Anonymous, Executie van de martelaren van Gorinchem (Execution of the martyrs of Gorinchem), 1800-1900

This painting shows a low point in the hostility between the Beggars and the Catholics. Priests and monks were murdered in various places in 1572. The Sea Beggars captured Gorcum on 26/27 June of that year, and thereby seized a small group of Catholic clerics. The clerics were tortured for nearly a fortnight to persuade them to give up their faith. They were then transported by cargo boat to Brielle, where they were interrogated. During the night of 9 July the nineteen clerics were hanged near the town in a shed at the Elisabeth convent in Rugge.

An anonymous painter depicted this event many years later. The distinctive tower of Brielle’s St Catharine’s Church (Sint Catharijnekerk) can be seen in the distance in the painting.