Paaltjens, Piet

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Paaltjens, Piet Gender: M
Francois Haverschmidt
born on 14 February 1835 at 07:00 (= 07:00 AM )
Place Leeuwarden, Netherlands, 53n12, 5e48
Timezone LMT m5e48 (is local mean time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Astrodienst
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_aqucol.18.gif 24°54' s_mo.18.gif s_vircol.18.gif 05°42 Asc.s_aqucol.18.gif 11°21'

Piet Paaltjens


Dutch satirical romantic poet and minister.

Piet Paaltjens was the pseudonym of François Haverschmidt, who first used this pen name as theology student in Leiden. The family name was also spelled as HaverSchmidt, referring to his great-grandfather, named Haver (oats). His son was raised by an uncle named Schmidt. In gratitude he adopted the named HaverSchmidt.

François was the second youngest son of the pharmacist, wine handler and bank director Nicolaas Theodorus Haverschmidt (29 September 1801, Leeuwarden - 11 January 1879, Leeuwarden) and Geeske Bekius (28 April 1803, Eppenhuizen - 21 April 1878, Leeuwarden). They married 20 May 1823 in Rinsumageest and got six children. He had an elder brother, who died after three weeks: Nicolaas Theodorus Haverschmidt (24 May 1829, leeuwarden - 13 June 1829, Leeuwarden). Seven years later, the poet François Haverschmidt was born.

François admired his grandfather François Bekius, a preacher in the rural Frysian area of Dantumawoude. As a child, he imitated his grandfather. He wrote his first poetry and stories in his teens and remembered his youth as quite happy in "Familie en kennissen" (1876).

He visited the Gymnasium in Leeuwarden till 7 July 1851 and graduated in Augustus 1851 in Delft for the State Exam, which allowed him access to the Dutch universities. But as he was only 16, his parents kept him at home in Leeuwarden. During that time he read Heine, Goethe, Schiller, Hugo and Dickens and held speeches for the Gymnasium students of "Minerva Nos Jungit".

On 21 September 1852 he started the study of theology in Leiden. He had a room in the Hogewoerd, just above the "doodbidder" Van Ewijk in Leiden. Van Ewijk's job was to announce to neighbours and friends that someone had died, and that happened often in Leiden. Even among the rich, death rates were high.

François became a member of students society Minerva. Here he made fun with friends, but in the University city of Leiden he met modernistic professors of theology like J.H. Scholten and A. Kuenen, who tried to interpret and demystify Christian Faith in accordance to new scientific and historical insights. Jesus was not the son of G'd and the bible was not the rock solid wisdom of G'd. One had to rely on one's own consciousness. So his childish interpretation of psalm 23 "The Lord is My Shepherd" as the pastor and his bible are my guides, broke into pieces. He went into a spiritual crisis, he never really got over. He stayed a timid and uncertain person, used poetry and humor in his sermons, but was not a charismatic preacher.

On 4 July 1858 François left Leiden after a "summa cum laude" graduation and went to Leeuwarden, where he stayed with his sister Adriana. On 7 October 1858 he got his ecclesiastical examination, and from that time on, he could be called to duty as a minister. But he felt miserable under it an longed for his student time in Leiden. His first jobs as a minister were in the rural villages Foudgum and Raard, near Dokkum (3 July 1859 - 7 December 1862). He felt lonely in the rectory, far away from city-life. On 25 December 1862 he accepted a post in Den Helder, but already before Pentecost 1863, he wanted to resign. Colleagues convinced him to stay.

On the wedding of his friend Adriaan van Wessem, he met his future wife Jacoba Johanna Maria Osti (2 April 1841 - 14 June 1891). They engaged in 1862 and married 6 Augustus 1863 in Utrecht. She was a mentally stable woman, and important for his support. They got one daughter and two sons. The eldest son died October 1869 of meningitis.

On 17 July 1864 he held his last sermon in Den Helder and went to Schiedam (31 July 1864), to follow up a former student friend of his, F.C.A. Pantekoek (1832-1878). The melancholic and liberal François HaverSchmidt never got that popular under his community, but stayed here till his death by suicide on 19 January 1894, after 6 months of depression and two and a half year after the death of his spouse.

Link to Wikipedia


  • Death of Sibling 13 June 1829 in Leeuwarden (Nicolaas Theodorus Haverschmidt)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Social : End a program of study 7 July 1851 in Leeuwarden (finished Gymnasium)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Social : Begin a program of study 21 September 1852 in Leiden (Theology)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Other Social November 1855 in Leiden (introduced his alter ego "Piet Paaltjens")
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Social : End a program of study 4 July 1858 in Leeuwarden (Theology in Leiden)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : New Job 3 July 1859 in Dokkum (minister in the rural villages Foudgum and Raard, near Dokkum)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Fired/Laid off/Quit 7 December 1862 (left Foudgum and Raard)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : New Job 25 December 1862 in Den Helder (minister in Den Helder)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Other Mental Health May 1863 in Den Helder (difficult period)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Relationship : Marriage 6 August 1863 in Schiedam (Jacoba Johanna Maria Osti)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Fired/Laid off/Quit 17 July 1864 in Den Helder
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death of Child October 1869 in Schiedam (eldest son died of meningitis)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death of Mother 21 April 1878 in Leeuwarden (Geeske Bekius)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death of Father 11 January 1879 in Leeuwarden (Nicolaas Theodorus Haverschmidt)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Social : Institutionalized - prison, hospital July 1893 in Rheden (Nervous clinic in Laag-Soeren)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Selma Schepel gave 14-2-1835, 7 AM LMT, Leeuwarden in Sterrentijd #10. Svi checked it in the online Municipal Archive of Leeuwarden, and it proved correct.

François Haverschmidt · dbnl

Het leven van Piet Paaltjens | Koninklijke Bibliotheek

Piet Paaltjens


  • Traits : Mind : Education extensive
  • Traits : Personality : Personality vulnerable (after he left Leiden and had to be seriuos.)
  • Diagnoses : Psychological : Depression
  • Family : Childhood : Memories Good
  • Personal : Religion/Spirituality : Western
  • Personal : Death : Suicide (hanged himself above the bed)
  • Vocation : Religion : Ecclesiastics/ western
  • Vocation : Writers : Autobiographer
  • Vocation : Writers : Poet (Piet Paaltjens)