Andries de Graeff (1611-1678)

This location is the birth place of Andries de Graeff (1611), the third son of Jacob de Graeff Dircksz and Aeltje Boelens. Just as his older brother Cornelis, he had a glorious career in the Amsterdam city council ahead of him. After marrying his second cousin Elisabeth Bicker van Swieten in 1646, the family ties with the governing Bickers were strengthened further. In the same year he became alderman for the first time. The alderman then was similar to today’s judge but the post was also a political stepping stone to the powerful position of mayor. After his brother Cornelis passed away in 1664, Andries succeeded him as mayor. As supporter of the Grand Pensionary Johan de Witt and adversary of the stadtholders of Orange, Andries ran into trouble in 1672. During this so-called Rampjaar (‘disaster year’) the new stadtholder William III purged the Amsterdam government: De Witt’s friends had to move aside. Andries de Graeff was among those to lose their post and he retreated to his home at the Gouden Bocht (‘Golden Bend’) on the Herengracht – the most expensive part of Amsterdam where many members of the ruling elite lived. In 1675 he received a sky-high tax assessment after which he fled to Utrecht. After paying his tax debt, Andries de Graeff returned to Amsterdam where he died on 30 November 1678.


Image: Hendrik Pothoven & J. Houbraken, 1667