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Tourism group names sight-seeing routes after Secession leader De Cock

Anniversary of church history event

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

ULRUM, the Netherlands – Local tourism promotor VVV Lauwersland has launched two Hendrik de Cock-routes, named after the widely-known nineteenth century ‘dominee.’ De Cock, after having been deposed from his office by the state church, became the leader of a Secession movement which gained a following throughout much of the Netherlands. The routes, one for cycling visitors and the other one for those sightseeing by car, were unveiled on the 170th anniversary of Rev. De Cock’s Secession.

The launch coincides with the release of a new book on the man who gave his village national prominence. Several other events also paid attention to the anniversary, including a meeting of the regional historical society De Marne at which historian Harry Veldman presented the first copy of his book and where the route-plans officially were released. Veldman also plans to write his doctoral dissertation on De Cock.

The northern Groningen area which also is the ancestral turf of numerous North Americans hopes to attract visitors from across the country and abroad who are interested in learning more about the Secession and Rev. De Cock. The October 13, 1834 event reverberated throughout Dutch society. When the Secession gained momentum, the Dutch government in many locations unsuccessfully attempted to contain its spread with the deployment of police and army.

By the late 1840s, several fellow Secession leaders, notably the Revs. A. Van Raalte and H.P. Scholte, had resettled in the United States where they became magnets for thousands of others who no longer saw a future for themselves in the Netherlands. Within ten years, about ten percent of the Secession adherents in the country had followed their lead.

Lauwersland’s bike-route covers a rather short distance. The car-route covers much of the province of Groningen.

There are several books available in English on the Secession, which are listed on