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Mathilde Kleinmann

Lady’s companion

Until 1865, Mathilde Kleinmann (1836–1921) served as Louisa Holthuysen’s lady’s companion. In this role, she lived with her mistress in the house at Herengracht 605.

This all changed when Mathilde married Willem Jan van Eijs, Esq. Van Eijs came from a wealthy Amsterdam family of traders and businessmen. In his younger years, he was a frequent guest of the Willet family at their country house, ‘Het Oude Koningshuis’ (The Old Royal House), not far from Sassenheim.

Following the wedding – at which Abraham Willet was one of the witnesses – Mathilde moved with her husband abroad. After living in London, the couple moved to San Remo in Italy. Despite the distance, Louisa and Mathilde remained close friends. Evidence of this can be seen in the two photographs of Mathilde in Louisa’s photograph album (one of which can be seen above) and in the fact that Louisa left her former ‘dame de compagnie’ approximately 3,000 guilders in her will – an enormous sum of money at the time.