François Bonivard

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
(3) This prisoner was Francois Bonivard, Prior of St.
At the foot of the Tour de l'Ile is a bronze statue by Ampellio Regazzoni of Huguenot leader Philibert Berthelier, who was decapitated there in 1519 for his collaboration with Besancon Hugues and Francois Bonivard, the latter immortalised by Byron in his narrative poem, "The Prisoner of Chillon." The carved head of M[acute{e}]re Royaume, on the cornerstone of 7 rue de la Corraterie, honours the legendary mother of 16 who earned immortality during the "Escalade," the last and unsuccessful attempt of the Savoyards to take over Geneva in 1602, when she allegedly dropped a heavy stew pot from her kitchen window on the head of an advancing Savoyard soldier.
The poem concerns the political imprisonment of the 16th-century Swiss patriot Francois Bonivard in the dungeon of the chateau of Chillon on Lake Geneva.