Doneau, Hugh

, in Latin Donellus, one of the most learned civilians of the sixteenth century, was born at Chalons on the Saone, in 1537. His school-master had so disheartened him by severity, that neither threats nor promises could make him remain in school. But at last, being afraid he should be placed in a menial situation, he applied more diligently to his studies. He learned civil law at Toulouse, under the professors John Corrasius and Arnold du Ferrier, who had no less than four thousand auditors. He was admitted to the degree of D. C. L. at Bourges, in 1551, and professed that science in the same city with Duaren, Hotman, and Cujacius, and afterwards at Orleans. He was very near being killed in the massacre of 1572, because he was a protestant; and could not have escaped the violence of the murtherers, if some of his scholars, who were Germans by nation, had not saved him by disguising him in a German dress, as one of their domestics. He had embraced the reformation whea rery young, at the instigation of his sister. He staid some time at Geneva, and afterwards he went into the palatinate, where he taught the civil law in the university of Heidelbergh. He was invited to Leyden in 1575, to take upon him the same employment, which he accepted and discharged in a worthy manner, but baring imprudently engaged himself in some political disputes, he was forced to leave Holland in 1588. He returned to Germany, and was professor of law at Altorf until his death, May 4, 1591. He had so happy a memory, that he knew the whole Corpus Juris by heart. His works, most of which had been published separately, were collected under the title of “Commentaria de jure civili,” 5 vols. folio, reprinted at Lucca, 12 vols. folio, of which the last appeared in 1770. 2. “Opera Posthuma,” 8vo. The most valuable of his writings, is his book on the subject of last wills and testaments, which he is said to have treated with great learning and precision. 2


Gen. Dict.—Niceron, vol. XXXIII.—Moreri.—Freheri Theatrum.—Burman’s Sylloge Epistolamm.—Saxii Onomast.