Francis Rombouts

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Francis Rombouts
12th Mayor of New York City
In office
Preceded byThomas Delavall
Succeeded byWilliam Dyre
Personal details
Born(1631-06-22)June 22, 1631
Hasselt, Prince-Bishopric of Liège
Died1691 (aged 59–60)

Francis Rombouts (22 June 1631 – 1691) was the 12th Mayor of New York City, (formerly New Amsterdam), from 1679 to 1680.


Frans Rombouts was born on June 22 at 1631 in Hasselt (Belgium), the second son of Jan Rombouts, who was a taxreceiver for the Archdeacon of Liege, and Johanna Haenen.

Francis Rombouts emigrated to New Amsterdam in 1653 aboard the ship Nieuw Amsterdam. He engaged in trade as a merchant, while yet a youth. In the year 1658, he enrolled himself among the burghers, or citizens, though he had been for several years previously a trader here. His trading operations as a merchant were tolerably extensive, though he did not rank among the wealthiest of the inhabitants. He was probably worth, as near as can be estimated, about ten thousand dollars, which was then, however, considered an independent fortune. Rombouts bought his first stone house at Nieuw-Amsterdam, in the Heerestraat, now Broadway in Manhattan.

Rombouts held several offices of trust among his fellow-citizens. In 1673, 1674, 1676, 1678, 1686, he was an Alderman. Afterward, in 1687, the city having been divided into wards, he was returned as Alderman of the West Ward. he afterward held the office of Justice of the Peace, until his death. His political principles were of a liberal character, and his manners and address grave and dignified. Rombouts' dwelling was on Broadway, west side, near Rector street, extending to the North river shore. it embraced a large garden and an orchard. At the time of his mayoralty, the city contained about 3,500 inhabitants.[1] Rombouts Avenue in the Bronx is named for him.

On May 31, 1665 Rombouts married Aeltie Wessels in the Reformed Dutch Church of New Amsterdam. She died sometime prior to August 5, 1675, when he then married Anna Elizabeth Masschop. Widowed a second time, he married, on September 8, 1683, Helena Teller Bogardus Van Bael. It was the third marriage for both of them. Helena Teller was born about 1645, the daughter of William and Margaret Doncheson Teller of Schenectady. Helena had seven children from her previous marriages, and from this marriage another three were born. She and Rombouts had two boys and a girl. The boys died young but the girl, Catharyna, born on 5 September 1687, survived. Catharyna later married British Royal Navy lieutenant Roger Brett.[2]

The Rombout Patent[edit]

The Rombout Patent is a legal instrument that was issued by King James II of England. In it, the king granted Francis Rombouts and his associates the right to own land that was then claimed by England.

Rombout went into the fur-trading business with Gulian Verplanck. In 1683, Gulian Verplanck and Francis Rombouts purchased approximately 85,000 acres (340 km2) from the Wappinger Indians. The Rombout Patent included most of southern Dutchess County. The price, about $1,250, was paid in guns, shot, powder, blankets, wampum, alcohol, cloth and other goods. The Rombout Patent was finally granted in 1685 to Verplanck, Rombout, and Stephanus Van Cortlandt.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sketches of the Mayors of New York
  2. ^ "Deacendant of Mayor Rombouts, Elected in 1679. Once in the Shipping Business". New York Times. October 22, 1929. Retrieved 2008-07-26. Mr. Brett was a descendant of Lieutenant Roger Brett, who married Katrina Rombouts, only daughter of Francis Rombouts, Mayor of New York in 1679 ...
  3. ^ "Vest Pocket Tours of the Hudson Valley". Retrieved 2012-10-03.

External links[edit]