Catrou, François (1659-1737)

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François Catrou, born 28 December 1659, died 12 October 1737, was a French Jesuit priest and historian, author of Histoire des Anabaptistes (added title page Histoire du fanatisme dans les religions protestantes depuis son origine) (Paris, 1706, Claude Cellier), copy in [[Amsterdam Mennonite Library (Bibliotheek en Archief van de Vereenigde Doopsgezinde Gemeente te Amsterdam)|Amsterdam Mennonite Library]] and Mennonite Historical Library (Goshen, Indiana). Later the work was enlarged and published under the modified title, Histoire du fanatisme des religions protestantes, de l' Anabaptisme, du davidisme . . . (Paris, 1733, best edition at Paris, 1740, 2 vols., 12 mo.). The work has little historical value, apparently not based on original sources, but was influential for French Catholic opinion. Whether two other French books bearing the title Histoire des Anabaptistes, which were published anonymously, one in Paris and one in Amsterdam about the same time, were by Catrou is uncertain—probably not, and they were probably not by one and the same author. (1) Histoire des Anabatistes (sic!) ou Relation curieuse de leur doctrine, Règne & Révolutions, tant en Allemagne Holland qu' Angleterre, ou il êt traité de plusieurs sectes de Mennonites, Kouakres, autres qui en sont provenus (Paris, Charles Clouzier, 1695) (copy at Mennonite Historical Library [Goshen, Indina], Amsterdam, and Hamburg) and (2) Histoire des Anabaptistes contenant leur doctrines, les diverses opinions qui les divisent en plusieurs Sectes (Amsterdam, Jaques Desbordes, 1700; at Amsterdam) (1702 edition at Mennonite Historical Library [Goshen, IN]). The antiquarian catalog, No. 585 (Occultism), of Theodor Ackermann in Munich attributes the former to Catrou, giving "Barbier II, 740" as his source.  The first book is in effect a translation of Lambertus Hortensius, Tumultum anabaptistarum (1548), which appeared in several Dutch editions in the 17th century including one in Amsterdam in 1699. The pictures in the 1699 Hortensius edition and the two anonymous volumes are almost identical, including the frontispiece.


Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 336.

Author(s) Christian Neff
Harold S. Bender
Date Published 1953

Cite This Article

MLA style

Neff, Christian and Harold S. Bender. "Catrou, François (1659-1737)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 20 Aug 2018.,_Fran%C3%A7ois_(1659-1737)&oldid=144935.

APA style

Neff, Christian and Harold S. Bender. (1953). Catrou, François (1659-1737). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 August 2018, from,_Fran%C3%A7ois_(1659-1737)&oldid=144935.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 535. All rights reserved.

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