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Jan Gossaert (Jean Gossart), 'The Adoration of the Kings'

Daniel van Boechout

Daniel van Boechout was a very well-connected nobleman. His mother, Johanna van Vianen, and his father’s brother, Daniel van Boechout, Viscount and castellan of Brussels, were the leading members of a noble company that went in 1440–1 to the Town Hall of Brussels to inspect ‘the town’s painting’, evidently one or more of the ‘Scenes of Justice’ painted by Rogier van der Weyden for the ‘Golden Chamber’ there.106 The van Boechouts were closely related to many of the great families of Brabant and Liège; and the van Vianens to the van Borselens and many of the other great families of the northern provinces.

Perhaps born in about 1455,107 Daniel was probably brought up on his mother’s estates near Utrecht. He may have been the ‘Daniel de Bouchoute of the diocese of Utrecht’ who matriculated in 1476 at the University of Leuven.108 Only in about 1480 did the van Boechout family come into their Flemish inheritance.109 When Daniel’s elder brother Jan decided to enter the Church,110 Daniel became his parents’s heir and seems to have divided his time between his estates in the northern provinces and his lands in Flanders. In 1487, Daniel married Marie de Luxembourg, daughter of Jacques de Luxembourg (died 1487), Lord of Fiennes, a Knight of the Golden Fleece,111 and sister of Philippe de Luxembourg (died 1519), Bishop of Le Mans (1476) and Cardinal (1498). It was Philippe who commissioned the great jubé in the cathedral of Le Mans, now known from a large and elaborate preliminary drawing.112 Daniel’s elder daughter and heir, Marie van Boechout, married in 1512 as her first husband Hugues de Lannoy, Lord of Rollencourt, who died in 1528; their granddaughter and heir was Anne of Egmont (1533–1558), the first wife of William the Silent, Prince of Orange. Daniel’s second daughter Françoise married in 1527 Richard de Merode, Lord of Frentzen.113

The prolonged lawsuits (1482–1517) over the family estates in Brabant114 would have been expensive and Daniel’s Flemish estates were ravaged during the civil wars. Between 1517 and 1524, Daniel probably lived mainly at Duurstede, which was Philip of Burgundy’s principal residence and where Daniel was his castellan. He had stabling there for his horses and a room in the great tower, which, in 1533, was still known as ‘the lord of Boelare’s chamber’.115 In his will of 1518, however, Daniel expressed his desire to be buried at Geraardsbergen; on 6 May 1518 he was present there;116 and on 6 October 1523 he was in Aalst to arrange the division of his property between his two daughters.117 Philip of Burgundy died on 7 April 1524. On 13 May, Daniel – one of Philip’s executors – and some colleagues were diligently compiling inventories of Philip’s goods at Duurstede.118 Daniel was still there on 13 November 1524 but died between 26 September 1525 and 23 July 1527.119 He was buried in the Chapel of the Virgin in the abbey church of St Adrian at Geraardsbergen.

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