Huguenot History


Johan Gensfleisch {Johannes Gutenberg} erfindet den Buchdruck mit beweglichen Lettern; und, um 1452 - 1455 Gutenberg druckt die Gutenberg-Bibeln in Mainz. Die Erfindung der beweglichen Lettern, erst durch Johannes Gutenberg, ermöglichte eine weite Verbreitung der Bibeln in deutscher Sprache und förderte dadurch die Ausbreitung der Kenntnisse über die Grundlagen der kirchlichen Lehren, verbesserte aber auch die allgemeine weltliche Bildung.

February 23, 1455: Johannes Gutenberg (Johan Gensfleisch, c1400-1468) printed his 1st book, the Bible. Gutenberg printed Latin Bibles of which 11 were still extant in 1987. The availability of inexpensive books soon resulted in the Bible being printed in native languages, such as English (On Oct 4, 1535, the 1st full English translation of the Bible was printed in Switzerland. Miles Coverdale’s translation of the Bible into English (from Dutch and Latin) was the first complete version in English and was dedicated to Henry VIII.), French (Calvin) and German (Luther).

These translations loosened the hold of the Catholic Church, eventually contributing to the Reformation and engulfing Europe in decades of Civil strife and War. On February 25, 1570 Pope Pius V issued the bull Regnans in Excelsis which excommunicated Queen Elizabeth the First of England (daughter of Henry VIII). This absolved her subjects from allegiance. Elizabeth responded by hanging and burning Jesuits. On March 1, 1562, General de Guise at Vassy sanctioned the murder of 1200 Huguenots and sparked a series of conflicts in France, collectively known as The Wars of Religion. The 5th War of Religion, against the Huguenots, broke out on February 23, 1574. Finally, on this date in 303AD, Emperor Diocletian ordered a general persecution of Christians.
Le 3 février 1468: Meurt à Mayence un certain Johannes Gensfleisch, plus connu sous le nom de Gutenberg. Il nous a légué un cadeau merveilleux, l'imprimerie. À prix réduit et une version imprimée de la bible dans la langue commune ont contribué à la réforme du 16ème siècle.

January 1, 1484: Ulrich Zwingli is born in Wildhaus, near Zürich, Switzerland. He studied at the Universities of Vienna and Basel. He was ordained a priest in 1506. At first Zwingli criticized several Catholic practices. In a minor way, he questioned the use of indulgences. By 1522, he questioned fasting and the celibacy of priests. In 1523 he published his Artikel (67 points). Progressively, obtained the removal of images from Swiss churches, the removal of organs and the replacement of the mass with a communion service. In 1529 the Züricher Bibel was completed. Like Martin Luther, he married (Anna Reinhard -- 1524); but, fell into disagreement with Martin Luther on the question of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Ultimately, Swiss reforms caused the Second War of Kappel. Zwingli was killed on October 11, 1531 in St. Gallen, Switzerland. Ulrich Zwingli had become the most influential in Swiss Protestant reformists. As an interesting aside, some of Zwingli's family (descendants) first settled in Pennsylvania and Maryland (mid-18th Century), and later could be found in upper East Tennessee in the 1790's.

George Swingle lived in the Buffalo Valley in Washington (now Unicoi) County, Upper East Tennessee. He was born in Haggerstown Maryland during the Revolution (1779) and married Mary Magdalene Haynes in the Tennessee. She had been born in Carter County (1787) the daughter of George Haines (Haynes) and Margaret McInturf. George Haynes was from Winchester Virginia, moving to Tennessee after his service in the War (Pension #38,791). His grandsons include three Governors and Landon Carter Haynes a famous orator of the Old South. Margaret, his wife descended from Johanness Mcinterfier who immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1729 (Ship: Allen) and was of the German-Swiss reformed church. Haynes is a variation of the name Heinz of which there were many in Virginia (Shenandoah) and Eastern Pennsylvania.

George Swingle's father's name was Leonard, and family tradition (of my spouse) says that he descends from Huldrich [Ulrich] Zwingli the Swiss-Anabaptist Reformer, through his grandfather Johanness Nickel (Nicholas) Zwingli or Schwingel (immigrant circa 1740); but it gets confusing, because there are two Johanness Nickel immigrants and another Nikolaus all related through Michael of Saarbrüken in what is today Germany, but then was in a Protestant area being overrun by the French under the leadership of the Sun King in his quest to restore the true faith and get back the French population that had fled religious persecutions. Michael's heritage is clear to Jakob (born about 1540), then the path to Huldrich is again unclear. At best, Jakob is either the grandson of Huldrich or, just as likely, of Huldrich's brother Jakob, who was living in Zürich in 1515. In turn, their father was Johanness Ulrich Zwingle of Wildhaus (St. Gallen) Switzerland.

Sola Fide, Sola Gracia, Sola Scriptura, Soli Deo Gracia (If you can't read this page go HERE for text and rough translation)

Ecclesia semper reformanda

Jean Cauvin {Calvin} was born at Noyon (Picardy) in 1509 -- Dans le parc des Bastions, le Monument de la Réformation rappelle aux visiteurs que Genève fut au XVIe siècle surnommée la "Rome protestante". Sur le mur, les statues représentent Guillaume Farel, Jean Calvin, Théodore de Bèze et John Knox.

À Wittenberg, Luther affiche les «95 thèses», qui ouvrent le schisme (October 31, 1517) -- celebrated on Reformation Sunday (the Sunday before All Saints) (see below).

From left to right: the Wall of Reformers
«et qu'on bouté pè n'eitre pas surprai»

In 1536 Calvin published (in Latin) The Institutes of the Christian Religion in Basel (French translation 1541)
The Works

Church History -- Reformers
An extensive link site, full of connections to resources

What happened on July 2, 1489 ? Ans: English reformer Thomas Cranmer is born at Aslockton, Nottinghamshire. The archbishop of Canterbury wrote the Book of Common Prayer and was burned at the stake in 1556. Long Ago and Far Away What happened on June 9, 1549 ? see also Our write-up of the event

Le 31 octobre 1517: Un moine affiche sur la porte de l'église de Wittenberg (Saxe) 95 thèses où il dénonce les scandales de l'Église de son temps. Martin Luther posts his 95 theses on the wooden doors of the Hofkirche in Wittenberg. The church still stands, though the original doors are gone. The doors have been replaced with bronze doors with the 95 theses embossed onto them ... see Numbers 21:4-9 and Enchiridion piarum precationum: cum Passionali ut uocant, quibus accessit nouum calendarium cum cisio iano uetere & nouo, atque alijs quibusdam, ut patet ex indice, Martin Luther (1543) And he broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the people of Israel had burned incense to it; it was called Nehushtan   see 2 Kings 18:1-6.

Since the inception of the Reformation, until the latter part of the 19th century, the Protestant church would have correctly been called “the church transformed,” but not since. In fact, we find ourselves in need of a new reformation. Many Christians today know nothing of this great time-period in the history of Christ’s church.

Interestingly in 2007, this day will see the ancient church, Emmaus Kirche, arrive at its new home in the eastern part of Germany (Saxony) near Leipzig. The 700 ton (750 tonnes) stone structure is moving a few miles from Heuersdorf to Borna out of necessity Its former home is being swallowed by an open pit lignite (brown-coal) mine. This village church dates from the Middle Ages (circa 1297) of Romanesque style, one of many old buildings being lost in the area. The Kirche will squeeze into Martin Luther Square in Borna on Reformation Day (October 31st), when Lutherans traditionally remember 16th-Century reformer. Reuters story; Der Spiegel (an English version with much detail) and The Path less Travelled -- Deutsche Welle

Le 17 avril 1521: Martin Luther se rend devant la Diète de Worms pour se justifier de ses accusations portées contre la hiérarchie catholique. Mis au ban de l'Empire, il se cache chez son protecteur, l'Électeur Frédéric de Saxe, dit le Sage. Unless I can be instructed and convinced with evidence from the Holy Scriptures or with open, clear, and distinct grounds of reasoning . . . then I cannot and will not recant, because it is neither safe nor wise to act against conscience. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me! Amen!

December 16, 1538: King François I ordered a renewed pursuit of Protestants. A day later, King Henry VIII, who had declared himself supreme head of the English church, was excommunicated by Pope Paul III.

Clément Marot

Born during the time of Columbus' visits to the New World, he spent a short life, in and out of favor. During one of his "returns" to his native land, he published (Paris) his famous translations of the Psalms. These are said to be the spark that spread the fire of Reformation in France. The Sorbonne condemned the book and he fled once again, this time to Geneva (1543). As an aside, Calvin had been convinced that psalm singing was of vital importance to the Reformation, a view that put him at odds (initially) with the Genevan church and this position contributed to Calvin's early exile from that city. Upon Calvin's return in 1540, one of his first priorities was to compose the Geneva Psalter, a work that took twenty years to complete (his death in 1564), but was not published until 1599. "It will be a good thing to introduce church song," he said, adding, "As a beginning we shall teach the little children. With time all the Church can follow." In his work on the Psalter, Calvin employed the services of two poets, Théodore de Bèze and Clément Marot, as well as the composer Louis Bourgois who developed simple melodies for the psalms. Too Protestant for France, Marot was still too freethinking for the city of Calvin and in less than a year fled, surprisingly, to the Kingdom of Savoy -- to Turin in what is now Italy, where he died in 1544. His influence on literature was great and some say in the ode, the madrigal and the epigram he has no peer. See generally -- English refugees in Geneva.

More -- The First French Protestant Church of London

Renewed persecution led to migrations out of France by Protestants seeking religious freedom. This congregation in England was founded on July 24, 1550, when English King Edward VI granted a charter to Protestant refugees led by Polish cleric, Jean a Lasco. The charter granted the freedom of individualized worship at the Temple of Jesus -- Austin Friars in the City of London. By the charter the name of any new pastor was to be submitted to the English sovereign for his approval. The first Protestant House Church in Paris appeared in 1555, a few years prior to the premier synode national des Églises réformées de France (1559)

Some of the refugees were Dutch while others were French. Soon, the congregation spit, the French Huguenots establishing a congregation at Threadneedle Street (St. Anthony's Hospital), where they remained until 1841. Links were established with other Huguenot congregations in England, notably those in Canterbury, Norwich and Southampton. The Threadneedle Street church, destroyed in the Great Fire of London (1666), was rebuilt quickly.

Le 5 décembre -- another French happening this date in 1560: At the age of ten Charles IX Valois becomes King upon the death of his brother, François II. Soon, France would be in the midst of turmoil as Protestants fought Catholics beginning in 1562 (30 years of les guerres de religion). Charles' Queen-mother, Catherine de Médicis, became his Regent until his death in 1573. She would die in 1589 (at age 70), after seeing her 4th son become King in 1575 (Henri III). He, the last Valois, in turn died later in the same year at the hand of an assassin. Henri IV (of Navarre, the first Bourbon King) would follow on the throne, and he too would die by assassination (1610). France would continue its internal struggles under the reign of his son Louis XIII.

Brès -- Belgic Confession (1561) and other material

17 janvier 1562: Jeune roi, Charles IX, signe l'Édit de tolérance de Saint-Germain -- -- Le chancelier et la reine mère (la régente Catherine de Médicis) désirent apaiser les tensions religieuses entre les nobles protestants et catholiques. Paradoxalement, cette mesure attise la haine entre les deux communautés, tant il est vrai que l'esprit de tolérance ne dépasse pas le cercle étroit des milieux cultivés. Le Parlement de Paris refuse ainsi de ratifier l'Édit de Janvier. C'est le début des guerres de religion. Elle dureront plus de trente ans.

Forgotten by many in their analysis of the causes of the French Revolution, is the Edict of St. Germain, that recognized all Protestants in France. It really did not resolve the issue to any degree. Within a matter of weeks, the Vassy massacre (March 1, 1562) opened the first religious war, which in fact was a victory for the more influential and most-grand Duke de Guise (who since the Defense of Metz in 1552 had held sway over government policy) and a defeat for the conciliatory moves of Catherine, the Regent. The Huguenots soon seized Orléans, then towns along the Rhône and other rivers in the west. Catherine was forced by events to declare that two paths could not co-exist in France. Un roi, une loi, une foi became the catchword, the test of faith as well as loyalty. So, by the summer, events in France (like elsewhere in Europe) had outpaced her Edict. Ten Years pass and St. Germain becomes a symbol for massacre.

Le 24 août 1572, jour de la Saint-Barthélemy, le carillon de l'église de Saint-Germain l'Auxerrois, en face du Louvre, donne le signal du massacre des protestants, à Paris et dans le reste du pays. Le jour est un exemple de la sauvagerie pendant ce temps. On pourrait arguer du fait que c'était le commencement de la haine de n'importe quoi religieux pendant la révolution française.

August 24, 1572 -- Sonnez les tocsins, Paris est Perdu: L' Église St. Germain-l'Auxerrois lies at the end of Pont du Neuf on the Right Bank at 2, Place du Louvre, the eastern end of the massive Louvre complex and the grand façade (finished 1667) The 183 meter long eastern façade was the first major work of the Baroque-Classical movement. SaintGermainlAuxerrois.html St. Germain L'Auxerrois of Paris, one assumes, is the same as St. Germain l'Auerois, which served as the King's Royal Church -- when the Louvre was just a Royal Palace (before Versailles was constructed). The Colonnade of the eastern façade of the Louvre was designed by Claude Perrault, after a famous Italian designer of royal places was wooed, hired then let go.

There has been a church on this site since the 6th century. The oldest part of the current church building is the 12th century belfry, which rang out August 24, 1572, when some 3,000 French Protestant Christians were massacred in this neighborhood. The tower bells signaled the supporters of Catherine de Médicis, Marguerite de Guise, Charles IX, and the future Henri III to launch a slaughter of innocents (including Admiral Gaspard de Chastillon, Count de Coligny), who had been invited to celebrate the marriage of Henri de Navarre to Marguerite de Valois. Bordelon Family Site The church structure, of varied architectural styles, was saved by Louis-Philippe and Chateaubriand, and restored by Balthard and Lassus (1838-1855). Today the inside remains very richly furnished.

The Religous Wars of France -- «une foi, un loi, un roi» -- Excerpts: The religious wars began with overt hostilities in 1562 and lasted until the Edict of Nantes in 1598. It was warfare that devastated a generation, although conducted in rather desultory, inconclusive way. Although religion was certainly the basis for the conflict, it was much more than a confessional dispute.

Une foi, un loi, un or, (one faith, one law, one king). This traditional saying gives some indication of how the state, society, and religion were all bound up together in people's minds and experience. There was not the distinction that we have now between public and private, between civic and personal. Religion had formed the basis of the social consensus of Europe for a millennium. Since Clovis, the French monarchy in particular had closely tied itself to the church -- the church sanctified its right to rule in exchange for military and civil protection. France was "the first daughter of the church", its ruler, "The Most Christian King" (le roy trés chretien), and no one could imagine life any other way.

Protestant rhetoric had become increasingly revolutionary in the late {15}60's, with leading thinkers advocating that Christians did not have the obligation to obey leaders who themselves defied God. Calvin himself came to the conclusion, after advocating for many years that obedience to the civil authorities was a Christian duty, that a prince that persecuted the church had forfeited his right to be obeyed. François Hotman's Francogallia was written during this time (although not published until 1573). It advocated the existence of a mythical Frankish constitution whereby the kings of France were elected by the people and governed only through their consent. This was all very frightening and served to unite the Protestant faith with treason in the mind of the average person. [Note: The mass exodus of Huguenot immigrants from France to Geneva, Amsterdam, London, and other places started in 1572 after the "St. Bartholemew's Day Massacre" of the 24th of August.]

When the Duc d'Anjou died in 1584, Henri de Navarre {Protestant ruler of Navarre} became heir presumptive to the throne of France. The Catholicity of the crown, and the special sacral role of "The Most Christian King", were principles widely assumed to be fundamental to the [non-mythical] constitution of France. The threat of a Protestant accession to the crown was very disturbing. The pope, Sixtus V, immediately excommunicated Navarre and his cousin, Henri Prince de Condé, declaring that as heretics they were unfit for the throne.

The chief opportunist was the dashing and charismatic Duc de Guise, who somehow managed to find a pedigree that could be traced to Charlemagne. The House of Guise had been strongly identified with the defense of the Catholic Church, Guise was the son and grandson of heroes, and was himself a military hero, nicknamed "Le Balafré" for the scar he acquired in battle. Guise revived the Catholic League with the goal of preventing any heretic from coming the throne. In December of 1584 the Guises signed the Treaty of Joinville on behalf of the League with Phillip II of Spain. Spain poured a huge annual subsidy into the League and Guise pockets for the next decade in an attempt to destabilize the government of France. The royalist, Protestant, and Leaguer forces, all led by men named Henri, were to engage in the bloodiest and longest of the civil wars.

Meanwhile, the people of Paris, under the influence of inflammatory Leaguer preachers and the Committee of Sixteen, were becoming more and more dissatisfied with Henri III and his failure to suppress the Protestants. To be a moderate Catholic was almost as bad as being heretic to the Leaguers, and politique was an epithet of contempt. In May of 1588, a popular uprising where barricades went up the streets of Paris for the first time (the beginning of a venerable French tradition) caused Henri III to flee the city. The Committee of Sixteen took complete control of the government and welcomed the Duc de Guise to the [C]ity {of Light}.

Henri's triumph over the House of Guise was short-lived. The League presses took over printing revolutionary tracts, exceeding by far in vitriol the earlier anti-royalist works of the Huguenots. The Sorbonne proclaimed that is was just and necessary to depose Henri III, and that any private citizen was morally free to commit regicide. And in fact, one of them eventually did.

The League sent an army against Henri III, and Henri III turned to Navarre for an alliance. The two kings joined forces to reclaim Paris. In July 1589, in the royal camp at St. Cloud, a monk named Jacques Clément begged an audience with the king and put a long knife into his spleen. At first it was thought the king might recover, but the wound festered. On his deathbed, Henri III called for Navarre and named him his heir.

At this point, Henri IV made his "perilous leap" and abjured his faith in July 1593, in the church of St. Denis, reputedly with the famous witticism that "Paris is worth a mass." A coronation was arranged for him at Chartres, rather than at the traditional Reims, which was in the hands of the League. This was a blow to the League, as it removed the chief objection of many of the more moderate Catholics to Henri IV.

More precise information on Edict «une Foi, un Loi, un Roi»

More on the Original Édit de Nantes (1598)

If such precise details are necessary, it is because the original document, a sealed text of green and red silk pages {as is appropriate for the edicts which purport to be "perpetual and irrevocable"}, did not reach us today. The signed document of King Henry, from the Secretary of State, Forget de Fresnes, which had to be preserved by the chancellery before and after its recording by the Parliament, has disappeared. Moreover, an additional copy, provided for counter-signature by the four Huguenots representing the assembly of Châtellerault and filed there at the in the fortifications of the town, was destroyed by Richelieu, thirty years later. There remains today only one handwritten copy from this time, preciously preserved at the public, university library of Geneva. In this version, the 95 "general articles" and 56 "particular" articles, which were part of the original Edict, are supplemented by two patents containing additional conditions on the reformers' garrisons and fortified towns. See

Web Sites

April 13, 1598: King Henry IV of France issues the Edict of Nantes, allowing freedom of worship and governance to the Huguenots (Protestants) of France. Even though the Edict of Nantes would not put an end to all the pogroms and the persecutions, whose victims were the Protestant life-blood of France - they would begin again with more force in second half of 17th Century - the Édict did terminate what has become known as the Wars of Religion, while legally (for a time at least) affixing the status of the reformers in the Kingdom.

The Edict of Nantes, in effect, created a “State within a State” -- thereafter, the existence of this peculiar status will have significant consequences, because it runs square up against the will of the integrationists, who want a seamless society, as well as the Bourbon heirs to Henri, who wish to consolidate and expand the absolute-sovereign power of the French State. This state of affairs bred intolerance, eventually leading to the French Revolution with all its its anti-clerical animus.

One is tempted to think that the persecutions in France died out after Louis XIV, but that would be an unfortunate conclusion. For instance consider the life of poor Marie Durand (1712-1776), La prisonnière de la
Tour de Constance à Aigues-Mortes, dans l' Ardèche. Rich in Spirit, imprisoned at age 18 (August 25, 1730), she would spend 38 years in jail, along with many others because of her Protestant beliefs. Le 14 Avril 1768 -- Toutes les prisonnières de la Tour sont libérées. The release came inspite instructions from the Royal Government to the contrary, and in 1787, finally, and Edict of Tolerance was rendered. Soon, thereafter, all faiths would come under fire during the Revolution in France. Protestant ou catholique, l'Ardéchois (dans l' Ardèche ajourd'hui) a mené un combat incessant pour affirmer sa foi:

Édit de Fontainebleau, the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes by Louis XIV, roi-soleil de France, (1685 -- date sombre dans l'histoire des malheurs de la liberté en France: car la révocation de l'édit de Nantes, le catholicisme a «gagné» : victoire à la Pyrrhus qui fut la cause de l'anticléricalisme des Lumières françaises), also caused many other French churches to be founded in London; but, not one survives today. In 1841, the congregation moved from Threadneedle Street to St. Martine-Le-Grand, where it remained until 1887. That site was chosen because many French residents and industries were to be found in Soho at the close of the 19th century. Link showing two Huguenot Churches in Ireland {French Street and Carey Lane}. Link about French Huguenot Heritage in England today.

U.S. Colonial Beginnings

February 18, 1562: French colonists, mostly Protestants, set sail to start colony in Florida. They will be killed by the Spanish. In the preceding years French Protestants had fled to England. Many of their descendants would end up in the America's. Less than two weeks later, the thirty year period known as the Religious Wars of France begins when soldiers, under the command of Duke François II de Guise, slaughter about 200 Huguenot (Protestant) villagers in Vassy (Champagne region). François is the uncle of Mary, Queen of Scots, a Stuart, who tries to restore Catholicism to Scotland and England. The MASSACRE AT VASSY was committed by de Guise against a congregation of unarmed Huguenots attending a religious service. He was assassinated in 1563. The next Duc de Guise (Henri I de Lorraine) was no better a man and would meet the same end.
April 30, 1562: Off the Coast of Florida near what would become (under the Spanish) Saint Augustine, a French privateer and explorer first sights the New World. A Huguenot of Dieppe, Jean Ribault was a successful captain for Admiral Gaspar de Coligny's navy. Coligny selected him to establish a Huguenot colony in Florida. Actually, it was to be a French colony, populated by persons of the Protestant faith (Huguenots), to stand in opposition to the Spanish, as well as to prove the loyalty of the Huguenots to the greater French cause.
With Rene Laudonnière as his lieutenant, Ribault reached the St. Johns River on April 30, 1562. Ribault selected a place to settle beside what is today known as Port Royal Sound, South Carolina, calling it Charlesfort. Today we know it as Paris Island. Returning to Europe to get supplies, Ribault discovered the French ports closed by the religious war between Protestants and Catholics. Seeking help from England, Ribault went to London, where he was arrested. By the time he was released, a new settlement near present-day Jacksonville (Fort Caroline) was under the command of Laudonnière, eventhough the Charlesfort effort had failed.

Spain sought the destruction of Fort Caroline. Spanish forces under Pedro Menéndez de Avilés y Alonso de la Campa and the relief effort under Ribault left Europe virtually at the same moment, the Spanish greatly outnumbering the French, but in lessor quality ships. The French arrived a ahead of the Spanish fleet and beat off their first attack. Ribault went on the offensive, but a hurricane wrecked most of the his fleet. The Spanish, meanwhile, during the height of the storm, marched overland and caught the French off guard. A massacre ensued. Ribault later surrendered what was left of his men and was executed by Menéndez. Those who were not or would not become Catholic were also butchered on October 12, 1565 (Le massacre de Matanzas Inlet).
Menéndez's own efforts in establishing settlements were generally unsuccessful. By the end of his stay only Saint Augustine was viable. He returned to Spain in 1567. Named Captain General of the Great Armada (1573), he received his just rewards at the hands of the British in a naval battle at Santander, Spain (1574). The Port of Santander was founded by the Romans in 19BC and became an important centre for the export of minerals to the Roman Empire. Felipe II declara a Santander base naval del Cantábrico (1570).
February 27, 1594: Prince of Navarre, Henri de Bourbon was crowned King of all France at Chartres as Henri IV. Contrary to historic precedents, he was not coronated at Reims because that city was the traditional home of the family (de Guise ) which had begun the slaughter of so many Protestants. Although himself a Protestant, Henri again became Catholic in order to rule France. He issued into being a brief period of tolerance in France, ending the religious wars. This open attitude deteriorated after his death and by the time of the reign of Louis IV {the Sun King} Protestant persecution had returned -- see; see also Edict of Nantes

King Henry's Edict of 1598 only temporarily reduced the flight from France. It began in earnest, again as the freedoms granted were taken away, one by one, with the final step -- the revocation of the "Edict of Nantes" in 1685 (Édit de Fontainebleau), by Louis XIV, roi-soleil de France -- the "Sun King".

We forbid our subjects of the {Protestants} to meet any more for the exercise of the said religion in any place or private house, under any pretext whatever, . . . . [Paragraph II]

We repeat our most express prohibition to all our subjects of the said {Protestants}, together with their wives and children, against leaving our kingdom, lands, and territories subject to us, or transporting their goods and effects therefrom under penalty, as respects the men, of being sent to the galleys, and as respects the women, of imprisonment and confiscation. [Paragraph X]

September 27 and 28, 1692: In 1504, Ötisheim, (due east of Karlsruhe and 20 miles SW of Heilbronn), which had been in the Palatine region of Germany, came under Württemberg control. The church, pictured left, predates this time, but has undergone extensive changes. The town was sacked on September 27 and 28, 1692. This is why the church records do not go back any earlier. The reason for the sacking was an attempt by France's "Sun King", Louis XIV, to claim the inheritance of his sister-in-law Lieselotte from the Palatinate. In so doing, he launched a war of succession that in a few years time left southwestern Germany lying in rubble. One of the war's decisive battles was fought near Ötisheim at which the Duke-Administrator Karl von Württemberg was taken captive by the French. Ötisheim was burned down leaving only the church, town hall, and monastery administration building still standing. In 1744, looking back on that time, pastor Christian Gottfried Nicolai wrote "the inhabitants were all dispersed, everything plundered and the village sat in complete ruin." Only nine inhabitants lived in the ruins in 1697. It is for this reason that the Waldensers (religious followers of Peter Waldo) were granted the right to move straight into this depopulated neighborhood. See also

Thus, John and Ursula BROYLES (Johannes BREYHEL and Ursula RUOP) ended up moving here, marrying and raising a family They most certainly worshipped at the town church before they left for the new world and Pennsylvania. This family was part of the Second Germanna Colony - circa 1717. The colonists were all Lutherans from the Palatinate and Baden-Württemberg regions of Germany. This family ended up in Virginia as indentured servants for Gov. Spottswood at the Germanna Colony (west of today's Fredricksburg) !!

Huguenot immigrants began arriving in South Carolina in 1669. In 1699/1700 there were five embarkations from England to Virginia and the Carolinas. The names of some of the ships that carried Huguenot refugees were the Nassau, Peter and Anthony and Mary Ann, which was the first vessel to reach Virginia (at the mouth of the James River). About five hundred Huguenots settled in the Carolinas by 1700.

Many of the Huguenots were artisans, following the trades in the New World learned in the Old; blacksmiths, coopers, clockmakers and gunsmiths. Many were newly married, a younger generation seems more willing to undertake the long, dangerous ocean passage. The French-speaking settlers quickly moved into the political life of the English colony; but, also quickly organized and built their own church in Charlestown, which still exists today. [Source: A Religious History of America, Gaustad, Edwin Scott - Harper - San Francisco (1990)]

In 1700-1701 over three hundred French Huguenot refugees were settled by the colonial authorities on the south bank of the James River in King William Parish (ten thousand acres donated by King William III), Manakin, Goochland County, Virginia. Manakin is about 15 miles west of Richmond, Henrico County, Virginia on Rt 6 (Patterson Ave.) & River Road. A bridge across the James River on River Road in the West-End of Richmond is called the Huguenot Bridge. Some Huguenots later moved to Colonial Williamsburg, James City County, Virginia (east of Richmond along I-64); Essex County, Virginia; and Hanover County, Virginia.

January 1, 1720: Today marks the death of Francis Daniel Pastorius in Germantown, Pennsylvania (born in Sommerhausen, Germany). Pastorius, a German lawyer, first traveled to America as the agent of a German pietist organization looking for land in the New World. He purchased a large tract from William Penn, founding the city of Germantown, Pennsylvania. He remained as a teacher in Germantown, the author of A New Primer or Methodical Directions to Attain the True Spelling, Reading, and Writing of English (1698).

February 8, 1733: As the Georgia colonists began their second week at Yamacraw Bluff, each family was issued an iron pot, a frying pan, three wooden bowls, a Bible, a Common Prayer Book and a copy of The Whole Duty of Man. The previous day, a work crew of colonists had begun cutting down trees to clear an area for laying out the new town of Savannah. Today, another work crew began splitting the tree trunks into sheets of wood for use on the sides of clapboard houses.

Note: Letters, diaries, and records of this time show dates based on the Julian calendar (referred to as "Old Style") then in effect in Britain and the American colonies. The Gregorian calendar ("New Style") was adopted in 1752. Thus, Feb. 8, 1732/33 (Old Style) represents Feb. 19, 1733 under our calendar now in effect. For a fuller explanation, click HERE.

The first complete English Book of Common Prayer was produced, mainly by Thomas Cranmer, in 1549 under Edward VI. It was a selection and translation from the breviary and the Sarum Missal, with some additions from other sources. It was essentially that book with a few changes in liturgy that the Georgia Colonists would use. The U.S. 1928 Prayerbook retained Cranmer's translation of the Psalms. More detail can be found at: See generally the links at, especially the link:

The wording of the Psalms by Cranmer differs from and is more poetic than the version that appears in the Authorized version of the Bible {we know it as the King James Bible}, which the Colonists received. The Whole Duty of Man was a work by Samuel von Pufendorf, (first published in Latin in 1673) translated into English in 1691 by Andrew Tooke, based on Ecclesiastes.

"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter; Fear God and keep His commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil." Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

The Colonists would have had the 4th edition, which was significantly revised (by anonymous editors) to include a great deal of the very important editorial material from Jean Barbeyrac’s French editions. Jean Barbeyrac (1674–1744) was a Huguenot refugee from relgious persecution in France.

On June 5th of 1775: The first Liberty Pole in Georgia was erected in Savannah, in front of Tondee's Tavern. This city, like those throughout the colonies, by this time was divided into two hostile factions with a group in the middle who hoped for peace. As usual there is much more to this story than first meets the eye. Peter Tondee was known as a Tavern Keeper. Georgia's roster of Revolution records him as Son of Liberty and a member of the Provincial Congress. He referred to himself as a "carpenter."

In 1596, the third Protestant church was built in France at Châtillon-sur-Loire. Louis XIV ordered it destroyed in 1684 and the Tondu family eventually left the area, ultimately bound for England. We know a little about Pierre Tondu born in France (1684) at Châtillon-sur-Loire, one year prior to the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes by Sun King Louis the 14th. It is believed that Pierre lived near Leicester Square, London. His son, Peter Tondee, was born at the great City in 1723. At age 10 Peter came to the Georgia Colony, settling in Savannah. Orphaned, he and his brother Charles lived with several families until Rev. George Whitfield arrived and set up an orphanage called Bethesda. By that time Peter had learned the carpentry trade. In 1765 the Georgia Colonial Council employed him to build a structure for the courts of the Province of Georgia. Also in 1767, he was appointed inspector of lumber for the port of Savannah.

Peter had acquired several land grants and between 1766 and 1770 he built a tavern. Tondee's Tavern, located on the corner of Broughton and Whitaker Streets in Savannah, was the chief rallying place of the town for social, as well as business, activities for the last decade of the Colonial era, including the secret and not-so-secret meetings in protest of British taxes.

On the 5th of June, 1775, Georgia patriots raised the Liberty Pole in front of his tavern. On the 21st they summoned the people of Savannah to choose a committee for obtaining association with other patriots in other colonies. After all business transactions, the liberty flag was hoisted upon the liberty pole and several of the gentlemen dined in the Tavern and drank thirteen patriotic toasts. On the 4th of July, 1775, the seating of the first Provincial Congress of Georgia took place in the Tondee Tavern Long Room.

The story of the Liberty Pole begins about 1765. The Sons of Liberty was an organization started by Samuel Adams to protest British taxes. Patriots rallied around the town Liberty Pole, and flew a Liberty flag from the pole, which consisted of nine vertical stripes of alternating red and white. As might be expected, rallies tended to be night-time ventures to avoid the British. The goal: organize public and patriotic actions.
First ContinentalAt first the Sons of Liberty met by large Liberty Trees, found on many village greens. A pine tree motif was used already on Colonial Flags of New England, so that a pine-shaped Liberty Tree is featured on the flags of the New England Colonies at the outset of the Revolutionary War. However, in towns that lacked a massive tree and elsewhere in the Colonies, Patriots began to raise a tall pole instead, as a symbol of a Liberty Tree. It naturally became known as the Liberty Pole.
For a lot more information about the Liberty symbolism at the time, try: -- -- And, for an alternative explanation of these symbols, you may wish to try:

de perspectif Nantes

En entrant dans Nantes, le 13 avril 1598, Henri IV est venu prendre possession de sa ville, après la soumission du duc de Mercoeur. De ce fait, le château des ducs de Bretagne a été le cadre de la signature de l'Édit. Il n'y a peut-être pas de quoi s'enorgueillir, mais Nantes est honorée d'avoir associé son nom à l'un des plus beaux actes politiques que l'histoire européenne ait connu : un édit de tolérance qui a reconnu légalement, pour la première fois, la liberté de conscience.

Upon entering Nantes, April 13 1598, Henri IV came to take possession of the city-fort, after "its tender" by the Duke of Mercoeur. So that the castle of the Duke of Brittany became the setting for the signing of the Edict, on April 30th. Perhaps, there is no room for pride under these circumstances, but never-the-less Nantes is time-honored to have associated with its name the most important of political acts of European history: a declaration of tolerance which recognized legally, for the first time, freedom of conscience.

Est-ce que c'est par leçon que nous devons continuellement apprendre?
Visit our Bastille Day page to see the end of the enlightenment -- click here

  • Edict of Milan (Mediolanum), 313 A.D. -- "We have also conceded to other religions the right of open and free observance of their worship for the sake of the peace of our times, that each one may have the free opportunity to worship as each pleases".

    Une page de liens? -- Pourquoi donc? -- Pourquoi ce site?

  • Pour s'exprimer, affirmer son engagement, sa pensée.
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    Some more French History
    Somewhat similar German History
    The Original Chronicle -- Bede

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