Johan van Reede van Renswouden

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Johan van Reede van Renswoude, known in Britain as John de Reede, 1st Baron Reede (1593, Utrecht – 7 February 1682, The Hague) was a Dutch diplomat and politician.

Johan van Reede van Renswouden, 1650 engraving by Wenceslas Hollar

Early life

The son of Mechteld Peunis van Diest and Gerard/Godard van Reede van Nederhorst (1555-1612),[1] he became, like his father before him, a canon or deacon in Utrecht Cathedral in 1620. In 1623 he acquired the title and lands of Renswoude, and was elected to the States-General of Holland.[2]

Mission to England

In 1644 van Reede was sent with Willem Boreel of Amsterdam as ambassador-extraordinary to England in the attempt to reconcile king and parliament. He visited Charles I at Oxford, and was created Baron Reede on 24 March 1644, with limitation to his heirs male, while Boreel is said to have been made a baronet. Sir Edward Walker, who was with the king at the time, wrote that Baron Reede had only the title and dignity of baron, with no place or voice in parliament.[2]

The House of Commons resented the interference of the ambassadors; and when Boreel and Reede returned to The Hague in May 1645, complaint was made that they had behaved as "interested parties rather than public agents". A medal of van Reede was engraved in England in 1645 by Thomas Simon.[2]

Later life

After his return to Holland van Reede was sent ambassador to Denmark, and from 1652 to 1671 was president of the States of Utrecht, a position which he resumed in 1674. He wrote, on 12 September 1652, to Charles II, at St. Germains, offering his services.[2]


By his wife, Jocamina de Heede (1595-1671), Van Reede had numerous descendants.[2]


  1. ^ Genealogy of the van Reeden family
  2. ^ a b c d e  Lee, Sidney, ed. (1896). "Reede, John de". Dictionary of National Biography. 47. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 
  • Ferry Gouwens, Johan van Reede, heer van Van Renswoude (1593-1682). Een politieke biografie, Research master thesis at the Leiden University History department.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainLee, Sidney, ed. (1896). "Reede, John de". Dictionary of National Biography. 47. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 

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