Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Dubourdieu, Jean

DUBOURDIEU, JEAN (1642?–1720), French protestant minister, son of Isaac Dubourdieu [q. v.], was born at Montpellier in 1642 according to Agnew, in 1648 according to Haag, in 1652 according to Didot, and became one of the pastors of that town. In 1682 he published a sermon entitled ‘Avis de la Sainte Vierge sur ce que tous les siècles doivent dire d'elle,’ which led to a short controversy with Bossuet. At the revocation of the edict of Nantes he came to England, followed by a large portion of his flock, and soon afterwards attached himself as chaplain to the house of Schomberg. He was by the side of the duke at the Boyne, and accompanied the duke's youngest son, Duke Charles, to Turin in 1691. Duke Charles was mortally wounded and taken prisoner by the French army under Catinat at the battle of Marsiglia in 1693, and Dubourdieu took the body to Lausanne for interment. In 1695 he published a sermon delivered on the eve of Queen Mary's funeral; and in the following year his most important work, ‘An Historical Dissertation upon the Thebean Legion.’ He had been moved to write on this subject by witnessing the worship given to these saints while at Turin (see chap. i. of the book).

Dubourdieu was one of the pastors of the French church in the Savoy, London; and there was a Jean Armand Dubourdieu pastor of the same church at the same time, who took a very prominent part among the refugees, published several books, pamphlets, and sermons, was chaplain to the Duke of Devonshire, was appointed in 1701 to the rectory of Sawtrey-Moynes in Huntingdonshire, and cited in May 1713 before the Bishop of London, at the instance of the French ambassador, to answer for certain very virulent published attacks upon the French king, whom he had accused, among other things, of personal cowardice.

These two Dubourdieus, Jean and Jean Armand, have been assumed by most biographers to be the same person. Agnew, however, in his ‘Protestant Exiles from France,’ shows almost conclusively that they were distinct persons, Jean Armand being possibly the nephew, but more probably the son, of Jean. Indeed, if we accept 26 July 1720 as the date of Jean's death, he cannot have been the same man as Jean Armand, who preached one of his sermons in January 1723–4 (Méphiboseth, ou le caractère d'un bon sujet, London, 1724).

Jean Armand Dubourdieu was a fierce controversialist, an ardent protestant, a staunch supporter of the Hanoverian successions, and a good hater of Louis XIV. He preached in both English and French. The date of his birth is uncertain. He died in the latter part of 1726.

A list of the books of Jean and Jean Armand Dubourdieu, but given as the works of one author, will be found in Haag's ‘La France Protestante.’

[Moreri's Grand Dictionnaire Historique; Haag's La France Protestante; Agnew's French Protestant Exiles.]

F. T. M.