How did he pay off his mortgage?

For several years after he purchased Het Gulden Hoofd from the widow of Frans van Helden, Leeuwenhoek paid her in eight installments.

The orphan masters (weesmeesteren), regent members of the Veertigraad, were in charge of Delft's orphanages. Their office (weescamer) was on the ground floor of the Stadhuis.

The orphan masters first took notice of the van Helden family when Frans Leenderts died in 1649. His estate inventory was filed then with the Weeskamer, now preserved as inv. 4537 Aantekeningen betreffende uitgaven voor de boedel van Frans Leendertsz. van Helden, gehuwd met Grietgen Jansdr Cool (Notes concerning expenses for the estate of Frans Leendertsz. van Helden, married to Grietgen Jansdr Cool). The orphan masters entered the details on page 141 of their register (right; click to enlarge). It noted two piece of property:

  • the family home and on the west side of the Hippolytusbuurt, to the north of Corn. Arents Sgravesande and to the south of Abram van Beijeren (huijs ende erve staende ende gelegen aen de westzijde van de Hypolitusbuijrt, aldernaast Corn. Arents Sgravesande aen de noort ende aldernaast Abram van Beijeren aen de zuijtzijde)
  • a garden lying outside the Schoolpoort of the city, east of Dirck Crabbe, west of Nicolaes van der Mast (thuin gelegen buijten de Schoolpoort deser stadt, te oosten Dirck Crabbe, ten westen Nicolaes van der Mast).

The orphan masters were especially concerned about the fate of Van Helden’s eight underage children:

  • Jannetge, then 19 years old
  • Leendert, 16
  • Evert, 14
  • Jasper 11
  • Annetge 9
  • Willemijntge 6,
  • Jacob, 4
  • Frans 1 1/2

Periodically, persons concerned with this estate appeared before the orphan masters. The folio numbers come from WKD inv. 4537 Aantekeningen betreffende uitgaven voor de boedel van Frans Leendertsz. van Helden.

August 16, 1651

Jannetge Frans, by then 21 years old, married Cornelis Willems Coppens. The following March, they appeared before the Weeskamer (fol. 141v) and accepted the garden outside the Schoolpoort as Jannetge's share of the inheritance. It was noted on fol. 141v and added to the estate inventory.

June 15, 1652

Leendert Frans married Machtelt Jacobs from Maassluis (DTB 127, 36). The following January 10 (fol. 145v), Leendert informed the orphan masters of his marriage and his ability to govern his own affairs. He also noted that his youngest brother Frans had died. That left five minor children: Jasper 15, Annetge 13, Willemijntge 10, and Jacob, 8.

November 5, 1653

(fol. 147v) Orphan masters Nicolaes Coeckebacker and Adriaen Fijck noted a disagreement between Grietge Jans and her son Leendert about the sale of the house on the Hippolytusbuurt. Leendert, by then 20 years old, agreed to rent the house for 250 guilders per year for two and a half years, beginning in November 1653. He would make further quarterly rent payments from February 1654 to May 1655. He would make those payments at the Weeskamer, and the masters would note how it was distributed to his mother and siblings.

June 4, 1655

(fol. 168v), The orphan masters reviewed the sale of the house in February to Leeuwenhoek for 5,000 guilders.

Mortgage Payments
Folio Payment date Capital paid Total paid Remaining Interest paid Total paid Remaining
168v May 07, 1655 1,000 1,000 4,000      
 172v May 08, 1657 400 1,400 3,600      
 174v May 08, 1658 700  2,100 2,900  280 280   360
 174v May 30, 1959 900 3,000  2,000      
 179v May 11, 1660 700 3,700 1,300 (half in goods) 100 380 260
 179v May 11, 1661 200 3,900 1,100 ????    
 180v Mar 03, 1662 828 4,728 272      
 184v Apr 19, 1662 272 5,000 0  (two bonds of 400 and 100) 500    

In addition on April 19, 1662, he paid 56 guilders 11 stuivers 8 pennies in legal fees, for a total that day of 828 g 11 st 8 p.