Willem Frederik Lamoraal Boissevain

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Willem Frederik Lamoraal Boissevain (1852-1919) was a Dutch colonial administrator in areas of what is now Indonesia.

Boissevain was born in Arnhem, Netherlands on November 28, 1852. He joined the (Dutch East) Indian service in 1874, and was controller in the districts Japara and Cheribon.

Resident[edit]

Willem Frederik Lamoraal Boissevain's house in the Dutch East Indies (c. 1900)

After sixteen years of service he became assistant-resident of Blora (1890), and then swapped this district for the districts Berbek (1892), Toeban (1897) and Toeloeng Agoeng (1899). Mainly in the districts Blora and Toeban did he have the opportunity to show himself to be a good policeman. More than 28 years passed after his entrance into office before Boissevain got appointed resident of Madioen. After 4 years of having ruled the Madioen district with a firm hand, resident Boissevain was called away by the government in 1907, to the more and more developed district Preanger-Regencies.

Fresh air[edit]

For four years, from 1907 until 1911 (only interrupted by a half year leave to Europe, while retaining his position), did he rule this important district and it quickly became evident that a breath of fresh air was blowing from Bandoeng over the Preanger-departments, that with its hard feudal regencies, felt themselves to be the local kings. Opposition and passive resistance was bound to happen The ruling of the Preanger people had slowly gone slack, business was merely sustained; administration was kept, but it wasn’t governed and among the local bureaucrats a sort of family-government was created with disastrous results. Boissevain put an end to this and when he resigned in 1911, he could hand over the governing of the district to his successor in a much better condition than in which he had received it.

Retirement[edit]

He was only able to enjoy 8 years of his well-earned retirement after such a fruitful life, but he still looked after the affairs of the corps Internal Affairs, as he was on the committee of the Union of Civil Servants in Internal Affairs for quite a while. A seat in the “Dutch East Indian” Council didn’t seem to be intended for him, however this position was taken by another resident of Java, who hadn’t served as long. This obviously hurt him and that, together with some other disappointments with the service in 1910, was the reason that he applied for retirement early in 1911, at 58 years of age, still in the prime of his life. As resident of Madioen he received the Cross of the Dutch Lion.

External links[edit]

The family websites are Website Boissevain Family, Family Tree Boissevain and North American branch.