Jeannin, Peter

, a native of Burgundy, born in 1540, and bred as an advocate in the parliament of Dijon, | rose by his talents and probity to the highest situations in his profession. The states of Burgundy employed him to administer the affairs oi that province, and had every reason to felicitate themselves upon their choice. When the orders for the massacre of St. Bartholomew were received at Dijon, he opposed the execution of them with all his influence; and a few days after arrived a courier to forbid the murders. The appointments of counsellor, president, and finally chief president, in the parliament of Dijon, were the rewards of his merit. Seduced by the pretences of the leaguers to zeal for religion and for the state, Jeanniu for a time united himself with that faction; but he soon perceived their perfidy and wickedness, as well as the completely interested views of the Spaniards, and repented of the step. After the battle of Fontaine Francoise, -in which the final blow was given to the league, Henry IV. called him to his council, and retained him in his court. From this time he became the adviser, and almost the friend of the king^ who admired him equally for his frankness and his sagacity. Jeannin was employed in the negotiation between the Dutch and the court of Spain, the most difficult that could be undertaken. It was concluded in 1609. After the death of Henry IV. the queen-mother confided to him the greatest affairs of the state, and the administration of the finances, and he managed them with Unparalleled fidelity; of which his poverty at his death afforded an undoubted proof. He died in 1622, at the age of eighty-two, having seen seven successive kings on the throne of France. He was the author of a folio collection of negociations and memoirs, printed in 1656, and reprinted in a beautiful edition, 2 vols. 12mo, in the year 1659, which Were long held in the bighest estimation. The regard which Henry IV. felt for him was very great. Complaining one day to his ministers that some among them had revealed a state secret of importance, he took the president by the hand, saying, “As for this good man, I will answer for him.” Yet, though he entertained such sentiments of him, he did little for him; and, being conscious that he had been remiss in this respect, said sometimes, “Many of my subjects I load with wealth, to prevent them from exerting their malice; but for the president Jeannin, I always say much, and do little.1


Moreri. —Dict. Hist. Perrault’s Les Homines Illustres.