Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/659

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589

ANTWERP


589


ANTWERP


in its various political masters. In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries the Dukes of Brabant favoured its development by many privileges, poliiical and commercial. In the course of the fourteenth century the Counts of Flanders were its lords paramount and in the fifteenth it recognized the overlordship of the great house of Hurguudy, through which relationship it eventually rose to its highest prosperity, when with the rest of the Bur-

f Indian inheritance it pa.s.scd under the control of mperor Charles the Fifth (1.017-56). .\fter his death there broke out a long series of sanguinarj' conflicts, partly religious and partly politico-conuner- cial, resulting in the overthrow of Spanish and the substitution of .\ustrian domination (1599) whereby the southern or Catholic provinces of the Low Countries were enabled to preserve their faith, though at a great price from a commercial standpoint. The latter quarter of the eighteenth eenturj' was marked by nuich unrest, owing to the anti-Catholic or Febronian policy of Emperor Jo.>;cph 11 (I7()5-90). During the French Revolution Antwerp was incor-

f)orated (1794) with France, and was made by Napo- eon (lS()4-lii) the chief naval fortress of his new em- pire. .\ftcr his overthrow it was incorporated (1815) with the new Kingdom of Holland, but cast in its fortunes with Belgium during the revolution of 1830, and has risen since then to the position of a fore- most centre of European commerce and industry.

PopUL.vTioN .\XD CoM.MKHCK. — The population of Antwerp rose in the sixteenth eenturj' (l.'iOO) to the phenomenal figure of 200,0(X). It was tlien the Lon- don of the continent, and owed its prosperity to various causes, among which may be nientioni'd the decay of earlier commercial centres like Bruges and Venice, consequent on the discoveries of Columbus and Vasco da Gama, and the natural deepening of the western entrance of the Scheldt. I rom the Middle Ages it had inherited a growing trade in fish, salt, and oats, in English wool, and in exchanges of all kinds with the various states of Europe. But now commercial products came no longer by way of the .\driatic and over Venice to the wharves of Antwerp, but directly by .sea; this was especially true of the merchandise of the New World. Mer- chants of every nation flocked to Antwerp; among them the agents of the Hanseatie League and of the merchant adventurers of England; it became the chief banking centre of Europe. The rich Fuggers of Augsburg had a house in Antwerp whence tliey loaned large sums to kings and cities. In those days, it is .said, that a thousand vessels were at times anchored off the city, and one hundred came and went daily. Its fairs were no le.ss famous than those of Nuremberg and Novgorod, and had been much frequented even in medieval times, for purposes of barter. But this prosperity declined in the terrible politico-religious warfare of the last three decades of the sixteenth century, and was finally extinguished as a result of the Thirty Years War (lClS-48). Thir Treaty of Westphalia, signed in the latter year, con- tained a clause in the interest of Holland, providing for the clo.sing of free navigation on the Scheldt. Thereby was closed also the regular source of Ant- werp's commercial and industrial greatness. It was not until the French Revolution, or rather >mtil ISOiJ, that an imimpeded traffic was provided for on the broad smooth-flowing river that rivals the Thames and the Hudson as a creator of national wealth.

EccLE-siASTiCAL DEVELOPMENT. — In the Middle Ages Antwerp was comprised within the see of Cam- brai. But in 1.").59, at the instance of Philip II, a new arrangement of the episcopal sees of the Low Countries was made by Paul IV, whereby three archiepiscopal and fourteen episcopal sees were created, and all external jurisdiction, however ancient abolished. Antwerp became one of the


six suffragans of Mechlin, and remained such until the end of the eighteenth century. This step did not meet with the gooilwill of the merchants of the city, who feared the introduction of the Inquisition and the costliness of an episcopal establishment, and urged the transfer of the new sec to Louvain, where it would be le.ss offensive to the non-Catholic elements of their city. The new heretical doctrines were already deeply rooted in the city and vicinity, and their representatives were of course the chief agents of the opposition, though certain Catholic monastic interests were ver^' active, being now called on by the Pope to provide for the support of the new see. Finally, the famous theologian Sonnius (from Son in Brabant) was transferred from Bois-le-Duc to .\ntwerp in 1.509 as first bishop of the new .see, and governed it until his death in 1570. Ten years of religious and political conflict elapsed before another bishop could be appointed in the person of Livinus Torrentius (Van der Beke) a Louvain theologian, graceful humanist, and diplomat. He tlied in 1595. The scholarly Mirwus (Le Mire) was Bishop of -Vntwerp from 1004 to 1611, and was suc- ceetlea in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries by a series of fifteen bishops, the last of whom was Cornelius Nelis, hbrarian of Louvain University, and Bishop of .Vntwerp from 1785 to his death m 1798. Pius VII suppre.s.sed the see 29 Nov., 1801, by the Bull "Qui Christi Domini vices". Its former Belgian territory now belunys to the .\rchdiocese of Meclilin, the Dutch portion to the Diocese of Breda (Foppcns. llistoria Episcopatus .Anluerpiensis, Brus- sels, 1717; Ram, Synopsis actorum eccl., Antwerp, Bru.s,sels, 18.56). Tlie abbeys and convents of Ant- werp were long verj' famous centres of its religious life. In the twelfth century the Canons Regular of St. Norbert (Premonstratensians) founded the abbey of St. Michael, that became later one of the principal abbeys of the Low Countries, sheltered many royal guests, and eventually excited no little cupidity and persecution by reason of its great wealth. The Cathedral of .\ntwerp was originally a small Premon.stratensian shrine known familiarly as "Our Lady of the Stump". Many other re- ligious orders foimd a shelter in Antwerp, Domini- cans, Franciscans (144G), Carmelites (1494), Car- thusians (1632), likewise female branches of the same. The Cistercians had two great abbej's, St. Sauveur, founded in 1451 by the devout merchant, Peter Pot, and St. Bernard, about si.x miles from Antwerp, founiled in 1233 (Papebroch, " Annales .\ntuerpienses", to the year 1600, ed. Mertens and Buchmami, Antwerp, 184(5—18).

Religious Conflicts. — The medieval religious life of Antwerp seems to have been troubled by only one notable heresy, that of Tanchelin in the twelftn centurj'. But the principles and doctrines of Luther and Calvin soon found .sympathizers among the Ger- man, Engli.sh, and other foreign merchants and also among the citizens. First the .Vnabaiitists and then the CalvinLst field-preachers attacked with a fierce jwrsistency the existing religious order. To the religious differences were added patriotic feelings and the hatred of Spanish domination. Po])uIar passions, nursed from many sources, exploded in August, 1566, when the splendid cathedral that had been 176 years in process of building was sacked by a Calvinist mob, the .seventy altars destroyed, and all the works of art it contained defaced or stolen. Similar scenes occiuTcd in all the other churches and convents of .\ntwerp. The next year Spain replied by the .sending of the Duke of Alva, one of the great militarj' captains of the age, who inaugur- ated a reign of terror that bore with equal severity on Protestant and Catholic, since it interfered witli the trade of the city and vicinity by stopping the supply of English wool for the looms of I landers,