Zutphen (old alternate spelling: Zutfen) is a town in the province of Gelderland in the Netherlands on the right bank of the IJssel at the influx of the Berkel, and a junction station 29 km by rail N.N.E. of Arnhem. It is a picturesque old town with several brick houses of the 16th and 17th centuries. The most important building is the Grote Kerk, or St Walpurgis, which dates from the 12th century and contains monuments of the former counts of Zutphen, a 13th century candelabrum, an elaborate copper font (1527), and a fine modern monument to the Van Heeckeren family. The chapter-house contains a pre-Reformation library which includes some valuable MSS. and incunabula. There are some remains of the old town walls. About 5 km to the north of Zutphen is the agricultural colony of Nederlandsch-Mettray, founded by a private benefactor for the education of poor friendless boys in 1851, and since that date largely extended.
In the Middle Ages Zutphen was the seat of a line of counts, which became extinct in the 12th century. Having been fortified the town stood several sieges, specially during the wars of freedom waged by the Dutch, the most celebrated fight under its walls being the one in September 1586 when Sir Philip Sidney was mortally wounded. Taken by the Spaniards in 1587 by the treachery of the English commander Rowland York, Zutphen was recovered by Maurice, prince of Orange, in 1591, and except for two short periods, one in 1672 and the other during the French Revolutionary Wars, it has since then remained a part of the Netherlands. Its fortifications were dismantled in 1874.
- From an old 1911 encyclopedia