ROTTERDAM – An angry mob has looted the house of bailiff Van Zuylen van Nijevelt to the Leuvehaven and broken. The crowd was furious at the way particularly unpopular Van Zuylen van Nijevelt trying to enforce the law.

All people had gathered in the afternoon at that location but security forces were then sent. Their presence made it worse. In the confrontation between protesters and the soldiers were few deaths.

The crowd then managed to make some guns captured in the stronghold and home of the bailiff came under fire. The soldiers retreated and the house was ransacked. Then, Van Zuylen van Nijevelt been nowhere to be seen.

After looting the house was demolished. Meanwhile, the government was forced to release prisoners detained by the sheriff and Van Zuylen van Nijevelt was officially dismissed.

Pamphlet on Van Zuylen van Nijevelt. Rotterdam Municipal


When the sheriff drove home this afternoon, werd hij uitgescholden door een stel kwajongens. Een van hen kreeg daarop van zijn bedienden een pak slaag en dat schoot in het verkeerde keelgat bij wat oudere toeschouwers. Then a crowd gathered at the home of Van Zuylen Van Nijevelt to redress.

Van Zuylen van Nijevelt has appointed William III without asking advice from the council. That makes him even in high society is not really popular.

Even in ordinary Rotterdammer the bailiff is not popular. He would extort people and fines stabbing in pocket.

This morning therefore published a pamphlet on the front door of the Fair. Therein Van Zuylen Van Nijevelt was openly criticized.

“hypocritical atheist, lover of whores, geldzuchtig tyrant and uitbroedsel of hell”

(free translation of pamphlet)


Earlier this week there were already problems in the city, after the death of a member of the militia. This Cornelis Kosterman had in a brawl an employee of the tax, a so-called "tell-tale", have slain.

Kosterman was part of a group of gunmen who wanted to buy cheap wine at an address, without being tax payable on. A few employees of the tax saw the men running and went in pursuit from the Geldersekade.

After the death of Antony Kerry midshipman Kosterman was arrested and interrogated. In addition, he was also tortured. Kosterman known then. Van Zuylen van Nijevelt demanded the death penalty and Kosterman was beheaded after the judgment behind the town hall.

Since the death rarely occurs in people from the upper class, ensured the implementation of goings on in the city. In addition, the staff of the taxes themselves were also not popular.

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To make the situation even worse, The executioner could not really cope with the threatening atmosphere around the scaffold and he was so nervous that he had to hit as many as five times before rolling head Kosterman. Moreover, it was rumored that William III had granted a pardon but the bailiff that had ignored.

A day after the execution of the sentence gathered a crowd gathered at the home of one of the tenants, Pieter van der Steen. The militia, colleagues Kosterman, did not intervene and the house a few hours has long been looted.

The news of the looting reached The Hague and the States of Holland sent soldiers to restore calm. The city council refused to let the soldiers in the city. Only a commission of inquiry was allowed to enter Rotterdam. Everything seemed to be then quietly. Until the events of this morning.

Hoe ging het verder?

The events at the Leuvehaven and the departure of the bailiff led to celebrations in Rotterdam. Special medals were beaten and the scene was even immortalized in precious porcelain.

Afbeelding: Museum Rotterdam

But again seized now the States of Holland. Maar liefst zes regimenten soldaten werden gestuurd. Rotterdam deed de poorten weer dicht.

A special inquiry was investigating the riots. The investigation revealed how divided was the regents from Rotterdam.

Aan de ene kant waren er de prinsgezinden onder leiding van Van Zuylen van Nijevelt. Deze groep had onderling afspraken gemaakt over het verdelen van bestuursfuncties.

The opposition was within the patricians led by Mayor Pieter de Mey (1642-1722).


Het oproer gericht tegen de baljuw lijkt wat dat betreft van bovenaf gestimuleerd en zelfs geleid te zijn. Especially when taken into account that the pamphlet which unleashed all witnesses claimed was written by physician and philosopher Bernard de Mandeville (1670-1733) in the house of De Mey.

Uiteindelijk werd Van Zuylen van Nijevelt vrijgesproken in 1692 en door Willem III herbenoemd. Moreover, the governor demanded compensation for his protégé, his relatives were nice laps and opponents have struggled.

After the re-election was systematically purified. Six members of the town council and the pensionary replaced.

De Mey and his supporters had to clear the field and were replaced by royalists. The pamphleteer The Mandeville father was even banned from Rotterdam.

The pamphleteer himself went to England where he would rage like satirical writer. Lang Van Zuylen van Nijevelt could enjoy his rehabilitation he died three years later.


Rotterdam Municipal – Inv. No.. III A6 Waerachtig verhael passed from Rotterdam , so as regarde of the catch, examineeren and onhthoofden Cornelis Kosterman as the gene that is followed by

Rotterdam Municipal – Inv. No.. XII F40 Confession of Cornelis Costerman, and there upon followed maxim and other documents

R.M. Dekker – "The riots in Kosterman 1690, plot or spontaneous movement?’, Rotterdam yearbook (1981) 192-207

R.M. Dekker – 'Hypocritical atheist'. Bernard Mandeville and pamphleteer during Costerman Riot in 1690′, Historical Magazine Holland 26 (1994) 1-17

H.C. Hazewinkel – History of Rotterdam (Zaltbommel 1974) – 247-281

G. man – The revolt of Rotterdam 1690 (Amsterdam 1869)

A. van der Schoor – City growth, gescheidenis Rotterdam to 1813 (Zwolle 1999) 279-282

J.H.W. Unger, "The correspondence in the Rotterdam city council ', Rotterdam yearbook (1894) 1-11

Author: Drs. Allard Schellens

published: 01-10-2018

story number: 219

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