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'Superexcellat Autem Misericordia Iudicium'. The Homily Of François Richardot On The Occasion Of The Solemn Announcement Of The General Pardon In The Netherlands (Antwerp, 16 July 1570)

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Chapter Summary

Fernando Alvarez de Toledo, the duke of Alba and governor of the Netherlands, announced a long-expected royal pardon in Antwerp on 16 July 1570. This kind of sovereign grace, which granted an amnesty under certain conditions to a group of people who had committed crimes against the state, was traditionally seen as a measure to bring peace to the country and establish the king’s power and reputation. The public announcement of this magnanimous royal favour was an opportunity par excellence for the king to make a public display of his clemency and for his subjects to confirm their loyalty to the king. The publication of the speeches made during the ceremony gave permanence to the event that had taken place. This chapter focuses on one of these addresses, the homily delivered by François Richardot on 16 July 1570 on the announcement of the pardon in Antwerp Cathedral.

Keywords: Antwerp; François Richardot; Netherlands; royal pardon

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