Michaël Green (ENG)

Postdoctoral researcher at the Leibniz Institute for European History in Mainz, Germany. His main fields of research interest are history of education, Huguenot minority, egodocuments, nobility study and networking in Early Modern age.

His publications related to the history of education include:

  • The Huguenot Jean Rou (1638-1711): Scholar, Educator, Civil Servant (provisional title) (in print, Paris: Honoré Champion, series: La vie des Huguenots).
  • “Reporting the Grand Tour: The correspondence of Henry Bentinck, Viscount Woodstock, and Paul Rapin-Thoyras with the Earl of Portland, 1701-1703”, in: Paedagogica Historica, vol. 50, 4 (2014). (in print).
  • “Huguenot Educators for European Nobility 1630-1715”, in: The Huguenot Society Journal, vol. 30, 1(2013): 73-92.
  • “Educating Johan Willem Friso of Nassau-Dietz (1687-1711): Huguenot Tutorship at the Court of the Frisian Stadtholders”, in: Virtus –Yearbook of The History of the Nobility, vol. 19 (2012): 103-124.

Webpage: http://ieg-mainz.academia.edu/MGreen



Huguenot Educators for the Dutch Nobility (1620-1700)

Ever since the establishment of the Dutch Republic in the late sixteenth century, when the Spanish Catholic rule of the Habsburgs was abolished, Huguenots, the French Protestants, found it a safe haven to escape persecution in their motherland. Many of them arrived long before the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685), driven away by not only religious motives, but also by economic ones as was highlighted in recent scholarship (Van der Linden, Green). In the Untied Provinces of the Netherlands, they established communities united around a French or Walloon Church, and enjoyed the Dutch toleration, in particular because the Dutch Reformed Church was based on the same Calvinistic values of the Huguenots. Although the vast amount of immigrants were poor and poorly educated, there were among them rich merchants, scholars, journalists, jurists, doctors and so on. Some Huguenots were invited from France to become tutors of the children of the Dutch elite. At the same time, the local Dutch nobility, fitting in the European trend for French language and culture, and in particular during the Stadtholdership of Frederik Hendrik of Holland, was much interested in teaching their offsprings not only the language but also French manners that became the etalon of  civility for the high society. Hand in hand with the idea of honnête homme, the idea of a perfect courtier, though originated in Castiglione’s book in Italy, got its French colour, and both were used by various families as the ideal to which their children should rise.

Huguenots, as we will see in the proposed paper, were a perfect choice for a tutor who would be able to teach the required norms. The focus will be on several examples of the Dutch nobles: the Van Aerssen Van Sommelsdijk family in the Hague, the family of Orange: William II and William III with some links to their Frisian cousins – the Nassau brunch of the family, and as a parallel the bourgeois family of Huygens will be presented. Our goal is to access what exactly those ideals for Dutch families were, and then how this was done in practice, what were the unique points the Huguenots presented and what their usual study programme was. The examination will be based on archival documents, mostly preserved in the Royal House Archives in The Hague.

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