Paulus Buys

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Paulus Buys

Paulus Buys, heer van Zevenhoven and (from 1592) Capelle ter Vliet [1] (Amersfoort, 1531 IJsselstein, Manor house Capelle ter Vliet, 4 May 1594 ) was Grand Pensionary of Holland between 1572 and 1584.

Zevenhoven Village in South Holland, Netherlands

Zevenhoven is a village in the Dutch province of South Holland. It is a part of the municipality of Nieuwkoop and lies about 9 km northeast of Alphen aan den Rijn.

Amersfoort City and municipality in Utrecht, Netherlands

Amersfoort[ˈaːmərsfoːrt](listen) is a city and municipality in the province of Utrecht, Netherlands. In August 2017, the municipality had a population of 155,089, making it the second-largest of the province and fifteenth-largest of the country. Amersfoort is also one of the largest Dutch railway junctions with its three stations—Amersfoort, Schothorst and Vathorst—due to its location on two of the Netherlands' main east to west and north to south railway lines. The city was used during the 1928 Summer Olympics as a venue for the modern pentathlon events. Amersfoort marked its 750th anniversary as a city in 2009.

IJsselstein City and Municipality in Utrecht, Netherlands

IJsselstein is a municipality and a city in the Netherlands, in the province of Utrecht. IJsselstein received city rights in 1331. IJsselstein owes its name to the river Hollandse IJssel which flows through the city. It is a major commuting suburb for the Utrecht area, along with neighbouring towns Houten and Nieuwegein. It's surrounded by the municipalities of Utrecht, Montfoort, Lopik, Vijfheerenlanden and Nieuwegein.



Buys was born in a wealthy family in Amersfoort in the province of Utrecht. He studied law in France and worked as lawyer at the court of Holland for a few years. In 1561, he became pensionary of Leiden. Later on he also became 'hoogheemraad' (the chief official) of the 'Hoogheemraadschap van Rijnland' (Dutch constitutional body for the security of dikes and polders against the sea and the rivers) of Rhineland (the area around Leiden). Pensionaries were well paid. His task was to advise the city council on legal affairs and serve as the representative of Leiden at the estates of Holland.

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.

Hof van Holland

The Hof van Holland, Zeeland en West-Friesland was the High Court of the provinces of Holland and Zeeland, instituted as a separate entity of the government of the Counties of Holland and Zeeland in 1428, under the Burgundian and Habsburg Netherlands, and continued with little change under the Dutch Republic, Batavian Republic, and the Kingdom of Holland, until its dissolution in 1811 by the First French Empire. It should not be confused with the Hoge Raad van Holland en Zeeland which was the supreme court, founded in 1582 by the States-General of the Netherlands and intended for the entire Dutch Republic. The Hof was in practice the main Appellate court in Holland and Zeeland, and in number of cases-handled the most important in the entire Dutch Republic and its Precedents played an important role in the development of Roman-Dutch law, which is still influential in Southern Africa.

Leiden City and municipality in South Holland, Netherlands

Leiden is a city and municipality in the province of South Holland, Netherlands. The municipality of Leiden had a population of 123,856 in August 2017, but the city forms one densely connected agglomeration with its suburbs Oegstgeest, Leiderdorp, Voorschoten and Zoeterwoude with 206,647 inhabitants. The Netherlands Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) further includes Katwijk in the agglomeration which makes the total population of the Leiden urban agglomeration 270,879, and in the larger Leiden urban area also Teylingen, Noordwijk, and Noordwijkerhout are included with in total 348,868 inhabitants. Leiden is located on the Oude Rijn, at a distance of some 20 kilometres from The Hague to its south and some 40 km (25 mi) from Amsterdam to its north. The recreational area of the Kaag Lakes (Kagerplassen) lies just to the northeast of Leiden.

Paulus Buys was appointed as land's advocate of Holland in 1572 before Calvinists took the county. As representative of Holland, he vetoed the decision of the duke of Alva to raise taxes at the estates general of the Netherlands in Brussels. Because of this, he had to flee from the Netherlands and joined Prince William of Orange in Arnstadt. Paulus Buys was Roman Catholic, but he, like many moderate Catholics, joined the rebels (Protestantism was a minority faith in Holland at that time) and secretly helped raising armies for the cause of the prince when he came back to Leiden in the same year. He refused to admit a Spanish garrison in Leiden. Leiden became a part of rebel territory still in 1572. Buys became the head of the rebel 'Raad van State' (one of the constitutional bodies of the Netherlands) in 1573, which would make him the rebel leader if William of Orange died at the siege of Haarlem. The prince did not go to Haarlem, which fell to the Spanish.

Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba Spanish military leader and diplomat

Fernando Álvarez de Toledo y Pimentel, 3rd Duke of Alba, known as the Grand Duke of Alba in Spain and the Iron Duke in the Netherlands, was a Spanish noble, general, and diplomat. He was titled the 3rd Duke of Alba de Tormes, 4th Marquess of Coria, 3rd Count of Salvatierra de Tormes, 2nd Count of Piedrahita, 8th Lord of Valdecorneja, Grandee of Spain, and a Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece. His motto in Latin was Deo patrum Nostrorum, which in English means "To the God of our fathers".

Brussels Capital region of Belgium

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William the Silent founder of the Dutch Republic, stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland and Utrecht, leader of the Dutch Revolt

William I, Prince of Orange, also known as William the Silent or William the Taciturn, or more commonly known as William of Orange, was the main leader of the Dutch Revolt against the Spanish Habsburgs that set off the Eighty Years' War (1568–1648) and resulted in the formal independence of the United Provinces in 1581. He was born in the House of Nassau as Count of Nassau-Dillenburg. He became Prince of Orange in 1544 and is thereby the founder of the branch House of Orange-Nassau and the ancestor of the monarchy of the Netherlands. Within the Netherlands, he is also known as Father of the Fatherland.

Buys was the leader of the inundations (opening of dikes to let the water of the sea in) during the siege of Leiden in 1574. The water drowned the Spanish cannons, so the Spanish had to lift the siege. He was the leader of the reconstruction of Leiden and appealed to the prince of Orange to establish the Leiden University. He was curator of the university. In 1575, he went to England to try to convince Elizabeth I of England to ally with rebel Holland and the prince of Orange. Elizabeth refused.

Siege of Leiden siege

The Siege of Leiden occurred during the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo–Spanish War in 1573 and 1574, when the Spanish under Francisco de Valdez attempted to capture the rebellious city of Leiden, South Holland, the Netherlands. In the end the siege failed when the city was successfully relieved in October 1574.

Leiden University university in the Netherlands

Leiden University is a public research university in Leiden, Netherlands. Founded in 1575 by William, Prince of Orange, leader of the Dutch Revolt in the Eighty Years' War, it is the oldest university in the Netherlands. It is known for its historic foundations, emphasis on the social sciences, and student-run societies.

Curator content specialist charged with an institutions collections and involved with the interpretation of heritage material

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Paulus Buys was one of the founders of the Union of Utrecht in 1579, which made an end to the Union of Brussels, which was founded by the prince of Orange. Prince William of Orange was killed in 1584. Paulus Buys lost his mainstay and left the estates of Holland, probably because he thought that they were overly supportive of France. Buys was an advocate of the English, and he became the chief adviser [2] of the Earl of Leicester, when the latter was sent to the Netherlands to aid the rebels with an English army. Leicester first supported Buys against political rivals, [3] but within two months fell out with him. As Elizabeth I seemed to drawback her support for the Dutch, Leicester was convinced that Buys intrigued against him behind his back. [4] Buys was arrested in July 1586 by the town of Utrecht, to Leicester's contentment. [5] Many cities asked for his release, but he remained imprisoned for half a year and was released after the payment of a very large amount of money as ransom. This was the end of his political career. He lost his last profession as curator of Leiden university in 1591, because of his authoritarian behaviour. He sold his possessions in Leiden and moved to IJsselstein, where he died in 1594.

Union of Utrecht 1579 treaty unifying the northern Netherlands provinces

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Union of Brussels

There were two Unions of Brussels, both formed in the end of the 1570s, in the opening stages of the Eighty Years' War, the war of secession from Spanish control, which lasted from 1568 to 1648. Brussels was at that time the capital of the Spanish Netherlands.

Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester English nobleman and the favourite and close friend of Queen Elizabeth I

Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, was an English statesman and the favourite of Elizabeth I from her accession until his death. He was a suitor for the Queen's hand for many years.


His son is most likely Cornelis Buys (*1559), who inherited the manors Capelle ter Vliet and Zevenhoven in 1592 - the year Paulus Buys died. Cornelis Buys was a member of the General Chamber of Auditors of the County Holland and also a court clerk there. It is not known when Cornelis Buys died.

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.

A court clerk is an officer of the court whose responsibilities include maintaining records of a court. Another duty is to administer oaths to witnesses, jurors, and grand jurors.


  1. The Manor House Capelle ter Vliet near IJsselstein
  2. Bruce p. xlii
  3. Bruce p. 33
  4. Bruce p. 130
  5. Bruce p. 352

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Political offices
Preceded by
Jacob van den Eynde
Land's Advocate of Holland
Succeeded by
Johan van Oldenbarnevelt