Private Synod of South Holland 1621-1700

Compiled by W.P.C. Knuttel

No more national synods were held after 1619. As a result, the ‘private’ synods in the provinces gained in importance. They also maintained communications with each other. The Private Synod of South Holland in particular held a prominent position, partly because of its close relationship with the authorities in The Hague. The area covered by this synod included present-day South Holland, the northern part of Brabant and the ‘Orange’ areas of Breda and Buren.

The Private Synod met once a year and dealt with problems of a theological and practical nature, as well as disagreements that could not be solved at the local level. Other issues included assisting churches in foreign countries and in Dutch territories overseas and negotiating with the State authorities. The latter involved dealing with issues such as the censorship of books, observing the Sunday rest, praying for the Government, and financial matters.

This edition provides a complete transcript of the acts of the Private Synods of South Holland, with gravamina (letters of objection to the State) added wherever necessary. Volume I contains a general introduction. Volumes II, IV and VI contain brief introductions to various themes, namely the relationship between Church and State, the political struggle around the contents of the prayer for the State, assistance for churches based abroad, and the censorship of books. All of the volumes contain separate indexes of personal names, places and subjects.