Mathyas van der Westhuise

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Mathyas van der Westhuise

Managed by: Jason Scott Wills
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About Mathyas van der Westhuise

After thirteen years of useful and varied services to the islanders, Cornelis Jacobsen died, whereupon Peter Priem, who appears to have been one of the most wealthy and influential of the Dutch, was dis­patched to London with authority to elect a new minister. The choice fell upon Mathyas van de Westhuise, who a few months later seems to have succumbed to malarial influences, after an illness of seven or eight days, to the great loss of his congregation, by whom he was much loved. The difficulty of finding anyone to undertake this cure was considerable. No candidate appearing in London, the community there applied to Holland, in January 1645, for help. It was at this time suggested that, owing to the very small stipend, and the unhealthiness of the place, one minister should serve the two churches of Maidstone and Canvey Island, residing alternate months in each place. The powers in Holland demanded an assured annual income of £30, but only £14 could be raised on the island. The proprietors in London would supplement this sum only by £12, and then conditionally for work done. Should the islanders submit to a bailee, then that sum should be further in­creased by £5.

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