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Wijerd Jelckama (also spelled Wierd and Wijard)[1][2] (c. 1490 - 1523) was a Frisian military commander, warlord and member of the Arumer Zwarte Hoop ("Arumer Black Heap"). He was the lieutenant of Pier Gerlofs Donia (also known as Grutte Pier) and fought along his side against the Saxon and Hollandic invaders. Jelckama took Donia's place as freedom fighter after Donia died in 1520.

Contents

Early life and family

Jelckama was born in the year 1490 in a large family of farmers and petty noblemen. He was descended from knights who had participated in the Crusades. One of his ancestors from his father's side of the family had died at the Siege of Antioch.[3]

Rebellion

Together with Pier Gerlofs Donia, Jelckama fought against the Saxon warriors that occupied their homeland of Frisia, at the capture of Medemblik, and in the siege of Middelburg castle.

In addition to the area occupied by the Saxons, parts of Frisia were conquered by Denmark, Holland, and local duchies. Donia and Jelckama's goal was to rid Frisia of all foreign powers and regain independence.[1] Under the leadership of Donia, they used guerilla tactics and gained several victories like the successful siege of two Hollandic castles and the city of Medemblik. Their greatest success, however, came at sea, where Donia and Jelckama sank 28 Dutch ships, earning Donia the title "Cross of the Dutchmen".[4]

The rebels received financial support from Charles of Egmond, who claimed the Duchy of Guelders in opposition to the Habsburgs. Charles also used mercenaries under lead by Maarten van Rossum in their support. However, when the tides turned against the rebels after 1520, Charles withdrew his support, and the rebels could no longer afford to pay their mercenary army[5]. Around the same time, Arumer Zwarte Hoop also lost their leader. In 1519, Donia's health grew worse. He retired to his farm where he died in 1520. He was buried in Sneek in the 15th-century Groote Kerk (also called the Martinikerk)[6].

Jelckama took over the command of the armies, then made up of over 4,000 soldiers. Jelckama also gained some minor victories, but proved to be a less competent commander and slowly lost men. Jelckama and his soldiers took part in acts of piracy and sacked many villages in the Frisian lands, losing the trust and support of their own people. The fact that Jelckama was less personable than Donia also cost him: he forged less fruitful alliances and lost more than he made. All this would lead to the defeat of Jelckama and his army.

Death

After a series of defeats, he and what was left of the Frisian army were captured in 1523 and taken to the city of Leeuwarden in Frisia. There they were publicly beheaded.[7] With the death of Jelckama and the rebels, the rebellion of Frisia came to an end. It was the last revolt in Frisian history and is remembered as such to this day.

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b Eekhoff, W.(1851). Beknopte geschiedenis van Friesland (in Dutch). Leeuwarden: W. Eekhoff. 138-139.
  2. ^ Kok, Jacobus (1791). "Pier Gerlofs Donia" (in Dutch). Vaderlandsch Woordenboek. 24 (P-R). Amsterdam: Johannes Allart. pp. 17–21.  
  3. ^ J.J. Kalma. Grote Pier Van Kimswerd (1970), p. 51. ISBN 90-7001-013-5.
  4. ^ Beekman, Martinus. Beschreiving van de Stad en Baronnie Asperen. Vertoonende haare oudheid, gebouwen, hooge, en verdere regeering, ens. Utrecht, Mattheus Visch, 1745.
  5. ^ Kalma, J.J. (1970). (ed.) de Tille. ed. Grote Pier Van Kimswerd. Netherlands. pp. 50. ISBN 90-7001-013-5.  
  6. ^ Geldersche Volks-Almanak Published 1853
  7. ^ "Greate Pier fan Wûnseradiel" (in West Frisian). Gemeente Wûnseradiel. http://www.wunseradiel.nl/index.php?simaction=content&pagid=289&mediumid=1. Retrieved 2008-01-04.  

See also

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Genealogy

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Familypedia

I am looking for decendents of Wijerd Jelckama. Het was a legendary freedom fighter, folk hero and warrior. Lived from 1490-1523. Died of decapitation in the Frisian city of Leeuwarden after being caught. Was executed as a traitor and rebel leader. His death ended the rebellion of the Frisians in the North of the Low Countries (Belgium, Netherlands). I know he was relatively young (33) when he died, but he was married at the time of his death. I want know if there are any decendents of Jelckama. I am looking for his decendents. Can anyone tell me:
#Who his wife was
#Who their children were, if any
#Were they were born, were they died, and who their children were
A familytree would be awesome.The name, by the way, is also spelled as "Wijard Jelckama", "Wierd Jelckama" or "Grutte Wierd". The last one is his nickname, translating into "Great Wijerd" for his great size. At the height of 7 feet and strong enough to carry a 1000-pound horse on his mighty shoulders, "Big Wierd" must have made quite an impression.

He was the nephew of the famous Pier Gerlofs Donia.


This article uses material from the "Wijerd Jelckama" article on the Genealogy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Simple English

Wijerd Jelckama (1490 - july 7 1523) was a Frisian freedom fighter, legendary warrior, warlord, rebel and pirate.

Contents

Early life and family

Jelckama was born in the year 1490 in a large family of farmers and petty noblemen. He was descended from knights who had participated in the Crusades. One of his ancestors from his father's side of the family had died at the Siege of Antioch.[1]

Jelckama was married to a woman by the name of Fokel, the exact year of their marriage is unknown. She survived her husband and died in 1553. They had two daughters and a son. Their son was named Janco Douwes Jelckama (1514-1587), their daughters Bonga (1516-1575) and Fokel (1517-1546).[2]

Grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Jelckama are known.[3] A great-granddaughter who died in 1625 probably ended Jelckama's official bloodline.[4]

Rebellion

Together with Pier Gerlofs Donia, Jelckama fought against the Saxon warriors that occupied their homeland of Frisia, at the capture of Medemblik, and in the siege of Middelburg castle.

Jelckama served as Donia's lieutenant for the first five years. After Donia had died in 1520, Jelckama took over the command of the armies. He had been the commander of the Arumer Black Heap and the main leader of the Frisian rebellion against the House of Habsburg since as early as 1519.

Strength

Author Wopke Eekhoff described Jelckama as being as sturdy as his giant uncle, who was himself reportedly at least 7 feet tall[5] and once lifted a 1000-pound horse above his head. Jelckama himself was strong enough to lift a horse over his shoulders high up in the air. His height is documented at 7 feet.[6]

Death

After a series of defeats, he and what was left of the Frisian army were captured in 1523 and taken to the city of Leeuwarden in Frisia. There they were executed. The execution took place in public. It took the executioner four blows to sever Jelckama's head from his extremely thick neck.[7][8]

With the death of Jelckama and the rebels, the independence of Frisia came to an end. It was the last successful revolt in Frisian history and is remembered as such to this day.

Notes and references


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