De advocaat in de vroegmoderne stedelijke justitie | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 23, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1566-7146
  • E-ISSN: 2667-1611



Hermanus Noordkerk was a famous barrister in eighteenth-century Amsterdam. After his death multiple necrologies were written in which the general tone was laudatory. This article investigates the reliability of the necrologies by answering the question why Noordkerk became such a famous barrister. What qualities did he have that made him so memorable? It becomes clear that together with his virtuous character Noordkerk was considered to be an inventive lawyer as well as an outstanding pleader and that, by combining these three characteristics, he embodied for contemporaries the ideal barrister. But besides, Noordkerk had another quality: he had the ability to exploit the public interest of a court case for the benefit of his client. Due to the political dynamics within an early modern city this might have been important for Noordkerk’s fame. The case study of Noordkerk thus sheds light on the qualities that a barrister should have in an early modern city.


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