Bignon, Jerome

, a French writer, was born at Paris Aug. 24, 1589. His father took the care of his education upon himself, and taught him the languages, philosophy, mathematics, civil law, and divinity. Jerome acquired so much knowledge in a very short time, that at ten years of age he published his description of the Holy Land, entitled “Chorographie, ou Description de la TerreSainte,Paris, 1600, 12mo; and three years after, two other works, which gained him great reputation in France. The first was, “Discours de la ville de Rome, principales antiquitez & singularitez d’icelle,1601-, 8vo; the other work is “Traite sommaire de Pelection des papes,1605, 8vo, in which piece he gives an account of the different manner of electingthe popes formerly. Henry IV. appointed him page of honour to the dauphin, afterwards Lewis XIII. He wrote also a treatise on the precedency of the kings of France, entitled “De l‘excellence des rois & du royaume de France, traitant de la preseance& des prerogatives des rois des France par dessus tous les antres, & de causes d’icelles.” This book was written in order to confute what Diego Valdes, counsellor of the royal chamber of Granada, had published in favour of the precedency of the kings of Spain, under the title of “De dignitate re gum Hispania?,Granada, 1602, fol. This he dedicated to the king, who ordered him to continue his researches upon the subject; but the death of this prince interrupted his design, and made him leave the court; whither he was soon recalled at the solicitation of Mr. le Fevre, preceptor to Lewis XIII. and continued there till the death of his friend. In 1613 he published an edition of the Formulae of Marculphus and the year following took a journey to Italy, where he received many marks of esteem from Paul V. | Father Paul likewise being pleased w with. his conversation, detained him some time at Venice.

Upon his return from his travels, he applied himself to the practice of the bar with great success. His father procured for him the post of advocate general in the grand council; which office he discharged with such reputation, that the king nominated him some time after counsellor of state, and at last advocate general in the parliament. In 1641 he resolved to confine himself entirely to his business in the council of state, and therefore resigned his place of advocate-general to Mr. Briquet his son -in- law,. The year following he was appointed the king’s librarian. His sonin-law dying in 1645, he was obliged to resume his post of advocate- general, in order to preserve it for his son. He had also a considerable share in the ordinance of the year 1639; and he discharged with great integrity various commissions with which he was intrusted at different times. Queen Anne of Austria, during her regency, sent for him to council upon the most important occasions. He adjusted the differences between Mr. d‘Avaux and Mr. Servien, plenipotentiaries at Minister and he had a share, with M. de Brienne and d’ Emery, in making the treaty of alliance with the states of Holland in 1649. He was appointed, in 1651, to regulate the great affair of the succession of Mantua; and in 1654, to conclude the treaty with the Hans Towns. Mr. Bignon died, aged 66, on the 7th of April, 1656, of an asthma, with which he waa seized the autumn before. In 1757, the abbé Perau published Bignon’s life, two parts, 12mo. His grandson, John Paul Bignon, was librarian to the king, a man of great erudition, and a writer of great powers of invention, if he could compose, as we are told he did, four panegyrics on St. Louis, all different, two of which were pronounced the same day, one at the French academy, and the other at the academy of inscriptions. He wrote also “Vie de Francois Levesque,1684, 12mo; and “Les Aventures d‘Abdalla, fils d’Hanif.1713, 2 vols. 12mo. often reprinted. He had also a hand in the medallic history of the jreign of Louis XIV. and the Journal des Savans. He warmly patronized Tournefort, who named a plant after him Bignonia. He died May 14, 1743. 1

1 Gen. Dict. —Moreri. Dupin.- PenrauH’s Hommes Illustres. Baillet Jugeinens, & he* Enfans Celebres. —Saxii Onomast. Uit>s. Univ.