Holland comprises the coastal area of the Netherlands from the estuaries of Zeeland in the south to the peninsular dunes in the north, along with Texel, the first of the Frisian Islands. The name derives from districts adjacent to Dordrecht, in the south - "Holtland" (Woodland). The County evolved out of a West Frisian County that was devastated by repeated Scandinavian raids during the 9th and 10th centuries - specific references to the County of Holland are attested to from 1101 at the latest. Early Counts were much involved in expanding territory, first at the expence of Frisians to the north, and later in a series of conflicts with the bishops of Utrecht to the east - the decisive battle in that group of wars was Dirk III's victory at Vlaardingen in 1018, against a combined army of Utrecht and Imperial forces. Another foe, less easily subdued, has been the sea - Holland lost significant fractions of territory to inland flooding, especially in 1170, 1219, and 1282, in which the Zuiderzee (IJsselmeer) was created. Later inherited by the rulers of Hainault and then Burgundy, Holland prospered, and by the 17th century had become the commercial and cultural centre of the Dutch Republic - so much so that the Netherlands is often referred to simply, and incorrectly, as "Holland". In 1840, the province was divided into North Holland and South Holland, the line wandering generally northwest to southeast, from Haarlem in the north to Schoonhoven on the Lek in the south, then following the Lek west to Culemburg.

This page contains Local Hollander estates: Holland (general survey), AmstellandPutten, Strijen, Velsen, Voorne, Waterland, Woerden.

States owned by Holland: Zeeland.

Neighbouring states: (North) Brabant, Frisia, Utrecht, Zeeland.

HollandHOLLAND The County, first described as such from 1101; previous rulers governed the area as "Counts of Frisia" or "Counts of Kennemerland". The coastal lands between the Rhine delta and the Zuider Sea, Holland is the core of what would develop into the Netherlands.

Hollander Estates

AMSTELLAND (and the City of Amsterdam)
A territory comprising the area of the modern Amsterdam and its surroundings. Its history is linked with the Amstel river and the growth of the city of Amsterdam. The river was important in medieval times as a waterway leading to the south and to Utrecht. The oldest settlement in the area was Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, which dated from the 11th century (and thus is older than Amsterdam itself, which was at this time was a small fishing village at the mouth of the Amstel). This area was part of the demesne of the Van Amstel family, which had held the district from c. 1105 as servants (ministeriales) of the bishop of Utrecht and later for some years as vassals of the count of Holland (until 1296).

PUTTEN One of the South Holland islands, southwest of Rotterdam, to the east of the lordship of Voorne with the Bernisse as boundary river. Its first administrative centre was the castle of Puttenstein until 1304 and after its destruction the castle of Geervliet. Putten was a fief of Holland and Voorne, detached from the lordship of Voorne ca. 1200. Its ruling family presumably descended from the Persijns, lords of Velsen and Waterland. Putten entered into a personal union with Strijen in 1294. Both lordships were attached to the county of Holland in 1459 and annexed in 1477. It was then ruled by the baillif (Dutch: ruwaard) of Putten. A famous ruwaard was Cornelis de Witt, brother of Raadspensionaris Johan de Witt - both murdered in 1672 when the Dutch Republic was simultanously attacked by England, France, Cologne and Münster.

A lordship which extended over the Hoeksewaard (one of the South Holland islands) and the very northwest of Brabant, between Rotterdam (26 km) and Antwerp (76 km). The early history of Strijen is poorly known. A pagus Stryna or Struona is mentioned in the 10th century. Strijen was supposed to have originated as an allodial  principality ca. 630 – the Strijen legend – but this view isn’t shared by present regional historians. The lordship of Strijen is for the first time mentioned during the 12th century, when it was apparently a fief of Brabant. It was united with Putten in a personal union 1294/1316-1459, until it was annexed to the county of Holland (1459/1477).

A small lordship – restricted to its castle and immediate environment - in the coastal dune area of North-Holland, near the western outlet of the present North Sea Channel, which connects Amsterdam with the North Sea, 25 km west of Amsterdam, around the present village of Velsen. Its lords ruled (one half of ) the lordship of Waterland from the 13th century until 1353/72.

A lordship in the province of South-Holland (ca. 23 miles - 36 km. - west of Rotterdam) which included the island of (East-)Voorne, bordering the North Sea and the Haringvliet, and the island of Goeree (formerly: West-Voorne), now a part of the island of Goeree-Overflakkee. Its eastern border was the river Bernisse, which separated Voorne from the island and  lordship of Putten. The first residence of its ruling family was the castle of Poortvliet (island of Tholen), which was destroyed in 1204 by an army of Willem I count of Holland. After their recovery, the lords of Voorne built a new castle on the island of Voorne, where the village of Oostvoorne came into being. Voorne wasn’t formally incorporated into the county of Holland, but ruled as a polity - Bailliwick of Voorne - in personal union with the county of Holland. Names, dates and order of some of the first lords of Voorne between Hugo I and Hugo IV are uncertain.

WATERLAND A lordship in the eastern half of the province of North-Holland, to the north of the city of Amsterdam, from the IJ to West-Frisia, a peaty area dissected by much open water.

The present city of Woerden, situated 25 miles (40 km.) east of The Hague and 11 miles (18 km.) west of Utrecht, arose around the Woerden Castle, which was built in 1159 or 1160 by the bishop of Utrecht to defend the western border of his territory against the county of Holland. The commander of the castle was a servant (ministerialis) of the bishop, called castellanus (castellan, lord of the castle), but he titled himself from 1165 also as dominus de Worthen(e). The lordship of Woerden was finally annexed by Holland (1317) but afterwards continued incidentally as an appanage or as a pawn.