Pompey: The Dog Who Saved William the Silent's Life

According to legend, Pompey became famous in history for saving his master, the Prince of Orange, from assassins during battle.

William I, Prince of Orange (also known as William the Silent) was a Dutch leader at the beginning of the Eighty Years' War for independence from Spain. One night in 1572 the Prince was asleep in his camp's tent during the Siege of Mons with his dog Pompey at his side. When assassins attempted to sneak up to the Prince's tent, Pompey barked, scratched and finally jumped on his master's head to warn him of the intruders. The Prince managed to escape death that night; however, in 1584 he was not that fortunate. While walking down the stairs in his home in Delft, Balthasar GĂ©rard (who regarded the Prince as a traitor to the Catholic religion) shot and killed him. It is said Pompey grieved for his master and died three days later. The tomb of William the Silent with his beloved dog Pompey at the foot of his bed was designed by a Dutch sculptor named Hendrick de Keyser in the early 1600s.