Lordship in the Holy Roman Empire; the city of Breda is now in the southwestern Netherlands, west of Tilburg, SSE of Rotterdam, and northeast of Antwerp.
Three families had held the lordship when, in 1326, the heiress of the third of them sold the lordship to the Duke of Brabant, who in his turn sold it in 1350 to Jan van Polanen, whose great-granddaughter Joanna (d.1445) married Engelbert of Nassau-Dillenburg. Their elder son eventually joined the lordship and the lands of the Ottonian branch of the Counts of Nassau, and on three occasions, in the next century or so, when the lands were shared between brothers, the elder took the wealthy Netherlands properties, leaving the Nassau lands to his junior.
The last of these heirs was the future Stadtholder of Holland, William the Silent, who inherited the properties of his cousin, René, Prince of Orange, when he died in 1544.
The city fell to the Spaniards in 1581, but was recovered in 1590; it was again in Spanish hands, 1625-37. In the Peace of Westphalia, 1648, it was recognised as belonging to the United Provinces, and was included in the Lands of the Generality, the lands governed by the States-General.
When the Kingdom of Holland was annexed by France in 1810 Breda and the region around it were added to the Département of Deux-Nèthes, of which Antwerp was capital. In the Kingdom of the (United) Netherlands in 1815, it became part of the province of Noord Brabant.