Historische Vereniging Arnemuiden

Research on Balduinus Walaeus

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Result of the research on Balduinus Walaeus (chapter 5)

Balduinus was the son who followed in his renowned father’s footsteps.  He was born in Leiden in 1622.  He enrolled at Leiden University on 26th October 1634 at the age of 12 for ‘Hon. ergo’ (reasons of honour). Children between the ages of 12 and 15 were able to attend the University’s Latin School and the University Rector choose between 10 & 20 new pupils each year.  Attending the school brought the same benefits as  the University which was tax  and citizen soldiery exemptions.  The tax cuts angered the city authorities because they felt the University was accepting too many students. The civic authorities ironically commented in 1582 that it was just a matter of time ‘before all the inhabitants of the city will be members of the University’.  Having said all this, the Walaeus family would already be in receipt of the tax benefits that Leiden University brought with both Antonius & Johannes Walaeus on the staff.  Balduinus had enrolled at the University rather than the Latin school and must have been, therefore a child prodigy.  In 1639, when his father passed away, Balduinus was still at Leiden University now studying Theology.

The next known reference to Balduinus occurs in 1652 .  From 9th May 1652 to 19th June 1653, Balduinus was attached to the Dutch Embassy in Paris.  It was then customary for preachers / chaplains to be attached to embassies and foreign courts.  His father had been a court chaplain at Middelburg in 1604. Johannes Walaeus had spent 18 months in Paris during 1631/32 and close family friend Hugo Grotius had escaped to Paris and spent his exile there.

Paris was a volatile environment for any reformer.  The reformation had been joyfully  embraced in France, but with dire consequences.  Education and industry began to flourish and it was  estimated that a third of the population accepted the new teachings of the reformers.  This alarmed the Vatican as France was one of the main pillars of the Catholic world.  Without any warning, on 24th August 1572  the massacre of St. Bartholomew took place.  In one week, over 100,000 Protestants perished.  Pope Gregory XIII's reaction was jubilant: all the bells of Rome pealed for a public day of thanksgiving, a special commemorative medal was struck, to honour the occasion, and Gregory commissioned Italian artist Giorgio Vasari to paint a mural celebrating the Massacre which still hangs in the Vatican.  With the ascension of Henry IV, there was a short relief from persecution in France. The Edict of Nantes (July 1673) gave freedom for reformers.  They were allowed to assemble at a distance of two leagues from the city of Paris, so they held their meetings at Noisy le Sec. In 1606 Henry IV permitted the reformers to build a church at Charenton.  This became known as the Charenton Temple.  The Temple’s congregation was so large, they needed four minsters to meet the pastoral needs of their members. Its pastors included Jean Mestrezat (1591-1657) Pierre Dumoulin (1568-1658) and Jean Daille (1594-1670) during Balduinus Walaeus time serving in Paris. Of these, Jean Daille was an associate of Walaeus for he is listed by his latinised name,  Dallaeus, in Walaeus’ introduction to his 1653 Bible commentary.  Unfortunately, King Henry’s reward for showing  greater toleration was to be stabbed to death by a Jesuit named François Ravaillac.  The edict was revoked in 1685 and a new storm of persecution ensued.  In this climate, Embassy chaplains also gave spiritual assistance to the citizens of Paris.

Jean Daille was born at Chtellerault and educated at Poitiers and Sumur.  At the age of eighteen, he became the private tutor to two grandsons of Philppe de Mornay.  He was ordained in 1623 and served as de Mornay’s private chaplain subsequently writing Mornay’s memoirs.  In 1625 Dalleus was appointed church minister at Saumur, and was chosen in the  following year to be one of the pastors at Charenton Temple.  He spent the remaining 44 years of his life here.   He was quite a controversial preacher.  His sermons on Paul’s letters to the Philippians and Colossians are still available in print.  Daille was the president of the last national synod held in Loudun, France in 1659.  His son Adrien, who retired to Zurich at the revocation of the edict Of Nantes, wrote a biography of his father.

It was while Balduinus was stationed in Paris that he worked on his only known published book, the 1653 Bible that fuelled my interest.  The preface is despatched from Paris on 7th June 1652.  Although a relative peaceful time in Paris, one never quite knew when trouble would flair up again and short term stays in Paris were probably the order of the day.  This ‘Novi Testamenti’ was reprinted in 1662 by the Amsterdam printer Johan Ravelsteen.

In the Dutch Reformed Church minutes for Bruinisse on the Dutch island of Schouwen-Duiveland dated 25th July 1653, Balduinus Walaeus is named as the first candidate for the vacant preacher post and is invited to preach at Oosterland.  Oosterland is another small village near Bruinisse, but in the 17th century it was the main village in the area of Bruinisse. In fact the village of Bruinisse was referred to as Oost Duiveland back then.  The minutes relating to this appointment translated into English read:

"After invoking the Lords name, the number of persons heard in order to come to the election of a new pastor and teacher, is reduced to a small number:

Mister Balduinus Walaeus

Mister Plaeschaert

Mister Joanes Maersman

Mister Henricus Waerendorp


The brothers, being satisfied with this number for the election, have ordered the president to write Mister Walaeus if he would like to preach sunday next week in Oosterland..."

This position was available due to the death of the minister Laurentius Piscator who had served as the Bruinisse Minster since 1647.  Balduinus elder sister, Katharina lived at nearby Zierikzee and it may have been the case that Balduinus was hoping to move nearer to his sister especially when you consider the dates.  The application was recorded in July 1653.  Earlier that year, in March, Katharina had given birth to her 13th  child and then her husband Antoine Clement had died in May.   Balduinus may have felt that if he was closer, he could offer some support to his sister.

Walaeus’ application for Bruinisse was unsuccessful.  The candidate who was fourth on the shortlist, Henricus Warendorp filled the vacant position until 1675.  Nothing more is known of Joanes Maersman.  Petrus Plasschaert became the vicar of Etten from 1654 until 1685.

It wasn’t until 4th March 1655 that Balduinus was confirmed as vicar of Arnemuiden on the Zeeland Island of Walcheren in the minutes of the Dutch Reform Church.  The following entry appears:

'Is hier oock gelesen de attestatie van d. Balduinus Walleus, voor desen predicant bij den edl. hr. ambassadeur van desen stadt [= Middelburg] binnen Parijs ende onlanx beroepen in de gemeente tot Arnemuyden, ende heeft daerop sessie genomen in dese eerw. vergaderinghe'.

This announced that Balduinus Walaeus had left the Middelburg/Zeeland Parisian embassy to become the vicar of Arnemuyden (Arnemuiden).  It is translated as follows:

'The attestation of sir B.W. is read, former minister with the honourable lord ambassador of this city [=Middelburg] in Paris and now called to the congregation of Arnemuiden; after which he has taken his seat in this honourable assembly

The following year, on 5th August, he married Elisabeth Thijssen from neighbouring Vlissingen at Vlissingen.  Elizabet Thijssen is listed as being accepted as a member of the Reformed church of Arnemuiden on 6th January 1657.

Arnemuiden employed two preachers at this time. Walaeus was replacing the deceased Theodorus Sael (1593-1654) who had been the vicar of Arnemuiden from 1640.  The second preacher when Walaeus arrived in Arnemuiden was Jacobus van Hecke.  Nothing is known of van Hecke other than he arrived from Kruiningen in 1625.  Jacobus van Hecke died in 1660 and joining Balduinus was one Johannes Teellinck who, I suspect, was one of Walaeus’ best friends.

The Teellinck and Walaeus family connections went back to the previous generation.  Johannes father, Willem, was along with Antonius Walaeus, a defender of Sunday observance.  Willem Tellinck was born at Zierkizee in 1579, the son of the Zierkizee burgermaster (Town Mayor).  After Teellinck had finished his law studies with a doctorate degree from Poitiers in 1603, he came to live in the English puritan stronghold of Banbury.  During the eight months he spent in Banbury, greatly influenced by the Puritans, he decided to become a church minister.  His puritan friends persuaded him to study Theology so he returned to the Netherlands and entered Leiden University.  In 1606 he became Pastor at Haamstede and Burcht 1606 before moving to Middelburg in 1613 where he remained until he died on 8th April 1629.  Antonius Walaeus had originally arrived in Middelburg in 1605, while Willem Teellinck became preacher there in 1613, no doubt freeing Walaeus of some of his duties so that Antonius Walaeus could continue delivering lectures. Teellinck later writting  nostalgically, recalled the magnificent quietness in Banbury on the Sabbath where the only sound heard were psalms being sung at family worship.  Teellinck had been inspired by the Puritans view that all forms of recreation were inappropriate on Sundays because of the Fourth Commandment.  He had an ally in Antonius Walaeus, but in the years following the Synod of Dort (1618/19), it was only the Zeeland synod that accepted their argument.  The Walaeus & Teellinck families moved in the same circles at the same time.  Teellinck wrote several books, twoof which are still in print today.  His influence was such that he is generally known as the father of the second Dutch reformation.

His son, Johannes, was born in Middelburg around 1623.   Bearing in mind that Balduinus was born in 1622, the two fathers who were contemporaries at the very least, might have encouraged friendship between the two infants.  Johannes ministered at several churches.  His first church was in Maidstone, England.  He returned to the Zeeland province in 1641 to be the preacher at Wemeldinge.  His knowledge of English made him the ideal candidate for the English church at Middelburg and he moved here in 1646, before going to the Dutch Reformed church at Vlissingen in 1649.   It may well be that while Balduinus Walaeus was visiting his friend Johannes Teellinck in Vlissingen, he met his future wife, Elisabeth Thijssen.  Teellinck left Vlissingen for Utrecht in 1654.   Utrecht, at this time, was greatly influenced Gisbertus Voetius(1588-1676).  He was Professor of Theology & Oriental Studies at Utrecht University and the pastor of the Utrecht congregation.   Voetius had been deeply affected by the teachings of Willem Teellinck and his puritan friends.  Voetius and his supporters were able to implement some of Willem Teellinck’s ideas in Utrecht.  They managed to ensure that Utrecht’s theatres wouldn’t open on Sundays and they enforced a stricter Sabbath regime. They also held the view that church wealth should remain in the hands of the church and not come into the hands of prominent families by inheritance.  Voetius and his admirers soon learnt the hard way that too much criticism is never tolerated by the Authorities and two ministers were stripped of their posts  and banished from Utrecht for being outspoken on the matter of usage of former church property. These two were Willem Teellinck’s son, Johannes and Abraham van den Velde. Teellinck became the second preacher in Arnemuiden 1660 and van den Velde arrived in Arnemuiden the following year.  Not only was he linking up with Balduinus Walaeus again, but the Teellinck family were among the founding families of the Reform Church there.  In 1661, he became the preacher at Kampen.  Two different sources state different dates for his death: 7th May 1673 or January 1674.

Abraham van den Velde (1614-7th June 1677)  arrived in Arnemuiden on 2nd March 1661 replacing Teellinck who had moved to Kampen, as the second preacher.  He would have been known to Balduinus Walaeus who obviously knew that both he and Johannes Teellinck had been banished from Utrecht in 1661.  There may have been an earlier family connection, for you may recall the martyrs of Ghent included members of both the van den Velde & de Wael/Wale families.  Abraham then took up the post of Middelburg preacher on 2nd July 1662.  While at Middelburg, he wrote ‘The Wonders of the Most High: 125 Years History of the United Netherlands (1550-1675)’ which is still in print today.

I discovered this reference to both Abraham van den Velde and Balduinus Walaeus:

Archief van het Stadsarchief van Arnemuiden:

Ingang. 1200. Inventarisnr.1039.

Onderdeel: Extract van tgeen in dit Boek wegens tgeresolveerde is genotuleert.

Anno 1662

3 January op het binnenstaen van de gedeputeerden der kerkerraat tot Arnemuyden te weten de predikanten Abraham van de Velde en(de) Bartholomeus Walles en(de) den ouderling den Burgemr. Johannes Ketsen, is haar belooft soveel doendelyk, op den dag des Heeren, geen werk te doen.

Bartholomeus Walles is obviously a variant spelling for Balduinus Walaeus. It translates as follows:

'3 January. In the presence of the deputies of the church council of Arnemuiden, the ministers A.v.d.V. and B.W. and the elder mayor J.K. , the promise is made to them not to work, as much as possible, on the day of the Lord.'

Considering all that went before, I’m sure that Balduinus and Abraham van den Velde would have little trouble in keeping this civic new year resolution.

The fourth person to work with Balduinus Walaeus in Arnemuiden was Jan Snoep (Latinised form Johannes Snoupsius) He was born 8th March 1634.  He was accepted as a preacher by the Classics of Walcheren on 23rd April 1661 and was appointed the fleet preacher for the West Indies Company ship ‘The Vlissingen’.  The Vlissingen was under the command of a privateer nicknamed ‘Keesje the devil’, one Cornelis Evertson Jr. (1628-1679).  It was part of the fleet of admiral Michiel Adriaenszoon de Ruyter sailing out to the Mediterranean to curb barbaric interference.    Snoep returned on 23rd April 1663 and was confirmed as Arnemuiden preacher on 11th November 1663.  He married Adriana Evertsen, daughter of Cornelis, on 13th August 1665 in Vlissingen.    He passed away at the young age of 33 on 30th December 1667 in Arnemuiden.

Balduinus left Arnemuiden in 1666 to join up once again with Johannes Teellinck in Kampen.  His brother-in-law and nephew, Johannes & Rutger van Breda had served as Kampen’s town clerk. The records that refer to this period have been destroyed.  All that is known is that Balduinus died in 1673.

The only question that remains is why did Balduinus Walaeus use the printers he did for his only published work?  I believe the answer to be family connections.  His father Antonius and brother Johannes had several volumes published. Most of these, being University manuscripts, were printed by the Official university printers, the Elzevier family printing presses. In 1647/48, Johannes Walaeus collated his father’s works and then had them published.  The University’s Printers couldn’t print this volume as it wasn’t an official university publication, and so Johannes went to the Official University bookseller who happened to be a printer in his own right, Adriaen Wyngaerden.  It was Wyngaerden that printed ‘Novi testamenti’ for Balduinus in 1653.  In 1662, when ‘Novi Testamenti’ was re-issued, Wyngaerden was now operating in Germany, and so Balduinus decided to use another Dutch printer with whom the Walaeus family had had connections.

Antonius Walaeus greatest work had been the Statenvertaling .  The States General had given the printing contract to Paulus van Ravesteyn on the condition that the printing offices were moved to Leiden.  By 1662, the Ravesteyn family presses had re-located back to Amsterdam and it was Johan van Ravesteyn that printed the reissue.

[1] ‘Redeeming the Time’ & ‘The path of true Godliness’

Chapters three & four are about Antonius Walaeus & His children..   

See also the following article about Walaeuson this website: Ds. Balduinus Walaeus (Dutch language)





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