Year of publication 2002, issue 13

 

Preface

You cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs. Let me therefore start by correcting a few mistakes we made in our last bulletin. In the caption by the reunion photo 4 on page 9 we accidently mistook Heleen Lugard, daughter of W. Lugard – Le Rütte, for Natacha Scott. Another error, I was informed of straight after the publication of the bulletin, is Zoë in photo 5. She is not Prabhati’s daughter, but Guus’, who happens to be married to Prabhati. And finally another small – but not unimportant – detail on page 14: the dove hangs underneath the Cross of the Huguenots and therefore has to hang with its head down. Also in 2002 we made omelettes again and that concerned the further upgrading of the Bulletin, but mostly of the website. I cannot but thank our secretary/treasurer Jan Willem for his enormous effort and to compliment him on the result. Now everyone is able to contact the website through a personal computer (PC) with internet connection, regardless of where they are and find information on our family history, or to read the bulletins, ask questions and receive answers. In the near future we will also have a look at the illustrations and lay-out to improve the appeal and the user friendliness. A fantastic medium, the computer, that bridges every geographical gap, and that brings all Boissevains closer together, wherever they may be in the world. This by no means implies that the Bulletin loses its position. For me personally, nothing beats quietly sitting in my armchair reading and browsing through something that I can physically hold in my hand. And not everyone knows how to use a PC. I like to address a special word of thanks to Sue (New Zealand) for her tremendous work in translating the Dutch text into English! It was nice to notice that Charles (Leidschendam), his brother Bob (Heemstede) and John Tepper Marlin (USA) kept their ends up and filled up the more or less regular features with copies. It seems that their ‘branch’ is the most historically sensitive branch. I actually find that other branches from our family tree shouldn’t be left behind and I therefore urge you to also make a contribution to the Bulletin. The committee is open to any imaginable form of documentation that you can provide. We hope that you will enjoy this 13 th Bulletin and wish you a happy 2003.

Charles F.C.G. Boissevain, president Boissevain-Foundation

 

BOISSEVAIN FAMILY WEBSITE

Since July 2002 the new family website has gone live under a new address:

www.boissevain.net. The website is to be found through several Dutch and international search engines. A few genealogy sites have added a link to our family site. The website gets an average of 5 visitors per day.

The website is bilingual. The menu on the left of the homepage refers to the Dutch pages. The menu on the right of the homepage refers to the English pages. In the bottom left corner is a link to the guest book. Here you can add a comment or make some enquiries. You can also refer to your personal website in the guest book. In this way other visitors can either publicly or personally respond to your notice. In the bottom right hand corner of the homepage you’ll find a NEW button and the date of the last change. Under the NEW button you will find the most recent additions to the website according to date. The pages that you can open through the menu, contain information on our family. From any sub page you can return to the homepage through the coat of arms in the top left hand corner. Under origin our name and ancestry are explained. The pages Huguenots and Family coat of arms describe in short our family history and history of the coat of arms. De page Archives explains the family archive and the company archive, both of which are to be found in the municipal archives in Amsterdam. Through these pages you can request the inventory that has been made available by the municipal archives for this publication on our website, in the Dutch language. The introduction describes the family archive and the role of family members in society. The inventory consist of a contents of documents, photo’s etc. from Boissevains, members and related families. From the most well known Boissevains you can call up the inventory. On the main page of the archives you can find links to general information for visitors to the municipal archives. The page Genealogical Tree explains Barthold Hubert’s genealogical research and publications of the so called ‘green book’ and the Nederland’s Patriciaat 1988. Additions and alterations can be called up per family branch. These are all changes (births, deaths and marriages) that relate to the period after the year 1989 and that have been published in the bulletins. To keep our genealogy up to date, we depend on your information. We would like to hear of changes after 1989 that are not on the website or corrections to the ones that have been published, either by electronic mail or snail mail. The goal, the finances and the committee of the Boissevain Foundation are to be found on the page with this name. On the Reunion page you will find a report of the reunion that was held in Amsterdam, on 7 th of April 2001. Here you will also find the group photos per family branch that were taken during the reunion. By clicking on a photo you can enlarge it in colour and find the names of the posing family members. The reunion page contains links to reports of earlier family reunions, among others the reunion in Bergerac in July 1995. The page with information on the family tie, shows a photo of this tie and tells you how you can become a proud owner of one. The Foundation still has a limited number in stock. If you follow the instructions you will receive a tie in the mail. All issues of the Boissevain bulletins can be called up through the bulletin page. The individual articles can be reached via the index page. The webmaster informs via the mail of any changes to the website. We can put you on the mailing list if you send an e-mail to the webmaster. This is also the address to use for change of addresses, family changes and contributions to the website (articles and photo’s are always welcome). With this the committee hopes to strengthen the family ties in a virtual way!

Jan Willem Boissevain, Wassenaar (NP p 142)

 

GRUESOME PERSECUTION OF THE HUGUENOTS

There are not many books on the gruesome persecutions of the Huguenots in France, 300 years ago. Whoever happens to read one, will understand why Lucas Bouyssavy saved his skin by fleeing, and finding refuge in the Netherlands as a refugee.

P.L. van Enk wrote ‘De opstand kwam uit de bergen’ in 2002, an episode about the struggle of the Huguenots (publisher Aspekt, ISBN 90-5911-059-5). Although the book mainly covers the uprise in the Cevennes between 1702 – 1710, it wasn’t much different in the area around Bergerac. Maybe not as bloody, but most certainly equally cruel. A handful of farmers and tradesmen rose against king Louis XIV, the most powerful ruler in the world, who tried to convert them to Catholicism with every possible means.

Women were raped, whipped, tortured and burned alive by the hundreds and thousands. The men too were tortured in ways reminiscent of some African wars. Limbs were hacked off, bones were broken, drawn and quartered. The writer paints a vivid picture. Around the time of the Edict of Nantes (1598) there lived in France approximately 1,2 million Protestants. They lived around the court in Paris, in the northwest, but mainly in a southerly half-moon, from La Rochelle via Béarn, Languedoc, Cevennes and Dauphiné to Besançon and Switzerland. Despite the Edict they were increasingly persecuted with the consent of, and on behalf of the Court. After the revocation of the Edict in 1685, their position became unbearable. What had long been smouldering hotbeds of resistance, finally turned into a full scale organized Protestant revolt against Catholicism. The book contains a moving report on the military operation and the changing fortunes, after the revolt had moved through the mountain region of the Cevennes as a crepitating and smoking trace of gunpowder. The revolt ended in 1710, but left its mark in many places in the world. You will find Huguenots in the Netherlands, England, Germany and in other countries. They influenced the Philadelphian Society and the Quakers. And also the Shakers, the Hernhutters and the Methodists. The tenacious belief of the Huguenots has greatly influenced the scholars who would later on formulate the human rights. Therefore our ancestors’ sacrifices were at the root of our basic rights and our democracy.

Charles Boissevain, Leidschendam (NP p 75)

 

HELP WANTED WITH BIOGRAPHY

I am writing to say what I am doing in the way of work on Boissevain family papers and also to ask for help. Besides my profession I work in the evenings on the lives of the Charletjes because the Boissevain family life at Drafna was a model of what family life can be, although I appreciate that it was not all sunlight and laughter.

In am particularly interested in the American suffragist Inez Milholland , herself from a Great House in upstate New York that rivaled Drafna. She married Eugen Boissevain (NP p 69). I am interested in writing a biography of Inez and have finished transcribing and annotating about 200 family letters that I have. They include about 200 original letters from Inez Milholland, about 100 from her mother-in-law Emily Boissevain and another 100 from Inez's parents.

I I also have about 200 letters from my grandmother Olga van Stockum-Boissevain and uncounted letters from my father and mother, Hilda van Stockum-Marlin . Emily MacDonnell Boissevain is of great interest to me. She met Charles Boissevain when he was in Dublin for an International Exposition. They married and she went back with him to Amsterdam and delivered 11 children for him. Emily's letters to her daughter Olga, which I have been transcribing and annotating, are full of intimacy and good sense. My mother, 94 and living in England just north of London, vividly remembers the time she spent at Drafna. Based on Emily MacDonnell's letters, I am preparing a short biography of her. If any readers of the Boissevain Bulletin have original letters from Emily that they could copy and send to me for possible inclusion in a book, or would be interested at a later date in purchasing a book about Emily's life or letters, they should contact me at TepperMarlin@aol.com . Also, I see from the 1996 index of the Boissevain family archive in the Amsterdam Municipal Archives, that there is one file of letters between Charles and Emily (#457) in 1865-1896. Also there is a file (#458) with letters from other relatives and another with letters from other persons (#459). If someone has visited the family archive (#394) and would like to cooperate with me on this effort to transcribe the letters, I would be happy to pay for the cost of copying them. I intend to contact Mr. H. Peschar of the Archives about this.

John Tepper Marlin, USA

 

TREASURES OF AMSTERDAM

The title of this article doesn’t refer so much to the six sisters Boissevain, who are portrayed on the photo taken of a painting (although…..?), but is the title of a booklet, published by the Amsterdam Historical Museum. This booklet contains a selection of the collection from the museum with the most beautiful and unique objects from the ancient and recent history of Amsterdam. One of these unique objects is a large painting of the six daughters of Charles E.H. Boissevain (1868-1940, NP p 69) and his wife Maria Barbera Pijnappel. It was made by Therèse van Duyl-Schwartze (1851-1918) early 1916, on the occasion of their silver wedding anniversary. This painter became famous for her excellent portraits. In the true tradition of 19 th century portraiture, the main thing was accurate resemblance and most of all meticulous reproduction of the faces.

Depicted are top row from left to right: Mary de Jong, Heentie Mesman and Emily Holbek and on the bottom row Teau Huisken, Els Krejcik and Dieuke Nienhuys. At the time of the painting, they varied in age from eighteen years to five. Mainly for the younger ones the posing would have been no picnic. But another well known painter, Lizzy Ansingh (younger cousin of Therèse Schwartze) kept them sometimes entertained by reading to them. Striking about the painting is the relatively large size: 130,5 x 146 cm. By some of the painter’s contemporaries such a large size was seen as unusual and unfeminine(!). The painting remained in the family for several decades, but in 1990 it was added to the collection of the Amsterdam Historical Museum . But already in 1919 it was exhibited in the hall of honour of the Stedelijk Museum. Therèse Schwartze’s fame as an expert portrait-painter grew rapidly after 1880 when she had painted successful portraits of the then Queen Emma, and the young princess Wilhelmina. Orders to have portraits painted poured in, also from the Boissevains. According to catalogues of exhibitions in 1890 en 1919 Therèse Schwartze among other things painted pictures of the grandmother of the six sisters: Emily McDonnell (1844-1931), the Irish wife of journalist /paper publisher/writer Charles Boissevain (NP p 67), of their oldest daughter Mary (1869-1959, before she married Cor van Eeghen), of the biologist and youngest daughter Mia (1878-1959) of Jan Boissevain and Nella Brugmans (NP p 52). The painting of the first mentioned (Emily) is still in family possession to this day. The fortunes of the two other mentioned paintings are unknown to me. Do other family members maybe know something about these?

Robert Lucas (Bob) Boissevain, Heemstede (NP p 74)

 

WIM BOISSEVAIN, a passion for colour

For many people, and so too in our family, painting is a hobby. But there are also a few Boissevains who, apart from doing it for fun, make a living from their painting. The oldest one among those is Wim Boissevain (1927, NP p 58), who has been living in the Australian city of Perth for more than half a century.

A few years ago an interesting book was published about him called: “William Boissevain, a passion for colour” (The Beagle Press, Sydney, ISBN 0 947349 22 7) with illustrations showing only a fraction of the work done over the years. Well, a fraction… Not less than 114 paintings are printed in colour plus another 30 black and white prints of paintings and drawings, all from his entire period in Perth. The book also contains a comprehensive biographical introduction by Gavin Fry, managing director of a museum and a leading art critic in Sydney.

His father Gi’s life as a diplomat, which involved living in many different countries put a mark on Wim’s youth. He received his first lessons in drawing and painting as a 13 year old from Russian emigrants in Shanghai. From them he learned in a more or less conventional way about composition and use of colour but also how to make portraits in a class with models. Not all women in that class appreciated the presence of this forward teenager. But young Wim made good progress. After 1945 he took lessons at the Académie des Beaux Arts in Paris for a while, and in London at the Central School of Arts and Crafts. By the late 1940s he decided during a visit to Perth to try and make his career as a painter. Initially this was quite hard going as the city is geographically far removed from the bigger art centres. But he did learn how important it is to have connections with good dealers and renowned galleries. Slowly his reputation grew, his work was sold more and more, he had exhibitions and his art ended up in numerous collections and was favoured in government circles and prominent companies. He received several awards, among which was the Order of the British Empire. From the book it becomes obvious how vast his body of work is. It contains portraits as well as less rigid pictures of people, flowers, landscapes, still lives and animals.

By far most of his work was done with oil on board or canvas, or alternatively, conté and oil wash on paper which produces a translucent effect. His style is not easy to describe. Among his favourite painters are: Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec, Goya, Velazquez, Matisse with most of the moderns. From his work it becomes obvious how much he devoted his life to, and was inspired by the beauty of nature. A clear example of this are his nudes, but most of all his feeling for colour. He doesn’t portray flowers in the form of stiff vases with beautiful flowers, but much more as vibrant colour compilations that seem to explode off the canvas. It is those paintings that prove best by far his great passion for colours.

Robert Lucas (Bob) Boissevain, Heemstede (NP p 74)

 

Portret of mother (1949/1950)

CONTEMPLATIONS AT NEDLLOYD

When I heard earlier in the year that the historical art collection of Royal Nedlloyd was to be given on loan to the Rotterdam Maritime Museum, I was very pleased. Although not much in our family history points towards Rotterdam, both institutes play an important role in conserving and displaying a piece of our maritime family history. After all, in the of 1.460 pieces consisting Nedlloyd collection, there are seven objects that relate to the motor vessel ‘Boissevain’ which was built in 1937.

 

It involves 3 ship models, 1 tapestry with the ship projected on it, 2 statuettes of elephant figures made out of stone and a bust of Jan Boissevain. Of these objects clear pictures won’t be available until a later date. At the moment the collection is still being photographed and stock taken. This is not an easy task for the objects of and from the ‘Boissevain’, because several of these pieces are held in regional offices of P&O Nedlloyd abroad. Apart from the collection Nedlloyd also donated 2,8 million euro to the museum for an extension to the building, so that different parts of the collection can be exhibited at all times. This should tale place from 2004 on, so keep an eye out for the exhibition agenda! Speaking of the ‘Boissevain’ two jubilees come to mind. This year the Hamburg shipyard Blohm & Voss will celebrate its 125 th anniversary. In exchange for tobacco and other goods from the colonies, the ‘Boissevain’ was built in this yard in 1937. It is the most controversial yard in the history of the European shipbuilding industry. In the First World War (1914 – 1918) Blohm & Voss was the most important building yard for the imperial navy. Next to the ‘Boissevain’, the passengership ‘Wilhelm Gustloff’ was also under construction in 1937. By the end of the war this ship was torpedoed by the Russians, in which 9000 people lost their lives. Also in the Second World War the yard was building for the navy and became ‘famous’ for building 238 submarines (U-boats). For its contribution to the war, the yard was heavily punished during and after the war. Lowest point in the history of the company is the bombing by the Allies, that cost the lives of thousands of staff members (among them many convicts). But also in the present anniversary year the orders for cruise- and containerships are pouring in, while at the same time the yard has once again come into favour with the war industry. B & V also supplies corvettes, cruisers and frigates. The other jubilee will be celebrated by former staff of the Koninklijke Java – China – Paketvaartlijnen (overseas known under the name Royal Inter Ocean Lines). This event takes place in response to the founding of the Java – China – Japan Lijn in 1902. My personal association with the KJCPL concerns the fact that my father was born in Hong Kong in 1921, when my grandfather Gustaaf (NP p 114) worked there for this company. In a wider maritime context it is important to know, that the KJCPL was the result of a merger between two shipping companies in 1947, who traditionally had their work area in the Far East: the Koninklijke Pakketvaart Maatschappij (KPM) and the Java – China – Japan Lijn (JCJL). De KPM dates back to 1891 and was established by Rotterdamsche Lloyd (RL) and the Stoomvaart Maatschappij Nederland (SMN) which was established by Jan Boissevain. You could roughly say that the JCJL took care of the transport of goods between China/Japan and Java (most important island of Indonesia), that the KPM took care of supply and conveyance of goods within the Indonesian archipelago, and that the SMN and the RL then linked Indonesia and the Netherlands. The Netherlands owes an important part of its wealth to this ‘system’. The loss of the Dutch East Indies and the transition of transport of general freight (‘mixed cargo’ or ‘bulkgoods’) to transport per container, creates from 1960 the need for closer cooperation between the Dutch ‘steamer’ companies. From 1970 this continues under the name of Nedlloyd, resulting in more and more shipping companies joining up. All these shipping companies also brought in their own cultural inheritance and that in turn brings on that extra connection between our family and the city of Rotterdam.

Charles F.C.G. Boissevain, Den Haag (NP p 116)

 

Election posters

There will be national elections in the Netherlands this January 22. Therefore this issue of the Boissevain Bulletin shows a selection of election posters of Walrave Boissevain (1876 - 1944) dating back to the early thirties.