The Huguenot Society of Great Britain and Ireland was founded in 1885 in order to promote the exchange of information about the Huguenots in Great Britain and Ireland. "They also aimed to form a bond of fellowship among those who, whether or not of Huguenot descent, respect and admire the Huguenots and seek to perpetuate their memory". Fifty-Nine Volumes of the Quarto series were published up to 1990. This series includes many of the Parish Registers of the Huguenot Churches. This title "Registers of the French Non-Conformist Churches of Lucy Lane and Peter Street, Dublin" is Volume XIV of this series. Edited by Thomas Philip Le Fanu and published in 1901, only 450 copies of this volume were ever printed. Le Fanu's introduction is both detailed and highly informative, explaining the meaning behind the title of Non-Conformist Church and the relationship with the Conformed Church, the nature of the records he used to compile this volume, as well as touching on the history of the Huguenot churches in Dublin. The time periods covered and the approximate numbers of records are:
Baptisms (1701-1731) - 580
Marriages (1702-1731) - 70
Deaths (1702-1731) - 225
Burials (1771-1831) - 375
Please be aware all the actual records are in French, although most of the genealogical information can be easily extracted.
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First published in 1888, Thomas Gimlette's The History of the Huguenot Settlers in Ireland and other Literary Remains offers a fascinating insight into the persecution, flight and ultimate survival of one of Europe's minority Protestant faiths.
Made infamous by the Edict of Nantes, its Revocation and the subsequent events of the Reformation, the history of Europe's Huguenots preceded these events by some four centuries when small communities of worshipers could be found all over Europe and especially in Province, southern France, worshipping simply and in their own language, which put them at odds with the established faith. The origin of the appellation 'Huguenot' is unclear, but may have its root in the French work 'Hugon', a cave-dwelling creature.
Gimlette's work, pursued out of interest and contact with the descendants of Huguenot settlers in Waterford where he held his ministry, amply describes the history of the Huguenots from the earliest French Reformers, the doctrines of John Calvin until the Edict of Nantes in 1598 and its eventual Revocation nearly a century later. These events, described in some 100 pages, maybe the history that readers interested in Gimlette's work are less familiar with, than the eventual diaspora and settlement of the Huguenots in Ireland. The latter theme encompasses the entire second portion of Gimlette's publication.
The Huguenot settlement of Ireland began after the Reformation of Henry VIII, but continued a pace during the reign of his successor, Elizabeth I. It was during this period that Dublin became the home to many Huguenot merchants, traders and artisans chiefly from Rochelle and Bordeaux. These settled in the area around Christchurch and the High Street and many of the street names in these areas still can still be found. Huguenot settlement in Dublin and other enclaves of Ireland reached its zenith with the Victory of William of Orange at the Boyne, when he shortly after inaugurated a number of French Churches, both Calvinistic and Episcopalian.
Gimlette pays great attention to fate of the Huguenot settlers in Dublin and Waterford in the periods immediately following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes and details to some extent the roles played by leading Huguenot's in Dublin under the patronage of William III. Amongst these elite were numbered the families of Chevenix, Westerna and Nassau, which would leave their indelible marks on Irish History.
Gimlette's History of the Huguenot Settlers in Ireland is encapsulated in just over 380 pages. It presents a fascinating account of the hoist of European Huguenots in general and the to some extent the role the played in the making of modern Irish history.
Edited by Philip Le Fanu and published as volume 19 of the Publications of the Huguenot Society of London in 1908, the Registers of the French Church of Portarlington is the record of the success of one man in establishing a Huguenot settlement at Portarlington in Co. Laois, Ireland, and a fascinating story it makes. Henri Massue, Marquis de Ruvigny, had represented the Reformed Church of France at the Court of Louis XIV. Following the Edict of Nantes and the death of the Duke of Schomberg, Massue became the recognised leader of refugees in England and Ireland, who had fled religious persecution in Europe. Many of these had joined the armies of William III and after the William's victory in Ireland, were demobilised on pensions. By the beneficence of De Ruvigny, elevated by William to the Earldom of Galway, established a small settlement at Portarlington to aid his fellow refugees and former brothers-in-arms.
Le Fanu paints a fascinating picture of the establishment of the French colony at Portarlington, the trials and tribulations of the disparate army pensioners who, conservative by nature, harked back to their homelands and customs, creating what was, to all intents and purposes a French village in Ireland. In the early eighteenth-century visitors to Portarlington reported that is was a place of most congenial of society and this society made up of mostly literate refugees soon sought the means to educate their children born in Ireland. This led to a most remarkable feature of Portarlington and a lasting legacy of the French community there. In 1714 the wife of Mark Champlorier, a wounded veteran of the Siege of Limerick, established the first elementary school. However, Madame Champlorier's school was soon joined by others, including schools that taught French and Latin. The proliferation of education establishments was such that by the mid-eighteen century the small village of Portarlington could boast of possessing sixteen educational establishments, including the renowned school of the Rev. Thomas Willis, where many eminent scholars received their early tutelage.
The published registers for the French Church at Portarlington date from June 1694 and the ministry of Jacques Gillet and continue unbroken until 20th September 1816. At this point the registers cease to be recorded in French and although the Church continued to exist independently of the Established Church until 1841, the cessation of French is seen as the end of a wholly French Church at Portarlington.
The registers of the French Church are republished here and paint a fascinating picture of successive generations of French refugees who made their home at Portarlington. As such this edition must appeal to any who have an interesting in Huguenot society Ireland and in particular the French community and Portarlington.
First published in London by John Murray in 1889 and republished here on fully-searchable CD-Rom is the 6th edition of Samuel Smiles The Huguenots their Settlements, Churches, and Industries, in England and Ireland. Containing more than 500 printed pages The Huguenots traces the history the movement from Martin Luther and the Reformation, the founding fathers of the movement and the early persecutions of the reformed through to the diaspora from continental Europe to England and Ireland and the consequences of the French Revolution.
Written by Samuel Smiles (1812-1904), a Scottish author and himself and active reformer, Smiles is perhaps best-remembered now for his incredibly popular self-help manuals such as Self-Help, Character, Thrift, Duty, Life and Labour, published between 1859 and 1887 and his Lives of Engineers. After suffering a stroke in 1871 Smiles re-taught himself to read and write and devoted the remainder of his long life to writing numerous works on self-improvement. This brought him into conflict with his more-socialist acquaintances and colleagues from his younger years, such as leading members of the Chartist Movement. The Huguenots fits well into Smiles general ideas of social tolerance and the catastrophe that can result when personal and civil liberties are not observed.
First published in 1868 prior to his stroke, this, the sixth edition, includes a new preface by Smiles and a number of important appendices and additions not present in the earlier editions of the work. The main body of the text of The Huguenots is encompassed in nineteen-chapters. The first five trace the history of the reformers from the Reformation, the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre and the death of Mary Queen of Scots and the beginning of the first phase of Huguenot migration. There follows chapters on these earlier settlers in England, the establishment of their churches, the Edict of Nantes and renewed persecution under Louis XIV, which resulted in the massive diaspora of the Huguenots from Europe to England and Ireland in the late 1600s, their fundamental role in the English 'Revolution' of 1688 and service in the war in Ireland that followed shortly after. A further two chapters are given over to Huguenot men of learning, science and industry in England, before Smiles details the Huguenot settlement of Ireland concluding with interesting accounts on the descendants of the early refugees and the impact wrought by the French Revolution. This sixth edition also two biographical lists of distinguished Huguenot and their descendants both in England and Ireland and the original is fully-indexed.
Samuel Smiles' The Huguenots their Settlements, Churches, and Industries, in England and Ireland presents a very readable account of the birth of Protestant reform in Europe from the Reformation and Martin Luther through the two waves of mass-migration culminating in the French Revolution. Accompanied by very valuable biographical notices on many leading Huguenot families and their descendants in England and Ireland, this CD-Rom republication is a must for anyone interested in this turbulent and fascinating aspect of European history.
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