Flemish soldier and diplomatist
Born c. 1335 Died 1387
Francis Ackerman was born at Ghent, and about 1380 became prominent during the struggle between the burghers of that town and Louis II (de Male), Count of Flanders. He was partly responsible for inducing Philip van Artevelde to become first captain of the city of Ghent in 1382, and at the head of some troops scoured the surrounding country for provisions and thus saved Ghent from being starved into submission. By his diplomatic abilities he secured the assistance of the citizens of Brussels, Louvain and Liege, and, having been made admiral of the Flemish fleet, visited England and obtained a promise of help from King Richard II.
After Artevelde's death in November 1382, he acted as leader of the Flemings, gained several victories and increased his fame by skilfully conducting a retreat from Damme to Ghent in August 1385. He took part in the conclusion of the treaty of peace between Ghent and Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, the successor of Count Louis, in December 1385. Trusting in Philip, and ignoring the warnings of his friends, Ackerman remained in Flanders, and was murdered at Ghent on the 22nd of July 1387, leaving a memory of chivalry and generosity.
See Jean Froissart, Chroniques, edited by S. Luce and G. Raynaud (Paris, 1869-1897); Johannes Brandon, Chronodromon, edited by K. de Lettenhoye in the Chroniques relatives a l'histoire de la Belgique sous la domination des ducs de Bourgogne (Brussels, 1870).
Being the entry for ACKERMAN, FRANCIS in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, the text of which lies within the public domain.