Date modified 16 mei 2010

The Golden Age

When the Dutch ruled the waves.

The oldest traced person in Hans's paternal line, is Jan Willemsz van Bosch. His last name probably refers to "coming from 's-Hertogenbosch", the city which was also known as "den Bosch" or "Bosch" at the time. It seems likely that Jan Willemsz arrived in Delft around 1648: the christening of his son Johannes took place in 1649 in Delft, but that of his older son Willem was not found and probably took place in another town (maybe 's-Hertogenbosch as he as only child in the document was referred to as "Van Bosch"). At the time of his death, Jan Willemsz was a widower (his wife Ariaantje Jans was last witness in december 1672) and had children in age of 9 to well over 20. The youngest children Magdaleentje (9), Joris (11) and Lena (15) were probably cared for by the oldest son Willem, who had married Petronella Salomons in 1667. Willem - who was also referred to as "Cnoopmaecker" (button maker) - and his wife were present at most of the christenings of Joris's children. A document was found in the archives of Delft describing his belongings after he had died there in 1677. It shows that not all people benefited from the increase in wealth that took place in the Netherlands in the 17th century:
Inheritance of Jan Willemsz van Bosch

Historical context

At the end of the 16th and beginning of the 17th century a lot of people from the south fled to the country that was internationally acknowledged in 1648 as the Republic of the United Netherlands. Most of these southerners had fled for the Spanish troups who were agressively suppressing the new and popular Protestant religion, particularly in the cities of what's now known as Belgium. With their arts, skills and knowledge the immigrants were responsible for a enormous impulse to the Dutch economy and culture, explaining why the 17th century now is known in the Netherlands as the Golden Age. For instance, they helped founding the world's first multinational: the "Verenigde Oost-indische Compagnie". In Delft (one of the VOC cities) particularly the faience industry boomed, inspired by the import of Chinese porcellain, Delft Blue was invented.