Ferrier, Armand

, an eminent lawyer, called sometimes the Cato of France, was born at Toulouse in 1506. He was admitted a doctor of law at Padua; and from a professor in the university of Toulouse, was raised to be a counsellor in the parliament of the same city. It is remarkable of him, that though he was a protestant in his heart for a good part of his life, he did not profess himself to be so till a little before his death. He had indeed often discovered that he was no bigotted papist; and was so strongly suspected of heresy in 1559, that he | would have been imprisoned if he had not made his escape. He harangued, in 1562, in the council of Trent, whither he was sent ambassador by the French king; and he expressed himself in so bold a manner in favour of the interests of France, that the Italian priests were highly offended at him. He went afterwards ambassador to Venice, where he continued several years; and took occasion to assist father Paul in collecting materials for his “History of the Council of Trent.” On his return from Venice, Du Plessis Mornay, who knew his thoughts, pressed him so earnestly to declare the truth, that Ferrier openly professed himself a protestant, and the king of Navarre made him his chancellor. He was about seventy-six years old at the time of his renouncing popery; and he only lived to seventy-nine. He died in 1585. It has been said that he conspired with the chancellor de l’Hospital to break the knot which united the French king with the holy see; to assemble a national council, in which the king of France, after the example of the king of England, should be declared head of the Gallican church; and to usurp all the estates of the church of France. He was reckoned among the greatest men in Europe, and was the author of some literary works. 1


Bayle in Gen. Dict. —Moreri.