1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Rapin, Paul de
RAPIN, PAUL DE (1661–1725), sieur of Thoyras, French historian, was the son of Jacques de Rapin, avocat at Castres (Tarn), where he was born on the 25th of March 1661. He was educated at the Protestant academy of Saumur, and in 1679 became an advocate, but soon afterwards entered the army. The revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, and the death of his father led him to come to England; but, unable to find employment there, he crossed to Holland and enlisted in the company of French volunteers at Utrecht commanded by Daniel de Rapin, his cousin-german. He accompanied the prince of Orange to England in 1688, and during the Irish campaign he took part in the siege of Carrickfergus and the battle of the Boyne, and was wounded at the battle of Limerick. Soon afterwards he was promoted captain; but in 1693 he resigned in order to become tutor to the earl of Portland’s son. After travelling with his charge, he settled with his family in Holland, first at the Hague, then, for economy’s sake, at Wesel, in 1707, where he began his great work, L’Histoire d’Angleterre. Though he was of a strong constitution, the seventeen years’ application ruined his health. He died in 1725.
Rapin was also the author of a Dissertation sur les Whigs et les Torys (1717). L’Histoire d’Angleterre, embracing the period from the invasion of the Romans to the death of Charles I., was printed at the Hague in 1724 in 8 vols. It was translated into English and improved with notes by Tindal, in 2 vols. folio, 1725–31. Rapin’s history of England was almost the only one available in France in the first half of the 18th century.