Jakob Abbadie

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Jakob Abbadie (1654? - 25 September 1727)[1], also known as Jacques or James Abbadie, was a Protestant divine and writer. He became dean of Killaloe, in Ireland.



Jacques Abbadie was born at Nay, Béarn, probably in 1654, although 1657 and 1658 have been given. There is some colour for the assertion of Samuel Smiles that he was "the scion of a distinguished Béarnese family"; although it is probable that the poverty of his parents would have excluded him from a learned career if some of the leading Protestants of the district had not charged themselves with the expenses of his education. This was commenced under M. Jean de la Placette, the minister of Nay, He studied at Puylaurens, the Academy of Saumur, and the Academy of Sedan. He received the degree of doctor in theology, it is said, at the age of seventeen. An obituary notice, however, which appeared in the Daily Courant for 5 October 1727, says: "He was not above twenty-two when he undertook of himself his admirable treatise on the “Truth of the Christian Religion”".

About the same time he was sent for by Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg, to be minister of the French church at Berlin. The electoral summons found Abbadie at Paris, and it was conveyed through the Count d'Espense, who had been commissioned by his master to make the selection. After spending some years in Berlin as minister of a French Protestant church, where he had great success as a preacher. The congregation of refugees, small enough at first to be accommodated in an apartment of the Count d'Espense's residence, grew gradually from increased emigration to Brandenburg, caused by the revocation of the edict of Nantes in 1685. The elector ordered the ancient chapel of his palace to be prepared for the congregation, and the services were frequently attended by the younger members of his family. Abbadie's arrival in Berlin has been variously assigned to the years 1680 and 1681. During seven or eight years he used his increasing favour with the elector to relieve the distress of the refugees from France, and especially from his native province of Béarn. Abbadie continued to occupy his pastorate at Berlin until the death of the great elector, which took place 29 April 1688.

He then accompanied Marshal Schomberg to England in 1688, and the following year became minister of the French church in the Savoy area of London. There William III promoted him to the deanery of Killaloe in Ireland. In the autumn of 1689 he went to Ireland with the marshal.

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