KING STADHOLDER WILLEM III (1650-1702) & ADMIRAL MICHIEL DE RUYTER (1607-1676)
Willem III of Orange was stadholder of the Republic of the seven united Netherlands and King of England. He was born in 1650 as the son of Stadholder Willem II & Maria Stuart eight days after the death of his father. After the death of Willem II the nobility had decided that no member of the House of Orange would ever be allowed to gain power.
1672 is known as the year of disaster. The Dutch protestant republic was attacked by catholic troops from France England and Cologne and Munster. The people were scared and wanted a member of the House of Orange to save them. So in 1672 Willem III became stadholder to save the republic and with success.
Admiral Michiel de Ruyter helped him defeat the English at sea. In 1652 de Ruyter won the battle of Plymouth and he also had victory in the third Dutch English war (1672-1674).
In 1677 Willem married the 15 year old Maria Stuart II a cousin of the King of England.
In 1685 Maria’s father became King James II of England. He was catholic. Some of the English noblemen asked Willem for his help to remove James II from the throne. Willem was afraid that the catholic James would plot against him together with catholic France.
In 1688 he crossed the channel to expel King James. This was called the glorious revolution. James fled to France and Willem & Mary became equal King and Queen of England. In 1690 King James tried to invade via Ireland. This battle of the Boyne was won by William and is still commemorated by the protestant Irish each year on th 12th of july during their Orange marches.
(info from Historiek net)
Here are some souvenirs from our collection:
- Porcelain figurine of King William on his horse.
- two pins from ca 1890 made to commemorate the battle of the Boyne
- Wine glass William III on horseback with the words ‘THE GLORIOUS MEMORY OF KING WILLIAM NO SURRENDER’ and ‘BOYNE 1ST JULY 1690 .T.C. .S.C.’ Made for Orange Lodges and to meet collectors demand in the late 19th and early 20th century. Made by The Potters Alley glassworks Dublin.
- Silver spoon 19 cm long with year letter (J)=1818, and a portrait in relief of Admiral Michiel de Ruyter(1607-1676). He was a national hero and commander in chief of the Dutch navy. He won several sea battles against the English.In 1659 he helped to recapture several Danish Islands for which he received a knighthood from Danish King Frederik III. Michiel is buried in the New Church in Amsterdam.
- Silver spoon with portrait of admiral Michiel de Ruyter.