Mariakapel 41, Jacob Matroos Beeldsnijder

Arts and heritage
Jacob Matroos Beeldsnijder is the only known person of colour buried in the Oude Kerk. Together with his twin, Ernst, he was born to a Dutch father, Wolphert Beeldsnijder, and an Afro-Surinamese mother, Beetje van Beeldsnijder, in 1780. As an enslaved person, his mother worked for his father at the time of the brothers' birth, rendering them to be his property as well. We know little about Jacob and Ernst’s family situation. According to official documents, they were liberated by Wolphert together with their mother in 1781 and had the chance to go to the Netherlands for their education. Eventually, Jacob was buried in the Oude Kerk in 1817 whilst the fate of his brother remains unknown to this day.