Friday 6 December 2013

The French Settlers in Ireland - No 1 (pt2)

In the year 1689, William first came over to Ireland, accompanied by his French guards; and the individuals now mentioned followed him also the next year, and distinguished themselves not a little at the "Battle of the Boyne." Their joy at the success of their cause however, was sadly damped soon after by the loss of their favourite brother, Bourjonval, who was killed, while gallantly fighting at the head of a small party of men, who were attacked unexpectedly near Dungannon by a large party of the adherents of James. In 1693, the kingdom being at last at peace, and the government of William firmly established, Daniel de la Cherois was appointed by the King, governor of Pondicherry, in the East Indies, then recently taken from the French by the Dutch; and, although at the peace of Ryswick, in 1697, this place was restored to its former masters, Daniel continued to reside there for several years, realizing a large fortune. He seems never to have given up the hope of recovering some of his former possessions in France; and is said to have gone over there himself secretly, several times, with this fruitless expectation. He left but one daughter, Marie Angelique Madeline, who married first an English gentleman, named Gruebar, of Feversham Park, Kent; and on his death became the wife of the Hon. Thomas Montgomery, afterwards fifth and last Earl of Mount Alexander. The Earl also died without children, leaving his widow sole heiress of his estates in the County of Down. Her memory is, to this day, held in affectionate remembrance by the aged poor of Newtownards and Donaghadee, where she principally resided. She was partly the means of inducing her two aunts, Judith and Louise, to come from Ham, and settle at Lisburn; Louise died soon after her arrival there, but Judith lived to the great age of 113 years. She never could speak English, though upwards of 50 years a resident, and ascribed her failure to the ridicule excited among the Irish, by her imperfect attempts.k

Before Lady Mount Alexander's death, her cousin, Madeline de la Cherois, married Daniel Crommelin, (her mother's nephew,) and died, leaving three sons; and at the death of Lady Mount Alexander, the estates were left divided equally between the eldest of these and her cousin, Samuel de la Cherois: but Nicholas Crommelin dying unmarried, and neither of his brothers having male heirs, left his portion to the youngest of Samuel de la Cherois' sons, who then took the name of Crommelin.

Nicholas de la Cherois being the only one of three brothers who left a son, may consequently be considered as the head of the Irish branch, and to his history we therefore return.

He still continued in the army, and was engaged with King William in all his continental campaigns, obtaining his Majority about 1694. After William's death he again served under the Duke of Marlborough, and distinguished himself on several occasions. Tradition records that one of his promotions was received in consequence of his having made 1500 men lay down their arms, with only a subaltern's guard; and that, besides promotion, he received a reward of 1500 crowns. His commission as Lieutenant-Colonel was drawn out, but not gazetted, when he unfortunately lost his life about the year 1706, through the carelessness of an apothecary, who sent him poison in place of medicine.

In a subsequent article we purpose to collect all the particulars now known relating to the Linen Factory at Lisburn, and the other Huguenot families who settled there.


Distress of the Huguenot Refugees.

16 April, 1689. "Acts of the English Parliament. -- It was ordered that the Committee to whom it is referred to consider of a way to relieve the French Protestant ministers, and such as are incapable, otherwise than by charity, who are fled out of France for their religion, have power to send for persons, papers, and records." The Committee report, 24 April, "That the French ministers and divers other Protestants of France, fled hither for refuge, being summoned, appeared and expressed a high sense of their gratitude for the generosity and charity of this House, in taking their distressed case into consideration; and to show how ready they were to manifest their fidelity to the Government of this nation, they represented how the youngest and strongest of their body were lately formed into three regiments, who were ready to lay down their lives in defence of the Protestant religion and liberties of England; that there are nearly 20,000 more of them who exercise their trades in divers parts of this kingdom, without any detriment (they humbly hope) but rather to the advantage of the people of this nation: but that there still remain above 2,000 persons, some of them old, others infants, others sick and impotent, but all unable to provide for themselves; divines, physicians, merchants, gentlemen, common people, many of them heretofore rich and flourishing in their own country, but are now reduced to the utmost misery, and must infallibly perish and starve, unless assisted by this House." -- On 24 April, 1689, the sum of £17,200 per annum was granted for their support. -- On 1st May, 1699, it was resolved "that an humble address be made to His Majesty by such members of this House as are members of Privy Council, that he will please to take the condition of the French Protestants into consideration, and afford the same relief for their subsistence." -- Reply. -- "The Chancellor of Exchequer acquaints the House that His Majesty had received the petition concerning the poor French Protestants, and to allow the same; with their Majesties' declaration of 25 April, 1689. -- William R. Whereas, it has pleased Almighty God, to deliver our Realm (England) and the subjects thereof from the persecution lately threatening them for their religion, and from the oppression and destruction which the subversion of the laws and the arbitrary exercise of power and dominion over them had very near introduced. We, finding in our subjects a true and just sense thereof, and of the miseries and oppression the French Protestants lie under, for their relief and to encourage them that shall be willing to transport themselves, their families, and estates, into this our kingdom, do hereby declare, that all French Protestants that shall seek refuge into this our kingdom, shall not only have our Royal protection for themselves, families, and estates, but we will also do our endeavour in all reasonable ways and means, so to support, aid, and assist them in their several and respective trades and ways of livelihood, as that their living in this Realm may be easy and comfortable for them. Given at our Court, Whitehall.

Presented in a petition to Parliament. -- Case of the poor French Protestants. -- "The French Protestants, who, by a special Providence, have taken refuge in this country, need not to justify their retreat into a kingdom where so great zeal hath been shown for that holy religion which they profess, and for which they suffered so many things. The greatest part of them, have, after some time, found ways to maintain themselves and families by trades they were brought up to, or by bearing arms for the service of this nation. Nevertheless, there remain about 3,000 who had universally perished, had not their Majesties had compassion on them. It is for these poor Protestants that we implore the compassion of this House, beseeching you to consider that among them are 1. many persons of good quality, born to fair estates, and bred accordingly without trade or profession, which, after being ruined by the Dragoons, were forced to come over without any part of their estates: 2. a great many ministers, whose education and attendance on their ministry do render them unfit for any other work, and who are so much more worthy of compassion, for that Edict, which broke the Edict of Nantes, did command them to depart out of the kingdom of France in fifteen days, upon pain of being sent to the galleys; so that they are come naked and destitute of support into the several countries where they have taken refuge. 3. Many gentles, and others brought up either to the law or physic, and many merchants and tradesmen of all sorts, who, by great age, and infirmity, and losses, are disabled to follow any employments:-- besides children yet too young to be put to any trade. All these are now reduced to the greatest extremities, and will be forced to beg their bread about the streets, if not speedily relieved. Above thirty ministers, who are maintained in the country by charity money, will be obliged to quit their congregations, and will be immediately followed by their flocks: both being necessitated to come to London to get bread. The unparalleled charity which this generous nation hath manifested to them since their coming, makes them to hope that it will not suffer them to be reduced to that sad extremity."

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The Linen Trade.

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Report of the Commissioners of Trade (to promote trade in the kingdom,) presented to the House of Commons, England, 26 May, 1700; -- Extract. -- "His Majesty having likewise referred to our consideration some proposals made by Mr. Crommelin, a French refugee, long experienced in the linen manufacture, for the more effectual establishment and improvement or that manufacture in Ireland, we humbly offered our opinion that his Majesty would be pleased to allow £800 per annum for ten years, to pay the interest, at 8 per cent, of £10,000, advanced by said Crommelin and his friends, for the setting on foot of that manufacture. The said £800 to be received and issued out by trustees appointed by his Majesty to inspect the employing of the said £10,000: and his Majesty having been pleased to give directions accordingly, the said Crommelin is lately gone to Ireland in order to put his proposals into execution: and we have reason to believe he will be able to make a considerable advance therein."

The following is extracted from the acts of the Irish House of Commons 1705; "That the like privileges and immunities shall extend to all foreigners, master-work men, being Protestants, as are now or shall hereafter come into the kingdom and set up looms and work at the Linen Trade." [They are to be exempted from being petty constables or church-wardens or sides-men for seven years from their setting up; they are also to be freemen in whatever city or corporate town they may reside, and not to serve as jurors.]

1709. Irish House of Commons. Report of Com mittee. "Mr. Speaker, the Committee appointed to inspect the state of the Linen Manufacture, to report how the laws relating thereto have been extended, and in what manner and to whom the bounty-money, allowed by her Majesty for the encouragement of the Linen Manufacture, hath been hitherto disposed, have met according to the order of the House; and do find, upon examination of the registry and accounts belonging to the trustees appointed for the management of the Linen Manufacture: that in the year 1700 a patent was granted by his late Majesty King William, of glorious memory, to a colony of French Protestants, who were to settle in the kingdom, and instruct the inhabitants thereof in the Hempen and Linen Manufacture: in which patent, among other regulations, it was directed that £880 should be paid yearly in salaries to said colonies, and £800 as bounty money for linens by them made according to regulations appointed by said Trustees; both which sums amounted to £1,180 yearly; all which by said patent did more fully appear:-- That after the death of his late Majesty the grant determined, having been 2¼ years in force; during which time there appeared to be payable, by virtue of said patent, the sum of £2,655; but that the Clerk of Register to the Trustees, being at the time out of the kingdom, the particulars of the payments of the said sums not appearing to your Committees, they had recourse to the Auditor-General's office, and there found that the sum of £1,027 12s 0d had been paid by warrants or orders of the Trustees for the use of said manufacture, which sum is acknowledged by them for the said 2¼ years, so that there remains in the Treasury the sum or £1,626 8s 0d being the balance of said sum of £2,655:-- That upon her Majesty's happy accession to the throne a second patent was granted to continue for the space of ten years, whereby the bounty-money was extended to the natives of the kingdom, with a further latitude given for the Trustees therein nominated to do and act as they think fit for the encouragement of the said manufacture; and the said sum of £1180 per annum, to be placed upon the establishment:-- That, according to the intent of the present Patent, several of the small Hempen and Linen manufactories have been erected within the kingdom which have received a share of the said bounty money; part whereof hath also been expended upon other contingencies relating to the Linen and Hempen manufacture as directed by said Trustees: we find that of the ten years for which the last Patent was continued, 6½ years expired 23d of December, 1708, for which said time there was payable out of the Treasury the sum of £7,607, of which sum £7,283 12s 0d hath been paid in bounty-money, salaries, and contingencies as aforesaid, so that there remains as yet due £386 7s 11½d, all which will appear more at large in a particular account here annexed." -- "By Patent granted by King William of glorious memory, for the encouragement of the Linen Manufacture, beginning 25 March, 1700, to 24 January 1702, there was due from the Treasury 2 years at £1,180 per annum, £2,665. Since the second Patent granted by her Majesty the French colony at Lisburn has received from time to time for the interest of their advance the following items:

1708 ...  ...  ...  ... £2,457 12s 11¼
   Pensions paid to French colony at Lisburn.
1704--1705 -- February 16. To Louis Crommelin for three years,£600
   To French Minister for two years120
   To flax-dresser for 2¼ years,27
   To the reed-maker for like term,18
   January 18. To Louis Crommelin &c., &c., for one year,
   November 26. To same for nine months, ...210
   1707 -- Aug. 26. To same for like term, ...210
   To the arrears of two assistants,360
   November 20. To L. Crommelin, Minister &c., for three months,80
   1708 -- June--19. To L. Crommelin for six months160
   December 11. To same26

A petition of Louis Crommelin, "Merchant and Overseer of the Linen Manufacture of the kingdom," representing the great improvement of the Linen Manufacture in the kingdom, and the present state thereof; praying his services and those of the French colony, concerned in the manufacture, may be taken into consideration was presented and read, 1707.

In 1717, a petition was presented to the House of Commons by "Louis Crommelin, gent, proposing, upon a suitable encouragement, to set up and carry on the Hempen manufacture of sail-cloth, in such part of the kingdom as the House thinks proper."

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Old Commissions.

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Commission appointing Nicholas de la Cheroy, Lieut. 1675, -- "A Mou, de Sclana, Cappne. d'une Compe. franche d.g. Inftie de fuziliers pour mon service. -- La Cheroy. -- Mon. de Sclana ayant donné ā M. de la Cheroy la charge de Lieut, de la compe franche d'infie de fuziliers que vous commandez, vacante par la retraite de Dobayne, Je vous fais cette lettre pour vous dire, que vous ayez à le faire recevoir, et à s'établir en la ditte charge et recon. en telle de tous ceux à moy qu' il appartiendra la presente restant pour notre foy. Je prie Dieu qu'il vous ayt, Mons. de Sclana en sa ste garde. Ecrit à Versailles, le douzieme Avril, 1675.  -- LOUIS."

Commission, dated 16 Nov. 1677. -- "Pour le Sr. de la Cheroy, -- NOUS, par la grace de Dieu Roy de France et de Navarre, à notre cher et bien-aimé le Cappne la Cheroy salut, -- La Compnie franche d'infanterie de fuziliers que commandoit le Cappne de Sclana estant à present vacante par sa démission, et désirant remplir cette charge d'une personne qui s'en puisse bien acquitter. Nous avons estimé ne pouvoir faire pour ce Seigr. une meilleur choix que de vous, pour les services que vous nous avez rendues, dans toutes les occasions qui s'en sont preséntées, où vous avez donné des preuves de votre valleur, courage en la guerre, vigilance et bonne conduite, et de votre fidélite et affection à notre service: A CES CAUSES et austres à ce nous mouvant. Nous vous avors commis, ordonné, et estably, comme tous ordonnés et establissés par ces présentes sigénes de notre main, Cappne de la dte Compie franche vaccante comme du et en y dessue; Laquelle vous commandirez, conduirez, et exploiterez souby notre autorité et souby celle de nos lieutenants * * * * qu'il vous sera par Nous ou eux commandé et ordonné pour notre service, et nous vous ferons payés ensemble les officiers et soldats de la dte. Compie des estats, appointements, et soldes, qui vous seront et à eux deuby, suivant les moustres et revues qui en seront faittes par les commissaires et controlleurs des guerres et de la patrie, tant et si longuement que la dte Compie sera sus pied pour notre service et nayr la manef acquelle vine en si bon ordre et police que nous n'en puissions revenues déplantés. Tel faire nous donnons pouvoir, commission, autorité, et mandement spécial; MANDONS à tous qu'il appartiendra que vous ayez faisant son obey; car tel est notre plaisir. -- Donné à St. Germains Lay, le seizième jour de Novembre, l'an de grace mil six cent soixante dix septs, et de notre regne le trente cinq. Par le Roy. "LOVIS, -- Le Tellier. -- Another contains the commission of Bourjonval de la Cherois, 1677.

The next contains merely leave of absence for two months to Nicholas de la Cheroy, and is only interesting from the date (24 Feb. 1686,) rendering it probable that it was obtained for the purpose of then making his escape, as, excepting his passport of the same period, it is the last of the official French papers. The following is a copy of the passport alluded to, which is worth recording, as it gives not only the age, but the personal appearance of Nicholas de la Cheroy: he must have been born about 1661. It is headed, as usual, with the Fleurs-de-lis, and proceeds: "Joseph de Ponts, Baron de Montelar Lieut. Gen. des armes du Roy, Mestre du Camp, Général de la Cavallerie legére de France, Commandant en chef pour sa Majesté dans la Haute et Basse Alsace, Suntgau et Brisgau. -- Laissez seulement et librement passer et repasser le porteur du present passeport, agè d'environs trente cinq ans, de poil chattain, portant per ruque, Capitaine au Régiment des fuziliers du Roy, allant à Liege pour y faire des recrues pour le Regiment et pour la Compagnie. -- Fait à Strasbourg le vingt deuxieme Octobre, mil six cents quatre vingt six." -- The route of this recruiting-party is also among the old papers, but need not be copied here.

The date of the following Commission (the first he received from King William, and which is written in the Dutch language,) seems to confirm the supposition that his "congê" had been obtained as a ruse in order to enable him to go over secretly to Holland; since, as we have seen, the permission is dated 24 February 1686, and this, 17 July 1687. Whether he afterwards returned to France is uncertain, but it seems unlikely, as his passport dates from Strasbourg. "De Raedt van State der vereenighde Nederlanden heeft uyt krachte ten ende in executie van de Resolutie, van haer Hoogh Mog. de Herrn Staten General genomen den negenthienden Junig Sesthien hondert sevenentachtigh Midtagaters op de acte van syne Hoogheyelt, den Heere Prince van Orange, Judan den 19 Jany soors, van Nicholas de la Cherois gewesen Capiteign te soer in dienst van den Konengh van Vrankrejik, geaccordeert, werdt midts dese een jaerlycks Pensiventer somme van seven hondert Carols- goldens, ingaende op heden tebetaken van Maendt tot Maendt ten comptoire van den outfanger general Mr Cornelis de jonge van Ellemat, sonder eenighe atkortinghe toy van honderstem Penningh, ofte onder wat naam hat selve soude mogen wesen, des dat hy gelionden is te praesteren den Eedt van den lande te sullen wesen gehouw ende getrown, ende te dienen in alle occasion in de welcken goedtgevonden sal worden syien en dienst te gebruiken, sulcks cels by-t Formulier van den Eeltdaer van zignde nader staet ge-expresteert -- Actum den seventhienden July sesthien hondert sevenenteeghtigh. -- Gly van Hoethye, 1687. -- TerOrdennantie van den Raedt van State. G. HAUSSINGEL. Andg."

There is another Dutch Commission among the papers at Carrowdore Castle, County Down, dated a year previous to this, (12 Feb 1686,) and addressed to Lieut. Abraham de la Cheroy; but it is not necessary to copy it, as it is not known now what relation he was to the brothers, though evidently of the same family. He may have escaped a year before them, and have paved the way for their reception; and Nicholas, perhaps, did not leave France until some time after the date of the last French documents. The "Route" for the recruiting party, already alluded to, after his "congé" had expired, is dated from Versailles, August, 1686; after which follows the passport dated 22 Oct., 1686: and his first Dutch Commission bears date 17 July, 1687, nearly nine months after. Should our supposition be correct, it proves the urgent necessity for his flight, since the circumstance of remaining so long behind the multitudes of his countrymen would show the great reluctance with which he went at all.

The next Commission is the first one received subsequent to William's assuming the crown of England, and, as no Christian name occurs in it, it is uncertain whether it belonged to Daniel or Bourjonval; the latter is most probable, from his having previously served in France under Nicholas, whose Commission immediately follows, at the same date.

A Commission, appointing Nicholas to a Majority, closes the number preserved of this period: the one appointing him Lieutenant-Colonel not being quite, (officially,) completed, (although drawn out,) at the time of his death.

WILLIAM REX. -- William and Mary, by the Grace of God, King and Queen of England, Scotland France and Ireland, Def. of the Faith, &c. To our trusty and well beloved Nicholas de la Cherois, Esqre, greeting: We reposing especial trust and confidence in your loyalty, courage, and good conduct, do, by these presents, constitute and appoint you to be Major of our Regt of foot commanded by our trusty and well-beloved the Comte de Marton, and likewise to be Capt. of a company in the same. You are therefore to take the said Regiment as Major, and the said company into your care and charge, and duely to exercise the officers, as well as the soldiers thereof, in armes, and to use your best endeavours to keep them in good order and discipline; and we do hereby command them to obey you as their Major and Captain respectively: and you to observe and follow such directions, from time to time, as you shall receive from us, your Colonel, or other your superior officers, according to the Rules and Discipline of War, in pursuance of the trust we hereby repose in you.

Given at our camp at Mount St. Andrs. the 1st day of August, 1694. In the sixth year of our reign. -- Le 3, Fevrier, 1694, Jay, [commusné] à l'eglise en paroisse de, St. Martin, et le s'i du dit jay wit serment du test a la Cour de la Chancellerie à Westminster, à dix heures du matin. -- By his Majesty's command, William Blethway. -- Cherois to be Major.

The remaining papers and memoranda, though interesting from their antiquity, are not of any further use for our present purpose. Many valuable relics, which were still in preservation at the beginning of this century, are now lost; among others the old Commission appointing Samuel de la Cheroy to a company in 1641, the only one under Louis 13th; -- also some valuable diamonds.

[k] Her faculties, even at this extreme old age, were still so perfect that she is known to have taught a child the Lord's Prayer two or three days before her death.

The above article is reproduced from the Ulster Journal of Archaeology, vol. 1, 1853.

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