Willem Bilderdijk

1756-1831. Dutch poet. Born into a strong Calvinist and monarchist family, he early developed habits of study as a result of incapacitation following a foot injury. Later he studied law at Leiden and practiced as an advocate at The Hague till his exile in 1795, in which year the French established a republic to which he refused the required oath of allegiance. He moved to Hamburg and then to London, not returning to the Netherlands till 1806. There he prospered for a time, but suffered privation after the accession of William of Orange in 1813. A man of deeply Christian conviction, his quiet testimony led to the conversion to Christianity of Isaak da Costa,* who later edited his works in sixteen volumes (1856-59).