Return to my Societe Pages index

Return to the Grouville Church index


BREVINT, DANIEL (1617-1693), Dean of Lincoln.

The Dean's grandfather, Cosme Brevint, a Huguenot refugee, was chosen by Helier De Carteret (q.v.) to be first Protestant Rector of the newly-colonised Sark. Here he remained for 35 years (1570-1605), "a true servant of God, as excellent in life as in doctrine, who spared no man great or small in his rebukes" (Chroniques).

His eldest son, Daniel, the Dean's father, was Rector of St. John's, Jersey, for 46 years (160421651). He was the last of the Presbyterian stalwarts. "He had been", wrote Chevalier, "the firmest adherent of the Religion of Geneva, having accepted the Prayer Book greatly against his will. Even when the Dean had made him use the book, he read the prayers without any responses, rejecting all the ceremonies and vain repetitions". (Journal). He married Elisabeth Le Sebirel, widow of Guillaume Le Goupil. His son, Daniel, the future Dean, was born in 1617, and baptised in St. John's Church on May 11. He was educated in the Protestant University of Saumur, tailing his M.A., when only 17. in 1634. He then spent some time in teaching.

Elie Brevint's Notebook says in 1635- "My nephew, Daniel, is in Poitou as tutor to some young gentlemen". In 1636 the Channel Island Fellowships were founded by Charles I at Oxford. Brevint and Jean Poindexter (q.v.) were the first chosen. Brevint became Fellow of Jesus College. He had some difficulty in getting his Saumur degree recognised by Oxford, owing to Laud's opposition; but he succeeded. He remained here nine years. In the Civil War he suffered "a long imprisonment in England on account of his loyalty". (Clarendon Papers). He then returned to Jersey, and in 1647 became Rector of Grouville, though still in Presbyterian orders. When the Parliamentary Visitors purged Oxford he was deprived (January 1649) of his Fellowship.

In February 1649 Josue De Carteret (q.v.) charged him before the Royal Court with disaffection and sedition. A Report on the case. sent to the King, is among the Clarendon Papers: "Mr. Daniel Brevint gave a warning to Mr. Joshua De Carteret to abstain from presenting himself for Holy Communion, unless first reconciled to a person against whom he had uttered publicly in Court passionate expressions of revenge. Carteret in consequence prosecuted Brevint before the Justices. The Commissioners report that they find no ground whatsoever for the charges. They have received good evidence of the integrity and ability of Brevint, and are satisfied that Carteret's carriage was scandalous and offensive".

In November 1649 he preached before the King in French in the Town Church.

In the following year he went to Paris, and received Anglican Orders. Evelyn notes in his Diary : "1650 June 12. Being Trinity Sunday the Dean of Peterborough (Cosin) preached: after which there was an ordination of two Divines, Durell (q.v.) and Brevint. The Bishop of Galloway officiated with great gravity. They were presented by the Dean in their surplices before the altar, the Bishop sitting in a chaire at one side; and so were made both Deacons and Priests at the same time in regard to the necessity of the times. This was all performed in Sir Rich. Browne's Chapell at Paris". Brevint then returned to Jersey, and resumed his work as Rector of Grouville. when the Parliamentary forces reoccupied the island in 1631, he did not at once leave ; but in the following year he went to France, and became Minister of the Huguenot Temple at Compiegne.. and later Chaplain to the famous Marshal Turenne, and tutor to his children. At the Restoration in 1660 he returned to England. For a short time he preached in the French Chapel in the Savoy. On 17 December 1660 he was appointed Prebendary of Durham and Rector of Brancepeth in that county.

In February 1663 Oxford conferred on him the degree of D.D. On 7 January 1682 he was appointed Dean of Lincoln. He died in the Deanery on 3 May 1693, and was buried in the Choir of the Cathedral.

He married Anne de Carteret, daughter of Sir Philippe De Carteret, Bailiff and Lieutenant Governor (q.v.) and had one daughter Charlotte, baptised in the Protestant Temple at Charenton, outside Paris, in 1663 who married Sir Edward Hussey.

His best known book was "The Christian Sacrament and Sacrifice by way of Discourse, Meditation, and Prayer upon the Nature, Parts, and Blessing of the Holy Communion "

(Oxford 1673)' This passed through many editions, and was so valued by the Wesleys that they printed an abridgement of it as an introduction to their "Hymns for the Lord's Supper" 1745

Indeed many of the hymns are only a versification of Brevint His other books were rather virulent attacks on Roman Catholic doctrine, e.g. Missole Romanum or the Depth and Mystery of the Roman Mass laid open; Saul and Samuel at Endor, or the New Waies of Salvation which tempt men to Rome refuted. Ecclesiae Primitivae Sacramentum; Euciraristiae Christiana Praesentia Realis et Pontifida Ficta; Ducentae plus minus Praelectiones in S. Matthaei XXV capita.

He also translated into French the Judgement of the University of Oxford concerning the Solemn League and Covenant. [Notice sur la Famille Brevint in Bull VII 35. "Wood's Athenae Oxoniensis ; Haag La France Protestante; Walker's Sufferings of the Clergy; Hunt's Religious Thought in England; Die. Nat. Biog.]