Lodewijk Huygens

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Date of Birth
Date of Death
Born in
The Hague
Died in

Lodewijk Huygens was the third and youngest son of Constantijn Huygens Sr. He studied at the Illustrious School in Breda, and was drossaard of Gorinchem and the region of Arkel. He also was member of the Admiraliteit van de Maas. He is mainly considered as a shadowy figure with a reputation for wrangle. See: NNBW, vol. 1, cols 1090–1; Stamhuis, 1996. A meeting (spring of 1676) between Lodewijk and Spinoza is commented upon by Huygens Sr in a letter to Henry Oldenburg. The two discussed the work done in the London Royal Society (Oldenburg, Correspondence, vol. 12, pp. 255–6).

Apparently, what Spinoza had said to Lodewijk had surprised Huygens Sr. He writes in the letter mentioned above to Oldenburg in passing:

I was surprised at the conversation that Spinoza, whom you know, has had some days ago with one of my sons. [He has said] that there was nothing left of the Royal Society, that it has fallen apart and vanish in smoke. [I] think that this does not correspond with the continuation of your care.

The remark proves that Spinoza and Lodewijk Huygens knew each other personally and that one of the topics of their encounter concerned the scientific achievements of the Royal Society. However, it is uncertain what exactly the philosopher said or discussed with Lodewijk about the Society.