David Ancillon the Elder

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David Ancillon ("the elder" to distinguish himself from his son of the same name; born March 17, 1617 in Metz , † September 3, 1692 in Berlin ) was a French, later Prussian Reformed theologian and pastor.


Ancillon was a son of the lawyer Abraham Ancillon, who despite his Reformed creed became a member of the parliament of Metz. After studying at the University of Geneva in 1633, he became a pastor in Meaux in 1641 . In 1653 he returned to his hometown as a pastor and worked as a journalist in addition to community work. He wrote against Richelieu an apology by Luther , Zwinglis , Calvins and Bezas as well as a biography of Guillaume Farel . A public disputation with the Roman Catholic Bishop Pierre Bédacier also gave him great prestige.

After the edict of Nantes was repealed , he fled to Frankfurt am Main with a large part of his congregation in 1685 and quickly found a job as a preacher in neighboring Hanau . In the following year he was appointed preacher of the Huguenot community in Berlin by the Great Elector , who strongly encouraged the settlement of French Protestants in Brandenburg . As a special decoration of honor, the elector also appointed him court preacher .


From Ancillon's marriage to Marie Machard, among others, the Prussian lawyer and diplomat Charles Ancillon , who wrote his father's first biography, and the theologian David Ancillon the Younger (1670–1723), who succeeded his father as pastor and court preacher. Other descendants also achieved high positions in the Prussian state; the great-great-grandson Jean Pierre Frédéric Ancillon became the tutor of the future King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia and foreign minister.

Fonts (selection)

  • Apology De Luther, de Zwingle, de Calvin, & de Beze: Où Response Au Chapitre dixiéme du second Livre de la Methode de Monsieur le Cardinal de Richelieu. Lasché, Hanau 1666.
  • L'idée du fidele Ministre de Jesus Christ, ou la vie de Guillaume Farel Ministre. Jean Garrel, Amsterdam 1691.
  • Mélange critique de littérature recueilli des conversations de feu Monsieur Ancillon ... Eman & König, Basel 1698 ( digitized version ).


  • Charles Ancillon : Discours sur la vie de feu Monsieur Ancillon et ses dernières heures. Eman & König, Basel 1698 (Appendix to the Mélange critique ).
  • Adolf Brecher:  Ancillon, David . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 1, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1875, p. 419 f.
  • Otto Michaelis: David Ancillon and the collapse of the old Metz Huguenot church. In: The Evangelical Church in Lorraine in the past and present. Scriba, Metz 1917, pp. 45-50.
  • Friedrich Wilhelm BautzAncillon, David. In: Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL). Volume 1, Bautz, Hamm 1975. 2nd, unchanged edition Hamm 1990, ISBN 3-88309-013-1 , Sp. 0-0.
  • Ancillon, David, Reformed theologian. In: Bernd Moeller , Bruno Jahn: German Biographical Encyclopedia of Theology and the Churches. Vol. 1. Saur, Munich 2005, p. 40.
  • Julien Léonard: De Metz à Berlin. La vie de David Ancillon (1617-1692), pasteur reformé en France et dans le Refuge. Diss. Université de Metz, 2005.
  • Julien Léonard: David Ancillon, une figure méconnue de pasteur idéal pour les protestants du XVIIe siècle. In: Chrétiens et sociétés 13 (2006), pp. 71–87 ( online version ).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Julien Léonard: Un episode méconnu des controverses confessionnelles messines du XVII siècle. Les conférences entre David Ancillon and Pierre Bédacier (1657). In: Bulletin de la Société de l'Histoire du Protestantisme Français 153 (2007), pp. 359-370.