Frederick Henry of Nassau, Prince of Orange

How are you related to Frederick Henry of Nassau, Prince of Orange?

Connect to the World Family Tree to find out

Frederick Henry of Nassau, Prince of Orange's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Frederik Hendrik van Nassau-Dillenburg, Prins van Oranje-Nassau

Dutch: Frederik Hendrik van Nassau, Prins van Oranje-Nassau
Birthplace: Delft, Zuid-Holland, Nederland (Netherlands)
Death: March 14, 1647 (62)
'S-Gravenhage, Zuid Holland, Nederlande
Place of Burial: Delft, Nederlande
Immediate Family:

Son of William the Silent and Princess of Orange-Nassau Louise van Oranje - Nassau
Husband of Countess Amalia of Solms-Braunfels
Ex-partner of Margaretha Catharina Bruyns
Father of Frederik van Nassau, heer van Zuylestein; Willem II van Nassau-Dillenburg, prins van Oranje; Princess Louise Henrietta, Countess of Nassau; Princess Isabella Charlotte, Countess of Nassau; Albertine Agnes of Nassau and 2 others
Half brother of Charlotte Mius d’Entremont; Louyse Mius D’Entremont; Marguerite de Téligny; Maria van Nassau; Prins Filips Willem van Oranje and 13 others

Occupation: prins van Oranje, Fürst von Oranien Grfaf von Nassau-Diillenburg, Erbstatthalter der Niederlande (1625 - 1650)
Managed by: Jason Scott Wills
Last Updated:

About Frederick Henry of Nassau, Prince of Orange

Frederick Henry, or Frederik Hendrik in Dutch (29 January 1584 – 14 March 1647), was the sovereign Prince of Orange and stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders, and Overijssel from 1625 to 1647.

Early life

Frederick Henry was born on 29 January 1584 in Delft, Holland, Dutch Republic. He was the youngest child of William the Silent and Louise de Coligny. His father William was stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, and Friesland. His mother Louise was daughter of the Huguenot leader Gaspard de Coligny, and was the fourth wife of his father. He was thus the half brother of his predecessor Maurice of Orange, deceased in 1625.

Frederick Henry was born six months before his father's assassination on 10 July 1584. The boy was trained to arms by his elder brother Maurice, one of the finest generals of his age. After Maurice threatened to legimitize his illegitimate children if he did not marry, Frederick Henry married Amalia of Solms-Braunfels in 1625. His illegitimate son by Margaretha Catharina Bruyns (1595–1625), Frederick Nassau de Zuylenstein was born in 1624 before his marriage. This son later became the governor of the young William III of England for seven years.


On the death of Maurice in 1625 without legitimate issue, Frederick Henry succeeded him in his paternal dignities and estates, and also in the stadtholderates of the five provinces of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Overijssel and Guelders, and in the important posts of captain and admiral-general of the Union (commander-in-chief of the Dutch States Army and of the Dutch navy).

Frederick Henry proved himself almost as good a general as his brother, and a far more capable statesman and politician. For twenty-two years he remained at the head of government in the United Provinces, and in his time the power of the stadtholderate reached its highest point. The "Period of Frederick Henry," as it is usually styled by Dutch writers, is generally accounted the golden age of the republic. It was marked by great military and naval triumphs, by worldwide maritime and commercial expansion, and by a wonderful outburst of activity in the domains of art and literature.

The chief military exploits of Frederick Henry were the sieges and captures of Grol in 1627, 's-Hertogenbosch in 1629, of Maastricht in 1632, of Breda in 1637, of Sas van Gent in 1644, and of Hulst in 1645. During the greater part of his administration the alliance with France against Spain had been the pivot of Frederick Henry's foreign policy, but in his last years he sacrificed the French alliance for the sake of concluding a separate peace with Spain, by which the United Provinces obtained from that power all the advantages they had been seeking for eighty years.

Frederick Henry built the country houses Huis Honselaarsdijk, Huis ter Nieuwburg, and for his wife Huis ten Bosch, and he renovated the Noordeinde Palace in The Hague. Huis Honselaarsdijk and Huis ter Nieuwburg are now demolished.


Frederick Henry died on 14 March 1647 in The Hague, Holland, Dutch Republic. He left a wife, a son William II, Prince of Orange, four daughters, and the illegitimate son Frederick Nassau de Zuylenstein.

On Frederick Henry's death, he was buried with great pomp beside his father and brother at Delft. The treaty of Munster, ending the long struggle between the Dutch and the Spaniards, was not actually signed until 30 January 1648, the illness and death of the stadtholder having caused a delay in the negotiations. Frederick Henry left an account of his campaigns in his Mémoires de Frédéric Henri (Amsterdam, 1743). See Cambridge Mod. Hist. vol. iv. chap. 24.


Frederick Henry and his wife Amalia van Solms had nine children:

William II, Prince of Orange (27 May 1626 – 6 November 1650)

Luise Henriette of Nassau (27 December 1627 – 18 June 1667)

view all 11

Frederick Henry of Nassau, Prince of Orange's Timeline

November 24, 1584
Delft, Zuid-Holland, Nederland (Netherlands)
May 27, 1626
The Hague, The Hague, Zuid-Holland, The Netherlands
December 7, 1627
Den Haag, Zuid Holland, Nederlande
April 28, 1632
The Hague, The Netherlands
April 9, 1634
Den Haag, Zuid-Holland, Nederlande
January 31, 1637
Den Haag, Nederlande
September 5, 1642
Den Haag, Zuitholland, Nederlande
March 14, 1647
Age 62
'S-Gravenhage, Zuid Holland, Nederlande