Deep in the heart of Germany lay the earldom of Nassau. The Dillenberg was the count's castle. With its towers and gardens surrounded by thick, strong walls, it sat high on the mountainside, its mighty drawbridge spanning the tumultuous Dille River. In those days, many of the noble dwellings were situated in similar settings. The castle was isolated, surrounded by dense woods and vast, rolling plains.
Count William of Nassau was the master of this stronghold as well as lord over the villages and towns scattered around the countryside. Juliana of Stolberg was his wife. The little one tucked in his cradle of satin was their firstborn, the son who bore his father's name. In time, he would succeed his father, inherit the estate, and rule in his stead. Someday... But that day lay in the distant future, unknown and unrevealed. In time, more sons were born in the great house: John, Louis, Adolphus, Henry, and also seven daughters. Their mother took care, as only a mother could, that the young lives were filled with fun and happiness. Her eldest son, her firstborn, was loved and cherished along with the others—perhaps a little more.
William I, Count of Nassau-Dillenburg (1533-1584) was only 11 years old when he inherited the principality of Orange. Charles V, King of Spain and Lord of the Netherlands wanted him to be educated at his own court in Brussels, This biography, written for children, tells about the life of one of the greatest heroes of the Protestants. William the Silent was an amazing man who led Protestant Netherlands in resistance to Catholic Spain and France during the Eighty Year War. He gave everything he had, including his life, and deserves a thankful place in our hearts since we today still reap the fruits of his sacrifice.
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