39th year  -  N° 203                 Sunday, 21 July 2024         Antwerpen		
Where's Your Head At?
BirthFactDeath (-)
Tuesday 10th of July 1584

440 years ago Finally His Head Should Be Cut Off

Prince of Orange Willem de Zwijger aka William the Silent is shot dead by Burgundian Catholic Balthasar Gérard at the age of 51 in Prinsenhof, Delft, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands.

King of Spain Philip II offered a reward of 25,000 crowns to anyone who killed William, calling him a "pest on the whole of Christianity and the enemy of the human race". It was the first assassination by use of a handgun. Gérard was caught before he could escape Delft and was imprisoned. Gérard was tortured before his trial on 13 July, where he was sentenced to an execution brutal even by the standards of that time. The magistrates decreed that the right hand of Gérard should be burned off with a red-hot iron, that his flesh should be torn from his bones with pincers in six different places, that he should be quartered and disembowelled alive, that his heart should be torn from his chest and flung in his face and that finally his head should be cut off.