Ambassadeur Aernout van Citters

Aernout van Citters[1633-1696]

Aernout was born out of the fourth marriage of Aernout van Citters[1561-1634] and Anna van der Stringe[1591-1679]. Considering that Aernout already died in 1634, it is probable that Aernout had been raised with the powerful Van der Stringe family.

Aernout graduated in Leiden in 1655. In 1667 he became a member of the Council of Flanders [Raad van Vlaanderen], the present Zeeuws Vlaanderen. Zeeuws Vlaanderen had been acquired by Zealand [in 1644] and was made a dominion of Zealand, so that it was better able to control shipping to and from Antwerp and levy taxes.

In 1680 he became a Member of the High Court of Holland and Zealand. At that time he was also promoted to Ambassador of England, one of the four important foreign positions for the Dutch Republic. As a part of the deal between Holland [Amsterdam] and Zealand, Zealand was entitled to the post in London.

The Ambassador protected the business interests of the State of Zealand, the States of Holland and Zealand and the affairs of the Stadtholder-Prince of the Dutch Republic, probably also in that order. The trade interests of the cities [Amsterdam, Middelburg]  were often in conflict with the political interests [war] of the Prince or the States General.

In 1688 Aernout was in the middle of the political turmoil in England for the succession of  King James II. At one moment Aernout had a private army of fifty armed man to protect his house. When prince William III was proclaimed King of England in 1689, Aernout has held a controversial role, which was never appreciated by William. The role of the extra-ordinary Envoys Van Beuningen [Amsterdam] and Bentinck [for the Prince] must have had an influence.

In 1692 he was made Ambassador in Madrid. He arrived in Madrid in 1694 and died there in 1696.