21/08/1875 – Tinco Lycklama got married

Much can be said about Tinco Lycklama’s married life. There is a lot to cover – and even more to discover. We’ll try to stick to the basics. Tinco’s marriage to Juliana Agatha Jacoba, Baroness thoe Schwartzenberg en Hohenlansberg (1845-1914) definitely marks a turning point in his life. We’ll also briefly cover the love story of Juliana’s parents – who had three children out of wedlock, before marrying and giving birth to Juliana (a story that may explain a few things).

Wedding at Oosterhout

Let’s remember that, by 1875, Tinco was spending most of his time in Cannes (F). Our first trace of Tinco’s presence at the French Riviera dates from November 1869. It was a short stay, as he spends the winter in Beirut (doing some digging in the old Sidon). Upon his return to his native Beetsterzwaag (NL), he takes care of his “collection of curiosities” and his first museum.

However, he kept traveling between Holland and Cannes. Initially, he took his lodgings in the finest hotels (where he meets the best of European aristocracy). However, in 1872, he signs a long-term rental for the splendid Villa Escarras. In that same year, he publishes the first volume of his “Voyage…“, the 2,200 page opus in which he recounts his travels. He becomes a welcome guest in the “high society” of Cannes – known for his good taste and for the splendor of his parties. In 1875, he publishes his fourth (and last) book.

Marriage Record of Tinco and Juliana - Signatures
Signatures of Tinco Lycklama à Nijeholt and Juliana thoe Schwartzenberg en Hohenlansberg – on their marriage record of 21/08/1875.

On August 21st, 1875 – a Saturday – he marries Juliana thoe Schwartzenberg en Hohenlansberg (see marriage record…). Not in Cannes, nor in his native Frisia, but at Oosterhout – a small town in the Dutch province of North Brabant, near the Belgian border. In fact, this is where Juliana was born and grew up in an aristocratic family, which was in the service of the House of Nassau.

North Brabant was (and is) largely Roman Catholic. And so was the Schwartzenberg family. Tinco Lycklama was born into the reformed church, but he converted to catholicism in 1868 (in Jerusalem). Whereas Frisia had predominantly turned protestant over the previous three centuries, the catholic church was deeply rooted and remained very present.

Breda Bishop Palace - Photography by Paul van Galen, Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed - CC-BY-SA-3.0-NL
The Bishop’s Palace at Breda – Photo by Paul van Galen for Rijksdienst  Cultureel Erfgoed (License CC-BY-SA-3.0-NL)

The Frisian Lycklama à Nijeholt family was not averse of catholicism. And, the catholic Schwartzenberg en Hohenlansberg family was not foreign to Frisia. Originating from Germany, the Schwartzenberg ancestors had first settled in the Dutch north. In fact, the Lycklama and the Schwartzenberg families knew each other very well. Tinco’s grandfather, also called Tinco Martinus Lycklama à Nijeholt (1766-1844), had been married to a Schwartzenberg – just like his great-grandfather Augustinus Lycklama à Nijeholt (1742-1789). For this reason, our Tinco had to obtain dispensation from church authorities.

Dispensation obtained, nothing prevented a marriage between Tinco and Juliana and – as the Dutch catholic newspaper De Tijd reported (see the record at source…) – the marriage took place “with the mutual satisfaction of both families“. The religious marriage was performed by Henricus van Beek (1816-1884), bishop of the diocese of nearby Breda, at his private chapel.

Juliana’s parents

Juliana was a Baroness who had inherited her title (and significant holdings) from her father – Gemme, Baron thoe Schwartzenberg en Hohenlansberg (1806-1862). Juliana was a rich young lady. She had just turned 30 two months prior to the marriage, and it is quite likely that she had only recently received full authority over her inherited possessions.

We don’t know yet how Tinco and Juliana met – or if they were engaged for some time before the wedding. Both Tinco’s mother and Juliana’s father had died, and none of the surviving parents signed as witnesses to the marriage. In 1867 (while in the Orient), Tinco had inherited full ownership of goods from his deceased mother. The young couple was extremely rich, independent, and nothing was holding them back from enjoying their fortune.

Short pedigree of Tinco Lycklama and Juliana thoe Schwartzenberg


Certainly not Juliana’s family. Rumour has it that Juliana’s family had become an ignored branch of the Schwartzenberg en Hohenlansberg – and even her claims to the title of Baroness were put into doubt. Research in the civil records actually provides us with some interesting clues – about what seems to be a beautiful love story between Juliana’s parents.

Juliana’s mother, Hendrika de Hoogh (1803-1880) was a ‘commoner’. Her father was a forester. In 1834, when Gemme thoe Schwartzenberg en Hohenlansberg fathered a first child with Hendrika, she was a 31-year old widow raising a 7-year old son (who died young). Interestingly, Gemme did recognize his fathership on the birth record. He did the same with two more daughters born of Hendrika. They married in 1844. It looks as if Gemme had waited respectfully as long as his mother was alive. She died in 1843 (his father had died long before). Upon marrying, Gemme immediately legalized the status of his two surviving daughters. We need more research into Juliana’s immediate family and their activities and possessions in and around Oosterhout. However, the current record trail gives a good indication of the reasons why Juliana (leave alone, her mother) may not have been well considered in the Schwartzenberg family. She had the money, but she simply was not of true blue blood.

Marriage makes a difference

The prospect of marrying a rich, independent – and catholic – young nobleman like Tinco Lycklama must have been appealing to Juliana. Tinco had lived ‘on the wild side’, wrote books, had his own museum, was well respected in aristocratic Cannes… For Juliana, moving to Cannes must have been an exciting prospect – and there she could finally live up to her noble origins without being frowned upon.

For Tinco, married life brought a lot of change. For one, we find no more reports about extravagant parties. Two years later, in 1877, Tinco donates his museum collection to the city of Cannes, and moves with Juliana to smaller premises. In fact, it is reported that they moved to Italy for a while – perhaps for up to two years (we know that he was received in private audience with Pope Leo XIII in Rome – somewhere between 1879-1883).

Coats of Arms - Lycklama and Schwartzenberg - Floor of St Bonifatius Leeuwarden - Courtesy of Susan Kroese
Coat of arms of the Lycklama à Nijeholt (left) and thoe Schwartzenberg en Hohenlansberg (right). Tiling at the St Bonfatius Church at Leeuwarden (NL)

Upon his return to his villa in Cannes, Tinco keeps an eye on the development of the municipal museum of Cannes, which carried his name. However, from his correspondence with the museum, we understand that he is no longer actively involved.

On the other hand, we see more evidence of donations to catholic works – both in France and The Netherlands. One major project of Tinco and Juliana is the acquisition of what is known today as the Villa Burmania (and currently the seat of the parish of Cannes). Though the villa and its significant lands were acquired in Juliana’s name, the documents carry Tinco’s signature. They transform the villa, build an additional one, and acquire another one on an adjacent parcel of land. This project must have kept them quite busy throughout the nineties. Shortly after Tinco’s death in 1900, Juliana transfers the whole property to the diocese of Nice for a (very) symbolic amount. It was obviously always intended as a major contribution to the parish of Cannes.


In the Frisian town of Wolvega, his last resting place, Tinco’s presence can still be felt through his significant donations to the local catholic parish. In the Frisian capital Leeuwarden, it is Juliana who is more widely remembered. Both their coats of arms are encapsulated at the St Bonifatius church, in memory of their generosity.

Tinco and Juliana never had children. It looks that they had no particular incentive to save their money for relatives. They ‘simply’ lived and gave away from their own inherited wealth. Their religion was obviously important to them. We will talk more about all these aspects in the near future.


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