The Hague: the Advocate
On 13 December 1599, Grotius – only 16 years old at the time - took the oath of office to become an advocate in The Hague, the administrative center of the Republic. Although he would often complain that he missed spending time on passions like history and poetry, Grotius quickly gained a remarkable reputation as a skilled advocate. In 1607, Van Oldenbarnevelt put him forward for the office of advocate-fiscal, the public prosecutor and legal adviser of the provinces of Holland and Zeeland.
|The position increased Grotius’ social and financial standing and in 1608, this enabled him to marry Maria van Reigersberch, the formidable sister of one of Grotius’ university friends and a member of a patrician family from Zeeland. However, as Grotius’ fame and family grew, a theological argument that had started at Leiden University escalated into a major political crisis between Oldenbarnevelt and his former ally Stadtholder Maurice of Orange. Grotius stood by his mentor as well as his strong belief in religious toleration, and this eventually led to his arrest in 1618.|