Antoine de Saussure

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Antoine de Saussure

Birthdate: (55)
Birthplace: Dommartin-sous-Amance, Lorraine, France
Death: April 18, 1569 (55)
Geneva, Switzerland
Immediate Family:

Son of Mongin Chouel Chouel de Saulxures; Catherine Warin de Clemery and Catherine Warin de Clemery
Husband of Antoinette d'Augy, dame de Sorcy
Father of Claude de Saussure; Francoise de Saussure; Jean de Saussure, seigneur de Dommartin; Daniel de Saussure, seigneur de Morrens and Jean de Saussure

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About Antoine de Saussure

Antoine de Saussure was born in 1525 to Mongin Chouel de Saulxures and wife Catherine Warin de Clemary. He was one of eleven children, but his name is the only one that has survived. He was most likely born at Dommartin-sous-Amance, his father's seat. He is credited with simplifying the family name to de Saussure. Antoine married Antoinette d'Augy, dame de Sorcy, in 1538. They had 14 children. Antoine inherited his father's estates in 1542.

About 1525, when Antoine was 11, Jean Chauvin (later Latinized to John Calvin) set out to reform the Church in France and Switzerland. Antoine became a devoted follower, possibly the first of his family to become Protestant. This was also the year that Emperor Charles V Francois made his public statement of faith and sanctioned the persecution of Huguenots. The Act of 1535 banned Huguenots from France, however, those protestants living in Lorraine had ducal protection. In 1544, when Duke Antoine dies, that protection ends.

Antoine was imprisoned in 1547 for "offenses against the religion" but was later pardoned. A new trial was ordered in 1550. Christine of Denmark, regent for her under-aged son, Charles, Duke of Lorraine, accused Antoine of corrupting Charles by teaching him about the Protestant faith. Antoine and his family fled Lorraine before he could be arrested.

Antoine, wife Antoinette and six children first went to Metz, then to Strasbourg and Neuchatel. After that, he divided his time between Geneva and Strasbourg, establishing reformed churches wherever he went. Early in their travels, Antoinette gives birth to the seventh child, Jean, whose line carries forward to modern times. He died in Geneva in 1569.

Antoine de Sassure sacrificed a lot for his faith. He was Lord of Monteuil, Dommartin, Torcy, Espie, Sauvoy, Fontenex, St-Martin, Lanfrancourt and Remaulcourt in Lorraine (around Nancy). His father, Mengin Schouel, was lord of SAULXURES (hence the "Saussure" phonetical transcription).

He was counselor of State, Great Falconer of Lorraine and Barrois, Capitaine-Prevot, Gruyer et Receveur de Bouconville, Livreur et Controleur des salines de Dieuzes.

Many generations later, his American descendants erected a plaque in his honor at the French Protestant Huguenot Church in Charleston, South Carolina. The plaque reads:


Seigneur de Dommartin,/ et de Monteuil/ near Amance, France/ Having embraced the principles of the/ Reformation, abandoning his Dignitaries and/ Estates in Lorraine, and fled with his family/ From persecution into Switzerland in 1551/ Where he was an influential advocate/ Of the Protestant Faith./ He took a bold and active part in the/ Cause of the Reformation at METZ, STRASBOURG/ GENVA, AND NEUFCHATEL; / From the latter of which this Church Derives its Liturgical Services./ Between John Calvin and Himself there/ Existed a close friendship, as evidenced by their/ Reciprocal letters still preserved by the/ Branch of the Family residing in Geneva.

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Antoine de Saussure's Timeline

March 25, 1514
Dommartin-sous-Amance, Lorraine, France
December 1543
Age 29
Lorraine, France
Age 28
Lorraine, France
Age 31
Age 36
Lorraine, France
April 18, 1569
Age 55
Geneva, Switzerland