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Giving in early modern history: philanthropy in Amsterdam in the Golden Age


Philanthropy was enduring in early modern Europe. For centuries local charities gave small sums that helped many people to survive. Such charity can be studied from below, from the persepective of survival strategies, and from above, from the perspective of social control, but it can also be studied as scholars of philanthropic studies do for contemporary societies. This article does the latter. It pays attention to benefactors and benefactions; how many people gave and who were they?; when, where and what did benefactors give, and what were their motives? The article places an in-depth study of Amsterdam from the late sixteenth to the end of the eighteenth century in the context of the literature on early modern European philanthropy.

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1 See, for instance, S. Hindle, On the parish? The micro-politics of poor relief in rural England c. 1550–1750 (Oxford, 2004); and S. King, Poverty and welfare in England 1700–1850. A regional perspective (Manchester, 2000).

2 See, for instance, A. E. Komter, Social solidarity and the gift (Cambridge, 2005); Th. N. M. Schuyt, B. Gouwenberg and R. H. F. P. Bekkers, Geven in Nederland 2009 (The Hague, 2009); R. H. F. P. Bekkers, Giving and volunteering in the Netherlands (Utrecht, 2004); P. Wiepking, For the love of mankind: a sociological study on charitable giving (Amsterdam, 2008); Bekkers, R. and Wiepking, P., ‘A literature review of empirical studies of philanthropy: eight mechanisms that drive charitable giving’, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 40, 5 (2011), 924–73; van Leeuwen, M. H. D. and Wiepking, P., ‘National campaigns for charitable causes’, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly (forthcoming); Wiepking, P. and Maas, I., ‘Resources that make you generous: effects of social and human resources on charitable giving’, Social Forces 87 (2009), 1973–95; and P. Wiepking and M. H. D. van Leeuwen, ‘Picturing generosity: factors of success and failure of national campaigns in the Netherlands’, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly (forthcoming). See also the introduction to this issue of Continuity and Change, L. Heerma van Voss and M. H. D. van Leeuwen, ‘Charity in the Dutch Republic: an introduction’.

3 O. Hufton, The poor of eighteenth-century France, 1750–1789 (Oxford, 1974), 173–4 (italics added). She bases this judgement on calculations made by the Comité de Mendicité in 1790. From these calculations it appears that, according to Hufton, in the poorest French departments ‘the total resource divided by the number of destitute would not have been sufficient in any one year to buy a single pound of bread for each hungry person’.

4 Lindert, P., ‘Poor relief before the welfare state: Britain versus the continent, 1780–1880’, European Review of Economic History 2, 2 (1998), 101–40, figure 1.

5 van Leeuwen, M. H. D., ‘Surviving with a little help: the importance of charity to the poor of Amsterdam 1800–50, in a comparative perspective’, Social History 18, 3 (1993), 319–38.

6 C. Fairchild, Poverty and charity in Aix-en-Provence, 1649–1789 (London, 1976); C. Jones, Charity and bienfaisance: the treatment of the poor in the Montpellier region 1740–1815 (Cambridge, 1982); J. L. Marais, Histoire du don en France de 1800 à 1939. Dons et legs charitables, pieux et philantropiques (Rennes, 1999); M. Prak, ‘Goede buren en verre vrienden. De ontwikkeling van onderstand bij armoede in Den Bosch sedert de Middeleeuwen’, in H. D. Flap and M. H. D. van Leeuwen eds., Op lange termijn. Verklaringen van trends in de geschiedenis van samenlevingen (Hilversum, 1994), 147–69; and J. Kocka and G. Lingelbach eds., Schenken, Stiften und Spenden [special issue of Geschichte und Gesellschaft 33, 1 (2007)].

7 For example, Andrew, D. T., ‘On reading charity sermons: eighteenth-century Anglican solicitation and exhortation’, Journal of Ecclesiastical History 43, 4 (1992), 581–91; R. Titmuss, The gift relationship (London, 1970); Hindle, On the parish? I. Krausman Ben-Amos, The culture of giving: informal support and gift-exchange in early modern England (Cambridge, 2008); S. Cavallo, Charity and power in early modern Italy; benefactors and their motives in Turin, 1541–1789 (Cambridge, 1995); Komter, Social solidarity and the gift. For the Netherlands, see inter alia Komter, A. E. and Schuyt, C., ‘Geschenken en relaties’, Beleid en Maatschappij 20 (1993), 227–85; A. de Regt, Geld en gezin. Financiële en emotionele relaties tussen gezinsleden (Amsterdam, 1993); Schuyt et al., Geven in Nederland 2009; Bekkers, Giving and volunteering; and P. Wiepking, For the love of mankind.

8 The expression ‘autobiographies in miniature’ is taken from S. Epstein, Wills and wealth in medieval Genoa, 1150–1250 (Cambridge, MA, 1984), 232. See also M. Vovelle, Piété baroque et déchristianisation en Provence au XVIIIe siècle: les attitudes devant la mort d'après les clauses des testaments (Paris, 1973); W. K. Jordan, Philanthropy in England 1480–1660: a study of the changing pattern of English social aspirations (London, 1959); and W. K. Jordan, The charities of rural England 1480–1660: the aspirations and achievements of the rural society (London, 1962). See also the criticism of Jordan's works in Bittle, W. G. and Lane, R. T., ‘Inflation and philanthropy in England: a re-assessment of W. K. Jordan's data’, Economic History Review 29, 2 (1976), 203–10; and Hadwin, J. F., ‘Deflating philanthropy’, Economic History Review 31 (1978), 105–17; these criticisms focus, however, on an easily remediable flaw, namely the fact that Jordan omitted to take inflation into account when interpreting trends in the amounts given. For recent summary reassessments of Jordan's work, including his selection of wills, see Hindle, On the parish? 98–9; and Ben-Amos, Culture of giving, 113–14.

9 The sources used are by no means unique; they are available for many early modern and modern regions. See, for instance, J.-P. Gutton, La société et les pauvres: l'example de la généralité de Lyon, 1534–1789 (Paris, 1971); P. T. Hoffman, Church and community in the diocese of Lyon, 1500–1789 (New Haven and London, 1984); Jones, Charity and bienfaisance; M. Dinges, Stadtarmut in Bordeaux 1525–1675 (Bonn, 1988); Cavallo, Charity and power; J. Spaans, Armenzorg in Friesland 1500–1800. Publieke zorg en particuliere liefdadigheid in zes Friese steden: Leeuwarden, Bolsward, Franeker, Sneek, Dokkum en Harlingen (Hilversum, 1997); I. Dos Guimarães, Quando o Rico se Faz Pobre: Misercordias, Caridade e Poder no Imperio Portugues, 1500–1800 (Lisbon, 1997); N. Z. Davis, The gift in sixteenth-century France (Oxford, 2000); D. Green, ‘To do the right thing: gender, wealth, inheritance and the London middle class’, in A. Laurence, J. Maltby and J. Rutterford eds., Women and their money, 1700–1950: essays on women and finance (London, 2009), 133–50; and Kaiser, D., ‘Testamentary charity in early modern Russia: trends and motivations’, Journal of Modern History 76, 1 (2004), 128.

10 Recent Dutch studies on early modern philanthropy include M. Prak, ‘Armenzorg 1500–1800’, in J. van Gerwen and M. H. D. van Leeuwen eds., Studies over zekerheidsarrangementen. Risico's, risicobestrijding en verzekeringen in Nederland vanaf de Middeleeuwen (Amsterdam and The Hague, 1998), 49–90; Spaans, Armenzorg in Friesland; S. Groenveld, J. H. H. Dekker and T. R. M. Willemse, Wezen en boefjes. Zes eeuwen zorg in wees- en kinderhuizen (Hilversum, 1997); A. E. C. McCants, Civic charity in a Golden Age: orphan care in early modern Amsterdam (Urbana and Chicago, 1997); A. Buursma, ‘Dese bekommerlijke tijden’. Armenzorg, armen en armoede in de stad Groningen 1594–1795 (Assen, 2009); E. van Nederveen Meerkerk and G. Vermeesch, ‘Reforming outdoor relief. Changes in urban provisions for the poor in the Northern and Southern Low Countries (c. 1500–1800)’, in M. van der Heijden, E. van Nederveen Meerkerk, G. Vermeesch and M. van der Berg eds., Public services in the Low Countries (Amsterdam, 2009), 135–54; C. H. Parker, The reformation of community. Social welfare and Calvinist charity in Holland, 1572–1620 (Cambridge, 1998); I. van der Vlis, Leven in armoede. Delftse bedeelden in de zeventiende eeuw (Amsterdam, 2001); H. van Wijngaarden, Zorg voor de kost. Armenzorg, arbeid en onderlinge hulp in Zwolle, 1650–1700 (Amsterdam, 2000).

11 For a discussion of expenditure of the Amsterdam charities, see M. H. D. van Leeuwen, ‘Overrun by hungry hordes? Migrants’ entitlements to poor relief in the Netherlands, 16th–20th centuries', in S. Hindle and A. Winter eds., Migration, settlement and belonging in Europe, 1500–2000: comparative perspective (Oxford, forthcoming). See also H. Looijesteijn and M. H. D. van Leeuwen, ‘Identity registration in the Dutch Republic’, in K. Breckenridge and S. Szreter eds., Registration and recognition. Documenting the person in world history (Oxford, forthcoming), ch. 8.

12 A. P. A. M. Spijker, ‘Van Aalmoes tot sociale bijstand. Een overzicht van de ontwikkeling van de stedelijke armenzorg in Haarlem’, Haerlem Jaarboek (1979), 66–98. On Alkmaar, see van Baar, C. J. and Noordegraaf, L., ‘Werkschuwheid en misbruik van sociale voorzieningen? Het beleid in de Alkmaarse armenzorg 1750–1815’, Alkmaarse Historische Reeks 5 (1982), 5567. On Nijmegen, see F. H. M. C. Adriaens, De magistraat van Nijmegen en de armenzorg (1750–1800) (Nijmegen, 1956). On Utrecht, see P. D. 't Hart, De stad Utrecht en haar inwoners. Een onderzoek naar samenhangen tussen sociaal-economische ontwikkelingen en de demografische geschiedenis van de stad Utrecht 1771–1825 (Utrecht, 1983), 74–99. On Middelburg, see J. L. Kool-Blokland, De zorg gewogen: zeven eeuwen godshuizen in Middelburg (Middelburg, 1990). On six Frisian cities, see Spaans, Armenzorg in Friesland. The same applies to specialist institutions such as orphanages. On Amsterdam, see McCants, Civic charity. On the Dutch Republic in general, see Groenveld et al., Wezen en boefjes, 114–30.

13 Calculated as 13-year moving averages from the data (indexed 1650–1654=100) by H. Nusteling, Welvaart en werkgelegenheid in Amsterdam 1540–1860 (Amsterdam, 1985), 260–1. In the same period nominal wages in the building industry rose from an index of 41 to 96, see ibid. 235–6.

14 van Leeuwen, M. H. D. and Oeppen, J. E., ‘Reconstructing the demographic regime of Amsterdam 1681–1920’, Economic and Social History in the Netherlands 5 (1993), 61104, especially 87; and Nusteling, Welvaart, 234.

15 J. Wagenaar, Amsterdam in zyne opkomst, aanwas, geschiedenissen, voorregten, koophandel, gebouwen, kerkenstaat, schoolen, schutterye, gilden en regeeringe, beschreeven. (Amsterdam, 1760–1767), vol. II, 149. This was also the case for the Sephardic charity (T. Levie Bernfeld, Poverty and welfare among the Portuguese Jews in early modern Amsterdam (Oxford, 2012), ch. 5, especially 147–8) as well as for the Burgher orphanage, McCants, Civic charity, ch. 7.

16 H. W. van der Hoeven, Uit de geheime notulen van de ‘Eerwaarde Groote Vergadering’ 1785–1815. Het beleid van de diakonie van de Hervormde kerk te Amsterdam (The Hague, 1985), 178, 184.

17 Ibid., 137, 181–3 et passim.

18 H. C. de Wolf, Geschiedenis van het R.C. Oude-Armenkantoor te Amsterdam (Hilversum, 1966), 201–6. Meischke, Het R.C. Maagdenhuis, 69–73.

19 The Sephardic charity benefitted also from a ecclesiastical tax on wealth (finta), international trade (imposta), not so voluntary gifts in the synagogue (promessas) and the sale of kosher meat. See T. Levie Bernfeld, ‘Financing poor relief in the Spanish–Portuguese Jewish community in Amsterdam in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries’, in J. I. Israel and Reinier Salverda eds., Dutch Jewry: its history and secular culture (Leiden, 2002), 63–102; and Levie Bernfeld, Poverty and welfare, ch. 5, especially 138–40 and Appendix H, Figure 3, 255.

20 In other Dutch cities, the situation was as follows. In 's-Hertogenbosch the interest on capital was almost enough to fund all support given to the poor. As a result, its charities were not excessively dependent on gifts from individuals, a source of income that might dry up in times of crisis. The availability of capital in 's-Hertogenbosch probably put the town in a uniquely favourable position. In Leiden in the second half of the eighteenth century, for example, only one-tenth of income came from returns on capital, and in Rotterdam for the few decades afterwards the figure was never over a half. The situation in Amsterdam was somewhere in between those described for Leiden and Rotterdam. See Prak, ‘Armenzorg 1500–1800’; G. P. M. Pot, Arm Leiden. Levensstandaard, bedeling en bedeelden, 1750–1854 (Hilversum, 1994), 168–70; and P. A. C. Douwes, Armenkerk. De hervormde diaconie te Rotterdam in de negentiende eeuw (Schiedam, 1977), 125.

21 Although in other Dutch cities too, subsidies rose, see M. H. D. van Leeuwen, ‘Overrun by hungry hordes?’; and E. van Nederveen Meerkerk and D. Teeuwen, ‘Keeping up the good works: voluntary giving and the financial maintenance of charitable institutions in Dutch towns, c. 1600–1800’, paper presented at the Department of Economic and Social History, Utrecht University, 15 March 2012.

22 R. Wall, ‘Relations between generations in British families past and present’, in C. Marsh and S. Arber eds., Families and households: divisions and change (London, 1992), 63–85; and Cavallo, Charity and power, analyse some of those historical household accounts. Cavallo, Charity and power, 102, offers a rare example of a list of all the benefactors donating money to a poor relief institution in Turin in 1683 and claims that they came from all social classes. This is not to say that all social classes were benefactors to the same degree. In Germany, some civic authorities published lists of named benefactors. D. van Damme, Armenzorg en de staat (Leuven, 1990), 154.

23 Vovelle, Piété baroque et déchristianisation en Provence au XVIIIe siècle, 248. In some cities the percentage was actually much higher. It was around 70 per cent in Aix-en-Provence in the first half of the century, with bequests being made by all social classes (Fairchild, Poverty and charity in Aix-en-Provence, 56, based on research by Vovelle). For Montpellier, percentages of 45 in 1740–1741 and 24 in 1785–1786 have been calculated (Jones, Charity and bienfaisance, 87). K. Norberg, Rich and poor in Grenoble, 1600–1814 (Berkeley, 1985), 242, gives similar percentages for Grenoble in 1720–1729 and 1780–1789. In Lyon, 54 per cent of seventeenth-century wills (mostly Catholic) included a charitable bequest, compared with no less than 91 per cent in largely Protestant Nîmes (Pugh, W., ‘Catholics, Protestants and testamentary charity in seventeenth-century Lyon and Nîmes’, French Historical Studies 11 (1980), 479504). In Bayonne, a quarter of a small sample of Jewish wills dating from 1685 to 1785 included a bequest to the poor (Nahon, G., ‘Pour une approche des attitudes devant la mort au XVIIIe siècle. Sermonnaires et testateurs juifs Portugais à Bayonne’, Revue des Etudes Juives 136 (1977), 3123, especially 53–4). Jordan's research does not, as far as I am aware, offer comparable percentages.

24 Ben-Amos, Culture of giving, 115–22.

25 Vann, R. T., ‘Wills and the family in an English town: Banbury 1550–1800’, Journal of Family History 4, 4 (1979), 346–7, especially 352; Vovelle, Piété baroque et déchristianisation en Provence au XVIIIe siècle, 27.

26 We studied all the wills kept by the Catholic Charity extant for the period 1725–1799, while for the Reformed Charity a sample was taken of those extant for the same period. For full details, see van Leeuwen, ‘Liefdadige giften in Amsterdam’, Appendix.

27 See the article by E. van Nederveen Meerkerk in this issue of Continuity and Change, ‘The will to give: charitable bequests and community building in the Dutch Republic, c.1600–1800’.

28 A. T. van Deursen, Een dorp in de polder. Graft in de zeventiende eeuw (Amsterdam, 1994), 184. See also B. Diefendorf, From penitence to charity: pious women and the Catholic reformation in Paris (New York, 2004), 241–51; E. Rapley, The Dévots. Women and church in seventeenth-century France (Montreal, 1990), 20; Hoffman, Church and community, 171–84; Hoffman, P. T., ‘Wills and statistics: Tobit analysis and the counter Reformation in Lyon’, Journal of Interdisciplinary History 14, 2 (1984), 813–34. But see McGranahan, Leslie, ‘The widow's offering: inheritance, family structure, and the charitable gifts of women’, Explorations in Economic History 46, 3 (2009), 356–67, who finds in a sample of seventeenth-century English wills that men give more to philanthropy, which, however, may be accounted for by differences in wealth and family structure. It is good to remember that our wills are those that result in a gift to a charity. It is possible that more wives outlived their husband than vice versa. Maybe this could, also, in part account for the small number of wills drawn up by couples.

29 Amsterdam City Archives (hereafter ACA), PA 440, no. 256/106, will drawn up by Anna Douwes, 1753, and PA 377 Rode Doos B2/4, will drawn up by Jacob Bock and Catharina Aletta Stalman, 1765.

30 R. B. Evenhuis, Ook dat was Amsterdam. De kerk der late hervorming in de achttiende eeuw (Amsterdam, 1974), 125.

31 Sources for occupations include, in the first place, the wills themselves, the Personele Quotisatie of 1742 (an income tax imposed on all annual incomes in Holland in excess of 600 guilders), the data compiled by Elias (Johan E. Elias, De vroedschap van Amsterdam, 1578–1795 (Haarlem, 1903–1905)) on Amsterdam's patricians, and also the ondertrouwaktes (official notices of the intention to marry) and the poorterboeken, in which the civic authorities recorded the names of its citizens. It is useful to study these non-testamentary sources too in order to cover a large number of testators. The nature of the supplementary sources causes a systematic distortion towards wealthy citizens and thus to higher occupations. For example, the poor do not appear in the Personele Quotisatie. The procedure followed can be validated only to a limited extent, by calculating the average value of the gift per occupational group. If the occupational classification is generally correct, one would expect the highest occupational class to have given most, and the lowest least; that was indeed the case. Moreover, the median gift given by those for whom no occupation was recorded was close to the corresponding median for the middle classes, so it seems fair to conclude that those individuals for whom we have no occupational titles were predominantly from the middle classes.

32 Though the numbers are small, they suggest that the social composition of Catholic testators as a group was skewed towards the middle class rather than the upper class. Since we do not know the size of the various denominational and social groups, we cannot say whether this is related to the relative status of Catholics in general or because upper-class Catholics were less likely to make wills. Interestingly, Levie Bernfeld, Poverty and welfare, 156–7 and table 22, 247, notes that men of who gave to the Sephardic charity in the period 1600–1750, and excluding the poor, 41 per cent were in the highest ecclesiastical tax group, 23 per cent in the middle tax group and 36 per cent in the lowest group.

33 ACA, PA 377 Rode Doos G for 1757; Elias, De vroedschap van Amsterdam, 814.

34 Three-quarters of all Amsterdam households had incomes too low to be subject to taxation, compared with 40 per cent of testators. J. de Vries and A. van der Woude, The first modern economy: success, failure, and perseverance of the Dutch economy, 1500–1815 (Cambridge, 1997), 567.

35 The same holds true for testators to the Sephardic charity, Levie Bernfeld, Poverty and welfare, ch. 5, 155–7 and especially Appendix I, 246–7, tables 21 and 22.

36 Vovelle, Piété baroque et déchristianisation en Provence au XVIIIe siècle, 134, gives a little data on occupation, but only for those making bequests to charities. Jordan, Philanthropy in England, 342–1 and 378–9, and Jordan, The charities of rural England, 47–85, does give a breakdown of testators by occupation, but his sources may favour big donations and donators. Norberg, Rich and poor in Grenoble, 143, shows that among Grenoble's Catholics in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries it was largely the city's social elite who gave to poor relief charities, while the city's Protestant benefactors were drawn from the entire social spectrum. None of these studies found material that enables one to link the occupational distribution of testators to that of the entire population; as a result, the degree of munificence per social group is unclear. Vann, ‘Wills and the family in an English town’, does attempt to cast some light on this by comparing the occupations of testators with those of the deceased listed in the burial registers, and by comparing the values of the estates of testators with those for all the deceased on the basis of inventories. He concludes that, in the village of Banbury at least, the proportion of testators from the upper classes was above average, but that a considerable number of testators were nonetheless from the lower classes.

37 It should be kept in mind that service as a governor of a charitable institution was often expected of members of elite families, as a near-obligatory stage in the cursus honourum of those aspiring to hold positions of civic responsibility and authority, and they were often expected to contibute financially to the institution; see, for instance, McCants, Civic charity, 92–4 and 107–114; T. Adams, ‘The provision of work as assistance and correction in France, 1534–1848’, in D. T. Critchlow and C. Parker eds., Always with us: a history of private charity and public welfare (Lanham, 1998), 55–76 and especially 61; J. P. Gutton, ‘Pour l'histoire d'un elite’, 7–18 in J. P. Gutton ed., Les administrateurs des hôpitaux dans la France d'Ancien Régime (Lyon, 1997); D. Hickey, ‘Les méchanisms de la strátegie sociale. Bienfaiteurs et administrateurs des hôpitaux locaux en France au XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles’, in Gutton, Les administrateurs, 19–41. M. H. D. van Leeuwen, The logic of charity: Amsterdam 1800–1850 (Aldershot and New York, 2000), 54–67; Cavallo, Charity and power, 149–51.

38 T. C. M. H. van Rijckevorsel, Geschiedenis van het R.C. Maagdenhuis te Amsterdam 1570–1887 (Amsterdam, 1887), 78–9, 95, 104, 125, 132, 136–41, 155–62, 173, 181–6.

39 One option is to use the notarial archives to examine what proportion of donations recorded in the archives were testamentary and what proportion were made during the lifetime of the benefactor. However, the extent of inter vivos donations as a proportion of all donations will certainly be too low using this method as some, and probably even most, inter vivos gifts were made on an informal basis and not recorded in the notarial archives, while testamentary gifts were more likely to have been recorded. Still, an estimate of the lower limit is of value. Jordan's work on England between 1480 and 1610 placed the value of inter vivos gifts at one-third of all charitable donations, but without going into detail as to the opportunities and limitations of sources or methods. See Jordan, Philanthropy in England, 24. See also Ben-Amos, Culture of giving, 122–6. Another option is to study the autobiographical material and household accounts. Ben-Amos, Culture of giving, 130, concludes for England: ‘First, casual offerings to those deemed worthy of relief constituted a common practice … Second, while gifts were often miniscule … cumulatively the sums dispensed turned out to be quite substantial. Among those accustomed to giving, these small handouts could amount to more than the lump sums they eventually left in their wills and at death, or even the sums they were obligated to pay towards the compulsory rates.’

40 Jordan, Philanthropy in England, 376–7, presents figures for England between 1480 and 1660 of 4 per cent for the lower gentry and yeomen, 6 per cent for artisans, 7 per cent for the upper gentry, 13 per cent for tradesmen, and 17 per cent for merchants, though without giving details of how he arrives at these figures. Based on a small number of wills, A. D. Dyer, The city of Worcester in the sixteenth century (Leicester, 1973), 240–4, arrives at a figure of 18 per cent for the period 1529–1549, 6 per cent for 1550–1559, and 24 per cent for 1560–1569; Nahon, ‘Pour une approche’, 53–4, estimates the proportion for a small sample of Sephardic Jewish wills in eighteenth-century Bayonne at 8 per cent, while Levie Bernfeld, Poverty and welfare, ch. 5, especially 156, arrives at a figure of between 1 and 7 per cent for Amsterdam in the early modern period.

41 Protestants tended to give more than Catholics. For the Sephardic charity the median gift amounted to 1,400 guilders, Levie Bernfeld, Poverty and welfare, ch. 5, especially 153.

42 For the Netherlands today, see A. Komter and C. Schuyt, ‘Wegen van wederkerigheid: geefrelaties tussen ouders en kinderen’, in C. Brinkgreve ed., Overdragen en eigenmaken. Over sociale erfenissen (Groningen, 1994), 16–36, especially 30; Bernfeld, T. Levie, ‘Caridade escapas da morte’, Dutch-Jewish History 3 (1993), 179204, especially 180, for Sephardic Jews in Amsterdam in the seventeenth century, as well as Poverty and welfare, ch. 6, 171–5 for Amsterdam in the early modern period; Epstein, Wills and wealth in medieval Genoa, 67, for medieval Genoa; B. Pullan, Rich and poor in renaissance Venice: the social institutions of a Catholic state, to 1620 (Oxford, 1971), 159–60, for Venice; and Vann, ‘Wills and the family in an English town’, 364.

43 See Norberg, Rich and poor in Grenoble, 124. While the notary himself may have had little influence, Van Nederveen Meerkerk's article, ‘The will to give’, in this issue suggests that there is a difference between wills drawn up before notaries and those drawn up before the city's aldermen's bench.

44 ACA, PA 440, no. 255/82. A. S. de Blécourt, Kort begrip van het oud-vaderlandsch burgerlijk recht (Groningen and Batavia, 1939), 504.

45 ACA, PA 377, vol. 1.

46 Levie Bernfeld, Poverty and welfare, ch. 6, especially 173.

47 ACA, PA 440, no. 2.63/205.

48 Höweler, H. A., ‘Jakob Muhl en de liefdadigheid (1785–1786)’, Documentatieblad Werkgroep Achttiende Eeuw 39 (1978), 19.

49 ACA, PA 440, no. 256/101, 1754; see also Levie Bernfeld, Poverty and welfare, ch. 4, Especially 116 and n. 374 (gift of Josua de Prado to Joseph Levi) and ch. 6, especially n. 170, 424–5.

50 ACA, PA 440, nos 255/86 and 256/102, 1736; Levie Bernfeld, ‘Caridade escapa da morte’, 185.

51 Evenhuis, Ook dat was Amsterdam, 125–6; Meischke, Het R.C. Maagdenhuis, 4; de Wolf, Geschiedenis van het R.C. Oude-Armenkantoor te Amsterdam, 65; PA 377, no. 164. The city-run relief agency also had collection boxes in shops and inns; Wagenaar, Amsterdam in zyne opkomst, vol. II, 273.

52 As did the rabbi, Levie Bernfeld, Poverty and welfare, ch. 5, especially 73–5.

53 See the article in this issue of Continuity and Change by D. Teeuwen, ‘Collections for the poor: monetary charitable donations in Dutch towns, c.1600–1800’.

54 S. Groenveld, ‘“'Geef van uw haaf een milde gaaf ons arme weesen”. De zorg voor wezen tot 1800 als onderdeel van de armenzorg’, in S. Groenveld and J. Th. Balk eds., Daar de orangie-appel in de gevel staat:. in en om het weeshuis der doopsgezinde collegianten 1675–1975 (Amsterdam, 1975), 37.

55 J. C. Breen, ‘Collecten te Amsterdam in de achtiende eeuw’, Jaarboek Amstellodamum (1907), 129–52, here 131–2.

56 Evenhuis, Ook dat was Amsterdam, 124.

57 Sephardic Jews almost always used namelists to note charitable donations, Levie Bernfeld, Poverty and welfare, ch. 6, especially 179. Today, lists of benefactors to the theological school Ets Haim are on display on the wall of the small synagogue within the complex of the Amsterdam Portuguese community. For the other forms of collections among the Sephardic Jews of early modern Amsterdam, see Levie Bernfeld, Poverty and welfare, ch. 5.

58 For Protestants, see van Leeuwen, The logic of charity, 64–5. A report drawn up in 1812 put the number of collectors at 600: letter dated 13 February 1812, ACA, 5181 no. 2990. A report dating back to the end of the eighteenth century refers to 207 district wardens and 207 collectors for the Oude Huiszittenhuis alone. ACA, PA 349, no. 264. For co-option, see van Leeuwen, The logic of charity, 84–5.

59 De Wolf, Geschiedenis van het R.C. Oude-Armenkantoor te Amsterdam, 39 for 1638 and 1640.

60 The more so because rich and poor lived in close proximity, see Lesger, C. and van Leeuwen, M. H. D., ‘Residential segregation from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century: evidence from the Netherlands’, Journal of Interdisciplinary History 42, 3 (2011), 333–69.

61 Fairchild, Poverty and Charity in Aix-en-Provence, 538.

62 ACA, PA 440, no. 257/74.

63 ACA, PA 440, nos. 255/86 and 256/102.

64 ACA, PA 440, no. 281. Tensini's will can be found in ACA, PA 440, no. 253/38. For examples concerning the Catholic Girls Orphanage, see Meischke, Het R.C. Maagdenhuis, 2, and Rijckevorsel, Geschiedenis van het R.C. Maagdenhuis te Amsterdam, 76, 79–80, and 95. In the seventeenth century, Sephardic Jews, many of whom came from Spain or Portugal and who were still much influenced by Catholic rituals, asked for prayers to be said for them at the synagogue or an oil lamp kept lit in their memory. Both are Jewish customs, but making them dependent on a charitable gift may be seen as a Catholic influence, Levie Bernfeld, ‘Caridade escapa da morte’, 181–2, and Levie Bernfeld, Poverty and welfare, ch. 6, especially 167.

65 De Wolf, Geschiedenis van het R.C. Oude-Armenkantoor te Amsterdam, 65.

66 For gifts from seamen to Catholic charities in the early seventeenth century see ibid., 39. In 1681 administrators of the Oudezijds Huiszittenhuis noted the advisability of continuing to provide relief to the wives and children of seamen because otherwise a reserve of labour would be lost that had proved useful in the war against England. ACA, PA 349, no. 1, March 1681. See also C. Commelin, Beschrijving van Amsterdam (Amsterdam, 1693), 529. In seventeenth-century Graft, it was a regular practice to donate a percentage of the profits earned on a successful sea journey to poor relief. See van Deursen, Een dorp in de polder, 186.

67 See also the article by H. Looijesteijn on almshouses in this issue of Continuity and Change, ‘Funding and founding private charities: Leiden almshouses and their founders, 1450–1800’.

68 The data and quotations that follow are drawn from Wagenaar, Amsterdam in zyne opkomst, vol. II, 352 (Deutzenhofje), 330 (Corvershof), 358 (Suykerhofje), 355 (Brantzhofje), 353 (Rapenhofje), 362 (Swigtershofje), 356 (Grill's hofje), and also from H. W. Alings, Amsterdamse hofjes (Amsterdam, 1965).

69 Levie Bernfeld, Poverty and welfare, ch. 6, especially 159–69.

70 Andrew, ‘On reading charity sermons’; Fairchild, Poverty and charity in Aix-en-Provence, 25–6; Lloyd, S., ‘Pleasing spectacles and elegant dinners: conviviality, benevolence and charity anniversaries in eighteenth century London’, Journal of British Studies 41, 1 (2002), 2357.

71 ACA, PA 440, nos. 243 and 178.

72 Italics in the original. These are references to 2 Cor. 9: 6 and Ps. 37: 26.

73 Italics in the original. The reference is to Ps. 112: 9.

74 ACA, PA, 440, nos. 243 and 178.

75 Wagenaar, Amsterdam in zyne opkomst, vol. II, 184. See also C. van der Vijver, Geschiedkundige beschrijving der stad Amsterdam (Amsterdam, 1844–1848), 41.

76 Wagenaar, Amsterdam in zyne opkomst, vol. II, 342.

77 See ACA, PA 377, no. 53, letter dated 10 March 1801.

78 Ibid.

79 See, for example, Johannes Cuperus, Jesus wandelende beschouwd in het Voorhof Salomons (Amsterdam, 1788). See also the examples for Leiden, notably that of the orthodox Calvinist almshouse founder Jacob van Brouckhoven, discussed by Looijesteijn, ‘Funding and founding private charities’.

80 Quoted in Andrew, ‘On reading charity sermons’, 584 and 588, respectively.

81 Cavallo, Charity and power in early modern Italy, 134–5.

82 Fairchild, Poverty and charity in Aix-en-Provence, 27; see also 54–8.

83 Norberg, Rich and poor in Grenoble, 301–3.

84 Quoted in Andrew, ‘On reading charity sermons’, 587.

85 Quoted in Richard L. Greaves, Society and religion in Elizabethan England (Minneapolis, 1981), 559.

86 Luke 12: 32–34.

87 J. Chiffoleau, La comptabilité de l'au-delà. Les hommes, la mort et la religion dans la région d'Avignon à la fin du moyen age (Rome, 1980); J. T. Rosenthal, The purchase of paradise: gift giving and the aristocracy, 1307–1485 (London, 1972).

88 Mol, ‘Friezen en het hiernamaals’, 28–9.

89 This includes the six good works mentioned in Matt. 25: 35–36: feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, taking care of strangers, giving clothes to the naked, attending to the sick, visiting prisoners. The seventh good work, burying the dead, is referred to in Tob. 1: 20. See van Leeuwen, The logic of charity, 87–8.

90 Quoted in Vovelle, Piété baroque et déchristianisation en Provence au XVIIIe siècle, 75.

91 E. Meulemand, ‘Goede werken’, in F. W. Grosheide and G. P. van Itterson eds., Christelijke encyclopedie. Vol. III (Kampen, 1958), 271–3. See also Matt. 7: 16–21.

92 Greaves, Society and religion in Elizabethan England, 557; Archer, I., ‘The charity of early modern Londoners’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 12 (2002), 223–44.

93 For the ideas expressed by that doctrine, see André Bieler, La pensée économique et sociale de Calvin (Geneva, 1961), and Alister E. McGrath, Reformation thought: an introduction (Oxford, 2000); G. Oorthuys, De leer der praedestinatie (Wageningen, 1931), 40–56 and 87–8.

94 Greaves, Society and religion in Elizabethan England, 561. For the complicated discourses that then arose, see Ben-Amos, Culture of giving, ch. 7, especially 267 and 273.

95 P. W. Hansen, ‘Miraklernes tid. Almiassekultur og gavegiving i Oplysningstidens Kobehaven’, in P. Henningsen ed., Miraklernes tid og andre fortoellinger om livet I 1700-tallets Kobenhaven (Copenhagen, 2008), 5–62, translated as ‘The age of miracles: alms culture and charitable donations in Copenhagen in the Age of Enlightenment’ (unpublished paper, courtesy of P. W. Hansen).

96 B. J. Kaplan, Calvinists and libertines: confession and community in Utrecht, 1578–1620 (Oxford, 1995), 291–2; S. Marshall, The Dutch gentry 1500–1650: family, faith, and fortune (New York, 1987); Groenveld, ‘'Geef’, 38–9.

97 Quoted in J. Romein and A. Romein, Erflaters van onze beschaving, Zeventiende eeuw (Amsterdam, 1938), 121–2.

98 Quoted in Höweler, ‘Jakob Muhl en de liefdadigheid’, 3.

99 S. D. Muller, Charity in the Dutch Republic: pictures of rich and poor for charitable institutions (Ann Arbor, 1985).

100 For the notion that philanthropy was as much an attempt to strengthen a community as it was an expression of civic sense, see, for instance, L. Lees, The solidarity of strangers. The English poor laws and the people, 1700–1948 (Cambridge, 1998); K. A. Lynch, Individuals, families and communities in Europe, 1200–1800. The urban foundations of western society (Cambridge, 2003). For similar arguments on contributing to charity among Sephardic Jews, see Levie Bernfeld, Poverty and welfare, ch. 6, especially 175–8; Parker, Reformation of community.

101 Van Leeuwen, The logic of charity, 54–68; Van Leeuwen, Bijstand in Amsterdam; H. C. de Wolf, De kerk en het Maagdenhuis. Vier episoden uit de geschiedenis van katholiek Amsterdam (Utrecht and Antwerp, 1970), 98; McCants, Civic charity.

102 De Wolf, Geschiedenis van het R.C. Oude-Armenkantoor te Amsterdam, ch. 4, especially 108, 116 and 122, also for the following quotations.

103 Ibid., 122.

104 Ibid.

105 Under corporatism, government responsibilities were delegated to semi-autonomous agencies with members, such as guilds. See M. Prak, Republikeinse veelvoud, democratisch enkelvoud (Nijmegen, 1999).

106 See also Looijestein, ‘Funding and founding private charities’, who suggests that non-Reformed founders of almshouses founded these to keep their religious community unbroken. Teeuwen, ‘Collections for the poor’, mentions that the Protestant minority in 's-Hertogenbosch was unwilling to contribute to a Catholic charity to which they felt no connection.

107 Bernard Mandeville commented that charitable benefactors could count on ‘glory in perpetuity’ (264) and that ‘pride and vanity have built more hospitals than all the virtues together’ (261). Even beggars reminded citizens of this glory (257–8), B. Mandeville, An essay on charity and charity-schools, 285–322, reprinted in B. Mandeville, The fable of the bees. On private vices, public benefits. With a commentary, critical, historical, and explanatory by F. B. Kay, vol. 1 (Indianopolis, 1988).

108 As was guild welfare for that matter, see van Leeuwen, M. H. D., ‘Guilds and middle-class welfare 1550–1800: provisions for burial, sickness, old age, and widowhood’, Economic History Review 65, 1 (2012), 6190.

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