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The Time of Troubles in the Low Countries

The Chronicles and Memoirs of Pasquier de le Barre of Tournai, 1559-1567


Charlie R. Steen

The writings of Pasquier de le Barre describe the terrible results of the intrusion of Calvinist ideology and of Spanish absolutism into the life of the small province of Tournai in the Low Countries between 1559 and 1567. The magistrates were challenged by Calvinists in their midst and by Philipp II from afar, but both had the goal of remaking the government to new specifications. The result was the destruction of the city and its government in a series of confrontations which le Barre described in personal but dispassionate terms. His position as a magistrate made him a rare witness to these times.
Contents: The translation is one of only a few that deal with sixteenth century history in the Low Countries despite the importance of the area in religious and political history. In effect, this memoir documents the initial phase of the revolt in the Low Countries.