DELFT / DORDRECHT - In Delft, the Zeeland nobleman Wolfert van Borselen was thrown out of a window by an angry crowd and lynched. The most important counsel for Count Jan I of Holland is thus the most remarkable victim of a power struggle in Holland.

Van Borselen had tried to flee with the count from Schiedam to Zeeland, where he still has allies. Departure from the Schiedam harbor was not easy due to headwinds, so that his opponents could catch up with him at Vlaardingen.

After the Earl indicated that he was taken on the ship against his will, Wolfert was taken to Delft. There he was turned by a savage , and probably incited by his opponents, crowd thrown out the window and then lynched.

Fight with Dordrecht

The quarrel between Wolfert van Borselen and the city council of Dordrecht is also central. Van Borselen recently sent his help Aloud van Yerseke to Dordrecht to apparently put things in order there. In doing so, Van Yerseke proceeded in a particularly crude and bizarre way.

For example, he had a group of prisoners of war split into two groups. The two groups were each given a ball. The group that got the ball with a Dutch token in it, was allowed to live, while the other group was killed.

Van Yerseke was also of the opinion that he, from his position, was allowed to administer justice in the city. The city council of Dordrecht only partially agreed with this. In the past, the city was given the right to rule on matters that took place in the city.


Wolfert van Borselen came later, in the presence of Count Jan, himself to Dordrecht, to be at a lawsuit. He caused a shock to the Dordrecht city council by demanding all evidence in the case. If the Dordrecht board wanted to do something about it, then it had to appeal to the count's council in Delft.

In Delft, the local government also turned out to be completely in favor of Dordrecht. However, tempers had already run so high, that Van Borselen had meanwhile sent Van Yerseke with an army to Dordrecht, to bring the city to its knees with a heavy hand. That siege is still ongoing.


The working method of Van Borselen and his assistant Aloud van Yerseke caused the position of Van Borselen in Holland to deteriorate seriously. Some of the nobles in Holland had wanted to get rid of the Zeeland nobleman for a while.

Van Borselen realized that his power base in Holland was no longer so strong and decided to leave Holland. But he did not get much further than Vlaardingen.

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Who was Wolfert van Borselen?

Wolfert van Borselen (1245-1299) has been one of the greatest rulers in this part of Holland for a few years now. After the death of Floris V, all eyes were on his only son, Jan I. He had moved to England a few years ago, where Jan was educated at the English court. Jan had also been engaged to Elisabeth since birth, the daughter of Edward I of England.

After the death of Floris V, Eduard sent for a number of nobles to England. Wolfert van Borselen was one of them. After Jan was married to the daughter of the English king at the age of 12, he was allowed to go to Holland.

In Holland a struggle arose as to who would become the most important counselor to the young count. That battle was mainly between Jan van Renesse and Wolfert van Borselen. After Wolfert managed to win the battle and was also openly appointed as chief counselor to the 25e birthday of Jan I., Wolfert decided to really get rid of his competition. Van Renesse's castle on Schouwen-Duiveland was destroyed and Jan van Renesse fled the country.

A few months ago, Van Borselen gave city rights to Rotterdam, to strengthen such position. The chance that those rights will now be revoked is considerable.

Hoe ging het verder?

The city rights of Rotterdam were indeed withdrawn quite quickly. They came back later and nowadays the year is kept in Rotterdam 1340 to, in which Rotterdam really became a city.

The siege of Dordrecht did not end well for Aloud van Yerseke. After the news became known that Van Borselen had been killed, there was a decisive attack from Dordrecht on the camp of Van Yerseke at Castle Crayestein. Van Yerseke is captured and beaten to death upon arrival in the city.

Count Jan I did not end well either. He died of dysentery a few months later at the age of 15. He was the last member of the Hollandse Huis. He will be succeeded by Jan II van Avesnes, graaf van Henegouwen. It made Holland, Zeeland and Hainaut (Southwest Belgium) came under one leader.


History of Dordrecht: History from Dordrecht to 1572

Jan van Herwaarden, Dick de Boer, Fred van Kan, Gerrit Verhoeven

1299 - A count, three counties - The association of Holland, Zeeland and Hainaut

D.E.H. the farmer, E.H.P. Cordunke, H. Sarfatij