Du Bourg, Anne

, one of the martyrs to the cause of the protestant religion in France, in the sixteenth century, was a native of Auvergne, sou to Stephen du Bourg, comptroller general of the customs in Languedoc, and brother to Anthony du Bourg, president of the parliament of Paris, and afterwards chancellor of France. He was born in 1521, designed for the church, and ordained priest; but embracing the protestant religion, was honoured with the crown of martyrdom. He was a man of great learning, especially in the law, which he taught at Orleans with much reputation, and was appointed counsellor-clerk to the parliament of Paris in October 1557. In this high station, he declared himself the protector of | the protestants, and endeavoured either to prevent or soften the punishments inflicted upon them. This alarmed some of Henry II.'s counsellors, who advised that monarch to get rid of the protestants, and told him that he should begin by punishing those judges who secretly favoured them, or others who employed their credit and recommendations to screen them from punishment. They likewise suggested that the king should make his appearance unexpectedly in the parliament which was to be assembled on the subject of the Mercurials, or Checks, a kind of board of censure against the magistrates instituted by Charles VIII. and called Mercurials from the day on which they were to be held (Wednesday). The king accordingly came to parliament in June 1559, when Du Bourg spoke with great freedom in his defence, and went so far as to attack the licentious manners of the court; on which the king ordered him to be arrested. On the 19th he was tried, and declared a heretic by the bishop of Paris, ordered to be degraded from the character of priest, and to be delivered into the hand of the secular power; but the king’s death, in July, delayed the execution until December, *vhen he was again condemned by the bishop of Paris, and the archbishop of Lyons, his appeals being rejected by the parliament. Frederick, elector Palatine, and other protestant princes of Germany, solicited his pardon, and probably might have succeeded, had it not been for the assassination, at this time, of the president M in art, whom Du Bourg had challenged on his trial; and it was not therefore difficult, however unjust, to persuade his persecutors that he had a hand in this assassination. He was accordingly hanged, and his body burnt Dec. 2O, 1559; leaving behind him the character of a pious and learned man, an upright magistrate, and a steady friend. At his execution he avowed his principles with great spirit; and the popish biographers are forced to allow that the firmness and constancy shown by him and others, about the same time, tended only to “make new heretics, instead of intimidating the old.1


Moreri and —Dict. Hist. in Bourg.