List of participants in the Synod of Dort

Official participation in the Synod of Dort, held in 1618–9 in Dordrecht in the Netherlands, consisted of different groups: Dutch ministers, church elders, and theologians; representatives of churches outside the Dutch Republic; and Dutch lay politicians. There were 14 Remonstrants who were summoned, in effect as defendants. There were also some observers, who had no voting status. Listings are usually given according to a traditional ordering for the provinces that begins with Gelderland; for the provincial synods Holland was divided into two, North and South. In the sources both Latinised names and spelling variants occur. Lists of those nominated to participate in some capacity differ from those who signed the final Acts of the Synod. Figures vary a little, but one total given is for 102 official participants.[1] The outcome of the Synod was the most significant single event in the Calvinist-Arminian debate.

Arminianism as a five-headed monster, 1618 engraving.

The Dutch members of the Synod were divided up by provincial synods (for the clerics and elders as delegates), or by provinces (for the lay members). Allowing for Holland as exception, the delegates were divided into ten "colleges": one for each of seven provinces, plus Drenthe; one for theological faculties; and one for the Walloon churches.[2]

Dutch delegatesEdit

Synod of Dordrecht, 1729 engraving by Bernard Picart.

Dutch theologiansEdit

Name Institution Comments
Johannes Polyander University of Leiden Editor of the canons.
Franciscus Gomarus University of Groningen
Antonius Thysius University of Harderwijk
Antonius Walaeus Middelburg Latin school
Sibrandus Lubbertus University of Franeker His attendance was delayed.[3][4]

Delegates from Dutch provincial synodsEdit

Name Province Comments
Gulielmus Stephani[5] Gelderland Pastor from Arnhem.
Ellardus a Mehen, Eilardus van Mehen (Moenius) (1570 – c. 1639)[5][6] Gelderland Pastor from Harderwijk.
Johannes Bouillet[5] Gelderland From Warnsveld, signatory.[7]
Sebastian Damman (1578 or 1580–1640)[8][9][10] Gelderland Secretary to the Synod, and minister from Zutphen.
Jacobus Verheyden (Verheiden) Graviensis (fl. 1590)[5] Gelderland Elder from Nijmegen; brother of Willem Verheiden.
Henricus van Hel Gelderland Elder of Zutphen
Festus Hommius[11] South Holland Scribe.
Gisbertus Voetius South Holland Minister of Heusden
Balthasar Lydius South Holland Pastor in Dort
Henricus Arnoldi South Holland Preacher at Delft
Arnoldus Musius (Arnoldus Muys van Holij) South Holland Elder of the Church of Dort
Joannes de Laet (Johannes Latius) South Holland Elder of the Church of Leyden
Jacobus Triglandius North Holland Minister of the Church of Amsterdam
Jacobus Rolandus[11] North Holland Minister of the Church of Amsterdam
Abrahamus à Dooreslaer North Holland Minister of the Church of Enkhuizen
Samuel Bartholdus North Holland Pastor of Monnickendam
Theodorus Heyngius North Holland Elder of the Church of Amsterdam
Dominicus van Heemskerc North Holland Elder of Amsterdam
Godefridus Corneliszoon Udemans (Godefridus Udemannus)[12] Zeeland Pastor of Zierikzee
Hermannus Faukelius Zeeland Assessor.
Cornelius Regius Zeeland Pastor of Tergoose
Lambertus de Ryck Zeeland Pastor of Bergen up Zoon
Josias Vosbergius Zeeland Elder of the Church of Middelburg
Adrianus Hofferus Zeeland Elder of the Church of Zierikzee
Johannes Dibbets (Dibbetzius) Utrecht (the province was split between Remonstrants and Contra-Remonstrants) Minister of Dordrecht, delegate for the provincial synod of Utrecht; Counter-Remonstrant position.
Arnoldus Oortcampius Utrecht Minister of Amersfoort; Counter-Remonstrant position.
Lambertus Canterus Utrecht Elder of Utrecht; Counter-Remonstrant position.
Isaacus Frederici Utrecht Minister of Utrecht; Remonstrant position.
Samuel Naeranus Utrecht Minister of Amersfoort; Remonstrant position.
Stephanus van Helsdingen Utrecht Elder of Utrecht; Remonstrant position.
Johannes Bogerman Friesland Chairman.
Florentius Johannes Friesland Church of Sneek
Philippus Danielis Eilshemius Friesland Pastor of Harlingen
Kempo Harinxma à Donia Friesland (NB different lists are not compatible for this province, when it comes to the elders; one of those subscribing to the Canons did not present credentials initially). Elder of Leeuwarden. Subscriber.[13]
Meinardus ab Idzerda Friesland Elder of Leeuwarden. Not a subscriber.[13]
Johannes vander Sande Friesland Elder of Leeuwarden. Not a subscriber.[13]
Tacitus ab Aysma Friesland Elder of the Churches of Buirgirt, Hichtum, and Hartwardt, Subscriber.[13]
Casparus Sibelius Overijssel Pastor at Deventer
Hermannus Wiferding Overijssel Minister at Swoll.
Hieronymus Vogelius Overijssel Pastor at Hasselt.
Iohannes Langius Overijssel Preacher at Vollenhove.
Wilhelmus à Broickhuysenten Doerne Overijssel Elder.
Johannes à Lauwick Overijssel Elder.
Cornelius (Cornelis) Hillenius Groningen Minister of Groningen
Georgius Placius Groningen Minister of Appingedam
Wolfgangus Agricola Groningen Minister of Bedum
Johannes Lolingius Groningen Minister of Noordbroek
Egbertus Halbes Groningen Elder of Groningen
Johannes Ruffelaert Groningen Elder of Stedum
Themo ab Asscheberg Drenthe Pastor of Meppelen
Patroclus Romelingius Drenthe Pastor of Rhvine
Daniel Colonius Walloon churches Minister of Leiden
Johannes de la Croix Walloon churches Minister of Haarlem
Johannes Doucher Walloon churches Minister of Vlissingen
Jeremias de Pours Walloon churches Minister of Middelburg
Everardus Becker Walloon churches Elder of Middelburg
Petrus du Pont Walloon churches Elder of Amsterdam

Dutch lay commissionersEdit

The commissioners by province were:

  • Gelderland and Zutphen: Martinus Gregorius, Hendrik van Essen.
  • Holland and West Friesland: Walrave de Brederode, Hugo Muys van Holy, Jacobus Boelens, Gerardus van Nieuburg, Rochus van Honaert, Nicholaas Krombout.
  • Zealand: Symon Scotte, Jacobus van Kampe.
  • Utrecht: Frederik van Zuylen, van Nieuveld, Willem Herteveld.
  • Friesland: Ernestus van Aylva, Ernestus ad Harinksma.
  • Overijssel: Hendrik van Haagen, Johannes van Hemerde.
  • Groningen: Hieronimus Ysbrants, Efaart Jacob Clant, Daniel Heinsius.

Of these Gregorius, van Honaert, Krombout, and Ysbrands were doctors of both laws.[14] The list of commissioners later signing the Acts of the Synod is somewhat different.[15][16][17][18]


A number of prominent Remonstrant ministers were cited to appear before the Synod, around 10% of the 200 identified Remonstrants at that time in the Dutch Reformed Church. Of those, a number were deprived of their church posts before the proceedings, which formed the latter part of the political and religious struggle that had been triggered in 1618, and which came to a head after the Synod closed. Only three Remonstrants were among the delegates (from Utrecht, two ministers and a church elder). Simon Episcopius emerged as leader of the group of Remonstrants who were summoned. His efforts to secure participation in the debates of the Synod for the group failed after extensive procedural discussion; the summoned Remonstrants were, however, required to remain in Dordrecht. With one exception they refused to subscribe to the required declaration at the end of the Synod, were expelled from the Church, and banished. In total around 70 Remonstrant ministers were banished in the aftermath of the Synod.

Allegorical engraving of the Dutch Republic as a ship from 1620, with the Stadtholder Maurice at the helm.[19]

The 14 Remonstrants banished by the Synod were:

(These are the Latinised names as given, correcting two spellings.)[20] Apart from the Utrecht representative ministers who were Remonstrants–Frederici and Naeranus–these clergy were therefore not full participants in the Synod at any point.

A baseline list of 13 names in Historie der Remonstranten (1774) by Jacobus Regenboog is of those Remonstrants who were summoned (and omitting the delegates Frederici and Naeranus from the Utrecht provincial synod):

  • Gelderland: Henricus Leo of Bommel, Vezekius of Egteld, Hollingerus of Grave.
  • South Holland: Episcopius, Arnoldi and Dwinglo of Leiden, Poppius of Gouda, Rykewaard of Brielle.
  • North Holland: Pynakker of Alkmaar, Sapma of Hoorn.
  • Overijssel: Gozuinus and Mathisius of Kampen.
  • Walloon churches: Niellius of Utrecht.[21]

It was Henricus Leo who was the sole Remonstrant of these summoned who signed the Act of Cessation (acte van stilstand) as required by the Synod, and escaped banishment.[22] His absence from the first list gives numbers that tally.

There is a longer listing in the works of John Hales of those Remonstrants who were cited by the Synod (21 names, but 20 if Joannes Arnoldi and Corvinus are duplicates); this list includes names of ministers who were by other means removed from their posts. The breakdown by provinces is:[23]

  • Gelderland: Leo, Wezekius, Holderingus.
  • South Holland: Adrianus Bozzius, Nicolaus Grevinchovius, Episcopius, Arnoldi, Poppius, Rickwardus.
  • North Holland: Joannes Geysteranus, Sapma.
  • Overijssel: Goswinius, Mathisius.
  • Walloon churches: Simon Goulartius, Niellius.
  • Utrecht: Utenbogardus, Corvinus, Duinghonius, Pinakerus, Neranus, Friderici.

Goulartius (Simon Goulart the Younger of Geneva, 1575–1628) the Remonstrant was the son of Simon Goulart of Senlis (1543–1628).[24] Though summoned he had already been dismissed from his post.[25]

Foreign representativesEdit

There were 27 delegates who attended from outside the Dutch provinces.[4][26] Two replacements were made during the Synod.

Great BritainEdit

Name Comment
George Carleton (1559–1628) Bishop of Llandaff; he led the English delegation in objecting to article 31 of the Belgic Confession.[27] Addressed as 'bishop' throughout the synod, and distinguished by his seat being provided with an episcopal canopy.
Joseph Hall (1574–1657) Withdrew because of illness.
Thomas Goad (1576–1638) Goad replaced Hall who became ill.
John Davenant (1576–1641)
Samuel Ward (1572–1643)
Walter Balcanqual (1586–1645) Balcanqual was a priest of the Church of England, but officially was there as representative of the Church of Scotland.[28]

Imperial delegatesEdit

There was some consideration given to invitations to clergy from Reformed churches in the German principalities and cities of the Empire, with a view to being selective and distinguishing among types of nominally Calvinist church.[29] Invitations were issued to: the Palatinate, Brandenburg, Hesse-Kassel, Nassau, East Friesland, Hanau. Anhalt was excluded.[30] John Sigismund, Elector of Brandenburg declined to send a delegation; the Calvinist–Lutheran relationship in Brandenburg was fragile, and a diplomatic excuse was made. It was later alleged that Anhalt was not invited, for fear that the delegation would be pro-Remonstrant.[31]

Name Principality/City Comments
Abraham Scultetus (1566–1624) Electorate of the Palatinate
Paul Tossanus (1572–1634) Palatinate
Hendrik Alting (1583–1644) Palatinate
Georg Cruciger (1575–1637) Hesse-Kassel
Paul Stein (1585–1643) Hesse-Kassel
Rudolph Goclenius (1547–1628) Hesse-Kassel
Daniel Angelocrator (1569–1635).[32] Hesse-Kassel
Johann Heinrich Alsted (1588–1638) Nassau
Johannes Bisterfeld the Elder (died in 1619) Nassau
Georg Fabricius Nassau
Ludwig Crocius (1586–1653) Bremen The Augsburg Confession was accepted in Bremen.
Matthias Martinius (1572–1630) Bremen
Heinrich Isselburg (1577–1628) Bremen
Ritzius Lucas Grimersheim (1568–1631) Emden
Daniël Bernard Eilshemius (1555–1622) Emden
Herman op den Graeff (1585–1642) Krefeld Mennonite
Giovanni Diodati (1576–1649) Geneva Geneva counted as an Imperial free city.
Théodore Tronchin (1582–1657) Geneva
Johann Jakob Breitinger (1575–1645) Swiss cantons, Zurich[14] The Swiss territories nominally formed part of the Empire in the form of the Old Swiss Confederacy, until 1648.
Wolfgang Mayer (1577–1653) Swiss cantons, Basel[14]
Sebastian Beck (Beckius) (1583–1654) Swiss cantons, Basel [14] Theological faculty of the university.
Mark Rütimeyer (1580–1647) Swiss cantons, Berne[14]
Hans Conrad Koch (Cochius) (1564–1643) Swiss cantons, Schaffhausen[14]


From France: None because the French government prohibited their attendance. A set of empty chairs was set up in the assembly in honor of the absent French Huguenots. Four delegates had been chosen by the National Synod: Daniel Chamier, Jean Chauve, Pierre Du Moulin and André Rivet.[33][34]


Name Nationality Comments
John Hales English Present as chaplain to Sir Dudley Carleton. He wrote significant correspondence about the Synod, and reputedly decided against high Calvinist theology as a result of attendance, being particularly impressed with Martinius.[35]
William Ames English Contra-Remonstrant activist.
John Brinsley the younger England Secretary to Joseph Hall.[36]
Carolus Liebaert (1581–?)[37] Dutch For the Dutch London congregation, whose representation had been supported by Festus Hommius.
Ludwig Lucius Anhalt Anhalt was not invited to send delegates.[30] On the other hand Lucius attended at some point on behalf of its Prince.[38]


  • Peter Ymen de Jong (1898), Crisis in the Reformed Churches; Essays in commemoration of the great Synod of Dort 1618–1619
  • Jonathan I. Israel (1998), The Dutch Republic: Its Rise, Greatness and Fall
  • Anthony Milton (editor) (2005), The British Delegation and the Synod of Dort
  • Philip Schaff, Creeds of Christendom, with a History and Critical notes. Volume I. The History of Creeds ¶65: The Arminian Controversy; online text.
  • Theologische Realenzyklopädie, Volume 9 (1982) (editors Horst Robert Balz, Gerhard Krause, Gerhard Müller) at p. 143, for a complete listing of delegates from outside the Netherlands; Google Books.


  1. ^ Martin Mulsow, Jan Rohls, Socinianism and Arminianism: Antitrinitarians, Calvinists, and cultural exchange in seventeenth-century Europe (2005), p. 38; Google Books.
  2. ^ Israel p. 460.
  3. ^ "JAN POLYANDER VAN DEN ... - Online Information article about JAN POLYANDER VAN DEN ..." Archived from the original on 2012-04-01. Retrieved 2015-04-10.
  4. ^ a b Methodist Review, Volume 10 (1828) p. 438; Google Books
  5. ^ a b c d "Synod of Dort | Wesleyan Arminian". Retrieved 2014-09-26.
  6. ^ "Eilardus van Mehen". Retrieved 2014-09-26.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-05-26. Retrieved 2011-10-11.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Sebastiaan Damman". Retrieved 2015-04-10.
  9. ^ "Damman, Sebastiaan". Retrieved 2015-04-10.
  10. ^ Damman, Sebastian
  11. ^ a b (in German) Article Dordrechter Synode in Gerhard Krause, Gerhard Müller (editors), Theologische Realenzyklopädie: Volume 9 (1993), p. 143; Google Books
  12. ^ Schroeder, C.J. (2001). In Quest of Pentecost: Jodocus Van Lodenstein and the Dutch Second Reformation. University Press of America. p. 9. ISBN 9780761819981.
  13. ^ a b c d Schaff, p. 485; Google Books.
  14. ^ a b c d e f (in Dutch) Staatkundige historie van Holland: Benevens de Maandelijksche Nederlandsche Mercurius (1774) Volumes 36-39 p. 13–5; Google Books.
  15. ^ Schaff, P. The Creeds of the Evangelical Protestant Churches. Ccel. ISBN 9781610250399.
  16. ^ "Synod of Dort -The Subscribers;". Retrieved 2014-09-26.
  17. ^ A Catalogue of an Invaluable and Highly Interesting Collection of Unpublished Manuscript Historical Documents ... The Entire Property of a Gentleman of the Highest Consideration in Holland ... which Will be Sold by Auction, by Mr. Sotheby, at His House, No. 3, Wellington Street, Strand, on Monday, May 30, 1825, and Six Following Days (Sunday Excepted), at Twelve O'clock. 1825. p. 112.
  18. ^ "". Retrieved 2014-09-26.
  19. ^ "Imagining the Synod of Dordt and the Arminian Controversy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-15. Retrieved 2015-04-10.
  20. ^ The Synod of Dort. " The Judgment of the Synod Holden at Dort, Concerning the five Articles: As also their sentence touching Conradus Vorstius". Retrieved 2014-09-26.
  21. ^ Jacobus Regenboog, Historie der Remonstranten, kortelyk vervattende de geschiedenissen der Gereformeerde Christenen, die men Remonstranten noemt (1774), p. 13; Google Books.
  22. ^ in note 17. (in Dutch)
  23. ^ (in Latin) John Hales, Peter Gunning, John Pearson, Golden Remains, of the Ever Memorable Mr. John Hales (1688), p. 553; Google Books.
  24. ^ K. A. E. Enenkel, Jan L. de Jong, Jeanine Landtsheer, Alicia Montoya, Recreating Ancient History: episodes from the Greek and Roman past in the arts and literature of the Early Modern Period (2001), p. 226; Google Books.
  25. ^ (in Dutch) Biografisch lexicon voor de geschiedenis van het Nederlands protestantisme
  26. ^ New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia, article Dort, Synod of.
  27. ^ Cranfield, Nicholas W. S. "Carleton, George". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/4671. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  28. ^ Coffey, John. "Balcanquhall, Walter". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/1151. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  29. ^ Richard Watson, Nathan Bangs, A Biblical and Theological Dictionary Volume 1 (1832), p. 948; Google Books.
  30. ^ a b James Isaac Good, The Origin of the Reformed Church in Germany (1887), p. 407;
  31. ^ Milton, p. xviii note 2.
  32. ^ (in German) Dietrich Christoph von Rommel, Geschichte von Hessen, Volume 6 (1837), p. 587; Internet Archive.
  33. ^ Schaff.
  34. ^ Patterson, p. 193; Google Books.
  35. ^ Robert Peters, John Hales and the Synod of Dort, in G. J. Cuming, Derek Baker (editors), Councils and assemblies: papers read at the Eighth Summer Meeting and the Ninth Winter Meeting of the Ecclesiastical History Society (1971), pp. 277–88; Google Books.
  36. ^ Cust, Richard. "Brinsley, John". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/3441. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  37. ^ "Liebaert, Carolus". Retrieved 2015-04-10.
  38. ^ Lucius, Ludwig

External linksEdit

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