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Home > Catholic Encyclopedia > N > Wilhelmus Nuyens

Wilhelmus Nuyens

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Historian, b. 18 August, 1823, at Avenhorn in Holland; d. 10 December, 1894, at Westwoud near Horn. Having completed his Humanistic studies in Enkhuizen, he studied medicine at Utrecht, 1842, received the degree of M.D. in 1848, and began practicing in Westwoud. He devoted some of his spare time to literature and history, and he published, in 1856, a volume of poems entitled: "De laatste Dochter der Hohenstaufen", on subjects chiefly from the Middle Ages. Then came a series of historical works, first among which was "Het Katholicismus in betrekking met de beschaving van Europa" (Amsterdam, 1856-1857, in 2 volumes), a history of the influence of Catholicism upon the culture and civilization of European nations. In several pamphlets and in that voluminous work, "Geschiedenis der Regering van Pius IX" (Amsterdam, 1862-63), he treated the Roman question of 1859. His chief work, "Geschiedenis der nederlandsche Beroerten in de XVI. eeuw" (Amsterdam, 1865-70, in 8 parts), a history of the revolutionary wars of the Netherlands from 1559 to 1598, discloses no new sources, but examines facts with sagacity and impartiality, and arranges them with skill, thereby showing to the Catholics what rights they were entitled to in the State. New editions appeared in 1886 and 1904. Somewhat as a sequel he wrote: "Geschiedenis der kerkelijke en politieke geschillen in de republiek der zeven vereenigde provincien (1598-1625)" (Amsterdam, 1886-87 in two parts). Intended for popular reading are: "Algemeen Geschiedenis des nederlandschen Volks- van de vroegste tijden tot op onze dagen" (Amsterdam, 1871-82, in 20 parts; new edition, 1896-98, in 24 parts); "Geschiedenis van het nederlandsche Volk van 1815 tot op onze dagen" (Amsterdam, 1883-86, in 4 parts; 2nd edition 1898); and the widely read: "Vaderlandsche Geschiedenis voor de jeugd" (Amsterdam, 1870; 25th edition, 1905, by G. F. I. Douwes). He published a number of pamphlets and articles in periodicals on topics of the times, especially in "Onze Wachter", edited by him from 1871 to 1874 in collaboration with Schaepmann. He was an energetic defender of the rights and the privileges of Catholics, and one of the first to champion the freedom of the Catholic Church in the Netherlands. Catholics erected a monument to him in the church at Westwoud and set aside the surplus of the money contributed as a perpetual fund, called "Nuyensfund", to aid the work of Catholic historians of the Netherlands.


GORRIS, Dr. W.J.F. Nuyens, beschouwd in het licht van zijn tijd (Nimwegen, 1908).

About this page

APA citation. Schlager, P. (1911). Wilhelmus Nuyens. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

MLA citation. Schlager, Patricius. "Wilhelmus Nuyens." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. <>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Joseph E. O'Connor.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. February 1, 1911. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

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