chapter  6
28 Pages

Between the Eagle and the Crescent

On May 23, 1618, an assembly of Czech nobles that called themselves the Defensors marched to Prague Castle to protest actions taken by the imperial regime against Czech Protestants. The emperor, of course, was in Vienna, but they found two of his most hated governors present. They staged a trial, charging them with violating an agreement made by the former emperor Rudolf II called the Letter of Majesty. The Letter of Majesty had guaranteed religious toleration for the mainstream of Czech Protestantism.1 Finding the regents guilty, the crowd threw them out of the window, along with their secretary, who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.2