In 1795 werd het oude huis Tedingsweerd in het dorp Kapel-Avezaath in de Nederbetuwe) door een groep Hessische soldaten in dienst van het Britse Koninkrijk belaagd en in brand gestoken. De geschiedenis van deze overval is vervat in een in het Engels opgesteld verslag, dat in opdracht van de eigenaar van het huis, een Quarles de Quarles, is geschreven. Het verhaal ligt bewaard in het archief van het Huis Laar op het Gelders Archief. Dat archief is een beetje 'gemankeerd', want het bevat niet alleen stukken met betrekking tot het inmiddels verdwenen huis bij Otterlo onder Ede, maar ook stukken die verband houden met het huis Laar in de gelijknamige buurschap onder het gericht van Emlichheim in het graafschap Bentheim. De eigenaar van beide gelijknamige huizen was vervolgens ook heer van Tedingsweerd, zodat de aanwezigheid van dit verslag daarmee ook wordt verklaard. Hoe het verlies van het huis Tedingsweerd tot stand is gekomen laat zich lezen uit de navolgende transcriptie:
The castle of Tedingswaard, situated at Capel-Avesaat, beyond the river The Linghe, in the district of Nijmegen in Gelderland, and belonging to the baron Quarles of Quarles, being burnt in the month of January 1795, in his absence, the said gentleman has inquired into the circumstances of that event; and it appears clearly by the reports and certificates of a sufficient number of witnesses who confirmated their testimonies on oath, that the said castle of Tedingswaard has been burnt by the malice and obstinacy of the British troops, who, notwithstanding the assurances made to the owner, had taken their quarters in that house and laid waste of it, as is evident by the following particulars:
It was on Saturday the third of january 1795 that in the nighttime a corps of Hessian troops in the service of His Brittannic Majesty, consisting of about twohundred men, who was said to belong to the grenadier battalion of Bouwmeister, and among whom was a captain, called Sinck, came to the castle, roused one Henry Berendsen, who lived at some distance, required the great iron closet to be openend, and invaded the doors and the whole building. The said Henry Berendsen, together with the housekeeper John van Gogh and gardener Anthony Jansen, not being enabled to resist to this violence and desiring to appease them, in order to save the house and the furniture, immediately brought some lights, laid fire in the rooms, as possible brought the wanted provisions, meat and beer.
Notwithstanding their goodwill and offices, the said militaires behaved so ill and used so roughly with them, that Henry Berendsen was necessitated to leave the house and to retire at his home. And particularly the officers, not pleased with what the housekeeper could give, desired wine and other provisions to be purchased, and constrained the said housekeeper to fetch the steward of intendant (in Dutch language: rentmeester) called Roelof van Wijck; who at first declined to leave the house, because he there was embarassed with forty Hessians, on whom he was obliged to wait, without any assistance of family or servants: but at the repeated messages, being threatned to be fetcht by military force and ill-used, he went to the castle, where he was required to procure wine and several other provisions; and where the foresaid Anthony Jansen found his bedroom and chest broke open, and his clothes and other goods taken away, as well as all what had been in the room.
The said steward seing at that time an exceeding great fire burning, particularly in the room which was above the great hall or diningroom, so that a deal of it was outside the chimney and on the wooden floor; he requested with the utmost civility the officers, that they would take care of the fire and let it be diminished, in order to prevent the conflagration of the room, which could not fail to happen, if the flame should seise on the
Boards. And after several discourses, he obtained by the agreement of the officers, that not only the said fire, but the other fires also which burnt elsewhere in the castle should be extinguished; that the private soldiers should depart; and that the castle should be saved by all means. But that he, on his part, within three hours should procure to their use, one anker and a half of wine of the Rhine, four sacks of potatoes, four sheep, and twenty pounds of butter. Which he procured immediately.
The foresaid housekeeper John van Gogh being necessitated to go to Tiel (a town of Gelderland in the neighbourhood) in order to purchase the wine, though it was promised to him, that his room should remain shut, he found at his return the room and his chests broke open, and everything stolen away; and everywhere in the rooms such fires were burning, that being afraid they should cause the conflagration of the whole building, he insisted and urged the officers several times (as well as the gardener) that precautions should been taken and the fires put in a proper manner, but without any effect, so that the captain became extremely angry at those representations, and repulsed them with some oaths, saying in the German language ‘Schwernöht!’ The people ought to be warned.
The fires continuing in the same excessive manner, it happened, that on Sunday night several rooms about the same time were discovered to be on fire; which being by no means to be extinguished, notwithstanding the endeavours of the attendants and others, in a short time the whole castle was conflagrated and burned down, together with all the furniture, whereof nothing could be saved; whilst the soldiers opposend themselves to what was to be done in order to save anything, by keeping away and robbing everybody, who came to their assistance.
The castle now being quite destroyed in such a manner, that only a part of the walls remained, which threats every moment to fall down, and the said Hessian corps being departed, there arrived an other corps of Hessians on the following Thursday being the 8th, who ordered the bridge belonging to the same castle, to be burned. Which order is said to be given by captain Oks of the Hessian huntercorps, and was executed, notwithstanding the housekeepers and other’s remonstrances, who even offered, if the bridge ought to be destroyed to demolish it by the carpenter.
The said castle and bridge having been repaired a short time before, it is calculated by the carpenter and mason, that the restoration of the building alone can be done for no less then ninetyfour thousand florins Dutch money, besides what is wanted to the furniture of a castle of such importance, and which was entirely and newly furnished.