Bonivard, François

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Bonivard, François

 

Born February 1493; died toward the end of 1570. Swiss political figure; humanist. From a noble Savoy family.

In 1514, Bonivard became prior of the St. Victor Abbey near Geneva. He took part in the struggle of the townspeople of Geneva against the Savoy duke Charles III, for which he was imprisoned in the underground dungeon of Chillon in 1530. (Bonivard is the prototype of Byron’s “The Prisoner of Chillón.”) In March 1536, Bonivard was liberated by the insurgents of Bern.