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De mislukte missie van mr. Maarten van Naarden als luitenant-stadhouder van Stad en Lande 1541-1557

Author:

F. Postma

Abstract

Maarten van Naarden’s failed mission  as lieutenant-stadholder of the province of Groningen, 1541-1557
In November 1557, Maarten van Naarden resigned from his post as lieutenant-stadholder of the province of Groningen and left the province after staying there for sixteen years. Van Naarden’s resignation was preceded by a number of conflicts with the Groningen town council and the States of the province. However, these conflicts were neither confined to Van Naarden nor the province of Groningen. They had also taken place  in other provinces in the Northeast of the Netherlands. What makes Van Naarden’s clash with the Groningen provincial authorities in the 1550s so important is that it clarifies the principles that were at stake. These principles were less apparent in the conflicts between the representatives of the central government in Friesland, Overijssel and Gelderland. It was a struggle in which Van Naarden tried, as his opponents rightly saw it, to introduce the ‘constitution’ of Utrecht in the town and county of Groningen. In Utrecht, which had been annexed by Charles V in 1528, the autonomy of the province had been reduced to next to nothing. The only authority still resting with the States was the surveillance of the provincial dikes and waterways. All their other areas of authority had been taken over by the provincial court of which Van Naarden had been president between 1537 and 1541. To avoid the same thing happening to them, Van Naarden was ordered to appear before the Groningen States assembly in January 1556. At this meeting, the weakness of his position became crystal clear. None of the members took his side. Because the government lacked the means to keep Van Naarden in office, his withdrawal from Groningen was inevitable. What we see behind the story of Van Naarden more clearly than in the conflicts in the neighbouring provinces is the outline of the absolute state that Van Naarden’s superiors had in mind for the Netherlands.

Keywords: Government  
DOI: https://doi.org/10.18352/bmgn-lchr.6143
How to Cite: Postma, F., 2005. De mislukte missie van mr. Maarten van Naarden als luitenant-stadhouder van Stad en Lande 1541-1557. BMGN - Low Countries Historical Review, 120(1), pp.1–27. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/bmgn-lchr.6143
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Published on 01 Jan 2005.
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