Abbadie, Jacques (James) (1654?–1727), huguenot dean of Killaloe, preacher, and apologist of the Christian religion, was born in Nay in Béarn, France, third child of Pierre Abbadie and Violente Abbadie (née de Fortaner). He received his early education at the local protestant school, and in 1673 went to the Protestant Academy of Montauban-Puylaurens, and then to the Academy of Saumur to study theology. He was awarded his doctorate in divinity at the Academy of Sedan on 19 March 1680. Shortly afterwards, he accepted the invitation of the elector of Brandenburg to serve the French Church in Berlin, where he preached for the first time on 2 May 1680. He spent nine years in this position, although his official discharge was actually issued on 17/27 June 1690, some months after his departure. During his early years in Berlin, he published a number of works, including the apology for the Christian religion, Traité de la vérité de la religion chrétienne (1684), which was widely acclaimed. When the edict of Nantes was revoked (7/17 October 1685), Abbadie was sent on an official mission to Holland, with instructions to encourage as many as possible of the huguenot refugees to resettle in Brandenburg. His return to Berlin in the spring of 1686 was marred by conflict in the French church, and, unable to resolve the situation to his satisfaction, Abbadie left Berlin in the summer of 1689 to take up a position as chaplain (1 September 1689) to the duke of Schomberg (qv), whom he accompanied to Ireland, although he was officially attached to the French Regiment of Horse. The summer after Schomberg's death (1 July 1690), Abbadie left Ireland for London, where he arrived on 10 or 11 July 1691. His reputation as a preacher and apologist had preceded him, and he was appointed shortly afterwards to a vacancy at the French episcopalian (or conformist) church of the Savoy in Westminster. Abbadie remained in London for eight years, and during this period he published his treatise on moral philosophy, the Art de se connoître soi-même (1692), also highly acclaimed, and three other works in support of the Glorious Revolution and the protestant succession. In recognition of these services to the crown, Abbadie was promoted to the deanery of Killaloe, and installed on 13 May 1699, having previously been made rector of Aglishmartin and Castlecomer, and vicar of Odogh, Ballyragget, and Donoughmore in the diocese of Ossory (7 March 1699), although he did not reside at any of these charges. Instead, he became the not uncontested figurehead of the French protestant refugee community, settling initially in Portarlington (1699–1703), and later in Dublin. In the last years of his life, Abbadie divided his time between Dublin, London, and Amsterdam, where he supervised the printing of his last publications, two treatises on the reformed tradition and the apocalypse, respectively. His last years were embittered by his fruitless attempt to have himself promoted to a more lucrative preferment. He died 25 September 1727 in London, and was buried in Marylebone cemetery.
Ruth Whelan, ‘Between two worlds: Jacques Abbadie, dean of Killaloe’, Lias, xiv (1987), 101–17; ead., ‘The huguenots, the crown and the clergy: Ireland 1704’, Proceedings of the Huguenot Society of Great Britain and Ireland, xxvi, no. 5 (1997), 601–10