Historical Calendar

Events in the Dutch world to commemorate on days throughout the year.  From January's signing of the Union of Utrecht to December's Sinterklaas.

Signing of the Union of Utrecht in 1579

23rd January

Signing of the Union of Utrecht, which brings the seven northern provinces of the Netherlands together into a defense alliance against the Spanish Hapsburgs.

Capitulation of Taborda in 1654

26th January

"Verzuimd Brazil"-- The Dutch formally surrender their holdings in Brazil to Portugal; known as the Capitulation of Taborda.

Founding of Leiden University in 1575

8th February

Founding of Leiden University.

Signing of the Treaty of Westminster in 1674

19th February

Signing of the Treaty of Westminster, ending the Third Anglo-Dutch War.

Formation of the East India Company in 1602

20th March

Formation of the East India Company (Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie--VOC).

Massive Powhatan uprising in 1622

20th March

Massive Powhatan uprising against English plantations on the James River in Virginia, launching the Second Anglo-Powhatan War, which was to last for ten years.

Arrival of Willem Kieft in 1638

28th March

Arrival of Willem Kieft aboard De Haring to assume the directorship of New Netherland.

Dutch rebels capture the city Den Briel in 1572

1st April

The Dutch rebels capture the city Den Briel from the Spaniards, inspiring other elements in the Netherlands to join the revolt. "Op den eersten van April/ Verloor Duc d'Alva zynen Bril."

Treaty of Westminster in 1654

5th April

The Treaty of Westminster ends the First Anglo-Dutch War. 

The Twelve Years' Truce concluded in 1609

9th April

The Twelve Years' Truce concluded with Spain at Antwerp.

The Formation of Beverwijck in 1652

10th April

The formation of the village of Beverwijck, established as the Court of Fort Orange and Beverwijck, temporarily resolving the dispute between the Patroonship of Rensselaerswijck and the West India Company.

Peter Minuit arrives in 1624

4th May

Peter Minuit arrives in New Netherland aboard the See Meeuw to become director.

Petrus Stuyvesant arrives at Manhattan in 1647

11th May

Petrus Stuyvesant arrives at Manhattan with the WIC ships Groote Gerrit and Princess Amalia to assume his position as director general of New Netherland, Curaçao, Bonaire and Aruba.

The Beheading of Johan van Oldenbamevelt in 1619

13th May

The beheading of Johan van Oldenbamevelt, leader of the anti-war party, at The Hague; this victory of the counter-remonstrants led to continuation of war with Spain and the formation of the WIC.

Execution by Hanging of Jacob Leisler in 1691

16th May

Execution by hanging of Jacob Leisler and his son-in-law Jacob Milborne in NYC.

Fort Casimir captured by Johan Rising in 1654

21st May

Fort Casimir on the Delaware captured by Johan Rising, newly arrived governor of New Sweden, on Trinity Sunday (57 days after Easter); Dutch fort renamed Fort Trefaldighet (Fort Trinity).

Death of Piet Heyn in 1629

18th June

Death of Piet Heyn (who captured the Spanish silver fleet) in action against the Dunkirkers. "syn naem is klein / maer syn daeden benne groot."

Assassination of William I in 1584

10th July

Assassination of William, Prince of Orange and Nassau, at his residence, the Prinsenhof, in Delft.

The Act of Abjuration in 1581

26th July

The Act of Abjuration at the Hague in which representatives of the rebelling Dutch provinces abjured their oath to Philip 11; comparable to our Declaration of Independence.

Defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588

29th July

Defeat of the Spanish Armada by a combined English and Dutch force.

Alexander d'Hiniyossa Beheaded in 1672

8th August

Alexander d'Hiniyossa, former director of Nieuwer Amstel, Amsterdam's colony on the South River, beheaded at Edam for inciting to mutiny and leaving his post at Wesel.

New Netherland Restored in 1673

9th August

The combined fleet of Cornelis Evertsz and Jacob Benckes captures New York and restore New Netherland during the Third Anglo-Dutch War. New York City is renamed New Orange; Kingston becomes Swanenburgh; Albany, Willemstad; Fort Albany, Fort Nassau.

Stuyvesant's Expedition Against New Sweden in 1655

5th September

Stuyvesant's expedition against New Sweden on the Delaware leaves Manhattan after Sunday church service. The expeditionary force consisted of seven ships, including Den Waagh, a forty-two gun warship on loan from the city of Amsterdam, and 350 soldiers.

Piet Heyn Captures Spanish Silver Fleet in 1628

8th September

Piet Heyn, in command of fleet West India Company squadron of warships, captures the Spanish silver fleet in Matanzas Bay, Cuba.

Stuyvesant Surrenders New Netherland in 1664

8th September

Stuyvesant surrenders New Netherland during peace time to an English invasion fleet commanded by Richard Nicolls.

Stuyvesant Captures Swedish fort "Trinity" in 1655

11th September

Stuyvesant captures the Swedish fort "Trinity" (former Fort Casimir) at present-day New Castle, Delaware.

Peach War Erupts in 1655

15th September

The Peach War erupts with attack on New Amsterdam by a combined force of Manhattan rim Indians.

Halve Maen Reaches Present-day Albany Area in 1609

19th September

The East India Company ship Halve Maen, commanded by Henry Hudson, reaches the present-day Albany area.

Relief of Leiden in 1574

3rd October

Relief of Leiden after a long and bitter siege by Spanish forces. Prince of Orange rewards citizens for their resistance by making Leiden a university center (see Feb 8).

The Place Name New Netherland Appears in 1614

11th October

The place name New Netherland appears for the first time in a resolution of the States General of the United Provinces concerning trading licenses between New France and Virginia.

New Netherland Returned to England in 1674

10th November

New Netherland officially returned to England as the province of New York as a result of the Treaty of Westminster, ending the Third Anglo-Dutch War.

William III is Crowned King of England in 1688

15th November

William III Hendrick, Prince of Orange, Stadhouder of Holland and Zeeland, enters Tor Bay along the south-west coast of England with 50 ships and lands 21,000 Dutch troops in Brixham, Devonshire; William marches on London where he is crowned William III, king of England.

St. Eustatius Recognizes the American Flag in 1776

16th November

Johannes de Graaff, governor of St. Eustatius, a Caribbean possession of the Netherlands, salutes the Massachusetts ship Andrew Doria and becomes the first foreign power to recognize the flag of the American colonies, which are in revolt against England.

Sinterklaas Avond

5th December

Sinterklaas avond, the night before the traditional birthday of St. Nicolaas, during which children are presented with gifts. The event forms the basis for the American tradition of Santa Claus.


About the New Netherland Institute

For over three decades, NNI has helped cast light on America's Dutch roots. In 2010, it partnered with the New York State Office of Cultural Education to establish the New Netherland Research Center, with matching funds from the State of the Netherlands. NNI is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. More

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