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Witte van Haemstede (1280/1282-1321) was a bastard son of Floris V, Count of Holland. His half-brother John I, Count of Holland, gave him the property of Haamstedemarker, in Southern Holland.

He married Agnes van der Sluys, the date is unknown but it was before 1307. In 1304 he led an army consisting of peasants and farmers to victory in a battle against the Flemish, who were threatening the city of Haarlemmarker. He is said to have defeated the Flemish in Heemstedemarker with the help of the Haarlemmers at the site of the Manpad.


In 1817 Mr. David Jacob van Lennep, who lived in the stately house called Huis te Manpadmarker next to the Manpad, encouraged the Heemstede council to erect a monument. He had already composed a romantic song about Witte van Haemstede that was quite popular. The legend says that Witte van Haemstede arrived by ship at Zandvoortmarker and traveled overland to Haarlem over the Manpad, to help the Haarlemmers in their battle against the Flemish who had traveled overland from Hillegommarker and Lissemarker. The monument is called 'De Naaldmarker', meaning the pin.

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