COORNHERT, DIRCK VOLCKERTSZOON (15 2 2 159o), Dutch politician and theologian, was born at Amsterdam. He settled in Haarlem, as engraver on copper, and produced works which retain high values. He published Dutch translations from Cicero, Seneca and Boethius. He was appointed secretary to the city (1562) and secretary to the burgomasters (1564). Throwing himself into the struggle with Spanish rule, he drew up the mani festo of William of Orange (1566) . Imprisoned at The Hague (1568), he escaped to Cleves, where he maintained himself by his art. Recalled in 1572, he was secretary of State for a short time; his aversion to warfare led him back to Cleves, where William continued to employ his services and his pen. He stood for toleration and against capital punishment for heretics. He had no party views; the Heidelberg catechism, authoritative in Holland, he criticized. The great Arminius, employed to refute him, was won over by his arguments. He died at Gouda on Oct. 29, 159o. His Dutch version of the New Testament, following the Latin of Erasmus, was never completed. His works, in prose and verse, were published in 163o, 3 vols.
See F. D. J. Moorrees, Dirck Volckertszoon Coornhert (1887) ; N. Delvenne, Biog. des Pays-Bas (1829) ; A. J. van der Aa, Biog. Woordenboek der Nederlanden (1855)