Johannes Klencke

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Reynst (far right), with (from left) his fellow aldermen and contemporaries Cornelis Jan Witsen, Roelof Bicker, and Simon van Hoorn by Bartholomeus van der Helst (1655).
Brother-in-law of Johannes Klencke Sir William Davidson of Curriehill, who appointed in 1648 Anthonie van Leeuwenhoek as his assistant; by Abraham van den Tempel (1664)

Johannes Klencke, van Klenck or Klenckius (bapt. 5 March 1620, Amsterdam - early 1672, Batavia, Dutch East Indies) was a Dutch teacher in philosophy at the Athenaeum Illustre in Amsterdam.


Johannes Klenck was the eldest son[1] of a trader in Russian caviar and studied theology in Leiden. On the 24th of May 1644 he accepted a post on issues concerning morality. There he introduced debating with the students. In 1648 he was appointed professor of philosophy at the illustrious school of Amsterdam.[2] He taught physics, metaphysics, logic, ethics and politics.

In May 1660, acting on behalf of a consortium of Dutch sugar merchants with plantations in Brazil, he offered the Klencke Atlas to the King, hoping to gain favourable trade agreements with Britain.[3][4]

In July 1660, Louis of Nassau arrived in London; his countrymen Simon van Hoorn, curator of the Athenaeum, Michiel van Gogh and the Roman Catholic Joachim Ripperda arrived in November to present to Charles II the Dutch Gift,[5][6] consisting of furniture, a yacht, 24 paintings, and twelve statues to celebrate the Restoration in 1661?[7] The three envoys were assisted by 24 servants and a few clerks [8] when they left Den Briel on 29 October 1660.[9] Klencke, an expert on Grotius, may have accompanied them, to discuss 'unrestricted trade', and the Act of Navigation.[10]

He was made a knight on 19 September 1660.[citation needed]

In 1669 the "nutty professor" (according to Vossius) left Amsterdam for Paris and London. In 1672 he died suddenly at Batavia as a notary.


Ernst van Klenck, a merchant on Russia, married in 1660 a daughter of Pieter de Carpentier. In 1661 his brother Herman van Klenck was appointed as a Governor of Formosa, but never set a foot on the island when he noticed Fort Zeelandia was occupied by Coxinga. Coenraad van Klenck, a trader on Russia and member of the Amsterdam vroedschap, was an envoy to Russia in 1675. Their brother-in-law William Davidson of Curriehill invited Mary Stuart into his house in July 1660 and seems to have been a spy for Charles II. In 1660 he was rewarded with an appointment as conservator of the Staple in Veere.[11]


  1. ^ Tullekens, Josias, The Montias Database of 17th Century Dutch Art Inventories, The Frick Collection. Last accessed June 20, 2011
  2. ^ Humanism in an age of science: the Amsterdam Athenaeum in the golden age, by Dirk van Miert pg. 68
  3. ^ Tom Harper. "The Klencke Atlas". British Museum. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
  4. ^ Peter Barber. The Map Book, Bloomsbury Publishing USA, 2005. pg. 164
  5. ^ European Treaties Bearing on the History of the United States and Its ..., Frances Gardiner Davenport, Charles O. Paullin, pg. 73
  6. ^ Thiel, P.J.J. (1965) Het Nederlandse geschenk aan koning Karel II van Engeland 1660, p. 6.
  7. ^ Klencke Atlas 1660 - The Beauty of Maps - Episode 3 - BBC Four
  8. ^ Lammertse, F. & J. van der Veen (2006) Uylenburgh & Zoon. Kunst en commercie van Rembrandt tot Lairesse, p. 65.
  9. ^ Logan, Anne-Marie S. , "The 'Cabinet' of the Brothers Gerard and Jan Reynst" (Amsterdam, 1979), p. 79.
  10. ^ Israel, J.I., The Dutch Republic; Its rise, greatness, and fall 1477-1806 (Oxford 1998), p. 749-750.
  11. ^ National Galleries Scotland