Gerrit Grotedorst and the big pub crawl of 1680

By May 26, 2020June 10th, 2022No Comments

For any Zee alive today and reading this, I’m sorry to report that Gerrit Grotedorst is a direct forefather. And not one of the good ones! Most likely, your 7th-great-grandfather. He was Trijn Dorst’s father: Trijn Dorst and Jan Ham were the grandparents of Jannetje Tromp, Bruyn Zee‘s wife. Let’s jump back to 1680, and see what he was up to.

In English, his name translates to Gerry of the Big Thirst. You can see where this is headed. A notarial document from 1681 tells the story of their pub crawl the year before in great detail.

Gerrit and his friends Jan and Cees are on their way home from Enkhuizen, when they decide to stop into Bovenkarspel for a quick drink. The first port of call is The Three Arabs (De Drie Morianen). The innkeepeer puts the run on them pretty quickly, shouting at Gerrit: “jou droncken bloet, jou beest, jou schelm, u vagebont“. Fortunately for the three men, they are on a corner with four pubs. So, off to the next one.

The reception in De Vier Heemskinderen is worse. The inkeeper tells Gerrit to leave immediately. “Jou beest, u schelm, u droncken fielt, wat doet ghij hier? Gaat hier van daan off een ander helpt u daar uyt.” – You beast, you drunk, get out of here or someone will help you leave.

Off to the third pub on the same corner: Het Vliegende Hert. Word about Gerrit has clearly got around. The three men are barely in the door when Gerrit is again met with a tirade of abuse. Gerrit gives back a little this time: “Wat schort off moveert u waardinnen? Ben ick hier oock jiets te quaad, off hebbet ick hier oock eenige oneerlijcke stucken off feyten bedreven waarom ghij lieden mij soo godloos affronteert? Weet ghij jiets, klap op” – “Why are you treating me like this? What have I done?

Note: For readers of Dutch, this is a really interesting snapshot of the language as written and spoken in 1680, which rarely comes up in archive documents.

So what has Gerrit done, and is his protested innocence supportable? Unfortunately, not.

The four pubs

“Just on the corner of the Broekerhaven pad were four inns: De drie Morianen, De Vier Heemskinderen, De Halve Maan and Het Roode Hert”


25-Jan-1665 Early mention of Gerrit Dorst >

Gerrit Dorst and the pub crawl. Westfries Archief, 1685_1966 ONA Hoogkarspel 1966, akten notaris Jacobus Agricola, 1680-1685. [>]

14-Sep-1682 "De ‘vrunden’, d.w.z. zusters en zwagers van Gerrit Dirks Dorst alias Grotendorst hebben de zwaar drankzuchtige Gerrit gevangen laten zetten in Alkmaar." >

26-Sep-1682 "Two sisters of the detainee, living in Hoogkarspel, state that their late mother (deceased about 5 years earlier) several times during her life and also on her deathbed expressed the wish that her son, if he persisted in his behaviour, would go to East India would be sent." (Sisters are Aag & Geertje Dirks, mother Elisabeth Dirks. Second wife Brecht IJsbrands Kools) >


Gerrit Dirks (Grote)Dorst

1. Trijntje Gerrits Dorst x Jan Pietersz Ham
2. Dirk Gerrits Dorst 

Leave a Reply