Pier Gerlofs Donia

Etching of Grutte Pier, from 'Chronycke ofte Historische Geschiedenis van Frieslant' published in 1622.
"De dapperheid van Grote Pier" (The bravery of Grote Pier), anno 1516, Oil on canvas by Johannes Hinderikus Egenberger, (Arnhem 1822 – Utrecht 1897)
Statue of Grutte Pier in his hometown of Kimswerd. The line of text on the foot of the statue reads in Frisian "Grutte Pier".

Pier Gerlofs Donia (c.

- Pier Gerlofs Donia

40 related topics



Municipality and a town in the Netherlands, in the province of North Holland and the region of West-Frisia.

Dutch Topographic map of Medemblik, June 2015
Yvonne Spigt, 2012
Medemblik, church: de Sint-Martinuskerk
Medemblik, near spoortram station
Medemblik, church: Grote of Sint Bonifaciuskerk
Medemblik Castle on a drawing by Johannes Blaeu
The Lely pumping station, Gemaal Lely

The most notorious of these happened in June 1517, when Medemblik was attacked from mainland Frisia by about 4000 pirates known as the Arumer Zwarte Hoop, led by Pier Gerlofs Donia and Wijard Jelckama.

West Frisian language

West Germanic language spoken mostly in the province of Friesland (Fryslân) in the north of the Netherlands, mostly by those of Frisian ancestry.

Bilingual West Frisian–Dutch signs in Hindeloopen
Anglo-Frisian languages in Europe

Another rhyme on this theme, "Bûter, brea en griene tsiis; wa't dat net sizze kin is gjin oprjochte Fries" (in English, "Butter, bread and green cheese, whoever can't say that is no genuine Frisian") was used, according to legend, by the 16th century Frisian rebel and pirate Pier Gerlofs Donia as a shibboleth that he forced his captives to repeat to distinguish Frisians from Dutch and Low Germans.


Province of the Netherlands located in the country's northern part.

Map of the North Sea coast, ca. 150 AD. (erroneously shows late 20th century land masses)
The Frisian realm in 716 AD
Pier Gerlofs Donia in 1516 as depicted in a 19th-century painting by Johannes Hinderikus Egenberger
The Frisian representative refusing to kneel before Philip II at his coronation
De Alde Feanen National Park
De Fryske Marren
Wadden Sea
View of the northern coast of Friesland
Municipalities of Friesland (2019)
Friesian horse
Finish of the Elfstedentocht in 1956
Seat of the provincial government in Leeuwarden
Leeuwarden railway station is a national heritage site

One of the leaders was Pier Gerlofs Donia, whose farm had been burned down and whose kinfolk had been killed by a marauding Landsknecht regiment.


Act of robbery or criminal violence by ship or boat-borne attackers upon another ship or a coastal area, typically with the goal of stealing cargo and other valuable goods.

The traditional "Jolly Roger" of piracy
Mosaic of a Roman trireme in Tunisia
A fleet of Vikings, painted mid-12th century
The Vitalienbrüder. Piracy became endemic in the Baltic sea in the Middle Ages because of the Victual Brothers.
"Cossacks of Azov fighting a Turk ship" by Grigory Gagarin
French ship under attack by Barbary pirates, ca. 1615
The Bombardment of Algiers by the Anglo-Dutch fleet in 1816 to support the ultimatum to release European slaves
Amaro Pargo was one of the most famous corsairs of the Golden Age of Piracy
U.S. naval officer Stephen Decatur boarding a Tripolitan gunboat during the First Barbary War, 1804
A 19th-century illustration of an Iranun pirate
Iban war prahu in Skerang river
1890 illustration by Rafael Monleón of a late 18th-century Iranun lanong warship. The Malay word for "pirate", lanun, originates from an exonym of the Iranun people
Double-barrelled lantaka cannons, kalasag shields, armor, and various swords (including kalis, panabas, and kampilan) used by Moro pirates in the Philippines (c. 1900)
Spanish warships bombarding the Moro Pirates of the southern Philippines in 1848
British forces engaging Iranun pirates off Sarawak in 1843
Sixteenth century Japanese pirate raids
Four Chinese pirates who were hanged in Hong Kong in 1863
The cemetery of past pirates at Île Ste-Marie (St. Mary's Island)
Jacques de Sores looting and burning Havana in 1555
Puerto del Príncipe being sacked in 1668 by Henry Morgan
Book about pirates "De Americaensche Zee-Roovers" was first published in 1678 in Amsterdam
Henry Every is shown selling his loot in this engraving by Howard Pyle. Every's capture of the Grand Mughal ship Ganj-i-Sawai in 1695 stands as one of the most profitable pirate raids ever perpetrated.
Bartholomew Roberts was the pirate with most captures during the Golden Age of Piracy. He is now known for hanging the governor of Martinique from the yardarm of his ship.
Born to a noble family in Puerto Rico, Roberto Cofresí was the last notably successful pirate in the Caribbean.
Hanging of Captain Kidd; illustration from The Pirates Own Book (1837)
Capture of the Pirate Blackbeard, 1718 depicting the battle between Blackbeard and Robert Maynard in Ocracoke Bay; romanticized depiction by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris from 1920
Blackbeard's severed head hanging from Maynard's bowsprit; illustration from The Pirates Own Book (1837)
Mural representing the attack of Charles Windon to San Sebastián de La Gomera (1743)
Dan Seavey was a pirate on the Great Lakes in the early 20th century.
Henry Morgan who sacked and burned the city of Panama in 1671 – the second most important city in the Spanish New World at the time; engraving from 1681 Spanish edition of Alexandre Exquemelin's The Buccaneers of America
Bartholomew Roberts' crew carousing at the Calabar River; illustration from The Pirates Own Book (1837). Roberts is estimated to have captured over 470 vessels.
Pirate treasure looted by Samuel Bellamy and recovered from the wreck of the Whydah; exhibit at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, 2010
A contemporary flyer depicting the public execution of 16th-century pirate Klein Henszlein and his crew in 1573
Pirate Anne Bonny (1697–1720). Engraving from Captain Charles Johnson's General History of the Pyrates (1st Dutch Edition, 1725)
Modern reconstruction of skull alleged to have belonged to 14th century pirate Klaus Störtebeker. He was the leader of the privateer guild Victual Brothers, who later turned to piracy and roamed European seas.
Kent battling Confiance, a privateer vessel commanded by French corsair Robert Surcouf in October 1800, as depicted in a painting by Garneray
Map showing the extent of Somali pirate attacks on shipping vessels between 2005 and 2010
Aerial photograph of the Niger Delta, a center of piracy
A collage of Somali pirates armed with AKM assault rifles, RPG-7 rocket-propelled grenade launchers and semi-automatic pistols in 2008
Incidences of pipeline vandalism by pirates in the Gulf of Guinea, 2002–2011
Suspected Somali pirates keep their hands in the air
Private guard escort on a merchant ship providing security services against piracy in the Indian Ocean
An LRAD sound cannon mounted on
A merchant seaman aboard a fleet oil tanker practices target shooting with a Remington 870 12 gauge shotgun as part of training to repel pirates in the Strait of Malacca
International Maritime Organization (IMO) conference on capacity-building to counter piracy in the Indian Ocean
British Royal Navy Commodore gives a presentation on piracy at the MAST 2008 conference
"Mic the Scallywag" of the Pirates of Emerson Haunted Adventure Fremont, California
A person costumed in the character of captain Jack Sparrow, Johnny Depp's lead role in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series

In the Late Middle Ages, the Frisian pirates known as Arumer Zwarte Hoop led by Pier Gerlofs Donia and Wijerd Jelckama, fought against the troops of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V with some success.


Any custom or tradition, usually a choice of phrasing or even a single word, that distinguishes one group of people from another.

A New Orleans resident challenges out-of-towners who had come to protest against the 2017 removal of the Robert E. Lee Monument. The out-of-towners' inability to pronounce "Tchoupitoulas Street" according to the local fashion would be a shibboleth marking them as outsiders.
Christian villagers of Ungheni, Bessarabia Governorate, displaying icons on their homes in order to defend themselves from a pogrom in 1905, as depicted by Hermanus Willem Koekkoek (1867–1929)
Doris Salcedo's artwork Shibboleth, at Tate Modern, London

"Bûter, brea, en griene tsiis; wa't dat net sizze kin, is gjin oprjochte Fries" ("Butter, rye bread and green cheese, whoever cannot say that is not a genuine Frisian") was a phrase used by the Frisian Pier Gerlofs Donia during a Frisian rebellion (1515–1523).


City southwest of Leeuwarden and seat of the former municipality of Sneek in the province of Friesland, the Netherlands.

Topographic map of Sneek, as of June 2014
Sneek from the air (2004)
Sneek on a map by Willem and Joan Blaeu in 1652
Waterpoort (2017)
The canal Kleinzand in Sneek (2006)
Tonnemafabriek (sweet factory) (2008)
Sneek railway station (2007)
Houkesloot Aqueduct (2007)
Kees Deenik and Phia Berghout in 1951

Pier Gerlofs Donia, (ca. 1480 - 1529), Frisian freedom fighter, rebel and pirate 'Grutte Pier'


Cross-border cultural region in Northwestern Europe.

The Frisian Realm during its great expansion
The Frisian Kingdom, 6th–8th century AD
Statue of Pier Gerlofs Donia, known for his legendary strength and size
Interfrisian flag of the Interfrisian Council
Location of Frisia (dark orange) in Europe
Historical settlement areas of the Frisians, and areas where a Frisian language is spoken
The Frisian territories in Lower Saxony (East Frisia)
Frisian colonisation (yellow) of southwestern Jutland during the Viking Age
Difference between the historical region and present-day district of Nordfriesland

In the early 16th century, the pirate and freedom fighter Pier Gerlofs Donia (Grutte Pier) challenged Saxon authority in Friesland during a prolonged guerrilla war, backed by the Duke of Guelders.

Wijerd Jelckama

Wijerd Jelckama (also spelled Wierd and Wijard) (c.

He was the lieutenant of Pier Gerlofs Donia (also known as Grutte Pier) and fought along his side against the Saxon and Hollandic invaders.

Arumer Zwarte Hoop

Army of peasant rebels and mercenaries in Friesland fighting against the Habsburg authorities from 1515 to 1523.

Painting of Pier Gerlofs Donia, 1622

For four years they were successful under the former farmer Pier Gerlofs Donia.


Dutch philosopher and Catholic theologian who is considered one of the greatest scholars of the northern Renaissance.

Portrait of Erasmus of Rotterdam (1523) by Hans Holbein the Younger
Bust by Hildo Krop (1950) in Gouda, where Erasmus spent his youth
Portrait of Desiderius Erasmus by Albrecht Dürer, 1526, engraved in Nuremberg, Germany.
Acknowledgement page engraved and published by Johannes Froben, 1516
Erasmus by Holbein. Louvre, Paris.
Marginal drawing of Folly by Hans Holbein in the first edition of Erasmus's Praise of Folly, 1515
Epitaph for Erasmus in the Basel Minster
Statue of Erasmus in Rotterdam. It was created by Hendrick de Keyser in 1622, replacing a stone statue of 1557.
Erasmus of Rotterdam by Stefan Zweig, which has been censored by the Index Librorum Prohibitorum
Holbein's studies of Erasmus's hands, in silverpoint and chalks, ca. 1523. (Louvre)
Enchiridion militis Christiani (1503).

Erasmus also wrote of the legendary Frisian freedom fighter and rebel Pier Gerlofs Donia (Greate Pier), though more often in criticism than in praise of his exploits.