Harmen van Zoelen

Other name: 
Harman; Harmanets van Soellen
correspondent, a regent and city official from Rotterdam
Birth or Baptism date: 
October 26, 1636
Death or Burial date: 
September 30, 1702

Harman van Zoelen was born in La Rochelle, France, source of much of the grain for Rotterdam's bread and beer. By the time he married Maria Sourij in 1660, age 24, he was living on the Leuvehaven in Rotterdam. Maria was the granddaughter of a member of the Rotterdam Vroedschap, Johan Allartsz. van der Duyn. When his father-in-law died in 1664, Zoelen took his seat and kept it until 1692 when he was dismissed along with several other officeholders by stadhouder Willem III.

It was after that, from 1696 to 1699, that Leeuwenhoek wrote three letters to Zoelen.

During his three-decade career in public service, Zoelen was, among other offices, magistrate for two years, city treasurer for three years, and mayor for nine years. He was also master of the orphanage for five years, Rotterdam's representative (Gedeputeerde te Dagvaart) in the States General for ten years, and a governor of the Rotterdam chamber of the VOC from 1668 until his death in 1702.

Zoelen owned land in Delfgauw, Barendrecht, Poeldijk and Overschie worth over twenty thousand guilders. His three-month second marriage brought him possession of the Huis ten Donck in Ridderkerk.

source: http://www.engelfriet.net/Alie/Hans/zoelen.htm