Mirror of the Cruel and Horrible Spanish Tyranny Perpetrated in the Netherlands, by the Tyrant, the Duke of Alba, and Other Commanders of King Philip II


This volume, published in the Netherlands in 1620, contains French translations of two earlier works detailing Spanish crimes and atrocities in both Europe and the New World. The first part is an abridged version of Oorsprong en voortgang der Nederlandtscher beroerten (Origin and progress of the disturbances in the Netherlands) by Johannes Gysius (died 1652), first published anonymously in 1616. The second part is a translation of Brevísima relación de la destrucción de las Indias (A short account of the destruction of the Indies), written by Bartolomé de las Casas (1474–1566) in 1542 and first published in 1552. These histories were published together under a new title by Jan Evertszoon Cloppenburch (1571–1648), an Amsterdam bookbinder and publisher of Bibles and patriotic and religious books and tracts associated with the Dutch Reformed Church. Gysius was a minister, whose book is a history of the Dutch revolt against Spain in 1555–98, containing accounts of such events as the sieges of Haarlem, Leiden, and other cities and the execution by the Spanish of Count Egmont in Brussels in 1568. Bartolomé de las Casas, known as the apostle of the Indians, was a Spanish priest and missionary who in 1502 sailed to Hispaniola on Columbus’s third voyage. In 1512, he became the first priest to be ordained in the New World. He spent the next 35 years in the West Indies, where he campaigned against mistreatment and enslavement of the indigenous peoples by the Spanish conquerors. Brevísima relación, written for the court of King Charles I, was his most influential work. The book was frequently reprinted, alone or in combination with other works, in the Netherlands and in other countries struggling against the power of Spain in Europe and the Americas. Both parts of the Cloppenburch edition are illustrated with lurid engravings showing the events described in the text.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Jan Evertszoon Cloppenburch, Amsterdam


Title in Original Language

Le miroir de la cruelle, & horrible tyrannie espagnole perpetrée au Pays Bas, par le tyran duc de Albe, & autres commandeurs de par le roi Philippe le deuxième

Type of Item

Physical Description

160 pages : 37 illustrations, portraits ; 20 centimeters

Last updated: August 7, 2013