1702 – Siege of Roermond

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Sieges >> 1702 – Siege of Roermond

The siege lasted from 26 September to 6 October 1702


At the beginning of 1702, the Dutch Fortress of Maastricht on the Meuse River was dangerously isolated by the occupation by Franco-Spanish troops of the fortresses of Venlo, Roermond and Stevensweert, located on the same river, Furthermore, the French also occupied Kaiserswerth, Rheinberg and Bonn on the Rhine River.

At the beginning of the campaign of 1702 in the Low Countries, in April, the Allies laid siege to Kaiserswerth, which capitulated on 15 June. A large Allied army then assembled at Nijmegen. After considerable dispute, the Earl of Marlborough was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the allied forces. The Field Deputies made clear to Marlborough that the Dutch wanted to clear the Meuse of all French garrisons between Holland and Maastricht.

On 26 July, Marlborough's entire army passed the Meuse near Grave. On several occasions, the Field Deputies of the Dutch Republic forced Marlborough to abandon his plans to offer battle. Marlborough saw that he would not be able to convince the Dutch deputies to give battle. With unconquerable patience and tact he excused Obdam's conduct in his public despatches. He thought it prudent to pacify the Dutch by clearing the Meuse of the French garrisons.

In September, the Allies made themselves masters of Venlo, which surrendered on 23 September. Without losing time, the Allies then invested Stevensweert, which resisted only a few days and surrendered on 2 October.

The Allies then turned their attention to Roermond, which was the only fortress still in the hands of the Franco-Spanish on the Meuse River.


Map of the siege of Roermond.
Copyright Dinos Antoniadis
Key to the map:
A British and Dutch attack
B Prussian attack
C Enfilading batteries
D Breach made by the Prussians
E Breach made by the Dutch

Description of events

On 26 September, the Allies under the command of Prince Walrad von Nassau-Saarbrücken invested the Fortress of Roermond which was defended by the Comte de Hornes with 3 bns.

On 2 October, the Allies opened trenches in front of Roermond.

On 6 October, the walls of Roermond, under the fire of the Allied siege artillery (60 x 24-pdrs, 50 x large mortars, 100 x small mortars) since four days, were breached between the Venlo and Roer gates. The Comte de Hornes capitulated with the honours of war and was allowed to retire to Louvain (Leuven) with the garrison.


After the fall of Roermond, the Meuse was free of French garrisons. The Allies took advantage of the situation and captured Liège and Tongres. All this severely hindered French communications with the Rhine and Rheinsberg and Bonn were dangerously isolated.

Forces involved

Franco-Spanish Forces

Commander-in-Chief: Comte de Hornes

Summary: 3 bns

Allied Forces

Commander-in-Chief: Dutch Field-Marshal Walrad of Nassau-Saarbrücken

Summary: British, Dutch, Hanoverian and Prussian troops, including:


This article incorporates texts from the following books which are now in the public domain:

  • Kane, Richard: Campaigns of king William and queen Anne, from 1689 to 1712, London: J. Millan, 1745, pp.31-41
  • Pelet and François Eugène de Vault: Mémoires militaires relatifs à la Succession d'Espagne sous Louis XIV
    • Vol. 2 pp. 3-130, 455, 487-488, 493, 536, 547-548, 581, 596
  • Abtheilung für Kriegsgeschichte des k. k. Kriegs-Archives: Feldzüge des Prinzen Eugen von Savoyen, Series 1, Vol. 4, Vienna 1877, pp. 523-570
  • Fortescue, J. W.: A History of the British Army, Vol. I, MacMillan, London, 1899, pp. 401-407

Other Sources

Folkers, Maarten: 1702, King William III dies

Royal Collection Trust – A map of the siege of Roermond, taken on 6 October 1702 by the Allied army (British and Dutch) commanded by Captain-General John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough (1650-1722). War of the Spanish Succession (1701-14).