Hieronymus van Alphen

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Hieronymus van Alphen (1836)

Hieronymus van Alphen (8 August 1746 in Gouda – 2 April 1803 in The Hague), a jurist in Utrecht, Leiden and The Hague, is especially remembered as a poet, particularly for his poems for children under the title Kleine gedigten voor kinderen (Utrecht 1778-1782).[1]

Van Alphen was appointed as Treasurer-General of the Dutch Republic in June 1793 but, as an Orangist, was relieved of his position as a result of the Batavian Revolution in 1795.[2]

Van Alphen’s children’s poems express a modern vision of children for his time. As these booklets were a great success, they were reprinted dozens of times and also translated into French, German, English, West Frisian and in the Malay language. Composers as Bartholomeus Rulofs, Ernst Christian Graf and Christian Friedrich Ruppe put them to music.

The affably poet Hieronymus van Alphen considers children as pure and innocent creatures, to whom virtues as obedience, esteem for their parents and for God, as well as modesty could be taught. Van Alphen was of the opinion that children should be able to learn playfully.[3]


  1. ^ Buijnsters, Gedigten
  2. ^ Lissens, R.F., ed. (1986). Winkler Prins Lexicon van de Nederlandse Letterkunde (in Dutch) (2 ed.). Amsterdam: Elsevier. p. 15. ISBN 9010058689.
  3. ^ Buijnsters, Hiëronymus van Alphen, passim


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Political offices
Preceded by
François van der Hoop
Title next held by
Alexander Gogel
as Agent for Finance