Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange

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Frederick Henry
Prince of Orange
Frederik Hendrik by Michiel Jansz van Mierevelt.jpg
Prince of Orange
In office
1625–1647
Preceded by Maurice
Succeeded by William II
Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders, and Overijssel
In office
1625–1647
Preceded by Maurice, Prince of Orange
Succeeded by William II, Prince of Orange
Personal details
Born(1584-01-29)29 January 1584
Delft, Dutch Republic
Died14 March 1647(1647-03-14) (aged 63)
The Hague, Dutch Republic
Resting place Nieuwe Kerk, Delft, Netherlands
52°00′44″N4°21′39″E / 52.0123°N 4.3609°E / 52.0123; 4.3609
Spouse(s) Amalia of Solms-Braunfels
Children William II, Prince of Orange
Louise Henriette, Duchess of Prussia
Henriette Amalia of Nassau
Elisabeth of Nassau
Isabella Charlotte of Nassau
Albertine Agnes of Nassau
Henriette Catherine, Princess of Anhalt-Dessau
Henry Louis of Nassau
Maria, Countess Palatine of Simmern-Kaiserslautern
Parents William the Silent
Louise de Coligny

Frederick Henry, or Frederik Hendrik in Dutch (29 January 1584 – 14 March 1647), was the sovereign Prince of Orange and stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders, and Overijssel from 1625 to 1647. He was the grandfather of William III of England.

Dutch language West Germanic language

Dutch(Nederlands ) is a West Germanic language spoken by around 23 million people as a first language and 5 million people as a second language, constituting the majority of people in the Netherlands and Belgium. It is the third most widely spoken Germanic language, after its close relatives English and German.

Prince of Orange title originally from the Principality of Orange

Prince of Orange is a title originally associated with the sovereign Principality of Orange, in what is now southern France. Under the Treaty of Utrecht of 1713, Frederick William I of Prussia ceded the Principality of Orange to King Louis XIV of France. After William III of England died without children, a dispute arose between Johan Willem Friso and Frederick I of Prussia, which was settled in the Treaty of Partition (1732); consequently, Friso's son, William IV had to share use of the title "Prince of Orange" with Frederick William I of Prussia. The title is traditionally borne by the heir apparent of the Dutch monarch. The title descends via absolute primogeniture since 1983, meaning that its holder can be either Prince or Princess of Orange.

Stadtholder title used in parts of Europe

In the Low Countries, stadtholder was an office of steward, designated a medieval official and then a national leader. The stadtholder was the replacement of the duke or earl of a province during the Burgundian and Habsburg period (1384–1581/1795).

Contents

As the leading soldier in the Dutch wars against Spain, his main achievement was the successful Siege of 's-Hertogenbosch in 1629. It was the main Spanish base and a well-fortified city protected by an experienced Spanish garrison and by formidable water defenses. His strategy was the successful neutralization of the threat of inundation of the area around 's-Hertogenbosch and his capture of the Spanish storehouse at Wesel. [1]

Siege of s-Hertogenbosch

The Siege of 's-Hertogenbosch also known as the Siege of Bois-Le-Duc was an action in 1629, during the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo–Spanish War in which a Dutch and English army captured the city of 's-Hertogenbosch. The city had been loyal to the King of Spain since 1579 and was part of the Spanish Netherlands.

Wesel Place in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Wesel is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is the capital of the Wesel district.

Biography

Early life

Frederick Henry was born on 29 January 1584 in Delft, Holland, Dutch Republic. He was the youngest child of William the Silent and Louise de Coligny. His father William was stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, and Friesland. His mother Louise was daughter of the Huguenot leader Gaspard de Coligny, and was the fourth wife of his father. He was thus the half brother of his predecessor Maurice of Orange, deceased in 1625.

Delft City and municipality in South Holland, Netherlands

Delft is a city and municipality in the province of South Holland, Netherlands. It is located between Rotterdam, to the southeast, and The Hague, to the northwest. Together with them, it is part of both Rotterdam–The Hague metropolitan area and the Randstad.

Holland Region and former province on the western coast of the Netherlands

Holland is a region and former province on the western coast of the Netherlands. The name Holland is also frequently used informally to refer to the whole of the country of the Netherlands. This usage is commonly accepted in other countries, and sometimes employed by the Dutch themselves. However, some in the Netherlands, particularly those from regions outside Holland, may find it undesirable or misrepresentative to use the term for the whole country.

Dutch Republic Republican predecessor state of the Netherlands from 1581 to 1795

The Dutch Republic, or the United Provinces, was a confederal republic that existed from the formal creation of a confederacy in 1581 by several Dutch provinces—seceded from Spanish rule—until the Batavian Revolution of 1795. It was a predecessor state of the Netherlands and the first Dutch nation state.

Frederick Henry was born six months before his father's assassination on 10 July 1584. The boy was trained to arms by his elder brother Maurice, one of the finest generals of his age. After Maurice threatened to legimitize his illegitimate children if he did not marry, Frederick Henry married Amalia of Solms-Braunfels in 1625. His illegitimate son by Margaretha Catharina Bruyns (1595–1625), Frederick Nassau de Zuylestein was born in 1624 before his marriage. This son later became the governor of the young William III of England for seven years.

Assassination murder of a prominent person, often a political leader or ruler

Assassination is the act of killing a prominent person for either political, religious or monetary reasons.

Amalia of Solms-Braunfels Regent of Orange

Amalia of Solms-Braunfels, was Princess consort of Orange by marriage to Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange. She acted as the political adviser of her spouse during his reign, and acted as his de facto deputy and regent during his infirmity from 1640–47. She also served as chair of the regency council during the minority of her grandson William III, Prince of Orange from 1650 until 1672. She was the daughter of count John Albert I of Solms-Braunfels and countess Agnes of Sayn-Wittgenstein.

Frederick Nassau de Zuylestein Illegitimate son of Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange

Frederick of Nassau, Lord of Zuylestein (1624–1672) was an illegitimate son of Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange, by Margaretha Catharina Bruyns,

Stadtholder

Equestrian portrait of Frederick Henry by Anselm van Hulle Anselm van Hulle (Attr.) - Equestrian portrait of Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange.PNG
Equestrian portrait of Frederick Henry by Anselm van Hulle
Engraving of Frederick Henry by Anselm van Hulle. Anselmus-van-Hulle-Hommes-illustres MG 0442.tif
Engraving of Frederick Henry by Anselm van Hulle.

On the death of Maurice in 1625 without legitimate issue, Frederick Henry succeeded him in his paternal dignities and estates, and also in the stadtholderates of the five provinces of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Overijssel and Guelders, and in the important posts of captain and admiral-general of the Union (commander-in-chief of the Dutch States Army and of the Dutch navy).

Zeeland Province of the Netherlands

Zeeland is the westernmost and least populous province of the Netherlands. The province, located in the south-west of the country, consists of a number of islands and peninsulas and a strip bordering Belgium. Its capital is Middelburg. Its area is about 2,930 square kilometres (1,130 sq mi), of which almost 1,140 square kilometres (440 sq mi) is water, and it has a population of about 380,000.

Utrecht (province) Province of the Netherlands

Utrecht is a province of the Netherlands. It is located in the centre of the country, bordering the Eemmeer in the north-east, the province of Gelderland in the east and south-east, the province of South Holland in the west and south-west and the province of North Holland in the north-west and north. With an area of approximately 1,400 square kilometres (540 sq mi), it is the smallest of the twelve Dutch provinces. Apart from its eponymous capital, major cities in the province are Amersfoort, Houten, Nieuwegein, Veenendaal, IJsselstein and Zeist.

Overijssel Province of the Netherlands

Overijssel is a province of the Netherlands located in the eastern part of the country. The province's name translates to "across the IJssel", from the perspective of the Episcopal principality of Utrecht by which it was held until 1528. The capital city of Overijssel is Zwolle and the largest city is Enschede. The province had a population of 1,142,360 in 2015.

Frederick Henry proved himself almost as good a general as his brother, and a far more capable statesman and politician. For twenty-two years he remained at the head of government in the United Provinces, and in his time the power of the stadtholderate reached its highest point. The "Period of Frederick Henry," as it is usually styled by Dutch writers, is generally accounted the golden age of the republic. It was marked by great military and naval triumphs, by worldwide maritime and commercial expansion, and by a wonderful outburst of activity in the domains of art and literature.

Dutch Golden Age Historical period of the Netherlands from 1575 to 1675

The Dutch Golden Age was a period in the history of the Netherlands, roughly spanning the 17th century, in which Dutch trade, science, military, and art were among the most acclaimed in the world. The first section is characterized by the Eighty Years' War, which ended in 1648. The Golden Age continued in peacetime during the Dutch Republic until the end of the century.

The chief military exploits of Frederick Henry were the sieges and captures of Grol in 1627, 's-Hertogenbosch in 1629, of Maastricht in 1632, of Breda in 1637, of Sas van Gent in 1644, and of Hulst in 1645. During the greater part of his administration the alliance with France against Spain had been the pivot of Frederick Henry's foreign policy, but in his last years he sacrificed the French alliance for the sake of concluding a separate peace with Spain, by which the United Provinces obtained from that power all the advantages they had been seeking for eighty years.

Frederick Henry built the country houses Huis Honselaarsdijk, Huis ter Nieuwburg, and for his wife Huis ten Bosch, and he renovated the Noordeinde Palace in The Hague. Huis Honselaarsdijk and Huis ter Nieuwburg are now demolished. [2]

Death

Funeral procession of Frederik Hendrik prince of Orange.jpg
The funeral procession of Frederik Hendrik, etching with colour, h 225mm × w 565mm.

Frederick Henry died on 14 March 1647 in The Hague, Holland, Dutch Republic. He left his wife Amalia of Solms-Braunfels, his son William II, Prince of Orange, four of his daughters, and his illegitimate son Frederick Nassau de Zuylestein.

On Frederick Henry's death, he was buried with great pomp beside his father and brother at Delft. The treaty of Munster, ending the long struggle between the Dutch and the Spaniards, was not actually signed until 30 January 1648, the illness and death of the stadtholder having caused a delay in the negotiations. Frederick Henry left an account of his campaigns in his Mémoires de Frédéric Henri (Amsterdam, 1743). See Cambridge Mod. Hist. vol. iv. chap. 24.

His widow commissioned an elaborate mausoleum in the Oranjezaal , a panoramic painted ballroom with scenes from his life and allegories of good government based on his achievements.

Children

Prince Frederick Henry and his wife Amalia of Solms-Braunfels and his three youngest daughters, portrayed by Gerard van Honthorst. Gerrit van Honthorst - Frederik Hendrik met familie.jpg
Prince Frederick Henry and his wife Amalia of Solms-Braunfels and his three youngest daughters, portrayed by Gerard van Honthorst.

Frederick Henry and his wife Amalia of Solms-Braunfels had nine children, being seven daughters and two sons. Four of their children, including one son, died in childhood, leaving Frederick Henry with only a single son as heir. Ultimately, after the death of Frederick Henry's only male-line grandson, the stadtholdership was to pass to a distant agnatic cousin, who was married to Frederick Henry's daughter Albertine Agnes. Frederick Henry's children were:

Frederick Henry recognized one illegitimate child by Margaretha Catharina Bruyns:

Ancestors

Frederick Henry's ancestors in three generations
Frederick Henry, Prince of OrangeFather:
William the Silent
Paternal Grandfather:
William I, Count of Nassau-Dillenburg
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Count John V of Nassau-Dillenburg
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Landgravine Elisabeth of Hesse-Marburg
Paternal Grandmother:
Juliana of Stolberg
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Bodo VIII, Count of Stolberg-Wernigerode
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Anna of Eppstein-Königstein
Mother:
Louise de Coligny
Maternal Grandfather:
Gaspard de Coligny
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Gaspard I de Coligny
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Louise de Montmorency
Maternal Grandmother:
Charlotte de Laval
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Guy XVI de Laval, Comte de Laval
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Antoinette de Daillon

Coat of Arms and Titles

Gartered arms of Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange Coat of arms of Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange.png
Gartered arms of Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange
Arms of Frederick Henry used as Prince of Orange Arms of William Henry, Prince of Orange, Count of Nassau.svg
Arms of Frederick Henry used as Prince of Orange

Frederick Henry, besides being Stadholder of several provinces and Captain-General, both non-hereditary and appointive titles:

Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders, and Overijssel;

he was the hereditary sovereign of the principality of Orange in what is today Provence in France. He also was the lord of many other estates, which formed his wealth:

List of Military Battles

Frederick Henry participated in these battles as principal Dutch commander:

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References

  1. Israel, The Dutch Republic (1995) p 507
  2. Poelhekke, J.J. (2008). "Hoofdstuk IX". Frederik Hendrik. Prins van Oranje. Een biografisch drieluik (in Dutch). Digitale Bibliotheek voor de Nederlandse Letteren. Retrieved 2008-08-07.

Further reading

Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange
Cadet branch of the House of Nassau
Born: 29 January 1584 Died: 14 March 1647
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Maurice
Prince of Orange
Baron of Breda

1625–1647
Succeeded by
William II
Political offices
Preceded by
Maurice of Nassau
Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland,
Utrecht, Guelders and Overijssel

1625–1647
Succeeded by
William II