In 1624 arrived eighteen families of Dutch Walloons, the first actual permanent settlers, as distinguished from traders.
Other Protestant bodies are the Walloons, who, though possessing an independent church government, are attached to the Low-Dutch Reformed Church; the Lutherans, divided into the main body of Evangelical Lutherans and a smaller division calling themselves the Re-established or Old Lutherans (Herstelde Lutherschen) who separated in 1791 in order to keep more strictly to the Augsburg confession; the Mennonites founded by Menno Simons of Friesland, about the beginning of the 16th century; the Baptists, whose only central authority is the General Baptist Society founded at Amsterdam in 1811; the Evangelical Brotherhood of Hernhutters or Moravians, who have churches and schools at Zeist and Haarlem; and a Catholic Apostolic Church (1867) at the Hague.
On the north-west frontier reside about 10,000 Walloons, who speak French or Walloon as their native tongue.
During the Crusades, and in the middle ages, the term Belgicae principes is of frequent occurrence, and when in 1790 the Walloons rose against Austria during what was called the Brabant revolution, their leaders proposed to give the country the name of Belgique.
Farnese first won by promises and blandishments the confidence of the Walloons, always jealous of the predominance of the " Flemish " provinces, and then proceeded to make himself master of Brabant and Flanders by force of arms. In succession Ypres, Mechlin, Ghent, Brussels, and finally Antwerp (17th of August 1585) fell into his hands.
Had been wholly successful, and the Belgian people, Flemings and Walloons alike, were perhaps more devoted to the Catholic faith than any other in Europe.
Languages.The German-speaking nations in their various branches and dialects, if we include the Dutch and the Walloons, extend in a compact mass along the shores of the Baltic and of the North Sea, from Memel in the east to a point between Gravelines and Calais near the Straits of Dover.
The total number of German-speaking people, within the boundaries wherein they constitute the compact mass of the population, may be estimated, if the Dutch and Walloons be included, at 65 millions.
About the same time other Dutch farmers founded Flatlands (at first called Amersfoort), on Jamaica Bay, and a few Walloons founded Wallabout, where the navy yard now is.
The streets of the former are narrow and irregular, but the latter, founded at the end of the 16th century by fugitive Walloons and Netherlanders, is built in the form of a pentagon with broad streets crossing at right angles, and possesses several fine squares, among which may be mentioned the marketplace, adorned with handsome fountains at the four corners.
Among the principal buildings are the ancient castle, formerly the residence of the counts of Hanau; the church of St John, dating from the 17th century, with a handsome tower; the old church of St Mary, containing the burial vault of the counts of Hanau; the church in the new town, built by the Walloons in the beginning of the 17th century in the form of two intersecting circles; the Roman Catholic church, the synagogue, the theatre, the barracks, the arsenal and the hospital.
At the end of the 16th century its prosperity received considerable impulse from the accession of the Walloons and Netherlanders.