John Maurice of Nassau


John Maurice of Nassau
Dutch Johan Maurits van Nassau

born June 17, 1604, Dillenburg, Nassau
died Dec. 20, 1679, Cleves, Brandenburg

Dutch colonial governor and military commander.

He fought after 1621 in the campaigns of his cousin Frederick Henry, prince of Orange, against Spain. As colonial governor in Brazil, recently conquered from Portugal, he secured control of vast areas for the Dutch West India Company in 1636–44, bringing the Dutch empire in Latin America to the peak of its power. He also sponsored the seizure of Angola (1641) and of several key ports on the western African coast to supply slaves for Brazilian plantations, and he led a Dutch army in 1665 in the Anglo-Dutch Wars.

* * *

▪ count of Nassau-Siegen
byname  The Brazilian,  Dutch  Johan Maurits Van Nassau, De Braziliaan 
born June 17, 1604, Dillenburg, Nassau [Germany]
died Dec. 20, 1679, Cleves, Brandenburg

      Dutch colonial governor and military commander who consolidated Dutch rule in Brazil (1636–44), thereby bringing the Dutch empire in Latin America to the peak of its power.

      The son of John, count of Nassau-Siegen-Dillenburg, John Maurice fought in the campaigns of his cousin, the Dutch commander Frederick Henry (Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange, Count of Nassau), prince of Orange, against Spain after 1621. On Frederick Henry's recommendation, John Maurice was, in 1636, named kapitein-generaal (governor-general) of the Dutch colony in Brazil, which had recently been conquered from Portugal. As governor, he secured control for the Dutch West India Company of vast areas of Brazil from São Luís in the north to Sergipe, bordering Bahia state, in the south. He also expanded Dutch influence in the Caribbean and sponsored the seizure of Angola (1641) and of several key ports on the west African coast in order to secure trade and supply African slaves for Brazilian plantations.

      John Maurice was a capable general and an able and humane administrator. He tried to reconcile the Portuguese plantation owners, vital to the colony's economy, to Dutch rule, but his efforts were undercut by intolerant Calvinist ministers and by the arousal of Portuguese nationalist feelings after Portugal's liberation from Spain in 1640. He resigned in 1644, after the Dutch government refused him the financial support he needed to maintain control in the colony. A revolt against Dutch rule broke out the next year.

      In 1647 John Maurice accepted the position of Statthalter (governor) of Cleves, Mark, and Minden from Frederick William the Great, elector of Brandenburg. He led a Dutch army in 1665 in the second Anglo-Dutch War against England's ally Christoph Bernhard von Galen, bishop of Münster, and was named commander of forces in Friesland and Groningen by William III, prince of Orange, in the Dutch War (1672–78) against France. He distinguished himself at the Battle of Seneffe (1674) and retired the next year. His house in The Hague, the Mauritshuis, designed for him by Pieter Post (Post, Pieter), still displays a splendid collection of Dutch paintings.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • John Maurice, Prince of Nassau-Siegen — John Maurice of Nassau (Dutch: Johan Maurits , German: Johann Moritz , 17 June 1604 – 20 December 1679) was count and (from 1674) prince of Nassau Siegen. He was born in Dillenburg. His father was John VII of Nassau; his grandfather John VI of… …   Wikipedia

  • Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange — Maurice of Nassau Prince of Orange Prince of Orange In office 1618–1625 Preceded by …   Wikipedia

  • JOHN Maurice (Johan Maurits), Count of Nassau Siegen (1604–1679) —    After he served in the army of the stadtholders Maurice (1567–1625) and Frederick Henry, in 1636 John Maurice became governor of Brazil thus his epithet “the Brazilian” until the colony was lost after Portugal regained inde pendence in 1640.… …   Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands

  • Maurice — /mawr is, mor , maw rees /; for 3 also Fr. /maw rddees /, n. 1. German, Moritz. 1521 53, German general: elector of Saxony 1547 53. 2. of Nassau, 1567 1625, Dutch statesman. 3. a male given name. * * * (as used in expressions) Barrès Auguste… …   Universalium

  • John VII, Count of Nassau — Count John VII of Nassau (7 June 1561 ndash; 27 September 1623) was Count of Nassau in Siegen and Freudenberg as John I. He was the second son of Count John VI of Nassau Dillenburg and his wife Elisabeth of Leuchtenberg.Family and childrenHe was… …   Wikipedia

  • Nassau — /nas aw/; for 2, 3, also Ger. /nah sow/, n. 1. a seaport on New Providence Island: capital of the Bahamas; seaside resort. 100,000. 2. a district in central Germany: formerly a duchy, now a part of Hesse. 3. a member of a European royal family… …   Universalium

  • john — /jon/, n. Slang. 1. a toilet or bathroom. 2. (sometimes cap.) a fellow; guy. 3. (sometimes cap.) a prostitute s customer. [generic use of the proper name] * * * I known as John Lackland born Dec. 24, 1167, Oxford, Eng. died Oct. 18/19, 1216,… …   Universalium

  • John — /jon/, n. 1. the apostle John, believed to be the author of the fourth Gospel, three Epistles, and the book of Revelation. 2. See John the Baptist. 3. (John Lackland) 1167? 1216, king of England 1199 1216; signer of the Magna Carta 1215 (son of… …   Universalium

  • Nassau — may mean the following: Placenames Germany Nassau, Germany, a town in Rhineland Palatinate founded in AD 915, after which all the following (except the village in Saxony) are named, directly or indirectly Nassau Castle, ancestral seat of the… …   Wikipedia

  • Maurice — is a given name used as a name or surname. It originates as a French name derived from the Roman Mauritius and was subsequently used in English speaking countries as well. It is of Latin origin, meaning dark skinned, Moorish , and might refer to …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.