In August 1786, Utrecht’s militia took control of the city and laid down a law of democratic governance. Discontented citizens (the Patriots) had been fighting this cause for several years. In an attempt to restore order to the city, the stadtholder’s troops marched out on 9 May 1787. At nightfall, this ended in a clash with the militia at Vreeswijk. Two Utrecht citizens, Cornelis Govert Visscher and Robert van der Vlerk, were killed. Militia leader Jan Anthony d’Averhoult managed to defuse the panic and gain victory. The perished both received a hero’s funeral. Relics such as tufts of hair and a blood-stained sash were displayed in the city hall.