Charles Pierre Chais

Personal data
Engraving of Charles Pierre Chais by Jakob Houbraken after an original by Jean-Étienne Liotard (ca. 1755)
Born 1701
Died 1786

Swiss-born reformed clergyman. Pastor of the French Church in The Hague from 1728 until his death in 1786.

Chais translated the bible into French as La Sainte Bible, ou le vieux et le nouveau testament avec un commentaire littéral composé de notes choisies et tirées de divers auteurs anglois from 1742 and onwards. An unfinished 7th volume was finished and published by Archibald Maclaine in 1790. Author also of Le sens literal de l'ecriture sainte traduit de l'Anglois de Stack-house (1751), Lettres historiques et dogmatiques sur les Jubilés et les indulgences à l'o ccasion du Jubilé Universel célébré à Rome (1751) and Essai apologetique sur l'Inoculation (1755). Gibbon, in The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire referred to the Lettres as "an elaborate and pleasing work, had not the author preferred the character of a polemic to that of a philosopher". Chais also published a number of volumes containing his sermons on various subjects.1

  • 1. Sources include Chais' entry in Chalmers' Biographical Dictionary Volume 9.
Life with Boswell

Boswell probably first met Chais in December 1763, although there is no direct reference to the meeting in his published memos. They met for sure on May 7 in The Hague, discussing some of Gaubius' advice on being one's own physician and not study too much nor too little, and also on a few other occasions.

Chais, apparently, was an old acquaintance of Boswell's father.