Casaubon. I. Isaac, a Swiss theologian and critic, born in Geneva in February, 1559, died in London, July 1, 1614. He was the son of a French Protestant minister, studied at Lausanne, and afterward at Geneva, where he became professor of Greek at the age of 23, holding the position for 14 years. Meanwhile he married the daughter of Henry Stephens, the celebrated French printer and publisher, by whom he had 20 children. In 1590 he became professor of Greek and belles-lettres in the university of Montpellier. Two years afterward, at the solicitation of Henry IV., he went to Paris to take a similar professorship in the university of France; but the jealousy of the Catholic party made the measure impolitic, and Henry finally appointed a Catholic to the chair, and made Casaubon royal librarian. At the conference of Fontainebleau, May 4, 1600, Henry constituted him one of the Protestant judges. The Catholics made strong efforts to win him to their side, and it was given out that he wavered in his faith.
Chagrined that his Protestant reputation was thus impaired, Casaubon determined to leave France, and therefore, availing himself of the occasion of Henry's death to get leave of absence from the queen, he accompanied Sir Henry Wotton to England in October, 1610. He was received with distinction, made prebendary of Canterbury, and some sav also of Westminster, and received a pension of £200, which he lived three years to enjoy. He was buried in Westminster abbey. He spoke Latin as well as he did his mother tongue, and was the most critical Greek scholar of his age. His works are numerous, mostly philological and critical, many of them being annotated editions of the classics, including Diogenes Laertius, Aristotle, Theophrastus, and Suetonius. II. Meric, an English divine, son of the preceding, born at Geneva, Aug. 14, 1599, died in England, July 14,1671. He accompanied his father to England, studied at Oxford, was appointed to the cure of Bleadon in 1624, and four years afterward was made prebendary of Canterbury and rector of Ickham. He received the degree of D. D. at Oxford in 1636. Through his attachment to the Stuarts he lost both property and preferments during the protectorate; and Cromwell made frequent efforts to win him over to the cause of the commonwealth.
Christina, queen of Sweden, offered him the superintendency of all the Swedish universities, but he persisted in living in retirement in England until the accession of Charles II., when his ecclesiastical preferments were all restored. He published in his lifetime two vindications of his father from the aspersions of his enemies. His theological and critical works are numerous; he edited some of the classics; and his MSS. are preserved in Oxford. He believed in the existence of witches and familiar spirits, a faith which he endeavored to defend in a work entitled "Credulity and Incredulity."