This Day in Amsterdam History: 31 January 1696




The Amsterdam City Council had decided to impose tax early in the month on the burial of people and businesses engage in funerals. Industry people spread the word that the poor would be unfairly affected.

People that had suffered under previous taxes revolted at the new tax. On 31 January 1696 furious  set upon the house of Mayor Jacob Boreel on the Herengracht. They thew all of his belongings into the canal. The mob then descended on the house of city Captain. He was already hated for his heavy handed approach.

The City Council acted fast. The city militia was allowed to shoot on the crowd. Two rioters who had gained entrance to the weigh house on Dam Square were thrown out of the window.

The riot stopped as suddenly as it had started. The end result was that the tax on the dead was repealed.

Photo: from Amsterdam City Archives (no google+ account)
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