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Heemskerk was employed with the United Amsterdam Company (part of the Dutch East India Company), and though he did not have authorization from the company or the government to initiate the use of force, many shareholders were eager to accept the riches that he brought back to them.Not only was the legality of keeping the prize questionable under Dutch statute, but a faction of shareholders (mostly Mennonite) in the Company also objected to the forceful seizure on moral grounds, and of course, the Portuguese demanded the return of their cargo.A teenage intellectual prodigy, he was imprisoned for his involvement in the intra-Calvinist disputes of the Dutch Republic, but escaped hidden in a chest of books.He wrote most of his major works in exile in France.Civilian petitioners sometimes indicated their country or place of origin. Further information that may be found in some of the petitions includes arrival date in Canada, previous residence, date and place of birth, age, marital status and names of other family members, oaths of allegiance, and character references. Aided by his continued association with Van Oldenbarnevelt, Grotius made considerable advances in his political career, being retained as Oldenbarnevelt's resident advisor in 1605, Advocate General of the Fisc of Holland, Zeeland and Friesland in 1607, and then as Pensionary of Rotterdam (the equivalent of a mayoral office) in 1613.In 1608 he married Maria van Reigersbergen, with whom he would have eight children (four surviving beyond youth) and who would be invaluable in helping him and the family to weather the storm to come.

Each record in my index consists of the name of the petitioner (maiden names or additional petitioners may be in brackets), the location of the petitioner, and year of the petition.

The COMPLETE land lease record contains in most cases the land lease petition and possible supporting documents that may include valuable information about the petitioner and his or her family.

The miscellaneous petitions (dating from 1780's) are a real grab-bag of information, you never know what may turn up here.

I have also seen the odd will included in these records.

Click here to view a document from a typical land lease record This is an example of a land lease application with some great info, age, where he came from, when he arrived in Upper Canada, and record of his military service. YEAR ========================================================= * - Denotes Land Lease Petition ABBE NATHANIEL ..

Grotius, by claiming 'free seas' (Freedom of the seas), provided suitable ideological justification for the Dutch breaking up of various trade monopolies through its formidable naval power (and then establishing its own monopoly).

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