Stadtholder

(redirected from Stadtholders)
Also found in: Dictionary.

Stadtholder

 

(also stadhouder), the viceroy in the Netherlands of Burgundian and later of Hapsburg sovereigns during the 15th and 16th centuries. After the 16th-century bourgeois revolution in the Netherlands, the stadtholder was the chief executive power in the United Provinces of the Netherlands until the end of the 18th century.


Stadtholder

 

in a number of European countries, an official who exercised state authority over a certain territory. Stadtholders existed in the Netherlands during the rule of the Burgundian and Hapsburg dynasties, in the crown lands of the Austrian Empire, and in Austria-Hungary until 1918. In the German Empire from 1871 to 1918, the term stadtholder was applied to the governor of Alsace-Lorraine. The office of Reichsstatthalter existed in fascist Germany from 1933 to 1945.

References in classic literature ?
The Grand Pensionary bowed before the will of his fellow citizens; Cornelius de Witt, however, was more obstinate, and notwithstanding all the threats of death from the Orangist rabble, who besieged him in his house at Dort, he stoutly refused to sign the act by which the office of Stadtholder was restored.
In the meanwhile William of Orange urged on the course of events by every means in his power, eagerly waiting for the time when the people, by whom he was idolised, should have made of the bodies of the brothers the two steps over which he might ascend to the chair of Stadtholder.
Moreover," hinted the Orange agitators interspersed through the crowd, whom they hoped to manage like a sharp-edged and at the same time crushing instrument, -- "moreover, will there not, from the Buytenhof to the gate of the town, a nice little opportunity present itself to throw some handfuls of dirt, or a few stones, at this Cornelius de Witt, who not only conferred the dignity of Stadtholder on the Prince of Orange merely vi coactus, but who also intended to have him assassinated?
As stadtholder of the union, he has, however, considerable prerogatives.
The belligerent policy of the stadtholders of the House of Orange was in no small measure responsible for this course of action.