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'Mon Dieu, ayez pitié de mon âme; mon Dieu, ayez pitié de ce pauvre peuple'

According to the records, those were the last words of William the Silent. On this day in 1584, he was assassinated in Delft by Balthasar Gerards. It made him the first head of state to be assassinated by a handgun in history. But the question remained, were those indeed William’s last words? We know them from an old annotation from the account of the Estates General meeting that was held in Delft only hours after the murder. It is almost impossible to get your information more closely from the murder… Modern research revealed however he was most likely killed instantly and consequently wouldn’t have been able to say anything at all.

10 July in history

At The Online Portrait Gallery, we want to give history a face. Are you curious to find out more about this day in history? Please find some highlights below.