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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/836

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NETTER


7G4


NETTER


pilKrimapps ami tlip ex]iositioii of rolics. He limited tho iiumliiT of processions and ordered that all parish festivals (krrmc.isc.s) lie kept on the same day. He interfered with the garb of religious and in liturgical questions, ami even went so far as to forbid the mak- ing of cotiins, .so as to economize the wood .supply. The dead, he thought, ought to Ix" buried in .sackcloth. .\l last his interference in and wanton meddling with ecclesiastical matters won for him the well-deserved sneer of Frederick II, King of Prussia, who called him " My brother, the .sacristan ".

Xll these measures had been carried into effect with- out meeting other opposition than the calm respectful protest of the clergy. But it was quite otherwise when Joseph II was so imprudent as to interfere with civil institutions and, in violation of the most solemn oaths, to lay hands on the lilierties of the people. Then the country was thoroughly aroused, there were demonstrations in the pulilic streets, and protests reached the Government from all parts (17S7); but Joseph II was stiff-necked, and would not listen to reason. Convinced that force would overcome all op- position, he hurried Count d'Alton with an army into the Low Countries, with orders to restore authority by l)loodshed if necessarj'. Then as a protest against the \iolence of d'Alton, the provincial states, availing themselves of the rights granted them by the Con- stitution, refused to vote subsidies for the expemses of the (jovemment, and d'Alton was so ill-advised as to declare the proceedings null and the Constitution abolished. This was a signal for revolution, the only resource left to Belgian liberty. Two committees directed the movement along widely differing lines. The one, under the leadership of a lawyer named Van der Xoot, had its headquarters at Breda in the United Provinces, the other under another lawj'er, Vonck, at Hasselt in the neighbourhood of Liege. That under Van der Noot, a man of great popularity, looked to the foreign powers for help; the other relied on the Bel- gians to help themselves, and began recruiting a volun- teerarmy. The one was conservative, almost reaction- ar\-, and aimed merely at restoring the status quo; the other was eager for reforms such as France was asking, but was faithful to the religion of its fathers and took as its motto Pro arts etfocis. In their union lay their strength. The volunteer army defeated the Austrians at Turnliout (1789) and forced them step bjr step to evacuate the country. The bitterness of tms defeat killed Joseph II.

The States-General of the countrj' were convened at Brussels and voted that Belgium should be an inde- pendent federated republic under the name of the United States of Belgium. Unfortunately the heads of the new Government were novices in statecraft, and differences arose between the Van der Noot party and the followers of Vonck. So that in the following year Leopold II, who had succeeded his father, Joseph II, had the country once more under his authority. He was, however, wi.se enough to rest ore it all the privileges it enjoyed prior to the senseless reforms of Joseph II. The Belgians were therefore to all intents once more a free people, and they rejoiced in their freedom until the day when the French invaded their country under the pretext of emancipating them.

For the later history of this territorj- see Belgium.

The Spanish Netherlands, — Motlev. The Rise of the Dutch RepulAic (3 vols.. New York, 1856) : JrsxE. Histoire de la tcvoIu- lion des Payt Ban mus Philippe II (2 vols., Brussels, 1863-67); NcTENft, Getchicdcnis des nederlandschc beroerten in de XVh leeuu: (6 vols.. Amsterdam, 1865-68); de Lettenhove, Les Huguenots el les Queui (6 vola., Bnisseb. 1882-85); Pirenne, HiMvire de lielgique. III (2nd ed.. Brussels. 1907); Blok, Ge- Khiedenis ran het nedertandsche volk, III, IV, V (Groningen, 1896-1902); Oos-sart, L'etahlissement du ri'gime espagnol dans Us Pays Has etl'insurreelion (Brussels. 1905) ; Idem, La domina- tion espagnolc ilans Us Pays Baaii la fin du rigne de Philippe II (Brussels. 1900).

The ADSTRIA.V Netherlands. — Gachard, Histoire de la Belginue au commencement du XVIII' sircle (Brussels, 1880); Va.v Rdckelin-gen (L. Mathot), Gcschiedenis der oostenrijkschc


1S74);

DISCAIII I ~, / . r,,;-^ Ha« »,)7.s /,■ riiiru- :lr Marii--Tli.ri .ir (Unjs- sels. IS7J , In i.i-i V. i:. Jo.irpI, II ,1 la rmilidion hmlmnfmme (Brugc;i. \^'.l\ •: Hi mkiit. Lrs ,!<irni.'«,ns d, la liari.rc dans les Pays Bas autrichiens (BrusseU, I'JOJ); Idem, Le voyage de Joseph II au Pays Bas (1781) (Brussels, 1S90).

GODEFROID KUHTH.

Netter, Thomas, theologian and controvcrsialLst, b. at Saffron W'alden, Essex, England, about 1375; d. at Rouen, France, 2 Nov., 14.30; from his birth- place he w'as commonly called Waldensis. He en- tered the Carmelite Order in London, and pursued his studies partly there and partly at Oxford, where he took degrees, and spent a number of years in teaching, as may be gathered from the titles of his WTitings (the actual works being for the greater part lost), which embrace the whole of philosophy. Scrip- ture, Canon Law, anfl theology, that is, a complete academical course. He wa,s well read in the classics and the ecclesiastical writers known at the beginning of the fifteenth century, as is proved by numerous quotations in his own WTitings. Only the dates of his ordinations as acolvteandsubdeacon are on record, 1394 and 1395. His public life began in 1409, when he was sent to the Council of Pisa, where he is said to have upheld the rights of the council. Back in England he took a prominent part in the prosecution of Wycliffites and Lollards, assisting at the trials of William Tailor (1410), Sir John Oldcastle (1413), William White (1428), preaching at St. Paul's Cross against LoUardism, and writing copiously on the questions in dispute ("De religione perfectorum ", "De paupertate Christ!", "De Corpore Christi", etc.) . The House of Lancaster having chosen Carme- lite friars for confessors, an office which included the duties of chaplain, almoner, and secretary and which frequently was rewarded with some small bishopric, Netter succeeded Stephen Patrington as confessor to Henry V and pro'i'incial of the Carmelites (1414), while other members of the order hekl similar posts at the courts of the dukes of York and of Clarence, of Car- dinal Beaufort, etc. No political importance .seems to have been attached to such positions.

In 1415 Netter was sent by the king to the Council of Constance, where the English nation, though small in numbers, asserted its influence. He must have interrupted his residence at Constance by one, if not several, visits to his province. At the conclusion of the council he, with WiUiam Clynt, doctor in Divinity, and two knights, was sent by the English king on an embassy to the King of Poland, the Cirand Duke of Lithuania, and the Grand master of the Teutonic Knights. The pope was represented by two Italian bishops, and the emperor by the Arch- bishop of Milan. The object of the mission was to bring about a mutual understanding and prevent the failure of the papal army against the Hussites. It has been asserted that on this occasion Netter converted Vitort, Grand Duke of Lithuania, to Christianity, and was instrumental in his recognition as king and his subsequent coronation. Although all this is doubtful, it is possible that Netter did exercise some influence during his brief st;iy in eastern Europe, for he has been styled the Apostle of Lithuania; he also established several convents of his order in Pru.ssia. He returned to England in the autumn of 1420, and devoted the remainder of his life to the government of his province and the composition of his principal work. Fragments of his correspondence lately published throw a light on his endeavours in the former (■:q)acity, showing him a strict reformer, yet kind and e\en tcridrr.

Henry V h;iving ilicd in his arms, he appears to have acted .as tutor (rather than confessor) to the in- fant King Henry VI, whose piety may be attributed, at least in part, to Netter's influence. He accom- panied the young king to France in the spring of