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to enlarge.
Source: SHPF. Cahier C de Frédéric De Conink
- copy of a letter written in November 1716 from Schiedam, Holland.
Photo 6950

de Coninck Genealogy

Schiedam, Holland - November 1716

Mr Daniel Crommelin

I have ceased having the honor to write to you for several years in the hope that others than me would have more success than myself in their requests to have you return justice to my niece Catherine de Conink. You undoubtedly know that her sister died two or three years ago. As for her, she is married nearly one year to one Nicolas Caron, a manufacturer of sorts by profession. It was a sad marriage in all respects. In a word, they fell into extreme poverty.

It is still quite a difficult subject despite requests over a great number of years. All the family wrote to you on this matter including my Oursel [half] sister lastly. However you remain quite inflexible, without wanting to reply, or if you do answer, it is in an unsatisfactory way by saying that it is necessary to take up a collection amongst the family while you have enjoyed with your ease of more than 25 years, wealth which with interest has grown to a considerable capital.

This poor young woman is in a dreadful state while you hold her wealth. You have means; you are able to expand; you have slaves; you enjoy abundance, therefore this inflexible conduct defies imagination. In the name of God, my uncle appeals to you, pointing out your justice, to return that to whom it belongs, considering that you are now in advanced age and soon will be at the end of your career, or it will be necessary for you to give an account to the great Judge of the Universe Himself. He wishes to touch your heart so that you can as soon as possible resolve this business which humanity cries against you and yours.

I write to you with the prayer of my niece and other relatives. The said Mr. Caron is about to leave for the Indies and his wife, who cannot afford to go, will have to go and live in a room having been reduced to living by her fingers as best she can. I put before you the plain truth of a situation which touches the hardest of hearts and which, by the grace of God will hopefully touch yours so as to favour us with a prompt, effectual answer which we request, along with news of your family.

Frederick de Coninck

[Translator's Note:

Frederic's nieces mentioned in the letter above were the two children of his younger brother, Jean de Coninck.

Jean de Coninck
Born 21 September 1662
Died August 1690 Rotterdam (accident)
Married May 1684 Rouen
Marthe Duval
Born 17 November 1652 Rouen
Died 1687 London

Their children were:

1 Catherine de Coninck
Born 25 February 1685 Rouen
Died 1725 Barbados
Married 22 December 1715
Nicolas Caron
Died 1725 Barbados

2 Marie de Coninck
Born 19 June 1686 Rotterdam
Died 16 February 1713 Amsterdam

This was the last letter to appear in Fredrick de Coninck's 'Book of Letters', therefore we will never know the outcome of this plaintive appeal to have Daniel repay this loan to his poverty-stricken cousin, Catherine de Coninck. However, she died in Barbados in 1725, the same year as her husband, Nicolas Caron which suggests that Daniel may have repaid the loan in order for her to be able to afford travelling there. Coincidentally, Daniel also died in 1725 - some 9 years after this letter was written.

When this letter was written in 1716, Daniel was involved in building his house and Greycourt Inn. The original dated stones still survive.


"Daniel Crommelin 1716 Charles Crommelin"
- the surviving date blocks that were foundation stones in Gray Court Inn built by William Bull.

Besides his building program, money problems seem to have plagued Daniel in his latter years because of debts incurred by his son, Charles, through his various copper-mining mis-adventures. Eventually all of Daniel's considerable property holdings and assets in New York, including Gray Court Inn, were seized to pay off his son's creditors, and therefore the above letter is a further indication of Daniel's delicate financial situation which Frederick de Coninck probably didn't fully appreciate at the time.

Frederick de Coninck was living with his wife, Marie Camin, at Schiedam, Holland where he had a tanning business and where he died on 27 March 1722. He might have been in a better position to help his niece than Daniel.
- Miff Crommelin, Aug. 21, 2011]


Click to enlarge.
The 'lien' dated October 21, 1720 listing all of Daniel's assets (including immense tracts of land and 3 slaves)
which were forfeited as partial payment to satisfy the creditors of his son, Charles Crommelin.
Two of his three slaves were native Indians.


Source: SHPF. Cahier C de Frédéric De Conink
copie de lettre écrite en novembre 1716.
Photo 6950

Monsieur Daniel Crommelin

J’ai cessé d’avoir l’honneur de vous écrire depuis plusieurs années dans l’espérance que d’autres que moi réussiraient mieux que moi pour leurs sollicitations, à vous porter de rendre justice à ma nièce Catherine de Conink, vous savez sans doute que sa sœur est morte il y a deux ou trois ans, or pour elle, elle est mariée il y a près d’un an a un nommé Nicolas Caron metteur en œuvre de sa profession, mariage triste de toutes les manières , en un mot, ils sont tombés dans une pauvreté extrême.

C’est une chose bien dure d’avoir du bien et de n’en pouvoir jouir après des sollicitations d’un si grand nombre d’années, toute la famille vous a écrit sur ce sujet et ma sœur Oursel en dernier lieu cependant vous demeurez également inflexible, sans vouloir répondre ou si vous répondez c’est d’une manière insuffisante en disant qu’il faut faire une collecte parmi la famille pendant que vous jouissez à votre aise depuis plus de 25 ans d’un bien qui avec les intérêts fait un capital considérable.

Cette pauvre jeune femme est dans une débâcle affreuse pendant que vous détenez son bien, que vous avez des terres, que vous faites bâtir, que vous avez des esclaves, que vous êtes dans l’abondance ; cette conduite éternelle dépasse l’imagination au nom de Dieu monsieur mon oncle revenez à vous-même, rappelez votre justice, rendez la à qui il appartient, faites réflexion que vous êtes dans un âge avancé et bientôt au bout de votre carrière ou il vous faudra rendre compte au grand juge de l’univers, lui-même, veuille vous toucher le cœur, afin que vous puissiez au plus tôt de cette affaire qui fait crier tout le genre humain contre vous au votre.

Je vous écris à la prière de ma nièce et des autres parents. Le dit sieur Caron va incessamment partir pour les indes et sa femme qui ne peut pas payer et devra se retirer dans une chambre, réduite à vivre de ses doigts comme elle pourra, c’est la pure vérité que je vous inonde, état qui touche les cœurs les plus durs et qui avec la grâce de Dieu touchera j’espère le votre, et nous procurera une réponse prompte, efficace telle que nous la demandons et en le votre pour des nouvelles de famille