Governors of the Habsburg Netherlands
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Governors of the Habsburg Netherlands

The governor (Dutch: landvoogd) or governor-general (gouverneur-generaal) of the Habsburg Netherlands was a representative appointed by the Holy Roman emperor (1504-1556), the king of Spain (1556-1598: 1621-1706), and the archduke of Austria (1716-1794), to administer the Burgundian inheritance of the House of Habsburg in the Low Countries when the monarch was absent from the territory. The role of the governor-generals significantly changed over time: initially tutors and advisors of Emperor Charles V, who lived at the Palace of Coudenberg, they served as generals during the 80 Years War between the Kingdom of Spain and the Dutch Republic. Frequently, the governor-general was a close relative of the Austrian or Spanish monarchs, though at other times Spanish or German noblemen filled the role. The governor-general was usually based in Brussels.

List of Governors

Picture Name Took office Left office Relationship to monarch Appointed by
Engelbrecht-II-Nassau.jpg Engelbert II of Nassau
1501 1504 / Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor for Philip the Handsome
Circle of Quinten Massijs I - Portrait of Guillaume de Croy (1458-1521).jpg William de Croÿ
1504 1507 / Maximilian I for Charles of Ghent
Bernard van Orley - Portrait of Margareta van Oostenrijk - WGA16689.jpg Margaret of Austria
1507 1 December 1530
Aunt of Charles
Charles became Duke of Burgundy in 1506 (emancipated in 1515), King of Spain and the Two Sicilies in 1516, Archduke of Austria and Holy Roman Emperor as Charles V in 1519 at the death of Maximilian.
Mary (1505-1558), Queen of Hungary.jpg Mary of Austria
January 1531 October 1555 Sister Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Emmanuel Philibert of Savoy (1580).jpg Emmanuel Philibert of Savoy
1555 1559 Cousin of Philip Charles V for his son Philip.
In 1556, Philip V, Duke of Burgundy, became king of Spain as Philip II, thereby bringing the Habsburg Netherlands under Spanish control.
MargarethevonParma02.jpg Margaret of Parma
1559 1567 Half-sister Philip II of Spain
Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, III Duque de Alba, por Antonio Moro.jpg Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba
1567 1573 /
Luis de Requesens y Zúñiga (Museo del Prado).jpg Luis de Requesens y Zúñiga
1573 5 March 1576
John of Austria portrait.jpg John of Austria
1576 1 October 1578
Vaenius - Alexander Farnese.png Alexander Farnese, Duke of Parma
1578 3 December 1592
PeterErnstIvonMansfeldVorderort.jpg Peter Ernst I von Mansfeld-Vorderort
1592 1594 /
Martino Rota Archduke Ernest of Austria.png Ernest of Austria
1594 20 February 1595
Pedro Henriquez de Acevedo.jpg Pedro Henriquez de Acevedo, Count of Fuentes
1595 1596 /
Pantoja22 Albrecht der Fromme, Erzherzog von Osterreich Munchen.jpg Albert of Austria
1596 1598 Nephew
In 1598, Philip II of Spain ceded the Netherlands to his daughter Isabella Clara Eugenia and nephew Albert, who married the next year. They reigned together until his death, when the Netherlands passed to their nephew, Philip IV of Spain, in whose name Isabella Clara Eugenia governed the countries until her death.
Isabella Clara Eugenia as a nun.jpg Isabella Clara Eugenia of Austria
1621 1 December 1633
Aunt Philip IV of Spain
Kardinal-Infant Ferdinand von Österreich.jpg Ferdinand of Austria
1633 9 November 1641
Don Francisco de Melo.jpg Francisco de Melo
1641 1644 /
Manuel de Moura Corte-Real.tiff Manuel de Moura
1644 1647 /
Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria by David Teniers d. J. - 1650s.jpg Leopold William of Austria
1647 1656 Cousin
Juan Jose de Austria.jpg John of Austria the Younger
1656 1659 Son
Luis de Benavides Carrillo.jpg Luis de Benavides Carrillo
1659 1664 /
1664 1668 /
Charles II of Spain
InigoMelchorVelasco.JPG Íñigo Melchor de Velasco
1668 1670 /
Lambert-van-den-Bos-Schauplatz-des-Krieges MG 9479.tif Juan Domingo de Zuñiga y Fonseca
1670 1675 /
Carlos Aragón de Gurrea y Borja.jpg Carlos de Aragón de Gurrea
1675 1677 /
Alexander Farnese.jpg Alexander Farnese
1678 1682 Distant relative
Ottone Enrico del Caretto
1682 1685 /
Francisco Antonio de Agurto, Marqués de Gastañaga.jpg Francisco Antonio de Agurto
1685 1692 /
Joseph Vivien 001.jpg Maximilian II Emanuel of Bavaria
1692 1706 Nephew-in-law
Uncle Philip V of Spain
Following the War of the Spanish Succession, Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI became ruler of the Austrian Netherlands.
Prinz Eugene of Savoy.PNG Eugene of Savoy
1716 1724 Distant relative Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor
Porträt Wirich von Daun im HGM.jpg Wirich Philipp von Daun
February 1725 October 1725 /
Jan van Orley - Maria Elisabeth of Austria.jpg Maria Elisabeth of Austria
1725 26 August 1741
Aunt Maria Theresa of Austria
Bedrich August von Harrach.jpeg Friedrich August von Harrach-Rohrau
1741 1744 /
Maria Anna of Austria Piaristenkeller Wien.jpg Maria Anna of Austria
1744 16 December 1744
Martin van Meytens 007.jpg Charles Alexander of Lorraine
4 July 1780
Albert Casimir and Maria Christina.jpg Maria Christina of Austria-Lorraine
Albert Casimir of Saxony
1781 1793 Sister and brother-in-law Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor
Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor
Aunt and uncle Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor
Archdukecharles1.jpg Charles of Austria-Lorraine
1793 1794 Brother

Thereafter, the French revolutionaries occupied the Low Countries until 1815. The Emperor formally recognized the loss of these territories by the Treaty of Lunéville of 1801. At the Congress of Vienna, in 1815, the Low Countries were re-united in a personal union under the House of Orange-Nassau. In 1830, Belgium declared its independence.

See also

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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