Pleidooi van Mr. Simon van Middelgeest voor Mr Pieter de Groot
[Amsterdam, no publisher, 1819] taken from J. Scheltema, Geschied- en letterkundig mengelwerk, deel II, stuk III] 224 pages, only original front remains, Pieter de Groot (March 28, 1615 - June 2, 1678) was a Dutch regent and diplomat during the First Stadtholderless Period of the Dutch Republic. He was the son of Hugo de Groot (Grotius). He led the Dutch delegation that vainly tried to negotiate the Dutch capitulation to king Louis XIV of France during the Year of Disaster, 1672.Though in exile and disgrace with the new regime of Stadtholder William III De Groot could not resist interfering with diplomatic developments. He traveled to Cologne (by way of Liege and Aachen) where he offered his valuable services to the Dutch diplomats negotiating peace with the Elector in 1673. In 1674 he was allowed to return to the Republic, only to be drawn into the scandal around Abraham de Wicquefort. That diplomat of Dutch descent, but with French connections, was accused and convicted of high treason in 1675. Unfortunately, De Groot had extensively corresponded with him, and his letters were considered highly compromising. De Groot, too, was therefore accused of high treason and court-martialed in 1674. He was acquitted on December 7, 1676 thanks to the able defense provided by his attorney Simon van Poelgeest. This book contains the text of this defense. The trial undermined his already weak health. He retired to his estate of Boekenrode, near Haarlem, where he spent his last years writing poetry. He died there, worn out, in June, 1678.
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