Jean Barthon, de

First name
Last name
Barthon, de
Date of Birth
Date of Death
Born in
Died in

Jean de Barthon fled to the United Provinces in 1652. He was the son-in-law of the Dutch legal scholar Hugo Grotius and had connections with William III. In 1661, he joined a French infantry regiment serving in the States army. Montbas was promoted ‘Colonel te paard’ (‘colonel on horseback’) in 1669. His military decisions to defend the Betuwe at the Rhine in June 1672 ended his States career abruptly. In late July 1672, he defected to the French. See: NNBW, vol. 8, cols 48–52.

On 25 July 1673, De Barthon is ‘hanged’ in absentia on the gallows at the Vijverberg in The Hague. Spinoza lived in the close vicinity of the Vijverberg at the Paviljoensgracht. As it appears from a letter to the Prince of Condé (28 July) from Pierre-Alexandre Stouppe, the military governor of Utrecht, Spinoza either witnessed the ‘execution’ of Barthon or got the news about it first-hand. Immediately upon his arrival in Utrecht, he informed his host Jean Baptiste Stouppe about the event in Holland.


William III


Hugo Grotius