Description of the city of Gouda by Paulus Doncker

The transcription and translation of the historical description of the city of Gouda by Paulus Doncker (1659-1720) and supplemented by Theodoor van Abbesteech has been done by volunteers of the taskforce Gouda op Schrift (Gouda in Writing), a workgroup of the Historical Association ‘Die Goude’. The manuscript has been preserved in the Streekarchief Midden-Holland (Archives of Mid-Holland) in Gouda (Collection Kemper, 0096. VI 41).

The manuscript is an original. Van Abbesteech added pages to this manuscript in 1703 in which he discusses the origin and history of this manuscript and declares that this manuscript belongs to Paulus Doncker. We have been able to verify that this is indeed the case on the basis of manuscripts from the Vatican Library. We know that Doncker worked in Rome and the Vatican. He was an acquaintance of Theodorus de Cock, the secret chamberlain of Pope Clement XI.

Van Abbesteech compared the manuscript with the so-called ‘Memorieboekje’ (description of the city) by Vereyck and supplemented it with marginal and interlinear additions. There is a clear difference in handwriting, so it is clear who wrote what.

The manuscript contains fragmentary events concerning Gouda, including the protest against Alva in connection with the tenth and twentieth penny and all its consequences for Gouda. It also contains a description of a performance by the Gouda chamber of rhetoric about the Peace of Münster between the Lords States General of the Seven United Netherlands and the Spanish Crown in 1648.