christmas and she and her husband had their annual 3 weeks in S, France in Jany [sic]. Before the end, on 16 April, she was in a nursing home and in a confused state.

I have not enjoyed 1997, with all disabilities increasing, as is inevitable. It was 3 months before I had a modest improvement in hearing. Eyes and vision are very uncomfortable, and arthritic joints require regular treatment. I celebrated Boxing Day by falling and having to pull the alarm cord to Glasgow because I could not get up. This year I have overbalanced and fallen 3 times, twice in October.
I have been endeavouring to get into St. Raphael’s Nursing Home, and [inserted] my name was put on an urgent waiting list 4 months ago, still without effect. Had I rended [sic] in a Viewpoint sheltered flat I’d have had [inserted] priority in getting in. Actually I don’t want an offer during the chaotic period of the year. I am a complete hermit now, tiring very easily, and just managing to hold out. Happy memories of you at KB!

Chrissie Miller.

[On the reverse of the card] Best Wishes to James & Jetty and family for Xmas happiness and good health in 1998.


Addendum 3: A Valentine’s picture postcard with six views of Old Edinburgh.

There is no date discernible. C.f. letter no. 15 published earlier on my website, dated 28 November 1998, and addressed from St Raphael’s.

New address at long last:
St Raphael‘s, 6 South Oswald Road, Edinburgh EH9 2HG.

Many thanks for your interesting news-letter of 23 May.

Chrissie Miller

See all twenty one personal letters by Dr Christina Cruickshank Miller.

June 2020


Emperor Maximilian I and his Generals in Holland and Brabant (1506-1515)
during the Guelders War

James P. Ward


A number of reasons are adduced here for the failure of Emperor Maximilian I to achieve a settlement with his adversary Charles, duke of Guelders, in the long drawn out war for possession and mastery of Guelders.

  1. A mutual, personal, unbridgeable distrust existed between Maximilian and Charles of Guelders dating from the latter’s younger years;

  2. Maximilian failed to convince the cities and States of Holland of his motives in the war. They informed him bluntly that the war was in his own dynastic interests, and the damage it was doing to Holland’s trading interests would ruin them;

Emperor Maximilan I of Habsburg

Stadholder Jan III van Egmond

  1. Habsburg’s generals, Jan van Egmond, Floris van Egmond, Jan van Wassenaar,
    Rudolf von Anhalt, the brothers Hendrik and Eric von Brunswick, and Felix von Werdenberg expressed openly and in letters to the Regent, Margaret of Austria, their disappointments, and similarly their resentments, anger and frustration to the cities and States of Holland when their pleas for money and men were frustrated, albeit legally, by the delaying tactics of the cities’ magistrates.

Floris van Egmond

Stadholder Jan II van Wassenaar
Sources are described in James P. Ward, The Cities and States of Holland (1506-1515). A participative system of government under strain. Dissertation Leiden University, 2001, and are collected and published as RGP 259 in Bronnen voor de geschiedenis der dagvaarten van de Staten en steden van Holland voor 1544 (Sources for the history of the diets of the States and cities of Holland before 1544) Part VI: 1506-1515; collected and compiled by J.W.J. Burgers, J. P. Ward and J.G.Smit, The Hague, 2006.





James P. Ward


This article contains twenty one personal letters by Dr Christina Cruickshank Miller
to J. P. Ward, a former student and pupil, written between 1984 and 2001,
the year in which she died aged almost 102.

Dr Christina C.MillerDr
                      Christina C.Miller

Dr Christina C. Miller
The saying 'Old age is no place for cissies' is attributed to Bette Davis (1908-1989). Chrissie Miller (1899-2001) was no cissy. Her letters here contain in a nutshell some of her own brief descriptions from her long life, her training and study for academic research in Chemistry, her many trials through bad health, but above all her many friendships. My purpose in publishing the letters is to reveal something of Dr Miller’s character and her life in her own words. But she has been described well by Dr Robert (Bob) Chalmers, who wrote especially of how interested and how engaged she was in the wellbeing of her former students and their families; above all how intrepid she was, regardless of her physical disabilities of sight and hearing. I repeat, Dr Chrissie Miller was no cissy.

Dr Christina Cruickshank Miller was recognized by her friends and colleagues and by her students to be a remarkable woman. I guess, everyone who ever met her has an anecdote to tell. Her career has been described in a number of articles. One author (Bob Chalmers, letter no. 10) remarked to her that the 2500 words he had been allowed by an editor could better have been 5000. Her wide ranging honours and distinctions were many. They included election to fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh; the teaching laboratories at Kings Buildings were named in her honour; she was cast in a semi-fictional role in a modern chamber opera, “Breath Freely” by Julian Wagstaff; Dr Miller and her friend and colleague Mrs Percival, otherwise Mrs McDowell, née Ethel Elizabeth Kempson are included in Wikipedia’s Wikiproject Women Scientists.
Dr Miller Letter of 2
                      Dec. 1984

Dr Miller Letter of 2 Dec. 1984

all twenty one personal letters
by Dr Christina Cruickshank Miller

I first encountered Dr Miller in my third year as student at Edinburgh University in the period 1949-1956. I say encountered, because the first occasion was at the start of a short series of lectures which she gave to undergraduates, on inorganic chemistry and analysis. Frankly, I cannot remember anything she told us in those lectures; and it wasn’t for want of trying.

Punctually each time she marched into the lecture theatre, placed her notes on the rostrum, and, with scarcely her head and shoulders visible, read from them at great speed, stopped, collected her notes and left the lecture theatre. I had the impression that most of her listeners were as stunned as I was.

But in my 4th year I did truly meet Dr Miller when I became one of a small group of students who were chosen to attend her laboratory where she taught inorganic and organic microanalysis. She was no longer a small distant figure speaking at us, she was a warm hearted, little old lady doing her best to make good students of us.

In those days there was a suburban railway line round the inner city of Edinburgh, and Dr Miller and I used it, leaving home from different stations, to get to the university Chemistry Department at Kings Buildings (KB). So on many days in the following years we walked together the last uphill mile or so to reach the lab. In that time I worked as a demonstrator in Dr Miller’s lab, and I completed my Ph. D. study, with Dr W. H. Stafford as research adviser.

I presume it was shortly after my graduating and leaving KB in 1956 that we started corresponding. Dr Miller’s earliest extant letter to me is dated 2 December 1984. However, an earlier memento of her is a wedding present which my wife and I bought with a cheque which Dr Miller sent us on our marriage in 1962. Any early letters I may have received from her during five years I spent in Germany are lost.

Readers will find in her letters no references to details of chemistry. Instead, for future biographers there are references to the start of Dr Miller’s career, and her gratitude to Professor Sir James Walker (1863-1935). In the obituary notice for the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Bob Chalmers wrote that she received instruction in soda-glass blowing from a Mr Walter Murray in the period 1921-1924, and twice in conversations at her Craiglockhart home she remarked to me that she had spent some time at Leiden in Holland where she had also received instruction in glass blowing. I presume now that she referred to the more difficult techniques required in working with silica glass and an oxygen-fed flame.

I regret not having asked her for more information about that. However, I think, on good grounds, that she probably attended the laboratory and the unique school for chemical technicians, founded by Nobel Prize winner Kamerlingh Onnes at Leiden; cf. Dirk van Delft, “Heike Kamerlingh Onnes ”, publ. Amsterdam, 2005, where in Chapter 10, especially pp. 309-310, the importance of glass blowing taught at the school is emphasized. Kamerlingh Onnes was also known for his hospitality towards foreign scientists.

In one of her letters here (no. 14) Dr Miller remarked that she had started to carry out genealogical research into her family background, but that she was hindered therein by her poor health. Did she leave any record of that work? If so it would certainly interest biographers, but her last papers may have suffered the same fate as her once famous “Black Books” (cf. Chalmers’ obituary for her). Dr Miller herself told me in her Craiglockhart home, that just before leaving KB she had burned the books containing the analytical data and records of many years of research teaching which she and her students had carried out. “I asked”, she said, “but nobody wanted them. One day I took them down to the basement and threw them into the oven”. Remembering the reverence with which those sibylline-like books were treated in the past, I was aghast. But in letter no. 8 here she appeared resigned to the fact that since her retiring from work and study much of it had become “obsolete”, superseded by developments brought about by newer methods and newer instrumentation.


I append here summarily a short list of readily available on-line sources for the life, work and death of Dr Christina Cruickshank Miller, born 29 August 1899, died 16 July 2001, and for some of her best known colleagues, friends and students.
  • Robert A. Chalmers, “A mastery of microanalysis”, Chemistry in Britain, June 1993, pp. 492-494, referring to Dr Miller.
  • Robert A. Chalmers, “Chrissie Miller”, The Guardian newspaper, 30 July 2001, similarly.
  • Robert O. Gould, “Dr Christina Miller”, The Scotsman newspaper, 6 August 2001.
  • In Wikipedia (and refs cited there): Christina Cruickshank Miller; Sir James Walker (chemist); James Pickering Kendall; Sir Edmund L. Hirst; Robert J. Ferrier.
  • “Former Members of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 1783 -2002” (abbreviated FMRSE), are listed alphabetically under Obituaries, Royal Society of Edinburgh. They include entries for Neil Campbell, Edmund G. V. Percival, C. A. Beevers and Mowbray Ritchie. Robert (Robin) Ferrier is listed as a Fellow, for whom an obituary is expected to follow.
  • Prof. D. J. Manners’ obituary for Mrs Elizabeth Ethel Percival née Kempson in FMRSE contains names of other persons of Dr Chrissie Miller’s generation.
  • Professors Walker, Kendall and Hirst were Fellows of the Royal Society (London) in whose records there are obituaries for them:
  • Sir James Walker’s, by Prof. J. P. Kendall, Biogr. Mems Fell. R. Soc. 1 (Dec. 1935), published online;
  • Prof. Kendall’s is by N. Campbell and C. Kemball, Biogr. Mems Fell. R. Soc. 26 (Nov. 1980) pp. 255-273;
  • Sir Edmund Hirst’s, by M. Stacey and Mrs Elizabeth Percival: Biogr. Mems Fell. R. Soc. 22 (Nov.1976) pp. 136-138.

Other sources

  • Robert and Sheila Gould, “Cecil Arnold Beevers”, Crystallography News, No 76, March 2001, pp. 17-18.
  • Mary R. Masson “Robert Alexander Chalmers” published in Talanta 72 (2007) 863-864.
  • Richard Furneaux and Sarah Wilcox, “Robert John (Robin) Ferrier”, online at; see Obituaries there.

Other Literature

  • Marelene Rayner-Canham and Geoff Rayner-Canham, “Chemistry Was Their Life. Pioneer British Women Chemists 1880-1949’’, Imperial College Press (2008), especially pp. 286-288 (Chistina Miller) and pp. 289-290 (Mrs Percival née Elizabeth Kempson).
  • Julian Wagstaff, “Breathe Freely, a chamber opera in two short acts to a libretto by the composer”, publ. Europa Edition. Ltd, No. EUR0015 (2014). Excerpts from the first performance at Edinburgh are online at YouTube. The role of Dr Miller was sung by Laura Margaret Smith, mezzo-soprano.
  • D. van Delft, “Heike Kamerlingh Onnes”, loc cit. above.

The Letters

The letters presented no problems in transcription, and I hope to have reproduced them here faithfully without extensive editing. The last one was as neatly written as the first. Dr Miller complained now and then of pain in her wrists while writing, and it is obvious at places that she has touched the paper with her pen unintentionally. She herself corrected errors of omission by insertions in the usual way, using caret marks, while other errors she corrected by cancellations, ‘crossings out’. For one word she used spelling variants (hassle; hastle), Mr Ebbutt’s name she mis-spelled. I have transcribed those passages without regard to editing. On the other hand, I have omitted the home address of one of Dr Miller’s correspondents, and two telephone numbers.

See all twenty one personal letters by Dr Christina Cruickshank Miller.


In the following list of Dr Miller’s correspondents and their families I have omitted, with some exceptions, references to academic and honorific titles. Many of the persons named had studied under Dr Miller, and others were colleagues and friends. Most had qualifications in Chemistry. The letters themselves make the relationships to her clear. I have included in parenthesis to the names a reference to the first of Dr Miller’s letters in which the name occurs; and with the names of her most frequent visitors and correspondents the adverb passim. Mrs Percival and Mrs McDowell were the same person, née Ethel Elizabeth Kempson.

ADAMS, Mrs Margaret, née Liddle; (18); ALEXANDER, Heather; (1); ANDERSON, Douglas, and his wife Joan; (1 and passim); ANDERSON, Frank B.; (9); BEEVERS, Cecil Arnold; (4 and passim); BUCHANAN, John and Grace née Davie; (7); CAMERON, Christine; (15); CAMPBELL, Prof. Neil, his wife, and his son Hamish; (8 and passim); CHALMERS, Prof. R. A.; (9 and passim); CHARALAMBOUS, George; (9); COWTAN, Mrs Rosemary K., née Thow; (7); EBBUTT, L.I.K.; (9); EHRLICH, Hans; (13); FERRIER, Prof. Robert; (9); HAY, J. Evelyn, (1 and passim); HEADRIDGE, James B., and his wife Anne, and children Ruth and Peter; (1 and passim); HIRST, Prof. Sir Edmund’s wife Lady Hirst; (3); HUNTER, John; (1 and passim); INCH, Miss; (2); KEMPSON, Ethel Elizabeth; see Mrs Percival, Mrs McDowell (passim); JOHNSTONE, Prof. A. H.; (1); KIDD, David,; (15); KNOX, Prof. John, and ‘his second son’; (7); LACOURT, Dr Alice; (6); LEARMOUTH, George;(2); LESLIE, Louise; (4); MACBEAN, Dr Betty; (3); McDOWELL, Mrs Elizabeth. See Mrs Percival (passim) and KEMPSON, Ethel Elizabeth; MANNERS, Prof. D. J.; (2); MARKS, Angus; (3); MILLER, Alice, Dr Chrissie Miller’s sister; (2); MORGAN, Mrs Clare, née Wylam; (3); PERCIVAL, Mrs Elizabeth (2 and passim). See also KEMPSON, Ethel Elizabeth; REID, brothers Kenneth and David; (11); RAMAGE, Prof. Robert; (1); RASHBROOK, R. B.; (7); RENNIE, Mrs Myra, née McDougall; (2); RITCHIE, Mowbray, his wife Janet and his sister Margaret (2 and passim); SANDERSON, Miss Anne; (8); SHEDDON, Mr; (15); SHAW, Robert; (1); STAFFORD, Mrs Winnie L., née Galloway, her brother-in-law and sister Mr and Mrs Macpherson; (1 and passim); STANNERS, Andrew H., his wife and children Elinor, John and Adam; (1 and passim); THOW, David; (12); WILSHIRE, J. F. K; (4); WALKER, Prof. Sir James; (8); WYLAM, Clare. (3); see Mrs Morgan;

April 2016



Security and Insecurity, Spies and Informers in Holland During the Guelders War (1506-1515)

James P. Ward

In 1471 Arnold duke of Guelders borrowed 300,000 gold guilders from Charles the Bold of Burgundy and pledged his duchy as security. Arnold failed to repay the loan. When he died in 1473 Charles the Bold foreclosed and assumed the title and rights to the duchy. First Arnold’s son, Adolf, attempted to recover Guelders by negotiation, and then his grandson, Charles of Guelders by military force. Their opponents were Charles the Bold’s heirs and successors:  Emperor Maximilian I of Habsburg, his son Philip the Fair, and grandson emperor Charles V. After half a century of intermittent fighting, the matter was settled to Habsburg’s advantage, following the death (from natural causes) of Charles of Guelders in 1538.


Illustration: Der Postbode, from a woodcut by Hans

Illustration: Der PostboTe, from a woodcut by Hans Guldenmund

Many of the diets of the States of Holland from 1506 to 1515 were devoted to the question of how the frontiers of Holland with Guelders were to be defended. Articles describing the diets are published on this web site (see below). This most recent article describes ways and means by which the government of Holland and the Burgundian Low Countries and the magistrates of cities and towns sought to defend themselves from attacks by Charles of Guelders. The topics are: physical defence works like weapons, gates, walls, and towers; security measures to curb the movements of travellers and strangers; military intelligence, espionage and counter-espionage; and diplomacy with the help of open and of secret friends and allies.

Some conclusions are:

  1. the city magistrates of Holland used their considerable economic power to provide conventional defences like weapons and fortifications against Charles of Guelders’ attacks;
  2. travellers and strangers were required to be registered by innkeepers and church wardens on the grounds that they might be spies; conversely, the magistrates of Holland themselves employed spies locally. For example, their couriers were required in times of crisis and rumour to reconnoitre the enemy’s movements. At different social levels “secret friends” along the borders and in the enemy territories, Utrecht and Guelders, were paid sometimes large sums, sometimes small sums of money for information they provided about enemy plans and movements;
  3. diplomacy was a line of defence affecting and promoting both military security and Holland’s foreign trade and prosperity. Foreign powers like Denmark and the Baltic city states corresponded directly with the cities of Holland, and they with them.

READ MORE: Security and Insecurity During the Guelders War.pdf



Military Pay and Taxation in Early 16th Century Holland during the Guelders War

James P. Ward



Illustrations here show the Old Stock Exchange (Oude Beurs) at Antwerp, still partly existing, and a public notice provided by the Cornelis Floris Society which reads as follows:

In the 15th century a stock exchange was housed in the courtyard of a building called 'The Rhine'. The wooden structure of that 'Oude Beurs' (Old Stock Exchange) was renewed in 1515 with stone pillars. The “Pagadder” Tower from which ships on the River Schelde could be observed dates from the first half of the 16th century.

This article is based on early 16th century sources in the archives of Holland. It contains data on pay scales to different ranks of professional soldiers (landsknechts) in the Burgundian-Habsburg armies at the time of the Guelders War. The article also contains data on pay to civilians in Holland guarding towns and cities against attack by Guelders forces.

Costs of the war and the high level of taxation by extra-ordinary aides are described. Two monetary standards of payment, one in Philips Guilders and a 20 percent higher pay standard in Gold Guilders are revealed. This led on several occasions to discontent among soldiers on the lower rate, and to mutinies, several of which are described. As a result of their opposition to the many extra-ordinary aides needed to pay the soldiers, the cities of Holland in 1507 won for themselves the right to inspect the numbers of men engaged by the government at The Hague, and to audit the accounts of the extra-ordinary aides.

As the war intensified the government, with the cities of Holland as guarantors, borrowed increasingly large sums of money from merchant bankers in order to pay the soldiers it hired. By this arrangement the cities of Holland had to make legally binding agreements with the bankers, pledging their contributions to the extra-ordinary aides to pay the interest on those loans. Consequently, from 1512 onwards there was a transition to a system of long term public borrowing. In the early 16th century two merchant bankers from Antwerp were active in arranging loans in Holland; Hieronymus (Girolamo) Frescobaldi, and Balthazar Busin.


READ MORE: MilitaryPayandTaxation.pdf



Louise von Baden and Christoph von Schmid’s “Biblische Geschichte”

James P. Ward


The book which is shown in photographs below is believed on circumstantial evidence to have belonged to Princess Louise Amalia Stephanie (1811-1854), Princess of Baden, and subsequently to her brother-in-law William, 11th duke of Hamilton (1811-1863), whose wife was Maria Amalia Elisabeth Caroline (1817-1888), Princess of Baden, dowager duchess of Hamilton.

Click on the images for a large view

READ MORE: Louise von Baden and Christoph von Schmids Biblische Geschichte.pdf



The Government's use of hostage-taking (Gijzeling) in Early Sixteenth Century Holland to enforce extra-ordinary aides for the Guelders war

James P. Ward



The Tax Collectors
attrib. Reymerswaele



Suppliants in the office of two tax collectors

This article (here with its original title and with the references in the footnotes included in full at the end) was printed and published as J. P. Ward, "Hostage taking (Gijzeling) in Early Sixteenth Century Holland, and the Guelders War" in: L. Sicking and M. Damen (eds), Bourgondie voorbij. De Nederlanden 1250-1650. Liber alumnorum Wim Blockmans, Hilversum 2010; pp. 355-366.

Abstract: A major theme in the work of Wim Blockmans is his research into early institutions of popular representation in the Low Countries and in Europe generally. Chief among those institutions in the Low Countries from the late Middle Ages onward were the States General and the States of the individual provinces. Blockmans proposed a number of conditions necessary for popular institutions of representation to be successful, one of the most important of which was a willingness of partners to negotiate agreement. Consensus presupposes a state of law and order in which the interests, rights and privileges of the citizen and of the government are recognised and protected. Blockmans listed sanctions which lay authorities in the Low Countries in the late medieval and early modern period could impose in order to maintain law and order. Chief among them were corporal punishments, banishment, enforced pilgrimages, the pillory, and money fines.
The sanctions named did not exhaust the authorities' means to persuade or coerce its citizens to behave themselves in a civil manner, because a milder measure used was a form of hostage-taking or detention called gijzeling. The article consists of two parts. The first describes the procedure of gijzeling. The second part describes the use to which the government in Holland put gijzeling in the early sixteenth century during negotiations with city magistrates about the supply or aides. More exactly, the article describes the enforced consent to and payment of extra-ordinary aides for the Guelders war.
It is also proposed that the long delays caused by the legal processes were a factor in the introduction in 1512 of a newer method of raising money for the government by long term bankers' loans, where the interest on the loans was paid by the cities of Holland from the aides.

READ MORE: Ward, Gijzeling, Bourgondie voorbij.pdf



Keynesianism before Keynes?
Unemployed weavers and a proposal made at Leiden in 1523

James P. Ward



Dirc Ottensz, a burgomaster of Leiden ca. 1520



This note describes a proposal contained in anonymous letters to the magistrates of Leiden in 1523, urging them to create employment in the winter time for unemployed weavers. With the economic consequences of many years of war in the Low Countries, the proposal in 1523 marks a climax of social unrest in Leiden from 1521 to1523. In each of those years unemployed weavers demonstrated in public against the city magistrates.

READ MORE: KeynesLeiden.pdf



Military Drill and Words of Command. Queen Elizabeth II’s “Spin-wheel” and Emperor Maximilian I’s “Snail”

James P. Ward





Guards Band


British sovereigns celebrate their official birthdays with an Honours List , and traditionally with a military parade called The Trooping of the Colour which is held every year on the second Saturday in June. There the sovereign presents new Colours and takes the salute of the regiments of guards at  a march past on Horse Guards Parade in London. The parade with its ceremonial is shown on BBC television every year to millions of viewers worldwide. A detail is that at a certain point in the ceremony the massed bands of the guards are lined up, standing at attention on the parade ground, but as a result of earlier movements they are facing, as it were, “the wrong way”. The trombone players appear at the back, while the (bag)pipes and drums are at the front, the reverse of the normal order. But at a word of command the whole formation begins in slow marching time to make a massive turning movement which appears to be unique in the annals of military drill.            

At that point in the proceedings television commentators invariably remark on how complicated the movement is, and how its origins appear to be unknown. Military men who are present to give advice to the television people, and to add comment for the viewers, are also at a loss to explain the origins of the drill. A website dedicated to the Trooping of the Colour  affirms that “it is the responsibility of the Garrison Sergeant Major to ensure by rehearsals that it is executed correctly”, and moreover, “that it appears in no drill book or manual of ceremonial , but is passed down from memory to each new generation of bandsmen”. This appears therefore to be a prime example of oral history. It opens the way, moreover, for investigation into the origins of military drill movements in general, and especially this one called the “Spin-wheel” which is performed by the guards at the British sovereign’s official birthday parade.

READ MORE: spintwo.pdf



Participative government in Holland in the Early Sixteenth Century: Claude Carondelet’s report on dyking the Zijpe Estuary (1509)

James P. Ward



Emperor Maximilian I                Emperor Charles V



Regent Margaret                  Stadholder       
of Austria                   Jan van Egmond



In common with other modern states the Netherlands has institutions of government at several levels. At national level parliament and ministries have their centre at The Hague. Provincial and municipal bodies have their seats of local government in regional assemblies and city town halls. But in addition to these two the Netherlands has a third layer of government;  the waterschappen or regional water authorities whose board members (heemraden) nowadays  are elected by popular vote. The main duties of the waterschappen are to care for the quantity and quality of surface waters, for the maintenance of  coastal dunes, for drainage, dykes and embankments, and for related environmental questions.

One of the oldest such institutions still functioning is the Hoogheemraadschap of Rijnland, the district surrounding Leiden, with a history going back eight centuries and more. This article describes events which led to its suspension in 1510 for a brief period, and how the early Burgundian-Habsburg state, a centralizing power, recognized that limits were set to its powers of governing. Evidence presented here reveals some factors which were decisive for emerging popular representative bodies of government in the Low Countries, the most important factor being a tradition of problem solving through negotiation.


READ MORE: Participative government; LIAS (2004)




James P. Ward


    Jacob Cornelisz van Oostzanen

At the beginning of the sixteenth century the printer Doen Pietersz published a series of woodcuts by the artist Jacob Cornelisz of Oostzanen (1470-1533), depicting the counts and countesses of Holland from the tenth to the sixteenth century. Editions of this `Catalogus’ are known which are accompanied by anonymous texts in Latin and in French which provide short biographies of the persons depicted.
The series with texts in Latin is described here, and questions which are addressed are: who was their author, what were his sources, how accurate are the histories of the counts and countesses, and how are they to be evaluated as examples of early sixteenth century historiography. It is shown that Hadrianus Barlandus (1487-1539) was the author, and the so-called `Divisiekroniek’ of Cornelius Aurelius (c. 1460-1531) was probably his main source.


READ MORE: Barlandus. Humanistica Lovaniensia 2006



Boudewijn van Zwieten's legacy of the Horae canonicae
at St Peter's, Leiden 1443

James P. Ward


      Memorial Family Van Zwieten (detail)

`David seit, dat hi seven werf binnen den daghe den Heer lof geseit heeft'
(Dirc van Delf, Tafel van den Kersten Ghelove, Ch. XXX).
David said that he praised the Lord seven times daily.

From an early period in the history of the Church daily life in monasteries was regulated from hour to hour by the congregation reciting the Horae canonicae. This with other parts of the Divine Office consisted of reading and singing psalms, hymns, antiphons, versicles and responses, lessons and other passages appropriate to the day in the Church calendar. Indeed, the performance of the hours became one of the clergy's main duties. From the practice of observing the hours within the community, reciting the prayers in public gradually became obligatory on all clergy. The service of matins originally took place deep in the night, but when it was combined with or followed at a short interval by lauds, the earliest morning service, the number of Hours was reduced thereby in practice to seven, called in the Low Countries `de Zeven Getijden'; lauds, prime, terce, sext, none, vespers and compline. The services were interspersed throughout the day at fairly regular intervals of about three hours. Lauds and vespers, the morning and evening prayers, were the more important and hence more elaborate parts of the daily routine, and this remains so today.

Read more: Zwieten_van.pdf




Guillaume de Clugny, Guillaume de Bische and Jean Gros:
Mediators between Charles the Bold of Burgundy and the cities
of Holland (1460-1477)

James P. Ward



      Charles the Bold 


          Jean Gros III

Interest in corruption in the late medieval duchy of Burgundy and the related phenomenon of present-given which was intense from the 1950's onward has recently been revived and pursued with increased refinements in detail and analysis. The aim of the present paper is to highlight evidence from the archives of Haarlem and Leiden concerning the informal relations in Holland of three close associates of Charles of Burgundy in the years 1460-1477. A simple definition of the kind of informal relations studied is the giving and accepting of gifts and services between patrons and clients. The men were Guillaume de Bische, Guillaume de Clugny and Jean Gros. Bische and Clugny were united to Charles and to each other through the ties of work and longstanding personal relationships in the service of the prince. The third man, Jean Gros, was related personally to Clugny, first as his secretary, and later through his marriage with a member of Clugny's family. In addition, something else served as a kind of cement holding the three men together, for whenever Clugny and Gros appeared in Holland then Bische was not far away. All three appear to have been working in concert, forming a mini-network or cadre within the central authority. What it was that joined them is not easily definable, but it is hoped to show here that it existed in the network of their relationships, formal and informal, to the cities of Holland.

Read more: FRANCIA-Forschungen.pdf




A Selection of Letters (1507-1516) from the Guelders War

James P. Ward



Emperor Charles V 

     Charles of Guelders


The Burgundian-Habsburg claim to Guelders was based on arguments of legality, one of the results of which was a propaganda offensive in the form of letters and remonstrances to friend and foe. Maximilian, Philip and Charles V found allies in Henry VII and Henry VIII of England. Their toughest and longest lasting adversary for the mastery of Guelders, Charles of Egmond, styled duke of Guelders, obtained material help, money and men from successive kings of France, together with advice from his kinsman in Scotland, king James IV, who was allied to France. This internationalization of the Guelders' problem strengthened the hand of Charles of Guelders by giving him a semblance of legality. Without help from France he would otherwise have been unable to prolong the struggle for the several decades which he did.

Read more: LIAS-Sources-Documents.pdf

Letter to the magistrates of Dordrecht ordering ships to be commissioned for the Zuyderzee area, signed by Charles of Habsburg personally, and dated 5 April 1516. (click on letter image for full size image)




Prices of Weapons and Munitions in Early Sixteenth Century Holland
during the Guelders War

James P. Ward


The purpose of this article is both to present data on retail prices of individual weapons and munitions of war in the first decades of the sixteenth century in Holland, and to show how the magistrates there prepared to defend their cities against an aggressor by purchasing weapons to arm the citizens. Prices quoted here for strategic commodities of war in the early sixteenth century complement those given by Posthumus in his survey of prices for the later sixteenth century and beyond.

Read more: J-Europ-Econ-Hist.pdf




The Military Role of the Magistrates in Holland
during the Guelders War

James P. Ward


Sources in the city and state archives of Holland show that at the beginning of the sixteenth century the magistrates of Holland were proficient in military matters of defense. During the Guelders war, which lasted until 1543, they hired and paid soldiers, arranged billets for them, confronted mutinies, controlled local military dispositions and costs, purchased and distributed weapons to their burghers, had munitions manufactured for them locally, supervised drills, mustered men, and, within their cities, organized resistance to the Guelders enemy. Two generations later, at the time of the Dutch Revolt, the same skills were needed again to help defeat Philip II.

The publication in 1956 of Michael Roberts’ essay, “The Military Revolution”, inspired a spate of studies and monographs on the subject of warfare and of armies, their organization and weapons which continues to the present day.
These studies augment older studies of warfare and relate them to newer disciplines. With few exceptions, however, scholars have continued to give their attention mostly to what may be called the “bigger picture,” to armies recruited by emperors, princes, and generals. These reflect a bias in two directions. They describe mainly professional armies, and their time-frames start mainly in the second half of the sixteenth century.
In contrast to this, the level, scale and sophistication of military organization which was in the hands of city magistrates and aldermen in Holland in the early sixteenth century is less well known. The aim of this article is to show to what extent and by what means the magistrates, aldermen and burghers of Holland
fought a daring and persistent foe, Charles, duke of Guelders. The Guelders War is covered here in some detail from 1508 to 1517 from the perspective of the cities of Holland, with the emphasis not on armies, campaigns and battles, but on the efforts mainly of civilians to organize and defend themselves. The theater of war is limited by geography and time, but the sources reveal facts that are general, repetitive and structural with respect to “guerrilla” wars. As a corollary, it will be argued briefly that the magistrates of early sixteenth-century Holland served as a model for their successors in the latter half of the century, at the time of the Dutch Revolt against King Philip II.

Read more: Medieval-Military-History.pdf




King James IV,
Continental Diplomacy and the Guelders' War

James P. Ward


                       King James IV


In Western Europe the years 1506-1515 were marked by confrontations between Denmark and the Baltic city of Lübeck, between Lübeck and Holland, and between Holland and the Duke of Guelders. The background to these struggles includes (very briefly) the resistance offered to successive kings of Denmark by their rebellious subjects in Sweden, who in their bid for independence were aided and abetted by Lübeck; Lübeck's opposition to the incursions into the Baltic Sea area of merchants and shipping interests from the Low Countries (mainly from Amsterdam) who were sympathetic to Denmark; and the duke of Guelders' attempts to recover the duchy which had effectively been lost a generation earlier by his father and grandfather to Burgundian-Habsburg domination.

Read more: Scottish-Historical-Review.pdf




Jim Ward promoveert op Hollandse steden