Monday, 7 December 2009

Dutch names in English service

Following the Glorious Revolution of 1688, several Dutch officers that came with William of Orange were naturalized and/or were elevated to a peerage in England or Ireland. Several of these individuals held a colonelcy of a regiment during the war of Spanish Succession. With these several titles it is easy to confuse officers, and difficult to find someone (like the author experienced on more than a number of occasions!). Though all lineage and genealogy of men under consideration can be retrieved from online sources, the author thought it handy to have it all in on one page ('achterkant van een bierviltje'). As such, it is not the intention to provide extensive biographical details here. For this the author refers the reader to, e.g., the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. However, it is hoped that this little post will be of use to other people as well. Also, the scope of this article is limited to the period from the Glorious Revolution until the end of the War of Spanish Succession.

The author welcomes any remarks and comments on this article's contents and, more important, omissions.

Hans Willem, Baron Bentinck
b.1649, d.1709. Known foremost as a close and intimate friend of William III of Orange. Was colonel of the Regiment Gardes te Paard. In April 1689 he was created Baron Cirencester, Viscount Woodstock, and Earl of Portland being the title for which Bentinck is known best.

His second and eldest surviving son Hendrik (b.1682, d.1726) inherited the title 2nd Earl of Portland in 1709, and was in 1715 elevated as Duke of Portland and Marquess of Titchfield. In 1710 he assumed the colonelcy of the 1st Troop of Horse Guards.

Willem - Frederik van Nassau - Zuylestein
b.1649, d.1708. Another Dutch soldier closely related to William of Orange: Willem - Frederik's father was the illegitimate son of Frederik Hendrik van Nassau, the grandfather of William III of Orange. He commanded a regiment of horse during the Glorious Revolution and was naturalized afterwards. In 1695 he was created Baron Enfield, Viscount Tunbridge, and Earl of Rochford.

His eldest son William van Nassau van Zuylestein (b.1681?, d.1710) became the 2nd Earl of Rochford in 1708. Upon his father elevation to the peerage as earl, William was styled as Lord Tunbridge. Under that title we find an regiment of foot raised in 1706 and placed in the Irish Establishment. In 1707 he took command of a regiment of dragoons in Spain, and was killed at the battle of Almenara on 27 July 1710.

Another son, Maurits (b.1685, d.1720), or Maurice in English, took command of a regiment of foot in 1711, that has been raised in 1704 in Ireland.

Hendrik, graaf van Nassau - Ouwerkerk
b.1640, d.1708. Also closely related to William III (Hendrik's father was an illegitimate son of Maurits van Nassau, Prins van Oranje, being a great - uncle of William III), and was colonel of the Gardes du Corps (Life Guards) between 1672 and 1708. Following the invasion of England in 1688, he was naturalized. He was, however, not elevated to a peerage. In English his name is usually spelled as Overkirk. In Dalton (see the blog's bibliography) he is listed under the French version de Nassau d'Auverquerque however.

His second son Hendrik (b.1673, d.1754) was created Earl of Grantham, Viscount Boston and Baron Alford in 1698.

His youngest son Frans (b.1682, d.1710) (in Dalton listed as François de Nassau d'Auverquerque) raised a regiment of foot in 1706, and in 1707 assumed command of a regiment of dragoons in Spain raised by the 3rd Earl of Peterborough. He would be killed in the battle of Almenara on 27 July 1710 as well.

The Earl of Athlone and and the Earl of Albemarle are subject of a second article.


Anonymous said...

There are stili female decendants of Nassau-Zuilenstein living in England. They are directly related to William the Silent of Orange and therefore more entiteld to be Queen of The Netherlands than the Oueen Beatrix.(who should be known by her prper name : Von Lippe. :-) )

Wienand Drenth said...

Thanks for this bit of information. As far as you can tell, did the Nassau - Zuylesteyn branch make any claims to the title of Orange?