Trijntje Keever

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Trijntje Keever
Trijntje Keever.jpg
Born Trijntje Cornelisdochter Keever
April 10 or 16, 1616
Died 22 July 1633(1633-07-22) (aged 17)
Ter Veen
Cause of death cancer
Known for Tallest female person in recorded history (alleged)
Height (8 ft 4 in or 2.54 m)
Parent(s) Cornelis Keever
Anna Pouwels

Trijntje Cornelisdochter Keever (April 10 or 16, 1616 – July 22, 1633), nicknamed De Groote Meid (in English, The Big Girl), is alleged to be the tallest female person in recorded history, standing 9 Amsterdam feet[1] or 2.54 metres (8 ft 4 in)[2] tall at the time of her death at age seventeen.

Trijntje Keever was the daughter of Cornelis Keever and Anna Pouwels. Cornelis was a Dutch skipper and Anna was his maid; he married her on May 24, 1605. Trijntje was born on April 10 or 16, 1616 in Edam.

Trijntje’s parents took her to carnivals to earn some money by letting people see her. Trijntje first received public attention when she was nine years old and had reached the height of 2 metres (6 ft 7 in). A royal company consisting of the Bohemian king Frederick V, Elector Palatine, his wife Elizabeth of Bohemia and the princess Amalia of Solms-Braunfels, living in The Hague at the time, visited her, curious about the “nine-year-old girl taller than every man in Europe.”[3]

Trijntje died of cancer at the age of 17 in Ter Veen. She was buried on 7 July 1633 in Edam, her town of birth. Her epitaph is said to have read, “Trijntje Crelis groote meidt oudt 17 jaer”, or, in English: “Trijntje Crelis, big girl, 17 years of age”. In the townhall of Edam is a lifesize painting by an unknown artist portraying Trijntje in civilian clothes with a belt holding at her right a keyring and at her left a pincushion and a sheath with a knife, fork, and spoon. The caption with the painting suggests she was portrayed more beautiful than she really was and that she probably suffered from acromegaly.

Her original shoes are also on display. If there were a size for the shoes, they would be European size 54 (36 cm[4] or 14 inches long).

If her height was correct, she would be the tallest woman ever, overtaking Zeng Jinlian, and be the fourth-tallest person ever, behind Robert Wadlow, John Rogan and John F. Carroll. She was the tallest person (alleged) ever until John Rogan.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Koninklijke Nederlandsche Maatschappij tot Bevordering der Geneeskunst, Nederlands tijdschrift voor geneeskunde. vol. 99, March 26, 1955, p. 964. (fragment via Google Books, digitized Nov 26, 2008 at the University of California)
  2. ^ Nederlands Algemeen Rijksarchief, Verslagen omtrent 's rijks oude Archieven, vol.11, 1890, p.153, fragment via Google Books, digitized May 4, 2007 at the New York Public Library
  3. ^ Kloek, Els. "Trijntje Keever" (in Dutch). Digitaal Vrouwenlexicon van Nederland. Retrieved 2011-12-24. 
  4. ^ shoe size 36 cm (14 in) according to museum where the shoes are on display

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