Letter from William Brackel in Leeuwarden to the United Societies, Summer of 1682

William BrackelWilliam Brackel, minister of Leeuwarden.

The following letter was more than an expression of the Dutch minister William Brackel’s support for the Societies, it was a commitment to take action on their behalf.

William Brackel’s views on the Society people had been influenced by Robert Hamilton, who had arrived in Leeuwarden in early 1682. Together, Hamilton, Brackel and Alexander Gordon of Earlstoun would establish a Continental support network for the Societies that channeled funds back to Scotland and provided opportunities for the Societies’ students at the University of Groningen.

According to Michael Shields, ‘through the information of [Alexander Gordon of] Earlstoun, but more especially of Robert Hamilton’, Brackel came to ‘sympathize with them in their wilderness state’. He ‘highly approved of the cause owned [by the Societies]’ and sent them a letter which was ‘so much spoken of afterward’. (Shields, FCD, 32.)

The letter was from William Brackel, a minister at Leeuwarden in Friesland, to the Societies’s convention. It was probably sent to them via James Renwick in Edinburgh. It was probably written at the same time as Robert Hamilton’s letter to Renwick of 22 August. It appears to have arrived at around the same time as Hamilton’s letter, as Renwick replied to both letters at the beginning of October.

Brackel’s original letter was in Latin, but it was translated in English in Scotland for distribution throughout the Societies. James Renwick wrote of Brackel’s letter being translated on 3 October and sent a reply to him on 5 October. (Shields, FCD, 41.)

Brackel’s letter had a large impact on the Societies’ fifth convention at Edinburgh on 11 to 12 October, 1682.

The Societies’ translation of Brackel’s letter is printed in Shields, Faithful Contendings Displayed, 32-36.

Brackel to Societies Aug 1682

Brackel to Societies Aug 1682 2

Brackel to Societies Aug 1682 3

Brackel to Societies Aug 1682 4

Brackel to Societies Aug 1682 5
Additional Text © Copyright Dr mark Jardine. All Rights Reserved.

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~ by drmarkjardine on August 10, 2013.

4 Responses to “Letter from William Brackel in Leeuwarden to the United Societies, Summer of 1682”

  1. […] doorstep and moved in with him for several weeks in early 1682. In the summer of 1682, Brackel began correspondence with the Societies, via Renwick and […]

  2. […] and the Convention received a second letter from Hamilton, which he had written on 22 August, and a letter from William Brakel, the minister of Leeuwarden, that announced a breakthrough that would allow the Societies to ordain ministers via their Dutch […]

  3. […] day he also wrote to Robert Hamilton about what would be done at the convention and mentioned that William Brackel’s letter sent in the later summer had been translated from Latin for circulation through the […]

  4. […] receipt of your first letter [to the convention in the late summer of 1682] did not a little encourage us to set about the duties of the day, and […]

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