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domingo, 22 de outubro de 2017

Pequena biografia de Maerten Lem (em inglês)

Hola primos !

I just wanted to inform you that, after some 7-8 years of research, the 
history on Martin LEM -I- and -II- has been 'almost' finished.
Of course,  a research is an ' on-going affair ' and what is finished 
today may be surpassed tomorrow!

But I believe that the  ' Time-Line ' which we have now is very accurate 
and everything fits ' in ' overall picture!
As you will see from my added ' SHORT  BIOGRAPHY ' there has been not 
much change over the past 4-5 years, but much more
had been found on the life of Maerten Lem -IIa- the burgomaster of Bruges!
We do have a statement by the ' Clerks of the Vierschaer ' (the medieval 
judicial administration in Flanders) dating 1487 where it has been stated
that this deceased Maerten Lem was known as : the young / o'moco/ le 
jeune... and that was proof what we have been searching for!
Several learned people like SAB at Bruges, Andre Claeys and Jacques 
Paviot, did join in the Theory -1 as it now is called!
That all plus the ' explanation of the painting ' of Maerten Lem is very 
convincing and all pieces of the puzzle are now fitting in!

The so-called Portuguese Line, including Wil Lem, is however different 
in thinking : they believe that Martin Lem -I- was also Maerten Lem 
-IIa- and that was
an ' assumption ' just to link both periods together ; linking the pre 
1466 period to the post 1466/1467 when a Martin became the burgomaster
of Bruges!  Some said : there was NO other Martin Lem available in Bruges!
Well, I proved them wrong, as you will see from the enclosed ' SHORT 
I am working now on te planned book and hope to get that ready before 
soon.... Of course, your own contributions are welcome and will partly 
be included in the book!

So sorry that I have been so quiet for some time, but the writing has 
the priority and you all are waiting for the final outcome!
I hope you all are well and give my best regards to the family!
We are okay and so is our family, daughters and grandchildren!
Adios y ate logo!

primo Ruud

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Concerning the
Dynasty 1400 –
By : Ruud J. LEM (NL01-IXj) Spring 2017

This biography is about the Flemish Merchant Martin Lem, born about 1410 at
Brugge in Flanders. His father, reportedly also called Martin, and a grandfather
called Willem (William/ Guillaume) who was married to Claire van Beernem, the
daughter of Jan, Lord of Beernem, nr. Brugge. It has, however, not been possible as
yet, to work out this early genealogy, due to lack of baptism-; marriage- or burialbooks.
These records came only into use from about the middle of the 16 th.C.
This Merchant Martin Lem -I-, commenced his business around 1430 and went to
Portugal where he started to import goods from Flanders and export goods from
Portugal. About the early years nothing is known, but from 1450 onwards there are
entrees about a partnership with a Zegher Parmentier. ( Civiele Sentencien SAB – folio
259). Somewhat later in 1451 or ‘52, Martin was asked to deal with a case about
jewellery, which the Bruggian merchant Rombout de Wachtere had sold through two
of his agents, these sold the goods but failed to handing over the proceeds. That all
will be dealt with in 1466/’67 through the courts; all nicely recorded!
However, we do find entries about a marriage of Martin Lem -I- at about 1432 in
Lisbon and the mention of a son born, equally named Martin, expected around 1435.
Info : Anais de Flandes 1624, by Emmanuel Sueyro, a chronologist living in Antwerp.
He wrote about known Flemish and Brabant-people from early days! It is not known
where Sueyro obtained his information from, but there were some LEM- familydescendants
living in Brugge in 1600! Perhaps he paid them a visit…
However, we find more information about the woman Martin married, a certain Lady
Joana, of noble origin, whom we later find back in Brugge as : ….Jeanne van
Poortegaale…. It can be expected that Martin lived now in Brugge and that he
accompanied his shipments himself, as merchants traditionally used to do.
However, around 1445 Martin Lem -I- engaged in a relationship with a ‘ single,
unmarried young woman (muhler solteira) called Leonor Rodrigues (*1425 – 1506)
and 7-8 extramarital children were born, which Martin Lem in 1464 asked king
D.Afonso V, to legitimate. That was done by contract and the children were named,
but not put in sequence and without birthdates! Historians believe that Martin Lem
married Leonor, as in 1500 she stated that she was : the widow LEME. It hence can
be expected that Martins first spouse, Joana, had died before 1464.
From 1452 onwards a number of contracts between the king and Martin Lem are
known, too many to mention here! Martin Lem made also a loan of a sum of money
to the king for the first Siege of Tanger and Arzila, in north-west Africa, both places
were reputedly centres of pirates and the Portuguese king wished to establish a new
Province here (Ceuta). This 1463 siege was no success, but the second one in 1471
was and Martin Lem’s son Antonio (*c.1446), who was in the service of the Infant D.
Joao, was ennobled by the king and allowed to have his own Coat-of-Arms, based to
that of his father. He became an escudeiro and the family-name was to become
LEME (1471)
In 1464 Martin Lem -I- lived in Lisbon and was ennobled as an escudeiro and his
own Coat-of-Arms was confirmed in Portugal. This CoA was however already, earlier
in possession of the ancestors of Martin Lem in Brugge. (info : Arquivo da Torre do
Tombo, Lisboa, Chancellery of D. Afonso V, book 13, fo. 134)
But in 1466 Martin Lem, 56 years of age, decided to go to Brugge, in order to be
present at the wedding of his ‘ first born son Maerten Lem-IIa, who was also
appointed on September 2, 1467 as the Burgomaster of the Corpse (Mayor/Maire) of
Brugge. This Maerten, born c. 1435 married Adrienne van Nieuwenhove, the 19-year
old daughter of a Patrician- family of Brugge.
Evidence of this has been found in the ‘ quarterly divided Arms ‘ as shown on p.1
Reading of Heraldic Arms is a ‘speciality’ and goes back centuries; the traditions
were very much in use in the 15 th.C ; the ‘ first-son born became the inheritor on
the day his father died. Historians believe that Martin Lem -I- died c. 1474 when on a
document of 1478 was mentioned that a loan was made by Maerten, the son of
Martin Lem. ( Archivo Historico Portuguez, Vol.IV 1906 p.434 Anselmo Braancamp/ Pero Estaco)
In 1466 en ’67 also the Legal Case about the jewellery took place in Brugge where
Martin Lem -I- was the defendant, as he still ‘ looked ‘ after the proceeds!
It hence is not very likely that he was appointed as burgomaster, as claimed by
some! As we have learned, his son Maerten Lem -IIa- became the burgomaster.
The Coat-of-Arms we also find back on the portrait of Maerten Lem-IIa- which can be
seen in the Museum ‘ the Potterie ‘ at Brugge. The same CoA was also shown on
the tomb of Maerten Lem -IIa- who died in Leuven on March 27, 1485. This again
provides proof that this Maerten Lem -IIa- was the son of Martin Lem -I- the noble
Merchant. Also his grandson Maerten Lem -IVa (1516-1597) inherited this CoA as he
was the first-born son of Maerten Lem -IIIb (1476-1539)
Interestingly, Maerten Lem, the burgomaster, before his death in 1485, had given
notary, lawyer and factor Loys (de Carmin) the order, in case he would die, to
disband the Trading-Company; to pay the owners of the merchants-ships and to pay
the balance to his widow. The clerk dealing with the transcription in 1487 added that
this burgomaster Maerten Lem was ‘ the young/ de jonghe/ le jeune’ ; hence we
know that he was the son of Martin Lem -I- who was known in Portugal as ‘ the old
/o’velho/senior’. (info : SAB – Clerks of the Vierschaer 1484 – 1486 folio. 125)
We have now learned that this ‘burgomaster Maerten Lem -IIa, was also in business
as a merchant; we therefore can really speak of the ‘ Lem -Dynasty of Merchants.
Next to these merchants, another son, for a ‘ change ‘ also named Martin (!) -II c
(c.*1445) son of the marriage to Leonor Rodrigues, was active as a merchant in
Portugal, with shipments to and from Madeira, the Acores and Flanders.
Clearly: the use of this name Martin has created many times confusing reports and
several historians assumed that these were the same!
Above we have shown that a ‘ first-born son ‘ Maerten Lem (*c.1435-+ 27.03.1485)
did exist and the Coat-of-Arms is compelling evidence.
In case the father Martin Lem -I- would have been that burgomaster, the CoA would
have been very different, notably: a single silver shield with 3 black merlets.
Maerten Lem (II a)- Coat-of-Arms has been described by the Armeiro Mor in Lisbon
as the ‘ alliance -Arms ‘ of two families : the Flemish family LEM and the Portuguese
family VELHO ( also found as Barrosos). These Arms were actually the ‘ businesscard’
of the beholder and Maerten Lem did chose this ‘ quarterly divided Arms ‘ in
order to emphasize his descend from the marriage of Martin Lem to Joana Velho.
This also has been underlined by the inheritance which Maerten Lem-IIa- bequest to
his wife Adrienne, including the LEM -Company; no descendants were later known to
have been merchants to Portugal.
A book will be published in the near future, to be named :
‘ Biography of Martin LEM, noble Flemish Merchants to Portugal, 15 th. C. ‘
The book will carry many copies of documents, contracts, entries, maps, charts etc.
related to these Merchants of the late Middle-Ages.
Many people have been waiting a long time for such a publication!

New Milton, UK, Spring 2017 @RJL email :

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