maandag 7 januari 2008

Willem Helvetius van Riemsdijk

The good old days?

Willem Vincent Helvetius was the second child of Jeremias and Adriana. Jeremias had five children from previous marriages of which three died as infants. Adriana's first child also died at childbirth. Her second child Willem Vincent Helvetius was born Batavia, November 23, 1752. He was baptized November 26 in the 'Hollandse Kerk'. He had a six years old halfbrother Isebrandus and a half sister of nearly three years, called Johanna. His father Jeremias lost four children in ten years time, as well as three wifes. In the eighteenth century this was not an unusual circumstance. Many children died at birth or very young, many women died in childbirth. People died of illnesses or diseases that nowadays can easily be cured.
Willem Vincent Helvetius was twenty years old when his mother Adriana died in childbirth at the age of 36. Her youngest child was two years.

Willem Vincent Helvetius married with Catharina Margaretha Craan on July 4, 1773 in Batavia one year after his mother’s death. The bride was born in Batavia June 1, 1754. The couple produced fourteen children.

Catharina died August 1792, 38 years old and three months after giving birth to her fourteenth child, that only lived one month. Her husband Willem Vincent never married again. He lived another twenty five years.

In stead of having a new wife he preferred to have several mistresses. Most of them were good looking Indonesian non Christian women.

Willem Vincent Helvetius was at that time the richest man in Batavia and lived like the European Royals of that Era. He could call himself the biggest landowner of Batavia. In 1777 his income was 453.000 Rijksdaalders (nowadays amount to millions of dollars). He had seven children with his mistresses and all seven were adopted by him. Two children died and five of them participated (just as his ten remaining legal Dutch children) in his will. They also participated as heirs-at-law for equal parts in the revenues of the enormous patrimonial estate. For that reason they and their descendants are mentioned in the genealogy.

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Familyarms of the Craanfamily

See picture below in the woodcarving of the window above the door you can see the crane of the Craanfamily in the centre.

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The house Tanjung Timur (Tandjoeng Oost) or Groeneveld. A most beautiful 18th century mansion at the outskirts of Batavia. It is build in the closed Dutch style. Willem Vincent Helvetius got the mansion in 1781 by devision of his father-in-laws property. The mansion was owned by the family until it was confiscated by the Indonesian gouvernment after the Independance. It was ruined by a fire in 1985.

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Build in 1756 the direct descendants of Van Riemsdijk lived in the mansion from 1781 till World War II. After the independance of Indonesia Soekarno confiscated the property and nine police families were lodged in it for 30 years. While cooking on a stove a fire broke out and the house became a complete ruin. Photo above made in 1985.

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Nothing left from what once was a beautiful estate. Picture made in 1996

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Daniel Cornelis inherited the estate 'Groeneveld' from his father Willem Vincent Helvetius van Riemsdijk. All his three daughters lived on the estate and were burried on the estate's graveyard. They would turn in their grave when they knew of the deplorable state their beautiful mansion is in nowadays.

2 opmerkingen:

Dewi Soenarjo zei

wow, its very pleasent of you to teach and thougt young generation about your prestige & heritage root,from long long way to batavia until now become jakarta, indonesia.bravo, salut! im so proud and amazing..im going to teach my kids too to learn and respect about my heritage, my husband is half dutch too.. we loved to read these story and cant take our eyes from how pity the buliding was,its was ruined from fire 1985.and theres nothing to do with it,no one can help it fix, make my heart very sad and blue. i wish i could buy the house make it look like used to be ( oldtime memory)just like the picture..hope so..hope you had great time in indonesia..

Dewi Soenarjo zei

wow, its very pleasent of you to teach and thougt young generation about your prestige & heritage root,from long long way to batavia until now become jakarta, indonesia.bravo, salut! im so proud and amazing..im going to teach my kids too to learn and respect about my heritage, my husband is half dutch too.. we loved to read these story and cant take our eyes from how pity the buliding was,its was ruined from fire 1985.and theres nothing to do with it,no one can help it fix, make my heart very sad and blue. i wish i could buy the house make it look like used to be ( oldtime memory)just like the picture..hope so..hope you had great time in indonesia..