Charles, baron de Berlaymont

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Charles de Berlaymont, seigneur de Beauraing, Hierges, Floyon et Péruwelz

Birthdate: (68)
Birthplace: Namur, Walloon Region, Belgium
Death: June 4, 1578 (68)
Namur, Walloon Region, Belgium
Immediate Family:

Son of Michel de Berlaymont and Marie de Berault
Husband of Adrienne de Ligne Barbençon
Father of Gilles de Berlaymont, baron de Hierges; Marie de Berlaymont; Claude de Berlaymont, seigneur de Hautepenne; Florent de Berlaymont, prince d'Epinoy; Yolande de Berlaymont and 5 others

Occupation: 221 Knight in the Order of the Golden Fleece 1555
Managed by: George J. Homs
Last Updated:

About Charles, baron de Berlaymont

REMARKS: 221 Knight in the Order of the Golden Fleece 1555

BIOGRAPHY Charles, comte de Berlaymont, was born in 1510, the son of Michel de Berlaymont, seigneur de Floyon, and Marie de Barault. From a noble family in the southern Netherlands, Charles married Adriana de Ligne-Barbançon, daughter of Louis de Ligne, seigneur de Barbançon, and Marie de Glymes, Vrouwe van Zevenbergen. Charles and Adriana had four sons: Gilles, who died young; Floris, who married Comtesse Maria Margaretha de Lalaing, baronesse d'Escornaix, and had two daughters; Lancelot, who married Marie de Brimeu, comtesse de Meghem, and died without issue in 1578; Louis who became archbishop of Cambrai; and a daughter Yolande who married Gérard de Croÿ, seigneur de Fremessen, comte de Roeulx, in about 1584, but died without issue.

Charles was a committed royalist and fought with distinction in the army of Charles V. On 8 September 1554 he was appointed governor of Namen, and was confirmed in this office on 12 March 1556 by Charles V's son Philip II, king of Spain. Philip inducted him as a knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece at the chapter meeting in Antwerp on 28 January 1556. During the years of rebellion in the Netherlands he was a faithful supporter of royal authority, both as a member of the Council of State and as president of the Council of Finances. The opponents of royal authority claimed that he was a member of the so-called Consulta or Achterraad, the council of three ruling the country behind the scenes. Although not wishing to take sides for or against Antoine Perrenot, cardinal de Granvelle, head of the council and counsellor to the governess of The Netherlands, Margarete of Austria, the sister of Philip II, Charles kept aloof from the league of nobles formed to oppose royal authority. When the nobles presented their petition of grievances on 5 April 1566, Charles was said to have reassured the anxious Margarete with the words: 'N'ayez pas peur, Madame, ce ne sont que des gueux' ('Fear not, Madame, they are only beggars'). The members of the league thereafter called themselves 'Les Gueux' ('Geuzen' the Beggars). However, it is unlikely that he would have described his own equals as such. In a letter to Philip II, Margarete maintained not to know the origin of the word 'Geuzen'.

In the period of the duke of Alba's governorship, Charles was one of his unconditional supporters. However, following the death of Alba's successor Luis de Zuñiga y Requesens, he was arrested on 4 September 1576 with other members of the Council of State. He was released on 19 January 1577 after the intervention of William of Orange. He was the only Dutch member of the Council under the next governor of the Netherlands, Don Juan of Austria. Charles de Berlaymont died 4 June 1578.

The Dutch biographical dictionaries lack a biography of Charles de Berlaymont. Alba's judgment of him was contemptuous. That of Requesens was reproachful, claiming that he was insatiable when it came to favours for himself or his family. For example in 1570, with the help of the duke of Alba, he managed to have one of his sons, Louis, made archbishop of Cambrai even though Louis had not completed his studies for the priesthood. This was despite the establishment of strict requirements for the ordination of new bishops in the Low Countries. Louis' tenure lasted until 15 February 1596, when he was driven from Cambrai by Baron d'Inchy and retired first to Cateau, then to Mons.

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  • 1-1572, mogelijk is het deze Berlaymont, die genoemd wordt als de Berlaymont die Claude Hombrugge ontslaat als schout van Benschop [Gens Nostra jaatgang 59]
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