Stadtholder Maurits

1567-1625 1584-1625

Maurits (Maurice) was the son of William of Orange and his second wife Anna of Saxony. He succeeded his father as stadtholder and head of the army at the age of just eighteen. Maurits enjoyed great military success fighting the Spanish during the Dutch Revolt.

Maurits never married, though he did father eight children with six different women. When he became seriously ill he demanded that his half-brother Frederik Hendrik (Frederick Henry) marry before his death in order to secure the future of the dynasty, threatening to marry his mistress otherwise so that their eldest son could become his father’s legal successor. His sisters and half-sisters were – being women – not eligible to continue the dynasty. Frederik Hendrik quickly married Amalia of Solms-Braunfels. Maurits died just a few weeks later and Frederik Hendrik succeeded him as stadtholder.