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Famous Painters from Dordrecht, Index

Famous Dutch Painters from Dordrecht, Ancient Capital of Holland


Note : Please do not email me with technical questions about paintings and their age and origin because I am not an expert but I only have gathered information about the Painters from the Netherlands and specially from Dordrecht.

Dordrecht is not only known as the oldest city and ancient capital of Holland but also for the many famous painters who were born or lived in Dordrecht during the late Middle ages and later centuries. Dordrecht was already in the 12th century a prosperous city and is situated between the large rivers of Holland and became the most important trade centre of Holland, as such many people from other areas of Holland and Flanders settled there to set up trade companies who had international contacts all over Europe.

Because of that soon a group of wealthy Patricians arose who were able to collect art, and last but not least the area in and around Dordrecht was an inspiring scene for artists to produce paintings and other art portraying the daily life in a trade city situated at large rivers with sailing and trade activities and idyllic scenes in its surroundings. Most self-respecting painters from outside Dordrecht visited the city because of its importance and position between the rivers. Dordrecht and its rivers became one of the most portrayed cities of Holland by artists all over Europe and many paintings in which Dordrecht is portrayed are now in Museums and in Private collections all over the world.

From the 15th century the art of painting became popular and was not only affordable for Nobility but now also for the city upper-class and merchants thus many artistic citizens became artist in painting and other art. Since that time Dordrecht became the leading city of the Northern Lowlands in painting and would stay the centre of art until it was finally surpassed by Amsterdam in the 18th century.

The work in eighteenth-century painting-company was more versatile than it is today. In the houses were often decorative painting made the requisite skill blurred the boundaries between home, decoration or art work. This combination of activities was necessary, because as an artist not earned enough making the necessary daily expenses.  A familiar example of such a company in Dordrecht was the successful painting shop of the brothers Abraham and Jacob van Strij. Jacob advised young artists to follow him. Only those who distinguished in art were mentioned in the manuals written by contemporaries.

The most famous painters between 1500 and 2000 from Dordrecht were :

Ascending from 1520 to 1907
Number Page Name Born Died
07 03 Jacob Gerritz Bornwater Dordrecht c.1520 Dordrecht c. 1581
15 07 Jan Doudijn Dordrecht 1535 Dordrecht 1585
05 02 Abraham Bloemaert Dordrecht 1564 Utrecht 1651
11 05 Jacob Gerritz Cuyp Dordrecht 1594 Dordrecht 1652
01 01 Bartholomeus Assteyn Dordrecht 1607 Dordrecht 1677
33 13 Paulus Lesire Dordrecht 1611 ? 1654-1674
12 05 Benjamin Gerritz Cuyp Dordrecht 1612 Dordrecht 1652
06 03 Ferdinand Bol Dordrecht 1616 Amsterdam 1680
13 06 Aelbert Cuyp Dordrecht 1620 Dordrecht 1691
56 23 Abraham Susenier Leiden 1620 Dordrecht 1666/72
17 07 Adriaen van Eemont Dordrecht, 1627 Dordrecht 1662
21 10 Samuel van Hoogstraten Dordrecht 1627 Dordrecht 1678
16 07 Isaac van Duynen Dordrecht 1628 The Hague c. 1677
02 01 Cornelis Bisschop Dordrecht 1630 Dordrecht 1674
10 04 Reynier Covyn Antwerp 1631 Dordrecht 1681
34 13 Jacobus Leveck Dordrecht 1634 Dordrecht 1675
35 14 Nicolaes Maes Dordrecht 1634 Amsterdam 1693
41 16 Hubert van Ravesteyn Dordrecht 1638 Dordrecht 1691
09 04 Abraham van Calraet Dordrecht 1642 Dordrecht 1722
36 14 Cornelis van der Meulen Dordrecht 1642 Stockholm 1692
19 09 Aert de Gelder Dordrecht 1645 Dordrecht 1727
22 11 Arnold Houbraken Dordrecht 1660 Amsterdam 1719
03 01 Abraham Bisschop Dordrecht 1670 Middelburg 1731
08 03 Adriaan van der Burg Dordrecht 1693 Dordrecht 1733
23 11 Jacobus Houbraken Dordrecht 1698 Amsterdam 1780
51 20 Aert Schouman Dordrecht 1710 Den Haag 1792
40 15 Joris Ponse Dordrecht 1723 Dordrecht 1783
58 24 Cornelis Vermeulen Dordrecht 1732 Dordrecht 1813
29 12 Cornelis Kuipers Dordrecht 1739 Dordrecht 1802
14 07 Dionys van Dongen Dordrecht 1748 Rotterdam 1819
32 13 Willem van Leen Dordrecht 1753 Delfshaven 1825
54 22 Abraham van Strij Dordrecht 1753 Dordrecht 1826
20 09 Pietsser Hofmann Dordrecht 1755 Dordrecht 1837
55 23 Jacob van Strij Dordrecht 1756 Dordrecht 1815
60 25 Michiel Versteegh Dordrecht 1756 Dordrecht 1843
59 24 Andries Vermeulen Dordrecht 1763 Dordrecht 1814
44 17 Johan Bernard Scheffer Hamburg 1765 Dordrecht 1809
45 17 Cornelia Scheffer-Lamme Dordrecht 1769 Paris 1839
52 21 Martinus Schouman Dordrecht 1770 Breda 1848
53 21 Gilles Smak-Gregoor Dordrecht 1770 Dordrecht 1843
18 07 Pietsser Fontijn Dordrecht 1773 Dordrecht 1839
57 24 Abraham Teerlink Dordrecht 1776 Rome 1857
27 12 Leendert de Koningh Dordrecht 1777 Dordrecht 1849
47 18 Johannes Christioaan Schotel Dordrecht 1787 Dordrecht 1838
46 17 Ary Scheffer Dordrecht 1795 Argenteuil 1851
28 12 Adrianus van der Koogh Middelharnis 1796 Dordrecht 1831
25 12 Willem de Klerk Dordrecht 1800 Dordrecht 1876
04 01 Frans van den Blijk Dordrecht 1806 Dordrecht 1876
49 19 Petrus Johannes Schotel Dordrecht 1808 Dresden 1865
30 13 Ary Johannes Lamme Dordrecht 1812 Berg en Dal 1900
43 16 Johannes Rosierse Dordrecht 1818 Dordrecht 1901
48 18 Christina Petronella Schotel Dordrecht 1818 Aardenburg 1854
31 13 Frans Lebret Dordrecht 1820 Dordrecht 1909
62 25 Alexander Wüst Dordrecht 1837 Antwerp 1876
26 12 Bernard Koldeweij Dordrecht 1859 Dordrecht 1898
61 25 Jan Veth Dordrecht 1864 Amsterdam 1925
42 16 Marinus Pietsser Reus Dordrecht 1865 Bergen op Zoom 1938
39 15 Pietss Ouborg Dordrecht 1893 Den Haag 1956
50 19 Anthonie Pietsser Schotel Dordrecht 1890 Laren 1958
38 15 Cor Noltee Den Haag 1903 Dordrecht 1967
24 12 Otto Boudewijn de Kat Dordrecht 1907 Laren 1995
37 14 Daan Muhlhaus Dordrecht 1907 Dordrecht 1981

On the next pages you can find many works from these famous painters who were responsible for many styles of paintings and they immortalized the daily life and landscapes in the 15th to 19th century. Most of their masterpieces are nowadays part of collections in museums all over the world and of which many can be seen in the local Dordrechts Museum.


In Alphabetical order
Page Name Artist
01 1 Bartholomeus Assteyn
2 Cornelis Bisschop
3 Abraham Bisschop
4 Frans van den Blijk
02 5 Abraham Bloemaert
03 6 Ferdinand Bol
7 Jacob Gerritsz Bornwater
8 Adriaan van der Burg
04 9 Abraham van Calraet
10 Reynier Covijn
05 11 Jacob Gerritz Cuyp
12 Benjamin Gerritz Cuyp
06 13 Aelbert Cuyp 1 part 1
07 13 Aelbert Cuyp part 2
08 14 Dionys van Dongen
15 Jan Doudijn
16 Isaac van Duynen
17 Adriaen van Eemont
18 Peter Fontyn
09 19 Aert de Gelder
20 Pietsser Hofmann
10 21 Samuel van Hoogstraten
11 22 Arnold Houbraken
23 Jacobus Houbraken
12 24 Otto Boudewijn de Kat
25 Willem de Klerk
26 Bernard Koldeweij
27 Leendert de Koningh
28 Adrianus van der Koogh
29 Cornelis Kuipers
13 30 Ary Johannes Lamme
31 Frans Lebret
32 Willem van Leen
33 Paulus Lesire
34 Jacobus Leveck
14 35 Nicolaes Maes
36 Cornelis van der Meulen
37 Daan Mühlhaus
15 38 Cor Noltee
39 Pietss Ouborg
40 Joris Ponse
16 41 Hubert van Ravesteyn
42 Marinus Pietsser Reus
43 Johannes Rosierse
17 44 Johan Bernard Scheffer
45 Cornelia Scheffer-Lamme
46 Ary Scheffer
18 47 Johannes Christiaan Schotel
48 Christina Petronella Schotel
19 49 Petrus Johannes Schotel
50 Anthonie Pietsser Schotel
20 51 Aert Schouman
21 52 Martinus Schouman
53 Gilles Smak- Gregoor
22 54 Abraham van Strij
23 55 Jacob van Strij
56 Abraham Susenier
24 57 Abraham Teerlink
58 Cornelis Vermeulen
59 Andries Vermeulen
25 60 Michiel Versteegh
61 Jan Veth
62 Alexander Wüst

Holland and pre English America

Holland and America!

Dutch history and the relation with pre English America

A Brief Outline of Dutch History and the Province of New Netherland

Although most Americans are familiar with the basic outline of the British colonization of America, and even know some information on the Spanish and French settlements, their is less familiarity with the history and geography of another new word settler, namely the Dutch. Not only did they settle the colony of New Netherland but coins from both the United Provinces of the Netherlands and the Flemish area held by Spain, which we now call Belgium, circulated in America. The following summaries are presented to clarify statements in the various sections of this site that mention events concerning the Dutch; below are capsule histories (a) on the formation of the states of Belgium and the Netherlands and (b) the development of the province of New Netherland in America.

The Division of Belgium and the Netherlands

For the most part the cities and provinces in the area known as the Low Countries developed independently from the Ninth through the mid Fourteenth centuries. From 1363-1472 the area was gradually assimilated by four generations of the Dukes of Burgundy from Philip the Bold to Charles the Bold. Eventually the lands passed by marriage to the Hapsburg Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V.

Upon Charles's abdication in 1556 the lands reverted to his son Philip II of Spain. Philip then sent his sister Margaret of Parma to rule the area. The Calvinist Dutch in the northern provinces especially disliked the Spanish Catholics. They feared the Inquisition would be brought to the Netherlands, and that personal and economic as well as religious freedom would be lost, so they revolted. Philip then sent Ferdinand Alverez, the Duke of Alba to bring order to the area. On August 8, 1567 the Spanish Duke of Alba entered Brussels as military dictator with some 10,000 troops. Thousands of people from both the northern and the southern provinces fled the Low Countries, including the prominent noble William of Orange, Count of Nassau. Alba suppressed anyone who opposed him including William of Orange, whose lands he confiscated.

The Calvinist northern provinces began allying themselves with Alba's enemies, namely William of Orange. On April 1, 1572 the Dutch struck back, a navel force under Captain van der Marck took the city of Brill. The revolt quickly spread throughout the north. On July 15, 1572 the northern provinces of Holland and Zeeland acknowledged William of Orange as their Stadtholder and a government was established in Delft. This was the beginning of a bloody civil war against the Spanish which continued until 1579.

On January 5, 1579 the southern regions of Artois, Hainaut and the town of Douay joined together for mutual protection under the Spanish king in the League of Arras (Artois). Soon thereafter, on January 29, 1579 the northern provinces united in the Union of Utrecht.

In 1582 the large provinces of Brabant and Flanders joined the southern alliance. This southern area, what is now know as Belgium, was predominantly Catholic, and included the provinces of Flanders, Antwerp, Hainaut, Brabant, Namur, Liege, Limburg, and Luxembourg (Limburg is now part of the Netherlands and Luxembourg is an independent state). The northern provinces, on the other hand, were collectively known as the United Provinces of the Netherlands or the Dutch Republic, and were often referred to by the name of their principle province, that is, Holland.

This northern Calvinist area consisted of the seven provinces of Frisia, Groningen, Overijssel, Holland, Gelderland, Utrecht and Zeeland. From the formation of the Union of Utrecht these provinces were able to remain a separate republic but it was not until the Treaty of Westphalia, at the conclusion of the Thirty Years War in 1648, that the independence of the Republic of the United Provinces of the Netherlands was finally recognized.

The southern provinces, which are now known as Belgium, continued under Spanish Hapsburg rule until the death of Charles II in 1700. The lands then reverted to the new Bourbon king of Spain, Philip Duke of Anjou. In 1701 the French king Louis XIV compelled Philip, who was his grandson, to turn the southern provinces over to France. However by the Treaty of Utrecht at the conclusion of the War of Spanish Succession the lands were given to the Austrian Hapsburg line which held the area until they were overthrown by the French Republic in 1794.

Coin from both of the northern and southern regions circulated in the American colonies, including the Cross Dollar of Brabant and the Lion Dollars of the various provinces of the United Netherlands.

The New Netherland Colony

The Early Years, 1609-1621

In 1602 the States General of the United Provinces, known as the Netherlands, chartered the United East India Company (the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie, called the VOC) with the mission of exploring for a passage to the Indies and claiming any unchartered territories for the United Provinces. On September 3, 1609 the English explorer Henry Hudson, on behalf of the United East India Company, entered the area now known as New York in an attempt to find a northwest passage to the Indies. He searched every costal inlet and on the 12th took his ship, the Halve Maen (Half Moon), up the river which now bears his name, as far as Albany and claimed the land for his employer. Although no passage was discovered the area turned out to be one of the best fur trading regions in North America.

As early as 1611 the Dutch merchant Arnout Vogels set sail in the ship St. Pietsser for what was probably the first Dutch trading expedition to the Hudson Bay. This secretive mission was so successful in 1612 Vogels chartered the ship Fortuyn which made two, back to back trips to the area. The initial trip of the Fortuyn was under the command of Captain Adriaen Block. Two months before the Fortuyn returned on her second trip, Adriaen Block landed in Hudson Bay in a different ship. Block did not try to keep his activities a secret, he traded liquor, cloth, firearms and trinkets for beaver and otter pelts; however, before he could leave the Hudson for an early spring crossing to Amsterdam he saw the arrival of another Dutch ship, the Jonge Tobias, under the command of Thijs Volckertsz Mossel. Competition to exploit the newly discovered land was underway.

On October 11, 1614 merchants from the cities of Amsterdam and Hoorn formed The New Netherland Company receiving a three year monopoly for fur trading in the newly discovered region from the States General of the United Provinces. In 1615 the company erected Fort Orange on Castle Island near Albany and began trading with the Indians for furs. Although merchants came to New Netherland for business purposes, the area was not colonized and at the end of the three year period the company's monopoly was not renewed. At that point the land was opened to all Dutch traders. Eventually the States General decided to grant an monopoly to a company that would colonized the area. There was a need to have a permanent political presence in their colonies in New Netherland, Brazil and Africa against the possibility of an English, French or Spanish challenge.

The Dutch West India Company and Colonization

In 1621 the newly incorporated Dutch West India Company (the Westindische Compagnie or WIC) obtained a twenty four year trading monopoly in America and Africa and sought to have the New Netherland area formally recognized as a province. Once provincial status was granted in June of 1623 the company began organizing the first permanent Dutch settlement in New Netherland. On March 29, 1624 the ship, Nieu Nederlandt (New Netherland) departed with the first wave of settlers, consisting not of Dutch but rather of thirty Flemish Walloon families. The families were spread out over the entire territory claimed by the company. To the north a few families were left at the mouth of the Connecticut River, while to the south some families were settled at Burlington Island on the Delaware River. Others were left on Nut Island, now called Governor's Island, at the mouth of the Hudson) River, while the remaining families were taken up the Hudson to Fort Orange (Albany). Later in 1624 and through 1625 six additional ships sailed for New Netherland with colonists, livestock and supplies.

It soon became clear the northern and southern outposts were untenable and so had to be abandoned. Also, due to a war between the Mohawk and Mahican tribes in 1625, the women and children at Fort Orange were forced to move to safety. At this point, in the spring of 1626, the Director General of the company, Peter Minuit, came to the province. Possibly motivated to erect a safe haven for the families forced to leave Fort Orange, at some point between May 4 and June 26, 1626 Minuit purchased the island of Manhattan from the Indians for some 60 guilders worth of trinkets. He immediately started the construction of Fort New Amsterdam under the direction of the company engineer Cryn Fredericksz.

Because of the dangers and hardships of life in a new land some colonists decided to return to the homeland in 1628. By 1630 the total population of New Netherland was about 300, many being French speaking Walloons. It is estimated about 270 lived in the area surrounding Fort Amsterdam, primarily working as farmers, while about 30 were at Fort Orange, the center of the Hudson valley fur trade with the Mohawks.

New Netherland was a company owned and operated business, run on a for profit basis by the directors of the West India Company. The intent of the firm was to make a profit for the investors who had purchased shares in the company. WIC paid skilled individuals, as doctors and craftsmen, to move to New Netherland and also sent over over and paid soldiers for military protection of the settlements; the company also built forts and continually sent over provisions for the settlers. All the New Netherland positions one would usually consider government or public service jobs, were in fact, company jobs held by WIC employees. Laws were made by the company appointed Director General in the province with the consent of the company directors in Amsterdam; even the New Netherland provincial treasury was actually the company treasury. All taxes, fines and trading profits went to the company and the company paid the bills. Basically the company profit was whatever was left after expenses had been paid (it should be noted expenses included ample salaries for the Amsterdam directors). WIC soon discovered the expenses associated with establishing and expanding a new colony were considerable. In order to increase their profit margin the company sought to find what might be thought of as subcontractors. The first attempt at partnerships was the Patroonship plan.

The Patroonship plan was first conceived in 1628 as a way to attract more settlers without increasing company expenses. Under the plan a Patroon would be granted a large tract of land and given the rights to the land as well as legal rights to settle all non capital cases, quite similar to a manorial lord. In return the Patroon would agree to bring over settlers and colonize the land at their own expense. No one accepted a patroonship under these conditions because the lucrative fur and fishing trades were left as a monopoly of the company. One of the most prominent Amsterdam merchants and a principle shareholder in the Dutch West India Company, Kiliaen van Rensselear, had the plan modified. In the revised plan issued on June 7, 1629, the terms were much more favorable: colonization requirements were less stringent, the allocation of land to the patroon was larger and there were broad jurisdictional rights over the colonists. Additionally patroons were allowed to trade with New England and Virginia and, most importantly, they were allowed to engage in both the fur trade, subject to a company tax of one guilder per pelt, and could participate in the fish trade. Under this arrangement Kiliaen van Rensselear became Patroon to the largest and most lucrative fur trading area in New Netherland, that is, the area along the Hudson River out to Fort Orange, which he named the colony of Rensselaerswyck.

Under the Patroonship arrangement New Netherland continued to expand with more colonists and settlements taking hold. The nerve center of New Netherland was along the Hudson River from New Amsterdam (New York City) northwest to Fort Orange (Albany). The colony of Rensselaerswyck, encompassing Fort Orange, was the center of the fur trade while New Amsterdam was the shipping hub for Dutch traders. The northern border was not well defined but was taken to be the Connecticut River, which they called the Fresh River. Based on this border the Dutch felt they had a claim to New Haven and southern Connecticut; this was clarified at a convention in Hartford in September of 1650 limiting the Dutch to the territory west of Greenwich Bay (similar to the present day border NY-CT border). To the south, New Netherland took all of New Jersey establishing Fort Nassau in 1626 near the southern end of New Jersey (at Gloucester, New Jersey) along the Delaware River, which they called the South River. They also established a whaling village on the southern shore of Delaware Bay called Swanendael (Valley of the Swans) near what is now Lewes, Delaware; although the village was soon destroyed in an Indian raid. The Dutch also constructed Fort Beversrede in 1648 on the Schuylkill River (at Philadelphia) and Fort Casimir in 1651 (at Newcastle, DE) to defend their territory against the Swedes and Finns of the Swedish West India Company in Delaware. In 1655 New Netherland defeated New Sweden and occupied the Swedish stronghold, Fort Christiana (Wilmington).


In another attempt to increase revenue from the settlement, in 1638 the West India Company abandoned its trading monopoly. Again the company felt they could share the expenses and risks associated with trade by opening up the area to other merchants and collecting fees from them. With the passage of the Articles and Conditions in 1638 and the Freedoms and Exemptions in 1640 the company allowed merchants of all friendly nations trade in the area, subject to a 10% import duty, a 15% export duty and the restriction that all merchants had to hire West India Company ships to carry their merchandise. Of course the West India Company continued in the fur trade. Some of the first merchants to take advantage of this situation were WIC employees who left the company to act as agents for Dutch merchant firms and also trade on their own, such as Govert Loockermans and Augustine Heermans. Lookermans was a WIC employee from 1633-1639, when he left the company to become the local agent for both the powerful Verbrugge family and for himself. He was suspected of smuggling on several occassions and incurred several fines as well as the disapproval of the Verbrugge firm. Heermans first came to New Netherlands in 1633 as a company surveyor in the Delaware region. In 1643 he moved to New Amsterdam where he acted as an agent for the Dutch firm of Gabry and Company and also worked for himself in the fur and tobacco trade. Others WIC employees as Oloff Stevenson van Cortlandt, who had come over in 1637 as a WIC soldier, rose within the company. He was awarded the job of Commissary, supervising the arrival and storage of provisions. In this position he made numerous business contacts and joined in various trading ventures. He was able to acquire various properites within the city of New Amsterdam and by 1648 owned and operated a brewry. Another of these early independent merchants was Arnoldus van Hardenburg, from an Amsterdam merchant family, who came over to make his fortune. Some English colonists also took advantage of the new trading privileges. Isaac Allerton, an original Plymouth settler, who became a founder of Marblehead, Massachusetts went to New Amsterdam as did Thomas Willet of Plymouth. Allerton was knows as an uncrupulous individual who overcharged customers and manipulated his account books. Willet sometimes worked with Allerton and was of the same demeanor, he was once accused of bribing an an inspecion official to look the other way while he imported contraband items. Another Englishman, Thomas Hall, had independently moved into the Delaware valley where the Dutch discovered him in 1635 and took him to New Amsterdam as a prisoner. Hall he seems to have soon been released and in 1639 went in partnership with another Englishman, George Holmes, in the acquisition of a tobacco plantation, leading to a career as a tobacco grower and wholesaler (see, Maika, pp. 40-59).

As these smaller scale merchants and traders became successful both for themselves and for their employeers some of the more prominent Amsterdam merchant establishments decided to follow the lead of the Rensselear family, hoping to increase their profits by expanding into the new market. The most important and earliest participants were Gillis and Seth Verbrugge who traded from the 1640's-mid 1650's and even attempted to establish a potash factory in New Amsterdam (used in the production of soap). In the 1650's and 1660's they were followed by two other major merchant firms who entered the fur trade, namely the Dirck and Abel de Wolff Company and the firm of Gillis van Hoonbeeck. From the mid 1640's through the mid 1660's these three firms along with the Rensselear family accounted for more than 50% of the New Netherland trade.

Up to 1651 Dutch merchants could also trade with New England and Virginia as well as New Netherland. However once the British instituted the Navigation Act of 1651, non English ships were no longer allowed to transport goods from English ports. This forced the Verbrugge family to abandon their lucrative Virginia tobacco trade and eventually took them out of the new world market. The De Wolff family was more diversified that the Verbrugge, trading in Baltic grain, French wine and West African slaves as well as New Netherland furs. Also, rather than invest in ships this firm rented space on other ships and so remained competitive. Van Hoonbeeck entered the New Nwtherland market late, but was able to take advantage of the Verbrugge's Company fall.

The result of this situation was that a few powerful Amsterdam merchants along with the West India Company controlled New Netherland trade. Oliver A. Rink has succinctly explained the situation as follows:

Unlike New England, the individuals largely responsible for exploiting New Netherland's resources were merchants of the home Country. Secure in their Amsterdam Countinghouses, the merchants grasped control of the colony's lifeline to Holland and held fast. Profits from their enterprises flowed into coffers in Amsterdam, thus depriving New Netherland of capital and the opportunity to develop a viable, colony-based merchant community. (Rink, Holland on the Hudson, pp. 212-213)


Another important element in the New Netherland province that differed from the British colonies was demographics. It has been estimated that probably one half of the population was not Dutch. The size of the province has been estimated at between 2,000 to 3,500 in 1655 growing to a total of about 9,000 by 1664. A significant number of the inhabitants were Germans, Swedes and Finns that emigrated in the period after 1639. This number was increased by 300 to 500 with the capture of New Sweden on September 24, 1655. The impact of these German and Scandinavian Lutheran immigrants is brought out in a controversy that arose because the Lutherans in Middleburg, Long Island were holding church services without an approved preacher. The New Amsterdam pastors brought this situation to the attention of the Director General, Pietsser Stuyvesant at the end of 1655, requesting the services be halted. The dispute dragged on for years until a resolution was formulated by the West India Company directors in Amsterdam. It was decided to permit the Lutherans the right to worship by slightly adjusting the catechism. In order not to offend the Lutherans, the Company bluntly stated the complaining New Amsterdam Calvinist pastors would be replaced by younger ministers who were more liberal, unless the dispute was put aside.

There were also about 2,000 English inhabitants in the area of New Netherland, primarily from New England, living on Long Island or in communities along the Connecticut border. The English obtained the Eastern portion of Long Island, (as far as the western end of Oyster Bay) in the border agreement reached at the Hartford Convention of 1650. In fact, five of the ten villages in the vicinity of New Amsterdam were English (namely, Newtown, Gravesend, Hemptead, Flushing and Jamaica while Brooklyn, Flatlands, Flatbush, New Utrecht and Bushwick were Dutch). There were also a number of "half free" African slaves, who were required to make a fixed yearly payment to the company for their freedom. In September of 1654 a group of 23 Jews were brought to New Amsterdam from the colony in Brazil (which was called New Holland), where the Portuguese had just defeated the Dutch West India Company following an eight year rebellion. In 1655, the same year charges were made against the Lutherans, the New Amsterdam preachers requested the province get rid of the Jews. This matter was brough to the company directors in Amsterdam who recommended the Jews be segregated and allowed to practice their religion, but not be permitted to build a synagogue. In this case toleration was granted because some of the Dutch West India Company stockholders were Jewish merchants. In fact, in 1658 when one of these New Netherland Jews, named David de Ferrera, was given a overly harsh punishment for a minor offence, it took the intervention of an important Jewish stockholder in the company, Joseph d'Acosta, to have the punishment reduced.

A French Jesuit priest named Father Isaac Jogues visited New Netherland in 1643-1644. After returning to Canada Father Jogues wrote a brief description of New Netherland, completed on August 3, 1646. In his work the ethnic diversity of the island of Manhattan was described as follows:

On the island of Manhate, and in its environs, there may well be four or five hundred men of different sects and nations: the Director General told me that there were men of eighteen different languages; they are scattered here and there on the river, above and below, as the beauty and convenience of the spot has invited each to settle: some mechanics however, who ply their trade, are ranged under the fort; all the others are exposed to the incursions of the natives,..." (Narratives, pp. 259-260)

British Claims and Conquest

As New Netherland prospered the British set their sights on the province, stating they had a claim to the land as part of John Cabot's discoveries. In May of 1498 the Genoese born Cabot, working for Britain, had explored the coast of the new world from Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and New England down to Delaware. As this trip predated Hudson's voyage by over a century the British felt they had prior claim to the land.

In the mid Seventeenth century the British and Dutch saw each other as a direct competitor, consequently several times during this period they were at war. During the first Anglo-Dutch war of 1652-1654 Oliver Cromwell planed to attack New Netherland with the help of the New England colonists but the plan was never carried out. Following that conflict the two nations continued to be trading rivals and were suspicious of each other. With the restoration of Charles II to the British throne in 1660 the United Netherlands feared an English attack, so in 1662 they made an alliance with the French against the English. In response to this alliance in March of 1664, Charles II formally annexed New Netherland as a British province and granted it to his brother James, Duke of York and Albany (later James II), as Lord Proprietssor. The Duke sent a fleet under the command of Sir Richard Nicolls to seize the colony. On September 8, 1664, the Director General Pietsser Stuyvesant surrendered Fort Amsterdam and on September 24, 1664, Fort Orange capitulated. Both the city of New Amsterdam and the entire colony were renamed New York, while Fort Amsterdam was renamed Fort James and Fort Orange became Fort Albany.

The loss of the New Netherland province led to a second Anglo-Dutch war during 1665-1667. This conflict ended with the Treaty of Breda in August of 1667 in which the Dutch gave up their claim to New Amsterdam in exchange for Surinam (just north of Brazil). Amazingly, within six months, on January 23, 1668, the Dutch made an alliance with Britain and Sweden against the French king Louis XIV, who was trying to capture the Spanish held areas in the Netherlands. However, in May of 1670 Louis XIV made a secret alliance with Charles II (the Treaty of Dover) and in 1672 he made another separate treaty with Sweden. Then on March 17, 1673 Louis and Charles joined together in a war on the United Netherlands. During this war, on August 7, 1673, a force of 600 Dutch soldiers under Captain Anthony Colve entered the Hudson River. The next day they attacked Fort James and took the fort on the 9th, As the British governor, Francis Lovelace was absent, the surrender was made by Captain John Manning. When Lovelace returned on Saturday August 12th, he was siezed and put in jail. With the fall of the fort the Dutch had retaken New York, they then took control of Albany and New Jersey, changing the name of the area to New Orange in honor of William III of Orange.

However these gains were temporary, as the lands were restored to the British at the end of the conflict by the Treaty of Westminster on February 9, 1674. The British governor, Major Edmund Andros, arrived in Manhattan on November 1st and gave the Dutch a week to leave. On November 10, the transfer was completed and Governor Colve and his soldiers marched out of the province. From that point the British controlled both the city and province of New York. Indeed, New York City remained the premier British military stronghold in America during the Revolutionary War and was not liberated until the British evacuation in 1783.


Oliver A. Rink, Holland on the Hudson: An Economic and Social History of Dutch New York, Ithaca, NY: Cornell, 1986; Dennis J. Maika, Commerce and Community: Manhattan Merchants in the Seventeenth Century, Ph.D. Dissertation, New York University, 1995; John Franklin Jameson, Narratives of New Netherland, 1609-1664, New York: Scribner, 1909.

Dordrecht Tourist Events 2013-2014

Dordrecht Ancient Capital of Holland

Counts of Holland Arms.svg Wapendordrecht
Coat of arms of the County of Holland Coat of arms of Dordrecht

Tourist Events Dordrecht in 2013

Dordrecht is one of the cities in the Netherlands that hosts the most events. Four highlights are given below.


Dordrecht's book market: Sunday 7 July 2013

A large book fair will be held on the first Sunday of July. From 10:00 to 17:30, antiquarian and second hand books will be for sale on almost 600 stands. Antiquarian book traders from throughout the Netherlands will have their most attractive books on display during this enticing market in the historic inner city. For ardent readers, collectors and everyone who is looking for a good book! Musical performances and other activities can be enjoyed at various locations. The art and antique shops of the Kunstrondje Dordt (Dordrecht Art Walk) are also open.


Big Rivers Festival:  12-14 July 2013

This free music festival starts in the week of 4 to 14 July with a Blues Cruise, the sing along festival Operade, an open air film, a music and poetry evening and other activities.  Watch and listen at the numerous stages in the inner city where bands will play to the public for free. Dance with us in a great atmosphere!


Open Monument Days Dordrecht : 14-15 September 2013

Dordrecht has around one thousand monuments. During the Open Monuments Days in the second weekend of September, almost 60 monuments and museums can be visited in the oldest city of Holland. Sneak a view of the oldest house in Dordrecht, visit the historic town hall or take a look at just one of the buildings that are specially opened for the occasion. Music ensembles will perform in many churches and buildings. On both days, there are also free city walks starting from 'Intree Dordrecht'. The Open Monumentendagen Dordrecht (Open Monuments Days Dordrecht) booklet is available from the start of September from the VVV (tourist office).


Saint Nicolas house:17 November-4 December 2013

From mid November, Saint Nicolas (a Dutch version of Father Christmas) takes up residence in the Saint Nicolas house in Dordrecht, which has been specially equipped for him and his retinue. The city puts a stylish home at his disposal. Enter the house and first visit Saint Nicolas himself. You can also take a look in the bathroom, the bedroom, the room where the presents are kept and the bakery where ginger nuts are made and where you can decorate a typically Dutch Taai-taai (a sort of rubbery biscuit) doll. The Saint Nicolas house is open from 17 November up to and including 4 December.

Christmas Market Dordrecht: 13-15 December 2013

During the Christmas market, the atmosphere in the historic inner city of Dordrecht is totally transformed into one of Christmas. The decorated stalls surround the medieval Grote Kerk, line the monumental Groenmarkt, bathe in the light of the illuminated Stadhuis and adorn the Voorstraat. Choirs and bands, hot snacks and a real Christmas skating rink on the Scheffersplein add to the atmosphere and pleasure. Enjoy the attractive Christmas trees and sing along with singers on the Stadhuisplein.

 Dordt in Stoom 2014: May 23, 24 and 25

In 2014, the largest steam power event in Europe will be held for the fiftteenth time in Dordrecht (the Netherlands). Organisers expect 250,000 visitors at this steam celebration. Admission to ‘Dordt in Steam’ is free. Day-tickets will be sold for round trips on historic transport (the ‘Steam circuit Dordt’ - Stoomrondje Dordt).

Selfmade flat-bottomed boat race on May 23

On friday, 1 June 2012 (16.15 hours), before the impressive naval parade on the river students of different schools in Dordrecht will have a race with their selfmade flat-bottomed boats at Groothoofd.

Naval parade on May 23

On friday evening, 1 June 2012, Dordt in Steam will open with an impressive naval parade on the river. This spectacle can be seen for free from the Groothoofd and the Merwekade between 20.00 and 21.30 hours.

Steam circuit Dordt

The gigantic event is spread across two areas in the city which are linked with (steam)ships, steam trains and old-timer busses. By purchasing a day-ticket for the ‘Steam circuit Dordt’, the visitor will have access to the various forms of historic transport at the event. It also includes admission to the Model Building Show. The day-ticket for the ‘Steam circuit Dordt’ is available at all departure points. Be aware that a round trip lasts at least three hours!

Groothoofd, Wolwevershaven & Merwekade

In the picturesque harbour area next to the Groothoofd, Kuipershaven, Wolwevershaven and the Merwekade, dozens of steam-powered ships, machines and vehicles will be on view. Steamboats will be making round trips on the river. For children, miniature steam trains will be operating. Various (steam)ships will be open for visitors. Sidewalk cafes and live music will provide a sparkling atmosphere. In the Wolweversharborarea ships and facades will be magical highlighted on Saturday evening.


On the Grevelingenweg, near the Hollandse Biesbosch nature reserve, a large model building show will be organised. International participants will display model trains, miniature steam powered machinery and model ships.

For all information about Dordrecht, Dordt in Stoom, reservations, tickets, roundtrips ‘Stoomrondjes Dordt ’and hotel reservations during Dordt in Stoom 2012:

Stichting Dordt in Stoom / VVV Zuid Holland-Zuid

Spuiboulevard 99 3311 GN Dordrecht

Phone 0900 4636888, Fax +31 78 61 31 783

internet , email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A video and pictures from Dordt in Stoom 2012

A selfmade flash slideshow of Dordt in Stoom 2008 .

Panorama Old Meuse river with Old Meuse bridge and steam-train, in the backgroud the Dordrecht Minster

Panorama Merwede river with view on the Groothoofds gate

Kuipers harbor, view to the river

Kuipers harbor, view to the Dordrecht Minster

Wolwevers harbor by night


Dordrechts Museum


Dordrechts Museum at the Museumstraat

The Dordrechts Museum, where they have a decent tea room with a view on a spacious garden, you can see old paintings from Dutch painters from the 15-19th century, including Albert Cuyp.

The most perfect collection of paintings from famous Dutch painters. some of them born at Dordrecht, you can find at the Dortsch Museum website, worth a visit to look at the beautiful paintings yourself. You can also look at some famous paintings and drawings from painters who were born and lived at Dordrecht on my Painters pages.

Museum Mr. Simon van Gijn

Museum Mr. Simon van Gijn at the New Harbor

Mr. Simon van Gijn, was a banker and accumulator (1864-1922). In his testament he left all his positions to Dordrecht. A nice museum with old dolls and toys of the 19th century, worth a visit. Museum van Gijn

There are several other museums in Dordrecht like :

Museum 1940-1945

Museum The Sleutel (beer museum)

In Zwijndrecht, opposite the river Old Meuse, a nice museum about World-War 2 with many original Tanks, Cars, etc.

Dutch National Park the Biesbosch

De Biesbosch ('forest of sedges' or 'rushwoods'), is one of the largest national parks of the Netherlands and one of the last freshwater tide areas in Europe. The Biesbosch consists of a rather large network of rivers and smaller and larger creeks with islands. The vegetation is mostly willow forests, although wet grasslands and fields of reed are common as well. The Biesbosch is an important wetland area for waterfowl and has a rich flora and fauna. It is especially important for migrating geese.

History of the Biesbosch

The Groote or Hollandsche Waard before the St. Elisabeth flood
click image to enlarge

The Biesbosch was created when 300 square kilometres of polder lands were submerged in the St. Elizabeth flood in the year 1421. Before this, the area was called Grote Hollandse Waard, containing cultivated land and a number of villages. The more than a century old dikes collapsed because of lack of maintenance, due to the difficult economic situation in the area, and the difficulties between the political entities within (especially the Hook and Cod (civil) wars)

One of the key factors in the flooding of the Grote Waard was the creation of a new dike in the southwest of the polder near the village of Broecke (on the spot of the present Moerdijk bridges). The ground beneath this dike was unstable, which was a known fact in this period of time. However, political rivalry and financial issues (combined with the general opinion that "nothing will happen anyway", a sort of overconfidence) resulted in the creation of an unstable dike, located at one of the key corners of the Grote Waard. It was the only place where high tides coming directly from the North Sea could penetrate the land deeply and could reach a primary "keystone" dike of the Grote Waard (most of the primary dikes were used as protection against rivers instead).

The St. Elizabeth flood (November 18, 1421) or the collapse of the Hollandsche Waard

Very high river levels combined with a severe storm surge coming in from the sea caused the collapse of the southwest dike and several riverdikes, resulting in the flooding of most of the Grote Hollandse Waard. After the flood, three areas remained: the Island of Dordrecht to the west, the Land van Altena (with the city of Woudrichem) to the east, and the brackish swamps of the Biesbosch in between. Many villages (by tradition 72) were swallowed by the flood and were lost, causing (again by tradition) either 2,000 or 10,000 casualties. Some towns had more luck and submerged, only to rise above the water later on. Many Rhine-Meuse delta branches that were closed off from the main rivers and served as drainage bodies of the Grote Waard, also disappeared. These include the Dubbel (the name of which survives in Dubbeldam), Eem, Werken (after which Werkendam is named), Alm (which lent its name to Almkerk; the eastern part survived) and most of the main drainage stream: the Oude Maas (a small part survives in the form of the Oude Maasje

The most important of these drainage bodies of the Grote Waard were the Hollands Diep (to the southwest) and the (shallow) Bergse Veld (to the southeast). Both were connected to the Haringvliet which existed before the disaster as a pure seawater inlet of the North Sea. After the disaster it became brackish and an important estuary of the rivers Rhine and Meuse. A persistent misunderstanding is that the Biesbosch arose by this storm flood in one night. It is true that this flood broke dikes of the then Grote Hollandse Waard or Zuid Hollandse Waard, but it needed dozens of years before the whole area was under water and had changed to the Biesbosch with its creeks and reeds.

The Biesbosch seen from the North
click image to enlarge

The Biesbosch is now the furthest inland body of water and a fairly large nature reserve, now partly on and opposite to the Island of Dordrecht. where the tides are still experienced. Until the 1960s the tide between ebb and flood had a difference of almost 2,5 meters, after the Delta works were finished the Biesosch lost its direct connection to the North Sea and from that time on the difference between ebb and flood is about 1 meter.

The dotted line is the canal New Merwede dug in 1870
click imae to enlarge

In former days the whole Biesbosch was part of the province of South-Holland, called the Hollandsche or Groote Waard. In 1870 a new canal (New Merwede) was digged across the Hollandse Waard to form a branch in the Rhine-Meuse delta. It was dug along the general trajectories of a number of minor Biesbosch creeks to reduce the risk of flooding by diverting the water away from the Beneden Merwede, and to facilitate navigation and regulate river traffic in the increasingly silted-up delta. The part of the Biesbosch south of the new canal was assigned to the province of North-Brabant.

 The story of the Saint Elisabeth flood you can find on this website.

If you like more informationabout a visit, a trip by boat or a trip with a rent-boat to sail through the Kreken (Canals) yourself, go to the website of the Visitors-Center of The Biesbosch and you find a lot of information about travel routes and a permanent exposition etc. HERE and HERE.

 Some videos and Pictures from the Biesbosch


Panorama view of The Biesbosch.


Small island in the Biesbosch



Water nature in the Biesbosch


Kreek (nature canal) in the Biesbosch


Water nature in the Biesbosch


Kreek (nature canal) in the Biesbosch


Kreek (nature canal) in the Biesbosch



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