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Willemijn Tuinstra wins the Uitgeverij Verloren/Johan de Witt-thesis prize for History

Willemijn Tuinstra has won the Uitgeverij Verloren/Johan de Witt-award for History 2020 with her Master Thesis 'Conscience & connections. Marcellus Franckheim (1587-1644) and his contacts in the Habsburg World at the eve of the Thirty Years War'.

Prize-winners Willemijn Tuinstra and Casper Stouthuysen with Thys VerLoren van Themaat, director Uitgeverij Verloren.

With her master thesis Conscience & connections. Marcellus Franckheim (1587-1644) and his contacts in the Habsburg World at the eve of the Thirty Years War, supervised by Prof. Dr. Jeroen Duindam, Willemijn Tuinstra has won the 2020 Uitgeverij Verloren/Johan de Witt-award for History. She has been presenting preliminary findings of this thesis at the XII Annual Convention of Austria Centers 2018 at Lake Louise, Canada. Parts of this research will also be published in the upcoming issue of Europa Orientalis.

From the Press Release:

(translation by Frederique Visser)

“The prize has been awarded for the sixth time in cooperation with Elsevier Weekblad. After the nominees had given additional explanation on their respective theses and jury chairman Dr. Ineke Huysman had read the jury report, the winners received their prizes from Thys Verloren van Themaat, director of Uitgeverij Verloren, and Arendo Joustra, chief editor of Elsevier Weekblad. These two winners had been selected from a total of thirteen submissions and was judged by Dr. Brandon (VU, Amsterdam), Dr. De Bruin (UU, Utrecht), Dr. Koopmans (RUG, Groningen), Dr.Van Tol (UvA, Amsterdam), and Chair Dr. Huysman (Huygens ING-KNAW). Secretary of the Jury was Dr. De Jonge (WU, Wageningen).

The Uitgeverij Verloren/Johan de Witt history award is granted to the best historical bachelor and/or master thesis on the Dutch Republic in the 17th century. Its purpose is to stimulate historical research into this important time period. The winners were awarded prizes of €1500 and €200, a book package, a subscription to Elsevier Weekblad, and an annual membership to Vrienden van De Witt.”

Jury Report

According to the jury, the author has made an important contribution in furthering understanding in regard to the religious experience and its connected consequences in the early modern period. The author has described the religious tensions and has given these a personal dimension through the perspective on Marcellus Franckheim, who was raised in a protestant environment and eventually converted to Catholicism. The amount of used source material is impressive and demonstrates a passion for extensive archival research, which forms the foundation for sound historical research. The thesis has a high scientific quality and was awarded high marks accordingly.”

Thesis Summary

'Conscience & connections. Marcellus Franckheim (1587-1644) and his contacts in the Habsburg World at the eve of the Thirty Years War'

Using Marcellus Franckheim as an exemplary case, this thesis addresses the broader question of how Dutch Catholics in the early seventeenth century, both in the Low Countries and in exile, participated in local and transnational networks to promote and consolidate their faith. By analysing Franckheim’s surviving correspondence and publications, this thesis shows that the Dutch Gomarist-Arminian controversy during the Twelve Years Truce directly influenced his decision to convert and that a group of engaged Zutphen Catholic citizens connected him to the Counter-Reformation world of the Habsburg courts in Europe. In this way the thesis provides insight in the interconnectedness of the political and religious conflicts in the Low Countries and the Holy Roman Empire, in particular with regard to the ways in which individuals felt involved and tried to influence these events.

Marcellus Franckheim grew up in Zutphen and received a proper Calvinistic upbringing and education, that eventually led to his function as rector of the Latin school. Despite his Calvinistic background, he remained searching in religious terms and had little personal affinity with extremists. The turning point in his life was his conversion to Catholicism, which also meant the loss of his position as rector. Marcellus exchanged his old Calvinist contacts with a new catholic network that provided him with the opportunity to leave Zutphen and to enter the service of the Habsburg emperor in Vienna. Between 1616 and 1618, Marcellus was secretary to Cardinal Khlesl, the head of emperor Matthias’ Privy Council. In this function Marcellus witnessed the coronations of Matthias’ successor Ferdinand II as king of Bohemia (1617) and Hungary (1618). A year later he would be travelling Europe with Don Matthias of Austria, a bastard son of former emperor Rudolf II, promoting the Ordo Militiae Christianae among the European Catholic nobility and signing his letters with ‘Marcellus Franckheim, Aulae Lateranensis & Sacri Palatii Apostolici Comes, auratus militia Eques (Order of the Golden Spur), a distinction for special achievements for the Catholic church awarded to him by Pope Paul V. Marcellus became a public advocate for the catholic and Habsburg interests, as became apparent from his publication in which he defended Habsburg intervention in Bohemia. Eventually he moved to the Souther Netherlands and became councillor to respectively Archduchess Isabella and King Philip IV of Spain in the Supreme Council of the Admiralty of the Flanders fleet, ministering the actions of Dunkirk privateers in the Spanish-Dutch Eighty Years War.

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