as Trash Supervisor

The trash collection system used by Delft in the late 1600's was based on multiple collection points spread throughout the city.

The image on the right shows the bottom of page 154v of the fifth Register van kleine ambten en officiën. It records the men who were the supervisors for the collection point closest to Leeuwenhoek's house.

This trash collection point is on or at the Visbank or fish stall (aen de Visbancke), which makes sense because it would have generated a lot of organic waste, which is all that was allowed at these collection points.

This collection point and the four following were in the section labeled from the Vismarkt to the Kolk on both sides of the Voorstraat (van de Vischmarct tot de Culckae wedersijde van de Voorstraet), which included the section of the Voorstraat where Leeuwenhoek lived, often called Hippolytusbuurt.

Five names are listed, three of them crossed out.

  • Arent Wachtere
  • Jan van Ophoven vertrocken (departed)
  • Gilles Gromme obijt (deceased)
  • Johannes Dalij ? Goedemaet
  • Anthonij Leeuwenhoeck

Wachtere and van Ophoven were the first two, though we do not know when they were appointed or whether they were the first supervisors or just the first recorded in the Register van kleine ambten. It is not clear from the existing burial records when Wachtere died, nor is it known when Jan van Ophoven left the neighborhood. The final two names were not crossed out, so they were the two active supervisors when the trash collection system was re-done in 1692 and the position of supervisor no longer needed.

Jan Joris van Ophoven

A notary named Jan Joris van Ophoven was admitted in 1633. He practiced until 1683. He lived on Hippolytusbuurt's west side, as did Leeuwenhoek. When Ophoven died in 1683, he lived on Oude Delft between the Oude Kerk and Baljuwsteeg. He also lived on Voorstraat on other side of the Oude Kerk. His moving from the Hippolytusbuurt may have been the reason for this removal, but there is no record of when he moved.

Gillis Gromme

The Registers van kleine ambten en officiën show that Gillis Gromme was buried in the Oude Kerk on September 29, 1646. A silk weaver, he had lived on Voorstraat between the Oude Kerk and the Baljuwsteeg. That is in Leeuwenhoek's neighborhood but would have been assigned to either the trash collection point behind the Oude Kerk or the next one north, at the Baljuwsteeg.

His son Gillis, known as Gillis Gromme de Jonge, married well. In fact, he married the mayor's daughter, Agatha, in 1657. Her great-grandfather Everard Cornelis Lodenstein had joined the Council of Forty (Veertigraad) in 1572, when Delft joined the revolt against Spain. Agatha's father Joost Cornelis Lodenstein inherited the house on the Hippolytusbuurt in 1636 when his father died, and he joined the Council in 1639. He was a magistrate in 1640, 1641, 1642, 1647, and 1648 and was mayor in 1653 and 1654, when he reached the mandatory retirement age of 70. He was followed on the Council by Agatha's brother Pieter in 1654 and her brother Dirk in 1660, the year their father died in April. The burial record notes that he was living on the Koornmarkt. Agatha was a mother of the house of Charity in 1674.

Gillis and Agatha had four children, Gillis, born in 1659 and other childen in 1660, 1662, and 1664. Son Gillis married Alida van Middelhouck in 1681. He is also referred to as Gillis de Jonge, for example, when he .... in .....

When Gillis Gromme de Jonge buried a child in 1670, he was living on Hippolytusbuurt, as did Leeuwenhoek. They would have used the same trash collection point. This Gillis was buried in the Oude Kerk on August 21, 1684, but the record does not note his residence. However, when his wife Agatha van Lodesteijn died in 1688, she was still living on Hippolutusbuurt. The housing protocol searchable at the Historical GIS (screenshot on right; click to enlarge) shows Gromme's property, C 156, in yellow. He lived two doors up from Leeuwenhoek at 154, not shown on this map from 1832 because it had already been made part of the adjoining property on the corner, as it is today.

Gillis Gromme de Jonge is most likely the trash collection supervisor whose death is noted in the Kleine ambten en officiën because his son, also Gillis, born in 1659, the civic guard's champion marksman (schutterkoning) in 1688 and 1690, member of the Council of Forty (Veertigraad) after 1694, and magistrate from 1698 until 1701, did not die until September 1710.

Jan Sanders Dalij

The marriage records show that in February 1680, Jan Sanders Dalij, a hat maker living in one of the little houses buttressing the Oude Kerk, married Geertruijt van Herff, living on Hipolytusbuurt. He must have moved in with her, because all the later records note their residence on Hippolytusbuurt. The Historisch GIS places him in C0189, two properties north of the Vismarkt, directly across the gracht from Leeuwenhoek's house. In the image on the right (click to enlarge), Dalij's property is in yellow. Leeuwenhoek's is across the gracht in the lower left, C0154.

Jan and Geertruijt buried children in 1681, 1682, 1684, 1686, and twice in 1688; each time, the record notes that they lived on Hippolytusbuurt. (Did Leeuwenhoek attend all those funerals?) When Dalij himself was buried in the Oude Kerk in 1718, the record notes that he lived on Hippolytusbuurt near the Vismarkt. His son Alexander, born in 1689, was living there when he married in 1707 and when he died in 1720, after which is widow kept living there.

When was Leeuwenhoek appointed?

It seems reasonable that when Wachtere died, he was replaced by Gromme. When Ophoven left or was removed from the position, he was replaced by Dalij. Then when Gromme died in 1684, he was replaced by Leeuwenhoek.

However, in 1660, Leeuwenhoek was reimbursed by the city for the stone and lime he used to build a vleugel, a spot for the trash box that was regularly emptied into a collection boat. This spot was on the east side of the gracht next to the bridge, directly in front of the fish market (aen de Visbanken) and across the gracht from Leeuwenhoek's house.