Daily entries from the 17th century London diary
Bicker, the family, of Amsterdam.
The Bicker family figure in the nearly succesful "coup" staged in 1650 by Stadtholder Willem II.They were a very wealthy and influential family of merchants in Amsterdam.
After the “Peace of Münster” the Staten of Holland were of the opinion that a costly land army was no longer necessary and should be abandoned. For their commander, stadtholder prince Willem II this would be a disaster, it being his source of income and of authority. This was the year after Charles I was beheaded, and popular indignation about the “regicide” was quite strong, even in the Dutch republic. A forged letter was published wherein the English Parliament promised -in case of a conflict - to intervene on behalf of the Staten.
The prince marched his troops on Amsterdam. But - as Sir Richard relates - the mail rider from Hamburg found himself in the middle of these troops, and warned the “drost” of the town of Muiden, Gerard Bicker (son of Andries), who immediately rode into Amsterdam, where his father and another Bicker who was “burgemeester” had the city gates closed and - in Holland more effective - the bridges pulled up.This - and the death of Willem soon after - started a “stadtholder-less” period in which the rich merchants in the Staten had all the power while the lower classes nourished their feelings for the “Little Prince” and the house of Orange. This struggle between Staten and Orangists will be apparent in months to come.
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