Jean Crespin: Pioneer Reformed Publisher

Jean Crespin is a Reformation figure with a compelling life story.  Like Calvin, he was trained as a lawyer in France.  Like Calvin, he became Reformed.  But unlike Calvin, he didn’t become a theologian or pastor.  Rather, having been condemned for heresy in France, he moved to Geneva and turned to the world of books and publishing.  Jean Crespin compiled and published the first Protestant martyrology, his Histoire des Martyrs.  Crespin relied on various sources for this work and one of those was none other than Guy (Guido) de Bres.  Later on, Crespin would publish a book containing the debates that de Bres participated in while in imprisoned, as well as his last letters and the account of his martyrdom.  Procedures tenues a l’endroit de ceux la religion du pais bas (Procedures Held with Regard to those of the Religion of the Netherlands) was published by Crespin in Geneva in 1568.  Browsing through e-rara last week, I came across something that Crespin published in English in 1556.  You can find “The Forme of Prayers and Ministration of the Sacraments” of the English congregation in Geneva here.  It makes for fascinating reading.  It includes a Psalter, but interestingly the psalms are not set to Genevan tunes (at least not that I can tell).  You can find other works published by Crespin and available at e-rara here.

About Wes Bredenhof

Pastor of the Free Reformed Church, Launceston, Tasmania. View all posts by Wes Bredenhof

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