Jakob Pasteur (1650-1718), famous Dutch partisan

Jakob Pasteur, famous Dutch partisan, born around 1650 near Uccle, was apparently the son of a forester in the Seuniënbosch. During the war between France and Austria, the latter ruled over the Southern Netherlands and laid waste to the country. Jakob Pasteur headed a band of foresters and volunteers who fought the French and caused them great losses.

In 1692 he was appointed major and on 4 June 1693, at the head of 60 men, he attacked 120 Swiss and their cavalry between Ter Hulpe and Waterloo with such bravery that he killed 6 men outright and forced the remainder to surrender. He proved just as courageous in other skirmishes. On 6 August 1694, he defeated the soldiers of the queen’s regiment in the woods of Villers. On 20 June 1695, leading a company of dragoons, he defeated a detail of the Bergen garrison which had undertaken a surprise attack on Elsene. On 27 November he defeated the French partisan Beaurigard at Genappe. Standard bearer Hendrik of Charleroi captured two high ranking officers of the combined armies near Arskapel. Pasteur pursued him till he reached the mill of Tombeek at Overyssche. He had broken his arm during the first attack, but his standard bearer gathered the company, captured Hendrik and set free the two officers (27th April 1696). This feat earned Thibaud the rank of captain and Pasteur that of fieldmaster (veldmeester). As soon as he had recovered from his wounds, the brave soldier hastened to recruit a regiment of dragoons, which was inspected at the Halle gate on 23 October 1696 by the Elector of Bavaria. It was three squadrons strong, the first under the command of Pasteur himself, the second by major de la Torre and the third by Thibaud. In the spring of 1697, the new army commander went on campaign and on 18 April he attacked near Binche a detail of that small town’s garrison and cut down 150 men who had entered the Seunienbosch.

Having distinguished himself for bravery and leadership for several years and passing through the ranks earned with his blood on the field of honour, he finally became field marshal and knight of the Order of St. Lazarus (1718) in the service of France. The year of his death is unknown.

Source: Piron, Constant F., Algemene beschouwing der mannen en vrouwen van Belgie, Mechelen, 1860.

Translated from Dutch by Jan David Pasteur

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