The Meetjesland in the north of East-Flanders, Belgium

Reinier Grégoire Dubosch

In view of the fact that this last French period was for Watervliet closely linked to the ups and downs in the life of Reinier Grégoire Dubosch we give here first a short description of the man who was the immediate cause of the start of the Farmers' Revolt.

Undoubtedly he was, after Hiëronymus Lauwerijn, the most important figure ever produced by Watervliet or who ever lived there.

The memory of theindividual he was, as it pours out of the documents by his own hand, at the height of his authority, or as described by his contemporaries, is one of despotic cruelty, of corrupt high-handed arbitrariness but also of some humane feelings for the town of his birth and those who shared his "Jacobin" convictions.

He always had an ideal but it changed with changing circumstances.  He was a Vonckist before and during the Belgian Republic and a fanatical Jacobin as soon as the French invaded.  After his disgrace he is for 10 long years a loyal subject of the Emperor.  During the Dutch Period he is rather Orange.  But as soon as the Belgian Revolution is behind him he stands for parliament on the list of the Patriotic Company.  With so many different ideals how could anyone remain an idealist?

 

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