Du Plessis-Mornay (PHILIPPE DE MORNAY), a statesman and controvertist, and one of the most eminent French Protestants in the latter part of the 16th century, was born at Buhy, November 5, 1549. His father, James de Mornay, was a zealous Roman Catholic, but his mother, who inclined to the Protestant doctrines, gave her son a tutor who held the same views. His father, to counteract this influence, sent him in 1557 to the college of Lisieux, but died in 1559. Philip was now called home to his mother, who had openly embraced the cause of the Reformation. After completing his studies, he visited Italy and Germany from 1565 to 1572. On his return he addressed a memoir to admiral Coligny on the state of the Netherlands, and the expediency of a French expedition in that country. Coligny, struck by the memoir, contemplated sending the author on a mission to the prince of Orange, but in the massacre of St. Bartholomew, in August 1572, the admiral was murdered. Mornay, saved by a Roman Catholic, fled to England, where he was well received. He, however, returned to France in the following year, and took an active part in the efforts made by the Protestants to strengthen their cause by connecting it with that of the duke of Alenqon. At Sedan he married Charlotte Arbaleste de Feuquieres, January 3, 1576, and attached himself to the king of Navarre, who sent him on divers missions to England and Flanders. After his return to France (1582) he took part in the national synod of Vitre, where he proposed a general union of the Protestant churches of France, which proved unsuccessful, but yet greatly increased his consideration among the French Protestants. "From that time until his master ascended the throne of France," say Messrs. Haag, "Mornay was the chief man in his councils; he rendered him important services as a skillful warrior, a good administrator, a deep politician, and an indefatigable writer. If there was help to be asked from Protestant nations, or explanations to be given to foreign princes of the sometimes doubtful conduct of Henry, it was Mornay who drew up the instructions of the envoys when he was not sent himself. When churches had to complain of the non-execution of edicts, it was Mornay who had to draw up the account of their grievances. In short, nothing was done without him." One of his most important acts was his bringing about, in 1589, a reconciliation between Henry III and the king of Navarre. He was rewarded for this service by being appointed governor of Saumur. A short time after, Henry III was assassinated. Mornay then joined the king at Tours, and fought valiantly at Ivry. Henry appointed him one of his councilors, but, as he foresaw that he would be obliged to become a Romanist, the zeal of Mornay for Protestantism was now troublesome to him. He still used him, however, as his chief agent with the Protestants and with the foreign powers. Mornay thought this a favorable time to renew his attempts at conciliating the different Protestant churches among themselves, and even with the Roman Catholics, by means of reciprocal concessions discussed and accepted in a sort of grand council. Henry IV seemed to approve of this plan, and even advised Mornay to consult with the most learned Protestant ministers. But, while the zealous Protestant was calling even the English theologians to his aid in the coming council, Chiverny, the chancellor of Henry IV, wrote to the bishop of Chartres to come on, only without worrying about theology." Mornay saw now, but too late, that he had been duped, and that the abjuration would take place regardless of any discussion, yet he did not refuse being the mediator between the king and the envoys of the churches. But he insisted on the edict of Mantes (1593), which gave securities to the Protestants, and prepared the way for the edict of Nantes. Mornay had no part in framing the latter, but he carefully watched over its execution. Notwithstanding the coolness with which Henry IV treated him during the later years of his reign, he sincerely mourned the king's death, as he foresaw that persecution would soon break forth again. Under Louis XII he attempted to soften the strict measures proposed against the Protestants, and was on that account deprived of his governorship in 1621. He died in 1623, at Laforet-sur- Sevre, in Poitou. He wrote: Discours de la Vie et de la Mort (Lausanne, 1586, 8vo); Remonstrance aux Estats de Blois pour la paix (Lyon, 1576, 12mo); Traite de l'Eglise, oi l'on traite des principales questions qui ont ete mues sur ce point en nostre temps (London. 1578, 8vo); Trait de la verite de la religion chretienne, contre les athees, epicuriens, payens, juifs, mahumedistes et autres infideles (Anvers, 1581, 4to; several times reprinted, last edition 1617); Advertissement sur la reception et publication du concile de Trente (Paris, 1583); Declaration du roi de Navarre sur les calomnies publiees contre lui (Orthez. 1585, 8vo); Lettre dun gentilhomme catholique francois, contenant breve response aux calomnies d'un certain pretendu anglois (1586, 8vo); Declaration du roi de Navarre au passage de la Loire (1589, 8vo); De l'Institution, Usage et Doctrine du sainct sacrement de l'Eucharistie en l'Eglise ancienne, comment, quand, et par quels degrez la messe s'est introduite en sa place, en iv livres (La Rochelle, 1598, 4to); Response a l'examen du docteur Bulenger, par laquelle sont justifiees les allegations par luy pretendues fausses et verifiees les calomnies contre la preface du livre De la saincte Eucharistie (La Rochelle, 1599, 4to); Verification des lieux impugnez de faux, tant en la preface qu aux livres De l'Institution de la saincte Eucharistie par le sieur Dupuy (La Rochelle, 1600, ,8vo); Sommation du sieur Duplessis-Mornay a M. l'Evesque d'Evreur, sur la sommation a lui faicte privement (1600, 8vo); Discours veritable de la conference tenue a Fontainebleau, le 4 may 1600, ou sont traities les principales matieres controversees (Saumur,;1612, 4to); Discours et meditations chrestiennes (Saumur, 1619, 2 volumes, 12mo; 3d volume, 1624, 8vo); Le mystere d'iniquite, c'est-a-dire Histoire de la papaute, par quels progres e'le est montee a ce comble, et quelles oppositions les gens de lien lui ont fait de temps en temps. Ou aussi sont defendus les droicts des empereurs, rois et princes chrestiens, contre les assertions des cardinaux Bellarmin et Baronius (Saumur, 1611, fol.); Testament, Codicile et dernieires heures de P. de Mornay, auxquelles a ete joint son Trait de le Vie et de la Mort, ses larmes sur la mort de son fils unique, et le discours de la mort de Dame Charlotte Arbaleste, son epouse (La Forest, 1624, 8vo; La Haye, 1656, 8vo); Memoires de Messire Philippes de Mornay, seigneur du Plessis-
Marli, etc. (volumes 1 and 2, La Forest, 1624, 1625, 4to; volumes 3 and 4, Amsterdam, 1652, 4to). These Memites were reprinted, with some additions, under the title Memoires, Correspondances et Vie de Duplessis Mornay, etc., par MM. de La Fontenel'e, de Vaudore et Auguis (Paris, 1624-1625, 12 volumes, 8vo).
See Mornay de la Villetertre, Vies de plusieurs anciens seigneurs de la maison de Mornay (1699, 4to); Crusius, Singularia Plessica, seu memorabilit de vita, meritis, factis, controversiis et morte. Phil. Morncei de Plessis, etc. (Hamb. 1724, 8vo); Sismondi, Hist. des Franfais, volumes 19-22; Henry Martin, Histoire de France, volume 9 and 10; H. Duval, Eloge de Philippians Duplessis-Mornay (Paris, 1809, 8vo); J. Imbert, Duplessis- Mornay (Paris, 1847, 8vo); Garrison, Revue des Deux Mondes, February 15, 1848; Haag, La France Protestante; Eugene Poitou, Revue d'Anjou, 1855; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, 36:617; Herzog, Real- Encyklopadie 3:559.