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Chapter 4: The Pieter Varlet Family

Page history last edited by Liz Johnson 11 years, 11 months ago

 

The family of Pieter Varlet and Machtelt Jans van Bree

 

by Cor Snabel and Elizabeth A. Johnson

 

 

 

Pieter Varlet was born in Cologne on the 18th of August 1598, a son of Nicolaas Varlet and Francina Jacobs. His sponsors at his baptism were Jacob Jacobs and Pieter Cangon. [1] On the 7th of November 1626, he and his future bride, Machtelt Jans van Bree, posted their marriage intentions in Amsterdam: [2]

 

Pieter Varlet of Keulen, residing on the Binnenhavenweg [in Amsterdam], age 28 years, having no parents, & Metje Jans of Utregt & residing there.

 

Metje Jans (Machtelt Jans van Bree), a daughter of Jan Lenarzten van Bree and Grietjen Clasen, [3] was born in Utrecht on the 22nd of January 1604. [4] On the 1st of December 1626, she and Pieter Varlet were married in the Geertekerk in Utrecht. [5]

 

The children of Pieter Varlet and Machtelt Jans van Bree were:

 

i. Johannis Varlet, born on 17 October 1627 in Amsterdam, baptized on 24 October 1627 in the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam. [6] Sponsors were Herman Gijsbertsz. IJzerman and Neeltjen Lenarts van Bree. He died on 26 January 1633 in Amsterdam and was buried in the Nieuwe Zijds Kapel in Amsterdam on 29 January 1633. [7]

ii. Janneke Varlet, born on 31 May 1629 in Amsterdam, baptized on 17 June 1629 in the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam. [8] Sponsors were Herman Gijsbertsz. IJzerman and Catrijna Varlet. She died on 20 February 1704 in Amsterdam and was buried on 26 February 1704 in the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam. [9]

iii. Francijna Varlet, born on 14 March 1631 in Amsterdam, baptized on 16 March 1631 in the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam. [10] Sponsors were Jacob Diericks (Tjerks) Houtkoper and Judith Tentenier. She died on 29 October 1717 in Diever and was buried there. [11]

iv. Sara Varlet, born on 2 January 1633 in Amsterdam, baptized on 30 January 1633 in the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam. [12] Sponsors were Daniel Vermout (probably Daniel Varlet) and Sara Stafmakers. She died on 13 January 1681 in Amsterdam and was buried on 18 January 1681 in the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam. [13]

v. Joannes Varlet, born on 6 September 1634 in Amsterdam, baptized on 26 September 1634 in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam. [14] Sponsors were Jasper van der Veen, Christina (surname unknown) and Hans Cobrite. He died on 14 February 1640 in Amsterdam and was buried on 17 February 1640 in the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam. [15]

vi. Pieter Varlet, born on 2 October 1636 in Amsterdam, baptized on 12 October 1636 in the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam. [16] Sponsors were Daniel Rusland and Catharijna Stafmakers. He died on 10 February 1718 in Diever (Drenthe). [17]

vii. Cornelis Varlet, born on 10 January 1639 in Amsterdam, baptized on 3 February 1639 in the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam. [18] Sponsors were Cornelis Cornelisz Jol, Jannitge Jans, wife of Jan Cornelisz Lichthart, Cornelis de Wijckersloot and Maria Hack. He died on 8 December 1721 in Diever (Drenthe) and was buried there. [19]

viii. infant Varlet, born on 2 June 1641 in Amsterdam, died the same day and was buried on 5 June 1641 in the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam. [20]

ix. Machteltgen Varlet, born on 14 July 1643 in Amsterdam, baptized on 26 July 1643 in the Zuider Kerk, Amsterdam. [21] Sponsors were Hettelurus Daniel Vogelaer and Wijntje Vink. She died on 26 December 1643 in Amsterdam and was buried on 29 December 1643 in the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam. [22]

 

Pieter Varlet was a talented and ambitious man. In a notarial act dated the 27th of March 1627, [23] he was mentioned as a Foreman and Inspector of the Dyers' Guild. He was then only 28 years old, married just a few months. On the 22nd of August 1628, he rented another silk-dyery from Jeronimus Lefebvre, situated outside the "Heyligeweghspoorte" (Holy Road Gate) just outside Amsterdam. [24]

 

Dyeing silk was a highy specialized craft, very different from dyeing any other material. Silk was obtained from the cocoons of silkworms, which contained a natural glue called sercine. After it was unwound from the cocoons and spun into thread, the raw material was yellowish and rather stiff. Before the dye could stick to the silk, it needed washing to remove the sercine. Putting it into a boiling soap solution removed the glue, made the silk white, and gave it its smooth softness. The silk was then dyed, after which it would take on its desired softness, smoothness and characteristic glow. In order to accomplish the dyeing, some dyers used products that would give more weight to the silk. And because silk was sold according to its weight, much potential for trouble existed in many stages of the dyeing process. Over the years silk dyers were often accused of expanding their profits by withholding some of the original material, for which loss of weight they compensated by adding these kinds of products, or even extra sugar or gum arabic. For more information on the silk industry,  click here.

 

Even Pieter Varlet, a leading member of the Dyers' Guild, did not escape from the accusation of manufacturing overweight silk. In 1638, his sister Catrijna, then the widow of Severijn Hack, was named in a deposition concerning a lot of dyed silk that she had sold in July 1636 to Juffrouw Sara Fontaine. Catrijna had obtained this silk; her brother Pieter Varlet's factory dyed it and returned it to her. [25] Catrijna then sold it to Juffrouw Fontaine, whose son sold it as part of a larger shipment he had taken to Dantzig. There, after it was discovered that he had been trading illegally, he was detained. In the discovery process in Danzig, two bales of black-dyed silk were found to be of poor quality. Juffrouw Fountaine complained of this in Amsterdam, where Pieter Varlet and his foreman each testified that the silk that was returned to Juffrouw Hack had been processed according to Amsterdam regulations. [26] In one of the documents, Pieter was mentioned as Master Silk Dyer. [27]

 

Pieter Varlet had valuable connections with people in high places. At the baptism of his son Cornelis in 1639, some famous names are found among the sponsors. Pieter made the following entry in his family register. He writes (translated): [18]

 

Cornelis Varlet was born in the year 1639 at seven in the morning on Monday the 10th of January in Amsterdam, and on the 3th of February was baptized in the Oude Kerk by dominee Badini. His sponsors were: the Lord Cornelis van Wijkersloot, Bewindhebber of the East India Company, [who] presented him as a baptism gift a silver porridger. Also as sponsor was the Lord Admiral Cornelis Cornelissen Jol, alias Houtebeen, who presented him as a baptism gift a silver porridger, and also as a sponsor the housewife of the Lord Admiral Jan Corn. Lighthout [who] presented a silver goblet. Also sponsor Maria Haak.

 

Admiral Cornelis Cornelisz. Jol, aka Houtebeen (1600-1641), was one of the most colorful Dutch Admirals of the early seventeenth century. Born in Scheveningen, he began as a fisherman, and ultimately became an Admiral of the West India Company. He was a highly skilled navigator, and known for his tremendous courage as well as for his humane attitude towards prisoners of war. On 21 October, 1639, the same year Cornelis Varlet was baptized, he led a squadron in the battle of Duins, where the Dutch defeated the Spanish Armada. On 30th May 1640 he was send from Brasil to Africa where he conquered Luanda (Angola) and the island Sao Tome. He died at Sao Tome on the 31st October 1641 of malaria.

 

Admiral Jan Cornelisz. Lichthart (misread by the transcriber of the Varlet Aantekening as 'Lighthout') and the abovementioned Admiral Cornelis Cornelisz. Jol had been naval comrades in arms in several important naval battles. Lichthart was also an Admiral with the Dutch West India Company, and had achieved his reputation in battles against the Duinkerkers and in Brasil. He died at the Rio Sao Francisco, Brasil, on 30th November 1646.

 

In 1643, Pieter Varlet's wife, Machtelt van Bree died, one week after giving birth to their daughter Machteltgen. Pieter writes in his family register (translated):

 

Machteldtje Varlet, my housewife, died on Tuesday evening the 21st of July, on the 8th day of her lying-in, of sound mind, after suffering from high fever for 5 days. She was buried on Friday the 24th of July in the Oude Kerk in our own grave, at the age of 39 years, attained 22 January 1643.

 

At the time of her death they lived on the Kloveniersburgwal in Amsterdam in the house called "Hof van Utrecht." [28]

 

Between 1640 and 1656 Pieter Varlet is mentioned several times in the Rotterdam Notarial Archives in a variety of business deals. On the 21st of August 1640, Pieter is referred to in those same archives as a 'Bewindhebber' (Director) of the West India Company. [29]

 

The Aantekening der Familie der Varletten, the family register of births, marriages and deaths, which had been started in 1627 by Pieter Varlet, was now in the keeping of his daughter Francijna. About the death of her father, she writes (translated):

 

1661. Pieter Varlet, our father, died on 29th October Saturday at midnight, sound of mind, after he lay for 12 days with high fevers of 24 and 26 and even 28 hours duration, and was buried the following 3rd of November in the Oude Kerk next to his housewife in our own grave, at the age of 63 years, two months and 11 days.

 

Despite the fact that five of the nine children of Pieter Varlet and Machtelt Jans van Bree reached adulthood, their number of descendents was limited. Only the yougest surviving child, Cornelis Varlet, married and had children.

 

Their oldest daughter Janneke Varlet, born in 1629, was a sponsor at the baptism in 1669 of her nephew Daniel Varlet, son of her brother Cornelis and his wife Anneken (Danielsdr.) Varlet. [30] At the age of 56, Janneke Varlet fell and broke her right arm, which was set and cured by two surgeons. [31] She died on the 20th of February 1704 in Amsterdam, at the age of 74. [9]

 

Francijna Varlet, born in 1631, was named after her grandmother Francina Jacobs. In 1637, her father made an entry in his family register: "Francijntjen Varlet will receive after our death or when she comes to marriage two little silver mugs coming from her grandmother Francina Jacobs." In 1667, she and her brother Pieter were sponsors at the baptism of Pieter Varlet, son of their brother Cornelis. [32] Francina retired to Diever, where she lived at the home of his brother Cornelis, where she died on the 29th of October 1717, at the age of 86. [11]

 

Sara Varlet, born in 1633, died on the 13th of January, 1681 at the age of 48. At the time of her death, she resided on the Rokin in Amsterdam. [13]

 

Pieter Varlet, born in 1636, was a co-sponsor with his sister Francijna at the 1667 baptism of another Pieter Varlet, a son of their brother Cornelis. [32] In 1681, after the death of Francois Pietersz. Heijblom, a son of his first cousin Francijna (Caspersdr.) Varlet, he and Steven du Pont were made guardians over Francois Heijblom's underaged children. [33] Heijblom's wife, Clara du Pont, was Steven du Pont's sister. Later, together with their sister Francijna, Pieter Varlet moved to the home of his brother Cornelis in Diever, and lived there until his death. He died at the age of 81, on the 10th of February 1718. [17]

 

Cornelis Varlet, the youngest surviving son of Pieter Varlet and Machtelt Jans van Bree, was the only one of their children who married. He became a successful man in the peat business in Drenthe. Only two of his children reached adulthood: his daughter Sara, who married Lucas Fledderus and had several children, and his son Pieter, who died unmarried in 1700. With Pieter Cornelisz. Varlet, the name Varlet in this line disappeared.

 

 

Click here for more about peat harvesting and the peat industry in Holland

 

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NOTES AND SOURCES

 

1. Aantekening der familie der Varletten, Drents Archief, access nr. 0604, inv. nr. 14: Pieter Varlet was born in the year 1598, the 18th of August at 6 o'clock in the evening, in Cologne. His sponsors were: Jacob Jacobs and Pieter Cangon.

2. Stadsarchief Amsterdam: ondertrouwregister, akte 764p18. Marriage intentions, Amsterdam, 7 Nov. 1626: "sijn voor commissaris Danker Schellinger innengeteckent den acte van Johannes Flaman, pred. tot Utregt. Pieter Varlet van Keulen, ---------, wonende op de Binnenhavenstraat, out 28 jaren, geen ouders hebbend, & Metje Jans van Utregt & aldaer wonende." (transcription from digital image and translation by Cor Snabel and Elizabeth A. Johnson)

3. Aantekening der familie der Varletten, Drents Archief, access nr. 0604, inv. nr. 14: Jan Lenartzen van Bree and Grietjen Claasen, my housewife's father and mother, were married in the year 1600, eight days after Easter, in Utrecht. [30 May 1626 OS / 9 June 1626 NS]

4. Aantekening der familie der Varletten, Drents Archief, access nr. 0604, inv. nr. 14: Machteltje Jans van Bree, my housewife, was born in the year 1604, at 11 o'clock on Sunday the 22nd of January, in Utrecht.

5. Utrechts Archief: ondertrouwregister, akte 94p190.

6. Stadsarchief Amsterdam: doopregister, akte 6p187 and Aantekening der familie der Varletten, Drents Archief, access nr. 0604, inv. nr. 14: Johannes Varlet was born in the year 1627, at three in the afternoon on Sunday, the 17th of October, in Amsterdam. His sponsors were: Herman Gysberts Yzerman and he presented the child two silver porridgers, also Neeltjen Lenarts van Bree, our auntie, and she has presented the child a silver rattle with a chain in it.

7. Aantekening der familie der Varletten, Drents Archief, access nr. 0604, inv. nr. 14: Joh. Varlet, my little son, is resting in the Lord in the year 1633 at 7 o'clock in the evening on Wednesday the 26th of January, after he had suffered for three months from a fatal disease with high fever. He was buried in the Nieuwe Zijds Kapel in front of the pulpit on the 29th of January.

8. Stadsarchief Amsterdam: doopregister, akte 6p242 and Aantekening der familie der Varletten, Drents Archief, access nr. 0604, inv. nr. 14: Janneken Varlet was born in the year of our Lord and Saviour J.C. 1629, at 11 o'clock in the evening, the last of May, in Amsterdam. Her sponsors were Herman Gysberts Yzerman, he has presented her a silver key-chain, weighting exactly 24 lood [note]; the other sponsor was M. Catrina Varlet and she has given her a silver goblet with a lid on it. [one lood = half an ounce].

9. Aantekening der familie der Varletten, Drents Archief, access nr. 0604, inv. nr. 14: 1704. The 20th February our oldest sister Jannaken Varlet is resting in the Lord on a Wednesday at 8 o'clock in the morning, sound of mind at the age of 74 years, 9 months and 20 days, and was buried on the 26th ditto in the Oude Kerk in our own grave.

10. Stadsarchief Amsterdam: doopregister, akte 6p300 and Aantekening der familie der Varletten, Drents Archief, access nr. 0604, inv. nr. 14: Francina Varlet, our daughter, was born in the year of our Lord J.C. 1631, at 3 o'clock in the morning on Friday the 14th of March, in Amsterdam. Her sponsors were: Jacob Dieriks or Tjerks Houtkoper and he has presented her as a baptism gift a Koningsdaalder [King's Thaler], one and a half Rijksdaalder with a crown imprinted on it, and a Ducat which was minted by the King of Bohemia or Paltz. Her other sponsor was Judict Varlet.

11. Aantekening der familie der Varletten, Drents Archief, access nr. 0604, inv. nr. 14: 1717. The 29th October Francina Varlet is resting in the Lord and was buried in Diever, at the age of 86 years and 7 1/2 months.

12. Stadsarchief Amsterdam: doopregister, akte 6p358 and Aantekening der familie der Varletten, Drents Archief, access nr. 0604, inv. nr. 14: Sara Varlet, our daughter, was born in the year 1633, at 5 o'clock in the morning on Sunday the 2nd of January in Amsterdam, and also on a Sunday the 30th ditto was baptized in the Oude Kerk. Her sponsors are Daniel Vermout and [he] has presented her a silver plate, also aunt Sara Varlet and [she] has presented her a silver mustard-pot with a silver spoon in it, given in the name of the Holy Lord.

13. Stadsarchief Amsterdam, begraafregister, akte 1047p287 and Aantekening der familie der Varletten, Drents Archief, access nr. 0604, inv. nr. 14: 1681. On the 13th of January our sister Sara Varlet died at the age of 48 years and 11 days, and and on the 18th ditto was buried in the Oude Kerk in our own grave; also there were about 20 couples at her funeral.

14. Stadsarchief Amsterdam: doopregister, akte 41p336 and Aantekening der familie der Varletten, Drents Archief, access nr. 0604, inv. nr. 14: Johannes Varlet, our second son, was born in the year 1634 at half past eleven in the evening on Wednesday, the 6th of September in Amsterdam, and was baptized on Kermis [Fair] Tuesday the 26th ditto in the Nieuwe Kerk. His sponsors were: Jasper van der Veen, presenting as a baptism gift a silver plate, and Christina a silver cup, cousin Hans Cobritze [gave] a silver porridger with 'Hansje' engraved in the bottom, because he was named after his name.

15. Aantekening der familie der Varletten, Drents Archief, access nr. 0604, inv. nr. 14: Hansje, our second son, died in the year 1640 at eleven o'clock on Tuesday morning the 14th of February. [see note] He suffered from chickenpox for 16 days before he was relieved, and is buried in the Oude Kerk on the 17th ditto, in a new grave, which I had bought, and is the first to be buried in it. May God the Lord grant him a joyful and holy resurrection. [note: “ eleven o'clock" might be wrong. It was transcribed as “1/2 uur" or half uur, but was possibly 'elf uur' meaning eleven o'clock]

16. Stadsarchief Amsterdam: doopregister, akte 7p107 and Aantekening der familie der Varletten, Drents Archief, access nr. 0604, inv. nr. 14: Pieter Varlet, my little son, was born in the year of our Lord 1636 at 8 o'clock in the morning on Thursday the 2nd of October in Amsterdam, and was baptized in de Oude Kerk on Sunday the 12th ditto. His sponsors were: Daniel Rusland and Catarina Statsmacker. Daniel Rusland presented him a golden [schroeft] as a baptism gift. [schroeft = unknown word]

17. Aantekening der familie der Varletten, Drents Archief, access nr. 0604, inv. nr. 14: On the 10th February uncle Pieter Varlet is resting in the Lord in his 82nd year, and was buried in the church of Diever in 1718.

18. Stadsarchief Amsterdam: doopregister, akte 7p200 and Aantekening der familie der Varletten, Drents Archief, access nr. 0604, inv. nr. 14: Cornelis Varlet was born in the year 1639 at seven in the morning on Monday the 10th of January in Amsterdam, and on the 3th of February was baptized in the Oude Kerk by dominee Badini. His sponsors were: the Lord Cornelis van Wykersloot, Bewindhebber of the East India Company, [who] presented him as a baptism gift a silver porridger. Also as sponsor was the Lord Admiral Cornelis Cornelissen Jol, alias Houtebeen, who presented him as a baptism gift a silver porridger, and also as a sponsor the housewife of the Lord Admiral Jan Corn. Lighthout [who] presented a silver goblet. Also sponsor Maria Haak, who gave nothing to remember this.

19. Aantekening der familie der Varletten, Drents Archief, access nr. 0604, inv. nr. 14: 1721. On the 8th December my father Cornelis Varlet [died] in his 83rd year, and was also buried in the church in Dieveren.

20. Aantekening der familie der Varletten, Drents Archief, access nr. 0604, inv. nr. 14: 1641 ADi. On the 2nd of June my wife was delivered of a dead child after she from the 30th of May was in heavy labor and could not deliver. [It] was finally resolved that the dead child must be removed from her by Mr. Pieter with instruments. It was a little son, whom on the 5th of June we buried in the Oude Kerk in our own grave.

21. Stadsarchief Amsterdam: doopregister, akte 93p37 and Aantekening der familie der Varletten, Drents Archief, access nr. 0604, inv. nr. 14: 1643. Machteltje Varlet, our youngest daughter, was born at 10 o'clock in the evening on Tuesday the 14th of July in Amsterdam, and was baptized the 26th of July in the Zuider Kerk by dominee Jacobi Laurentius. Her sponsors were Do. Hettelurus Daniel Vogelaar and Wyntje Vink, widow of Johan Roberts Salluy, living in Rotterdam. The forementioned Roberts has presented her as a baptism gift a silver porridger.

22. Stadsarchief Amsterdam: begraafregister, akte 1046p25v and Aantekening der familie der Varletten, Drents Archief, access nr. 0604, inv. nr. 14: 1643. Machteldje Varlet, my youngest daughter, died at 7 o'clock in the morning on the 26th of December, the 2nd Christmas day, at the age of 23 weeks and 4 days, and was buried the 29th ditto in the Oude Kerk in our own grave.

23. Bronnen tot de geschiedenis van het bedrijfsleven en het gildewezen, by J.G. van Dillen. publ. Nijhoff, 's-Gravenhage 1929. Vol. 2 (1612-1632), page 623-624, not. acte 394f191 dated 27 March 1627, notary Jacob Jacobs.

24. Bronnen tot de geschiedenis van het bedrijfsleven en het gildewezen, by J.G. van Dillen. publ. Nijhoff, 's-Gravenhage 1929. Vol. 2 (1612-1632), page 655-656, not. acte 397f371 dated 22 August 1628, notary Nicolaes Jacobs.

25. Bronnen tot de geschiedenis van het bedrijfsleven en het gildewezen, by J.G. van Dillen. publ. Nijhoff, 's-Gravenhage 1929. Vol. 3 (1633-1672), page 139, not. acte 415f21 dated 17 January 1637, notary Nicolaes Jacobs.

26. Bronnen tot de geschiedenis van het bedrijfsleven en het gildewezen, by J.G. van Dillen. publ. Nijhoff, 's-Gravenhage 1929. Vol. 3 (1633-1672), page 156-157, not. acte 415f406 dated 8 June 1637, notary Jacob Jacobs.

27. Bronnen tot de geschiedenis van het bedrijfsleven en het gildewezen, by J.G. van Dillen. publ. Nijhoff, 's-Gravenhage 1929. Vol. 3 (1633-1672), page 144-145, not. acte 415f225 dated 4 April1637, notary Nicolaes Jacobs.

28. Stadsarchief Amsterdam, begraafregister, akte 1046p21v.

29. Gemeentearchief Rotterdam, notarial archives, inv. nr. 262, akte 315/512.

30. Stadsarchief Amsterdam: doopregister, akte 66p144.

31. Aantekening der familie der Varletten, Drents Archief, access nr. 0604, inv. nr. 14: 1685. The 16th December my sister Janneke Varlet by accidentally falling had broken her right arm, and by the surgeons Joh. van Claveren and van Ottinga it was set and cured at once, although she was already 56 years old.

32. Stadsarchief Amsterdam: doopregister, akte 66p101.

33. Utrechts Archief: oud notarieel archief, inv.nr. U110c1, akte 3 dated 12 Sept. 1682.

 

 

Next: The Abraham Varlet Family

 

 

© 2008, Cor Snabel and Elizabeth A. Johnson

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