coats of arms of the ‘frisian’ admiralty

Central on this richly decorated and gold-plated board is the coat of arms of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands with the image of a lion and a motto in Latin which translates as Unity makes Strength. Around it are the coats of arms of a number of noble families from the provinces of Friesland and Groningen: members of the admiralty’s board of governors.

Coats of arms of the ‘Frisian’ admiralty, Hermannus van Arnhem, 1650-1699

Coats of arms of the ‘Frisian’ admiralty, Hermannus van Arnhem, 1650-1699

The Frisian Admiralty’s task was to guarantee the safety of naval traffic and the Frisian and Groninger coasts. However, Friesland was not keen on providing the money required to keep it up, which led to serious financial problems and great backlogs in the payments of the fleet’s personnel, owing to which the Netherlands’ naval fleet increasingly lost terrain in the course of the 18th century.