Johannes Wullen

First name
Last name
Date of Birth
Date of Death
> 1672
Born in
Died in

Johannes Wullen earned his doctoral degree (1635) in Medicine at Padua University. He was the personal physician of Christina Wasa around 1649. There is speculation that Wullen practised in Amsterdam (Meyer, Nachbildung, 1903, X, p. 16). See: NNBW, vol. 2, col. 1550; Baillet, 1972, p. 418 (‘Weulles’); Blok, 2000, passim.

During the last days of his stay in occupied Utrecht, on 14 August 1673, Spinoza penned down the address of his residence in The Hague on a blank sheet of a letter of Johannes Bouwmeester to Graevius, which leaves little doubt that he and Graevius both had agreed to start a correspondence. In mid-December 1673, Spinoza wrote the Utrecht scholar a short letter which he posted off by the regular mail service (Hagse nach post) (Ep, 49, fol. 1r). In Utrecht, the letter was handed to Graevius who was obliged to pay for its delivery the postal due of three stuivers. The letter, first mentioned by Johannes van Vloten, was rejected by the editors of the posthumous works. In it, Spinoza aks Graevius to send back to him as soon as possible the ‘Letter concerning Descartes’ death, which I believe you copied long ago’. The document indicated concerns a medical report on the death of Descartes. It was composed by Johannes Wullen, who opened Descartes’s arms to administer him a bloodletting in his last hours. Its rightful owner, ‘Mr. de V.’, Spinoza tells Graevius, has urged me ‘several times’ to return the account to him. In a friendly tone, he adds to this: ‘If it were mine, I would not be in any hurry’ (1673.12.14, Ep 49, G 4/238; date and place on the ALS). How Spinoza communicated Wullen’s report to Graevius is unknown, but it might be conjectured that he passed him the report in the late summer of 1673 during his visit to Utrecht. Whether Graevius also returned the account to Spinoza is unknown. The identity of the mysterious owner of Wullen’s account, ‘Mr. de V.’, remains an unsolved mystery, but possible candidates are, among others, Van Velthuysen and Jacobus Vallan.


Christina Wasa