Balthasar II Moretus (1641-1674)1.
Jan II Moretus died on. 11th March 1618. Maria de Sweert survived her husband by thirty-seven years. Until 1640 she continued to live in the Grote Valk otherwise the Gulden Passer in the Kammenstraat after which she moved to a house in the Kerkhofstraat (now the Schoenmarkt called St. Malcus ‘which house she completely renovated on the front and improved within’. She died in her son's house the Gulden Passer in the Vrijdagmarkt, on 7th May 1655.2.
Jan II Moretus and Maria de Sweert had six children, four of whom survived; two daughters who married Antwerp citizens of substance and two sons. By some quirk of fate the eldest son Jan was mentally sick just as the eldest surviving son of Jan I Moretus had been. He spent most of his life away from the family and outside Antwerp, dying at Nieuwenrode in 1663 at the age of 53.3.
Balthasar was born in 1615, ‘the sole hope of the Plantin press’ (unica spes Typographiae Plantinianae) as his uncle and godfather Balthasar I put it in a letter to the younger Frans Raphelengius on 22nd April 1634.4.
(52) Opposite: Letter from Balthasar I Moretus to Rubens 1611 Balthasar writes in Latin to the painter about the epitaph for his deceased brother Philip Rubens (Cf. plate 55).
(53) Jan II Moretus (1576-1618). Oil Painting on canvas by Erasmus Quellin, commissioned by Balthasar II Moretus in 1642.
(54) Maria de Sweert (1588-1655), Jan II Moretus's wife. Oil painting on panel by Jacob van Reesbroeck, commissioned by Balthasar II Moretus in 1659.
(55) Opposite: Draft of epitaph for Philip Rubens, worded and written by Balthasar I Moretus in 1611.
The time was past when the children of the masters of the Golden Compasses had to assist their parents in the firm from a tender age. Uncle Balthasar saw to it that his heir received as careful an education as he himself had enjoyed. In 1622, as a boy of seven, the sole hope was sent to the Latin School run by the Augustinians, but as Balthasar II himself candidly stated in the diary in which he recorded the main events of his life: ‘since because of my youth (or perhaps inattention) I made little progress in learning there my mother and my Uncle Balthasar sent me in 1624 about Easter as a day-boarder to a curate of the Church of St. James.’1. This proved successful. Balthasar began ‘to do rather better at his lessons’ and in 1625 was able to move on to the Latin School of the Jesuits. He stayed there until 1630, in which year he left for Tournai ‘to learn the French language there and continue my study of the humanities’. On 4th April 1632, at the age of seventeen, he was back in Antwerp ‘and began to practise in the shop so as to learn the book trade and continue therein’. To what extent this practise meant a welcome release for Balthasar I, and to what extent Balthasar II was his uncle's support when the latter had to keep the business going by himself, is hard to determine, but he certainly learnt the trade and all its tricks and secrets. When the management of the Plantin press passed to him on Balthasar I's death in 1641, he showed himself a worthy master.
In his remarkable studies in which he depicts the seventeenth-century Moretuses in their everyday comings and goings, Sabbe suggests that Balthasar II had an urge to play the grand seigneur and ape the nobility.2. Something of this nature can be observed in the grandson of Jan I Moretus, but closer study shows it to have been no more pronounced than in his father and uncle. In the seventeenth century the Moretuses rose to rank among the leading citizens of Antwerp, and were related to its most distinguished families. Balthasar I already resembled a great lord in his luxurious residence. He is seen more as a humanist than a grand seigneur, however, simply because of his intellectual aspirations.
His successor was well-endowed with brains, but humanist ideals seem to have been alien to him. In the first half of the seventeenth century, in the time of Balthasar I, the Antwerp humanists gave the city great intellectual and cultural ambience. In his nephew's period they faded completely away. To quote Jules Chifflet's words when he visited Antwerp in 1670: ‘Eight hundred shops stood empty. The sadness is to be read on the face of this once so flourishing citizenry. The scholars who adorned Antwerp six and thirty years ago are now all dead. All that remains of them are their fine epitaphs in the churches and their portraits in the house of mine host Moretus.’1.
Even if the city had been able to sustain a more intense intellectual life, it is unlikely that Balthasar II would have played any part in it: he had no taste for Latin letters. For this reason it almost seems as if after the death of Balthasar I, a new, more light-hearted and superficial generation appeared in the Officina Plantiniana, out to enjoy the wealth accumulated by their hardworking and learned predecessors and intent on playing the fine gentleman. However, if the available facts are looked at more carefully then it must be seen that Balthasar II went no further in this direction than his uncle, and that he actually followed in the footsteps of his sober, businesslike father Jan I. Balthasar II Moretus can be categorized as an industrious businessman who certainly admired the nobility, but who kept his feet firmly on the ground and thought first of his firm's prosperity.
It is true that in his ‘règle journalière, laquelle d'icy en avant se debvra observer par Balthasar Moretus le Jeune’, drawn up for his son and successor Balthasar III,2. courtesy and good manners were much emphasized, but the rules were not set above a middle class level, and the master of the officina saw to it that his heir became acquainted with its working at first hand: ‘...after the departure of the Master of music... to go to the printing-office, to take note of what the men do and to instruct the workmen when something is to be rephrased or corrected. Then to come to the office or the Lipsius room: and in case father should not have provided anything else to do to occupy half an hour by translating some letter or other from among
those which are copied in the book of copies in Latin, and to endeavour to make it as correct and as elegant as possible, and to write it in good handwriting, so as to observe a good manner of calligraphy, and also to pay attention to the punctuation, capital letters and spelling. After having done this until half past nine o'clock to go and breakfast... After breakfast to return once again to the printing-office as before; and then to return to the Lipsius room and to do what father shall have given you to do; or if he has not asked for anything to be done or if he should not be present, to practise in arithmetic, and to do the sums which are in the little arithmetic book, following and copying out the questions without interruption according to the order which is to be found in the same little book...’ After the midday meal the lad could ‘take the air for a while, either in the courtyard or at the gateway, for about a quarter of an hour or a little more. Then to return to the printing-office as before dinner. And then to write for half an hour or more, writing something neatly to practise good calligraphy.’1.
It is true that in the account of his journey to Paris in 1660, Balthasar II waxes enthusiastic over the beauty and splendour of the villas and pleasant gardens of the nobility and gentry he was able to visit, but at the same time lie seems to have missed not a single important library or collection of books in the French capital, and his comments on these are even more enthusiastic.2.
More significant still is the fact that Balthasar did not strive after any of the many expensive and time-consuming honorary offices which formed the most certain way of acquiring a title. In 1647 he became dean of the Guild of St. Luke, like his father before him, but for the rest he tried as far as possible to obtain exemption for himself and his son from honorary posts and functions. What he did try successfully to secure was Plantin's old title of chief printer to the king, which had fallen into disuse, but this was only in an attempt to avoid being given another highly esteemed but very expensive post - that of grand almoner of Antwerp.
In the last years of his life Balthasar I had been fairly regularly addressed as ‘the king's printer’,1. after the rezo romano had brought him in closer contact with Spain and her court. It was probably the Hieronymites of San Lorenzo who obtained for him this fine-sounding but not very meaningful title. As ‘imprimeur du roi’ his nephew and successor approached King Philip IV in about 1644 in order to obtain something more: the dignity of ‘prototipographe’ which his great-grandfather had possessed ‘tant seulement pour luy et ses successeurs avec exemption de toute charge civile et militaire audit Anvers’. Philip passed this request on to the government in Brussels for further investigation on 27th September 1644.2. In his letter he declared himself willing to promote his printer a little and grant him the ‘title of prototypographus or first printer’ - but ‘sans plus’. It was to remain a purely honorary appointment without any practical significance. In his request, however, Balthasar II had placed the emphasis on exemption from all civil and military duties, in particular from the almoner's office with which the city wanted to burden him, as is clear from his later letters (‘not wishing to be elected almoner’, to quote one dated 16th November 1646).3. The Brussels government took its time to investigate the matter and express an opinion on it, so long in fact that the printer summoned up his courage again and addressed another petition directly to the Spanish king. Philip considered that the business had dragged on for long enough and without
waiting for Brussels granted the desired title on 6th May 1647 - but ‘sans plus’.1. Balthasar had achieved the title, but was no nearer to being exempted from the dreaded almonership.
That he did not even bother to mention the royal favour in the journal in which he so carefully recorded the events of his life is probably evidence of his disappointment. But when the danger of appointment to the position began to loom large, he contrived to find a way out at the last moment: ‘On the fourteenth day of March  I took an oath at Brussels before the Most Reverend Joannes Boonen, Archbishop of Malines in the presence of Mijnheer Charles Couberger, Superintendant General of Charity, as councillor of charity within Antwerp, by which I am exempted from being chosen for any office, even that of almoner. Laus Deo’2. runs the triumphant entry in his diary.
This is not the conduct of a parvenu trying to imitate the aristocracy and intent on a prominent role in social life, but of a realistic businessman who had already risen high in society through his wealth and relations, yet wanted to reduce to a minimum the more irksome consequences of his social position, even though they would have brought him added status and authority.
Balthasar II was one of the richest people in Antwerp and probably the wealthiest typographer of his day, yet he remained first and foremost a master printer. He made notes on every conceivable subject, a trait he had probably inherited from his father, who left many memoranda for posterity. With Balthasar II this passion became a mania. He produced an incredible number of wills; Max Rooses counted no less than thirty-two of them. He compared and measured anything capable of measurement, even the number of steps he needed to take to reach particular places.3.
In the endless inventories and memoranda of all kinds which he left behind he also recorded with satisfaction his fortune and its growth.1. Balthasar I in his will had named his nephew as his principal beneficiary.2. Balthasar II received 75,443 fl. net in houses, other properties, and bonds.3. This fortune had increased to 194,467 fl. on 31st December 1651, to 297,000 fl. on 31st December 1658, and to 341,000 fl. on 31st December 1662 - several
millions of dollars in present-day values.
In the inventories of 1658 and 1662 Balthasar itemized his fortune down to the smallest particular.4. It is very significant that income from rented
houses and land represents only a small percentage of the total and that there are hardly any shares or securities. This bears out what has already been said about this master of the Golden Compasses. Balthasar II was a very rich man, but his fortune remained invested in the business like that of his predecessors. Plantin's great-grandson was no rentier living on capital earned by his forefathers.1.
These inventories are also valuable for the information they give about how Balthasar II obtained his fortune. On his marriage to Anna Goos in 1645 it amounted to 135,000 fl.2. He inherited 68,259 fl. from his mother's estate in 1655.3. From this total sum of 203,295 fl. he deducted 6,039 fl. for the jewels he had bought his wife, adding it to the 42,704 fl. which Anna had brought to the marriage.4.
Of the 297,000 fl. which Balthasar and Anna possessed in 1658, no less than 186,442 fl. had consequently been inherited.5. To this sum can be added about 25,000 fl. - the endowment Balthasar received on his marriage. The remaining 85,558 fl. must represent the profits of the Plantin press from 1641
to 1658. (Or rather, half of the profits from 1641 to 1655, the other half going to Balthasar's mother.) In 1662 the pair were richer by 44,000 fl.: Balthasar had inherited 3,670 fl. from his uncle Ludovicus Moretus; the rest must be the firm's profits during these four years.
Balthasar II commented on his inheritance, responsibilities, and aspirations in his diary: ‘In his will [Uncle Balthasar] made me his heir: therefore I came to live in the printing house at that time and took up the task of directing the press and conducting the sale of books. Wherein I hope to continue by the Grace of God to the honour and advantage of the said press. Praying God shall give me the Grace to direct it until some one of my children shall be sufficiently practised therein to maintain and continue it.’1.
Balthasar I had only been able to bequeath his own share of the business, half of which was in the hands of Maria de Sweert, Balthasar II's mother. Like his predecessor Balthasar II had to go into partnership with his mother: ‘On the twelfth day of December  I wound up our old company with Mother and entered into a new one for six years dating from 1st July of the year 1641.’ This period was probably extended. Not until after his mother's death did Balthasar II obtain all of his inheritance, less the payment of Maria de Sweert's bequests to his sisters.2.
Between 1641 and 1662 Balthasar II watched his fortune increase by 125,000 fl., which must be the profits from the Officina Plantiniana; but it has to be taken into consideration that until 1655 he had to share these profits with his mother:3. the old press was more of a paying concern than ever before.4. As in his uncle's day the number of presses working was subject
to sudden and sometimes violent fluctuations in trade, but a total of eleven was reached more often than previously. The average figure was appreciably higher than under Balthasar I and almost twice what was achieved by Jan I Moretus. Once again the Plantinian house was the largest typographical undertaking in Europe.
The rezo romano, the export of service-books to Spain, grew to enormous proportions. Under Balthasar II this trade became the firm's raison d'être. The new master of the Golden Compasses, however, maintained contact with other customers for service books. As before, great quantities of his breviaries, missals, and books of hours were retailed in the Southern Netherlands, while an equally impressive number of consignments found their way to the Dutch republic, France, Germany, and Italy.
In 1644 Balthasar even made the journey once more to the Frankfurt Fair in person, although his memories of this episode were far from pleasant. The journey was perilous. The travellers had to pay ransom to marauding cavalry from the army of the States General right under the walls of Antwerp. In Germany matters became even worse. A military escort had to be hired for the journey along the banks of the Rhine, which did not prevent the convoy from being waylaid by Lorraine mercenaries. They were only allowed to proceed after opening their purses.1. Balthasar II did not repeat this experiment very often but in 1656, in Lent, when something like order and peace had returned both to the Netherlands and Germany, he ventured to visit Frankfurt again to make personal contact with his German and eastern French customers.2.
Mindful of the wise policy of his predecessors, Balthasar II Moretus also tried to produce as wide and varied a range of books as possible and to avoid
too narrow a specialization. He was the last of his family to print a series of non-liturgical books. These consisted mostly of theological treatises and religious discourses, but there were also works of topical interest with a bias towards Spanish politics (including Caramuel Lobkowitz, Respuesta al manifiesto del reyno de Portugal, 1642; Dialogue sur les droits de la Reyne très chrestienne, 1667). Some works in Spanish which he printed were of a theological nature, but those in other categories included J. Basta, Compendio militar, 1644; Rebolledo, Ocios, 1650; and Roan, Discursos militares, 1652. Among the considerable number of scientific, humanist and literary works were a reprint of Dodoens's Herbal (the Cruydtboeck), 1644; the Dansk Urtebog, 1647, a reprint for Denmark made from the botanical woodblocks in the possession of the house; H. Goltzius, Opera omnia, 1645; M.C. Sarbievius, Lyricorum libri IV, 1646; G. Wendelinus, Leges salicae, 1649; J. Eyckius, Urbium Belgicarum centuria, 1651; M. Martinius, De bello tartarico historia, 1654; Philomathus, Musae juveniles, 1654; A. Rubens, De re vestiara, 1655; S. Hosschius, Elegiarum libri sex, 1656; J. Wallius, Poematum libri novem, 1656; G. Becanus, Idyllia et elegiae, 1657; and F. de Marselaer, Legatus, 1666 - the last great work of scholarschip printed by the officina. In addition to these there was the whole range of historical and archaeological studies by the prolific members of the Chifflet family.
Compared with Balthasar I's production, however, quality and quantity had fallen again. This was not the fault of Balthasar II but of circumstances, of the decline in intellectual life in the Southern Netherlands.1. Jules Chifflet's doleful words on the decay of humanism and scholarship in Antwerp have already been quoted. But the decline was just as palpable in theological and devotional writing. In the first half of the seventeenth century the Roman Catholic church in the Southern Netherlands had enlisted the greatest intellects into its service. The struggle to defend and propagate the Catholic faith had produced an extensive literature of apologia and studies. This too weakened and degenerated in the second half of the seventeenth century into vernacular devotional works of no significance. It is typical of the Moretuses and of their opinion of the dignity and standing of their firm that although Balthasar II, in contrast to his predecessors, pub-
lished a number of such works in Dutch, he selected only the best of these and left those aimed at a lower strata of the population to the more ‘ordinary’ Antwerp printers.
Balthasar had married Anna Goos, daughter of a good family, on 23rd July 1645. She bore him twelve children - seven sons and five daughters. Three daughters and two sons died young. The two surviving girls entered convents. Of the five surviving sons, four went into the church: Joannes Jacobus became a Jesuit; Christophorus Maria a Minorite; Franciscus a secular priest; Melchior a Premonstratensian. Once again there was one male offspring left as the sole hope of the Plantin press: the eldest son Balthasar III.
, pp. 307-312 M. Sabbe devotes much attention to Balthasar II in the studies he published in (Uit het Plantijnsche huis
and De Moretussen en hun kring
. See particularly ‘Vondel, Balthasar Moretus II, Leonardus Mirius en Hendrik Barentsen’ and ‘Op den drempel van den adelstand’, both in the latter volume. ‘Op den drempel...’ has been translated into French and German (cf. p. 228, note 1). One of the principal sources for Balthasar II's biography is his own diary (Arch. 253).
Arch. 213, under the years 1640 and 1655.
Van der Straelen Geslagt-lyste
, p. 29.
‘Nepos Balthasar jam in officina libraria se exercet, unica spes Typographiae Plantinianae, fratre ejus Joanne omnitio delirante’ (Arch. 146, p. 71).
Original Dutch text: ‘... alsoo ick mits myne jouckheyt (oft misshien onachtsaemheyt) aldaer weynighen voortganck in het lerren dede, soo hebben mijne moeder ende mijn oom Balthasar anno 1624 mij bestedt omtrent Passchen in den halven kost tot eenen capellaen van St. Jacobskerck.’
Cf. ‘Op den drempel van den adelstand’.
Arch. 1150a. Published by Rooses in Musée
, p. 307; commented on by M. Sabbe in ‘Op den drempel van den adelstand’, pp. 120-121.
Original French text: ‘... après le départ du maistre [de musique]... passer par l'imprimerie, prendre garde à ce qu'ils font, et montrer aux compaguons, quand il se trouvera quelque chose à redire ou à corriger. Puis venir au comptoir, ou à la chambre de Lipse: et en cas que le père ne donne aultre chose à faire, occuper une demie heure à translater quelque lettre de celles qui sont copiées dans le livre des copies en la langue latine, et tascher de le faire le plus correct et élégant que faire se pourra, et de l'escrire de bonne main, afin d'observer la bonne façon d'escrire, et aussy à prendre garde aux interponctions, majuscules et orthographe. Ayant fait cecy jusques à neuf heures et demy, aller
déjeuner... Après le déjeuner passer encores une fois par l'imprimerie, comme auparavant: et puis retourner à la chambre de Lipse, et faire ce que le père aura donné à faire; ou s'il n'a rien donné à faire, ou qu'il n'y soit pas présent, s'exercer en l'arithmétique, et faire les sommes qui sont dans le petit livre d'arithmétique, poursuivant transcrire sans interruption les questions selon l'ordre qui est au mesme livret...’ After the midday meal the lad could ‘se mettre un peu à l'air, soit à la place, soit à la porte, par l'espace d'environ un quart d'heure ou un peu d'avantage. Depuis repasser par l'imprimerie, comme devant le disner. Et après escrire par l'espace d'une demie heure ou d'avantage quelque chose au net, afin de s'exercer à la bonne escriture.’
Ms. 228. M. Sabbe, ‘'Itinerarium Parisiense' van Balthasar Moretus II’ in Jaarboek van Antwerpen's Oudheidkundige Kring
, 5, 1922, pp. 43-52. Cf. also M. Sabbe, ‘Op den drempel...’ pp. 121-123.
The engraving by Jan Witdoeck after Rubens's Martyrdom of St. Just
, 1639 (see p. 190) has the words ‘Architypographus rcgius’ in the inscription.
Arch. 104, folios 201-203.
Original Dutch text: ‘Adi 14 Meert  heb ik tot Brussel mijnen eed gedaen in handen van den hoogweerdigsten Heer Joannes Boonen aertsbisschop van Mechelen in tegenwoordigheyt vanMijnheer Charles Couberger surintendant general van de bergen van bermerhertigheydt ende dat in qualiteyt van raedheer vanden berg van bermerhertigheyd binnen Antwerpen waermedt ik beyrijd ben van ghecosen te worden tot eenighe officien ook selver tot aelmoessenierschap. Laus Deo.’
‘Memorandum. This speelhof
[or villa; Balthasar II's property at Berchem] is situated 2,200 paces from the outer bailey of the St. Jorispoort [St. George's Gate], and 1,500 paces from my house in the Vrijdagmarkt, as measured by Balthasar Moretus on 28th February 1659. And from the Kronenburg Gate behind the Citadel to the villa is 4,600 paces. And from my house in the Vrijdagmarkt to the outer bailey of the Roodepoort [Red Gate] is 2,580 paces, and from there to the Hand
[a boundary-stone marking the limits of the city of Antwerp, and adorned with a hand, being the “sign” of the town] on the Dam is 1,350 paces, as measured by me on 13th May 1661.’ (Arch. 108, p. 114; Dutch text.)
See especially: Arch. 104, folios 161 sqq. (record of the goods and properties left by Balthasar I, and of Balthasar II's inheritance); Arch. 354 (partnership of Maria de Sweert and Balthasar II, June 1642-1651, and Maria de Sweert's inheritance); Arch. 104, folios 399-401 (record of Balthasar II's possessions, 31st December 1651); and Arch. 108 (Balthasar II's possessions on 31st December 1658 and 31st December 1662).
Will of 22nd September 1637: Arch. 103, pp. 253 sq.
The balance amounted to 213,609 fl., divided as follows (the stuivers are not given): the premises of the printing press (48,000 fl.), the Bonte Huid
in the Hoogstraat (16,000 fl.), the IJzeren Passer
, the Houten Passer
and the Vosken
in the Heilig Geeststraat (6,000 fl.), ‘the furniture, cash and his private library’ (15,000 fl.), making 85,000 fl. altogether; and half of the ‘compagnie des boeckhandels’ (the odier half belonged to Maria de Sweert, Jan II Moretus's heiress), representing a sum of 128,609 fl. From this 138,165 fl. has to be deducted, comprising: half the company's debts (49,030 fl.); money from the general funds of the company used by Balthasar I (23,612 fl.); unpaid personal bills and debts (20,615 fl.); sickness and funeral expenses (2,118 fl.); small legacies (2,788 fl.); payments to the coheirs (40,000 fl. - 12,000 fl. each to Balthasar II's brother and two sisters, and 2,000 fl. each to two other relatives).
The chief items (values are given to the nearest guilder, the 1658 figures first, the 1662 figures in brackets) were as follows: the stock of ‘red and black’ service-books, 85,000 (89,000); the ‘black’ books, 96,000 (90,000); paper stocks, 21,000 (33,000); stocks of parchment for friskets and tympans, 1,980 (idem
); debts outstanding in Portugal and Spain, 100,000 (105,000); debts outstanding in countries other than Portugal and Spain, 24,000 (32,000); money in the cash-box of the shop, 5,650 (3,020); printing materials, 24,000 (idem
); books at Frankfurt, 3,000 (idem
); small necessities for the press, 1,000 (idem
); houses in Antwerp - the Gulden Passer
, 40,000 (45,000); St. Marcus
, 17,000 (idem
); the Bonte Huid
, 14,000 (idem
); the Vosken
, 2,500 (idem
); the Houten Passer
, 2,000 (idem
); the IJzeren Passer
, 2,000 (idem
) -; the villa at Berchem, 3,000 (idem
); private library, 10,000 (idem
); ready cash not included above, 4,000 (4,200); jewelry, 6,039 (8,039); silverware and gold chains, 6,519 (6,869); furniture, paintings, porcelain and linen, 17,861 (18,401); rents from lands, 602 (729); life annuities for the children, 2,400 (3,600); share in the estate of his wife's grandfather, 10,046 (idem
); share in real estate at Hamme, also inherited from his wife's grandfather, 1,853 (idem
). The 1658 total came to 501,453 fl., from which 204,453 fl. has to be deducted - (i) 85,500 for buying out his sisters, (ii) 87,907 for repaying interest loans and (iii) 31,044 to other creditors. The corresponding figures for 1662 are: 531,240 less 190,240 fl. - (i) 48,450, (ii) 107,628, (iii) 34,161 fl.
It is significant that in the record of the assets of the ‘compagnie des boeckhandels’, Balthasar II repeatedly emphasized that he made much bigger profits from the book-trade than he would have obtained by investing his capital at 5% per annum, and that he was also able to ensure considerable capital-gains for his mother. The latter point might indicate that Maria de Sweert was inclined to invest her money in something safer and less worrying. This problem is discussed in further detail in Vol. II.
75.443 fl. of this was inherited from Balthasar I; an endowment which possibly amounted to 25,000 fl., although the exact sum cannot be ascertained; the rest was presumably earned in the business between 1641 and 1645.
His inherited share of the ‘compagnie’ amounted to 41,502 fl. 10 st.; the remainder came from Maria de Sweert's other assets, including the St. Marcus
house (17,000 fl.), the villa at Berchem (1,500 fl.), and movables (including a horse and carriage, and paintings, to the value of 478 fl.).
Namely 25,148 fl. ‘in cash as a dowry’, a trousseau representing 1,530 fl., and 16,024 fl. derived from inheritances.
From Balthasar I: 75,443 fl.; from Maria de Sweert: 68,295 fl.; from Anna Goos's family; 42,704 fl.
Original Dutch text: ‘Door syn testament heeft [oom Balthasar] mij sijnen erfgenaem gestelt: waerdoor ick op den selven tijd in de druckerye ben komen wonen ende den last van deselve te regeren ende den boekhahdel te drijven begonst aen te nemen. Waerinne ick hope met de Gratie Gods te continueren tot eere en te voordeel van deselve druckerye. Biddende God my de Gratie te gheven om deselve soo lang te regeren totdat er iemand van mijne naercomelinghen inde selve geoeffend mach wesen om the te onderhouwen en blijven continueren.’
Each of whom received the considerable sum of 41,502 fl. 10 st., to be paid off in yearly instalments of 5,000 fl.
While after 1655 he still had to pay out 83,000 fl. to his sisters.
Balthasar II set out his final balance sheet showing his ‘calculation of profits made by the Grace of God from 1st July 1642 to 31st December 1651’ in the following terms: ‘... so it appears that in 9½ years, notwithstanding all bankruptcies, mishaps, bad debts, and such like, a profit of 208,001 fl. 10 st. has been made by the Grace of God and our own industry.’ This represents an annual profit of 21,980 fl., accounted for by Balthasar II as follows: General state on 31st December 1651 was 259,947 fl. 10 st.; money taken from the funds by Maria de Sweert in the period 1642-1651: 41,865 fl.; by Balthasar II in the same period: 65,347 fl. A total of 367,159 fl. 10 st. Capital on 30th June 1642: 159,158 fl. Therefore the profit made between 1st July 1642 and 31st December 1651 equals 208,001 fl. 10 st. See also the discussion of this matter in Vol. II.
M. Sabbe, ‘Balthasar Moretus II naar de Vasten-Messe te Francfort in 1644’ in Jaarboek van Antwerpen's Oudheidkundige Kring
, 8, 1932, pp. 31-53. Cf. M. Sabbe, De meesters van den Gulden Passer
, pp. 95-98.
Quoted in his diary, but without any details being given.