Frans Banninck Cocq Night watch

Frans Banninck Cocq Bio

Frans Banninck Cocq Bio

Frans Banninck Cocq

Frans Banninck Cocq or more commonly used Frans Banning Cocq ,is still known this day because of his leading role in the masterpiece the Night watch, which was originally called “shooting company of captain Frans Banninck Cocq and  luitenant Willem van Ruytenburgh”.

Family Frans Banninck Cocq’s family


Frans Banninck Cocq Ilpenstein

His father was Jan Janszoon Cocq, an immigrant from Bremen (Germany), who started to work in Amstedam. He had a pharmacy in the Warmoestraat, which was the street for the wealthy merchants and patricians in that early period of Amsterdam.

His mother was Lysbeth Frans (Banninck)

His brother was Jan Cocq. He was born deaf,  never got married and drowned in the river IJ in the year 1658.

Wife Maria Overlander (Amsterdam, 24 June 1603 – 27 January 1678) was the daughter of the burgomaster (mayor) of the city of Amsterdam. Volkert Overlander was the lord of Purmerland and Ilpendam. He also was a merchant and one of the founders of the Dutch East Trading Company (VOC).  The relationship between the two families became very tight and remained like that for a long period of time. They married in Amsterdam in the year 1630. However they never had any kids. The titles and inheritance went after her death to the related family de Graeff.

Frans Banninck Cocq’s childhood

He was born in 1605. He got baptized in de Oude Kerk (Old Church) on the 17th February 1605. His parents were not married when he was born. Being not married in that period could cause a scandal and the church could trial women for prostitution. Half year after his birth they went to the town hall to arrange they’re marriage.

Frans Banninck Cocq’s position in City of Amsterdam

Frans Banninck Cocq House Dolphijn

Frans Banninck Cocq House Dolphijn

In the period between 1625 and 1627 he went to study law in Poitiers and Bourges and when he returned he soon got the function of captain of the militia in the Kloveniersdoelen.

After the marriage with Maria he climbed fast in his position as a powerful person. He succeeded his father-in-law and became a member of the city counsel. After the death of his father in law he inherited the properties and the title of lord Purmerland and Ilpendam.

In the year 1651 he became Burgomaster and two years after he got relected. He had a good working relationship with the two brothers de Graeff, who after the marriage of were also his brothers-in-law.

His influence in the city was notable and strong.

Frans Banninck Cocq’s wealth

His parents were upper middle class and could provide for a descent education, after the marriage with Maria he became one of the wealthiest persons in Amsterdam. He owned a prestigious house on the canal Singel and a small castle that was outside Amsterdam and much more.

Night Watch


He is the main character that is displayed in the famous masterpiece from Rembrandt which is now called the Night Watch. In the time it as revealed it didn’t had the same name, it was not that common to give titles to portrait paintings. In that time it was referred as Company of Frans Banninck Cocq and Lieutenant Willem van Ruyterburg. Frans Banninck Cocq was an art lover and there are more portraits of him.

Frans Banninck Cocq’s death

He died in the year 1655 and was buried in the old church on the 6th of January. He and Maria never got any children. After the death of Maria the title and inheritance went eventually to the family line de Graeff.

Frans Banninck Cocq’s legacy

Award: The Frans Banninck Cocq Medal is an award from the city of Amsterdam. This award is given to perople that have done exceptional work for the city of Amsterdam.