/pen"sheuh ner'ee/, n., pl. pensionaries, adj.
1. a pensioner.
2. a hireling.
3. of the nature of a pension.
4. receiving a pension.
[1530-40; < ML pensionarius. See PENSION, -ARY]

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▪ historical Dutch official
Dutch  Pensionaris,  

      powerful political office in the Dutch Republic (United Provinces; 1579–1795). Pensionaries, originally the secretaries and legal advisers of the town corporations, were first appointed in the 15th century. They were members of the town delegations in the provincial States (assemblies). The pensionaries of the provinces of Holland and Zeeland were particularly influential and, by the end of the 16th century, virtually dominated certain city governments.

      In Holland the nobility had its own pensionary who served as chairman of the States. This land advocate, as he was then known, held a position of national power in the period 1586–1618, when Johan van Oldenbarnevelt (Oldenbarnevelt, Johan van), a former pensionary of Rotterdam, dominated the domestic and foreign policy of the republic. His power came not from his office but from his being the leader of the ruling oligarchy of Holland, the preponderant province. With the fall of Oldenbarnevelt in 1618, the office, renamed councillor pensionary (raadpensionaris) in 1619, declined as that of the stadtholder increased in power. During the first stadtholderless period (1650–72), the office again became ascendant with the appointment of Johan de Witt, the pensionary of Dordrecht from 1650 and of the province of Holland from 1653. No succeeding pensionary equaled his power and prestige.

      The office of councillor pensionary (including the less important equivalent in Zeeland) was abolished with the fall of the republic in 1795. The title was briefly revived in 1805 but referred to a newly created national office, equivalent to president, for R.J. Schimmelpenninck (Schimmelpenninck, Rutger Jan).

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pensionary — Pen sion*a*ry, a. 1. Maintained by a pension; receiving a pension; as, pensionary spies. Donne. [1913 Webster] 2. Consisting of a pension; as, a pensionary provision for maintenance. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Pensionary — Pen sion*a*ry, n.; pl. {Pensionaries}. [Cf. F. pensionnaire. Cf. {Pensioner}.] 1. One who receives a pension; a pensioner. E. Hall. [1913 Webster] 2. One of the chief magistrates of towns in Holland. [1913 Webster] {Grand pensionary}, the title… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pensionary — [pen′shə ner΄ē] adj. [ML pensionarius] 1. of or constituting a pension 2. receiving a pension 3. dependent; hireling n. pl. pensionaries 1. a pensioner 2. a hireling …   English World dictionary

  • Pensionary — A pensionary was a name given to the leading functionary and legal adviser of the principal town corporations in the Netherlands because they received a salary, or pension. At first this official was known by the name of clerk or advocate. The… …   Wikipedia

  • pensionary — noun (plural aries) Date: 1536 pensioner; especially hireling • pensionary adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • pensionary — adj. & n. adj. of or concerning a pension. n. (pl. ies) 1 a pensioner. 2 a creature; a hireling. Phrases and idioms: Grand Pensionary hist. the first minister of Holland and Zealand (1619 1794). Etymology: med.L pensionarius (as PENSION(1)) …   Useful english dictionary

  • pensionary — 1. noun one who receives a pension; a pensioner 2. adjective a) maintained by a pension; receiving a pension b) pertaining to a pension …   Wiktionary

  • pensionary — penʃənerɪ / ʃənrɪ n. receiving a pension, receiving a financial stipend adj. pertaining to a pension; dependent on others …   English contemporary dictionary

  • pensionary — pen·sion·ary …   English syllables

  • pensionary — pen•sion•ar•y [[t]ˈpɛn ʃəˌnɛr i[/t]] n. pl. ar•ies, adj. 1) pensioner 1) 2) a hireling 3) of the nature of a pension 4) receiving a pension • Etymology: 1530–40; < ML pēnsiōnārius. See pension, ary …   From formal English to slang

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