CAPPEL, a French family which produced some distinguished jurists and theologians in the 15th and 16th centuries. In 1491, Guillaume Cappel, as rector of the university of Paris, protested against a tithe which Innocent VIII. claimed from that body. His nephew, Jacques Cappel (d. 1541), the real founder of the family, was himself advocate-general at the parlement of Paris, and in a celebrated address delivered before the court in 1537, against the emperor Charles V., claimed for Francis I. the counties of Artois, Flanders and Charolais. He left nine children, of whom three became Protestants. The eldest, Jacques (1529-1586), sieur du Tilloy, wrote several treatises on jurisprudence. Louis (1534-1586), sieur de Moriambert, the fifth son, was a most ardent Protestant. In 1570 he presented a confession of faith to Charles IX. in the name of his co-religionists. He disputed at Sedan before the duc de Bouillon with the Jesuit, Jean Maldouat (1534-1583), and wrote in defence of Protestantism. The seventh son, Ange (1537-1623), seigneur du Luat, was secretary to Henry IV., and enjoyed the esteem of Sully. Among those who remained Catholic should be mentioned Guillaume, the translator of Machiavelli. The eldest son Jacques also left two sons, famous in the history of Protestantism: - Jacques (1570-1624), pastor of the church founded by himself on his fief of le Tilloy and afterwards at Sedan, where he became professor of Hebrew, distinguished as historian, philologist and exegetical scholar; and Louis (see below).
On the protest of Guillaume Cappel, see Du Bellay, Historia Universitatis Parisiensis, vol. v. On the family, see the sketch by another Jacques Cappel, "De Capellorum gente," in the Commentarii et notae criticae in Vetus Testamentum of Louis Cappel, his father (Amsterdam, 1689). Consult Eugène and Emile Haag, La France protestante, vol. iii. (new edition, 1881).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)