Government under Louis Napoleon


July 5, 2022

After the sole rule of Grand Pensionary Rutger Jan Schimmelpenninck, about which Napoleon was not satisfied, he appointed his brother Lodewijk king of the newly established Kingdom of Holland in 1806. During this kingship, the title 'minister' is introduced. Those ministers were servants of the king and answerable to him alone. They are appointed and dismissed by him. There is also an advisory body, the State Council, and a parliament, the legislative body. That parliament of 39 members meets only once a year and has limited powers. Lodewijk Napoleon is very committed to the Dutch cause; much more than his brother the emperor thinks desirable. The king even tries to learn Dutch. He also shows compassion in the event of disasters and tries to promote the arts and sciences. All this is ultimately not to the liking of the emperor, who forces his brother to resign. On July 1, 1810, Louis Napoleon abdicated in favor of his son and on July 9, 1810, by the Decree of Rambouillet, Holland was annexed to France. A French governor, Charles François Lebrun, Duke of Plaisance, will be appointed on behalf of Emperor Napoleon, who will be in charge with three intendants. One of those intendants is the former minister Gogel. Holland was part of the First French Empire until November 1813.


King Lodewijk Napoleon resided successively in The Hague, Apeldoorn, Utrecht, Amsterdam (in the Palace on the Dam) and in Haarlem. In November 1806, the Continental System was introduced, prohibiting trade with Great Britain. Lodewijk Napoleon showed his sympathy for the affected population in 1807 with the explosion of the gunpowder ship in Leiden and in 1808 and 1809 with the flooding of the major rivers. In 1808, the province of East Friesland is added to the kingdom, bringing three additional members to the Legislative Body. On March 31, 1810, Zeeland, Brabant and part of Gelderland were ceded to France, after which the number of members of parliament was reduced by six. In 1808 the Royal Institute of Sciences, Letters and Fine Arts was founded in Amsterdam. A Royal Library will be built in The Hague. In August/December 1809 a British invasion of Walcheren takes place, which is however destroyed by the French and Dutch.


Secretary of State Willem Frederik baron Röell (Orangist) from June 30, 1806 to January 8, 1808 Minister of Foreign Affairs Maarten baron van der Goes van Dirxland (patriot) from June 19, 1806 to January 8, 1808 Willem Frederik baron Röell (Orangist) from January 8, 1808 to July 15, 1810 Paulus van der Heim (patriot) a.i. from 20 June 1810 to 15 July 1810 (because of foreign travel minister Röell) Minister of Internal Affairs Isaäc Jan Alexander Gogel (patriot) a.i. from June 19, 1806 to July 4, 1806 Johan Hendrik baron Mollerus (orangist) from July 4, 1806 to May 17, 1808 Frédéric Auguste van Leyden van Westbarendrecht (patriot) from 17 May 1808 to 8 December 1808 Adriaan Pieter Twent van Raaphorst (patriot) a.i. from December 8, 1808 to January 1, 1809 Adriaan Pieter Twent van Raaphorst (patriot) from 1 January 1809 to 27 May 1809 Minister of Religious Affairs Johan Hendrik baron Mollerus (orangist) from 17 May 1808 to 27 May 1809 Minister of Religion and the Interior Godert Alexander Gerard Philip baron van der Capellen (orangist) from 27 May 1809 to 1 January 1811 Minister of Justice and Police Johan Frederik Rudolph van Hooff (patriot) from 29 July 1806 to 22 May 1807 Maarten baron van der Goes van Dirxland (patriot) a.i. from May 8, 1807 to May 22, 1807 (due to illness of Van Hooff) Jacob Jan Cambier (patriot) a.i. from May 22, 1807 to November 20, 1807 Jacob Jan Cambier (patriot) from November 20, 1807 to December 10, 1807 Cornelis Felix van Maanen (Felix) (Unitarian) from December 10, 1807 to April 11, 1809 Jean Henry Appelius (pa