Cornelis van Aerssen van Sommelsdijck

For other people with the same name, see Cornelis van Aerssen (disambiguation).
Cornelis van Aerssen van Sommelsdijck (ca.1680)

Cornelis van Aerssen van Sommelsdijck (also: Sommelsdijk) (The Hague, 20 August 1637 - Paramaribo, 19 July 1688) was the first governor of Suriname after the establishment of the Society of Suriname in 1683. He was governor from 28 November 1683 until he was murdered by mutinous soldiers on 19 July 1688. Van Aerssen belonged to one of the richest families of the Dutch Golden Age.

Van Aerssen van Sommelsdijck was Lord of Sommelsdijk, Plaat, Bommel, and Spijk. Through his French wife Margaret, he was Marquis of Saint André Montbrun and Ferrassières.[1]

He was the fourth generation of a line active in Dutch politics. After a political career in the Netherlands, in 1683 he became tired of Dutch public affairs. Accordingly, he acquired a one-third share of the Society of Suriname, the other shareholders being the Dutch West India Company and the city of Amsterdam. At that time Suriname was a very small colony which was torn by religious sectarianism.


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