aunt Anna Verloo left coins to Maria Thonis and her cousin Magdaleentje

December 10, 1697

In her will, aunt Anna Verloo bequeathed coins to two of her nieces (nichten), both unmarried and childless: Maria Thonis Leeuwenhoek and her cousin Magdaleentje Lambrechts Leeuwenhoek. At the time, nichte was used more loosely than today to refer to female cousins in general.

Anna Verloo (1636-) was the daughter of Heijndrick Verloo and Catarina van Leeuwen. Who is Catarina van Leeuwen? Leeuwenhoek's sister Catharina married Claes van Leeuwen, but their nine children do not include a Catarina. Perhaps this Catarina van Leeuwen was a sister of Claes van Leeuwen and thus Leeuwenhoek's sister-in-law.

In an earlier will, her daughter Anna made a small bequest to Leeuwenhoek's uncle Huijch. Then in this will, Huijch long since dead, Anna made bequests to grand-daughters of both Huijch and his brother Philips. Magdaleentje was the daughter of Huijch's son Lambrechts. Maria was the daughter of Philips' son Antony.

In 1660, Anna married Adam Benningh, (1636-) in Rijswijk. They lived in Den Haag, only a few kilometers from Delft. Perhaps Anna and her husband were in the same social circle as the Leeuwenhoeks in Delft.

The coins were meant to be passed on, not spent, so this was a sentimental bequest. The estate that Maria left behind in 1745 included two Elizabeth coins:

  • An Elizabeth, 3 Engels 8 aze at 42 st per Engel, valued at 6 gl 17 st
  • A ditto Elizabeth, 1 Engel 2 aze at 44 st per Engel, valued at 2 gl 7 st

There is no way of knowing whether these were the same coins.


Notary Corn. de Haen, den Haag

The relevant item from the will:

Item aen hare nichte Maria Leeuwenhoeck, dochter van hare neeff Antonij Leeuwenhoeck, mitsgaders hare nichte Magdaleentje Leeuwenhoeck, dochter van hare neeff Lambrecht Leeuwenhoeck, elck een gouden Elisabet van twee en seventich gld

Ditto to her niece Maria Leeuwenhoeck, daughter of her nephew Antonij Leeuwenhoeck, as well as to her niece Magdaleentje Leeuwenhoeck, daughter of her nephew Lambrecht Leeuwenhoeck, each an Elizabeth gold coin of seventy-two gulden.