Jan Strick

Other name: 
Johan, Johannes
co-worker at the Stadhuis
Birth or Baptism date: 
April 1, 1629
Death or Burial date: 
February 17, 1672

When they married in 1651, Jan Strick was listed as living in den Haag and Maria Elsevier on the Verwersdijk. Leeuwenhoek's father, Maria's uncle, was on the church register as a witness at Maria's baptism in 1635. He gave his name as Philips Theunis Leeuwenhouck (without the van), one of the first documented uses of the surname.

Jan and Maria had a daugher Cornelia in 1653, a son Johannes in 1654, and a daughter Maria in 1655.

Less than four years after the marriage, in January 1655, Strick was appointed camerbewaarder of the magistrate's court to replace Jacob Huijgen van Schie, who was buried on January 25 (DTB inv. 39 fol. 255v). 

He had several connections with the Leeuwenhoek family. In November 1656, Strick borrowed 4,000 gulden (at 2% interest) from his in-laws, Leeuwenhoek's aunt Cornelia and her husband Sijmond Elsevier (Not. J. Ranck, Delft 12-11-1656). The interest would amount to 80 gulden per year. In 1658, Jan was named in a notary document (insinuatie) that included Leeuwenhoek's mother and step-father.

A month after the loan, in December 1656, Strick got a raise from 240 gl to 260 gl per year, effective the following month. The raise was not enough to pay even the interest on the loan.

Delft's civic guard (schutterij) met in the Doele, the target practice range. In 1657, the Doele (now the Paardenmarkt), which had been next to the storehouse that exploded in October 1654, was re-established on what remained of the Mary-Magdalenaklooster. The new place had plenty of space for both their civic exercises and their social exercises. Strick signed on as manager of the facility (doelknecht). In the account books, many entries relate to Strick's tenure as manager there.

  • In December 1657, Strick was appointed manager in place of Dirck Jans Colijn at 24 gl per year. Meanwhile, he continued his camerbewaarder duties.
  • Later in the same account book's revenue section, Strick was recorded as renting the city's Doele, lying on the east side of the Verwersdijck, for five years. His first annual payment of 250 gl was not due until May 1, 1660.
  • In that account book's expenses section, Strick, as doelknecht, was paid 388 gl, to be distributed to the members of the civic guard, one guilder each.

That pattern of activity -- small salary, rent payment, civic guard disbursement -- repeated in every subsequent annual treasurer's account until Strick's death in 1672. The amount distributed to the civic guard changed each year with the number of members (schutters).

In 1660, Jan was replaced as camerbewaarder of the magistrate's court by Leeuwenhoek.

This was the same time that Jan began renting the Doele. However, he was still a city official in the sense that the civic guard was a civic function. In the expenses section of the treasurer's account, Jan Stick was noted as receiving 250 gl 50 st. In that entry, he was called waert in stadts doele, and the money was for various expenses associated with inspections by the mayors, harbormaster, and public works inspector (fabrijcq). A waert, now spelled waard, is a landlord or inkeeper. This suggests a social function beyond shooting practice. If Strick paid 250 guilders for the privilege of running the Doel, he must have received more than that from the members of the civic guard, many of them rich regents, perhaps payments for providing the refreshments after a strenuous round of shooting practice.

In 1662, Jan's daughter Petronella's baptism was witnessed by his wife Maria Elsevier's cousin Antony Leeuwenhoek. The baby died because less than three years later, they baptized another daughter with the same name.

In November 1663, Jan became a member of the Reformed Church (HGD inv. 468 fol. 84 post 4 volg. 1)

In 1667, he rented a gaming house (speelhuis) on the northside of the Geerweg near the Fonteinpoort.

Jan died just months before the civic guard was called into action in 1672. That didn't happen very often, but in this case, the invading armies were only miles away. His burial record notes that he was kapitain van een pleyte. However, he was still listed in the 1673 treasurer's accounts as proprietor of the Doele (OAD 676.67 for 1673).

Jan's wife Maria Elsevier died 1674-02-20.

Jan's grandmother was Maria Strick (right in 1618 by Willem Jacobs Delff; click to enlarge), who was born Maria Becq in 1577 in 's-Hertogenbosch. Her father moved to Delft when she was a teenager and started a French and German school on the Oude Delft (now number 79). In 1598, she married the shoemaker Hans (Jan) Strick. After her father died, she opened a school of calligraphy. She and her husband and children lived in Rotterdam after 1615, where they were active in the Lutheran community.

Four copybooks and three prints have survived as examples of her calligraphy (image below; click to enlarge). They were engraved by her husband Hans.