Nassau-Vianden armorial accessible online!
Earlier this year the Koninklijke Bibliotheek in The Hague acquired the Nassau-Vianden armorial. This fascinating manuscript is now digitized and accessible online at the website of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek. On this website the presentation of the armorial is accompanied by an introduction and some details on the content, of which a brief summary follows below.
The armorial displays the ancestors of count Engelbrecht II of Nassau (1451-1504), of both the paternal and maternal side. Engelbrecht was a knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece and powerful nobleman in the Low Countries. The coats of arms (one on each folio) represent his ancestors of the last 200 years. Remarkably, some of these alleged ancestors cannot be connected to Engelbrecht’s lineage, such as the kings of England and Scotland. Was his lineage embellished to increase his status?
There are two full page pictures of the same herald in the manuscript. He walks, lifts is hat, and wears a tabard with the coat of arms of Engelbrecht II of Nassau. It is therefore assumed that the manuscript was made by a herald in his service. The manuscript is dated to ca. 1490.
On the inside of the cover is a leaf of parchment with the coat of arms of William of Orange (1533-1584), a key figure in the Eighty Year’s War and considered Father of the Nation of The Netherlands. William was count of Nassau-Dillenburg. Possibly he had this manuscript in his possession, but the parchment leaf with his coat of arms might also be a later insertion.
The paper manuscript consists of 38 folios and measures 215 by 145 millimeters. It is included in our ever expanding list of digitized armorials and it is accessible at the website of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek in The Hague. Enjoy!