Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange

Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange

Infobox Officeholder
name = Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange

imagesize = 250px
caption = Prince Frederick Henry by Michiel Jansz van Mierevelt
order =
office = Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders, and Overijssel
term_start = 1625
term_end = 1647
predecessor = Prince Maurice
successor = Prince William II
birth_date = birth date|1584|1|29|df=yes
birth_place = Delft, Dutch Republic
death_date = death date and age|1647|3|14|1584|1|29|df=yes
death_place = The Hague, Dutch Republic
restingplace = Nieuwe Kerk, Delft, Netherlands
restingplacecoordinates = coord|52.0123|4.3609|display=inline
birthname =
nationality =
party =
otherparty =
spouse = Amalia of Solms-Braunfels
partner =
relations =
children =
residence =
alma_mater =
occupation =
profession =
net worth =
cabinet =
committees =
portfolio =
religion =

website =
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Frederick Henry, or Frederik Hendrik in Dutch (29 January 158414 March 1647), was the Prince of Orange and stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders, and Overijssel from 1625 to 1647.


Early life

Frederick Henry was born on 29 January 1584 in Delft, Holland, Dutch Republic. He was the youngest child of William the Silent and Louise de Coligny. His father William was stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, and Friesland. His mother Louise was daughter of the Huguenot leader Gaspard de Coligny, and was the fourth wife of his father.

Frederick Henry was born six months before his father's assassination on 10 July 1584. The boy was trained to arms by his elder brother Maurice, one of the finest generals of his age. Frederick Henry was married in 1625 to Amalia of Solms-Braunfels.


On the death of Maurice in 1625, Frederick Henry succeeded him in his paternal dignities and estates, and also in the stadtholderates of the five provinces of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Overijssel and Guelders, and in the important posts of captain and admiral-general of the Union.

Frederick Henry proved himself almost as good a general as his brother, and a far more capable statesman and politician. For twenty-two years he remained at the head of government in the United Provinces, and in his time the power of the stadtholderate reached its highest point. The "Period of Frederick Henry," as it is usually styled by Dutch writers, is generally accounted the golden age of the republic. It was marked by great military and naval triumphs, by world-wide maritime and commercial expansion, and by a wonderful outburst of activity in the domains of art and literature.

The chief military exploits of Frederick Henry were the sieges and captures of Grol in 1627, 's-Hertogenbosch in 1629, of Maastricht in 1632, of Breda in 1637, of Sas van Gent in 1644, and of Hulst in 1645. During the greater part of his administration the alliance with France against Spain had been the pivot of Frederick Henry's foreign policy, but in his last years he sacrificed the French alliance for the sake of concluding a separate peace with Spain, by which the United Provinces obtained from that power all the advantages they had been seeking for eighty years.

Frederick Henry built the country houses Huis Honselaarsdijk, Huis ter Nieuwburg, and for his wife Huis ten Bosch, and he renovated the Noordeinde Palace in The Hague. Huis Honselaarsdijk and Huis ter Nieuwburg are now icon cite web
last = Poelhekke
first = J.J.
title = Hoofdstuk IX
work = Frederik Hendrik. Prins van Oranje. Een biografisch drieluik
publisher = Digitale Bibliotheek voor de Nederlandse Letteren
date = 2008
url =
accessdate = 2008-08-07


Frederick Henry died on 14 March 1647 in The Hague, Holland, Dutch Republic. He left a wife, a son William II, Prince of Orange, and four daughters.

On Frederick Henry's death, he was buried with great pomp beside his father and brother at Delft. The treaty of Munster, ending the long struggle between the Dutch and the Spaniards, was not actually signed until January 30, 1648, the illness and death of the stadtholder having caused a delay in the negotiations. Frederick Henry left an account of his campaigns in his "Mémoires de Frédéric Henri" (Amsterdam, 1743). See "Cambridge Mod. Hist." vol. iv. chap. 24.


Frederick Henry and his wife Amalia van Solms had nine children:
* William II, Prince of Orange (1626—50)
* Luise Henriette of Nassau (1627—67)
* Henriëtte Amalia of Nassau (1628)
* Elisabeth of Nassau (1630)
* Isabella Charlotte of Nassau (1632—42)
* Albertine Agnes of Nassau (1634–96)
* Henriëtte Catharina of Nassau (1637—1708)
* Hendrik Lodewijk of Nassau (1639)
* Maria of Nassau (1642—88)




External links

*nl icon [ Frederik Hendrik. Prins van Oranje. Een biografisch drieluik] , a biography by J.J. Poelhekke


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