Friday 20 December 2013

The French Settlers in Ireland - No 2 (pt 2)

Families of the Settlers.

Almost the only record of the greater number of the names of the settlers is to be found on the tomb-stones in the church-yard, and in the Lisburn Parish Register, to which access was kindly permitted by the Dean of Ross. Many appear not to have long survived their change of country; others have left descendants in the neighbourhood till the present day; while in some families the names have become extinct by the marriage of the female branches, and the death or emigration of the males. The following particulars, after much inquiry, are all that could be obtained of the Family History of some members of the Colony.


Captain Paul Mangin was born at Berlin, whither his family had removed, on account of their religion, from Metz in Louvain, after a sojourn in Cologne. He was twice married; to Madeline Crommelin, (sister of Louis,) and again to Anne Henriette d'Onie de la Laude, a French Protestant of a noble house in Saintogne, in the west of France, from which place her father, with many others, emigrated in the reign of Louis XIV.

Captain Mangin settled in Lisburn, where he had three children, Alexander, Samuel Henry, and Harriette, who married Samuel, nephew of Louis Crommelin. He subsequently removed to Dublin; but did not lose sight of his relations in Lisburn, exerting himself for their advancement, as the following letter, (kindly sent to the writer by Sir Erasmus Burrows, Portarlington, Bart.,) proves:

"Dear Sir,

       I did myself the favour to write to you the 21st instant, in answer to yours of the 28th May. I hope that my letter will come safe to hand, and wish to have an opportunity to make amends for the trouble and cost of postage I put you at. This will acquaint you that I have a nephew named Alexander Crommelin, who served his apprenticeship to a surgeon in Lisburn, in the north of Ireland, and since has been at Edinburgh two years, attending the colleges and hospitals; he arrived from Scotland about four days ago, and was there all the time of the troubles, and attended the wounded. He is a sober youth, and has taken much pains during his time to perfect himself, as to surgery and physic. As he designs to enter as a surgeon in the army in time, he would fain begin by being surgeon's mate, which he would immediately purchase. I am thinking that he could not be better off than with you, if you wanted such; and would be glad he was to serve under you: if he can't have that happiness, I shall be much obliged to you to enquire for one in some other regiment, and to acquaint me how much is desired for it; the price of it is ready to be paid at sight. He was offered one when in Edinburgh, in Brigadr. Bleith's Regt., when the college was sitting, but at that time would not accept of it, till the college was up. It would give me great pleasure that I had the luck to succeed in my request to you for myself and nephew together, the answer of which I wait with impatience. Mrs. Mangin was to see Mrs. Pilot this day, who continues better, and has her love to you. My spouse and family have their compliments to you; Capt. Debrisay and his lady join in the same; they passed the afternoon with me yesterday.
                                                  I am to you with gratitude,
                                                       your most obedient,
Dublin 28th of June, 1746.                   humble servant,
  My compts. to Mrs. Jaspar,                      PAUL MANGIN.
                              (Indorsed.)  "To Doctr. Joshua Pilot,
In the Honble. Colnl. Battereau's Regt.
                     By Portpatrick, Scotland."


The family of Dubourdieu are descended from the noble house of De Brius, Lords of Bourdieu, of which there were two branches. These were connected with the families of De Saumarez, and La Valade. At the time of the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, the elder branch remained firm in the Reformed faith; while the younger, in order to save their lives and property, recanted, and were received into the Roman Catholic church. Only two members of the elder branch escaped after the slaughter and dispersion of their family

1. The Rev. John De Bourdieu, who became chaplain to Duke Schomberg, and one of the ministers of the French church, in the Savoy, London. He accompanied Duke Schomberg to Ireland, and was by his side at the Battle of the Boyne; receiving him in his arms when he fell from his horse, mortally wounded. He afterwards proceeded with the son of Duke Schomberg to Turin, with whom he remained during the Italian campaign, and accompanied him into France, where he was present at the siege of Aubrun in Dauphinè. There he received the recantation of various French Protestants who had been forced to abjure their religion, and exhorted them, in several eloquent discourses, to continue firm in the faith. This event was brought about by a Proclamation of Duke Schomberg, announcing that his Majesty had no other intention in invading France, than to restore to the Protestants their ancient privileges, and grant protection to their clergy; also to procure the revival of the Edict of Nantes. On his return to Turin after the Italian campaign, he witnessed the religious honours paid to the "Martyrs of the Thebean Legion;" and, having convinced himself that the tradition concerning these saints was entirely fabulous, he wrote a work of great research and powerful argument to expose the imposture.[e] Whilst residing in that country his attention was forcibly drawn to the sufferings of the "Vaudois," which made such an impression on his mind that on his return to London, he induced Dr. Lloyd, the Bishop of St. Asaphs, to espouse their cause.

2. The widow of the Lord Bourdieu, daughter of the Count de la Valade. This lady, disguised as a peasant, with her infant son concealed in a shawl on her back, and accompanied by a faithful domestic, effected her escape through the frontier guards into German-Switzerland, and thence to London, where she was received by her relative. The child, called Jean Armand, was educated as a clergyman, and became minister of the Savoy, and Chaplain to the Duke of Richmond and Lenox. He married the Comtesse d' Espuage, and had one son, Saumarez. He attained great eminence in his profession, and was author of a volume of sermons, in the French language, much valued at the time.[f] He died in the midst of a useful career, at the early age of 40.

His son Saumarez was educated for a minister in Trinity College, Dublin, and, it is supposed, was brought to Lisburn through the influence of his relative the Rev. Charles de la Valade, the first French chaplain there. He was so much esteemed, that the Earl of Moira, (afterwards the celebrated Marquis of Hastings,) was entrusted to his care, and educated in his family. He married Miss Thompson, and had three sons, John, Shem, and Saumarez; and two daughters, Charlotte and Anna, who died unmarried. He continued for 45 years minister of the French church at Lisburn; and, as the congregation had decreased, (owing to deaths and intermarriages, and from many having joined the Established church,) he was made incumbent of Lambeg, having previously been acknowledged as a minister of the Church of England. He held this situation till his death, which took place at the advanced age of 96. He was beloved and respected by all classes, and his memory is yet revered by the descendants of the French, as well as by the old inhabitants of Lisburn.

His eldest son John, also became a minister, and was rector of Annahilt, in the county of Down. He devoted much attention to literary pursuits, and was author of "A Statistical Survey of the County Antrim," a work of considerable learning and research, published in 1812. He married Miss Sampson, and had five sons and four daughters: Saumarez, Arthur, John Armand, Francis, and George: his daughters were Selina, Catherine, Margaret, and Maria. He died at the age of 86.

His eldest son, Saumarez, entered the army, in the Royal Artillery, at an early age, and was in active service throughout the whole war, till he was killed at St. Sebastian, having attained the rank of captain. He was in command of the troops at the capture of Martinique, where a little incident of rather an interesting nature took place: the commanding officer of the French, in surrendering his sword to him, addressed him in these words: "My misfortune is the lighter, as I am conquered by a Dubourdieu, and a beloved relative -- my name is Dubourdieu." This individual is now Lord High Admiral of France, and is a descendant of the younger branch of the family before alluded to.

His second son, Arthur, also entered the army, and, having endured all the dangers and hardships inseparable from a life of constant active service, in which he ultimately attained the rank of colonel, died in consequence of wounds received at the storming of Badajoz.

His third son, John Armaud, obtained a situation in the Customs.

The fourth son, Francis, entered the Royal Hanoverian Engineers, obtained the rank of captain, and was honoured by the warm friendship of the Duke of Cambridge. He still survives.

The youngest son, George, joined the Patriots in South America, under Bolivar, and perished there.

Shem, second son of the Rev. S. Dubourdieu, settled in Longford, and married a Miss Brown; he had one son, Saumarez, who settled in Cookstown, and married a Miss Carmichael, who had eight children. After his death his family removed to Dublin.

Saumarez, the third son, died unmarried.


Peter Goyer was a native of Picardy, and an extensive farmer, as well as manufacturer of cambric and silk. After the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, having seen his family scattered, and his brother killed by the ruthless soldiers of Louis XIV, who added to their cruelty the mockery of tearing a leaf from his Bible, and forcing it into his mouth before he died, (the record of which transaction is still preserved in the family,) he escaped from France, and came to Lisburn, where he introduced his branches of manufacture; but, still cherishing the hope of regaining his lost property, he returned after some years, secretly to France. Here, finding his efforts fruitless, and being again persecuted and pursued, he found means to escape by concealing himself in a wine-cask, and was so shipped from Bourdeaux. Returning to Lisburn, he resumed his former occupations, and employed a number of hands in the manufacture of silk and cambric. The silk manufacture was carried on in Lisburn until the end of the last century, when the Rebellion dispersed the work-people: and it has not been re-established. The cambric manufacture, however, became finally fixed in Lurgan and its vicinity, and has arrived now at such perfection, that the cambric handkerchiefs made there compete successfully with those of France. He also acted as clerk in the French chapel, which post he held till his death, at an advanced age, leaving an unblemished reputation to his descendants, some of whom still reside at Lisburn.


Mark Henri Dupré escaped, after the Revocation, to the south of Ireland, and made his way to Dublin in 1690. At this time William III. held out special protection to the Refugees, of which he took advantage, and settled in Lisburn, where he carried on the trade of reed-making, being much encouraged and supported by Louis Crommelin. His descendants still remain in Belfast.


Réné Bulmer and his wife fled from France, a short time before the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and with some others similarly situated, established themselves in Lambeg. Bulmer resided in a house now called the Priory. It is said he helped to repair King William's carriage, when it broke down at Lambeg. It is of him the anecdote is related in a former number of this Journal, (p. 135.) He died, leaving a family who settled at Hill-Hall, and Lisburn, and was buried at Lambeg. The name is now changed to Boomer, and the Christian name Réné, or Rainey, is still preserved in the family.

[To be concluded in next Number of the Journal.]

ERRATUM, p. 215, 1. 21. -- For "Sergent de Chery, et Maitre des Regents, read, "Signeur de Chery, et Maitre dex Requétes.

[e] The work is written in English and is entitled -- "An Historical Dissertation upon the Thebean Legion, plainly proving it to be fabulous. -- By John Dubourdieu, M.A. Chaplain to his Grace the Duke of Schomberg and Leinster, and one of the Ministers of the French Church in the Savoy. -- London, printed for R. Bentley, in Russel Street, in Covent-Garden, 1696." -- It is dedicated to the Right Honourable My Lord Mouthermer, eldest son to the Right Honourable the Earl of Mountague, Master of the Wardrobe, and one of his Majesties most Honourable Privy Council.

[f] The title of this work, was "L'indigne Choix des Sichemites, on L'Apologue des Arbres et de l'Epine appliqué à la conjoncture présente en deux sermons sur Juges IX. 14, 15, où l'on fait voir que un Regne Papiste est incompatible avec la constitution de la Grande Bretagne. -- Par Jean Armand Dubourdieu, Ministre de la Savoye, et Chaplain du Duc de Richmond et de Lenox. -- "All that is dear to you must irrecoverably be lost if ever the designs of a Popish pretender bred up in principles of the most arbitrary government should take place." La Reine Anne dans la Harangue qu'elle fit en Parlement en 1708. -- A Londres, chez Thos. Eddin, Imprimeur et Libraire, aux Armes du Prince, vis-à-vis Exeter Exchange dans le Strand. 1733.

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

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