Bouhéreau, Élie (Elias) (1643–1719), huguenot bibliophile, librarian, cleric, diarist, and administrator, was born 5 May 1643 at La Rochelle, France, son of Élie Bouhéreau, pastor of Fontenay, and Blandine Bouhéreau (née Richard). The family was of the upper middle class. He was sent to Saumur academy to study theology, leaving (1659) for Paris, where he became enmeshed in the literary and intellectual milieu of the capital and forged ties with the cultural elite. He studied medicine at the university of Orange (1664–7), receiving his MD, and married (4 November 1668) his cousin Marguerite Massiot; they had four sons (Élie, Richard (Des Herbiers), Amateur, and Jean) and three daughters (Marguerite, Blandine, and Madeleine). Bouhéreau practised medicine at La Rochelle until 1683 and was active in church affairs, serving as secretary to the Reformed Temple consistory. In 1683 protestant physicians in La Rochelle were legally prohibited from practicing; shortly thereafter Bouhéreau himself was expelled from the city (though his family remained), and he stayed for a while at Poitiers before moving on to Paris. After the revocation of the edict of Nantes (October 1685) he arranged for his personal library and the consistory books of the La Rochelle temple to be smuggled into England, and in January 1686 he engineered the escape of his widowed mother, his wife, five of their children, and himself to London.
Bouhéreau served (1686–9) as tutor to the duchess of Monmouth's children, then assumed the post of secretary to Sir Thomas Cox, whom he accompanied on diplomatic missions to Piedmont for William III (qv) (August 1689–September 1692). Returning to London, he remained in Cox's service until November 1693, when he became secretary to fellow huguenot exile Henri Massue de Ruvigny, Viscount Galway (qv), who, as former député-général of the French reformed churches, had become de facto leader of the exilic huguenot communities throughout the British Isles. As Galway's secretary Bouhéreau embarked on another lengthy diplomatic mission, this time to Piedmont (1693–6). When Galway, who was granted an earldom in 1697, became one of Ireland's three lords justices (27 January 1697–March 1701), Bouhéreau continued as his secretary, and was a pivotal figure in furthering Galway's schemes to establish a significant huguenot military/colonial presence in Ireland – acting as go-between for the earl, huguenot pensioners, and the royal government; disbursing military pensions (and servicing pensioner investments); and attempting to broker differences over conformity within the French protestant dispersion.
During Bouhéreau's time in Dublin at the centre of political power, his family resided first at Hoy's Alley, then York St. and Stephen St. He became entangled in a virulent controversy between Galway and Matthew Prior, chief secretary for Ireland: from 13 June to 24 November 1699 Galway struggled to sack Prior and replace him with the assistant secretary, Humphrey May (d. 1722). After rancorous exchanges, which divided the court and involved King William, Galway – with Bouhéreau's assistance – achieved his aim. Though documentary proof is scanty, it strongly appears that Bouhéreau was then moved up the ladder to serve as assistant secretary under May for the duration of Galway's tenure as lord justice. In 1700 his mother died, aged about 90, and was buried in the Lady chapel, St Patrick's cathedral, Dublin. In March 1701 Galway was dismissed; Bouhéreau was shortly thereafter appointed librarian, at the salary of £200 a year, of the library founded by Archbishop Narcissus Marsh (qv) at St Patrick's Close, and had removed his family there by December 1703. His youngest daughter, Madeleine, who had remained in France, had been confined to a convent and died shortly afterwards; but Jean, the youngest son, was successfully rescued by Bouhéreau himself during a secret return trip to France. Always an advocate of conformity to the established church as the optimum course for his exiled coreligionists, Bouhéreau received ordination as a Church of Ireland deacon (9 June 1701) and priest (21 September 1701). On 22 May 1704 his wife died; Bouhéreau's latter years were spent in commuting between St Patrick's and Dunshaughlin, Co. Meath, where he frequently stayed with the family of his daughter Blandine and son-in-law Dr Jean Jourdain. He was awarded the DD by Dublin University on 7 March 1706. Bouhéreau died soon after being collated precentor to St Patrick's cathedral, and was buried there 7 May 1719. His considerable collection of books and manuscripts was left to Marsh's library, including his diary, which is valuable for its personal insights into the huguenot exilic experience. He was the author of Lettre à Mlle D. B. sur le choix d'un médecin, of Traité d'Origène contre Celse (1700), and of notes for the 1692 edition of Paul Baudry's Lactantius, De mortibus persecutorum.