Vloten, Betsy van

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Vloten, Betsy van Gender: F
Elizabeth van Vloten
born on 12 July 1862 at 08:30 (= 08:30 AM )
Place Deventer, Netherlands, 52n16, 6e10
Timezone LMT m6e10 (is local mean time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Schepel
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_cancol.18.gif 19°39' s_mo.18.gif s_aqucol.18.gif 00°15 Asc.s_vircol.18.gif 07°20'

Betsy van Vloten


Dutch poet, the first spouse of painter Willem Witsen .

Betsy was the fifth child of the seven children of the Dutch scientist and man of letters Johannes van Vloten (18 January 1818, Kampen – 21 September 1883, Haarlem) en Elisabeth van Gennep (7 April 1824, Rotterdam - 17 March 1906, Noordwijk). They married 25 October 1854 in Rotterdam. Her father was a freethinker, re-inventor of the work of Spinoza and one of the founders of modern humanism. He allowed his three daughters to study and all the "sisters Van Vloten" married prominent Dutch artists.

After finishing the first Dutch school for higher education for girls in Haarlem (1867-1881), she went to the Sorbonne. In 1882 she taught at a school in London, but the same year went back to her parental house in Haarlem. Here she met the fiancée of her sister Martha, the writer and psychiatrist Frederik van Eeden and soon many other artist of the upcoming "Tachtigers" movement. Around 1888 she met Willem Witsen in her fathers house, around 1890 they engaged and on 4 May 1893 they married in Haarlem. Witnesses were their friends Hein Boeken en Jacobus van Looy.

They lived in Ede and got three children: Willem, born on March 5 1894; Erik, born July 10 1896 and Odo, born July 27 1898. Her restless husband, who was often elsewhere for business and painting on location, missed the birth of his third son. But Willem also had an extramarital affair with a young girl and probably other ladies. When Betsy heard this (1901), she asked for and got a divorce (1902). She first lived in Ieper and from 1904 onwards in a house called "Gimli" in Aerdenhout with an alimony of 4000 guilders a year. The Scandinavian names remembered her to the happy travels of her family to Scandinavia in 1878 and 1881.

On 14 august 1907, she married the seventeen year younger ethnomusicologist Johann Sebastian (Hans) Brandts Buys (8 Dec 1879 – 24 Dec 1939). The marriage lasted only two years. Her family was opposed to the difference of age, but the main reason for divorce (22 June 1909) were Hans outburst of anger and violence.

The most eccentric, independent bohemian and only poet (but never published poems) Betsy of the three "Van Vloten sisters" became more and more eccentric, speculated and lost on the market and went back to Haarlem in 1918. Her son Odo remained with her and was called an aristocratic clochard.

Since her first divorce she published three fairy tales, but she is mostly known for her correspondences with Willem Witsen which can be found online: dbnl.

She died at Haarlem, 21 February 1946.

Link to Dutch Wikipedia



  • Relationship : Marriage 4 May 1893 in Haarlem (Willem Witsen)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Family : Adopted a child 5 March 1894 in Ede (Willem)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Relationship : Divorce dates 27 June 1902 (from Willem Witsen)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death of Sibling 20 March 1903 in Noordwijk aan Zee (Suicide of Gerlof van Vloten)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released May 1905 (Langsnuitje in De XXste Eeuw)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released March 1906 (Klompertje en zijn hoedje in De XXste Eeuw)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Relationship : Marriage 14 August 1907 (Hans Brandts Buys)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death of Mate 13 April 1932 in Amsterdam (Willem Witsen)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Selma Schepel quotes Municipal Archive in Sterrentijd No 40


  • Traits : Personality : Eccentric
  • Family : Childhood : Advantaged
  • Vocation : Writers : Sci-Fi/ Fantasy/ Horror (Published fairy tales in 1905 and 1906)