Duranti, John Stephen

, son of a counsellor of the parliament of Toulouse, was advocate general, and afterwards appointed first president of the parliament by Henry III. in 1581, at the time when the fury of the league was at its height. Duranti opposed it with all his might; but was unable to restrain the factious either by threats or caresses. After having many times narrowly escaped death, once, as he was endeavouring to appease a tumult, one of the rebels killed him by a musket ball, on the 10th of February, 1589. While Duranti with uplifted hands was imploring heaven for his assassins, the people stabbed him in a thousand places, and dragged him by the feet to the | place of execution. As there was no gibbet prepared, they tied his feet to the pillory, and nailed behind him the picture of king Henry III., accompanying their cruelties with every brutal insult to his lifeless remains. Such was his recompense for the pains he had taken the foregoing year to preserve Toulouse from the plague. To this piece of service may be added the foundation of the college of FEsquille, magnificently constructed by his orders; the establishment of two brotherhoods, the one to portion off poor girls, and the other for the relief of prisoners; and, many other acts of liberality to several young men of promising hopes, &c. The church of Rome too was no less obliged to him for his book “De ritibus ecclesioe,” which was thought so excellent by pope Sixtus V. that he had it printed at Rome, in 1591, folio. It has been falsely attributed to Peter Danes. The life of Duranti was published by Martel, in his Memoirs. The day after his death, Duranti was secretly buried at the convent of the Cordeliers; on which occasion he had no other cerecloth than the picture representing Henry III. that had been hung up with his body to the prllory. His heirs raised a monument to him, when the troubles were appeased. 1


Moreri.—Dupin.—Freheri Theatrum.