Arie Jansz Schipper (van Smorenburg) (1630/1635 – 1681)


   1. His childhood

Arie Jansz Schipper (van Smorenburg) was born in ca 1630 or 1635 at Zeist, Utrecht, Dutch Republic as the son of Jan Schipper (ca 1600 – ?). Nothing is known about his childhood, including his level of education or his family’s standard of living or social status. Arie lived at Zeist his whole live until his death.1,2 It is uncertain when and why Arie started to use the extension ‘van Smorenburg’ in his surname and what the connotation was.

Zeist is a town located in central Netherlands in the Utrecht Province. It is located 10 km east of the city of Utrecht. The settlement “Seist” was first mentioned in a charter in the year 838. A branch of the Rhine River flowed close to the centre of the town until medieval times, when it naturally closed off and water was no longer flowing. It became known as the Kromme Rijn.3,4

   2. His wife

2.1 Willempje Corneliusdr Lubberts

Arie married Willempje Corneliusdr Lubberts (ca 1630 or 1635 – ?).1,2 The couple had three sons and two daughters that could be traced in existing archived records.

2.2 Merritje Jan Bieshaar

Arie married a second time on 13 February 1681 to Merritje Jan Bieshaar (ca 1635 – 1682, Zeist) in the Reformed Church at Zeist. Sadly Arie died later in that same year.1,5 Since the late 1500s, the Reformed Church was the predominant Protestant denomination in the Dutch Republic, whose theology was based on the teachings of the French reformer, John Calvin (1509 – 1564). It was not a state church, but any person in government or public service was required to be a member of the Reformed Church.6,7

   3. His career

Was Arie a farmer? Or a labourer? Or an artisan? This is not known. Being a resident of the Utrecht province, Arie van Smorenburg lived during the governance of Stadtholder Frederick Henry from 1625 to 1647, Stadtholder William II from 1647 to 1650, Grand Pensionary Johan de Witt from 1650 to 1672 and Stadtholder William III from 1672 to 1702.A stadtholder (a political leader and usually a member of the House of Orange-Nassau or the House of Nassau) governed in conjunction with the States-General, which was an assembly of representatives from each of the seven provinces.9,10Frederick Henry’s reign was characterised by good governance, and his successful negotiations with Spain resulted in the signing of the Peace of Münster at last announcing the end of the long struggle (Eighty Years’ War) between the Dutch and the Spaniards. The Protestant Dutch Republic experienced a cultural renaissance in the local arts and literature, great military and naval triumphs, and global maritime and commercial expansion, including the establishments of trading posts and colonisation in North America (New Netherland, now New York and New Jersey), Brazil in South America and the island Formosa (now Taiwan). These developments were contemporary of a period in Dutch History, known as the Dutch Golden Age, that spanned the 17th century.11-14

The 21 year-old William II, Prince of Orange, succeeded his father Frederick Henry in 1647 but died in 1650 after contracting smallpox. During his short three year reign, he was rather unpopular among the republicans. He opposed the acceptance of the the Peace of Münster for the mere reason that he wanted to extend his own territory by also wanting the southern Spanish-controlled Netherlands included in the independent Dutch Republic. William II was outvoted. After that, any decision by the the States-General or powerful regents that seemingly threatened his authority, was met with aggression.8,15

Johan de Witt was appointed councilor pensionary of the States of Holland in 1653. Since Holland was the most powerful province at that time, he also by default represented the other provinces as the Grand Pensionary (similar but not equivalent to a modern-day Prime Minister) of the Dutch Republic, since there was no ruling Stadtholder in governing office. Johan de Witt was a well-educated and well-traveled lawyer from the wealthy merchant class. Under his leadership the Dutch Republic flourished into an economic empire that dominated naval trading routes between Europe and the Americas, India and Indonesia. Trading posts, and supply stations along the way, developed into permanent Dutch settlements such as the refreshment station at the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa. His reign guaranteed a time of peace for the Dutch citizens, religious freedom and Protestant  doctrinal moderation, pragmatic foreign policy and the defense of commercial interests. The latter resulted in naval conflicts with England, the main commercial rivalry of the Dutch trading industry. The outcome of two Anglo-Dutch Wars signified the Dutch as the leading maritime power of the 17th century. Disagreements between the republicans and Orangists, however, continued. Sadly, it was De Witt’s neglect of the Dutch land army that would finally be his downfall, when Louis XIV of France and his English ally unexpectedly invaded the Dutch Republic in 1672 and conquered a large portion of its land. This caused major panic and chaos among the Dutch people. By June 1672, the French army had advanced across Gelderland and Utrecht.16-18 One wonders what Arie and his family’s situation were, there in Zeist in the Utrecht province amidst this crisis. Were their lives or homes seriously threatened? How did the Catholic French army treat the Protestant Dutch burghers?

The House of Orange-Nassau was again restored in 1672 as the governing entity of the Republic through the appointment of William III, son of William II, after De Witt’s resignation due to public pressure. William III managed to defeat the French and English armies by 1674 and restored stability within the republic. By 1688, William III invaded England and also became King William III of England, Scotland and Ireland. He and his wife, Queen Mary II were co-rulers.18-20

   4. His death

Arie van Smorenburg died six months after the day of his second marriage on 30 August 1681 at the age of about 46 years.1,5 At this point, the Dutch Republic was experiencing a time of peace.

   5. His children

His children were all from his first marriage. They were born at Zeist and all carried the surname ‘Van Smorenburg’.1

The two daughters were:

  • Aaltgen/Aletta, who married Jan Lambertsz on 29 April 1699 at Utrecht, Utrecht province.1
  • Jannitgen/Johanna, who married Hendrik Eggink, a wig-maker.1

The three sons were:

  • Jan Schipper (ca 1658 – 1728) became a farmer at Zeist. He married Gerrigje Kuijer (ca 1660 – 1732). They had three children: Adrianus (ca 1684 – 1757), Willem (ca 1690 – after 1731) and Jan (ca 1692 – after 1729).1,2,5,21
  • Cors (*ca 1670) who gave rise to our family branch.1 READ MORE on Cors van Smorenburg.
  • Cornelius (ca 1670 – 25 August 1717, Utrecht) who married Eigjen Huyberts in ‘t Veld (? – June 1752) on 2 May 1703 at Utrecht, Utrecht province.1


  1. Voorouders van Annie Verschuren-van Eck.
  2. Arie Schipper (van Smorenburg).
  3. Zeist.
  4. Kromme Rijn.
  5. Van der Linden, H. Genealogie Van der Linden en aanverwante families.
  6. Netherlands Church History.
  7. John Calvin.
  8. List of monarchs of the Netherlands.
  9. Stadtholder.
  10. States General of the Netherlands.
  11. Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange.,_Prince_of_Orange
  12. Dutch Golden Age.
  13. Dutch Empire.
  14. History of the Netherlands.
  15. William II, Prince of Orange.,_Prince_of_Orange
  16. Johan de Witt.
  17. Grand Pensionary.
  18. Anglo-Dutch Wars.
  19. William III of England.
  20. William and Mary.
  21. Jan Schipper (van Smorenburg).