Willems, Jean Francois
WILLEMS, JEAN FRANCOIS (1793-1846), Flemish writer, began life in the office of a notary at Anvers. He devoted his leisure to literature, and in 1810 he gained a prize for poetry with an ode in celebration of the peace of Tilsit. He hailed with enthusiasm the constitution of the kingdom of the Netherlands, and the revival of Flemish literature; and he published a number of spirited and eloquent writings in support of the claims of the native tongue of the Netherlands. His political sympathies were with the Orange party at the revolution of 1830, and these views led him into trouble with the provisional government. Willems, however, was soon recognized as the unquestioned leader of the Flemish popular movement, the chief plank in whose platform he made the complete equality of the languages in the government and the law courts. He died at Ghent in 1846.
Among his writings, which were very numerous, the most important were: Les Sciences et les arts (1816), Aux Beiges (1818); tude sur les origines et I'histoire des temps primitifs de la mile d'A nrers (1828); Melanges de litterature et d'histoire (1829); besides several learned critical editions of old Flemish texts.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)