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Founding large charities and community building in the Dutch Republic, c. 1600-1800


  • Henk Looijesteijn
  • Marco H.D. van Leeuwen


In this contribution, we study the founding of large charities for the elderly during the Dutch Republic, demonstrating their number and nature, with an emphasis on how almshouses for the elderly were intricately bound up with the concern to preserve honour. Personal honour, being tied to community honour, formed a vital part of the processes of patronage and corporatism that defined early modern Dutch society. Through almshouse foundations the religious and civic communities to which patrons and clients belonged were strengthened. Within the fragmented religious landscape of the Dutch Republic these charities played an important role in strengthening both mainstream and dissenter communities, while providing a decent old age to Dutch citizens.

Suggested Citation

  • Henk Looijesteijn & Marco H.D. van Leeuwen, 2014. "Founding large charities and community building in the Dutch Republic, c. 1600-1800," Scandinavian Economic History Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 62(1), pages 17-34, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:sehrxx:v:62:y:2014:i:1:p:17-34
    DOI: 10.1080/03585522.2013.872176

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    Cited by:

    1. Anita Boele & Tine de Moor, 2018. "‘Because family and friends got easily weary of taking care’: a new perspective on the specialization in the elderly care sector in early modern Holland," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 71(2), pages 437-463, May.

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