Heinsius, Anthonie

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Personalities >> Heinsius, Anthonie

Heinsius, Anthonie

Grand Pensionary of Holland (1689-1720)

born 23 November 1641, Delft, Dutch Republic

died 3 August 1720, The Hague, Dutch Republic


Detail of a portrait of Anthonie Heinsius – Source: Wikimedia Commons

Heinsius was born at Delft on 23 November 1641. He was the son of Adriaan Heinsius, a wealthy confectioner and patrician, and Maria Dedel.

In 1658, Heinsius went to the University of Leiden where he studied philosophy.

Heinsius then studied law in Angers in France.

In 1679, Heinsius became pensionary for Delft in the States of Holland.

On 29 December 1682, Heinsius was appointed special negotiator to France by Stadholder William III of Orange to see if anything could be done about the occupation of the Principality of Orange by Louis XIV. The mission was a failure but he made a favourable impression on William III.

In 1685, Heinsius was sent to London to settle a dispute between the English East India Company and the Dutch East India Company but he was not successful in his mission.

In 1687, Heinsius became a member of the board of the Delft chamber of the Dutch East India Company.

In 1688, Heinsius was one of the driving forces behind the anti-France coalitions of the Nine Years' War (1688–97).

On 27 May 1689, when William III became king of England and had to move to London, Heinsius became Grand Pensionary of the States of Holland, and the most powerful man in the Estates-General of the Netherlands, He was the confidant and correspondent of William, who left the guidance of Dutch affairs largely in his hands.

In 1701, Heinsius was instrumental in the creation of the alliance which opposed France in the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–14).

In 1702, after the death of William, Heinsius' hold on the States General diminished, but he remained Grand Pensionary of Holland until his own death.

In 1713, Heinsius was very disappointed by the few gains that the Dutch Republic obtained in the Treaty of Utrecht compared to the effort it had consented.

On 3 August 1720, Heinsius died at The Hague.



The Spanish SuccessionAnthonie Heinsius, Pensionary of Holland