van Tuyll
noble family
Country Netherlands
Founded 15th century
Founder Pieter Hugensz
Ethnicity Dutch

Tuyll is the name of a noble Dutch family, with familial and historical links to England, whose full name is Van Tuyll van Serooskerken. Several knights, members of various courts, literary figures, generals, ambassadors, statesmen and explorers carried the family name.


15th Century

Traditionally, the Van Tuyll van Serooskerken family claimed to be descendants of a very old, Van Tuyll (van Bulckesteyn) family of ancient nobility from Guelders, documented to 1125 and extinct in 1673.

This claim is based on among others the 1556 archive documenting the name change from Van Tuyll to van Serooskerken in the Zuylen castle (see under the Diplomas section), and is found continuously in all documents such as the 1603 charter they are from the same family (see below), the 1675 Rombout Verhulst monument to Hieronymus van Tuyll, the 1685 Batavia Illustrata of Simon van Leeuwen, the 1696 Nieuwe Cronyk Van Zeeland of Mattheus Smallegange, the 1822 recognition by the High Council of Nobility, three genealogies by van Spaen (1802), Rietstap (1887) and Polvliet (1894), the reference publication of the time, Jaarboek van den Nederlandschen adel, 6e Jaargang (1894) showing the full genealogy of the different branches, up to the first edition of the Adelsboek in 1906, but not in later modern editions. All reference works on Belle van Zuylen (Isabelle van Tuyll) support the van Tuyll van Bulckesteyn connection [1] and so do French genealogists.[2]

However, there is no primary source archival evidence for this thesis apart from that cited above, and given that from 1483 to 1603 the Van Tuyll van Serooskerken family merely used the name of Van Serooskerke and from 1759 Van Serooskerken, and never the name Van Tuyll (except in the name change archive of 1556), most modern Dutch historians conclude that this is a later fabrication of more ancient noble roots for the family .[3][4][5] In particular, Dr. J.G. Smit makes the hypothesis that Hendrik Van Tuyll van Serooskerken paid Willem Van Tuyl van Bulckesteyn to sign the 1603 charter that they share the same coat of arms and are of the same family.[3][6] The family Van Serooskerken then started to use the name Van Tuyll van Serooskerken. Hendrik Van Tuyll van Serooskerken commissioned Hendrick Bloemaert for a series of portraits of his ancestors. The likenesses are invented as even the Orange-Nassau did not have portraits dating that far.[7][8] These portraits are all shown in the Netherlands institute for art history www.rkd.nl.

The proven family tree starts with a Pieter (1430-1492) heer van Welland son of Hugo and mayor of Zierikzee, who married in 1456 Cornelia van Haemstede, direct descendant of Witte van Haemstede, of the today extinct counts of Holland and in 1483 bought the Serooskerke manor from Maximilian of Austria.[9]

16th century

Hieronymus van Serooskerke (1510–1571),[10] viscount of Zeeland, married Elisabeth Micault[11] daughter of Jean, treasurer (one of the four officers) of the Order of the Golden Fleece. His tomb is in the Church of Stavenisse.[12]

His eldest son, Philibert (died 1579), viscount of Zeeland, was made lord of a second Serooskerke (in Walcheren), hence the final n in Serooskerken, and was governor of Bergen-op-Zoom since 1572. The lordship of Serooskerke in Walcheren was granted by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain.

Hendrik van Tuyll (1574–1627) was ambassador to the court of England and member of the highest council, the Raad van State (founded in 1531). His son Hendrik Jacob[13] was also member of the council from 1690.

17th century

In 1623, King James I of England gave Philibert van Tuyll (died 1661) the right to carry a rose extracted from the royal coat of arms and bearing the crown of England on the family coat of arms.

In 1641, Gerard van Honthorst painted the young Hieronymus and Frederik van Tuyll.[14]

18th century

Jan van Tuyll (1710–1762), baron of Heeze and Leende, lord of Vleuten, married Ursulina van Reede (1719-1747), daughter of Frederik, 2nd Earl of Athlone, and Henriette, countess of Nassau, daughter of William Nassau de Zuylestein, 1st Earl of Rochford.[15]

Isabelle van Tuyll (1740–1805)[16] an 18th-century author, also known as Belle van Zuylen and Isabelle de Charrière was the daughter of Diederik van Tuyll (1707–1776) [17] born in the castle of Zuylen. Her mother Helena de Vicq was the daughter of Rene de Vicq, mayor of Amsterdam and administrator of the Dutch West India Company. Her work displays fine psychological analysis and a portrait of manners anticipating early 19th-century emancipated ideas, though she was opposed to revolutionary radicalism. The highest skyscraper planned in the Netherlands was to be called Belle van Zuylen.[18]

Frederik van Tuyll (1742–1805) was colonel of the cavalry regiment van Tuyll van Serooskerken (1777–1793):[19]

From 1768-83 Baroness Marie Katharina van Tuyll van Serooskerken of Knyphausen (Germany), after the death of her husband, Count Christian Frederik Bentinck (1734–1768) (son of Charlotte-Sophie von Aldenburg und Knyphausen and Willem Bentinck, Count Bentinck from 1732), was Regent Dowager for their son, Wilhelm II Gustav van Bentinck (1762-35), who reigned 1768–1810, 1813 and 1818-35. The territory was annexed to the Netherlands in 1810 and occupied by Russia 1813-18. Marie Katharina lived 1743-98.

Jan Maximiliaan van Tuyll (1771–1843) was the governor of Utrecht and then the first governor of North Holland. He married Louise van Hardenbroek, daughter of Johan van Hardenbroek and Countess Susanne d'Aumale (see Duc d'Aumale).

19th century

Diederik Jacob van Tuyll van Serooskerken, Major General in the Russian army

In 1822, The High Council of Nobility, declared members of the family were competent since early times to carry the oldest title of nobility, baron. They are "noblesse immemoriale", without ennoblement, predating 1351, from when on nobles of non-knightly origin were created in Italy. This does not correspond with the modern Dutch genealogists view that the family was originally a patrician, but not ancient noble family.[3][4][5]

The "baron de Tuyll" (Diederik Jacob, 1772–1826),[20] Major General in the Russian army was Russian envoy at the court of the King of Portugal and Brazil, and from 1815 Russian plenipotentiary to the Holy See, had colloquies in regard to the union of the two Churches, and from 1822 to 1827, Russian minister to the United States and resident of Decatur House.[21] He represented the Holy Alliance in the United States. As a consequence of his stay, a part of the silver collection of the White House carries the family coat of arms.

General Sir William Tuyll, Knight Commander of the Royal Guelphic Order and Knight of the Bath was aide-de-camp to Henry Paget, 1st Marquess of Anglesey and accompanied him to Portugal, Spain and the Walcheren expedition. Colonel, commander of the 7th Queen's Own Hussars, the senior light cavalry regiment of the British Army, where he fought in India. He was private secretary to the Viceroy of Ireland. He was one of the founders of the Oriental Club.

Carel Lodewijk van Tuyll founded the town of Bayfield, Ontario. In 1851, his son Vincent van Tuyll (1812–1860), in partnership with Prince Henry of Orange, joined John F. Loudon in the discovery of the biggest tin deposit until today on the island of Billiton. Together they founded what is now the world's largest diversified resources company, Billiton.

His son Reginald van Tuyll (1845–1903) may have inspired the eponymous character in Pelham Grenville Wodehouse's book Indiscretions of Archie, 1921. He married the countess Anna Mathilda van Limburg Stirum after the death of the Crown Prince Willem of the Netherlands, who had been refused permission to marry her, probably as she was the illegitimate child of William III of the Netherlands.

Family castles and Heerlijkheid (seignories)

Historic houses without lordship

Other possessions

Serooskerke (Schouwen), Serooskerke (Walcheren), St. Annaland, Zoelekerke, Popkensburg, Tienhoven, Maelstede, Cappelle, Bieslinge, Schore, Vlake, Westbroek, IJzendoorn, Leende, Zesgehuchten, Rhenoy


Coat of arms

Shield: three talbot hounds, crest: talbot, coronet above the helmet, various helmets depending on the source, mantling, with the earliest form of supporters, two wildmen. In 1623, King James I of England gives Philibert van Tuyll the right to carry a rose extracted from the royal coat of arms and bearing the crown of England on the family coat of arms. Some sources, for instance in Where Troy Once Stood, associate the three dogs of the coat of arms with Cerberus, suggesting that Serooskerke is a deformation of 'Cerberus' with the extension kerke. Zierikzee is associated with Circe.

War Cry / Motto

Virtus vim vincit (virtue defeats force).

Allied noble families

Married van Tuyll van Serooskerken men: van Haemstede (Witte van Haemstede), van Bergen, van Maelstede, Micault, van Hogelande, Oem van Wijngaerden, van Reede, Hoeufft de Fontaine-Peureuse, de Vick, de Geer, Probentow von Wilmsdorff, de Ginkell Earl of Athlone, Orange-Nassau, van Randwijck, Collot d'Escury, Deutz van Assendelft, van Heeckeren, van Hardenbroek, d'Aumale see Duc d'Aumale, van Weede, van Westreenen, Verspyck, Taets van Amerongen, Mansfield Baron Sandhurst, Walpole Baron Walpole, Willink, van Pallandt, Faas Elias, Ortt van Nijenrode, Pichot de l'Espinasse, van Limburg Stirum, Harford, Utenhove, Boreel, Schimmelpenninck, Calkoen, Waldor de Heusch, Hoare Baronets, de Smeth, van de Poll, van Lynden, Quarles van Ufford, Pauw van Wieldrecht, van Tets, Prisse, von Luttichau, de Beaufort, Creutz, Halewyck de Heusch, de Savornin Lohman, Loudon, Roell, Barnaart, van Rijkevorsel, Apap, Dessewffy, de Marchant et d'Ansembourg, Gennari Curlo

Married van Tuyll van Serooskerken women: de Charriere de Penthaz, van der Capellen, van Bylandt, van Rhemen, von Motz, van den Rogaerde van Terbrugge, Morlhon-Lavalette, de Turpin de Jouhe, de La Motte-Ango de Flers, van Zuylen van Nievelt, van Utenhove, de Carteret, van Brienen, Yorke Earl of Hardwicke, Needham Earl of Kilmorey, von Lutzow, van Limburg Stirum, Ripperda, van Pallandt, Sheffield, des Tombe, van Maasdijk, Beelaerts van Blokland, van Vredenburch, Loudon, Alewijn, Boreel, van der Does, van Holthe, de Braune, Reuss, van Riemsdijk


  1. Jean-Daniel Candaux, C.P. Courtney, Pierre H. Dubois, Simone Dubois-De Bruyn, Patrice Thompson, Jeroom Vercruysse and Dennis M. Wood in the 10-volume "Isabelle de Charriere, Belle De Zuylen, Oeuvres Completes", published by G. A. van Oorschot, Amsterdam and financed in part by the Prins Bernhard Fonds, the Swiss National Fund for Scientific Research and the Nederlands Organisatie voor Zuiver Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek. Quoting directly from the beginning of the genealogy given by these authors on page 631: "The family van Tuyll van Serooskerken descends from the noble house of Tuyl of the Tielerwaard on the left bank of the river Waal. In 1125, a Hugo van Tuyll, knight is mentioned."
  2. Les plus anciennes familles du monde, J. H. de Randeck, Editions Slatkine, 1984.
  3. 1 2 3 Dr. J.G. Smit, 'Raadsels rond een Zeeuws wapenbord', De Ned. Leeuw 112 (1995)
  4. 1 2 Dr. Arie van Steensel, Edelen in Zeeland pp.362-363, 2010. doctoral thesis
  5. 1 2 Prof. Dr. R. van der Laarse, "Virtus en distinctie: de Ridders van de Republik" pages 7-36, in Virtus: Jaarboek voor Adelsgeschiedenis. nr 14 2007.
  6. The charter can be found in Utrecht Archief, Huis Zuilen, nr.890
  7. Nakamura Toshiharu, Images of Familial Intimacy in Eastern and Western Art p. 45, 2014
  8. http://dare.uva.nl/document/129863
  9. Nederland's Adelsboek 95 (2010), p. 407.
  10. Dr. Arie van Steensel, Edelen in Zeeland pp.246
  11. "Niet gevonden / Not Found". slotzuylen.com.
  12. http://clubnet.zeelandnet.nl/stav400/Testfotos/TOMBE.jpg
  13. "Genealogie met portretten en kwartierstaten". slotzuylen.nl.
  14. http://www.mil.be/vox/subject/index.asp?LAN=fr&ID=416&MENU=357&PAGE=2
  15. Dr. A. W. E. Dek, Genealogie van het Vorstenhuis Nassau, Zaltbommel, 1970
  16. http://www.memo.fr/Media/REG_NEU_MOD_010_a.jpg
  17. http://www.belle-van-zuylen.eu/site-charriere/images/diederik.htm
  18. http://www.bellevanzuijlen.nl/
  19. http://www.cavaleriehistorie.nl/images/Tuyll-23.jpg
  20. Russian wikipedia: Diederik Jacob Tuyll van Serooskerken
  21. Baron de Tuyll in Decatur House
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  30. http://home.zonnet.nl/g.degroot/paginas/fotos/fotos/huis56.jpg
  31. "Huis Rijnestein in Jutphaas - foto's en tekeningen". kastelenbeeldbank.nl.
  32. http://www.rijnh.nl/n1/n2/f4nl.htm
  33. http://clubnet.zeelandnet.nl/stav400/Testfotos/SLOT.jpg
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  35. iMedialize. "ADC ArcheoProjecten". archeologie.nl.
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  37. "kasteleninutrecht.nl". kasteleninutrecht.nl.
  38. "Een tekening van kasteel Wulven door Jan de Beijer rond 1750". zonnet.nl.
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  40. http://homepage.residentie.net/~schram-12/hrd.htm
  41. http://viewfinder.english-heritage.org.uk/search/detail.asp?calledFrom=oai&imageUID=54602
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