Seventeenth century history of the Dutch Wars

Title: Nederlantsche oorloghen, beroerten, ende borgerlijcke oneenicheyden...
Author: Pieter Christiaanszoon Bor
Imprint: Leyden : Govert Basson ; Amsterdā : Michiel Colyn, 1621. (5 v.)
Location: Classmark: ENN.38/Bor. This item is kept on closed access- enquire at library office

Pieter Bor (1559-1635) was a Dutch writer and historian. Although the author of a few published plays, he is chiefly remembered as a chronicler of the Dutch Revolt, an insurrection mounted in the United Provinces at the end of the 16th century against the rule of the Spanish Habsburg Empire.

Though originally from Utrecht, Bor settled in Haarlem in 1578, where he worked as a public notary. In the 1590s his career took him to posts in Leiden, The Hague, Rijswijk, and Beverwijk, though he returned to Haarlem in 1602. The nature of his career meant that he had access to city archives in all the places he worked, and it was the sources within these archives which he transcribed in his histories.

This work, the title of which translates as Origin, Beginning, and Continuation of the Dutch Wars, provides a comprehensive and near contemporary account of the Revolt. Published in 37 instalments from 1595-1601, it was one of the longest publications generated in the 17th century. Bor was a thorough and conscientious historian, who transcribed documents originating from both the Dutch rebels and the Spanish Catholics. Many of the original documents have since been lost, adding to the value of Bor’s work for the historical record.

The volumes in the Institute of Historical Research Library are bound in their original 17th century Dutch white vellum binding, and bear the bookplate “University of London, Board of Dutch Studies”.

The Low Countries collections within the IHR library are particularly strong, and give researchers access to the most comprehensive array of historical resources for the history of the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg outside the Netherlands.

Jennifer Higham

20 Mar 2013