Cornelis De Witt (15th June 1623-20th August 1672) was a burgomaster of Dordrecht and a member of the States of Holland and West Friesland. In 1654 he was appointed to the important post of “ruwaard“ van Putten: at that time a combination of the functions of chief of police and the one of prosecuting attorney. The court of Putten was located in Geervliet, only 5 kilometer away from Brielle. Johan De Witt (24th September 1625-20th August 1672) was a major figure in Dutch politics and “Raadpensionaris” ("Grand Pensionary") of Holland, a county of the Dutch Republic.

Raid on the Medway/Tocht naar Chatham
In 1667, Cornelis was chosen by the States of Holland to accompany Lieutenant-Admiral Michiel de Ruyter in his famous Raid on the Medway. First, the Dutch conquered the fort of Sheerness and soon after they took Queenborough.
For his merits Cornelis received a golden cup from the States General. The cup is well kept. We are proud to inform you that Musée de Cluny (owner) en Musée du Louvre (keeper) in Paris have honoured our loanrequest. The cup will be on show this summer as well as many other loans (paintings, drawings and prints) from Dutch museums.

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Left: Nicolaas Loockemans, Golden cup, gold and enamel, 1667, Musée national de Moyen Age-Musée de Cluny. Déposé au Musée du Louvre, OArt Paris. Photo © RMN-Grand Palais (Musée du Louvre)/Jean-Gilles Berizzi.
Middle: Aart Schouman, Golden Cup of Cornelis de Witt, pen and washed, 1748, Collection Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
Right: Hollandse School, Portrait of Cornelis de Witt, oil on panel, Dordrechts Museum Dordrecht

Death Johan and Cornelis De Witt: The Hague, 20th August 1672
August 1672 both Cornelis and Johan were detained in “De Gevangen Poort” in The Hague. On 20th August they were assassinated by a carefully organised lynch mob. They were victims of a conspiracy by the Orangists, amongst others Johan Kievit and Lieutenant-Admiral Cornelis Tromp. Both the bodies of Cornelis and Johan were horribly mutilated and their hearts were carved out to be exhibited as trophies.

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Municipality of Brielle, HMDB/MH/28/03/2019