On This Day
1566 – Two-hundred Dutch noblemen, led by Hendrick van Brederode, force themselves into the presence of Margaret of Parma and present the Petition of Compromise, denouncing the Spanish Inquisition in the Seventeen Provinces.
The Compromise of Nobles (Dutch: Eedverbond der Edelen; French: Compromis des Nobles) was a covenant of members of the lesser nobility in the Habsburg Netherlands who came together to submit a petition to the Regent Margaret of Parma on 5 April 1566, with the objective of obtaining a moderation of the placards against heresy in the Netherlands. This petition played a crucial role in the events leading up to the Dutch Revolt and the Eighty Years’ War.
The ruler of the Habsburg Netherlands, a conglomerate of duchies and counties and lesser fiefs, was Philip II of Spain. He had appointed his half-sister Margaret of Parma as his Regent. She ruled with the assistance of a Council of State which included a number of the high nobility of the country, like the Prince of Orange, Egmont, Horne, Aerschot and Noircarmes. From time to time (whenever she needed money) she convened the States-General of the Netherlands in which the several estates of the provinces were represented, such as the lesser nobility and the cities, but most of the time the States-General was not in session and the Regent ruled alone, together with her Council.
Like his father Charles V, Philip was very much opposed to the Protestant teachings of Martin Luther, John Calvin and the Anabaptists, which had gained many adherents in the Netherlands by the early 1560s. To suppress Protestantism he had promulgated extraordinary ordinances, called placards, that outlawed them and made them capital offenses. Because of their severity these placards caused growing opposition among the population, both Catholic and Protestant. Opposition, even among Catholics, was generated because the placards were seen as breaches of the constitutional privileges of the local authorities and the civil liberties of the people, like the Jus de non evocando, as enshrined in the “Joyous Entry”, the constitution of the Duchy of Brabant, to mention a prominent example. For that reason local authorities regularly protested against the placards and the way they were implemented in 1564 and later years. That these protests were systematically ignored and the placards stringently enforced only helped intensify the opposition.
Born On This Day
1656 – Nikita Demidov, Russian industrialist (d. 1725)
Nikita Demidov (full name Nikita Demidovich Antufiev; 5 April 1656 – 28 November 1725) was a Russian industrialist who founded the Demidov industrial dynasty.
Peter I of Russia charged the enterprising blacksmith Nikita with casting cannon for his many military expeditions and he was ennobled with name Demidov for having strongly supported the tsar’s activities. In 1699 he set up Nevyansk’s first iron foundry and in 1725 discovered mines at Kolivan (Kolyban), whose exploitation enriched him. A museum is devoted to him in Tula.
The founder of the Demidov family, he was born at Tula, the son of Demid Antufiev (1624–1664), a free blacksmith from Tula. Nikita began as a blacksmith himself and was put in charge of producing muskets and halberds (of which he was the main supplier) for the Russian Army by Tsar Peter the Great. Conceded many privileges, Nikitia built one of Russia’s first metallurgical factories at Tula between 1694 and 1696. This produced the first Russian iron to rival English- and Swedish-produced iron for quality.
In 1699, Nikita built a new factory at Yekaterinburg. He then opened Siberia’s first iron mine at Kolyban. In 1702 the Tsar granted him permission to change his name to Demidov and put a new foundry in the Urals under his command – it became Russia’s first true armaments factory. Between 1716 and 1725 Nikita built four new metallurgical factories in the Urals. During Russia’s Great Northern War against Sweden (1700–1721), the Demidov factories became the main supplier to the Russian army, supplying cannons, pistols, swords and other munitions, producing them twice as fast and twice as cheaply as the competition and thus making a decisive contribution to the Russian victory. On 21 September he was ennobled by Tsar Peter the Great in reward for his services.
He died in his home town of Tula.
Nikita Demidov had three definitely-attested children (and a possible fourth):
Akinfiy Nikitich Demidov (1678–1745)
Grigory Nikitich Demidov (died 1728)
Nikita Nikitich Demidov (died 1758)
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