Claude Brousson, a French Protestant martyr, born in Nimes in 1647, put to death in Montpellier, Nov. 4, 1698. He was an advocate at Castres and Toulouse, and displayed great ability in defending the Huguenots. After the interdiction of the Protestant synods, 16 deputies of the principal Protestant communities of France assembled at his house in 1683; these meetings were subsequently called les assembles du desert. The outbreak which resulted from these meetings compelled Brousson to leave Toulouse; and barely escaping arrest at Nimes, he fled to the Cevennes, and thence to Switzerland. With many Protestant ministers of the CeVennes he was hanged in effigy, July 3, 1684, in the market place of Nimes. Returning to the Cevennes, he was ordained under the name of Paul Beausocle, and remained there as an itinerant preacher, amid great perils, till December, 1693, when he returned to Switzerland, after addressing to the governor of the province of Languedoc, who had put a price upon his head, a lettre apologetique, in reply to the charge of being a disturber of the public peace. In November, 1695, he ventured into France, by way of the Ardennes; but being recognized, he fled again to Switzerland, proceeding thence to the Netherlands, where the government gave him a pension.

In 1697 he recrossed the frontier, entering France by the Jura mountains, and the next spring he was again preaching in the Cevennes. After narrow escapes he was arrested and sent to Montpellier, where he was broken on the wheel, upon the ground of alleged treasonable cooperation with the count de Schomberg in the scheme of invading France. His principal works are: L'etat des reformes de France (3 vols., the Hague, 1684); Lettres au clerge de France (1685); Lettres des Protestants de France d tons -les autres Protestants de VEurope (Berlin, 1688); Lettres au Catholiques romains (1689); Relation som-maire des merveilles que Dieu fait en France dans les Cevennes, etc. (1694). His biography was published at Utrecht in 1701.