Burlamaqui, John James

, an eminent civilian, descended from one of those noble families of Lucca, which, upon their embracing the Protestant religion, were obliged, about two centuries and a half since, to take refuge in Geneva, was born at Geneva in 1694, where he became honorary professor of jurisprudence in 1720. After travelling into France, Holland, and England, he commenced the exercise of his -functions, and rendered his school famous and flourishing. One of his pupils was prince Frederic of Hesse-Cassel, who, in 1734, took him to his residence, and detained him there for some time. | Upon his return to Geneva, he surrendered his professorship; and in 1740 entered into the grand council, and, as a member of this illustrious body, he continued to serve his fellow-citizens till his death, in 1750. As a writer, he was distinguished less by his originality than by his clear and accurate method of detailing and illustrating the principles of others; among whom, are Grotius, PufTendorf, and Barbeyrac. His works are: “Principles of Natural Law, 77 Geneva, 1747, 4to, often reprinted, translated into various languages, and long used as a text-book in the university of Cambridge; and” Political Law,“Geneva, 1751, 4to, a posthumous work, compiled from the notes of his pupils, which was translated into English by Dr. Nugent, 1752, 8vo. His” Principles of Natural Law“were re-published in the original by Professor de Felice, Yverdun, 1766, 2 vols. with additions and improvements. Another posthumous work of our author, was his” Elemens du Droit Naturel," being his text-book on the Law of Nature, and admirable for perspicuity and happy arrangement. Burlamaqui was much esteemed in private life, and respected as a lover of the fine arts, and a patron of artists. He had a valuable collection of pictures and prints; and a medal of him was executed by Dassier, in a style of superior excellency. 1


Dict. Hist.—Rees’s Cyclopædia.