Pensionary(redirected from pensionaries)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
one of the highest officials in the states of the Dutch provinces during the 15th through 18th centuries. In the Republic of the United Provinces in the 16th through 18th centuries, particular authority was attached to the post of pensionary of Holland, or grand pensionary, who was elected from among the most prominent representatives of the merchant oligarchy. The grand pensionary carried out the duties of the stadt-holder in the latter’s absence, represented the province of Holland at the States General, and guided foreign policy. Jan van Oldenbarneveldt, Jan de Witt, and A. Heinsius were grand pensionaries who were important political figures. The post of grand pensionary was abolished in 1795.