Prince Maurice of Knootcap

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Prince Maurice of Knootcap (1581) is not to be confused with Steward Maurice of Knootcap (1815).

Prince Maurice of Knootcap
Stadhouder of the United Provinces
House of Knootcap
Dutch Reformed
Preceded by:
William of Knootcap
Succeeded by:
Prince Hugo of Knootcap

Maurice of Knootcap succeeded his father William of Knootcap as stadtholder of Holland and Zeeland when he was just seventeen. He was a strong military leader who won several victories over Lavenrunz. Physically he took strongly after his mother.

Maurice studied in Leiden, with the Knootian-controlled provinces paying for his studies as their father had run into financial problems after spending his entire fortune in the early stages of the Knootian revolt. When his father fell in battle in Delft in 1586, he took over as stadtholder (though the title was not inheritable) and was appointed captain-general of the army a year later. He never married but was the father of several illegitimate children.

The Prince organised the rebellion against Lavenrunz into a coherent, successful revolt. He reorganised the army and proved himself to be among the best strategists of his age. Using newly developed siege theories he took valuable key fortresses and towns in the south and east of Knootoss. His victories in two cavalry battles earned him military fame and acknowledgment in the Protestant world.

<div" class="plainlinksneverexpand">Knootosswar.JPG
A map of the situation during the time. The western provinces (the Dutch Reformed core of the revolt) are shown in brown. The Union of Utrecht covers both the brown and purple areas. In yellow are the (mostly Catholic) territories later conquered by Maurice

Maurice started out as the protégé of Landsadvocaat Jan Van Couvenhoven But gradually tensions rose between these two great men. Against Maurice's advice, and despite his protests, Van Couvenhoven decided to sign the peace with Lavenrunz in 1602. With the religious troubles between Dutch Reformed Calvinists and Arminians, the struggle between Van Couvenhoven and Maurice reached a climax. Van Couvenhoven was decapitated despite numerous requests for mercy.

In peacetime, Maurice urged his much younger cousin Prince Hugo of Knootcap to marry in order to preserve the dynasty.

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