Éloge de M. Richard, docteur en médecine. Zones d’ombre dans la vie d’un médecin protestant à La Rochelle (1645-1706)

In a text written in memory of his father (1706), Élie II Richard recalls the life of a physician who was able to exercise his profession even after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685). Élie II was a well-educated man who, prior to his studies at Poitiers and Paris, had received private training in the house of his father, Élie I. As such, the son benefitted from the education his father had received at the Protestant Academy of Saumur, whose doors were shut shortly before the Revocation. In this elegy, one can also detect the influence of Fontenelle’s writings in praise of deceased members of the Parisian Academy of Sciences. The correspondence between Élie I with his cousin Élie Bouhéreau shows that the former’s son, Élie II, concealed some important aspects of his father’s biography. The reason for this discretion can be found in the social setting of La Rochelle, where Élie I chose to spend his life, in spite of the repression of the religious minority of which he was a part.