Jan Hendrik Van Kinsbergen - Life - in Disgrace With The Batavian Republic

In Disgrace With The Batavian Republic

On 17 January 1795 at Scheveningen he took leave from the departing stadtholder, who fled for England, never to return. In the absence of the admiral-general Van Kinbergen was now supreme commander; England apparently being the new enemy he took measures to prevent Dutch ships and ports falling into English hands. On 29 January and again on 9 February he bade the States-General to be relieved from his duty. However, these themselves were at this moment being replaced by a new revolutionary regime, instated by the French: The Batavian Republic. On 24 February he was arrested on orders of the Provisional Representatives of the province of Holland, revolutionaries who had appointed themselves as a provisional government. Soon he was again released, only to be casheered together with the entire naval officer corps on 27 February. Although some urged him to ask the new regime to be reinstated, Van Kinsbergen, confused and depressed, simply did not bother. On 26 April his wife died and in June he accepted a Danish offer to become vice-admiral and commander-in-chief. However, the revolutionary regime refused to give him permission to leave the country and in 1796 pressured Denmark to withdraw his appointment, though he nominally stayed in Danish service until 1806.

In 1796 Van Kinsbergen returned to the old house of his deceased parents in Elburg, dedicating his life to philanthropy. He created a naval academy in Elburg and an orphanage in Apeldoorn; in 1799 for his health he moved to an estate near the latter town, Welgelegen, a former property of a deceased younger brother. Gradually the Batavian Republic, in need of popular men to legitimise its power, began to make overtures to Van Kinsbergen: in 1797 it was suggested he become supreme commander; in 1801 even a formal offer was made. This failed however because he demanded that all officers be reinstated. Early 1806 Grand Pensionary Rutger Jan Schimmelpenninck, a man well acquainted to him, made a personal and emotional appeal, but the admiral again refused.

Read more about this topic:  Jan Hendrik Van Kinsbergen, Life

Famous quotes containing the words republic and/or disgrace:

    I have always considered it as treason against the great republic of human nature, to make any man’s virtues the means of deceiving him.
    Samuel Johnson (1709–1784)

    During those years in Stamps, I met and fell in love with William Shakespeare. He was my first white love.... it was Shakespeare who said, “When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes.” It was a state of mind with which I found myself most familiar. I pacified myself about his whiteness by saying that after all he had been dead so long it couldn’t matter to anyone any more.
    Maya Angelou (b. 1928)