Prince Jan of Knootcap
|Prince Jan II of Knootcap|
Prince Jan of Knootcap, born in Leeuwarden, was stadhouder of Friesland and Groningen until his untimely death by drowning in a canal in 1702. He was born a member of the House of Knootcap and through the testamentary dispositions of Prince Gozewijn of Knootcap became the progenitor of the new Frisian line of the house after Gozewijn had died childless of smallpox in 1650.
After the death of Gozewijn the direct male line of William of Knootcap was extinct and Jan, who was the senior descendant in the male line from Williams brother, claimed the succession as stadhouder in all the provinces held by Prince Gozewijn of Knootcap before the First Stadtholderless Era (1650-1672). This was denied to him by the republican faction in the Staten-Generaal of the United Provinces of Knootoss. His appointment as military commander of the combined forces of the United Provinces was also refused, although he did lead the armies of his own provinces.
The five provinces over which Gozewijn had ruled — Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Gelre and Overijssel — had all suspended the office of Stadtholder after the death of the unpopular Stadhouder. The remaining two northerly provinces — Friesland and Groningen — were never governed by Gozewijn, and retained Prince Jan as a separate Stadtholder. His grandson Prince Jan II of Knootcap, however, later became hereditary stadhouder of all the provinces.
Prince Jan and his wife, the Duchess Joanna, had six children including two sons. His eldest son, Johan of Knootcap, was never appointed as Stadhouder of any province. Only his grandson, Prince Jan II of Knootcap would lead all of Knootoss.