Jan Van Oldenbarneveldt
Oldenbarneveldt, Jan Van
(also Oldenbarnevelt, Barnevelt). Born Sept. 14, 1547, in Amersfoort; died May 13, 1619, in The Hague. Dutch statesman and de facto ruler of the province of Holland as its grand pensionary from 1586 to 1619.
A leader of the ruling merchant oligarchy in Holland, Olden-barneveldt sought to secure Holland’s hegemony within the United Provinces under the guise of defending the provinces’ autonomy in internal affairs. In championing provincial autonomy, he opposed centralization and the growing authority of the stadholder. He opposed continuing the war with Spain, and in 1609 he obtained a truce. During the intense political struggle that took the form of a clash between the religious factions known as the Arminians and Gomarists, Oldenbarneveldt, who supported the Arminians, came into conflict with the stadholder, Maurice of Orange. In 1619 he tried to incite a revolt against Maurice, but he was arrested and executed.