Street life 17th/18th century

Introducing a new range of figures including general misfits and ant-establishment characters from the "Age of Reason" between the mid 17th to late 18th century.

Jump to Section: Bokkenrijders | Life in the Streets.


^ Top of Page ^

A range of characters inhabiting taverns and streets during the "Age of Reason".



^ Top of Page ^

During the mid 18th century (1730-1775) the province of Limburg in the Netherlands was terrorized by gangs of robbers. Over a time these men became surrounded by myth and became know as the "Bokkenrijders" or goat riders, as they were said to have ridden goats in the sky, a symbol of the devil! The bokkenrijders' targets were in the main the wealthy icons of power and their properties. The Dutch republic had slid into an economic decline due to the costs of war against the England, France and Spain in the 17th and early 18th century, also the independent provinces had lost much of their power to the regents who were more interested in increasing their own wealth and power than in governing their territories, much to the distaste of the population.It was from this environment that the bokkenrijders were able to emerge, their idea to attack the regent classes and impose a new order or more likely to take advantage of the situation for their own ends? They rejected religion, burned and ransacked churches and generally caused fear and panic among the population. Needless to say they became a thorn in the side of the authorities who tried incessantly to hunt them down. Over a time around 600 people were accused,  tried and executed as bokkenrijders, most of whom were innocent of any crime.