Estates and towns of Holland 1276-1544

Edited by E.C. Dijkhof, J.W.J. Burgers, H. Kokken, W. Prevenier, J.G. Smit and J.P. Ward; with additional support from M.Y.N. Boerkamp-Ruchtie, M.J. van Gent and M.J.C. Swüste

The goal of this project is to reconstruct the meetings of the Estates of Holland in the late Middle Ages and the earlier meetings between the count and the towns and the towns among themselves. Many of the minutes or motions from these meetings are missing. Consequently, secondary sources had to be used to piece together a picture of how these meetings worked in practice.

Studying the history of the Estates of Holland in the late Middle Ages can offer insights into its earlier history and contribute significantly to ongoing research into the origins of this body; a body that played such an important role in the Eighty Years War and during the period of the Republic of the United Netherlands.

The source material collected for this project comes mainly from invoices: wages paid to messengers with summonses to meetings recorded in the accounts issued on behalf of the Count of Holland, those same invoices and invoices of the towns of Holland with statements of the travel expenses of everyone who took part in the meetings. In addition, the resolutions of the town councils provide data on the instructions and consultations through which the delegates took part in the meetings. Similarly, charters, mandates, orders and letters provide us with information about the preparations that led up the meetings and the decisions that were made there. The research material of the earlier compiler P.A. Meilink is kept at the Huygens ING.

The following volumes have been published: Volume I (1987-1991, in two parts; for the period 1276-1433), Volume II (period 1433-1467), Volume III (period 1467-1477), Volume IV (two parts, part 1 still in preparation>/i>; for the period 1477-1494), V (period 1494-1506) and Volume VI (period 1506-1515).

Two dissertations analyse the source material: H. Kokken, Steden en Staten. Dagvaarten van steden en Staten onder Maria van Bourgondië en het eerste regentschap van Maria van Bourgondië en het eerste regentschap van Maximiliaan van Oostenrijk (1477-1494) (The Hague, 1991); J.P. Ward, The cities and states of Holland (1506-1515). A participative system of government under strain (s.l. 2001)(unpublished thesis, University of Leiden).