Vreede, a former Dutch Mennonite family, whose ancestor Dirck Pietersz Vreede, a native of Opspringen in the territory of Jülich, Germany, moved to Leiden, Holland, ca. 1655, because of persecution. In Leiden he was a tinsmith. He died in 1687, and must have been well-to-do, for he left a considerable legacy to the Leiden Waterlander Mennonite congregation, of which he had been a deacon since 1670. Most of his descendants were textile merchants or manufacturers; they were nearly all deacons of the church at Leiden, and some of them were trustees of the Bethlehems Hofje (old people's home). An outstanding member of this family was Pieter Vreede (1750-1837), manufacturer of cloth and woolen blankets, a fervent Patriot, who played an important part in the Dutch political situation of about 1790 and shortly after. In 1798 he attained great political authority as a member of the Uitvoerend Bewind (executive government) of the Dutch Republic, sharing this power with two others, one of whom was the Mennonite Wybo Fijnje. This office, however, lasted only for a short time, for Vreede and his group were too radical. He retired from politics, devoting his attention to his business, then at Tilburg. He was a close friend of F. A. van der Kemp, once also a Patriot; in 1828 van der Kemp wrote him a letter from America. Though a member of the church Pieter Vreede, unlike his ancestors, was not interested in congregational life. His descendants, among whom was the famous professor of law G. W. Vreede (1809-80) at Utrecht, did not join the church.
Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1907): 124, 145.
Molhuysen, P. C. and P. J. Blok. Nieuw Nederlandsch Biografisch Woordenboek, 10 vols. Leiden, 1911-1937: v. IX, 1245-54.
Nederland's Patriciaat XLI (1955): 341-70.
Poole, L. G.. le. Bijdragen tot de kennis van . . . de Doopsgezinden . . . te Leiden .Leiden, 1905: passim.Poel, J. van der. “Leven en Bedrijf van Pieter Vreede." Verslag Historisch Geriootschap (1951): 30 ff.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 861. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
©1996-2013 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.
MLA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. "Vreede family." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 21 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/vreede_family.
APA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. (1959). Vreede family. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/vreede_family.