Skip to main content


Gueux (gö) [Fr.,=beggars], 16th-century Dutch revolutionary party. In 1566 more than 2,000 Dutch and Flemish nobles and burghers (both Protestants and Roman Catholics) signed a document—the so-called Compromise of Breda—by which they bound themselves in solemn oath to resist the curtailment of liberties imposed by the Spanish government in the Netherlands. The document was drafted chiefly by Philip van Marnix. Its radical tone displeased the great nobles; on the advice of William the Silent the original wording was considerably toned down when, in the same year, a petition on behalf of the signers of the compromise was presented to the Spanish regent, Margaret of Parma. Margaret's adviser, Barlaymont, referred to the petitioners as "these beggars," whereupon the revolutionary party adopted both the sobriquet and the insignia of beggars. The "Beggars of the Sea" (Fr. Gueux de la mer) were crews of patriotic privateers first chartered in 1569 by William the Silent to harass Spanish shipping. Their most notable action was the raising of the siege of Leiden (1574). Their activity marked the beginning of Dutch sea power.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Gueux." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . 19 Jun. 2019 <>.

"Gueux." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . (June 19, 2019).

"Gueux." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved June 19, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.