An important revelation for Dutch literary history is the
correspondence between Georg Hermann Schuller and Leibnitz,
which was largely made known to the world in an important
book on Leibnitz and Spinoza, edited by Prof. Dr. Ludwig
From this book it appears to us that G.H. Schuller was
a secret correspondent of Leibnitz, who informed him about
the remarkable things which occurred in scientific and political
circles. The whole of Europe kept an eye on Holland, and
Leibnitz, who had visited Holland in 1675 and was acquainted
with important Dutchmen both there and in many foreign countries,
was especially interested in all that occurred here in this
Schuller, a medical doctor focused more on philosophy and
making gold than on his medical practice, did his best to
satisfy Leibnitz' curiosity, as his hope was to be appointed
by Leibnitz' intercession as agent of the Court of Hanover.
The letters they exchanged however demanded that a great
degree of caution be observed because the Duke had recently
converted to Catholicism and Leibnitz was a Protestant.
Although Leibnitz was fortunate to be in the Duke's employ,
the religious and political tensions of that era dictated
that their correspondence be conducted with the utmost secrecy.
In view of that, names and facts were usually described
or merely indicated. Yet the letters are of high value to
us. Like the X-rays science has recently discovered, they
let us now clearly see through the fog intentionally surrounding
the many facts to the fundamentals of the issues.
Thus, they fully inform us of the addresses of the letters
by Spinoza, which the publishers of his posthumous works
had intentionally concealed.
It is remarkable that Schuller himself, who thought to
have erased his tracks everywhere, clearly portrayed his
relation to Spinoza in these letters. Especially his statements
on the last days of Spinoza are  very important. Nevertheless,
at the beginning of February 1677 he had visited Spinoza
and, as a physician, had to acknowledge with deep regret
that our philosopher would have not long to live.
What is apparent from this and subsequent letters is that
he frequently visited Spinoza, and I think I can prove that
it is he who supported the sufferer in his final hour.
Colerus reports that shortly before his death, Spinoza
had sent for an Amsterdam doctor; that the latter had come
over; had remained alone with the sick at noon; but in the
evening after his death quickly had left with the night
boat, taking with him a dukaton and a knife with
a silver handle.
Colerus says he cannot but indicate this doctor with the
This communication has always given me the impression that
Colerus had never been certain who that was, but because
he had heard about the former friendship between Lodewijk
Meyer and Spinoza, he supposed that L.M. would have been
the intended person. However, he did not dare to mention
his full name, because of the slander which Meyer would
disseminate in regard to him.
The German translator of Colerus got the same impression
as I from this communication and therefore noticed that
one could assume that the doctor mentioned might have been
Lucas, who was a good friend of Spinoza and later had written
a book about him.
Later historians, however, have all considered Louis Meyer
to be the indicated person.
This is not very probable.
In the last years, following Spinoza's departure from Rijnsburg,
there are no more letters to Meyer.
His rationalistic exposition was entirely contrary to the
objective and historical one of Spinoza. Meyer's book Philosophia
Scripturae Interpres (1666) was openly refuted by the
Tractaten Theologus-Politicus and this is sufficient
to explain the distancing between them. 
But Meyer was also working assiduously on studying theatre
and with the company Nil Volentibus Arduum. Spinoza would
have visited Amsterdam rarely because his health and his
finances did not allow him such travels.
So, while probably it was not Meyer who stood next
to Spinoza's deathbed, it was, as will appear from the following,
very likely Schuller.
In his letters to Leibniz he acts as executor of Spinoza's
In the sixth letter he wrote, "though secret",
that he, before and after Spinoza's death, has checked everything
piece by piece and in accordance with his explicit desire
to examine whether there was still something that could
be relevant for the friends; in Letter III he offers the
manuscript of the Ethica to Leibnitz for sale, and
then reports in the fourth letter that he succeeded in persuading
the friends in Amsterdam to take on the publication of the
These friends were L. Meyer and Jarig Jelles, who originally
did not posses the manuscripts, were initially not inclined
to publish them, but were later persuaded by Schuller to
Now on the same evening of Spinoza's death an inventory
was prepared and everything was sealed, and with the inventory
the name of Mister George Hermanus was first recorded
as a witness but later removed and replaced by an ordinary
witness. We come therefore to the following conclusion:
According to Colerus the Amsterdam physician was the only
one present at Spinoza's death at 3 o'clock in the afternoon.
According to Schuller himself he had checked the books before
and shortly after Spinoza's death, for which,
after the sealing that same night, there was no opportunity
anymore. Schuller's known secretiveness and the greed of
the Spinoza family sufficiently explain his haste to leave
The Hague, which fully corresponds to Colerus' story. Meanwhile
we see the Notary on the night of the death record his first
names and afterwards  cross them out again, - - who
would otherwise have been present if not Schuller?
He would have requested van der Spijck not to mention his
name, as he also crossed out such in the letters, and van
der Spijck would faithfully have kept his promise and only
mentioned an Amsterdam physician. Colerus then did some
contriving and has mentioned LM, whom he could not definitively
identify, because he was not sure.
As a secret agent of Leibnitz, Schuller had to remain behind
the scenes. He had Spinoza's authority to take what he liked,
but still feared for the family, as evidenced by Rieuwertz'
writing about the famous desk with papers. It is no wonder
he did not want it openly known that he was the last and
only witness of the philosopher's death.
I am convinced however that, through the first names in
the death certificate of February 21, the truth of the above-mentioned
conjecture is assured and established by notarial act.
(1). Leibniz und Spinoza: Ein Beitrag zur Entwicklungsgeschichte
der Leibnizischen Philosophie (Berlin: G. Reimer, 1890)
W. Meijer."Dr. Schuller en B. de Spinoza". De
Navorscher (1897): 605-608. A Dutch magazine dedicated
to history, genealogy and literature. Translated by Govert
Steenbakkers, Piet. Spinoza's Ethica from manuscript
to print: Studies on text, form and related topics. Dissertation.
(Assen: van Gorcum, 1994)
Stewart, Matthew. The Courtier and the Heretic: Leibniz,
Spinoza and the Fate of God. (New York/London: W.W.
Norton, 2006). Review.