||Hermann Friedrich DÖRRIEN & his wife, Agneta WOLTERS
||Robin Cary Askew
||Hildesheim, Lower Saxony, Germany|Hildesheim, Niedersachsen, Deutschland
Brunswick, Germany|Braunschweig, Deutschland
Hamburg, Germany|Hamburgh, Deutschland
||1670 - 1733
Stehn / Stein
|Robin Cary Askew. Hermann Friedrich DÖRRIEN & his wife, Agneta WOLTERS.|
Hermann Friedrich DÖRRIEN & his wife, Agneta WOLTERS
by Robin Cary Askew
Hermann Friedrich Dörrien (aka Frederick Dorrien), a Merchant of London, was born in Hildesheim, Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony) in about 1670. He was baptized on August 9th of that year at the church of St. Andreas (St. Andrew), which was the first church in Hildesheim to embrace Lutheranism. He was the fifth son of Hans Christian Dörrien (1627-1691), “Citizen and Merchant of Hildesheim,” who – at the time of Hermann Friedrich’s birth – was a Ratsherr (town councillor) there; and then, from 1678 to 1690, its Riedemeister (deputy mayor). In fact he came from a long line of merchants and town councillors of Hildesheim.
His paternal grandfather, Hans Dörrien (1601-1661), ‘the younger’, was also a “Citizen and Merchant of Hildesheim” – and served there as both town councillor (from 1647) and deputy mayor (in 1649). While his great grandfather, the older Hans Dörrien(1571-1629), who was a “clothier and wool merchant of Hildesheim,” served as Bürgermeister (mayor) in the years 1624, 1626, and 1628. His great, great grandfather, Jacob Dörrien (c.1541-1608), while also a wool merchant and clothier, does not appear to have served on the town council of Hildesheim. But his great, great, great grandfather – also called Hermann – was the mayor of neighbouring Alfeld (a.d. Leine) after 1557. And although Hermann Dörrien is the earliest to have been identified for this pedigree, it has been noted that, since 1448, Alfeld has had one mayor, one treasurer and eight town councillors all bearing the name "Dorry" – or (presumably) one of its many early variants: Dörry, Dorrien, Dörrien, Dörien, Dorring....
Hermann Friedrich Dörrien’s mother was his father’s second wife, Ilse Margaretha Tappen (1633-1672), who had also been married once before – to Johann Rhese, a medical doctor, who had died in 1658. Ilse Margaretha’s father, Rötger Tappen (c.1590-1673) was himself a town councillor of Hildesheim – and could trace his family back through a long line of town councillors to a namesake, Rötger Tappen: “Burgher of Hildesheim” and Ratsherr (town councillor) from 1554. This Rötger appears to have been a son of Zacharias Tappen: Patricius (patrician) of Hildesheim, who lived around 1500, when he married Salomé von Damm, whose similarly patrician family was well-known in nearby Braunschweig (Brunswick).
Said to have been one of Braunschweig’s richest citizens and a town councillor there from around 1339, Bürgermeister Tile von Damm was one of the first victims of a tax revolt in the city – known as the Große Schicht (Great Uprising) of 1374 in which eight town councillors were killed. Tile von Damm was caught hiding in the Hagen market on the 19th of April, 1374 and immediately beheaded. However members of his family remained “almost without interruption between 1307 and 1671 on the city council of Braunschweig (Brunswick).”
Hermann Friedrich Dörrien however did not follow his father’s footsteps into municipal government. That was left to his older brother, Johann Jobst, who served as Hildesheim town councillor between 1700 and 1704; and its mayor for thirty-two years – from 1706 to 1738.
But Herman Friedrich did follow the example of his father’s other career as a merchant. In 1644, when just seventeen, Hans Christian had gone to Hamburg to apprentice as a "Kaufmanns-Lehre" (merchant-apprentice) and a year later for the next four in Amsterdam. His grandfather, Hans Dörrien – the younger had also gone to Hamburg as an eighteen-or-so-year-old merchant apprentice in 1619. He also made even more extensive “educational visits” to other cities and states: “Cologne, Rouen, Paris, Antwerp, Flanders, the Netherlands and England.” And the older Hans had gone even farther afield: “Leipzig, Nuremberg, the Netherlands, Spain, Brazil, Brabant, Flanders, France and England.”
Although he never knew either his grandfather or his great grandfather, we might speculate that these experiences were passed down to Hermann Friedrich Dörrien as family stories and, combined with the more recent experiences of his father, they may have inspired him – or even laid the way for him – to leave Hildesheim and Saxony behind and seek his fortune in the then growing economic magnet that was London at the end of the seventeenth century.
There is some suggestion that Hermann Friedrich also went first to Hamburg. Perhaps he also apprenticed there as a merchant (Kaufmanns-Lehre) – as his father and grandfather had done before him. But, if he did, he must have decided that his future mercantile prospects would be even brighter in London. And he arrived in England sometime before the end of 1693 – when he would have been twenty-three years old. During the process of his naturalization in England, he was certified to have taken the sacrament on Christmas Day, 1693 “in the true Protestant High German Lutheran late Parish Church, Trinity the Less, London.” He was joined in this by a fellow communicant, Georg Stein. Mr. Stein was then – or would soon become – his partner in business and they would share the same house together with their apprentices (see inset quotation next below). Their naturalizations were complete less than two years later in 1695, on March 15th – having both taken the oath on the previous January 29th.
And so it would seem likely to have been in England where Mr. Dorrien married Miss Wolters in August of 1700 – when he was about thirty and she about twenty-six. This Miss Wolters (or Wolter) turns out to be the sister of one of Mr. Dorrien’s young apprentices, by the name of Peter Wolter, who was tragically murdered, less than a year later by his erstwhile friend and fellow apprentice Herman Strodtman, in whose confession, made on the eve of his execution (18 June, 1701), he mentions the detail of his master’s marriage.
- HERMAN STRODTMAN was indicted at the Old Bailey, on three ſeveral indictments. The firſt was for the murder of Peter Wolter, his fellow ſervant, on the 27th of April, 1701: the ſecond, for breaking open the houſe of Meſſieurs Stein and Dorien, and ſtealing a watch and other things, the property of the ſaid Peter Wolter; and the third for ſtealing divers goods, the property of Herman Frederick Dorien, on the day before mentioned. ... The Confeſſion of HERMAN STRODTMAN:
- “... About the year 1694, my father ſent me to ſchool to Lubeck, where I continued till Michaelmas 1698. From thence I went to Hamburgh, and ſtaid there till I ſet out for England. I arrived at London in March following, and (together with one Peter Wolter, who came with me to England) was bound apprentice to Mr. Stein and Mr. Dorien, merchants, and partners in London. Peter Wolter and myſelf, having been fellow-travellers, and being now fellow-’prentices, we lived for ſome time very friendly and lovingly together, till about Auguſt laſt, when his fiſter was married to one of our maſters, Mr. Dorien. ....”
However, there is no record of this marriage having taken place at the German Lutheran Church in Trinity Lane, London – of which Mr. Dorrien was a member of the congregation and where he had his children baptised – beginning with his eldest son, Liebert on July 4th, 1701.
- “Anno 1701 ... 4 Juli | Liebertus Dorrien Son to Mr . Friederic Dorrien in Bushlane”
After Liebert, they had nine more children – eight of which were also baptised at the Trinity Lane Church. The last of these being Elizabeth, who was baptised on November 19th, 1712.
- “Anno1712 ... 19 Nov. | Elizabeth Dorryens, daughter to Mr . Fr. Dorryen Marchd in Sweathin’s [St. Swithin’s] Lane”
But she may not have been their youngest child. Although I have been unable to find a record of their youngest son John’s baptism at the same church, his death on December 9th, 1784, at the age of seventy, would indicate he was born in about 1714. At which time Frau Dorrien (née Wolters) would have been about forty.
But it was still in this Lutheran Church in Trinity Lane that Hermann Friedrich Dörrien – now going by the more Anglicised version of his second Christian name, Frederick – specified in his will he wished to be buried.
- “I Frederick Dorrien of London Merchant ... my body I commit to the Earth to be devoutly yett privately buryed in the Lutheran Church of the holy Trinity in Trinity Lane London ....”
He does not mention his wife in his will – from which we may conclude she had died sometime before he wrote it on February 3rd, 1732. In Werner Constantin von Arnswaldt’s book on the Dorrien family, published in 1910, she is referenced as actually having died about five or six years earlier in 1726. Von Arnswaldt also gives her year of birth as 1674, indicating she would have been about fifty two years old at the time of her death.
- "Harmen Friedrich ~~ Hildesheim (Andr.) 1670 Aug. 9., † London 1740 (γ 1733) Kaufmann in London ~ . . . . 1700 . . . m. . . Wolters * . . 1674 . . . † . . . 1726 . . . . Englische Linie:" (NOTE: Please to imagine this in its original German Gothic!)
And though Von Arnswaldt repeats the mistaken ‘1740’ year of death for ‘Harmen Friedrich (Dorrien)’, he does include the alternate and correct year of ‘1733’ in brackets. So perhaps we may place some cautious reliance on the dates he gives for Mr. Dorrien’s wife. But there are no clues as to either where she was born or where she died. Though, as at least nine of her ten children were baptised at the Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity – and more than half of them buried there too – as would be her widowed husband as well, it would seem likely that she too should have been buried there. Except that there appears to be no record of this. And her husband – as already stated – did not mention her in his will – not even to express the wish to be buried near her. Does this imply that she must have died and been buried far away – perhaps in another country even? This and most other sources show only her surname of ‘Wolters’ – but there is one which includes her Christian name, ‘Agneta’ – the burial record of their son, ‘Friderick’:
- “Anno 171⅘  ... ' 11 marti.. | Friderick Dorrien, filius __ Fr. Dorrien, et Agneta Dorrien nat: Wolters / an den misells(¿Mazern?) ins gewölbe beigesetzt (from the measles(?) buried in the vault)”
Sadly this little Friderick must have died when he was only a little more than three years old. And he was the second of their sons so named to have died very young. The first to have been baptised with his father’s name was buried on June 28th, 1708 – less than nine months after his baptism on September 11th, 1707.
.... (the remainder of article to be added shortly)
May also be seen in full (with notes & sources) in pdf format at: www.rainerdoerry.de/Dokumente