M. (Paul) Rapin de Thoyras.

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Daughter of Mr. de Lupe, Lord of Maravat, Captain of
fifty Men at Arms, Governor of Mauvezin a Cautionary-
Town, and a Major-General.

He left a numerous Iffue, of whom his fecond Son
James, Sieur de Thoyras (3), was the darling of his Pa-
rents. His Father left him more than any of the other
younger Children, and his Mother gave him moreover that
portion of the Eftate of 'John de la Ferriere, Vidame (4)
of Chartres, and one of the Heads of the French Proteftants,
which fell to her in right of her Mother. He was defigned
for a Soldier, like his Brothers ; but his Mother willing to
have him near her, was for breeding him a Scholar, to
which the Father confented. After he had finifhed his
Studies, he was admitted Advocate in the Court of the
Edict (5) of Cajlres, and, contrary to the cuftom of the
Country, where Perfons nobly defcended are never of that
Profe.fion, he przetifed it both at Cajlres and at Cajlel-
naudary, and Toulouje, above fifty years, to the day of his
death. It is true, I include the four years he fpent at
Paris, where he went, upon news of Mr. Pelliffon his
Brother-in-law, being arretted with Mr. Fouquet. No-
thing patted in that famous affair, but what he was privy
to, and he was very ferviceable in many refpedfs. He was
one of the three concerned in the Feclum, and fupplied all
we find there relating to the Roman Law. I faw in France
a Letter lent to him by Mr. Fouquet from the Bajlile,

thanking him for it in the moft affectionate manner. All
that knew him, of whom feveral are now living, have
always defcribed him as one of the prime Advocates of his
time, and very eminent for his impartiality and integriQr.
His Wife, who died at Geneva, where fhe v\.;;> fent by
the King's order, for refufing to turn Papift, was Sifter of
George and Paul Pelliffon, whofe Memory is ftill recent.
Her Father and Grandfather were Judges in the Parlia-
ment of Touloufe, and in the Court of the Edict of Cajlres.
Raymond Pclliffon her Great Grandfather, after having been
Matter of the Requefts, and Ambatt.idor to Portugal, was
at -laft firft Prefident of the Senate of Chamber's, and
Commandant in Savoy, whilft in poffeffion of the French.
I fay nothing of a very extraordinary affair that befell him,
and on which feveral Authors (6) have enlarged, nor of
his Dependents above-named, becaufe I fhoukl only copy
what is to be found in the Supplement to Morcri's Dictio-
nary printed at Amjlerdam in 1716. This Family, from
whence have fprung feveial illuftrious Perfons (7), is ori-
ginally Englijh (S), and comes> from an Attorney- Gene-
ral to the Prince of JVales when in Guienne.

I proceed now to Mr. de Rapin, who is propeily
the f object of my Letter. Paul de Rapin, Sieur de
Thoyras, younger Son of James, was born at Cojircs,
March 2;. 1661. He began to ftudy Latin under a Tu-
tor, his Father kept in the Houfe, after which he was fent
to Puylaurens, and from thence to Saumur. At this laft
place, when about feventeen, he had a quarrel with a
Friend, upon a flight occafion, and they immediately chal-
lenged each other. But whether they loft time in fetching
their Swords, for being Students they feldom wore any,
or the Duel held long, Night came whilft they were en-
gaged, and then, Mr. de Rapin's Sword broke near
the hilt without his perceiving it. His Adverfary imme-
diately feeing it, generouflv told him. Whereupon the
Combat ceafed, and embracing each other, they returned
together to Town. Some time after he had another quar-
rel with a perfon much older than himfelf, who rudely
joftled him as he was walking through a narrow and dif-
ficult pattage. Mr. de R a p 1 n fell upon him, but they
were quickly parted by the People there prefent. He ran
for his Sword, and fpeedily returning, found the Perfon
gone, neither could he meet with him, though he careful-
ly fought him feveral da) T s. Some time after, he heard the
Man was gone to Paris, where Mr. DE Rapin follo.wed
him. He was no fooner arrived, but he was feized by a
Guard of the Marfhals of France. This accident, which
he did not expert, believing his defign very fecret, becaufe
he had not imparted it, was occafioned by the advice his
Uncle Pelliffon received from Saumur, from whence he was
informed of the fuppofed caufe of his Nephew's journey,
which might be of ill confequence, and withal, of the place
where his antagonift might be heard of. Mr. Pelliffon.
fearing a Duel would enfue, which, however it ended,
would ruin his Nephew, acquainted the Marfhals of
France with the matter, Mr. de Rapin, who was yet very
young, affording them opportunity to fecure him, by go-
ing directly to his Uncle's. The Marfhals having heard
both Parties, condemned the aggreffor to lie in Prifon at
Fort-V Eveque, till Mr. de Rapin fhould cpnfent to his
difcharge, which he did about a month after, at the defire
of the Prince of Furjlcmberg Bifhop of Strasburg, who
was then at Paris. Mean while, the next day after the
fentence, the Prifoner's Brother, who was reckoned a good
Sword's-man, meeting Mr. de Rapin in the Street,
accofled him, and, talking to him fo as to renew the
quarrel, Mr. de Rapin anfwered him by drawing his
Sword, and wounded him before they were parted. But
this rencounter was kept fecret by the advice of the Friends
of both Parties, for fear of incenfing the Marfhals.

The beginning of the year 1679, Mr. de Rapin re-
turned to his Father's, in order to apply himfelf clofely to
the ftudy of the Law. But before he had made any pro-
grefs, he was obliged, with many other young Gentle-
men, to commence Advocate, upon notice of an Edict
which was publifhed foon after, that a Doctor's Degree
fhould not be given to any perfon, who had not ftudied
five years in fome Univerlity.

This fame year, the Courts of the Edia were fup-
prefled, by which Mr. de Rapin's Family were forced

(1) W Bx«iHic» of Rapin made a gnat Noifi, and tie Frince -viry jyfit, tomflained of it toil, Ktng and $***, l^r M^fti" alfi txfnpd great
0ilw M again/} tttPariamtni of Touloufe, i« tber Utttrt to tbem on that utafim. Annals of Touloufe. Ann. 1568. It is kit to the Reader to
judge whether any thing like this would have happened for a private concern. . D

(2) incer.fo orVdanorum et fenatorum, p.arcipue circa urb,m, praedijs, quod eos a public a quiete max.me omn.um abhorrere djcerent Pr.teflantes, re-
cent! adhuc cb «u!os obvenante Xafm- , ante bienniurr, a Rrge et Ccndaro ut Edicti pacincatorii F nmu!g»tioneir. uigeret, m urtem m.m, & imroam per-
fflia igr.ominiofo tupplicio afiecti, mctnoria ; cujus indignam nccem iili , inauditis et jure belli inccnccffis vaflaticiubus, ultum in teltabantur. Jiua-
anui. lib. 42.

(3; The Name 0! a Village belonging to his Family.

(4.) That k, Judge ol a E:(hcp'j Temporal Jurildiilion. ■ . . " _ .

(5, La CtaJns dt r Ed,t were Courts of Judicature mfltd in feveial Towns, in behalf of the Hugor.ot,,, the Judges bemg half Reformed, and half

(6) Rtcueil d' Arrcti de Pa fen, Liv. 19. Art. 9. Bifioirtt Mmiralltt de Simon Goularr, Tom. I. p- »•

(7) Sec Rrtktrcfo dot Antiauitca it la Lcnguc lianjoijt, tu PitJionain Can hi', By Btrcl,
(S) Bcril in the !>mc y.acc, p. 377.


Some Particulars of the Life of Mr. d e R a p i n.


to remove to Touloufe. Not long after^ Mr. de Rapin
perceiving the ill ftate of the Reformed, and that, proba-
bly, it would daily grow worfe, delired his Father's con-
tent to quit the Profeifion of Advocate for That of Arms.
His Father, without abfo'utely denying his requeft, returned
fuch an anfwer, as only tended to gain time. Not that
the Requeft feemed to him unreafonable and ill-grounded :
but he was apprehenfive this new way of life, where ambi-
tion is more fired than in any other, would expofe his Son
to great temptation, when he fhould find by daily experi-
ence, that it would not be poffible to rife to any tolerable
Port, fo long as he adhered to his Religion ; whereas that
obftacle being removed, he might hope to be advanced like
the reft. This ftate of Uncertainty made him very remifs
in the ftudy of the Law. He pleaded however one caufe
as Advocate, but flopped there, and applied himfelf more
clofely than ever, to the reading of good Authors, to the
Mathematicks and Mufick, in which he acquired great

In the year 1685 his Father died, and two months af-
ter, the Edi£t of Nantz was revoked. Whereupon Mr.
de Rapin retired into the Country with his Mother
and Brothers. But as the perfecution, fhortly after, was
at the higheft, he departed with his youngeft Brother and
arrived in England, in March 16 36.

Not long after, there came to London a French Abbe of
Quality, and Friend of Mr. Pelliffbn, who made Mr. D E
Rapin frequent vifits, and introduced him to Mr. de
Barillon the French AmbafTador, from whom Mr. de
Rapi n received great civilities. Thefe Gentlemen would
have perfwaded him to wait upon the King, a/Turing him
of a gracious reception. Mr. de Rapin', who could
not fee what pretenllons he had to fuch an honour, and be-
lides, was apprehenfive that a Propofal feemindy fo advan-
tagious might tend to his prejudice, excufed himfelf in the
handfomeft manner he could. This affair put him upon
ferioufly reflecting on his prefent fituation, continually
teazed about his Religion, by the Marquifs of Seiffac and
other French Catholicks then at London, but efpecially by
the Abbe, who, though extremely courteous and civil, al-
ways turned their Converfation to Controverfy. Per-
ceiving therefore it was not poflible for him to defend him-
felf unprepared, againft a Man who was matter of thefe
Subjects, and managed them with great art, he returned
into the Country, from whence he was come to viht the
Abbe, without taking leave. He knew himfelf guilty of
ill manners, but chofe to be fo, rather than remain any
longer expofed.

As he had then no expectations in England, he made
but a fhort ftay, and going over to Holland, where he had
relations, he lifted himfelf in a Company of French Vo-
luntiers at Utrecht , commanded by Mr. de Rapin his
Coufin German.

The fame year, Mr. Pellijjon publifhed his Refieclions on
Religious Differences, and fent them to Mr. de Rapin,
charging him to tell him his opinion, which he did very
largely, as he faid himfelf, retorting, in feveral places,
Mr. Pellijfon's expreffions. But nothing of this appears
among his Papers. Not that I think it either loft
or miflaid, but rather believe that out of modefty he never
took a Copy, imagining that what he could fay on fuch
a Subject was not worth preferving.

He was ftill in the Company of Voluntiers when they
went into England with the Prince of Orange. But in
1689, the Lord King/ion made him Enfign in his own
Regiment, with which he palled into Ireland. At the
Siege of Carrickfergus, juft after his arrival, he had the
good fortune to gain the efteem of the Officers of the Re-
giment, and efpecially of Lieutenant Colonel Fielding,
who, in lefs than a year, procured him a Lieutenancy.

In the beginning of 1690, the Regiment to which Mr.
de Rapin belonged, was given to Lieutenant General
Douglas, who, upon the recommendation of three French
Colonels of the Army, took more notice of him than of
the reft of the Subalterns, and afterwards put a very great
confidence in him.

After the battle of the Boyne, in which Mr. de Rapin
was prefent, General Douglas was detached with his own,
and twelve other Regiments of Horfe and Foot, to make
a diverfion about Athlone, and, if poffible, furprize the
Town. He appointed Mr. d E Rapin and Mr. Carles,
now Lieutenant General in Portugal, to acSt as Quarter-
Mafter General of his little Army. This Siege not
proving fuecefsful, the Town being ftrongly garrifoned,
General Douglas -was recalled. Mr. de Rapin, who
was fent before to receive orders, found the King at the
head ot a Line, who flopping him, asked feveral Quef-
tions, to which Mr. de Rapin made fuch anfwers, as
ferved to remove fome ill impreflions infufed into his Ma-
jefly concerning Douglas's Conduct.

At the afiault ot Limcric, he was {hot in the Shoulder,
and next day the Siege being railed, was forced to ride
Vol. 1. 3

four miles on Hcrfeback in great anguifh. He was left
with the reft of the wounded, ( among whom was his
Brother, who was ftiot through th< ; i , ; and fo luff, his
Regiment, which was ordered to the North. But fhortly
alter, he heard Genera! Douglas had procured him a Com-
pany, and caufed him to be admitted, though absent. It
was the fame Company where lie had been Enfign, and
where was ftill the fame Lieutenant which made Mr. de
Rapin extremely uneafy.

The next year, General Douglas had orders to go to
Flanders. Mr. de Rapin', whom he defigned for his
A:d de Camp, not being in a condition to attend him, by
reafon of his wound, advifed him to take another, to whom
the General foon gave a Company in the Scotch Guards,
of which he was now Colonel. The Campain opened in
Ireland with the taking of Baltimore, where Mr. de R a-
P 1 N had the fatisfadtion to be ferviceable to a poor dif-
treffed captive Family, with whom he was acquainted the
foregoing year. He was afterwards at the Siege of Athlone,
and in the aflault, made through the River that runs un-
der the ftrongeft Rampart of the Town, a bold and brave
action, and which fucceeded, as it is thought, contrary to
the expectation of the Generals. In this Town were left
two Regiments of different Nations, commanded by the
Lieutenant Colonels, who underftood not each other's Lan-
guage, and were both very jealous of their Power, which
might have occafioned uifputes. Happily, Mr. de Ra-
P 1 n belonged to one, and his intimate Friend, a Captain
of good fenle, to the other, who were both equally efteem-
ed by their refpective Commanders ; fo whenever any acci-
dent happened that was like to breed a quarrel, thefe two
Officers, who were unprejudiced, agreed between them
upon what was to be done, and advifed it each with
conftant fuccefs.

After thar, Mr. de Rapin was fent fucceffively to
feveral Garrifons, and among the reft to Kilkenny, where
he frequently waited on the Bifhop, who feemed pleafed
with his Converfation. This commerce would have been
very agreeable, could he have peaceably enjoyed it, but the
warm and dajly contefts between the Mayor and the Of-
ficers, fcarce allowed him a moment's repofe. He often
ufed his endeavours to ftifle them, and prevented their pro-
ceeding to extremities. Mean while, his fear that things
would be brought to a defperate pafs, made him gladly
embrace the opportunity of commanding two Companies
in another place. Some time after, he rejoined his Re-
giment at Kingfale, where he contracted an intimate Friend-
fhip with Sir James IValler who commanded there.

About the end of the year 1693, he received an order
to repair to England, without any reafon afligned ; but at
the fame time, a Letter from Mr. Belcajhl informed him,
he was to be Governor to the Earl of Portland's Son. He
could not conceive whence this proceeeded, having never
had any fuch thoughts ; and it was fome time before he
knew, he was recommended by the Lord Galloway. He
came therefore to London and entered upon his Office.
PIcre was an end of all his hopes of rifing in the Army, to
fuch Pofts as feveral younger Officers ot his acquaintance
have obtained. All the amends he received, was leave to
refign his Company to his Brother, who died in 17 19,
Lieutenant- Culonel in a Regiment of Englijh Dragoons.
It is true, fome time after, the King granted him a Pen-
fion of a hundred Pounds a year, till he fhould better pro-
vide for him, which never happened. So he enjoyed his
Penfion feveral years, but upon that Prince's "death, it
ceafed, and a Place was given him, which brought him in
but a moderate income.

His new Employment obliged him to be fometimes
in Holland, often in England, and alio in France, whilft
the Earl of Portland was Ambafiador, till the young Lord
was fixed at the Hague, where he learned his Exercifes.
Whilft he was there, in the year 1699, Mr. de Rapin
married Mariamne Tojlart, an advantagious match, of
whom I fhall fay nothing, as fhe is living. This did not
hinder him however from minding his Pupil, and atten-
ding him in his Travels. He began then with Germany,
where they made fome ftay at feveral Courts, and par-
ticularly at Vienna. From thence thev palled into Italy,
by way of Tyrol, where they faw Marftial Villeroy a Pri-
foner, who gave Mr. de Rapin a Letter for Cardinal
d' Etrtes then at Venice.

At his return, his employment ceafin?, he repaired to
his Family, who in his abfence lived at the Hague, where
he fpent fome years. During that time, he improved his
leilure Hours, as far as the common duties of Lire would
allow, in reluming the ftudv of Fortification, and efos-
cially of Hiftory, which led him to draw manv general
and particular Genealogical and Chronological Tables.
But what was moft agreeable to him, and, as he thought,
moft inftrudfive, was his being Member o! a Society or
Club ftill in being, to the erecting of which he was p..
of contributing, where feveral Perform of Learning and
[ c J

Some Particulars of the Life of Mr. de R a p i n.

Merif reafoned upon fuch Subjects as occurred, and fpoke
their opinion on fuch queftions as were ufually propofed.
Mean while, as he found his Family increafe, he refolved
to facrifice to the good of his Children the pleafures of the
Hague, by retiring to a cheaper Country. Accordingly,
he removed in i 707 to Wezel in the Duchy of Clevcs. He
found there a good number of French Refugees, among
whom were feveral Officers, Men of Quality, with whom
he lived very friendly ; and he was alio received as kindly
as could be expected, by Perfons of the higheft rank, who
were chiefly concerned in the Government of the Coun-
try, and who, on all occafions, gave him marks of their

The way of living at Wezel, different in many refpedts
from that of the Hague, rendered him more than ever
mafter of his time, and allowed him almoft as much lei-
fure as he could defirc, to ftudy the Hiftory of England,
and the nature of the Government. This was a more ex-
tenfive defign than perhaps it Teems at firft, for it obliged
him, not only to perufe all the Englijh Hiftorians, but alfo
thofe of other Nations, who had any affairs with the
Englijh, in order to procure light, and be allured of the
truth of the fails, by confronting the feveral Authors.
He would have found it very difficult to fucceed, or rather
would, probably, have mifcarried, had he not before qua-
lified himfelf for reading, in their original Tongue, all the
Books he was obliged to confult. Befides Greek and Latin,
which he learnt at the College, and had fince improved,
he underftood Italian and Spanijh, not to mention High
and Lima-Dutch, of which indeed he was not fo much
mailer. As for Englijh, which was the moft neceflary of
all, he had made that his particular Study.

Though he was of a very ftrong conftitution, yet a
feventeen years conffant application to compofe his Hiftory,
entirely mined his health. About three years before his
death,' he found himfelf quite fpent, and frequently feized
with violent pains in his Stomach. He might have re-
covered if he would have relinquifhed his Work, and un-
bent his mind for a time. Of this he was fenfible, but
could not refolve it, as he ought. All he indulged himfelf
in, was, not to rife before fix a-Clock, after which it was

impoflible for him to fleep or lie in his bed. As to kis
diverfions, of which walking was the moft ufual, he was
quickly tired of them, and, if his indifpofition permitted,
returned to his Work, which was the caufe of his illnefs,
and properly his fole delight. At laft, a violent Fever, at-
tended with an oppreflion upon his Lungs, carried him off
the feventh day, being the 16th of May 1725-

He has left one Son and fix Daughters.

From what has been faid, it appears that Mr. D e
R a p 1 n was naturally grave. This led him, whilft he
was in the fervice, to feek the converfation of the Serious,
which prejudiced not only feveral of his Comrades, but
even fome of his Superiors, againft him, who would have
had him partake of all their diverfions. But, on the o-
ther hand, it gained him the Efteem and Friendship of
many Perfons of Merit, who were in confiderable Pofts.
We are not however to imagine, he was an enemy to
Mirth : he could be merry on occafion, though not fo fre-
quently, nor fo immoderately as many are. Nay, he writ
feveral little things in Profe and Verfe, with humour and
gaiety : but as they were on light or ludicrous Subjects,
and defigned only for a prefent amufement with his
Friends, he never thought them worth reviling, and I
queftion whether there is one to be found among his Pa-
pers. What has been faid of his application to his Study,
and Works, is alfo to be underftood with this limita-
tion, that it never hindered him from embracing all
opportunities to ferve his Friends, and reconcile their diffe-

Thus have I done what lies in my power, to make known
Mr. de R a pin's Character. I am fenfible, that to have
a compleat Idea of him, we muft, befides what I have faid,
confider him in his Writings, but this is what I fhall not
undertake. It belongs to the Publick to declare what opi-
nion he there gives of himfelf, and to determine whether
he fhows good Senfe and Judgment in his manner of dis-
covering the motives of Actions ; and above all, whether
he has juftly obferved an entire Impartiality, fo eflential te
a good Hiftory.

This is all I have to fay to you concerning Mr. DE
R a p in. I wifh it may be fatisfactory, and am,

5 I R,

Tours, &9,






The Extent of Great-Britain or Albion. Whence fo called. The Firft Inhabitant?, Cuftorns,
and Manners of the Britons. Their Way of Fighting, and Commerce. Their Religion,
The Druids. Their Government. Original of the Irifli, Scots, and Pidts.

IREJT-BRITJIN k, without
contradiction, the largeft, fineft, and
moft considerable Ifland in Europe :
Nay, one might venture to affirm,
Jlie holds the firft Rank among all
the Ifles of the known World ; and
it would be, perhaps, no difficult task
to prove, /he juftly deferves this Pre-
ference. But not to enter into fo
needlefs a Difcuffion, it fuffices to fay, very few can be
compared to her for Temperatenefs of Air, Number of
Inhabitants, and all the Neceflaries as well as Comforts of
Life. If /be wants any thing of foreign growth, her Wants
are eafily and plentifully fupplied by her Commerce, which
brings home to her whatever is rare and excellent in all Parts
ef the World.

I fhall not undertake to difplay here all that may be faid to
the Advantage of this Ifland, or repeat all the Encomiums
beftowed on her, as well by the Ancients as Moderns. The
prefent flourifhing State of Great-Britain fufficiently fpeaks
for her. Her Fleets, by which the reigns Sovereign of the
Britijh Seas ( i ) ; her Troops, whofe Valour makes them
every where dreaded ; her illuftrious Generals, who have car-
ried the Terror of her Arms to the utmoft Bounds of Eu-
rope, exalt her much Higher than all I can fay in bar Praife.
Befides, every one knows, this truly fortunate Ifle, by her
Riches and the excellent Conftitution of her Government
long fince eftabli filed, enjoys a Happinefs unknown to the
reft of the World.

I don't queftion but the Figure England has made for
fome time, infpires many Perfons with a Curiofity to learn
by what Steps /he is arrived to that Height of Grandeur and
Power, which renders her fo formidable to her Neighbours.
It was this Imagination that led me to publifh the prefent
Hiftory in French, for the Benefit of thofe who not under-
standing the Engli/h Tongue, cannot fatisfy their Curiofity
by reading the Hirtories writ in the Language of the Coun-
try. I am apt to believe this Work mull needs meet with a

favourable Reception, if the Hiftory itfelf does not fuffer by
the Hiftorian's Defects. But

As Great-Britain has all along been divided into two
Parts, namely, England and Scotland, I muft warn the
Reader, that my Defign is only to write the Hiftory of
England in particular. Though the Neighbourhood of thefe
two States has been productive of feveral Events common to
Both, their Hiftories are neverthelefs diftincT: from each
other. And therefore, I fee no fufficient Reafon to induce
me to imitate fundry Hiftorians who have joined them to-
gether, on pretence that the two Kingdoms in the laft
Century were united under one and the fame Sovereign.

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