Thursday, 17 April 2014

The Making of the Ulster Scot (pt2)

The Scandinavian Invasion

(4) But we come now to another Teutonic invasion which must have still more profoundly affected them -- the seizure and occupation of both Galloway and Strathclyde by the Scandinavians. There is a record in the Ulster Annals to the effect that in 822 "Galloway of the Britons was laid waste with all its dwellings and its Church." But in 870 again both Strathclyde and Galloway were devastated by the terrible Northmen; Alclyde was taken and demolished, and many captives and much booty carried away. And the chronicler, Symeon of Durham, records another desperate invasion of the same territories by the Danes in 875, when they laid waste the country and "made great slaughter" of the inhabitants; and this is confirmed by the Ulster Annals. Referring to the same incursion in his "History of the County of Ayr" (p. 15), Paterson says that they "laid waste Galloway and a great part of Strathclyde," and that thus harassed by the insatiable Northmen, many of the inhabitants "resolved on emigrating to Wales. Under Constatin, their chief, they accordingly took their departure... The Strathclyde kingdom was, of course, greatly weakened by the departure of their best warriors, and it continued to be oppressed both by the Scots and the Anglo-Saxon princes." "And with the retreating emigrants," says Robertson, "the last semblance of independence departed from the Britons of the North ("Scotland Under Her Early Kings," Vol. I., p. 54). But in 944 we find the Danes, Ronald and his sons, in possession of Galloway, and continuing in possession till the end of the century, when the Danes are displaced by the Norwegians, who remain in occupancy till the end of the next century (see Sir Herbert Maxwell's "History of Dumfries and Galloway," p. 48; Skene's "Celtic Scotland," and the "Annals of the Four Masters"). "From the end of the ninth century," says Rait, "Norse settlements continued for 300 years. The districts of Dumfriesshire and Galloway, all of the Western islands, the West coast of the Firth of Clyde northwards, and the coasts from Caithness and Sutherland to the Moray Firth were deeply affected by the influx of a Scandinavian population" (Rait's "Scotland, p. 7). As was inevitable, these Northmen left their mark deep on Galloway and Strathclyde, and added a strong Teutonic ingredient in the population. "It is plain," says Sir Herbert Maxwell, "from the place-names of Norse origin scattered through the stewartry and the shire that there was a permanent Scandinavian settlement there" ("History of Dumfries and Galloway," p. 38).

"A sore and certain test of a colonisation of this description," says Robertson, "is afforded by the topography of the districts occupied, the 'caster' and 'by' invariably marking the presence of the Northmen not only as a dominant, but as an actually occupying class." He then proceeds to give clear evidence of such colonisation by the Northmen in the South-West of Scotland. Sir Herbert Maxwell also refers to "the remains of Scandinavian occupation preserved in the place-names of the South-West. Many hills," he says, "bear the title 'fell' -- the Norse 'fjall' -- as in 'Fell a' Barhullian' in Glasserton parish, or disguised as a suffix, as in 'Criffel.' The well-known test syllable, 'by,' a village, farm, or dwelling, so characteristic of Danish rather than of Norse occupation, takes the place in southern districts which 'bolstadr' holds in northern. 'Lockerby,' the dwelling of Locard or Lockhart; Canonby and Middleby in Dumfriesshire, Busby, Sorby, and Corsby in Wigtonshire are instances in point. 'Vik,' a creek, or small bay, gives the name to Southwick (sand-vik-sandybay), and 'n'es,' a cape, appears in Sinniness (south point), and Borness (burgh or fort point). Pastoral occupation is implied in Fairgirth (sheep-fold). . . Tinwald, like Dingwall in the North, is the Assembly-field, and Mouswald the Mossfield" (Maxwell's "Dumfries and Galloway," pp. 44, 45). A Norwegian writer, quoted by Mackerlie, states that "the language of the Lowlands of Scotland is so much like that of Scandinavia that the Scottish seamen wrecked on the coasts of Jutland and Norway have been able to converse without difficulty in their mother-tongue with the people there."

In short, nothing in Scottish history is more certain than that a very large infusion of Danish and Norse blood has been given to the people of Galloway and Strathclyde. In view of the repeated devastation and depopulation of the country by war and by emigration of the natives, and the large influx and colonisation by Scandinavians, that infusion must have been very large indeed.

The Normans and Saxons

(5) But we have to notice in the next place the greatest revolution of all in the history of this region, and of nearly all Scotland, the revolution caused by the influx of Saxons and Normans.

"Through the troubles in England consequent on the Danish and Norman invasions," says Dr. Hume Brown, a "succession of Saxon settlers crossed the Tweed in search of the peace they could not find at home. In itself this immigration must have powerfully affected the course of Scottish history; but under the Saxon Margaret and her sons the southern influence was directed and concentrated with a deliberate persistence that eventually reduced the Celtic element to a subsidiary place in the development of the Scottish nation." And here it is most important to take note of and to carry in our memory the emphatic statement of Dr. Hume Brown with regard to the district under consideration when the Saxon and Norman colonisation began. "From all we know of Strathclyde and Galloway previous to the time of the Saxonised and Normanised kings" (Dr. Brown says) "extensive districts must have consisted of waste land" ("History of Scotland," Cambridge Historical Series, pp. 50, 89).

The movement which began under Malcolm II. (1005-1034) went on on a still larger scale in the time of Malcolm Canmore (1057-1093). He had long resided as an exile at the Court of Edward the Confessor, and had become thoroughly English in sentiment and sympathy. It was in his time that the Norman Conquest took place, and had a profound influence on the history of Scotland -- an influence which appears not only in the copious inflow of Englishmen into Scotland, but in the gradual transformation of Scottish society and Scottish institutions. "The form in which the Conquest was first felt in Scotland," says Dr. Hill Burton, "was by a steady migration of the Saxon people northward. They found in Scotland people of their own race, and made a marked addition to the predominance of the Saxon and Teutonic elements" (Hill Burton's "History of Scotland," Vol. I., p. 373),

On the death of their King at Hastings, Edgar the Atheling had been chosen by the English people to succeed him, but he and his mother and two sisters, driven from England by the Conqueror, took refuge at the Court of Malcolm Canmore. And not only the Royal family, but "many of the Saxons fled into Scotland," says Cunningham, "to escape from their Norman masters . . . From this period," he adds, "we find a stream of Saxon and Norman settlers pouring into Scotland. They came not as conquerors, and yet they came to possess the land. With amazing rapidity, sometimes by Royal grants, and sometimes by advantageous marriages, they acquired the most fertile districts from the Tweed to the Pentland Firth; and almost every noble family in Scotland now traces from them its descent. The strangers brought with them English civilisation' (Cunningham's "Church History of Scotland," Vol I., p. 105). Edgar's sister, Margaret, who became Malcolm's Queen, was an able and ambitious, as well as an intensely religious woman after the Roman fashion, bent on the predominance of the English interest and of the English, that is, of the Roman Church. In 1070 Malcolm, her husband, made a raid into England, harried Cumberland, and carried back with him to Scotland as captives large numbers of young people of both sexes. "So great was the number of those captives," says the chronicler, Symeon, of Durham, "that for many years they were to be found in every Scottish village, nay, in every Scottish hovel. In consequence, Scotland became filled with menservants and maidservants of English parentage; so much so that even at the present day," says Symeon, writing in 1120, "not only is not the smallest village, but not even is the humblest house to be found without them." "And besides the Saxons, many of the Norman nobility, dissatisfied with the rule of the Conqueror, retired to Scotland, where they were encouraged by every mark of distinction that could be heaped upon them" (Paterson's "History of the County of Ayr," Vol. I., p. 18). After referring to Symeon's testimony, Dr. Macewen adds that "in the next half-century there arrived with the monks a stream of settlers engaged in trade and agriculture, who frequented the towns or markets which were usually established in the vicinity of monasteries. According to another chronicler, William of Newburgh, all the inhabitants of Scottish towns and burghs were Englishmen" ("History of the Church in Scotland," Vol. I., pp. 172, 173). It is certainly not going too tar to say, as Mr. Andrew Lang does, that "the long reign of Malcolm Canmore intensified the sway of English ideas, and increased the prepotency of the English element" (Article on "Scotland" in "Encyclop. Brit.").

And the policy of Malcolm was followed by his successors. Of his son Edgar (1097-1107) we are informed that "he welcomed the stream of settlers who poured into Scotland in ever-increasing volume," while Edgar's brother, Alexander I. (1107-1124) "did his utmost to Anglicise both Church and State to the north of the Forth."

It was, however, by David I, (1124-1153), who has been called "the maker of Scotland," that more was done in the way of Anglicising, Teutonising, and revolutionising that country than by any of his predecessors. And now it is by Norman rather than by Saxon agency and influence that the revolution is effected. Instead of describing in my own words the change that was now wrought, I think it better here, for obvious reasons, to put before you the statements of Dr. Hume Brown in his "History of Scotland." "When during the reign of David the Eastern Lowlands became the heart of his dominions," he says, "the future course of Scotland may be said to have been determined; it was then finally assured that the Teutonic races were to be the predominating force in fashioning the destinies of the country." "It was during David's reign that the Norman element attained such a predominance as to become the great formative influence in the Scottish kingdom." "The dominating fact of the period is the extensive assignment of lands within the bounds of Scotland to men of Norman, Saxon, or Danish extraction. Wherever these strangers settled they formed centres of force, compelling acceptance of the new order in Church and State by the reluctant natives. . . . This gradual apportionment of lands by successive kings had begun at least in the reign of Malcolm Canmore; but it was David who performed it on a scale which converted it into a revolution." As examples of what was done Dr. Hume Brown notices the grant of Annandale to de Bruce, of Cunningham in Ayrshire to de Moreville, and of Renfrew, with part of Kyle, to Fitzalan; but these are only specimens of a colonisation which took place on a most extensive scale. Referring to Strathclyde, Lothian, and the East country north of the Forth, Dr. Hume Brown proceeds -- "In the case of these three districts, the revolution was at once rapid and far-reaching. Following the example of his fellows elsewhere, the Southern baron planted a castle on the most advantageous site on his new estate. With him be brought a body of retainers, by whose aid he at once secured his own position, and wrought such changes in his neighbourhood as were consistent with the conditions on which the fief had been granted. In the vill or town which grew up beside his castle were found not only his own people, but natives of the neighbourhood who, by the feudal law, went to the lord with the lands on which they resided . . . In the East country to the north of the Forth a change in nomenclature is a significant indication of the breach that was made with the old order" ("History of Scotland," Vol. I., pp. 88, 89, 90). "Of the nation itself, it may be said)" Dr. Brown adds, "that the Teutonic element had now the preponderating influence in directing its affairs. The most valuable parts of the country were in the hands of men of Norman and Saxon descent, and the towns owed their prosperity to the same people" (p. 131).

To be concluded...

This article was originally published in The Witness of 10th April 1913.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

The Making of the Ulster Scot

Professor Heron said -- The question I propose for consideration in this lecture is -- How did the Ulster Scot come to be what he was before he left Scotland? What were the racial elements which entered into his composition, and what were the formative influences which, before he left his native land, went to create and mould him? The "Quarterly Review" for January last had a well-informed and interesting article on "The Evolution of the Ulsterman," by Mr. R. H. Murray, but the writer confines himself to the discipline and development the Ulsterman has undergone since he came to Ireland. It is another and much more difficult question -- What ingredients and what experiences and influences went to the making of him before he set foot on Irish soil?

I have had the privilege of reading the proofs of an able, scholarly, and very interesting new work on the "Ulster Scot," by the Rev. J. B. Woodburn, M.A., of Castlerock, and, indeed, I expected to see it in the hands of the booksellers before to-day. In the opening chapter of his book, which I can warmly recommend to your perusal, Mr. Woodburn has a brief but careful statement respecting "the race of the Ulster Scot," his conclusion being that the Scottish immigrants to Ulster had fully as much Celtic as Teutonic blood in them, quite as much as the Irishman of the South. Mr. Woodburn does not go into the details of their previous history in Scotland, but the question which he raises and suggests is a deeply interesting one, which it may not be inopportune to carry still farther and examine in more detail. To state with precision, indeed, the exact proportion of Celtic or Teutonic blood in the Ulster settler is probably now impossible, but to take account of the different races which have combined to produce him, and the revolutions and changes through which in the course of a long history he has passed, is not only possible and practicable, it cannot but be an inquiry of deep interest to every one of us, for it is part of our own personal history. And it is of more than personal or local interest at the present moment. For some time past the Ulsterman has had concentrated on him a good deal of attention. He has been giving some moments of anxiety and perplexity to statesmen. His case and claims, I am told, have been a subject of keen debate among the students of German universities; while his decided and very unamiable disinclination to be treated as a mere pawn in the game of politics, or to be tossed about as a shuttlecock of parties, has astonished and even pained some people. Now, this ordinarily quiet and industrious, steady and thrifty, but grimly determined, independent, intractable, unbending, and disobliging person -- who is he? What is he? What were his antecedents before he came to Ireland? What were the constituent elements and manipulations that went to the making of him? Of what some was the laboratory wherein the component parts of him were put together, and formed and moulded? It is these questions I am going to try to answer in this address; but to obtain the right answer to them -- to get at the real facts of the case -- it will be necessary to note briefly the parts of Scotland from which the Ulster colonists came, and then to trace rapidly the history of those regions, and of the people who dwelt in them, and the invasions and additions, expulsions and vicissitudes to which they were subjected.

Whence They Came

As to the parte of Scotland from which the Ulster settlers came there is no controversy, and they may be indicated in a sentence or two. As we gather from such records as the Hamilton and Montgomery MSS., Hill's account of the Plantation, the State Calendars, Commissioners' Reports in the "Carew MSS.," Pynnar's "Survey," and other contemporary documents, the districts of Scotland which supplied the Ulster colonists of the seventeenth century may be grouped conveniently under three heads -- namely, (1) Galloway and the Scottish counties included in the ancient kingdom of Strathclyde -- Dumbartonshire, Ayrshire, Renfrewshire, Lanarkshire, and Dumfriesshire; (2) the counties around Edinburgh -- Edinburghshire, Haddingtonshire, and Berwickshire; and (3) the district lying between Aberdeen and Inverness, corresponding to the ancient province of Moray.

It should be noted here, however, that a certain portion of Scotland was expressly excluded from the privilege (if it was a privilege) of sharing in the Ulster Plantation. It was made a necessary condition that the colonists, both of the higher and lower ranks, must have been "born in England or THE INWARD PARTS OF SCOTLAND." This restriction of authorised Scottish settlers to those born in "the inward parts" of the country was evidently designed to exclude Argyllshire and the Isles; that is to say, the Scottish Dalriada, the parts of Scotland inhabited by Celts from Ireland. It was manifestly for the express purpose of excluding them that the restriction referred to was made. They were not the sort of people that were wanted.

Now, let us trace the history of the several regions named, note the successive races by whom they were occupied, the numerous invasions, the incessant conflicts, the devastations and colonisations they passed through, and the probable outcome as regards the blood, race, and moral quality of the residue. A superficial view on a perfunctory survey of the history might be quite misleading. As the history reaches back far so as to touch even prehistoric tracts of time, and as the events and movements to be observed, even within the historic period, are often involved and complex, and extend over more than a thousand years, both patient study and a fair share of trained insight and of the historic imagination are requisite to realise those movements in their operation and outcome. In the present brief statement of the case I can only attempt to place before you the elementary facts of a somewhat difficult problem, and thus put you in a position to judge for yourselves. And for obvious reasons I have thought it better, as far as possible, to state the facts in the words of recognised historians rather than in my own.

As a necessary preliminary, however, to our consideration of the districts I have named some notice must be taken of the Picts, who held almost the whole of the country we now call Scotland when it begins to emerge into the light of history. A keen controversy as to the racial connection of the Picts, in which the Scottish historians, Pinkerton and Chalmers, towards the end of the eighteenth century, were the chief protagonists, raged for many years, Pinkerton maintaining that they were Teutons, and his opponent arguing with equal vigour that they were Celts. Sir Walter Scott, in his tale of the "Antiquary," has a most amusing skit on that controversy. At the dinner table of Monkbarns a sharp debate arises between the Antiquary and Sir Arthur Wardour on this very question, who were the Picts? Mr. Oldbuck asserts with Pinkerton that they were Goths, while Sir Arthur asseverates quite as strenuously with Chalmers that they were Celts. The discussion, like many a similar one, gets more heated as it proceeds, till at length the combatants lose their temper, and Sir Arthur rises from the table in high dudgeon and "flounces out of the parlour." Dr. Hill Burton, in his "History of Scotland," describes the controversy between Pinkerton and Chalmers as quite inconclusive. In fact, the verdict of the latest and best modern experts is that both were wrong, and that the Picts were neither Celts nor Teutons! Dr. Skene, writing more than a generation ago, held that they were Celts; but I suppose the highest living authority on the subject is Sir John Rhys, Principal of Jesus College, Oxford, and Professor of Celtic in Oxford University, and Sir John Rhys, led by philological, ethnological, and topographical considerations, affirms that "the most tenable hypothesis may be said to be that the 'Picts' were non-Aryan, whom the first Celtic migration found already settled" in the country. "The natural conclusion is," he says, "that the Picts were here before the Aryans came, that they were in fact the aborigines." He adds that "it is not too much to say that the theory of the non-Aryan origin of the Pictish language holds the field at present" ("The Welsh People,", pp. 13-16). The judgment of the late eminent Professor of Celtic Philology in the University of Berlin, Professor Zimmer, coincides with that of Rhys. His opinion is that "Pict" was the Roman translation of the name given to the aborigines by the British and Irish Celts. And I see that Dr. Macewen, in the volume of his "History of the Church in Scotland," which has just appeared -- a work of very careful research and scholarship -- adopts this view. Note, then, that, according to such distinguished experts as Sir John Rhys and Professor Zimmer, of Berlin, the original inhabitants of the greater part of North Britain, including the aborigines of Galloway and of the North of Scotland from the Firth of forth to the Pentland Firth, and by the Romans called "Picts," were not Celts.

I. We turn now, then, to the first of the three groups of districts I have named as having supplied a very large number of Ulster colonists -- namely, Galloway and the Northern portion of the ancient British kingdom of Strathclyde, which included the modern counties of Dumbartonshire, Renfrewshire, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire, and Dumfriesshire.


(1) As to Galloway, the remarks just made with regard to the Pictish aborigines have to be kept in mind. Even in the time of Bede we find here a people called by him "Niduari Picts," and at a still later time known as "Galloway Picts." According to Sir John Rhys they wave neither Goidelic nor Brythonic Celts, but non-Aryan aborigines, who had been subdued by the Celts, and had adopted the language of their Celtic invaders. WHEN they were subjugated by a Celtic people, and became in a measure Celticised, is quite uncertain. In Strathclyde also, embracing the counties I have mentioned, there appears to have been a considerable substratum of Pictish aborigines. But overlying them, and constituting the dominant element in the population, were the Britons, or Brythonic Celts, who formed the British kingdom of Strathclyde. They were in close kinship with the Welsh. That, then, is the first thing to be noted with regard to this region -- that prior to the coming of the Romans, and later, Galloway is chiefly populated by Pictish aborigines, and Strathclyde by Britons, who were Brythonic Celts, akin to the Welsh.

(2) The second fact to which I have to direct your notice is the invasion of North Britain by the Romans. The Roman occupation began in the year 80 of our era, continued till 410, and left, without doubt, some lasting effects. The six campaigns in which Agricola sought to subdue North Britain, and the numerous campaigns of later Roman invaders, laid waste the country, and exterminated a considerable proportion of a population which was already sparse, for the forests, moors, and marshes were then extensive; while in the course of the three centuries of the Roman occupation there would be more or less inter-marriage with the Britons, and some infusion of Roman, or at least foreign blood. Remains of Roman camps have been found in various places. We hear of one (at Bar Hill), where, with a cohort of auxiliaries from Germany, about a thousand settlers continued to live for nearly half a century. Dr. Macewen, in his recent "History of the Church in Scotland " (p. 18) says that with the Picts and Britons there was "blended a mongrel, half-foreign element, the residue of the Roman population. This element is difficult to explain in its relations to native life, but it is extremely historical both in itself and in its influences." He describes the people even at this early date as "the hybrid inhabitants of Strathclyde;" while Dr. Zimmer joints out that Patrick in his letter to Coroticus speaks of the subjects of Coroticus in Strathclyde as being of both British and Roman descent.

(3) We have next to record the influx into the whole province of Galloway and Strathclyde of a Teutonic people. In the words of Skene "Galloway was for centuries a province of the Anglian kingdom of Northumbria" ("Celtic Scotland," Vol. I., p. 311); and the same is true of Strathclyde also. Bede informs us, for example, that in the year 603 Aethelfrid, King of Northumbria, "ravaged the Britons more than all the great men of the Angles. He conquered more territory from the Britons, either making them tributory or expelling the inhabitants, and planting Angles in their places than any other king" ("Eccl. Hist.," B. I., c. 34). Mark the policy of the Northumbrian King, as described by Bede, of "expelling the inhabitants and planting Angles in their places" -- a policy which seems to have been pursued by his successors. Bede also states that Oswald, another Northumbrian King (635-642), "brought under his dominion all the nations and provinces of Britain;" and that his brother and successor, Oswiu, even extended his realm ("Eccl. Hist.," B. III., c. 6). As Mr. Andrew Long puts it: "Oswiu dominated Strathclyde and Pictland up to the Grampians, the English element for the time extending itself, and Anglicising more and more the Scotland that was to be" (Article on "Scotland" in "Encycl. Britan."). Under Eegfrid, Oswiu's successor, they tried to throw off the yoke of servitude, but Eegfrid "made so great a slaughter of them that two rivers were almost filled with their bodies, and those who fled were cut to pieces" (Eddi's, "Life of Wilfrid," c. 19). A century later, in 756, "the successes of Eadbert reduced the fortunes of the Britons in this quarter to the lowest ebb," and Cunningham and Kyle were taken possession of, with Alclyde itself, the bulwark of the North Britons (Robertson's "Scotland Under Her Early Kings," Vol. 1., p. 18). By the repeated ravages, slaughter, and expulsion of the native Britons, they must have been immensely reduced in number, while the possession and domination of the province for so long a period by a Teutonic people, whose policy it was to "expel the natives and to plant Angles in their stead," cannot but have added a large and powerful Teutonic element to a population already much reduced and mixed with other than Celtic ingredients.

To be continued...

This article was originally published in The Witness of 10 April 1913.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

The French Settlers In Ireland - No. 9


Few of the present inhabitants of Belfast are aware that there are still amongst them the descendants of French refugees, who settled here, as in other parts of Ireland, in consequence of religious persecutions. The town, which was afterwards to become the prosperous capital of Ulster, exhibited a very different appearance at the time of their arrival from its present one. Thick woods encompassed it on every side; the extensive garden and orchard of the Castle are described, by an English tourist of the time, as reaching down to the Lagan, which was then a wide river; while the Castle itself (of which we know nothing but the site) is mentioned as "a dainty and stately palace, the beauty and glory of the town." A narrow stream flowed down the principal thoroughfare (now High Street), planted at each side with trees, and crossed at intervals by several bridges. The town was regularly fortified and surrounded by a deep fosse. No busy sound of manufacturing industry filled the air; nor was there seen the crowded traffic of populous thoroughfares, nor the shipping of a flourishing port. No factories with their tall chimneys poured forth volumes of smoke into the atmosphere, nor polluted the pure stream with their refuse. Indeed there was nothing to indicate that, after the lapse of two centuries, this third or fourth rate town would reach its present size and eminence. Nevertheless, Belfast had even then mercantile importance sufficient to attract the attention of strangers, and, amongst others, a number of French emigrants were induced to settle here. These may be described as the pioneers of the refugees who afterwards became citizens of the place. One of these bore the well-known name of Le Byrtt,a descended from the brave ancestor who obtained great renown in the French wars of Henry V. of England, by slaying in single combat, the celebrated warrior, De Penicè, and contributing greatly by his gallant conduct to the defeat of the enemy; and who, as the old chronicle says, "so did the King great service" that he was allowed to adopt the coat of arms of his opponent along with his own, and the motto "Loyal au Mort." Another of the early settlers was the descendant of the private secretary of Mary Queen of Scots, and whose heroic sister, Mary Curl, remained with her royal mistress during all her trials, and was her attendant even when she suffered on the scaffold; her conduct and demeanour being in perfect accordance with the motto of her family, "Un Dicu, un Roi, une Foi."b

It may be also mentioned, in connection with the refugees, that Belfast afforded the last resting-place for the remains of the Chevalier De Champagné, a French officer in King William's army, and for those of a Balquière. One of the honoured founders of our Belfast Charitable Society was a Gillan: and there also settled here a Gaussen of the same family that gave to Saumur a professor, and in after times to Geneva another theological teacher of high repute.c It was here, likewise, that De Lolme sought employment at one period of his eventful career. The parish church received as its vicar James Saurin,d nephew of the most celebrated preacher of his day. Here is the grave of a descendant of the noble Chartrese family: his brave ancestor came over to this country with King William III., in whose service he held the rank of colonel. Here too lived and died a descendant of Kins Henry the 4th of France.f Near Belfast resided a lineal descendant of the Count of Thoulouse, whose ancestor escaped from France before the "Massacre of St. Bartholomew," but who assumed the name of Dolling, from a village on his brother's property.g The Belfast Academy at one time had, as its English Master, the son of a Huguenot settler, named Goyer, who was an excellent teacher of the language. A distinguished surgeon of Belfast, named Forcade, who died about twenty-five years ago, was the son of a Huguenot merchant; and the descendants of a French clergyman, named Sueter, are known to have lived in this town.

These few names of French settlers are the only ones we have been able to trace with certainty; and we have descendants of all of them among us still. Other French names are met with in the Belfast parish registers of the period, viz.:--

Bruet, Juret, Pimblet, Luney, Guest, Godsell, Mallard,
Culbert, Lisle, Prynault, D'Alton, Floyer, Cuney, Bey,
Dumay, Luney, Pettigrew, Ayres, Latimer, Morrin, Jamphrey,
Delap, Nipe, Sandal, Lackney, Hugart, Delap, Cately?

But, besides the descendants of Huguenots, many other inhabitants of Belfast are of French or Norman extraction. Some of these came over from Scotland or England at a very early period, while others immigrated much more recently. Subjoined are some of the names of the former class.
Charters, La Mont, Montgomery, Joy,
Dunville,h Suffern (Souverain), Sinclair (St. Clair), Lesqueir,
Weir (De Vere), Tomb, Telfair (Taille-fer), Mereci.

Of the more recent class may be mentioned Bourdot, the well-known name of a hair-dresser in Belfast forty years ago. His father landed in Ireland with General Thurot, at his unsuccessful attack on Carrickfergus; and, with a number of other men who were taken prisoners, preferred remaining here to returning home after their release. We trace to a French origin the family of Pottinger, recently distinguished by the eminent services, in the East, of the late Sir Henry Pottinger, as well of his brother Eldred. Another brother, Colonel W. Pottinger, still survives. Thomas Pottinger was the first "Sovereign" of Belfast; and his son Thomas was High Sheriff of the County Antrim at the time of King William's arrival, and is recorded to have raised the county in his favour, to have sold his own plate, and to have induced others to do the same, in order to aid the army of that monarch. The brother of the High-Sheriff, Captain Edward Pottinger, conveyed King William to Carrickfergus in his frigate, the Dartmouth. It was the same intrepid captain, in his vessel of 280 tons, and accompanied by another ship of war, who convoyed the merchantmen who broke the boom at the Siege of Derry. This gallant man and his vessel were shortly after lost by shipwreck off the Isle of Mull, while on the look-out for some French vessels which were expected with supplies for King James's army. From these ancestors the present Pottinger family is descended. The name is still preserved as the appellation of two localities in Belfast and the vicinity, "Pottinger's Entry" in High Street, and "Mount Pottinger" in the suburb of Ballymacarrett.


[a] Le Byrtt. -- The last descendant of this family, which formerly gave, more than once, a chief magistrate to the town, was the late Surgeon W. Byrt, who died in Belfast, after an honourable career as military surgeon. This estimable citizen was a large contributor, by will, to the endowment of Christ's Church, where a monument to his memory exists.

[b] The present John Currell, Esq., of Belfast, is the descendant of Queen Mary's Secretary.

[c] Gaussen. -- The present family of Gaussen resident in the County of Derry, some collateral branches of which also reside in Belfast, trace their descent from this source. Pierre Gaussen, nephew of one of the brothers who came to England, became a Governor of the Bank of England, and a Director of the Hon. East India Company. His high position did not alter the benevolence of his character, as he became one of the directors of the Hospital of Refugees in 1779, and consented to act as its treasurer. The same kindly disposition is perpetuated among the descendants of the brother who settled in Belfast.

[d] For an account of the family of Saurin, see the paper on the Lisburn Huguenot Settlement, in this Journal.
In connexion with the settlement of certain of the Huguenot refugees as religious teachers among the people of this kingdom, the following rather humorous and characteristic anecdote, from the Belfast News Letter of the year 1788, may be not inappropriately introduced:--
"Some time since a Rev. French Huguenot, having been presented to a living in a remote part of Ireland, chose to officiate without the assistance of a curate; and, as his accent and the idioms of his language rendered him scarcely understood, his audience did not restrain their complaints, but brought them before the bishop, who appointed a day for hearing both parties in the presence of each other. The Huguenot, having received an account of their remonstrance to the bishop, took the first opportunity of inviting his discontented parishioners to 'deene with him on rost-beuf and ploom pudang,' which invitation tiny readily accepted, and hugely and heartily did they partake of the fare provided by their venerable pastor. On the day of hearing, the complainants set forth their allegations of his unintelligibility; to which the Huguenot replied:== 'My Lord, my parishioners say, when I read the Liturgy, and from the pulpit exhort them to amendment of life, that they cannot comprehend my meaning; but, my Lord, to put the matter to a test, I asked them to dine with me on rost-beuf and ploom-pudang: this they chose very well to understand, and really performed their parts to admiration; which is a demonstrative proof how groundless are their complaints.'"

[e] Chartrès. -- The descendants of this family exhibit as their crest the fleur de lis.

[f] Documents which go far to vindicate for the late Dr. Purdon, well known in Belfast as an eminent medical practitioner, the pedigree here referred to, are still in the possession of his family, but too long to admit of insertion here. The line is traceable through an immediate descendant of the royal line of France, the Viscount de Lavalle, who was among the Huguenot settlers in Portarlington, of the sixteenth century. Traditions also to the same effect still exist in various branches of the family. -- EDIT.

[g] Dolling was the younger brother of Count Dolling, of the village of Dolling, near Toulouse; but, having embraced Huguenot doctrines, he was obliged to fly to England about the time of the "massacre of Saint Bartholomew." The family chateau was of such magnitude and solidity, that it resisted the ravages of time until the commencement of the present century. The motto of the family, "Spero," was all that remained to the unfortunate emigrant.

[h] Dunville. -- The head of this family came from Normandy with William the Conqueror. Tradition states that the name is taken from a village in that country. The name of the first ancestor referred to above was Hugh; and his great grandson, Sir Roger Dunville, resided at Beyrsheath, in the County of Chester, A.D. 1281. His descendants continued there for many generations. William Dunville, Esq., of said county, left three sons, A.D. 1628, of whom Gilbert and John came to Ireland. Gilbert became Clerk of the Hanaper and M.P. for Kildare, and John became Clerk of the Common Pleas. W. Dunville, Esq., of Richmond, near Belfast, is the representative here of this family.

The above article is reproduced from the Ulster Journal of Archaeology, vol. 9, 1861.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

The French Settlers In Ireland - No. 8 (pt3)

The Huguenot Colony of Portarlington


By Sir Erasmus D. Borrowes, Bart.

The domestic accounts of the refugees, though not so ponderous as the "Household Books" of the Northumberlands and Derbys, exhibit the local prices of the day, and prove that "Anthoine Seigne, marchant habitant de Portarlington," was making a strenuous effort to master the troublesome language of his adopted country. "Juillet, 1724. Mr. Le Major C---------, pour balance de tout conte, 8. 8. 1. pr 18 verges de tep (tape) 6d. pr savon 8lb 2. 4. pr 6lb chandell 1. 9. pr une quarte sable (for blotting) 1d. pr 3 estoue de fer à Thompson, smith de Lea 8. 6. pr 4 gallons 3 quartes vinaigre a 1. 8. galon 7. 11. pr une lb ½ houblon 2. 6. pr 3 Stons de fer livré au dt Smith de Lea 8. 6. pr cloux et une paire Inges 4d. pr 3 verges jaratieres 3d. pr 4 on corins et une quarte sable 3d. pr 4 bougles de sangle 2d. pr une lb sucre bostard 9d. au bleu boy pr 1lb savon 3½d, a Monr le Major contant un Moydor 1. 9. 10. au valet 1lb Rolle Tobac 1. 2. pr un sledge ou grand marteau 4. 4. au valet 2 brouss de souliers 6d." Catherine Buliod commences her bill, "Meleidey (My Lady) doit," &c. Another variation is thus given:-- "Maylidy Gennes (My Lady Jane) to John Dupuy Dr." In 1730, we find the French agent of the pensioned officers furnishing his account in French and English indiscriminately, thus:-- "For his letter and certificate 2d, interest 7 pour et. au 3 Octobre 1730," &c.; and a gallant major, in noticing the stock on his farm, refers to his "heaffer calph, and boulgier calph." It is difficult to imagine how the domestic economy of any locality could have been more conveniently adapted to the wants of the noble proprietors of the lost seigneuries than the neighbourhood of Portarlington. For instance, we find a refugee from Saintonge holding 68 acres for £11 a-year; 21 acres for £2 12s.; 11 acres for £2 4s.; and 19 acres for £2 12s. These were the lands on which the beautiful wood, spire, and railway station-house now form such conspicuous ornaments. We have before us a long roll of the names of the French tenants of this gallant officer; and if he let his lands in Saintonge on the easy terms by which his Irish tenant, John Hillen, enjoyed his holding, his dependents could not but lament the change consequent on the sad rupture. For a house, garden, and upwards of two acres, John Hillen paid 5s. a year by labour at 5d. a-day, according to "the tally-book."

Vast quantities of beer were made by the French, even by the lower orders, and this they used at breakfast. We find the refugees of the Bordeaux district availing themselves largely also of the prized beverage of their own native land. In 1726, Monsieur Pennetes, a French wine-merchant in Dublin, furnished a Portarlington colonist with "three gallons of Frontignac wine at 6s. per gallon; a hogshead of clarate, prise agreed, £11; a dousen of wine, 11s.: 29th May, 1729, a oxhead of clarate £12. Same day a oxhead of Bennecarlo at half-a-crown per gallon, allowing 64 gallons coms to £8. Same day I took a hoxhead of Monsieur Terson's wine from Monsieur Pennete's seller, but I gave credit to Monsieur Terson. Une demy barrique de selle de France 6. Le Sr. Pennetes in a surchargé la barrique de Bennecarlo de vingt sh: je lui ay alloné en consideration de long payment, mais ay dessin de ne prendre plus de vin de lui." At a later period we find the inhabitants of Portarlington well supplied with wine, &c. Samuel Beauchamp, of that town (son of Monsieur Samuel Beauchamp, "cy devant avocat au parliament de Paris," who had been imprisoned in France), had his vaults furnished with claret, mountain, canary, white Lisbon, palm sack, and shrub; nor was the celebrated Lafitte unknown there. Later still, in 1757, Joshua Pilot (a retired paymaster and surgeon from Battereau's regiment and the campaign of '45, whose family had felt the fury of the Intendant Maraillac, the scourge of Poitou, imported large quantities of wine to Portarlington direct from the eminent house of Messrs. Barton & Co., of Bordeaux, now of universal fame.i A few more instances may show how well a singularly low price suited the plundered purses of the colonists. Early in the last century we find malt 8s. a brl.; hops, 1s. 6d. a pound; potatoes, 4s. 6d. for 24 stone; bere, 4. 6. a bl.; poultry, 3d. a pair; butter, 2½d. a pound; a kish of turf, l½d.; beef and mutton, l½d. a pound; a milch cow, £1 15s.; a horse, £2 2s., &c.

The French brought with them various trades. The manufacture of linen was carried on upon a small scale by the Fouberts. Of this family was Major Henry Poubert, aide-de-camp to William III.; probably the same Foubert who, seeing Schomberg attempting the passage of the Boyne without his armour, warned the veteran marshal not to omit that precaution. Numerous individuals are described as "marchands;" others to whose names are appended "facturier en laine, drapier, boucher, boulanger, mareschal, marchant gantier, cordonnier, jardinier, macon, maistre charpentier, serviteur deuil, maistre chirurgien, me. tailleur, me. d'ecole, tisserant, serrurier. One French lady was in the habit of importing from France bales of cambric to a considerable amount, forwarded by a relative in her native land. These she disposed of wholesale in Dublin and Portarlington; and a gallant chevalier, who had not yet fled, still dwelling on his estate at Cognac, endeavours to aid his fugitive wife and family in Holland, afterwards settled in Portarlington, by conveying to them stealthily the far-famed brandy of that district, and other merchandise.

The local names of La Bergerie, La Manche, and St. Germains are significant of their owners' native country; while "the "Welsh Islands" refer us to the "Hollow Sword Blade" or "Welsh Company," from the sword manufacture having been carried on in "Wales. And in the name of "King Street," if not to immortalise, they hoped to honour, the memory of their royal friend and protector.

The schools were the great attraction of Portarlington, the life-blood of the town, and the source of its fame throughout the last century. These took their tone from the high class of French colonists who founded them; and the association of the pupils with such a class, together with the instruction at these seminaries, was calculated to impart a knowledge of the French language in all its purity and perfection; obviating the necessity of a foreign education at a time when intercourse with Europe was a matter of difficulty and delay; imparting an improved and fashionable education to the youth of all parts of Ireland, and inducing many of the Irish gentry to reside there.

Monsieur Le Fevre is said to have been the first schoolmaster in the town. He was the friend and correspondent of Dr. Henry Maude, Bishop of Meath, and founder of the Charter Schools. He was the father of "the poor sick lieutenant," whose lamentable and forlorn condition at the country inn, with his little son, excited the sympathy of the kind landlord and all his family, roused from their inmost recesses the compassionate feelings of "my Uncle Toby," and hurried the gallant captain, in the fulness of his heart, into that breach of a divine command, the remembrance and oblivion of whose offence by the recording angel, Sterne has so beautifully described.

The Register contains the following record: "Sepulture du Dimanche 23e Mars 1717-18. Le Samedy 22e du present mois entre minuit et une heure, est mort en la foy du Seigneur et dans Pespérance de la glorieuse resurrection, Monsieur -- Favre, Lieutenant à la pention. Dont l'ame estant allée a Dieu, son corps a eté enterré par Monsieur De Bonneval, ministre de cette Eglise, dans le cemitiere de ce lieu. A. Ligonier Bonneval. min. Louis Buliod."

To our former notice of the family of Le Fevre, we would add the remark of Monsieur Louis De Marolles respecting his fellow-prisoner in the gallies:-- "I confess to you that Monsieur Le Fevre is an excellent man; he writes like a complete divine; and that which is most to be esteemed is, that he practises what he writes. May the Lord bless, preserve, and strengthen both you and him, and this will afford me singular consolation."

From the first settlement of the French, schools were established by Le Fevre, Cassel, Buliod, Durand, &c. A classical education at this early period could only be acquired in Dublin. From a school bill from Mr. John Spunner, of Dublin, now before us, and dated 1726, it appears that his pupil, aged twelve years, had to ride from Portarlington to Dublin (about forty-five miles); and, instead of the price of the classics, we find such items as these:-- "To the smith, 2s. 8d.; a girth for his saddle, 10d." Prior to the middle of the last century, a school for juveniles was established in Portarlington by Mademoiselle Lalande. This seminary was eminent in its way, and originated others of a higher order, and more varied qualifications. Mlle. Lalande was an educated lady, with a fund of shrewd worldly knowledge, and, as appears from her entertaining letters, a most agreeable correspondent. In one of her school bills of the middle of the last century, we can discover the seeds of that taste for the drama, which distinguished the character of the subsequent age, and attained such maturity in the successful theatricals of the Sheridans, the Le Fanus, the Marlays, Whytes, &c., and ultimately at Kilkenny. The item runs thus:-- "To ye Assembly as Page of Honour to his Majesty, 1s. 1d. To a pair of white shoes for the procession, 3s. 3d." The grandfather of the boy to whom these entries refer, had been an officer in La Mellioniere's corps at "The Boyne;" his father, born in Ireland, had been Dean of Clonmacnoise, and held several ecclesiastical benefices.

Though the lad himself was thoroughly Irish, by parentage and education, we find in the following item a natural and interesting clinging to that language in which his forefathers worshipped, and gave hold utterance to those religious principles which they so nobly maintained. The entry is short, yet significant -- "To a French Psalm book and Prayer do., 5s. 2½d." These books, however, were in general use at all the schools, at which the morning and evening prayers were read in the French language, down to the commencement of the present century. In a printed document, of 1801, relating to the repairing of the French church, the following passage occurs:-- "King William knew from experience, as well as the schoolmasters and mistresses of Portarlington, that attending Divine service in French was the best method to learn it, or preserve it when learned. Though a Dutchman, he attended regularly the French churches in Holland. It was before him and his court that the famous Saurin preached his sermons. About a hundred children leave our school every year. Whenever the celebration of Divine service is abolished by the ruin of our French church, those hundred children will be as many messengers, who will carry the news everywhere. People will imagine that French is a dead tongue among us, and our town might be ruined before we are aware of it. To prevent such a misfortune, let us rebuild both our churches according to the intention of their great founder, King William; who, for fear of any future innovation, had those foundations confirmed by both Irish and English legislatures."j Throughout the last century, the following individuals may be enumerated as principals of schools Le Fevre, Cassel, Macarel, Bonafou, La Cam, Hood, Baggs, Willis, Halpin, Lyons; and ladies' schools, by Mrs. Dunne, Dennison, Despard, &c. Besides the usual grammatical instruction, a simple method was adopted for enforcing French conversation exclusively; and though not altogether just in principle, the end was attained with admirable success. To each class was given an old key, which was passed by one boy to another whenever careful espionage and a sharp ear, with the creeping, crouching approach of the setter, could detect the sound of the proscribed English language. "Anglois prenez la clef," sounded like a thunder clap to the astonished offender; he took the key, which was probably called for that day by the master, and the boy in whose possession it was found was punished. The statute of Henry the 8th proscribing the native Irish tongue was inoperative compared to the vigorous and successful action of this English Language Abolition Act of Portarlington. Miss Lalande was succeeded by the two Misses Towers -- one of whom married Mr. Hood. This school kept by Hood -- who was succeeded by his principal assistant, Mr. Thomas Willis -- became remarkable as the seminary in which some of the most distinguished men of the day -- eminent in rank, in literature, and political attainments -- acquired that earlier teaching which in after-life imparted such brilliancy to their names. Among these may be mentioned, the late Marquis of Wellesley, and his brother the Earl of Mornington, the Marquis of Westmeath, the Right Honourable John Wilson Croker, Chief Justice Busshe, Judge Jackson, Sir Henry Ellis, principal librarian of the British Museum, Daniel Webb Webber, father of the Kildare-street Club, and a host of others, in after-life well-known country gentlemen.

Mr. Willis has left us some anecdotes of Hood's distinguished pupils: he says in his manuscript -- "Lord Mornington's eldest son (Lord Wellesley) I can justly say excelled in everything. Ladies and gentlemen were in the habit of attending our evening prayers and psalms, which were performed with great solemnity on these occasions Lord Wellesley was always chosen chaplain, being the best calculated for that duty: he was also one of the best teachers I have seen, under whose care Mrs. Hood (when called away in cases of emergency) often placed her class, which she might confidently do, as he was more exact than herself in making the boys study their lessons. He acquired such pleasure and delight in teaching, he has sometimes told me, that when a man he would go indeed as schoolmaster. At times he sat as judge, when any of the servants committed a fault, and with due solemnity, dressed in regular form, wearing Mr. Hood's fullbottomed grey wig, examined the witnesses, and pronounced sentence accordingly. He acted the part of King Solomon in a little French Scriptural dramatic piece, taken from Kings, I. chap. 3, in which he displayed the solidity of his wisdom in judging between the two harlots." Mr. Willis details at considerable length, the traits which distinguished the character of the noble Marquis when very young, and states that with those already referred to, he combined all the natural playfulness of boyhood. About the year 1780, when the Irish Volunteers were embodied, the boys got a uniform, and became an expert regiment of juveniles, having a regular sergeant, fife, and drum. This system of military drill became general at all the schools in Portarlington. "A very distinguished corps, admired by officers of regiments passing through the town" was raised at Mr. Willis's school: of this juvenile' force, John Wilson Croker was --
"The stout, tall captain, whose superior size.
 The minor heroes view'd with envious eyes."

He is described as a martinet, most expert at drilling with the wooden musket, and an able commander of his youthful company. Many of the earlier pupils of Hood's day attributed, in a great measure, their military success in '98, when called on as country gentlemen to assist in quelling the rebellion, to the mock campaigns in the play ground and the sham lights, in which they were veterans while yet boys.

Others of distinguished name when age had shed its snows on the heads of the once-youthful Volunteers of 1782, would sometimes fondly visit the scenes of their boyish campaigns. The Earl of Mornington and Daniel Webb Webber, were distinguished for this amiable feeling, in which they often indulged. A visit to the old play-ground, and the vivid retrospect we there enjoy, has a wonderful charm in our declining days.
"Viewing it, we seem almost t' obtain
Our innocent, sweet, simple years again;
This fond attachment to the well-known place,
Whence first we started into life's long race,
Maintains its hold with such unfailing sway,
We feel it, ev'n in age, and at our latest day."

At this period there were upwards of 500 children at these schools; the rebellion, however, caused great numbers to be sent home under escorts, who were then sent to English schools: subsequently the schools suffered from the substitution of the English language for French, in the performance of the services of the church -- originally built for the use of the Huguenots. Of late, however, they have again attained a considerable celebrity, and are most creditable to those gentlemen who have revived their former fame.

Several books which belonged to the first colonists still remain, a few of which are as follow:-- Paraphrase, or Brief Explication of the Catechism: by Francois Bourgoing, minister; printed at Lyons by Jaaucs Faure, 1564. This book is bound in vellum, and contains the owner's name, "Estienne Mazick." A Bible, printed in 1652. This book has lost its cover; from long and constant use the gilt edging is scarcely traceable -- each page is separate, yet not one has been lost. New Testament and Psalms in verse; printed at Amsterdam, in 1797. This book belonged to Colonel Isaac Hamon, to whose family allusion has been made. The Psalms in verse, set to music, with various prayers. This was the property of Mademoiselle De Champlorier, previously referred to. A small book, very old, in a vellum cover, containing prayers for the Communion; with others, too many to enumerate.

Significant allusion is made by one of our foreign colonists to the loss of horses, and to money paid "for watching the horses at night." The daring exploits of the notorious horse-stealer, Cahir-na-goppul (Charles of the Horses), had evidently raised the fears of our worthy settlers for the safety of their studs. This French officer loved the chase; he had his "hunting saddles," and had paid " Martin Neef, ye horsfarrier of Kildare, three guynies for curing Tipler." Cahir-na-goppul was an offshoot of the great family of O'Dempsey; through the misfortunes of his renowned race, he had degenerated into a rapparee, and horse-stealer of wide-spread notoriety, carrying his depredations even so far north as Monaghan, by which county he had been "presented," and was hanged at Maryborough, about the year 1735. Even at the present day, the old grand-dame in her cabin terrifies into submission the unruly peasant brat by the dread name of Cahir-na-goppul.

Having requested an aged inhabitant of Portarlington, now in humble circumstances -- a venerable relic of the town, whose day had dawned ere France was wholly extinct -- whose ancestor had been a lieutenant in William's army, and had received half-a-crown a-day as a pension -- to write a short sketch of the family tradition which had been transmitted to her, we just saved from utter oblivion this lingering memorial of the ordeal of other days, with which we conclude our sketch.

We give her own words:-- "My great grandmother's name was La Motte Grandore; her family was so persecuted, that she was sent to Holland with the Cassels, when she was only seventeen years old. A young girl, her cousin, who was steadfast to her faith, they tied by the heels to a cart, and drew on the horse through the street until her brains were dashed out; a young man she was to be married to went after the cart imploring them to stop. Also many of her family (the La Bordes) suffered much; some imprisoned, some losing all they had possessed. My great grandfather made his escape out of prison, where he had been some time, and fled to Holland quite young. He contrived to let his parents know where he was, after great privations; went through the greatest hardships; often had to hide in fields, afraid to enter their own houses. My great grandfather's escape out of prison was most miraculous; they were often hungry, whilst they dare not go to their home to get food, where they had plenty. Memory fails me to let you know the very many stories my poor father used to tell us. His mother was one of the La Bordes. Her father became a soldier when he got to Holland. There he met the Cassels and the young woman (previously mentioned) that her parents sent with them, Lucy La Motte Grandore. Her family were very rich; had good possessions in Languedoc. It is said their place was a paradise; all was comfort. She came over with her husband, John Laborde, who entered King William's army, and was at the battle of the Boyne, quite near Duke Schomberg when he was shot." This respected descendant of these gallant Huguenots closed her interesting tale with an expression of regret that the infirmities of age, and the loss of her contemporary relatives, should render it so imperfect.

The register contains the following record confirming the statement of our aged informant: "Du Dimanche 26 Xbre 1703. Le Jeudy 16 dernier vers les 5 heurs du matin est né un garçon a Jean La Borde et à Anne Graindor sa femme, lequel a esté baptisé cejourdhui par Monsieur de Bonneval min. de cette eglise. Parraine le d' Jean La Borde. Marraine la d. Graindor, ses père et mère; et nom lui a esté imposé Jean. Jean La Borde. Anne Graindor. Bastagnet, ancien. Proissy d'Eppe, ancien. Guion, ancien. A. Bonneval, min." The register also contains an entry of the baptism of her father, Abel Cassel, "aux prières du soir." 12th August, 1736, which states him to be the son of Isaac Cassel and Anne La Borde; and another of the same family is baptized "aux prières du matin." This shows the practice of two daily services.

The French registers of Portarlington are replete with genealogical and topographical information. Dowdall's map of the town -- remaining among the records in the Custom-house, Dublin -- describes the houses and plots of the early colonists; and the Book of Sales, at Chichester-house, in 1703, in the Dublin Society's library, is still more full on these topics. The Journals of the Irish House of Commons also afford much information regarding military rank and pensions. But, with the extinction of the French inhabitants, the interesting family papers, the lively and romantic journal, and the faithful and stirring tradition have also with one exception passed away, and we are just by one generation too late to reap the rich harvest of Huguenot history we might otherwise have secured.

[i] The quantity of wine consumed in Ireland at this period must have been enormous, as shown by the contents of Lord Conway's cellars at Lisburn, which were to be sold on his death, as advertised in "Pue's Occurrences " in 1731 -- viz.:-- "19 hogsheads of claret of the great growth of Lafitte; 12 hogsheads of Margeaus; 29 do. of the great growth of Lafitte. and old; 7 do. of choice Graves claret; 8 do. of French white wine; also, a parcel of four-year old brandy."  The white wines are stated to be "the best Priniaque." At this sale was also to be disposed of "a fine armoury, consisting of carbines, pistols, broad-swords, buff belts, and kettle-drums," memorials of the civil wars of Charles I., and the good services done by the Lisburn garrison and the regiment of horse commanded by Edward, Viscount Conway.

[j] A poem of the early part of last century in terms somewhat satirical, thus alludes to the great Captain of the Portarlington colonists:--
      "JOSHUA might still ha' staid on Jordan's shore--
       Must he, as William did, the Boyne, pass o'er.
       Almighty power was forced to interpose,
       And frighted both the water and his foes:
       But, had my William been to pass that stream,
       God needed not to part the waves for him.
       Nor forty thousand Canaanites could stand;
       In spite of waves and Canaanites he'd land.
       Such streams ne'er stemm'd his tide of victory;
       No not the stream ! -- no, nor the enemy?"

And in figurative language, the poet anticipates by ages a modem invention of world-wide utility --
      "What glories are for Nassau's arms decreed,
       His own steel pen shall write, and ages read "

The above article is reproduced from the Ulster Journal of Archaeology, vol. 6, 1858.

Friday, 21 March 2014

The French Settlers In Ireland - No. 8 (pt2)

The Huguenot Colony of Portarlington

(Continued from vol. 3, page 231)

by Sir Erasmus D. Borrowes, Bart.

The gentry of Ireland maybe said to have taken a lively interest in the prosperity of the French colony. We have abundant evidence that the state of society in Ireland, at the period referred to, required improvement. The association of the gentry, therefore, with the Huguenots, was not likely to prove detrimental. It was then a common practice to send abroad with a tutor the elder sons of men of fortune, to learn foreign languages; but the schools originating here with the French, as we shall presently shew and the French revolution obviated the necessity of such a practice. Caillard, the French clergyman already referred to, had a perfect knowledge of German literature, of which we have specimens in his translation of French letters into German. As the colony became settled, and its inhabitants increased by a gradual influx of military men from the disbanded French regiments of William III., some of these being officers of high rank, whose services in the field were rewarded with liberal pensions, a nucleus of attraction arose, inducing a constant social intercourse with the better educated of other French settlements, and with the Irish gentry of the neighbouring counties: the past history and prestige of the Huguenots never failing to warm the hearts and win the favour of the hospitable native gentry. An old account-book, now before us, shows the system of mutual aid which adorned so gracefully the character of the Refugees. A French officer of distinction, Major De C------------ , owed a sum of money to the late husband of Madame D'Arrabin. Instating the different payments, he adds as follows:-- "Delivered to Mrs. D'Arrabin some time in August, 1715, a large burned china pounch Boull, valewd att tenn pounds, on account of what I ow'd to her late husband. October the 3rd, 1722, by settled account with Mrs. D'Arrabin, she allowed me six pounds more for ye above said boull, which perfected the full interest to that day," &c. Thus, this generous lady allowed £16 for "the boull" which was tendered to her for £10. And again, in 1724, Mrs. D'Arrabin reduces the interest by £11. 12s. 6d. on his bond, -- "whether I would or not." The gallant officer himself lends Mesdemoiselles De Champloriers two guineas, and also supplies them with "eight car-loads of hay, at half-a-crown per load." Annexed to this entry is this note -- "Mlles Champloriers pd me two guineas against my will, but accepted of the hay." He knew the text, "La charite est d'un esprit patient: elle se montre benigne."

The same book contains a long account with the far-famed Colonel Cavallier, the l'enowned hero of the wars of the Cevennes. Major C---------- had lent Colonel Cavallier £50, and various other sums; the former, visiting the Hague in 1723, purchases for Me Cavallier, "18¾ Duch ells of narrow lease," some cambrick, and holland, "which, in Ireis money, comes to two pounds and nine shelings." It appears that the brilliant career of her gallant husband could not save the family from want, for, in the same year, Major C--------- "lent to Me Cavallier, at her going to Dublin, 14s. 2½d.; and, in 1724, he "pd to Lieut Ducas for Col Cavallier to release Me Cavallier's gould watch, which was returned to her, twelve pounds sterling, for which the Col gave me his note on Monr Puichinen." Various loans of moydores to Me Cavallier are recounted, and for another "georny to Dubin," one moydorc. Major C---------- gives Col Cavallier credit for £1. 7s. 1d. received from five individuals named, being " five sh. and five pce each for one "book," of which we subjoin the title.d In 1721, Major C--------- "paid to Mr. Wilkinson, for grasing Me Cavallier's yong maire
000. 04s. 00." The account with this remarkable man closes thus:-- "Memorandum. Ye Coll ows me tor a horse which he borrow'd from me, and never returned, valew'd four or five pounds." "Mais toutes choses étoient communes entr' eux."

To give even a sketch of Cavallier's daring military exploits would exceed the limits of this paper: we shall, however, glance at his interview with the great and powerful monarch Louis Quatorze. The gallant leader of the wars of the Cevennes, having come to a cessation of arms with Marshal Villars, on terms satisfactory to himself and his brave little band, sought an interview with the king. This request was granted, and he was conducted into the presence of his Majesty at Versailles by the Secretary of State.--

"The king was at mass when Mon. Chamiliard came to him, and I was introduced into his closet till it was over, and when his Majesty came to us, 'Sir,' said Monsieur Chamiliard, 'this is Cavallier, chief of the rebells, who comes to implore your majesty's clemency.' I made a very low bow, but was terribly frightened by the speech of my introductor. I remained for some time confused and astonished, and the king having asked me 'what it was I had to say to him, and what was our reasons for rising in arms against him?' Cavallier, recollecting himself, recounts to his majesty in an eloquent speech the horrors of the persecution; that these measures had driven them to despair and to the assumption of arms; that all avenues by which justice might have been claimed from the crown had been closed; that his majesty had been deceived, and that they were persuaded these things were not done by his majesty's orders or permission. 'Finding he heard me very patiently, I went on.' After a little, Cavallier said, 'If you would be pleased to confirm the promises made to us by the Marshal Villars, and in your royal clemency forgive us all that is past, we are ready to shed the last drop of our blood for your service.' Here he interrupted me, and, with an angry voice, he said, 'I order you not to speak one word of that treaty, on pain of incurring my indignation; if the rest of the rebells will submit, I will consider what may be done with the prisoners and gallerians.' He asked me if the Duke of Savoy or any other of his allies sent me money or arms? I answered that I never received either from the Duke of Savoy or anybody else. 'Where, then, did you get them?' said the king. 'Sir,' said I, 'we took care to attack none of your troops but them we were much superior in number to; and having overcome them, especially in the beginning, it was from them we provided ourselves.' He asked me how many of his troops I thought had been destroyed during all that time? I answered that I did not know, but that his generals could inform him better than I. He charged me with a great many outrages, such as burning of churches and murdering of priests and other ecclesiastics. Cavallier proceeds to rebut these charges, and details to his majesty the cruelties of the Intendant Montrevel, who had a young lady of Nismes murdered in his presence, whom one of the king's pages was protecting; the page himself having with difficulty escaped hanging. For the truth of his statement of the aggravated circumstances attending this barbarous murder Cavallier was ready to appeal to the Roman Catholics of Nismes. 'The king then turned to Monsieur Chamiliard and asked him if he knew anything of that affair?' Chamiliard did not deny the fact, but endeavoured to soften down its revolting features. After a few words more from Cavallier in justification of the course which he and his companions had been compelled to adopt, he adds, 'I observed that he seemed a little moved at this relation, and then asked me if I would become a good Catholic? To which I made answer that my life was in his hands, and that I was ready to lay it down for his service; but us for my religion, I resolved not to change it for any consideration this world could afford.' 'Well,' said the king, 'go and be wiser in future, and it will be better for you.' Having made a low bow, I retired with Monsieur Chamiliard into his apartment, where I received a terrible reprimand for talking as I had done against the Mareschal de Montrevel, and especially for refusing the honour of being the king's convert; he exhorted me to make use of the opportunity. I smiled when he continued to tell me that, though I did not believe everything that the church teaches, I might pretend I did, and act as a great many others; that I might do as if I were at a play -- gaze and laugh without taking any other notice; 'when you are at mass you may pray to the devil if you please. Let the king see you there twice or thrice, and your business is done; you shall have a pension of 1,500 crowns a-year for life, another for your father, besides being made brigadier in his army.' I answered him that, when Moses was come to age, he chose rather to suffer adversity with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of a court for a season; at which he laughed, saying, 'Where have you got this old woman's story?"' The controversy was proceeding, when it was cut short by Chamiliard telling him he was "an obstinate Huguenot, and that he might take his own way." He, however, dismissed him civilly, ordering Monsieur La Vallée to show him the curiosities of Versailles. "It happened to be the very day that the Dutchess of Burgundy saw company after lying-in. All the water-works were set agoing, and the court in the utmost joy and magnificence, which gave me an opportunity, under the conduct of my guide, to see all the princes and princesses of the blood, and foreign ministers, who were come to make their compliments on the occasion. I was astonished at the beauties of the place, which, after the woods and mountains I had been used to, seemed like an enchanted palace."e

Cavallier and his party having made their escape from France, their services were gladly engaged by Victor Amadeus, Duke of Savoy. The hero of the Cevennes subsequently retired to the Hague, and afterwards came to Ireland. In 1727, Primate Boulter strongly recommended him to the Duke of Newcastle for an appointment in the new levies, then about to be raised. A note to the Primate's letter states that "this is that Colonel Cavallier who made so great a figure in the Cevennes against the powerful armies of France; he was, in some respects, the Paoli of those days."

Among the refugees of note residing in Portarlington, the family of Des Vignoles claims attention. They possessed large estates in Languedoc, and were lineally descended from the celebrated warrior, Estienne Des Vignoles, commonly called La Hire, who signalized himself in the wars of Charles the Seventh of France, obliged the Duke of Bedford to raise the siege of Montargis, and accompanied Joan of Arc, the famous Maid of Orleans, to the siege of that city in 1427. Two convoys were at length forced into the fortress by

"La Hire, the merriest man
That ever yet did win his soldiers' love,
And, over all for hardihood renowned,
The bastard Orleans,"

thus, with Dunois, compelling the English to raise the siege, which had lasted nine months. The prayer of La Hire before battle ran thus:-- "Dieuf je te prie, que tu fasses aujourd'hui pour La Hire, autant que tu voudrois que La Hire fit pour toi, s'il étoit Dieu et tu fusses La Hire." At the coronation of Charles, in the cathedral of Rheims,

"The courtier throng
Were there, and they in Orleans who endur'd
The siege right bravely; Gaucour and La Hire,
The gallant Xaintraillers, Boussac, and Chabannes."

From Estienne Des Vignoles (La Hire) descended "Noble Estienne Des Vignoles," living in the sixteenth century, from whom the late Rev. John Vignoles was sixth in descent; he had been twenty-four years minister of the French church in Portarlington, having been previously a major in the army; and was succeeded in 1817 by his son, the Yery Rev. Charles Vignoles, present Dean of Ossory. Alphonse Des Vignoles, grand-uncle of the Rev. J. Vignoles, was a distinguished ecclesiastic in Bas Languedoc, and author of "Chronologie de l' Histoire Sainte," of which is recorded in La Dictionnaire des Grands Hommes -- "Ce livre suppose une victoire prodigieuse, un travail incroyable, et les plus profondes recherches." In 1685, he escaped from France; his library and papers were confiscated; all he could recover of the latter were a few loose leaves, because they were considered as waste paper -- "mais où je trouvai pourtant presque tout ce que j'avois écrit touchant les Rois de Juda et d'Israel."

The individual referred to in the following abstract from the Chancery Rolls was probably the first Huguenot clergyman who came to Ireland:-- "The king, in 1668, in consideration that James Hierome, clerk, had brought the French congregation at the Savoy to conform to the Church of England; and, in consideration of his learning, piety, and being a stranger, presents him to the vicarage of Chapel Izod, with liberty to graze two horses and eight cows in the Phoenix Park, free," &c.

The French families, within the present century resident in Portarlington, were those of Dean Champagné, Sir Charles Desvoux, Bart., Colonel Mercier, Major Mercier, Colonel De la Cour, &c.

Many of the upper class of refugees were "sovereigns" of the town; the authority and duties of which office were somewhat calculated to excite a painful reminiscence of the extensive feudal privileges of their seigneuries, so nobly forfeited. Major C---------- filled the office three years in succession; Micheau, his tenant from the seigneury of Berneré in Saintonge, acting as Portrieve.

A favourite amusement of our interesting foreigners in the summer evenings was to assemble in the cool shade of the primaeval oaks of the O'Dempsey's, which had not yet been cleared away from the market-place, and still proclaimed its ancient name, "Cooltouderrie," or the woody nook; there they sipped their tea, as a bonne bouche, in Lilliputian china cups -- the precious beverage in that day costing from twelve to twenty shillings a pound, when money was comparatively scarce. Prior to the middle of last century, horse-races had been established on the common-lands of the town.g On such occasions, balls, ordinaries, and ridottos enlivened the sportive meetings. The higher class of colonists, who had been men of landed property, laid aside their patronymic, and adopted the designation of their chief seigneury, or added to it the family surname; doubtless, from a desire to perpetuate a record identifying their name and race with the territory to which they originally belonged, and which they had been recently forced to relinquish. Hence we find the Chevalier De Robillard signing himself "Champagné;" Messire David de Proisy, Chevalier, Seigneur Chatelain d'Eppe, Cappne de Cavalerie, writes "Proisy D'Eppe;" Messire Daniel Le Grand, Chevalier, Seigneur du Petit Bose, becomes, "Du Petit Bose," &c.

We have still some reminiscences of the military colonists. The scarlet cloak seems to have been a favourite garb. The Viscomte de Laval was in the habit of wearing a cloak of scarlet cloth, lined with ermine, a sword, knee-, shoe-, and stock-buckles of silver, set with diamonds; and he always carried his hat under his arm. While on the subject of dress, we may notice the curious fact of a French officer employing a tailor to make his maid-servant's gown; and the Brigadier D'Apremon bequeathing to his servant, among other things, his "scarlet cloak and wigs," but these were the

                  "Wigs of Marlborough's martial fold,
           Huger than twelve of our degenerate breed."

It was the habit of the clergy to walk in their canonicals, without hats, through the town to the church, undergoing the "capital punishment" of the great wig in lieu of the ordinary covering of the head. While we trace this sketch, the portraits of the Huguenot heroes of "the Boyne" grace the walls of our own abode. Schomberg, the veteran marshal, a captain of Scravemore's Blue Dutch Guards, and a youthful ensign of Le Mellonier's corps, with others, are all present there. They all wear the demi-suit of armour, the flowing wig, and the neck-scarf tied in the well-known knot of the days of Louis Quatorze. Time has changed the features of the long departed warriors. Their wan aspects

          "Look living in the moon, and, as you turn
              Backward and forward to the echoes faint
           Of your own footsteps, voices from the urn
              Appear to wake, and shadows wild and quaint
           Start from the frames which fence their aspects stern;
              As if to ask how can you dare to keep
              A vigil there, where all but death should sleep."
Fair fugitives from Saintonge grace the group; the white-laced lappets of France mark the country of a widowed mother, whose sable robe tells the loss of her gallant husband, a captain of dragoons, who, having been deputed by his brother officers, before leaving London, to solicit aid from the government, died at Belfast, in October, 1688, from fatigue encountered in his efforts to rejoin his regiment. The black tresses and dark eyes of the handsome daughters are still vivid, and speak of the sunny clime of southern France; while the pallid cheek and faded features tell the sad tale of trials nobly endured--

            "The pale smile of beauties in the grave,
                The charms of other days, in starlight gleams,
             Glimmer on high; their buried locks still wave
                Along the canvas; their eyes glance like dreams
            On ours, as spars within some dusky cave;
                But death is imaged in their shadowy beams."
The principal proprietors of land under Lord Galway were the Baron de Virazel, and Jean Nicolas, "ey-devant Lieutenant de cavalerie dans le regiment de Galuuai;" the latter occupying 2,000 acres about the old castle of Lea, at £60 a-year, from which Captainh Richard Borrowes had been forcibly expelled in 1641 by the O'Dempseys and MacDonnells, having been plundered to the amount of £3,440.

To be continued...

[d] Memoires of the Wars of the Cevennes, under Col. Cavallier in defence of the Protestants persecuted in that country; And of the peace concluded between him and the Mareschal D. of Villars: Of his conference with the King of France, after the conclusion of the Peace: With letters relating thereto from Mareshal Villars and Chamiliard, Secretary of State. As also a map describing the places mentioned in the Book. Written in French, by Colonel Cavallier, and translated into English. Dublin: Printed by J. Carson, in Coghill's-Court, for the author, and are to be sold by William Smith, Bookseller, in Dame-street. 1726."

[e] In the "Tableau de Nismes par Frossard," the following account is given of the conference between Cavallier, Marshal de Villars, and the Intendant de Basville, in the garden of the nunnery of the Recollects, near Nismes:-- "On the morning of the 16th May, 1704, the chief brought his troops into the neighbourhood; his cavalry he stationed within musket-shot of the place of conference, and, having posted videttes in positions to communicate with himself and his army, he proceeded to enter the appointed place of conference. Multitudes had gathered from all parts to catch a glance of a person who had so long, and with such feeble means, kept the country in a state of civil war. They beheld him approach, mounted on a grey galloway, unaccompanied, but by an escort of eighteen of his horsemen, headed by one of his officers. Upon his arrival before the convent, he cast up his eyes to the windows, which were filled with nuns, equally curious, with others, to catch a sight of him. Cavallier cautiously surveyed the walls of the mansion, and especially a tower belonging to it, pierced with loop-holes, which gave it the appearance of a castle, and observing that the guard of the M. De Villars occupied the corridor on one side of the gate of entrance, he immediately gave orders for his own guard to arrange themselves on the other side. Upon dismounting from his horse, he walked with a firm step towards the Marshal, who, with the Intendant de Basville, and General la Lande, waited for him in the garden. The delegates of the king, struck with his youthful diminutive appearance, hesitated a few moments; whereupon, the Marshal breaking the silence, approached Cavallier with a gracious smile, saying, 'welcome, M. Cavallier! I have received your letters. I have been waiting for you, but, surely, upon seeing you, I Cannot help believing that you count more victories than years.' Cavallier -- 'Mareschal, I know not the language of court, and your's confounds me. Without pretending to reply in a similar manner, I only remark, that I have always thought you to be as loyal as you are brave, and here I am at your service.' De Basville -- 'Stop, sir: listen in silence to our orders: for the king, my master, must be extremely merciful to be willing to treat with a rebel.' Cavallier -- 'M. l'Intendant! It is not with you that I am engaged to confer. If this is all that I am to hear in this place, then allow me to retire. Rebels! It is you who, by your tyranny and cruelties, have alienated the subjects of the king; and had it not been for you, we should never ----------.' M. Villars -- 'Gentlemen, I have not come up to open recent wounds afresh, but to bind them up for ever. Delegated by a merciful sovereign, I come to announce to you, that he wishes to spare the blood of his subjects, and to enter with them into amicable terms. What, M. Cavallier, what are your pretensions?' Cavallier -- 'I have already given them in writing; I will now repeat them, and although the sentiments of a young man, they are not less just and incontrovertible. M. le M., the subjects of the king unjustly suffer. Our temples are destroyed: your tower of Constance echoes with the groans of our wives and daughters: our young men are tracked like wild beasts upon the mountains; our old men are suffocated in cells: our praises, and our prayers, and our acts of religious worship are profaned and prohibited:- these are our miseries and our crimes; the redress of these, what you call my pretensions.' He was again interrupted by the imperious De Basville, and again the Marshal interposed, and suggested a moderation of language more suited to the importance of the negotiation with which he was charged. The conference lasted two hours. The 'Lion of Cevennes,' as he was called, again mounted his galloway, and retired amidst the astonished gaze of a vast crowd of spectators: recognising at every step, by the moving of his cap, which he held in his hand, the salutations of his friends.

[f] Southey.

[g] At the same time, races for the Queen's County were held on the great heath of Maryborough, as advertised in the newspaper called "Pue's Occurrences," of October, 1736. We shall barely glance at the advertisements, to give some idea of the depraved taste of that period. A ten-pound purse was to he given for fox-hunters; £5 for all galloways. All horses from the Curragh to be excluded. On the second day there was to be a foot-race by unmarried women of an unfortunate class; the prize was for a piece of Queen's County "flanning" (flannel); two-thirds to the winner; the remainder to the next competitor. "All crossing, jostling, pulling, dragging, to be allowed to the foremost women fertile flanning suite." Some days before the race, each woman was required to furnish the keeper of the match-book with her name, and the colour of her hair and eyes. Other conditions and particular information, which we must not detail, were also required. It is our native county, and we would veil the foibles of her earlier day, and be
         "To her faults a little blind.
         And to her virtues very kind."

[h] Son of Henry Borrowes, of Giltown, and brother of Sir Erasmus.

The above article is reproduced from the Ulster Journal of Archaeology, vol. 6, 1858.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

The French Settlers In Ireland - No. 8.

The Huguenot Colony of Portarlington

(Continued from vol. 3, page 231)

by Sir Erasmus D. Borrowes, Bart.

"THE thousands that, unsung by praise,
 Have made an offering of their days,
 For truth - for heaven - for freedom's sake
 Resigned the bitter cup to take;
 And silently, in fearless faith,
 Bowing their noble souls to death."

IN resuming our sketch of the Huguenots of Portarlington, the memory of their sorrows, sufferings, and self-denial, brings with it a feeling of painful regret -- brightened, however, by admiration of their unshaken constancy, and gallant bearing in each hour of trial, and of the many virtues which shed a halo on their domestic hearths and public citizenship, when the strife was over. Their sylvan retreat on the placid waters of the Barrow, with its new and busy occupations, had softened their troubles; and the right hand of fellowship had been extended to welcome their advent, and to aid their dexterous and tasteful efforts in planting their new colony. Having previously alluded to this subject, we proceed to notice the erection of their churches, &c. Their great shield and benefactor, the Earl of Galway, with the countenance and encouragement of William the 3rd, accomplished for them this desirable object, about 1696. In the year 1701, the number of French families residing in Portarlington was sixty-four, although the three French regiments in Ireland had not then been disbanded; while those of English extraction only numbered five the aggregate number of families in the town and neighbourhood, French and English, amounting to 150: the church for the former was therefore constructed on a much larger scale than that for the latter; both, however, were endowed for ever with rent-charges of similar amounts (£40 to each), as a stipend for the clergymen. Lord Galway also built two school-houses, for the French and English population, which had an endowment for ever of £32 a-year for the teachers. The boys at these schools seem to have worn a uniform costume. We find the following entry in an account-book of the principal refugee of the town, an old officer of "The Boyne" -- "Apll 20th 1727. For making six sutes of cloths for ye blewbois at 18 pce pr sute 00.09. 00." In the first year of Queen Anne's reign, an Act of Parliament was passed confirming the leases made by Lord Galway, which had been shaken by the Act of Resumption, and vesting the churches, school-houses, and endowments in the Bishop of Kildare, in trust, for the purposes specified by the noble founder.

In 1701, the Bishop of Kildare issued a very conciliatory address to the French inhabitants of the town, setting forth his intention to consecrate the two churches; he transmits a copy of the consecration service, and invites them to conform to the discipline of Episcopacy; he complains of Daillon, then French minister, holding tenaciously to his consistorial authority -- being unwilling "to part with it on any terms." Shortly after, however, the French congregation acceded to the wishes of the Bishop, and subsequently continued to adopt the forms of the Established Church.

Daillon, to whom we alluded in a former number, was a distinguished divine, and had been minister in Portarlington from 1698 to 1702. On entering the church-yard of Carlow, a black marble slab, with the following inscription, strikes the eye of the visitor:--
"HIC situs est Benjaminus Daillon, Gallus Britana generosa familia ortus. Ecclesia reformata presbyter eruditus, diu ob religionem incarceratus et demum relegatus qui post LXXIX annos, studio, pietate, et labore evangelica magna ex parte dimensos, quatriduo post obitum Palinae uxoris hie inhumatae animam puram exhalavit.
        "Accipe doctc cinus musarum pignus amoris
          Accipe si famam morte perire vetent.
          Si Cristi castris pugnans captivus et exul
          Urbem hane funeribus condecorare velit.
          Cur tegerentur humo simul onmia et inclyta virtus.
          Et genus ac artes et pietate honos?
          Immemor urbs fuerit tamen haud marcescit Olympo.
          Clamabitque lapis vivet hic arte mea.
          Obiit ille vir Jan. III. An. Dom. MDCCIX."

The endowment of Lord Galway being considered an insufficient maintenance for a clergyman, the French inhabitants petitioned the Duke of Dorset, in 1733 (then Lord Lieutenant), to increase the salary. They state that the last incumbent, the Rev. Monr Anthony Ligonier de Bonneval, had a pension as a military chaplain, of 3.4 a-day, which ceased on his death; consequently they are obliged to contribute to the support of the present clergyman, M. Theodore Desvories, which they cannot afford, "having nothing to maintain themselves and numerous families but the small pensions and half pay graciously allowed them by his Majesty;" that it is the only conforming French church in the kingdom that has not an allowance from Government; and that the colony is the most considerable for number, except Dublin, &c. The names appended to the petition are as follow, being those of the principal colonists:-- Josias de Champagné, G. Guion, Du Petit Bose, Jacque de Frankfort, John Claverie, Jean Labrosse, John De Boyer, Jacque de Beauchant, Louis Buliod, Jacque de Meschinet, Piers Tirel, Abel Cassel, John Micheau, Joseph Guion, Arthur Champagné, Anthony Dorval, Charles du Petit Bose, Gerard Bainsereau, David Darripe, John Clausede, Michel Foubert, Joshua Pilot, Josias Franquefort, Isaac Cassel, Charles Quinsac, Antoine Mespret, Terson, Jacob Foubert, Jean Belliard, Charles Camlin, Samuel Beauchant, Andrew Labat.

The Lord Lieutenant and other high authorities recommended the prayer of the petition to the King, and his Majesty granted £50 per annum, which, with the £40 from Lord Galway, constitutes, to the present day, the salary of the clergyman. Gillet, the first French clergyman at Portarlington, had preferment in France before the Revocation.a Cathard and Des Voeux were both eminent divines, "masters of eloquence in the pulpit, and whose elegant and learned works in estimation in all Europe -- continue to preserve our fame with the public, as their pupils." The former had previously been minister of the French church in Peter-street, Dublin, on which occasion his congregation subscribed for the erection of a house for his accommodation.b The Rev. Anthony Vinchon Des Voeux, of Portarlington, emigrated from France about the middle of last century. He was the second son of Mons. De Bacquencourt, president of the Parliament of Rouen. Having incurred the displeasure of his family by abandoning their religious faith -- that of the Church of Rome -- he visited Ireland, and was appointed chaplain to the regiment of Lord George Sackville. He was the author of several polemical works; his translation and commentary on the Book of Ecclesiastes was considered of so much importance as to induce the University of Dublin to confer on him the honorary degree of Master of Arts. He succeeded the Rev. Jean Pierre Droz in the publication of the first literary journal that ever appeared in Ireland, entitled, "the Compendious Library, or Literary Journal Revived," 1751; which, however, was shortly after discontinued. M. Droz kept a book-shop in College Green, and exercised his clerical functions on Sundays.

In 1715, the French Refugees of Portarlington had the gratification of receiving ample testimony of the kind regard and admiration which their noble career had elicited in the Royal Household the Princess of Wales having munificently presented them with rich and massive plate for the Communion service, and a finely-toned church hell, which preserve to the present day the memory of that royal lady's generous piety. On the first of these valuable gifts, so well bestowed, are inscribed as follows, and with the arms and motto of the prince:--
"Donné par Son Altesse Royale, Madamec Wilhelmina Carolina, Princesse De Galle, en faveur de l'Eglise Françoise Conformiste de Portarlington, le 1 Mar. 1714/5." The following is inscribed on the bell, in raised letters:--
"In usum Ecclesiae Gallicae Portarlingtonensis campanam hanc dono dedit Serenissima et Piissima Principessa Wilhelmina Carolina Serenissimi Georgii Whaliae Principis uxor dilectissima, Serenissimi ac Potentissimi Georgii, Magnae Britann. Fran. Hib. Regis, nurus meritissima, promovente Illustrissimo Comite Henrico de Galloway qui - - dum pro Rege res in Hib. administrarat -- hoc templum sumptibus suis aedificari curavit. 1715."

The services and sermons continued to be read in the French language until the year 1817, by the Rev. M. Rebillet, the last foreign minister (assistant), a native of Switzerland; when all reminiscences of "La belle France" having become fainter, the French ministers extinct, the population extinct, the charms of French society forgotten, the French language at the schools -- once "familiar in our mouths as household words" -- comparatively untaught, and the church itself partaking of the general decay -- which in the natural course of events, and the peculiar circumstances of this interesting settlement, had befallen every thing of Gallic origin -- it was considered indispensable to the spiritual wants of the inhabitants that the "unknown tongue" should cease in the church: therefore, from that date, the services have been performed in the English language -- a very handsome new church, on an enlarged scale, in the Gothic style having been erected by subscription about 15 years ago.

Resuming our glance at the Registers, we again meet the distinguished name of PELISSIER. While the acclamations which greeted the progress of the gallant Marshal still rent the air, while
"THE guards their morrice-pikes advanced,
       The trumpets flourished brave,
 The cannon from the ramparts glanced,
       And thundering welcome gave,"

the hearts of his gallant kindred of old, the Huguenot Pelissiers, must have been warmed, too, in their adopted refuge, where the prestige of their trials justly elicited in their favour the full measure of Irish cordiality, -- where the right hand of fellowship was extended to them, and every welcome and every aid was tendered, which the sufferings and the romance of real life required.

In a former number we have given the marriage of Abel Pelissier: here follows the birth of his first-born --
"Baptesme du Jeudi 17 Juin 1700. Le Samedi 8 du mesme mois entre cinq et six heures du soir est né un fils à Monsieur Abel Pelissier cy-devant Mareschal des logis et Aide Major du Regt. de Galuuai (Galway), et à damoiselle Marie De Choisy sa feinme, lequel a esté ce jourdhui présenté au Baptesme par Monsr. Cesar de Choisy grand pere et la dite Marie De Choisy mere, et nom lui a esté imposé Abel."

On the 30th of August, 1701, the family of Abel Pelissier was increased by the birth of a son, named Alexander, who became a merchant, and resided in Dame-street, Dublin. We had in our possession his account, dated about 1753, sealed with the ancient device, "the merchant's mark," viz., an antique figure of four, with an inverted staple, thus: the latter implying that he was merchant of the staple. This, probably, is one of the devices referred to by Piers Plowman, who, writing in the reign of Edward III., speaks of "merchaunts' markes ymedeled" in glass. The family still increased, and we find recorded the names of Jean, Jacques, Angelique, and Marie. In 1703 -- the year in which the Hollow Sword Blade Company of London purchased Portarlington and the surrounding estates -- we find their commissioners presenting, at baptism, the infant daughter of one of their French tenants: they are described as having been sent there by "le Gouverneur de l'honorable Corporation de Hollow Sword Blades de Londres." We may add to our former notice of this Company, that the Government having been indebted to them to a very large amount for swords furnished to the army; in order to liquidate this debt, these sword-manufacturers were induced to become most extensive purchasers of the lands vested in the Government by the Act of Resumption, their title having been secured to the Company. These lands they subsequently divided, and sold at a high profit.

The Register gives an instance of the strict discipline of the Consistory. The delicate health of an infant obliged its parents to request the clergyman to baptise the child at home. This, however, could not be done without the sanction of the elders -- the question was laid before them; and "la compagnic ayant deliberé " it was adjudged that from the urgency of the case, the demand should be conceded, without detracting from the character of their church, "ny prejudicie a nostre discipline." In 1699, the Earl of Galway, from tender regard to his favoured colonists, becomes sponsor to the child of "Jean Grosvener, cornette de Dragons dans le Regiment d'Essex, et d'Anne De Daillon son espouse." The infant was presented at baptism by Jean Nicolas, Lieutenant in Lord Galway's regiment of cavalry, "envoyé exprès de son excellence my lord Conte de Galuuai, Lt general des forces de Sa Maiesté dans ce Royaume." In 1704, "Thomas Carter, ecuyer, et miledy Izabelle, contesse de Roscommon, femme du dit Sr Carter" assume the office of sponsors, for the son of "Marc Vulson, ecuycr, Sr de St Maurice." About the same date, a gallant refugee wins the hand of one of Erin's fair daughters. And early in the 18th century, a French officer from Saintonge, allies himself with the daughter of an Irish Earl, and an Irish Viscount weds the sister of a gallant Captain thus approving the aristocracy of the Huguenots of Portarlington, and countersigning "les lettres de noblesse," certified "pardevant nous Henry d'Aguessau, Chevalier, Consr, du Roy," &c., &c., in a valued document of a past century, now before us, an interesting relic of the Penates of the old Chateau, snatched in a hurried moment from the ruthless grasp of the dragonade, to to be opened, perhaps, for the first time, in the adopted land of its exiled owner.

The social system of Portarlington, when French life was in its climax, was justly considered a subject of interest. Many of its inhabitants were men of ancient family; "Seigneurs" of broad manors, who preferred liberty of conscience to "houses and lands," and the rank attached to their seigneuries; gallant soldiers; men of liberal and Scriptural education; in short the genuine noblesse of France, who understood the beautiful sentiment of the American poet:--
"Howe'er it be, it seems to me,
 'Tis only noble to be good;
 Kind hearts are more than coronets,
 And simple faith than Norman blood."

Many of the names savour strongly of that renowned genealogical spring. We have the Hamons in Baccaville and Rouen in Normandy, reminding us of the great Hamon Dentatus, Earl of Corbeil, in that historic province. The two brothers, Colonels Isaac and Hector Hamon, were the descendants of Hector Hamon, who fled to England from the persecutions of the Duke of Alva, and is described in the Cotton MS. as French minister of Rye, "minister verbi Dei," in 1569, and minister of Canterbury, in 1574. The De Meschincs recall the family of Hugh Lupus, Earl of Chester; and the descendants of the great ducal house, De la Rochefoucauld, "could trace their lineage unbroken from the time of the Carlovingian Kings."

To be continued...

[a] He had been minister of the Chapel De la Tremblade, in Crispin-street, London, and was married in that Church to Jeane Mestre, in 1701.

[b] Balagnier another minister at Portarlington, had previously, in 1689, the French church of Soho, London.

[c] The Princess was daughter of William Frederick, Margrave of Brandenburg Anspach, and was married in 1705. Abbadie describes the Margrave, not only as a great conqueror, "mais un pieux Electeur á qui Dieu a fait la grace de connoitre la religion et de l'aimer." Hence the pious care his Royal daughter had for the Refugees.

The above article is reproduced from the Ulster Journal of Archaeology, vol. 6, 1858.