Oosterhout was a Free Territory vrijheid, belonging to the Barony of Breda. Within its territory there were judicial powers for the Lord of Breda, the Abbey of Thorn, and the Order of the Templars, since 1313 the Order of the Knights of St. John. The main enclave was of the last, which went to the Lord of Breda in 1473. A number of their granges slotjes still survive, including the 15th century Huize Limburg. The territory was riddled with small castles of both former Orders, and traces of several of them still remain. In the Middle Ages Oosterhout was on one of the most important connections between the County of Holland and the Duchy of Brabant, just on the Brabant side of the border. In 1288 a strong fortress was built to safeguard the road, which lost its importance by the St. Elizabethflood of 1421, which destroyed the road. The "toren van Strijen" is still present a bit north of Oosterhout city. Oosterhout became a town in 1809 by a Royal Resolution of King Lodewijk Napoleon. Another defensive work, the "Linie van der Hout" was constructed by Menno van Coehoorn in the 17th century, near Stuivezand. The Baron of Breda was also Count of Nassau, Germany, Prince of Orange and Stadtholder of the Dutch Republic (1572-1650, 1672-1702, 1747-1795). The Barony Breda was extinguished by French revolutionary forces in 1795.
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