The function of vice regent in the provinces of the Netherlands became somewhat of an anomaly after the abjuration of King Philip II of Spain in 1581. The stadtholder of Holland, William I of Orange, was one of the most important military lead ers of the rebellious Northern provinces during the Revolt and after ward. He was succeeded in most of the provinces by his son Maurice and in the provinces Friesland (see FRISA [FRIESLAND]; Frisian Fryslan) and Groningen by his nephew William Louis (Willem Lodewijk) of Nassau (1560–1620).
   In 1625, Frederick Henry (1584–1647), the youngest son of William I, was appointed stadtholder by most of the provincial States. He played an important role in international politics. His son William II (1626–1650) married Mary Stuart, daughter of the English king Charles I; his daughter Louise Henriette married Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg, Germany. Frederick Henry’s household assumed the style of a princely court, and it could be ex pected that the function of stadtholder would soon become hereditary in the family of Orange-Nassau. The conflict between the States of Holland and William II and his premature death prevented this de velopment, however. Most provinces refrained from appointing a new stadtholder in 1650. From 1650 to 1672, there was a “stadthold erless” period in Holland during which period Grand Pensionary Johan de Witt excelled as a political and military leader. Another powerful stadtholder (after 1672) was William III of Or ange (1650–1702), who also became the king of England in 1689. Af ter his death, his provinces decided not to fill the vacancy immediately. Yet during the 1747 riots, William IV of Orange-Nassau (1711–1751) became stadtholder of all the Dutch provinces. His early death was solved by the regencies of his wife Anne of Hanover (1709–1759) and Louis Ernst, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel (1718–1788). His son William V(1748–1806) then became hereditary stadtholder in 1766. In 1795, he fled to England because of the French-inspired Batavian Rev olution. Thereafter, the stadtholderate was abolished.

Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands. . 2012.

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  • Stadtholder — Stadt hold er (st[a^]t h[=o]ld [ e]r), n. [D. stadhouder; stad a city, a town + houder a holder.] Formerly, the chief magistrate of the United Provinces of Holland; also, the governor or lieutenant governor of a province. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Stadtholder — A Stadtholder (Dutch: stadhouder , steward or literally place keeper or stead holder in older Dutch) in the Low Countries was a medieval function which during the 18th century developed into a rare type of de facto hereditary head of state of the …   Wikipedia

  • stadtholder — stadtholderate, stadtholdership, n. /stat hohl deuhr/, n. stadholder. * * * ▪ historical Dutch official also spelled  Stadholder,  Dutch  Stadhouder,         provincial executive officer in the Low Countries, or Netherlands, from the 15th through …   Universalium

  • stadtholder — n. (also stadholder) hist. 1 the chief magistrate of the United Provinces of the Netherlands. 2 the viceroy or governor of a province or town in the Netherlands. Derivatives: stadtholdership n. Etymology: Du. stadhouder deputy f. stad STEAD +… …   Useful english dictionary

  • stadtholder — noun Etymology: part translation of Dutch stadhouder, from stad place + houder holder Date: 1668 1. a viceroy in a province of the Netherlands 2. a chief executive officer of the provinces that formed a union leading to establishment of the… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • stadtholder — noun a) The chief magistrate, then later, hereditary chief of state of the Dutch Republic (mod. Dutch stadhouder). b) An office formerly held by Danish and Swedish officials best translated as Governor general …   Wiktionary

  • STADTHOLDER —    an anglicised form of the Dutch stadhouder (i. e. stead holder), a title conferred on the governors of provinces in the Low Countries, but chiefly associated with the rulers of Holland, Zealand, and Utrecht; in 1544 the title was held by… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • stadtholder — [ stadˌhəʊldə, stat ] (also stadholder) noun historical the chief magistrate of the United Provinces of the Netherlands. Derivatives stadtholdership noun Origin C16: from Du. stadhouder deputy , from stad place + houder holder …   English new terms dictionary

  • stadtholder — stadt·hold·er …   English syllables

  • stadtholder — /ˈstædhoʊldə/ (say stadhohlduh) noun 1. the chief magistrate of the former republic of the United Provinces of the Netherlands. 2. History (in the Netherlands) the viceroy or governor of a province. Also, stadholder. {Dutch stadhouder, from stad… …   Australian English dictionary

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