A stadtholder (Dutch: stadhouder)), literally place holder (holding someone’s place, possibly a calque of German Statthalter, French lieutenant, or Medieval Latin locum tenens), was a term for a “steward” or “lieutenant”. In the Low Countries, the stadtholder was a medieval function, which during the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries developed into a rare type of de facto hereditary head of state of the thus crowned republic of the Netherlands. It is comparable with the French title Lieutenant and England’s 16th century Lord Lieutenant. Additionally, this position was tasked with maintaining peace and provincial order in the early Dutch Republic.