Historical and Commemorative Medals
Collection of Benjamin Weiss

WILLIAM IV, PRINCE OF ORANGE, STADTHOLDER OF THE NETHERLANDS

DASSIER, Jean and Jacques-Antoine: Netherlands, 1747, Bronze, 54 mm
Obv: Bust (l)    WILHELM. IV. D.G. P. AR. ET N. BELG. GUBERN.
Rev: Prince, as Roman warrior, urging seated Genius (representing The Netherlands? Nassau?) to defend country    MOVEBIT FORTIS IN ARMA VITROS.
Exergue:  PROCL. 3. MAII J747.
Signed:  ID. ET F.
Ref: Van Loon I, 234, pl. 24;  Weiss BW057

William IV, Prince of Orange (17111751), stadtholder of The Netherlands, was the son of John William Friso of the Frisian branch of the house of Orange-Nassau and a descendant of the brother of William the Silent. After the death of his father, he became, at age seven, chief executive and military commander of the province of Friesland.  In 1734 he married Princess Anne, daughter of King George II of Great Britain.

In an effort to quell internal strife amongst the various factions, in 1747 the States-General selected William IV as their leader, making it a hereditary position, the event commemorated by this medal. At first, he was popular with the people when he spoke out against the power and wealth of the Dutch business establishment. However, he held the position of Director-General of the Dutch East India Company, and his alliance with the business class deepened while the disparity between rich and poor grew. He served as stadtholder of all the Netherlands until his death in 1751, at which time nothing remained of the dreams of a revived republic strongly led by a stadholder in the old alliance with Austria and England. (Taken, in part, from Wikipedia).

HOME PAGE