Jacob Cats (10 November 1577 – The Hague, 12 September 1660) was a Dutch poet, humorist, jurist and politician. He is most famous for his emblem books.
Having lost his mother at an early age, and being adopted with his three brothers by an uncle, Cats was sent to school at Breda. He then studied law at Rotterdam and at Paris, and, returning to Holland, he settled at the Hague, where he began to practise as an advocate.
In 1621, on the expiration of the twelve-year truce with Spain, the breaking of the dykes drove him from his farm. He was made pensionary (stipendiary magistrate) of Middelburg; and two years afterwards of Dordrecht.. In 1627 Cats came to England on a mission to Charles I. In 1636 he was made Grand Pensionary of Holland, and in 1648 keeper of the great seal; in 1651 he resigned his offices, but in 1657 he was sent a second time to England on what proved to be an unsuccessful mission to Oliver Cromwell.
Cats retired to the seclusion of his palatial villa “Sorghvliet” (“Fly From...See author's sheet: Jacob Cats