John VIII, Count of Nassau-Siegen
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John VIII of Nassau-Siegen
|Born||29 September 1583|
|Died||27 July 1638 (aged 54)|
|Noble family||House of Nassau|
|Spouse(s)||Ernestine Yolande de Ligne d'Amblise|
|Father||John VII, Count of Nassau|
|Mother||Countess Magdalena of Waldeck|
John VIII, Count of Nassau-Siegen, Katzenelnbogen, Vianden and Dietz, Marquis of Monte-Caballo, Baron of Ronse and Beilstein, was the second son of John VII, Count of Nassau and Countess Magdalena of Waldeck.
On 25 December 1613, much to the horror of his family, he openly converted to Catholicism and entered in the service of the army of Charles Emmanuel I, Duke of Savoy. After the death of his elder brother, John Ernest in September 1617, he claimed his rights, but his father chose a Protestant successor. When his father died in 1623, John VIII occupied Nassau-Siegen at the head of a Habsburg Army and started the Contra-Reformation.
In 1624 he became a Knight in the Order of the Golden Fleece.
In 1625 he participated in the Siege of Breda. Breda was defended by his second cousin Justinus van Nassau and held out for eleven months before surrendering. John VIII of Nassau-Siegen is depicted in the famous painting The Surrender of Breda by Diego Velázquez, third from the left in the Spanish camp, looking directly at the spectator.
In 1630 he was captured by the Dutch Army, however, he was released later that year. In 1631, he was in charge of the Spanish-Flemish Fleet defeated by the Dutch and Scots and English mercenaries, at the Battle of the Slaak, fighting on behalf of the Spanish Governor Francisco de Moncada, 3rd Marquis of Aitona, (1586–1635).
In 1632, Nassau-Siegen was conquered by the Swedes, after which his half-brother John Maurice of Nassau-Siegen re-introduced Protestantism.
John VIII died in 1638 and was succeeded by his only son Johan Frans Desideratus, who had to cede part of Nassau-Siegen to the Protestant branch of the family.
Marriage and childrenEdit
John was married in Brussels on 13 August 1618 to the Catholic princess Ernestine Yolande de Ligne d'Amblise (1594–1668), daughter of Lamoral de Ligne, Prince d'Espinoy. They had six children together:
- Maria (1619–1620)
- stillborn daughter (1620)
- Clara Maria (1621–1695), married with her cousins Prince Albert Henri de Ligne in 1634, and with Claude Lamoral, 3rd Prince of Ligne in 1642
- Ernestine Charlotte (1623–1668), married in 1650 with Maurice Henry, Prince of Nassau-Hadamar
- Lamberta Alberta Gabrielle Ursula (1625–1635)
- John Francis Desideratus (Nozeroy, 1627 – Roermond, 1699), Count of Nassau-Siegen
- Tercios.org (in Spanish)
John VIII, Count of Nassau-SiegenBorn: 29 September 1583 Died: 27 July 1638
| Count of Nassau-Siegen
John Francis Desideratus