Today in History - On this Day - December 24th. 1537 - Willem IV, Count van den Bergh

Willem van den Bergh was born on December 24th. 1537 in 's Heerenberg,
Gelderland, The Netherlands.

His parents were Count Oswald II van den Bergh and
Elisabeth van Dorth.

He lived for a while at the Royal Court of Mary of Austria in Brussels
(capital of present day Belgium), then located in the
Habsburg Netherlands.

On November 11th. 1556 Willem van den Bergh married Maria of Nassau.
She was the elder sister of William of Orange (the Silent). 17 Children were
born from this marriage.

In 1566 he was a prominent member of the League of Nobles. They presented
a petition with their grieves to the Brussels government of the new Regent
Margaret of Parma (who acted for her half brother King Philip II of Spain).

When King Philip of Spain didn't agree with the League of Nobles,
Willem escaped with his family to Bremen to flee for the Council of Troubles
of the Iron Duke of Alba.

In 1572 Willem commanded one of the little armies financed by his
brother-in-law. He invaded The Netherlands. Initially it was a success but later
the chances turned.

On November 8th. 1576 the Pacification of Ghent was signed. Willem was able
to return to The Netherlands and he regained his possessions.

From 1581 till 1583 Willem was appointed as stadtholder of Guelders and
Zutphen. Meanwhile he remained to have contact with Spanish noblemen.
This was treason for the rebels! He and his wife were taken captive but
William of Orange intervened. They were released and he had to be neutral
in the conflict with Spain.

Willem IV, Count van den Bergh died on November 6th. 1586

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