Basnage the name of a French family which has produced many distinguished men. (See Haag, La France Protestante, 2:5-15.)
1. BENJAMIN, was born at Carentan in 1580, and during fifty-one years was pastor of the church which his father had held at Carentan. He attended, as provincial deputy, nearly all the synods of the Protestant churches of France held during his lifetime. He presided over the assembly held at Rochelle in 1622, which decided on resisting the king. He also signed the project of defense under the title of "Moderateur Ajoint," and went to England to solicit aid. On the termination of hostilities, Basnage returned to France, and was appointed deputy to the synod at Charenton, 1623. The zeal with which he maintained the reformed religion rendered him an object of increasing suspicion to the court. The king, by a decree, forbade him to take part in the synod of Charenton in 1631. This synod made remonstrances against this decree so forcibly that the court yielded, and Basnage was admitted to the synod, in which he exercised great influence. He was elected president of the national synod at Alencon in 1637. He died in 1652. His principal work was a treatise on the Church (De l'estat visible et invisible de l'Eglise, etc., Rochelle, 1612, 8vo). He left imperfect a work against the worship of the Virgin.
2. ANTOINE, eldest son of Benjamin, was born in 1610. He was minister at Bayeux, and during the renewed persecutions of the Protestants he was, at the age of sixty-five, placed in the prison of Havre de Grace; but his firmness remained unshaken. After the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, he escaped to Holland in 1685, and died in 1691 at Zutphen, in which place he had held a pastoral charge.
3. SAMUEL (de Flottemanville), son of Antoine, was born at Bayeux in 1638. He preached at first in his native place, but escaped with his father to Holland in 1685. He died a preacher at Zutphen in 1721. His principal works were — L'Histoire de la Religion des Eglises Reformees (Rotterdam, 1690, 2 vols. fol., republished 1699): — De Rebus Sacris et Ecclesiasticis exercitationes Historico-criticae (Traject. 1692, 1717, 4to) Annales Politico-Ecclesiastici annorum DCXLV a Caesare Augusto ad Phocam (Rotterdam, 1706, 3 vols. folio). Both these works contain masterly criticisms on Baronius.
4. JACQUES, de Beauval, eldest son of Henri, was born at Rouen, August 8th, 1653. He was early sent to study at Saumur under Le Fevre; thence he went to Geneva and Sedan, where his master was the celebrated Jurieu. In 1676 he became a minister, and married in 1684 a daughter of Pierre Dumoulin. Upon the revocation of the Edict of Nantes he went to Rotterdam, and in 1691 he was appointed a minister at the Hague. Voltaire declared him fit to be minister of state for the kingdom. He died December 22d, 1723. His principal works are—
1. Histoire de l'Eglise depuis Jesus-Christ jusqu'a present (Rotterdam, 1699, 2 vols. fol.), a work in high repute: —
2. Histoire de la Religion des Eglises Reformees (ibid. 1690, 2 vols. 4to). These two works were published, together with great additions and alterations, at Rotterdam, 1721, 5 vols. 8vo; and with still greater augmentations in 1725, in 2 vols. 4to. The latter work is a reply to Bossuet's Variations: —
3. Histoire des Juifs depuis Jesus-Christ jusqu'a present (1706, 5 vols. 12mo, and 1716, in 15 vols. 12mo), a work of vast learning and research, which the Abbe Dupin reprinted anonymously at Paris, with great alterations and mutilations. This caused Basnage to publish a work in vindication of his claim to the history. There is an English translation ly Taylor (Lond. 1708, fol.) made from the first edition: —
4. Antiquites Judaiques (as a supplement to the treatise of Cuneus) (1713, 2 vols. 8vo): —
5. Dissertation historique sur les Duels et les Ordres de Chevalerie, a curious work, reprinted with the Histoire des Ordres de Chevalerie (1720, 8vo, 4 vols.): —
6. La Communion Sainte (1668, in 18mo). A seventh edition was published in 1708, with the addition of a book on the duties of those who do not communicate. This work was so much liked by others besides Protestants that it was printed at Rouen and Brussels, and used by Romanists: —
7. Histoire de l'Ancien et du Nouveau Testament (Amst. 1705, 2 vols. fol.); often reprinted, and recommended by the Abbe Lenglet to readers of the Roman Communion. Basnage also reprinted in 1727 the great collection of Canisius, entitled Thesaurus Monumentorum Ecclesiasticorum et Historicorum, and he wrote various other minor works. — Biog. Univ. 3, 493; Landon, Eccl. Dict. 2:77.
5. HENRI (de Beauval), brother of JACQUES, was born at Rouen, August 7,1656, and followed the profession of his father. On the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1687 he took refuge in Holland, and died there, March 29,1710, aged 54 years. He wrote Traite de la Tolerance des Religions (1684, 12mo), and edited l'Histoire des Ouvrages des Savans, a widely- circulated journal, which was commenced in September, 1687, as a continuation of Bayle's Nouvelles de la Republique des Lettres, and terminated in June, 1709; it consists of 24 vols. 12mo. Basnage published in 1701 an improved edition of Furetiere's Dictionary; the Dictionnaire de Trevoux (1704) is partly a reprint of this work, without mention of the name of either Furetiere or Basnage. — Hoefer, Biog. Generale, 4:687- 690.