Historical and Commemorative
Collection of Benjamin Weiss
NIJMEGEN RELIEVED FROM THE FRENCH
BOSKAM, Jan: The Netherlands, 1702, Silver, 43 mm
Nijmegen (Nijmwegen, Nimwegen, Nimeguen) is a town in the Netherlands on the west bank of the Waal. In the episode depicted on this medal the French, under Marshal Boefflers, laid siege to the town. However, his efforts were thwarted by the combined efforts of Athole (Godart van Ginkel, 1st earl of Athole, a Dutch general in the service of England who commanded the Dutch contingent under Marlborough) and the inhabitants of Nijmegen, who manned the guns on the ramparts and fired on the French, causing their retreat. The French took revenge by destroying the parks and gardens of Cleves. The reverse of the medal shows the inhabitants of the town, women as well as men, on the ramparts. Besides the siege commemorated by this medal, the town was the site of the Treaties of Nijmegen (1678-1679) which ended the Dutch Wars. These treaties confirmed the control by William of Orange (later William III of England) of the United Provinces (Dutch Republic) but conceded much of the Spanish Netherlands to France.