Durand, David (DNB00)

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DURAND, DAVID (1680–1763), French protestant minister and author, was born in 1680 at Sommières in the south of France, and studied for the ministry at Basle. Thence he went to Holland, and accompanied a corps of French refugees to Spain, where he was taken prisoner at the battle of Almanza 1707. He would have been burnt alive by some peasants but for the intervention of the Duke of Berwick. From Spain he was sent into France, and succeeded in escaping to Switzerland, ultimately finding his way back to Holland, where he became one of the pastors at Rotterdam, and gained the friendship of Bayle. He finally left Holland for London in 1711, and was successively pastor of the French churches in Martin's Lane and the Savoy. He became a member of the Royal Society in 1728, and died on 16 Jan. 1763.

Durand was a voluminous author and translator. Among his works, all in French, are a history of the sixteenth century (1725–9), a continuation of Rapin's ‘History of England’ (1734), a history of painting in antiquity (1725), and ‘Histoire naturelle de l'or et de l'argent, extraite de Pline le Naturaliste,’ London, 1729, which contains a lumbering imitation of ‘Paradise Lost’ in French verse.

[Barbier's Dict. des Ouvrages Anonymes et Pseudonymes, vol. iv.; a biographical notice by Samuel Beuzeville, prefixed to Durand's posthumous work, La Vie de J. J. Ostervald, London, 1778, a very rare book; Haag's La France Protestante and Agnew's Protestant Exiles; Gent. Mag. 1763, p. 46.]

F. T. M.