Calvin’s Return to Geneva and the Preparations for His Arrival

calvin4‘On Monday, August 26, thirty-six écus were voted by the Council to Eustace Vincent, equestrian herald, to go for Master Calvin, the preacher, at Strasburg.’ It was announced in the Council, August 29, that Master Calvin was to arrive one of these days.

They talked of the lodgings which must be assigned to him, and propositions rapidly succeeded each another. At first they thought of the house which was occupied by the pastor Bernard, whom they would remove to the house of la Chantrerie. Then, September 4, there was further discussion. ‘La Chantrerie, being opposite to St. Peter’s church, is most suitable,’ they said, ‘for the abode of Master Calvin, and some garden (curtil) will be provided for him.’ On the 9th it was announced in the Council that he was to arrive the same evening. The houses in question being, doubtless, in an unfit state, orders were given to Messieurs Jacques des Arts and Jean Chautemps to make ready for him the house of the Sieur de Fréneville, situated in the Rue des Chanoines, between the house of Bonivard, on the west, and that of the Abbé de Bonmont, on the east. But after all it was in another house, the fourth proposed, that he was to he received.

It does not appear that Calvin had himself announced to the Council the day of his arrival; nor are we acquainted with any document which in a clear and positive manner indicates this date, worthy of remark though it be. All that we know is that on the 13th he was there, and appeared before the Council. Instead of the 9th he may have arrived on the 10th, the 11th, or even the 12th. We may suppose that Calvin wished the Genevese not to know the day of his arrival, fearing lest they should give him a rather noisy reception.*

Calvin’s return was more stupendous than his earlier departure. And now he was here to stay, and to exert enormous influence.

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*J. H. Merle D’aubigné D.D. and William L. R. Cates, History of the Reformation in Europe in the Time of Calvin (vol. 7; London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1876), 61–62.