Illustrious Brotherhood of Our Blessed Lady

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The Illustrious Brotherhood of Our Blessed Lady (Illustre Lieve Vrouwe Broederschap) was a religious confraternity founded in 1318 in 's-Hertogenbosch to promote the veneration of the Mother of God. The brotherhood was organized around a carved wooden image of the Virgin Mary in St John’s Cathedral in 's-Hertogenbosch.[1][2] The Brotherhood had two types of members: ordinary members and sworn members, also called 'swan-brethren' because they used to donate a swan for the yearly banquet. Sworn members were clerics in principle; in fact they were often chosen among the nobility, the magistrates, etc. As a result, the Brotherhood also functioned as an important social network.

Well-known members[edit]


  1. ^ "Illustrious Brotherhood of Our Blessed Lady" (PDF). Universiteit Utrecht. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-02-21. Retrieved 2008-10-28. The privileges of corporations were explicitly guaranteed under the capitulation. Among those that continued to operate was an ‘Illustrious Brotherhood of Our Blessed Lady’ (Illustere Lieve-Vrouwe-Broederschap), founded in 1318 as part of a more general effort of the Church to gain control over the worship of the Mother of God.
  2. ^ G.C.M. van Dijck, De Bossche Optimaten. Geschiedenis van de Illustre Lieve Vrouwenbroederschap te ’s-Hertogenbosch (Tilburg: Stichting Zuidelijk Historisch Contact, 1973)
  3. ^ "Blood & Roses". Time magazine. September 15, 1947. Retrieved 2008-10-28. Born about 1450, Bosch spent most of his life in the city of 's-Hertogenbosch, in a house overlooking the market place. At one time he sketched some designs for stained glass windows in the town's great Cathedral of St. John (which had been damaged by fire and was rebuilt in Bosch's youth). He was married, and a member of the austerely devout lay Brotherhood of Our Lady. Almost the only other biographical fact on record is that he died in 1516.
  4. ^ P. Gerlach, ‘Jheronimus van Aken alias Bosch en de Onze-Lieve-Vrouwe-Broederschap’, in: Jheronimus Bosch: Bijdragen bij gelegenheid van de herdenkingstentoonstelling in 's-Hertogenbosch 1967 ('s-Hertogenbosch 1967), pp. 48–60; G.C.M. van Dijck, Op zoek naar Jheronimus van Aken alias Bosch (Zaltbommel: Europese Bibliotheek, 2001).

Further reading[edit]

  • Correspondence of Descartes: 1643; Appendix 2, pp. 193–94.