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(from the 15th century to the late 18th century) the chief magistrate of the United Provinces of the Netherlands.
- ‘The final Anglo-Dutch conflict ended in 1674, ushering in a peaceful period that was reinforced when Mary, the English Catholic daughter of James II, married her Protestant cousin Williams ill of Orange, stadtholder of the Netherlands.’
- ‘Sarah persuaded Anne to support brother-in-law William of Orange, Protestant stadholder of the Netherlands, when he overthrew James II in 1688.’
- ‘The second phase began when disorder among the Spanish emboldened all the provinces to proclaim William their stadtholder, neatly reaffirming his imperial title while underlining their relative independence.’
- ‘William's eldest son Philip William was loyal to Spain so it was Maurits who was appointed stadholder of Holland and Zeeland, or the United Provinces of the Netherlands, in 1584.’
- ‘First, it was a republic with a stadholder as head of state, not a monarchy or empire like almost everywhere else.’
Mid 16th century: from Dutch stadhouder deputy from stad place + houder holder translating medieval Latin locum tenens.
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