Durel, John

, a learned divine in the seventeenth century, who wrote several pieces in vindication of the Church of England, was born at St. Helier’s in the Isle of Jersey, in 1625. About the end of 1640, he was entered of Merton-college in Oxford; but when that city came to be garrisoned for king Charles I. he retired into France: and, having studied for some time at Caen in Normandy, took the degree of master of arts, in the Sylvanian college of that place, on the 8th of July 1664. Then he applied himself to the study of divinity, for above two years, at Saumur, under the celebrated Amyrault, divinity reader in that Protestant university. In 1647 he returned to Jersey, and continued for some time until the reduction of that island by the parliament-forces in 1651, when on account of his being in the defence of it for the king, he was forced to withdraw, or rather was expelled thence. He then went to Paris, and received episcopal ordination in the chapel of sir Richard Browne, knt. his majesty’s resident in France, from the hands of Thomas, bishop of Galloway. From Paris, he removed to St. Malo’s, whence the | reformed church of Caen invited him to be one of their ministers, in the absence of the learned Samuel Bochart, who was going into Sweden. Not long after, the landgrave of Hesse having written to the ministers of Paris, to send him a minister to preach in French at his highness’s court, he was by them recommended to that prince, but preferred being chaplain to the duke de la Force, father to the princess of Turenne; in which station he continued above eight years. Upon the restoration he came over to England, and was very instrumental in setting up the new episcopal French church at the Savoy in London, in which he officiated first on Sunday, 14 July, 1661, and continued there for some years after, much to the satisfaction of his hearers. In April 1663, he was made prebendary of North Auiton, in the cathedral of Salisbury, being then chaplain in ordinary to his majesty; and, the llth of February following, succeeded to a canonry of Windsor. On the 1st of July, 1668, he was installed into the fourth prebend of Durham, and had a rich donative conferred on him. The 28th of February, 1669-70, he was actually created doctor of divinity, by virtue of the chancellor’s letters. In 1677, king Charles II. gave him the deanery of Windsor, vacant by the death of Dr. Bruno Ryves, into which he was installed July 27. He had also the great living of Witney in Oxfordshire conferred on him, all which preferments he obtained, partly through his own qualifications, being not only a good scholar, but also “a perfect courtier, skilful in the arts of getting into the favour of great men;” and partly through his great interest with king Charles II., to whom he was personally known both in Jersey and France. Mr. Wood thinks, that, had he lived some years longer, he would undoubtedly have been promoted to a bishopric. He published several things; and, among the rest, 1. “The Liturgy of the Church of England asserted, in a Sermon, preached [in French] at the chapel of the Savov, before the French Congregation, which usually assembles in that place, upon the first day that divine service was there celebrated according to the Liturgy of the Church of England.” Translated into English by G. B. doctor in physic, Lond. 1662, 4to. 2. “A View of the Government and public Worship of God in the reformed churches of England, as it is established by the act of uniformity,” Lond. 1662, 4to. Exceptions having been made to this book by the nonconformists, partly m a book called “Apologia | pro ministris trt Anglia (vulgo) noneonformistis,” by an anonymous author, supposed to be Henry Hickman, he published, 3. “Sanctae Ecclesise Anglicanao ad versus iniquas atque inverecundas Schismaticorum Criminationes, Vindiciae.” The presbyterians, taking great offence at it, published these answers: 1. “Bonasus Vapulans or some castigations given to Mr. John Durel for fouling himself and others in his English and Latin book,” Loud. 1672, 8vo, reprinted in 1676 under this title, “The Nonconformists vindicated from the Abuses put upon them by Mr. Durel and Mr. Scrivner.” 2. Dr. Lewis Du Moulin published also this answer thereto: “Patronus bonre fidei, in causa Puritanorum,” &c Lond. 1672, 8vo. Besides these, Dr. Durel published his “Theoremata philosophise,” consisting of some theses maintained at the university of Caen; a French and Latin edition of the Common Prayer Book; and a French translation of the Whole Duty of Man, partly written by his wife. 1

1 Ath. Ox. vol. II. Biog. Brit.