Public Service of Leeuwenhoek, his family, and his neighbors and colleagues


Leeuwenhoek received his first salary payment from the City in March 1660. From then until he died, he regularly received payments, recorded in various account books, for a variety of jobs and tasks. Some of them are so specific to the Delft in the late 1600's that they don't have simple translations into modern English. The Dutch, of course, just leave the old words in Dutch even if the job or task it denotes is no longer done.

His jobs, in the order in which he acquired them:

  • Camerbewaerder 1660 - 1698
  • District supervisor (wijckmeester generaal) 1666 - 1723
  • Curator 1667 - ~1698
  • City inspector - Wine Gauger (wijnroeier) 1679 - 17??
  • Trash supervisor (crebbemeester) ~1684 - 1692

Although he received his national certification as a surveyor (landmeter) in 1669, there is no evidence that he was paid for any surveying by the city.

Given the size of Leeuwenhoek's estate, he clearly did not need to keep these jobs as long as he did. However, he came from a regent family, on his mother's side, that was deeply involved in public service. His second marriage brought him relatives who also served. Many immediate family members of his generation as well as other people associated with him as friends, neighbors, and colleagues were also in the City's record books.

Regent relatives who held office

They were all regents who were on the Council of Forty (Veertigraad) and served as political managers.

Sebastiaan Cornelis van den Berch great-grandfather
Jacob Sebastiaans van den Berch grandfather
Maarten Sebastiaans van den Berch great-uncle
Pieter Sebastiaans van den Berch great-uncle
Jan Jacobs Hogenhouck great-great-grandfather, Neeltje's father
Maerten Jans Hogenhouck great-grandmother Neeltje's brother
Adriaan Maertens Hogenhouck Neeltje's nephew
Jacob Maertens Hogenhouck Neeltje's nephew
Abraham Maertens Hogenhouck Neeltje's nephew
Cornelis Maertens Hogenhouck Neeltje's nephew
Pieter Abrahams Hogenhouck Neeltje's nephew's son
Jacob Cornelis Hogenhouck Neeltje's nephew's son
Maarten Pieters Hogenhouck Neeltje's nephew's son
Claes Hendrikz Verburch great-grandfather's nephew
Gerrit Jans van der Eyck great-great-uncle on both branches
of his mother's side of the family
Dirk Harperts Uyttenbrouck Cornelia's great great great-grandfather
Jan Dircks Uyttenbrouck Cornelia's great great-grandfather
Dirck Jans Uyttenbrouck Cornelia's great grandfather

Leeuwenhoek and de Molijn Relatives

They sold their products and services to the city

Maerten Huijchs Leeuwenhoek tax collector
Catharina Phillips Leeuwenhoek tax collector
Lambrecht Leeuwenhoek basket vendor
Jan de Molijn city painter
Jacob de Molijn city painter


They had regular city jobs, often supplemented by other activities

Jan Strick camerbewaarder of the magistrates' chamber before Leeuwenhoek and later manager of the City's civic guard shooting range and club
Cornelis 's Gravezande city anatomist
Jacob Spoors surveyor, notary
Gerrit den Appel messenger, tax collector, replaced Jan Strick as manager of the Doele
Daniel Bogaert camerbewaarder of the mayors' chamber
Isaac Soubrie camerbewaarder of the orphans' chamber
Paul Durven lawyer and notary with whom Leeuwenhoek rented the St. Agnieten Toorn in 1693.
Henry d'Acquet city doctor
Arnold Ramp city inspector, curator