Educated at the university of Orléans, he became professor and had Étienne de la Boétie as a student. He became counsellor of the Parliament of Paris in 1557. In 1559, during a mercurial (session of parliament), Du Bourg attacked the royal policy of repression against "those called heretics". He didn't make a secret of his Calvinist convictions. Henry II arrested him; after his death, the Guise monopolized power to the detriment of Francis II. After a trial, during which Du Bourg utilized all recourses of law, he was convicted as a heretic, to be hanged on the place de Grève and his body burned.
The Elector of the Palatinate pleaded mercy to the king, to name him professor of law at Heidelberg, but in vain. He died on December 23, after having declared at the gallows "My friends, I am not here as a thief or a martyr, but for the evangelium."