Plancius, the Minister Turned Map Maker
Petrus Plancius (1552–1622) was born Pieter Platevoet (literally “Peter Flatfoot”) in Dranouter, a town in what is now the Flanders region of Belgium. From a wealthy family, he studied theology in Germany and England, and at the age of 24 became a Calvinist minister. As was the custom among scientists and prominent people of his time, Platevoet later Latinized his name and became Petrus Plancius. Fearing religious persecution from the inquisition, Plancius fled Brussels in 1585 after the Spanish put down a rebellion and King Phillip II forced all non-Catholics to join the Catholic Church or leave the country.