Grotius had allied himself with Johan van Oldenbarnevelt, and with the Remonstrants. The Remonstrants were basically Protestants who took issue with some of the more uptight aspects of Calvinism (like the belief that if you're saved, no matter how horrible you are, you're in--the Remonstrants believed in Grace, but not as independent of a person's merit or actions--in other words, if you're naughty, you jeopardise your spiritual immunity), and who maintained the doctrines of Jakob Harmenszoon, better known as Jacob Arminius. In order to fill the picture in a bit more (because all of these strains of Protestantism are, well...a strain), John Wesley, the guy who started Methodism, was a huge fan of Arminianism. Now, the connection here between English and Dutch theology is not merely an aside--each had significant impact on the other. In fact, the Synod of Dordrecht (or Dort) was inspired by the Authorised Version of the Bible, and just as this was a landmark in the English language, the Statenvertaling was to deeply impact spoken Dutch, as well. And just to throw some modern references in, click here for Margaret Thatcher's thoughts on Methodism, Anglicanism, and society.
Grotius, whilst in jail, actually wrote a letter to the man responsible for Genesis--Kings I of the Authorised Version: Launcelot Andrewes. Four days after the synod, van Oldenbarnevelt was beheaded (13 May 1619). Finally, in 1621, Grotius made a move, recorded in Barbeyrac's short biography on Grotius:
[He was severely used for above 18 months; from whence,] by the Contrivance of Mary de Regelsberg his Wife, he made his Escape, who having observed that the Guards, being weary of searching a large Trunk full of Books and Linnen to be washed at Gorcum, a neighbouring Town, let it go without opening it as they used to do, advised her Husband to put himself into it, having made some Holes with a Wimble in the Place where the fore-part of his Head was, that he might not be stifled. He followed her Advice, and was in that manner carried to a Friend of his at Gorcum; from whence he went to Antwerp in the usual Waggon, after he had crossed the publick Place in the Disguise of a Joyner, with a Ruler in his Hand.
Barbeyrac's biography is included in the beginning of his edition of Grotius's De Jure Belli ac Pacis (The Rights of War and Peace)
For a more extended treatment of Milton's usage of Grotius, click here.
As we have seen, there seems to be a lot of intrigue in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries surrounding hiding places, religious persecution, and joiners. Jason Rosenblatt notes:
There is something comic and unreal about the picture of Grotius conspicuously holding a tool to give himself an identity, the way a character in an allegorical painting might hold a compass or an anchor.Cool. It seems like there are many permutations of the religion-and-carpentry motif beyond the classic:
from Renaissance England's Chief Rabbi: John Selden, p. 135