Lodewijck Huygens

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Lodewijck Huygens (anonymous portrait), 1674

Lodewijck Huygens (13 March 1631 – 1 July 1699) was a Dutch diplomat.

He was the third son of the diplomat Constantijn Huygens and Suzanna van Baerle. His two older brothers were Constantijn Huygens, Jr. and the scientist Christiaan Huygens. At the age of 20 Huygens carried out diplomatic missions in England.

In 1672 the newly appointed Stadtholder William III of Orange, later king William III of England and Ireland and William II of Scotland, appointed Huygens as sheriff of Gorinchem. Huygens' actions as sheriff eventually resulted in considerable strife between local factions, whereby Huygens was faced with a formidable opponent, Jacob van der Ulft.

Accusations of corruption against Huygens eventually resulted in a criminal case before the Provincial Court of Holland and Zeeland, yet Huygens was able to return to his office of sheriff of Gorinchem in 1678. Strife and conflict in the city of Gorinchem continued after Huygens' return, which ultimately resulted in Huygens' fall from grace with his patron William III in 1685. Huygens "voluntarily" gave up his office of sheriff of Gorinchem and was appointed member of the Admiralty of the Meuse instead.[1]

Personal life[edit]

He married Jacoba Teding van Berkhout (1645–1711), the daughter of Paulus Teding van Berkhout and Jacomina van der Vorst, on 5 May 1674 when he was aged 43. They had eight children but only the first 3 males survived any significant amount of time: Constantijn born 10 March 1675 at Gorinchem, Gorkum, Louis Diederik born 2 May 1676 at 's-Gravenhage, Delft, Paulus born 24 August 1677 at Gorinchem. The other five children died within 48 hours of birth apart from Maurits born circa 1686, who died aged under 1 year. Susanna Christina born and died circa 1679, Christiaan Hendrik born 19 April 1680 at Gorinchem died after a few days, Christiaan Philips born 29 July 1681 at Gorinchem died a few hours after and Adriaan born 18 August 1682 who died a few hours afterwards.


  1. ^ H. F. de Wit (1981). Gorcums heren: regentenpolitiek 1650–1750. Stichting Merewade. pp. 20–31. ISBN 978-90-70544-01-0. 


  • Edward Chaney, The Grand Tour and the Great Rebellion (Slatkine, Geneva and C.I.R.V.I. Moncalieri, 1985).
  • Herbert H. Rowen, American historian, (1916–1999), John de Witt, Statesman of the True Freedom (Cambridge University Press, 1986, New edition (2002)). 236 pages. ISBN 0-521-52708-2.
  • Herbert H. Rowen John de Witt, Grand Pensionary of Holland, 1625–1672. Princeton University Press. (1978), 950 pages. ISBN 0-691-05247-6. Bibliography: pages 895 – 928.
  • Quentin Skinner, born November 1940, is now the Barber Beaumont Professor of the Humanities at Queen Mary, University of London. In his Visions of politics : Vol III, Hobbes and Civil Science, Pp. xvii + 386. New York: Cambridge University Press, (2002), he mentions Lodewijck Huygens as being influenced by Thomas Hobbes, (1588–1679).
  • H.F. de Wit, Gorcums Heren. Regentenpolitiek 1650–1750 (Gorinchem 1981, 20–31)

A.G.H. Bachrach and R.G. Collmer, Lodewijck Huygens The English Journal 1651-1652 (Leiden: E.J. Brill/Leiden University Press (1982)

See also[edit]