Kobus van der Schlossen

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Kobus (or Jacobus) van der Schlossen (died 1695) was a late-seventeenth century Dutch thief who features prominently in folktales from the North Brabant region. After serving as a soldier in the many wars which left the Netherlands in turmoil, he joined a gang of ex-soldiers called 'de zwartmakers'. With his robber band 'De Zwarte Bende' he made his home in the vast and impenetrable Slabroek forests near Uden. Eventually he was captured in Uden and imprisoned in Ravenstein Castle (since demolished). He was executed in 1695 near Velp.

Stories were told about his miraculous escapes from the forces of law. De Brobbelbies, an area of Slabroek which still exists, received its name from one of these stories. One day, so the story goes, Kobus accidentally ran into some law-officers in the woods. When he found he couldn't outrun them he jumped into a pond and turned into a water plant ('Bies'). Because of the magical transformation the water started bubbling ('brobbelen'; hence 'Brobbelbies').



  • Reggie Naus, Zwartmakerij in het land van Ravenstein: de Geschiedenis van Jacobus van der Schlossen, 2006.