1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Ancillon, Charles
|←Ancillary||1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 1
|Ancillon, Johann Peter Friedrich→|
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ANCILLON, CHARLES (1659–1715), one of a distinguished family of French Protestants, was born on the 28th of July 1659, at Metz. His father, David Ancillon (1617–1692), was obliged to leave France on the revocation of the edict of Nantes, and became pastor of the French Protestant community in Berlin. Charles Ancillon studied law at Marburg, Geneva, and Paris, where he was called to the bar. At the request of the Huguenots at Metz, he pleaded its cause at the court of Louis XIV., urging that it should be excepted in the revocation of the edict of Nantes, but his efforts were unsuccessful, and he joined his father in Berlin. He was at once appointed by the elector Frederick “juge et directeur de colonie de Berlin.” He had before this published several works on the revocation of the edict of Nantes and its consequences, but his literary capacity was mediocre, his style stiff and cold, and it was his personal character rather than his reputation as a writer that earned him the confidence of the elector. In 1687 he was appointed head of the so-called Académie des nobles, the principal educational establishment of the state; later on, as councillor of embassy, he took part in the negotiations which led to the assumption of the title of king by the elector. In 1699 he succeeded Pufendorf as historiographer to the elector, and the same year replaced his uncle Joseph Ancillon as judge of all the French refugees in Brandenburg. He died on the 5th of July 1715. Ancillon's chief claim to remembrance is the work that he did for education in Prussia, and the share he took, in co-operation with Leibnitz, in founding the Academy of Berlin. Of his fairly numerous works the only one still of value is the Histoire de l'établissement des Français réfugiés dans les états de Brandebourg (Berlin, 1690).