Simon Fokke: The Bread and Cheese rebellion of 1491-92 in Haarlem (1750)

(Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands)

An engraving by the Dutch artist Simon Fokke (1712-1784). This print shows the so-called 'the Bread and Cheese rebellion', an uprising of people from Kennemerland and West-Friesland in the province Holland in the year 1491-1492 (the name "bread and cheese rebellion" comes from the emblems on the rebel banners, indicating the reasons of the rebellion by the rebels). The main reason for the rebellion was a tax raise but an economic crisis and a food shortage stimulated the rebellion. The rebels attacked several cities and killed the bailiff of Kennemerland, Claes van Ruyven in the town of Haarlem (his death is depicted on the right). The stadtholder count John III van Egmont first tried to quell the uprising by making some promises to the rebels but they were not impressed. John called in an imperial army which defeated the rebel army on the cemetery of Heemskerk. The leaders of the rebellion were executed and the cities which supported the rebellion were stripped of their city walls, fines and had garrisons installed. engraving from 1750.

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