The Netherlands, Amsterdam, Undertakers' Riot, Silver Medal 1696


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The Netherlands. Silver Medal. Undertakers' Riot in Amsterdam. 1696; 26.26 g; Ø 37.6 mm.
Obverse: MOTOS PRAESTAT COMPONERE FLVCTVS, Neptune in chariot with trident in left hand, in the back of the chariot a crown and the coat of arms of Amsterdam, blowing winds in the shape of human heads // Reverse: HAICYONIBVS. REDVCTIS / SENATVS. AMSTELOD / CIVIBVS. SVIS. HOC / ANTIQVÆ VIRTVTIS . / SPECTATÆQ. FIDEI / PRAEMIVM IARGITVR / MDCXCVI, four birds in a nest on a calm sea, the rising sun, banner with Latin text, year in exergue.

vL. IV 161/221.3.

About extremely fine


The Undertakers' Riot was a popular uprising that took place in Amsterdam in 1696. In January 1696 the council announced that a select group of 72 undertakers and lantern bearers would be appointed who would receive the city's monopoly on arranging funerals. A group of approximately 250 private undertakers became the victims of this. Furthermore, the funerals became a lot more expensive because of tax. The city council had instituted the measure to generate more income because of the declining economy.

After the announcement of the new measure, the undertakers spread the rumor that the poor would now be treated like garbage when they died. Riots broke out in Amsterdam on January 31 1696. Provoked by the undertakers, many of the poor took to the streets in anger. The militia successfully intervened on February 1. To deter the masses, a number of rioters were executed or exiled to Suriname. Still, the undertakers had achieved their goal, as the tax for undertakers was ultimately not introduced.

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