How rich was Tinco Lycklama?

In April 1868, when Tinco Lycklama was in the Middle East, his name appeared in the Staats-Courant – the official bulletin of the Dutch government. Travelling on horseback from Aleppo to Iskenderun (Alexandretta), he suddenly scored the 101st position on the list of the highest taxed residents of the Netherlands.

Nederlandsche Staats-Courant, 26-04-1868

We can’t yet assess the full extent of Tinco’s wealth. But, the information published in the Staats-Courant gives some good indications. It also requires some clarification.

Back in those days, the members of the “Eerste Kamer” (the equivalent of a senate in the Dutch parliament) were chosen by the “Provinciale Staten” (provincial assemblies). To be eligible, your name had to be on the lists drawn from the “hoogst-aangeslagenen” (highest taxed) in each province. But, only taxes on real estate were taken into account. This system favoured the landed nobility : some people were paying more taxes on other income, but they would not be eligible for the Eerste Kamer if they didn’t own sufficient real estate.

We will examine in detail Tinco’s other sources of income and cash holdings. For now, we’re researching his real estate. We have compiled extracts from the official publications that document the real estate taxes paid by Tinco – and have included those from his father Jan Anne and his brother Augustinus as well. You can find the data on this page…

Jan Anne Lycklama à Nijeholt (1809 - 1891)
Jan Anne Lycklama à Nijeholt (1809 – 1891)

In the year 1861, Tinco’s father Jan Anne Lycklama à Nijeholt (1809-1891) was the 26th highest contributor of real estate taxes in The Netherlands! Interestingly, in 1868, he scores much lower and ends up well below his own son Tinco. This may look odd, as Tinco had spend the previous years abroad – first studying in Paris, and next on his three-and-a-half year voyage through the Orient. The explanation is easy.

Jan Anne starts paying fewer taxes from 1862 onwards. It is important to note that Tinco Lycklama turned 24 the previous year. In The Netherlands, male residents became taxable from that age. Another detail is that, in those days, the legal age for reaching maturity was 23. Since the death of Tinco’s mother, Ypkjen Hillegonda van Eysinga (1816-1854), Tinco’s father was entrusted with the guardianship over the inheritance that she had left to her children – and he paid the taxes. When Tinco reached 23, in 1860, he simply assumed the ownership of his part of the inheritence and then started paying taxes over it a year later. Tinco does not appear on the lists of the “highest taxed” until 1868 because the age of eligibility to the Eerste Kamer was 30.

Hence, Tinco became eligible for the senate in 1868, but was paying taxes since 1862, on property he receiced in full ownership as of 1860.

Tinco Lycklama never cared for being elected to the Eerste Kamer. And, he probably wouldn’t have made it anyway. Even though he was the 101st highest taxed in the country, he ranked ‘only’ 22nd in his own province of Frisia. This province had a disproportionate high number of large landowners – a fact that is deeply rooted in the history of Frisian nobility. Because of the aristocrats’ large landholdings, they became also dominant in the province’s lucrative turf industry in the 19th century. Tinco’s father played a significant role in that industry, and one would assume that Tinco also derived income from turf.

For comparison, here are the numbers of those who paid higher real estate taxes than Tinco across The Netherlands…

  • South-Holland : 41
  • Frisia : 21
  • Gelderland : 18
  • Utrecht : 15
  • North-Holland : 14
  • Zeeland : 7
  • North-Brabant : 4
  • Limburg : 4
  • Drente : 0
  • Groningen : 0

(In the table above, the provinces showing nil obviously had members in the Eerste Kamer, but none of them reached the level of taxation Tinco Lycklama had to pay).

Eysingahuis - undated
Eysingahuis, Beetsterzwaag (NL)

Upon his return from his grand voyage, in 1868, Tinco settled back in his native Beetsterzwaag (but only for a while). In 1867 he acquired full ownership of his mother’s Eysingahuis, shortly after his brother Augustinus Lycklama à Nijeholt (1842-1906) also reached the legal age of maturity. We suspect that the official records will show us that Tinco and Augustinus made an arrangement about this house.

Nineteen years later, in 1887, Tinco Lycklama does not appear any longer on the list of “hoogst-aangeslagenen” in Frisia. Though many newspapers of the 1890s haven’t been digitized, we have those of 1887, 1888 and 1889 – and his name doesn’t appear in any province.

This ‘disappearance’ actually coincides with another event, as Tinco moved his domicile from Frisia to the province of North-Brabant. Which brings up a whole set of other questions.

His last domicile in Friesland was not – as one would expect – at some family property in or near his native Beetsterzwaag. In fact, his official address was at the home of the administrator of his properties, Klaas Willems Wierda (1824-1889), at Fok 27 at Aengwirden (near Heerenveen). He was registered at this address as of 1872 – the year that Tinco moved his museum to Cannes and rented a vast residence there on a permanent basis.

In 1886, the year before Tinco disappears from the lists of highest taxed, he moved his domicile to Teteringen, near Breda (North-Brabant). Here again, the address is awkward. It was a “logement” – a guesthouse for wealthy residents – on the Teteringsedijk. Nothing very permanent either, but it so happens that it is just a stone’s throw away from Oosterhout where his wife Agatha Juliana thoe Schwartzenberg en Hohenlansberg (1845-1914) was born and raised – and where she must have held real estate.

Tinco Lycklama never had his official domicile in France. Still, he owned property in Cannes and, with Agatha, he engaged in acquisitions and donations there (as he did in The Netherlands). Together with the trail of his Dutch (taxable) properties, these activities may shed more light on Tinco’s wealth – and on what happened with it.

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