Skip to content Skip to navigation

Hendrik van de Berg

Woman in 1660s Netherlands who joined the army in male disguise at the urging of another woman who did so.

LHMP entry

Chapter 1: Introduction

We start with a type-case (although unusual in the level of detail given in the court records). Maria van Antwerpen dressed in men's clothing, took a male name, and enlisted as a soldier in 1761. For eight years she lived undetected, including courting and marrying a woman. When discovered, she was tried and condemned for fraud and for "mocking laws concerning marriage." It was discovered that she she had been tried for the same offenses in 1751. She was neither exceptional nor unusual.

Subscribe to Hendrik van de Berg