Wednesday, April 22, 2015

July 4, 1908

This issue of The Prince (De Prins) opens with a picture of Count Du Monceau, a retired general and the chief of the Military House of Her Majesty the Queen:

There is a short article about the count who was at that time nearly 81 years old. His father was a major by the Hussars while the son, after graduating from the Royal Military Academy at Breda started his career as the second lieutenant by the infantry.

In ten years time, the king promoted him to adjutant which was apparently a high position in those times and he continued his service till he was promoted to General Major in 1884 and, after the king's death, to Adjutant General by his widow. Count du Monceau was also the private secretary and librarian of the late king. He retired in 1892 as Lieutenant General but continued to serve the Dutch Royal family as the chief of the Military House.

The count was the Commander in the order of the Dutch Lion, Greatcross in the order of Orange, the Knight of the 1st class in the order of the Golden Lion of Nassau and overall, apparently, a very important man.

The next article tells us a story behind this monument in Rotterdam:

This is a statue of Gijsbert Karel, Count of Hogendorp.

 Gijsbert Karel was born in 1762 and fought in his first war before the age of 20. In 1782 he became an officer of the guards and was sent to America on a diplomatic mission, where he narrowly survived a shipwreck. When he came back, he resumed his studies at Leiden University and got engaged in politics.

Being a patriot, Gijsbert Karel refused to serve the French in the times of Napoleon, retired from his political position and started a successful business. He also wrote books on the political and social subjects, such as finances. After Napoleon's defeat he resumed his political career but eventually had to retire in 1826 due to ill health. He died in 1834, after receiving the Greatcross of the Dutch Lion from King William the 1st.

After this historical information, we are treated to a sentimental Victorian short story about the love triangle between an orphan girl, her guardian and a young army officer where everybody dies in the end and the admonition to the youngsters of Amsterdam to finally start behaving properly during the summer vacations.

On the next page there is a news item about the death of Grover Cleveland, an ex-President of the USA, with the picture of his family. Below it is the photo of the Sultan of Asahan visiting the zoo of Rotterdam:

Grover Cleveland, twice the president of the USA, started his career as a clerk in a lawyer's office. He was against protectionism and helped resolve a financial crisis.

Next comes the story of the castle of Rozendaal which the Lords of Gelderland fought and died for. In the end, it was inherited by Baron Torck who decided to renovate it according to the modern standards and thus changed it from a typically medieval fortress into this:

Still not bad, what do you think?

The next item is an article about butterflies, then comes a short story by Rider Haggard (the author of the King Solomon Mines) on the topic of love and honour, some info about building a new railway in one of the colonies, and finally, the first chapter of a German novel about a young lieutenant (of course!) unfortunate in love. His sweetheart forced him to choose between honour and love (do I see a pattern over here?) and he chose honour, so she chose another husband. Now his friends are setting him up with another girl, so I guess he will be comforted in the end.

The issue ends with pictures of the men which were in the news that week, including some officers who died in battle.

Next time we travel to 1935 and find out what were Dutch Catholics up to.


  1. Very interesting. Being an American, I was especially interested in reading about Grover Cleveland. I think he was a very large man, and if that is a picture of him sitting with family, he apparently lost a lot of weight before his death. Thank you for the review.

  2. You are welcome! I thought Americans would be interested to read about Mr Cleveland.