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Balthazar Gerards (1557-1584) was the assassin of the Dutch independence leader, William the Silent. Gerards was born in Vuillafans, France, at number 3 in the street now called Rue Gerard. He came from a Roman Catholic family with 11 children and was a great admirer of Philip II, the king of Spain and the Netherlands. He studied law on the University of Dole, a nearby city in Provence. Even before the reward Philip II offered, he told his fellow students that he would put a knife in William the Silent's heart. Philip II offered his reward of 25000 crowns on William the Silent, calling him a 'pest on the whole of Christianity and the enemy of the human race'.

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Balthazar Gerards (1557-1584) was the assassin of the Dutch independence leader, William the Silent. Gerards was born in Vuillafans, France, at number 3 in the street now called Rue Gerard. He came from a Roman Catholic family with 11 children and was a great admirer of Philip II, the king of Spain and the Netherlands. He studied law on the University of Dole, a nearby city in Provence. Even before the reward Philip II offered, he told his fellow students that he would put a knife in William the Silent's heart. Philip II offered his reward of 25000 crowns on William the Silent, calling him a 'pest on the whole of Christianity and the enemy of the human race'. More

 
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