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what is the history of French Huguenots in the Netherlands?

2 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Huguenot exodus from France

    Asylum in the Netherlands

    French Huguenots already fought in the low lands alongside the Dutch and against Spain during the first years of the Dutch Revolt. The Dutch Republic became rapidly the exile haven of choice for Huguenots. Early ties were already visible in the Apologie of William the Silent, condemning the Spanish Inquisition and written by his court reverend Huguenot Pierre L'Oyseleur, lord of Villiers.

    Louise de Coligny, sister of murdered Huguenot leader Gaspard de Coligny had married the calvinist Dutch revolt leader William the Silent. And as both spoke French in everyday life, their court church in the Prinsenhof in Delft was providing

    French spoken Calvinist services, a practice still continued to today. The Prinsenhof is now one of the remaining 14 active Walloon churches of the Dutch Reformed Church.

    These very early ties between Huguenots and the Dutch Republic's military and political leadership, the House of Orange-Nassau, since the early days of the Dutch Revolt explains the many early settlements of Huguenots in the Dutch Republic's colonies around Cape of Good Hope in South-Africa and the New Netherlands colony in America.

    Stadtholder William III of Orange, who later became King of England, emerged as the strongest opponent of Louis XIV, after Louis' attack on the Dutch Republic in 1672. He formed the League of Augsburg as main opposition coalition. Consequently many Huguenots saw the wealthy and calvinist Dutch Republic, leading the opposition against Louis XIV, as the most attractive country for exile after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. They also found established many more French speaking calvinist churches there.

    The Dutch Republic received the largest group of Huguenot refugees with an estimated 75,000 to 100,000 Huguenots after the revocation of the Edict. Amongst them were 200 reverends. This was a huge influx, the entire population of the Dutch Republic amounted to ca. 2 million at that time. Around 1700 it is estimated that near 25% of the Amsterdam population was Huguenot. Amsterdam and the area of West-Frisia were the first areas providing full citizens rights to Huguenots in 1705, followed by the entire Dutch Republic in 1715. Huguenots married with Dutch from the outset.

    One of the most prominent Huguenots refugees to the Netherlands was Pierre Bayle, who started teaching in Rotterdam, while publishing his multi-volume masterpiece Historical and Critical Dictionary. Which became one of the one hundred foundational texts that formed the first collection of the US Library of Congress.

    Most Huguenot descendents in the Netherlands today are recognisable by French family names with typical Dutch surnames. Due to their early ties with the Dutch Revolt's leadership and even participation in the revolt, parts of the Dutch patriciate is of Huguenot descent. After 1815, when the Netherlands became a monarchy under the House of Orange-Nassau, some Huguenot patriciate families have been provided with an aristocratic predicate.



    In 1550 Amsterdam had about 10 to 12 thousand inhabitants and merchants were starting to explore the world seas. In 1585 The Spanish troops under command of Alva conquered Antwerp and 19.000 Protestants -Baptists and Lutherans- escaped and went north. Amongst those were a lot of merchants and skilled craftsman and many of them settled in Amsterdam and gave the city an enormous economical impulse.

    In 1598 a ship loaded with Portuguese Jews arrived in Amsterdam. At the end of the 15th century the Spanish Jews were persecuted and went to Portugal, but now Spain had annexed Portugal and they had the choice of being converted to Catholicism or end up being burned at the stake. Most of these Jews were wealthy merchants and they invested in the Amsterdam trading companies and founded synagogues, of which some still exist.

    Not all Portuguese Jews were rich, but they were a lot better off than their East European fellow-believer. In the 17th century they were constantly persecuted and threatened by pogroms and the ones who had the chance, escaped to saver places like Amsterdam. They were penniless and it was hard for them to build a new existence. The Portuguese Jews took care of them, but soon the number of High German Jews exceeded the number of their Portuguese brothers. They too founded their own synagogues close to the ones of the Portuguese Jews. This neighborhood is still known as the Jewish quarter although W.W.II made and end to the hegemony of the Jewish population.

    The Jews have always had a huge influence on many aspects of Amsterdam, they made the city one of the most important diamond centers in the world, and they even added several typical words and expressions, which originated from Hebrew, to the Amsterdam dialect.

    Source(s): On 18th Oct. 1685 Louis XIV and cardinal Richelieu made an end to the relative freedom of the French Protestants, the so-called Huguenots, by the "Edict of Fontainebleau". This was the beginning of violence, the systematic destruction of Protestant properties and the for France disastrous exodus of 400.000 Huguenots. Many of them moved to Amsterdam and gave the city a new impulse. But the economy of Amsterdam was declining and many of them moved on, a small group went to South Africa, other groups went to America and had an important influence on the colonist's population.
  • ?
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Dutch Huguenots

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