18.1.16

Inspector François van 't Sant

Born in Den Helder on 11 February 1883 as the 8th child of a protestant vicar, François van 't Sant in 1914 became one of the most important players in the Rotterdam spy scene. The young police inspector and commander of the Rotterdam River Police would become the rising star of the Dutch police and intelligence community. The root of his success was his close professional relationship with Richard Bolton Tinsley, the MI1(c) station chief, who in return for protection, supplied him with intelligence. It is a pity though that there is almost nothing left of Van 't Sants dealings during the First World War. He left few traces. His activities, on orders of high ranking members of the powerful General Staff and the Public Prosecution Office, were mostly clandestine and not government approved. In 1920 he became Head Commissioner of The Hague. There he had to cover up the extravagances and sexual escapades of Prince Heinrich, the German husband of Queen Wilhelmina. Heinrich was a typical 19th century prince: not very smart, dissipated and horny. François van 't Sant would remain a confidant of the Dutch Royal Family, until his death in 1966.