The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Pensionary, Grand
PENSIONARY, Grand, an officer of the Dutch republic, who bore the title also of advocate general, and was prime minister of the states or legislative body of the province of Holland. He was called grand pensionary in distinction from the first minister of the regency of each important town, who bore the title pensionary from the pension or salary attached to his office. In the assembly of the states he initiated bills, drew up reports, and collected the votes. He also conducted the diplomatic correspondence of the province, received ambassadors, superintended the finances, and permanently represented the province, the leading member of the Dutch confederation, in the states general. His term of office was five years, with privilege of rëelection. The most distinguished of the grand pensionaries were Barneveldt, Jan De Witt, and Heinsius, and the last was Schimmelpenninck, who held the office from March, 1805, to June, 1806, when the republic was succeeded by the kingdom under Louis Bonaparte.