Adriaan Beman

Other name: 
printer late in his career
Death or Burial date: 
March 30, 1737

Adriaan Beman lived on the Markt, now #38 (C 00964). It had been owned by Aernolt Jacobs Bon, a bookseller and city printer, who sold it to Beman. The next owner was Wouter van Dijk. The building, still standing, dates from 1649. Near the top, it says, De Vinder van de Druckkunst, the Discoverer of the Printing Art. The Royal Library's Short-Title Catalogue Netherlands has books noting Beman as a bookseller in 1698-1703, 1705-1706, 1710, and 1727, and a printer for the city in 1708, 1714, 1718-1725, 1727-1728, and 1730-1735.

When he was appointed city printer in 1708 to replace Hendrik Cronevelt, who had died a week earlier, the appointed was noted in the mayor's Kamerboek. He was charged specifically with printing the forms to be used by the excise tax collectors in Delft and the surrounding villages.

In several notary documents from 1705 to 1707, Beman is involved in his role as regent of the Kamer van Charitaten (Chamber of Charity). Boitet's Beschriving notes his appointment in 1712 as a regent of the local workhouse (tuchthuis), the Sint Joris Gasthuis on Delft's Noordeinde. After 1677 it was not only what we would now call a mental hospital but also a workhouse for petty criminals and delinquent youths. In another notary document (inv. 2416J, fol 654) from ten years later, Beman is still a regent of Sint Joris.

Beman was also the head of one of the squads of the Witte Vendel civic guards. He was a Quartiermeester met de Schalen, a charity effort of the Veertigraad for beggars, and he was an elder of the Church.

Beman printed Leeuwenhoek's Send-Brieven in 1718 and is mentioned as a scoundrel in his will.

Year  Dobell  shortened title AvL no
1718 19 Send-Brieven ...  I-XLVI
1719 28

Epistolae Physiologicae Super compluribus Naturae Arcanis ...

Thus, 29. Opera Omnia Vol. IV.


Two documents in the archives of notary Willem Vlaardingerwoud from 1720 (inv. 2589F, fol. 339) and 1721 (inv. 2590F, fol. 294) tell of a dispute that Beman had with Delft's private insurance company (maatschappij van assurantie) for ships and goods. In the document from 1721, the parties agreed to use two arbitrators from Rotterdam, also booksellers.

Beman and Leeuwenhoek are listed together on several documents between 1717 and 1722 distributing the fees to the city's gaugers of beer, wine, brandy, and oil. Leeuwenhoek, long since retired, was still getting paid. Beman was paid for printing the forms (biljetten).

Although Beman is listed as a neighbor of a house seller on the Markt as late as 1730, when he died seven years later, he was living on the Korenmarkt opposite the Kromstraatsteeg. He was buried in the Oude Kerk in his own grave and had enough status for his body to be carried there by coach, as was his wife's body when she died two years after him, in 1739.