About the Author
Jean-Henri Merle d'Aubigné (16 August 1794 – 21 October 1872) was a Swiss Protestant minister and historian of the Reformation. He was born at Eaux Vives, a neighbourhood of Geneva. A street in the area is named after him. The ancestors of his father Robert Merle d'Aubigné (1755–1799), were French Protestant refugees. Jean-Henri was destined by his parents to a commercial life; but at college he decided to be ordained. He was profoundly influenced by Robert Haldane, the Scottish missionary and preacher who visited Geneva and became a leading light in Le Réveil. When in 1817 he went abroad to further his education, Germany was about to celebrate the tercentenary of the Reformation; and thus early he conceived the ambition to write the history of that great epoch. Studying at Berlin University for 8 months 1817–1818 he received stimulus from teachers as diverse as J. A. W. Neander and W. M. L. de Wette. In 1818, d'Aubigné took up the post of pastor of the French Protestant church at Hamburg where he served for five years. In 1823 he was called to become pastor of the Franco-German Brussels Protestant Church and preacher to the court of William I of the Netherlands of the House of Orange-Nassau. At the Belgian revolution of 1830 he thought it advisable to undertake pastoral work at home rather than to accept an educational post in the family of the Dutch king. The Evangelical Society had been founded with the idea of promoting evangelical Christianity in Geneva and elsewhere, but it was found that there was also needed a theological school for the training of pastors. On his return to Switzerland, d'Aubigné was invited to become professor of church history in an institution of the kind, and continued to labor in the cause of evangelical Protestantism. In him the Evangelical Alliance found a hearty promoter. He frequently visited England, was made a D.C.L. v Oxford University, and received civic honors from the city of Edinburgh. He died suddenly in 1872.