Maria Elias de Meij

Birth or Baptism date: 
April 27, 1626
Death or Burial date: 
January 24, 1676

In 1650, Maria is noted in an estate inventory as being owed two gulden for delivery of a shirt.

In 1653, Maria and her sister Barbara made a will.

In 1654, Maria bought the house at Oosteinde 252. She and Leeuwenhoek, as her brother-in-law, signed the notary document recording the sale.

In 1655, Maria was the witness, along with Leeuwenhoek's brother-in-law Johan Molijn, at the baptism of Leeuwenhoek's daughter Maria.

Three years after Barbara's death in 1666, her sister Maria made a will bequeathing the house on the Oosteinde to Barbara and Antony's daughter Maria.

Five years later, on March 3, 1674, Maria was living on the Oosteijnde when she registered to marry (DTB inv. 74 fol. 5) Pijeter Schepens, living on Oude Delft. Two weeks later, on March 18, they married in nearby Voorburg.

Who was Pieter Schepens?

At his first marriage in 1653 to Josina Marinus, Schepens was noted as a hall master (zaalmeester ). When he paid the kadegeld of 1666-67 (OAD inv. 594 fol. 42v), he was listed as Pieter Samuelsz Schepens, saddlemaker (sadelmaker) on the east side of the Old Delft near the Baljuwsteeg. In less than seven years, Schepens buried three wives.

  • Josina died in 1669.
  • The following year, Schepens married Neeltge Holierhoeck (DTB inv. 131 fol. 20). She died in June 1672 (DTB inv. 42 fol. 13).
  • He married Maria de Meij less than two years later in March 1674. They had no children.

By the end of that same year, something happened to Maria, then age 48. On December 21, 1674, her brother-in-law Antony Leeuwenhoek was appointed by the magistrates to administer her affairs due to her "melancholic and dark thoughts" (melancolique ende swartmoedige gedachten) (ORA 1, Kamerboek 1674). The following day, December 22, Maria and Pieter were granted a divorce (scheiding) (OAD 1.9 Keurboek), after only nine months of marriage. A year after that, when Maria was buried on January 26, 1676 (DTB inv. 42 fol. 155), she was listed as the housewife of Pieter Schepens and living in the city school  (stadschool) on the Achterzak. She was buried in the Nieuwe Kerk.