CLAUDE, JEAN (1619-1687), French Protestant divine, was born at La Sauvetat-du-Dropt near Agen. After studying at Montauban, he entered the ministry in 1645. He was for eight years professor of theology in the Protestant college of Nîmes; but in 1661, having successfully opposed a scheme for re-uniting Catholics and Protestants, he was forbidden to preach in Lower Languedoc. In 1662 he obtained a post at Montauban similar to that which he had lost; but after four years he was removed from this also. He next became pastor at Charenton near Paris, where he engaged in controversies with Pierre Nicole (Réponse aux deux traités intitulés la perpétuité de la foi, 1665), Antoine Arnauld (Réponse au livre de M. Arnauld, 1670), and J.B. Bossuet (Réponse au livre de M. l'évêque de Meaux, 1683). On the revocation of the edict of Nantes he fled to Holland, and received a pension from William of Orange, who commissioned him to write an account of the persecuted Huguenots (Plaintes des protestants cruellement opprimés dans le royaume de France, 1686). The book was translated into English, but by order of James II, both the translation and the original were publicly burnt by the common hangman on the 5th of May 1686, as containing "expressions scandalous to His Majesty the king of France." Other works by him were Réponse au livre de P. Nouet sur l'eucharistie (1668); OEuvres posthumes (Amsterdam, 1688), containing the Traité de la composition d'un sermon, translated into English in 1778.
See biographies by J.P. Nicéron and Abel Rotholf de la Devèze; E. Haag, La France protestante, vol. iv. (1884, new edition).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)