Tronchin, Theodore

, the first of a considerable family of learned men in Geneva and France, was born at Geneva, April 17, 1582, whither his father had fled on account of religion, and narrowly escaped from the massacre of the protestants in 1572. He was then at Troyes, in Champagne, and escaped by means of a priest, his friend and neighbour, who concealed him in his house. He intended to go into Germany, and only to pass through Geneva; but he remained there by the advice of an acquaintance, obtained the freedom of the city, and soon after was admitted into the council of two hundred in acknowledgment of ‘some services which he had done the State during the war with the Duke of Savoy.

His son, Theodore, was educated, by the advice of Beza^ who was his godfather, and he made a vast progress in learning. The testimony which was given him in 1600, | when he went to see foreign universities, represents him as a person of very great hopes. He confirmed this character + all the learned men under whom he studied, or with whom hee became acquainted during the course of his travels, and these comprized most of the eminent men on the contii w > in England. He returned to Geneva in 1606, and gave such proofs of his learning that he was the same year chosen professor of the Hebrew language. In 1607 he married Theodora Rocca, a woman of great merit in all respects, sister to the first syndic of the commonwealth, and grand-daughter to the wife of Theodore Beza, at whose house she had been educated, and whose goddaughter she was. He was chosen minister in December 1605, and created rector of the university in 1610. In 1614 he was requested to read some lectures in divinity besides those on the Hebrew language, on account of the indisposition of one of the professors; and when the professorship of divinity became vacant in 1618, he was promoted to it, and resigned that of Hebrew. The same year he was appointed by the assembly of pastors and professors to answer the Jesuit Colon, who had attacked the French version of the Bible in a book entitled “Geneve Plagiaire.’” This he did in his “Coton Plagiaire,” which was extremely well received by the public. At the same time he was sent with Diodati from the church of Geneva to the synod of Dorr.,' where he displayed his great knowledge in divinity, and a moderation which was highly applauded. He had permission to go to the duke of Rohan for some months in 1632, and fully answered the expectation of that nobleman, who shewed him afterwards great esteem, which he returned by honouring the duke’s memory with an oration, whicij he pronounced some days after the funeral of that great man in 1638. He carried on a very extensive correspondence in the reformed countries, where he gained the friendship of the most learned men, and of several princes and great lords. He had much facility in composing oration:* and Latin verses, and his conversation was highly instructive, for he had joined to the study of divinity and of several languages, the knowledge of the law, and of other sciences, and of sacred and profane history, especially with regard to the two last centuries, particulars of which he frequently introduced, and applied when in company. In 1655 he was appointed by the assembly of pastors to confer and concur with John Dury in the affair of the rennion between | the Lutherans and the reformed, on which subject he wrote several pieces. He died of a fever on the 19th. of November, 1657, having survived all the foreign divines who were present at the synod of Don. He was an open and sincere man, zealous for religion and the service of the churches, a great enemy to vices, though very mild towards persons. His advice was highly esteemed both for the civil government, and in the two ecclesiastical bodies, and by strangers, a great number of whom consulted him. He left, among other children, Lewis Tronchin, who was a minister of the church of Lyons, and was chosen four years after to fill his place in the church and professorship of divinity at Geneva. He died in 1705. He was esteemed one of the ablest divines of his time, and a man of great liberality of senti ment. He was well known to, and corresponded with our archbishops Tillotson and Tenison, and the bishops Compton, Lloyd, and Burnet, who gives him a very high character in his Tour through Switzerland. 1

1 Gen. Dict. Cfaaufepie, who bus a prolix life of Lewis Tronch n.