The motto enclosing the seal of the church reads *SIG.ECCL.PROT.BELG.REFORM.NEO-EBORACENSIS (Seal of the Protestant Dutch Reform Church of New York City)
The inscription under the base reads *THE GIFT OF THE CONSISTORY OF THE DUTCH CHURCH OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK * TO THE REV.D MR. DAVID LONGUIVILLE AT AMSTERDAM 1764
This tankard and two others were commissioned by the Consistory of the Dutch Church of New York as gifts for three Dutch clergymen who had been instrumental in securing an English-speaking minister for the Church.
The decision to hire an English-speaking minister was a controversial one. Conservative Dutch members of the church appealed to the Classis of Amsterdam to forbid English sermons in the Church on Manhattan Island, but their appeal was rejected (Inventory of the Church Archives of New York City Reformed Church in America, 1939, p. 7). The Church decided, however, decided not to pay the English-speaking minister out of its regular revenues, but declared that the salary must "depend entirely upon the Voluntary Subscriptions of well-disposed Christians" (Theodorus Van Wyck, A Journal of the Consistory of the Reformed Dutch Church of the City of New York in Regard to the Petitions of their Congregation for Calling an English Preacher and the Disputes arising therefrom - 1762, unpublished manuscript). The silversmith of this tankard, John Brevoort, was a member of the Church and pledged 2 pounds. A total of 374 pounds was raised.
In 1763, the Consistory corresponded with Reverend David Longuiville and James Brinshall of Amsterdam asking their aid in finding an English-speaking minister. Another Amsterdam gentleman, Daniel Crommelin, also helped with the search, and the Reverend Archibald Laidlie was employed in April of 1764. A letter written in 1763 to Longuiville and Brinshall from a gentleman at Flushing, Netherlands, stated of Reverend Laidlie: "His accent is not so broad now as when he left Scotland, and he is at great pains to drive more and more at the true English one. I should do him great injustice if I did not add that his Moral Character is unblemished. He is a lover of Piety and Religion."(as quoted in Van Wyck)
On May 1, 1764, the Consistory resolved "that the three gentlemen
Mssrs. Longuiville, Brinshall and Crommelin each be presented with a
silver Tankard, with the Seal of the Church Corporation inscribed on
the same" (as quoted in Flynt and Fales, The Heritage Foundation
Collection of Silver, pp. 64-65). The Consistory wrote a thank you
letter to the Longuiville and Brinshall, dated May 14, 1764, stating:
"We must likewise sincerely confess that we now find ourselves deeply
in Debt, for your Very kind and weighty assistance...And here we can say that we would willingly Recompense you (according to Promise in our first letter) with a Reasonable reward, But we are at a loss to know in what manner it would be agreeable to you, as we are assured by several hands (of the amiable character you bear) that as true ministers of Christ you will thank yourselves sufficiently by having been a means of doing eminent service to the Church in this part of the World. Nevertheless Gratitude binds us to acknowledge the singular favours you have done us. The Consistory have therefore Chearfully [sic] agreed to offer Each of you a piece of plate to be made, with the seal of our Corporation Engraved thereon, and to be sent to you at the first opportunity...Not as a reward adequate to your services but as a Pledge or Testimony, To Bear Witness Between you and us and our Respective Posterity." (as quoted in Van Wyck)
The tankard commissioned for Daniel Crommelin is now in the collection of Historic Deerfield (Flynt and Fales, illus. p. 64, cat. entry 40.) Also made by John Brevoort, it appears to be similar in every way to the Longuiville tankard. It is marked I B V to the left of the handle and also marked under the base with the same Amsterdam control mark. The whereabouts of the tankard commissioned for James Brinshall are not known.