Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Bonivard, Francois de (1494-1571), historian of Geneva. Though born in Burgundy, he identified himself with the interests of his adopted country. He was prior of St. Victor, just at the gates of Geneva, and in the struggles that took place during the attempts of the townsfolk to resist the tyranny of Charles III., Duke of Saxony, he was taken prisoner, and confined in the castle of Chillon - in which connection Byron has immortalised his name by introducing an imaginary picture of his imprisonment for four years in the underground dungeons below the level of the waters of Lake Leman. When the Reformation gained the day at Geneva, he recovered his freedom but not his priory. However, the town gave him a pension, and he adopted Protestant principles, and was married four times. His reformed dress did not sit easily upon him, for he was summoned before the Consistory for lightness of conduct. His Chronicles of Geneva have been described as more remarkable for passion and brilliance of style than for truth, and he has been called the Montaigne or the Rabelais of Geneva. His treatise De l'Ancienne et Moderne Police de Geneve is of historic interest as throwing light upon the establishment of Calvinism.