The name "ten Thij" belongs to an old Saxon family of which the first records date back to August 31rst of the year 1230.
On that very date Willibrand, the Bishop of Trajectum (Utrecht in the Netherlands), declared that he has granted city-rights in the presence of the war-lords to the inhabitants of the village Suolle (Zwolle) for their contribution in the battle against the Drenthones (German tribes from the northern part of the present Netherlands). Amongst these war-lords was mentioned, being a co-signer of this document, a knight called Nycolaus ten Thij.
The inhabitants of Zwolle were also granted these rights, by which they could build city-walls and canals, and enjoy a certain freedom, for their financial contribution to help build the castle Hardenborg.
The document is one of many which reveal the gaining influence in the Netherlands of the local gentry and the people in the cities, a tendency that marked the era.

 

The results of these city- rights to build walls and canals are still well represented in an old map of this city in the seventeenth century by Ioan Blaeu (23.09.1596 - 28.12.1673).       
(N.B. meant to be presented are not the later built fortifications, but of course the older city-structures).
 
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