Troelstra, Pieter Jelles

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Troelstra, Pieter Jelles Gender: M
Pieter Troelstra
born on 20 April 1860 at 21:30 (= 9:30 PM )
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_taucol.18.gif 00°58' s_mo.18.gif s_aricol.18.gif 26°51 Asc.s_scocol.18.gif 26°06'

Pieter Jelles Troelstra (in 1926)
photo: IISG, license cc-by-2.0


Dutch lawyer, journalist, revolutionary socialistic politician, Frisian poet and writer. He was for thirty years the charismatic leader of the SDAP, the Dutch Labour party. He shook the Dutch nation on 12 November 1918 by his parliamentary call for a revolution. It never happened, but the political climate was changed by it. .

Troelsta was the eldest child of the Liberal tax inspector Jelle Pieters Troelstra and Grietje Dirks Landmeter, who married 8 May 1859 in Lemmer. Between 1860 and 1871 they got seven children.

His father Jelle Pieters Troelstra (15 October 1833, Lemmer - 30 January 1906, Leeuwarden) was also the eldest child of his poor family. To sustain the family he started working at age six, polishing the jewellery of a goldsmith, notes Troelsta in his autobiography. Earn money, study hard, and progress in society was his fathers motto. Though his father left school at age nine, he auto-didactically learned him-selves the tax laws needed for his job and the foreign languages English, French and German, besides the Dutch and Frisian languages, he natively spoke. He made first career as a tax collector, but in 1880 he erceted the fire insurance company "Neerlandia", which brought him much profit. Jelle Pieters was a board member of the twentieth Freemasonry lodge in the Netherlands, "De Friesche Trouw" in Leeuwarden.

His Freemason mother Grietje Dirks Landmeter (19 April 1837, Lemmer - 12 May 1871, Stiens) was the eldest daughter of a school head. She suffered from bad health, visited a professor in Amsterdam, and often feared to die young. She died after the birth of the seventh child Albert Jelles Troelstra (12 March 1871 - 22 Augustus 1871). Troelstra was still a young teenager then. It of interest that his too early dying mothers name "Landmeter" means in Dutch land surveyor. Franz Kafka's famous protagonist "K" in "The castle" was also a land surveyor. He was a writer of fairy-tails, just like his not that revolutionary inclined first spouse Nynke van Hichtum.

On 22 November 1876 his father remarried Geartsje Rinsma (23 Augustus 1836, Wirdum - 19 March 1887, Leeuwarden), a rich farmers daughter. They got at least one daughter named Trijntje Albertina Troelstra on 23 June 1881 in Leeuwarden.

Troelstra was born in Leeuwarden according the Municipal Archive, but moved on 23 April 1860 with his parents to Hardegarijp, on 6 May 1861 to Koudum, on 29 July 1862 to Assen and on 29 October 1862 again back to Leeuwarden, following his father's career as a tax collector. Here he followed the Kindergaten "bewaarschool" and the "tussenschool" primary education. On 28 April 1868 the family moved to Stiens. At age 10 he wrote his first poet "De eigenwijze muis" (the opionated mouse), but on 12 May 1871, after the birth of her seventh child, his mother died of tuberculosis. On 22 Augustus 1871 his youngest brother died also. After the primary school, Troelsta was not allowed to follow secondary education, but had to work at the office of his father. When his father became the head tax collector of Leeuwarden, the family moved to Leeuwarden (28 April 1875) and Troelstra could go to the 2nd class of the higher civil school. He had studied for he 1st year at home like his autodidact and self-made father.

The young Troelstra held his first documented speech on socialism on 23 December 1877 for the literary society Eeltje Halbertsma. He pleaded for harmony between Capital and Labour. In March 1878 Troelstra wrote his first short novel "Jan Jansz Jansen", that he later would publish as a student. On 22 April 1878 he erected with a mate the school paper "Mercurius" in which he published poetry and trivia. A satirical article about a teacher was not appreciated.


As a student of law he engaged with the pastors daughter Sjoukje Maria Diderika Bokma de Boer (pennname "Nynke van Hichtum") in 1885. On 11 October 1888 they married. They got two children: Dieuwke Troelstra (4 July 1889, Leeuwarden) and the painter and graphic artist Jelle Troelstra (17 January 1891, Leeuwarden - 16 January 1979, Amersfoort). From 1890 till 1897 they were poor and the marriage was difficult, partly because of the extramarital affairs of the charismatic Troelsta. In 1890 Pieter and Sjoukje left the church, but not their belief. They divorced 6 November 1907. Two months later, Troelstra married their housemaid Sjoukje Douwes Oosterbaan (29 March 1878, Drachten - 11 April 1964, Den Haag) on 15 January 1908.

Troelstra died 12 May 1930 in Den Haag after a long disease.

Troelstra's political and personal life were closely intertwined wrote his biographer Piet Hagen. He had conflicts with his Liberal father and his Romantic spouse, the noted writer and translator of children's books and fairy-tales Nynke van Hichtum, the world, religion and Freemason spiritualism. "Politicus uit hartstocht" (politician from passion) is the story of a charismatic warrior, who saw himself as the Moses who led his people sometimes grudgingly to the promised land.

Link to Wikipedia


  • business associate/partner relationship with Polak, Henri (born 22 February 1868). Notes: Opponent members of De Nieuwe Tijd
  • opponent/rival/enemy relationship with Oudegeest, Jan (born 5 August 1870). Notes: Revolution (Troelstra) versus slow social democratic reforms (Oudegeest).
  • other associate with Dèr Mouw, Johan Andreas (born 24 July 1863). Notes: His lawyer during the conflict with rector Dr. Schwartz


  • Family : Change residence 23 April 1860 in Hardegarijp
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Family : Change residence 29 October 1862 in Leeuwarden
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Other Family 12 March 1871 in Stiens (Albert Jelles Troelstra born)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death of Mother 12 May 1871 in Stiens (Grietje Landmeter)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death of Sibling 22 August 1871 in Stiens (Albert Jelles Troelstra)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 23 December 1877 in Leeuwarden (first speech on socialism)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 22 April 1878 in Leeuwarden (school paper "Mercurius" with poetry and asatire)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death of Father 30 January 1906 in Leeuwarden (Jelle Pieters Troelstra)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

SVI retrieved 20 April 1860 at 21h30 from the online Municipal archive of Leeuwarden.

Mr. P.J. (Pieter Jelles) Troelstra - Parlement & Politiek

Pieter Jelles Troelstra

"Chronologie van het leven van Pieter Jelles Troelstra" by Piet Hagen, author of the book "Politicus uit hartstocht, biografie van Pieter Jelles Troelstra"(Politician out of passion)

Description: Archief Pieter Jelles Troelstra

Pieter Jelles Troelstra · dbnl


  • Family : Childhood : Family traumatic event (mother and 7th child died in 1871)
  • Family : Childhood : Order of birth (1st of 7)
  • Family : Childhood : Other Childhood (many moves)
  • Vocation : Law : Jurist (lawyer)
  • Vocation : Politics : Activist/ social
  • Vocation : Writers : Columnist/ journalist
  • Vocation : Writers : Poet
  • Notable : Famous : Historic figure (Founding father of the SDAP, asked for a revolution in 1918.)