Awakening a Lost Kingdom

The French Huguenot cemetery in Berlin lies next to the Dorthean cemetary where the Family Stuttmeisters are buried. However, there is some confusion. The Rosamond family sprang from the Huguenots.

When Vicki Presco was asked if she wanted her mother buried next to her father, she exclaimed;

“Heavens no! They will fight!”

The Berlin Wall ran through the Huguenot cemetery not allowing kinfolk to visit their loved ones. In my last visit with my surviving sister, we concluded Rosemary and Vic would not have grown to hate each other if they knew more about their history. In my blog ‘The Bohemian Democratic Register’ I showed Death on a pale horse steadily advancing through gates and towers where shine the dawn of a new day. The banner he carries is a rose associated with the Knights of the Rose Cross. In this video of the Dorthean cemetary we pass through the last arch. The black knight associated with the Teutonic Order, dismounts, and kisses the sleeping maiden. The lost kingodm of the Prussian-Huguenots……………awakens.

My daughter never met my mother and father. Heather was born on Rosemary’s birthday. As fate would have it, her boyfriend was born on Victor’s birthday. Love conquers all!

Knowlege will free us all from the chains of ignorance. The truth will set you free. The great split in my family………………is at an end!

Peace unto you all!

Jon Presco

Copyright 2011


During the first Huguenot wars the Protestant German countries were already safe places for the refugees. Particularly as in the Netherlands, after 1567 the restoration under the Duke of Alba, governor for the Spanish king, was accomplished with large hardness, many families fled to Germany. They founded some Walloon settlings such as Frankenthal, Mannheim, Heidelberg and Hanau, to name only some, from which families later moved on into the Uckermark. But also in the German Empire a war raved from 1618 to 1648. The opponents were the Protestant sovereigns supported by Denmark and Sweden against the Catholic house of Habsburg, which reigned Austria, Spain, the Spanish Netherlands and the largest part of Germany and Italy. Since France was interested in weakening the Habsburgerian, it supported the Protestant sovereigns abroad while suppressing the Protestant movement in it’s own country. By the movements of the different armies whole regions in Germany were devastated. Far more than half of the German population died (of 18 million 7 million survived). In northern Brandenburg the population loss amounted to over 70%. There had been 250 fire places (i.e. about 2000 inhabitants) in Strasburg/Uckermark in 1618, in 1648 after the war only 9 citizens (with families and servants thus about 100 persons) lived in the ruins of the city. Mannheim was also nearly completely destroyed. In this devastating war many records and church books, if kept at all, were lost. The 30 years war therefore is for most family researchers in Germany the termination point of their research.

The Westfalian peace of 1648 terminated the war on German soil, the Empire became a confederation of states of practically sovereign princes, and the religious confessions became legally equal. North and Central Germany, as well as the Pfalz and Wuerttemberg remained Protestant, while the Austrian hereditary countries, Bavaria, and the large religious principalities in the Rhine Main area and the Danube area remained catholic. The peace treaty also made an end to the political power of the Pope.

This map of the German Empire after 1648 (745Kb click for enlargement) shows clearly how torn apart it was. Thus not only Brandenburg in the east and the north of Berlin did belong to the Hohenzollern, but also scattered marks such as Cleve on the Rhine (and some parts further east not on this map). 
The population of Brandenburg was Lutheran Protestant (the Luther city Wittenberg is located in Brandenburg), the Hohenzollern sovereign of the country was however of Calvinist-Reformed confession.
The Palatinate succession war  
After the end of the 30 year war again many refugees came from France and settled in the “Kurpfalz”, an area around today’s Ludwigshafen on the Rhine. So did my ancestors Guillaume FOUQUET and Susanne FIERET, which married 1653 in Frankenthal. Guillaume originated from the small place Jeantes in the Thierache, his wife was from Cuiry les Iviers near Jeantes. Together with many other refugees from north France and Flanders they rebuilt the destroyed villages and cities and lived there for about 30 years in relative security. Still near the border to France, probably they hoped to be able to return to their homeland one day.

About at the same time as the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 another war with France broke out in this area. The palatinate sovereign Kurfuerst Karl Ludwig had married his daughter Elizabeth Charlotte in 1671 (better known as Liselotte of the Pfalz) with the duke Philipp of Orléans, the brother of Ludwig XIV. He had wanted to secure his territory by family relations with the strong neighbor. However in vain, parts of the Pfalz were devastated 1674 during the Dutch war by French troops under marshal Turenne. In the consequence France claimed different areas at the west border of the German Empire. The French annexations achieved their temporary culmination during the regency of Kurfuerst Karl II. (1680 – 1685), the successor of Karl Ludwig, with the fall of the city of Strasbourg on September 30, 1681. As Karl II. 1685 died childless after short government the French king Louis XIV. claimed hereditary rights on parts of the Pfalz in the name of his sister-in-law Liselotte (the sister of the deceased Kurfuerst). The Palatinate succession war (1688-1697) developed, which was fought with so far unknown brutality, according to the principle “burned earth”. Systematically cities, villages and castles were destroyed and burnt to ashes, the country devastated worse than in 30 the year war. Thus the Palatinate Huguenot settlements were endangered again and numerous “Pfaelzer” fled after 1685. Some went eastward to Hessen others as far as to America. In 1689 the Walloon parish of the rebuilt Mannheim fled as a whole group to Magdeburg, taking their church books with them.
The Edict of Potsdam
As Louis XIV. revoked the Edict of Nantes at the 18.Oktober 1685 and thus forbade the reformed faith, the Friedrich Wilhelm “the great elector” issued already ten days later at the 29.Oktober 1685 the Edict of Potsdam. He invited the”Evangelist-Reformed of French nation”, to settle in his lands. In this edict quiet concrete information was given, how to bring the refugees on ships or roads into Brandenburg.  

By the Edict of Potsdam the new settlers received among other privileges:
Hugo Vogel, 1885: 
Friedrich Wilhelm of Brandenburg, the “Great Elector” 
welcomes Huguenot refuges from France in his castle in Potsdam

Exemption from taxes (except for the Akzise, a kind of value added tax) for the first ten years completely and for the second ten years to the half. 
Land assignments and building material for houses and agricultural buildings. 
Freedom of military service and bondage for “all times”. 
The right to own jurisdiction for controversies within the colony. 
An own minister and room for the service. 
Freedom of trade and free entrance to the guild

The Dorotheenstädtischer Friedhof has been a cemetery since 1762. It was laid out for the new Berlin parishes developing during the in the reign of Kaiser Friedrich the Great – Dorotheenstadt and Friedrichwerder. This is the cemetery to visit as a long list of illustrious personalities of German culture – many celebrated Berlin citizens in their heydays – lie buried here. On the tombstones are na

Dorotheenstädtisch-Französischer Friedhof

1. In 1925 William Sam Rosamond did a relatively complete genealogy. His research indicated that we were descended from a Huguenot born in France sometime in the mid to late 1600s. He discovered that his earliest traceable ancestor was a “Sergeant” Rosamond who left France following the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes on 22nd October 1685. He found that Sergeant Rosamond supposedly travelled to Holland where he joined the army of William III, went to England, and from there went with William’s army to Ireland. He fought in the Battle of the Boyne on 1st July 1690 (by the old calendar – 12th July by the new calendar) and then remained in County Leitrim, Ireland. (There is still a family of Rosamonds in County Leitrim.) He had three sons, two of whom went to the American colonies and settled in the mid-Atlantic region. One of the sons’ names was either John or Thomas Rosamond. Current researchers have not been able to confirm this connection. It appears probable that the American branch of the family are descended from John “The Highwayman” Rosamond who arrived in Annapolis, Maryland in 1725. He was sentenced to be transported into 14 years servitude for robbery from the Oxford Assizes. This John could be the son of Sergeant William Rosamond, and the mix up in names likely stems from the fact that his father-in-law’s name was Thomas Wilson.
1. Atop the cliff in the background we see a path, towers, and a sun that silhouettes a city, i.e., the mystical journey to the New Jerusalem. Notice the similarities to the imagery on the Temperance card. In Renaissance art, the “new earth” (i.e. following the apocalypse) is typically represented as a city, the New Jerusalem. This representation appears on 15th-16th century World cards.

In The Pictorial Key, Waite says: “Behind it lies the whole world of ascent in the spirit…between two pillars on the …horizon there shines the sun of immortality.” The image of the rising sun may come from the Golden Dawn Consecration ceremony for the Vault.

Regardie p 264f: “I have passed through the gates of Darkness unto Light. I have fought upon Earth for good. I have finished my work. I have entered into the invisible. I am the Sun in his rising…the Opener of the day…I am the Lord of Life, triumphant over Death…I am the preparer of the Pathway, the Rescuer unto the Light! Out of the Darkness, let the Light arise.” This is essentially a Rosicrucian image of the mystical journey and notice the roses on the bishop’s cloak, the woman’s hair and the banner.

1. The rose on the banner is drawn in the manner of the Rosicrucian symbol. Examples of this same symbol can be found in Waite’s The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry (pp 227, 248, 550). In the background of the card, along the near shoreline there appear to be three black crosses. These may represent tombstones in keeping with the Death theme, but may also hint at the Cross, the second element of the “Rosy Cross” symbol. In The Real History of the Rosicrucians and The Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross, Waite depicts the Rosicrucians as an occult “church within the church” of Christianity.

Into the cloth of Rosicrucianism, Waite weaves the Knights Templar, Alchemy, Kabballah, Levi, Papus, Masonry, and the Golden Dawn. The three founders of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn were members of the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia. The Higher or Inner Order of the Golden Dawn was known as Rosae Rubeae et Aureae Crucis. When the Golden Dawn broke up and Waite formed his own version of the society, he called it the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross.

The rose is not a symbol commonly associated with the Templars; however, on the Gothic Cathedrals that they helped to design, there was a large rosette over the ogive archway. In the Adeptus Minor initiation of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the initiate is introduced to the “Vault of the Adept.” This is a reconstruction of the tomb in which the mythical Christian Rosenkreutz was buried for 120 years, and from which he arose. On the ceiling of the “Vault” was a stylized white rose (same sort of rose as seen on the Death card but with 22 petals). It would be the first thing seen when the lid was removed from the coffin and the resurrected mystic opened his eyes. So its presence on the Death card may symbolize a note of optimism – there is a rebirth following the Death represented here. Waite may be suggesting that this is not the Death that comes at the end of life, but the Mystical Death.

2. Mary Jane Loya of California, whose mother was born in County Leitrim, Ireland, still has cousins living in England, some of whom are also researching the family history. Her family there has the same story of Sergeant Rosamond except that they show his name as James, and say that he took part in the Battle of the Boyne on 1st July 1690. He distinguished himself during the battle and William III, following the battle, knighted him. The family in England, specifically her cousin Jane, has a Coat of Arms for the family name, which is supposed to date back to that date.

The idea of being positive or seen as positive was one aspect of the New Evangelical movement [33] which is however not as easily recognized as demarcating New Evangelicalism per se. The New Evangelical/ Fundamentalist divide is remembered more for the divide over the doctrine of separation, if it is remembered at all. The apostatizing mainstream “evangelicals” in our day have long since jettisoned treasuring and proclaiming the truth, and therefore the New Calvinists do not seem to be New Evangelical in the aspect of truth as compared to the “Evangelicals” nowadays. However, this has not been the case. The early New Evangelicals like Harold Ockenga and Edward Carnell personally treasure the truth [34] and desire that biblical Christianity experience a revival in the land. Trying to have their cake and eat it, the New Evangelical strategy of infiltration backfired and it was the world that turned the church upside down instead of the other way round. But it must be remembered that the early New Evangelicals do indeed treasure the truth and were appalled by the fruit of their compromise [35].
     If your research journey takes you to the city of Berlin, Germany,  or the former Prussian province of Brandenburg, you will probably sooner or later establish a “French Connection.” The Edict of Nantes had granted some freedom of religion in France; however, when King Louis XIV revoked the Edict in 1685, persecution and forcible conversion of Huguenots (French Protestants who were members of the Reformed Church established by John Calvin) caused thousands to flee. These religious refugees were accepted into many Protestant states, including Prussia. A large number settled in Brandenburg, but the refugees also had an impact upon Saxony-Anhalt (particularly Magdeburg), East Prussia, the Palatinate and other areas near the Rhine (including Alsace); the Frankfurt/Main area, Hesse-Kassel, Franconia, cities in northwestern Germany, Switzerland, England, Holland, and America. Because the Huguenots migrated not only to Prussia but found homes in many Germanic areas, it is important to understand their history and influence.  Sources for researching Huguenot families are extensive. The church books (usually written in the French language) for the most part have been preserved.
Example from Church Record
     If you are researching a family in Berlin, you may encounter an entry such as the one below that was found in the Sankt Georgen Lutheran parish in Berlin.   It provides the following information [translated from the German]:
     Charlotte Sophie Louise Kottke, age 34, eldest daughter of the citizen and clothmaker Johann David Kottke, separated from the deceased Johann Kowalis, shoemaker of this place, was married in the French Church to Abraham Devrient, age 39, Victualienhändler of this place, eldest son of the deceased Kantor of Gross Ziethen Abraham Devrient. The death certificate of Kowalis was returned and the divorce certificate of the bride has been given to the French Church.1
     The entry was recorded in the year 1823 but no marriage date was given. Additional information regarding this couple can be found in the French Reformed church records of Berlin.  It reads:
Le 31 Aout 1823 le Min. Cat. Henry a beni le mariage d’Abraham Devrient, Marchand de Vions[?], nat. de Gross-Ziethen, fils de def. Abraham Devrient et de def. Marie Elisabeth Mathieu d’une part et de Charlotte Sophie Louise Kotke, veuve Kowalis, nat. de Berlin, fille de Jean David Kotke et de Sophie Charlotte Schulz.
By checking both the Lutheran church record and the French Reformed church record, additional information regarding this family was obtained.
Huguenots in Brandenburg
     The background and history of the Huguenots in Brandenburg is well presented in History of the French Protestant Refugees, from the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes to our own Days by Charles M. Weiss. Extracts from this work have been included in this article.
     Religious liberty, banished from France, found in Brandenburg an inviolable asylum. The French Protestants could depend on a kinder and more earnest reception, because the court of Prussia was Calvinist and nearly French itself. In 1611 the Margrave Johann Georg went to the university of Saumur, where he contracted the strictest friendship with Duplessis Mornay, several of whose descendants subsequently attached themselves to the French colonies. In 1614 he openly embraced Calvinism, whether that he preferred the doctrine of the Genevese Reformer to that of Luther, or that he desired thus to consolidate his alliance with Holland. His brother Joachim Sigismund was sent, a few years later, to the university of Sedan.
     The calamities that afflicted the House of Brandenburg, during the 30 Years’ War, left Frederic William no opportunity of visiting France. But that prince who was the real founder of the greatness of his house, received notwithstanding a truly French education at the court of Orange, where his father George William sent him in his earliest youth. The Princes of Orange, heirs of the ancient Counts of Chalons, had been long established in Holland, but their court was French, and Frederic William there became intimate with the Bouillons, the Turennes, and the flower of the French Protestant nobility. His marriage with Louisa Henrietta, daughter of the Stadtholder, Frederic Henry, grandson of William the Taciturn, and of Louisa de Chatillon, daughter of Coligny, contributed to secure even more firmly the ascendance of the French language at the court of Berlin. The first offices of the state were filled only by men who had lived long in Paris, and both spoke and wrote French. One of the most distinguished families of that country, that of the Counts of Dohna, had almost ceased to be German, from its long residence in France, and the alliances it had there contracted.2
     But it was not the birth and education only of Frederic William which gave him a lively sympathy with the refugees. Reasons of state engaged him yet more strongly to receive warmly all who applied to him for an asylum. On his accession to the throne, in 1640, he had found his country depopulated by war, its fields left desert, its commerce and manufactures utterly ruined. Wherefore he strove above all things during his long reign, to heal the wounds that Brandenburg had received. All strangers who would settled there were certain to receive succor, establishments, or lands for cultivation. The persecutions directed against the Protestants by Louis XIV seemed to afford him a favorable opportunity for introducing from other parts into his own states, a portion of that honest and industrious population, which had participated in the general progress made by industry, commerce, literature, and arts in the French kingdom. He perceived that in receiving them it was not fugitives void of resource to whom he was offering an asylum, but to active industrious men, who would give their talents in exchange for the advantages extended to them.3
Edict of Potsdam    
     Schwerin, his minister near the court of Versailles, took advantage of the first rigorous measure put in force against the Protestants, to invite them to establish themselves in Brandenburg. As early as the year 1661, several French families took up their abode in Berlin. Their number increased by degrees, and at the end of a few years the elector permitted them to found a church, in which service was performed in the French tongue for the first time on the 10th of June 1672. This community, which was the cradle of the colony of Berlin, was not at the first composed of above a hundred families, the most illustrious of which was that of Count Louis de Beauveau d’Espenses. The number of refugees did not greatly increase until the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. But scarce had Louis XIV committed that irrevocable error, ere Frederic William resolved to turn it to his profit. He hastened to reply to the edict of revocation, on the 29th of October 1685 by the edict of Potsdam. He declared in the preamble of that memorable act –
“29 October 1685
Inasmuch as the persecutions and rigorous proceedings recently had, in France, against all of the reformed religion, have compelled many families to leave that kingdom and establish themselves abroad, we have determined, as being touched by the just compassion, which we are bound to feel for all who suffer for the Gospel’s sake, and for the purity of that faith, which we hold in common with them, to offer to the aforesaid French, by this present edict, signed with our own hand, a sure and free asylum in all the lands and provinces of our dominion; and to declare to them at once what rights, franchises, and privileges we intend that they should enjoy, to console them, and repair in some degree the calamities with which divine Providence has seen it good to strike so considerable a portion of his church.

     The declaration of Potsdam opened to the refugees a safe and inviolable asylum in the states of the elector. It promised them, moreover, the most efficacious protection, while traversing the countries that must be passed in order to reach Brandenburg. The representative of Frederic William near the States General of the United Provinces at Amsterdam, received charge to furnish them with provisions and transport of Hamburg, where the Prussian resident had instructions to aid them in reaching the towns where they should desire to settle. Those who escaped from France by way of Sedan, the district of Metz, or by Burgundy and the provinces of the south, were invited to repair to Frankfurt an the Main, where the Prussian resident would supply them with subsidies, and find them means of transport. Thence they were instructed to descend the Rhine to Cleves, and to establish themselves in that duchy, or in the county of La Marck, which the provisional partition of Santen had adjudged to the House of Brandenburg. Great facilities were granted to those who should prefer to penetrate farther into the Prussian states. The goods which they brought with them should pay neither duties nor tolls. What deserted houses might be found in towns, should be assigned to them in fee simple. The local authorities were instructed to furnish them with timber, lime, bricks, and every thing necessary for their reconstruction. For the space of six years they were declared exempt from all taxation. The gardens, meadow land, and pasturages belonging to the properties were to be equally assigned to them.4
     The freedom of the boroughs was secured to all the refugees in the towns where they should fix their abode. They should be admitted at once into the corporations of the trades they should choose on their arrival. To such as should desire to create manufactories, the edict secured the privileges and aids necessary for the success of their enterprises. To the agriculturists, land was offered for cultivation.5

     To the refugee nobles, offices, honors, dignities, and in case of their purchasing fiefs, the same rights and prerogatives possessed by the nobility of the country. In cities, wherein several families of the refugees should settle, they were allowed to appoint judges for the arrangement of their private differences apart from any formal process. Should disputes arise between the French and Germans, they must be jointly decided by the ordinary magistrate of the palace, and the person freely chosen by the newcomers. A preacher was attached to each colony, for the performance of church service in the French tongue, according to the ceremonial of the reformed churches in France. Special commissioners were appointed in every province for the protection of the refugees, who were instructed to correspond, for that end, with the general commission at Berlin, having it in charge to report to the elector.6
     The declaration of Frederic William rapidly spread through France. The intendants of the Provinces in vain published severe orders to oblige all who might receive copies, to deliver them over to the magistrates. They affirmed, in vain, that the edict of Potsdam was a forgery. No one was deceived by this falsehood. The town of Frankfurt was speedily filled with emigrants hurrying from the provinces of the east of France. The resident of the elector, Matthew Merian, provided for all their necessities. The princes, whose states they must necessarily traverse, especially the Landgrave of Hesse, had been forewarned of their coming. Therefore he caused them to be hospitably received in all parts of his dominions, not as distressed exiles, but as the adopted subjects of a powerful monarch. On the frontiers of Brandenburg, they found commissioners waiting to receive them, succor them, and introduce them into their new country. Scarcely, indeed, had they the means of discerning that they had entered a foreign land.
     Those who had made their exit by the provinces on the frontier of the Low Countries, found at Amsterdam eager and sincere assistants in the two agents of the Elector, Romswinckel and Dietz, and thence the resident Gericke dispatched them to the different parts of Brandenburg, in which they wished to reside. Therefore their arrival in that country did not in this respect partake the appearance of a flight. They were expected, welcomed with a friendly hand, and found the base of their new fortunes laid in advance by their generous protector. The refugees naturalized in Brandenburg were not, however, absolutely mingled with the natives of the land. For, apprehending that they might subsequently desire to transfer themselves to England or Holland, whither a population more industrious, more commercial, and more advanced in arts and letters, would seem to attract them, and wishing to attach them to a land, the language, customs, and manners of which were entirely strange to them, the elector suffered them to continue in some measure a separate national body. They had, as in France, their courts of justice, consistories, and their synods; in a word, all the affairs which concerned them were transacted as in France. Thus it appeared to them, that they were still actually living among their friends, so much to them did Brandenburg resemble their lost country. Therefore, not only did these colonies subsist undiminished, but were constantly increased by the successive arrivals of refugees at first established in Switzerland, Holland, and England. Waldenses, Walloons, Orangists, whole families from Geneva, the pays de Vaud, Neufchatel, and Montbeliard arrived, each after each, to enjoy the privileges of the new country offered to their adoptions.7
     The establishment of the new refugees imposed yet new expenses on the elector. The charges of transportation, the subsistence of the poor, the advances to the merchants, manufacturers, artisans, and laborers, the pensions, which were necessarily granted to a host of nobles and officers for whom employment was not to be found, entailed burdens the more onerous, because the state, consisting of but two millions of souls, deprived of her industrious pursuits, and exhausted by a recent ruinous war, seemed to offer but feeble and insufficient resources. Frederic William prudently avoided all recourse to taxation, the effect of which would have exposed the refugees to the hatred of his German subjects. He hesitated not to draw on his own privy purse. “I will sell,” said he, one day, “my very plate, before they shall want resources.” In the early times of their arrival, all claimed the aid of the prince, even the most active and industrious. But the elector foresaw that his sacrifices would be but temporary, and that the industry of the exiles would ere long repay with usury his slender advances. He presumed, farther, that in the end the most of them would recover a portion of the fortunes which they had possessed in their native country. It was also an erroneous idea, that the first refugees carried abroad only their misfortunes and their hopes. It was estimated that the average sum which each individual brought with him from the kingdom, was no less than two hundred crowns. In the first years subsequent to the revocation, French silver formed the greater part of the circulating medium of the country, guineas which had been put into circulation by the refugees, were commonly found in Germany, known as old guineas. The elector took advantage of these early resources. Most of the refugees had but the revenues of their capital whereon to subsist, and it was difficult for them to realize the value of these. He came, therefore, to their aid, by ordering such sums as they chose to deposit, to be received by his treasury, for which obligations were given to them, bearing interest of six, seven, and eight per centum, redeemable, at three months notice on the treasurer.
     Four illustrious refugees, already some years established in Brandenburg, were placed in charge of all that concerned the domiciliation of their future companions in exile. The Count of Beauveau, Claude du Bellay, Henry of Briquenault, and Walter of Saint Blancard.
     The Count de Beauveau, Lord d’Espenses, had been originally a lieutenant-colonel in the service of Louis XIV. His promotion in the French army had been precluded because of his religion, and he had obtained permission to leave the kingdom, and had been a resident in Brandenburg 15 years before the revocation. He was made lieutenant-general of his armies, colonel of the body guard, and master of the horse. He was the actual founder of the church of Berlin. It was he, whom the elector appointed to watch over the settlement of the original emigrants of the Isle de France, in which he had passed his youth.
     Claude du Bellay, Lord of Anché, was the issue of one of the most ancient families of Anjou. He had arrived at Berlin several years before the revocation. The elector named him his chamberlain, and intrusted him with the education of the three Margraves, Albert Frederic, Charles Philip, and Christian Louis. At a later period, he associated him with the Count de Beauveau, for the establishment of the original refugees of Anjou and Poitou.
Henry of Briquemault, Baron of St. Loup, in the Duchy of Rethel, was descended from one of the most considerable of the reformed families. The elector had named him lieutenant-general, appointed him to raise a regiment of cuirassiers, confided to him the government of Lippstadt, and given him charge to preside over the establishment of the original refugees of Champagne, who had taken refuge in Westphalia. He it is, who organized the first colonies at Lippstadt, Ham, Soest, and Minden, and founded the French churches of Cleves, Wesel, Emmerich, and Duisburg. Walter de Saint Blancard, ex-pastor of Montpéllier, was named chaplain of the Court of Berlin, and charged with the settlement of the refugees of Languedoc. It was he who presented to the elector the French of high birth. The Electress Louisa Henrietta, and the future Queen Sophia Charlotte, caused the women, driven from their country, to be presented to them; and by a delicate attention, the strictness of the court etiquette was relaxed in their favor, and they were presented in their black dresses, as if clothed in that voluntary indigence, which they had preferred before apostasy.8
     Among the other leaders of the emigration, one of the most notable was David Ancillon, the pastor of Metz. In spite of the Edict of Nantes, and the treaty of Westphalia, on the strict execution of which the tranquillity of all Europe seemed to depend, the district of Metz, hitherto regarded as a conquered country, was involved in the common calamity which fell on all the Protestants in 1685. Measures had been so well taken, that the revocation of the edict was registered on the same day as at Paris. It was carried to Metz on October 22. The temple was closed on the 24th, and on the following day the demolition was carried into effect. The pastors, Ancillon, De Combles, Joly, and Bancelin, vainly invoked the privileges. “What?” cried Louis rudely, “when they have but one step to take to leave the kingdom, are they not yet out of it?” On the news of this reply they set off for Brandenburg. The elector received them with honors, and appointed Ancillon pastor of the court church at Berlin. Those who remained, underwent a cruel persecution. Paul Chinevix, the president of the councilors of the parliament of Metz, at the time above eighty years old, of which he had sat fifty-three upon the Fleurs de lis, courageously resisted, on his death-bed, both the entreaties and menaces of the governor, and drew his last breath refusing the communion of the Romish church. The inferior court of judicature commanded that his body should be dragged to burial on a hurdle. The indignant parliament, in vain, issued a supersedeas on the execution of that barbarous decree, which was authorized by the rigor of the edicts. An order of the Court removed the supersedeas, and the body of the old gentleman was infamously trailed through the streets. This barbarous sentence, and the dread of having their children torn from them, determined two or three thousand of the inhabitants of Metz to take refuge in Brandenburg. Many of these settled in Berlin, whither the reputation of Ancillon attracted them.
     David Ancillon watched over the settlements of the refugees from Metz, as did the County de Beauveau over that of the refugees from the Isle of France, Henry de Briquemault over those from Champagne, Walter de Saint Blancard over those of Languedoc, Claude du Bellay over those from Anjou and Poitou. It is not possible to state correctly the number of all the French who arrived in Brandenburg. For the space of several years, they migrated, not only from one colony to another, but often from one country of refuge to a neighboring realm. Frequently they arrived one by one, without having their names inscribed on the rolls of entry. In the list of colonists which Charles Ancillon was instructed to draw up, in 1697, the number of immigrants amounts only to 12,297; but in this statement were not included those who scattered themselves through the country, and became confounded with the ancient inhabitants, or settled in towns which possessed no French churches. Above all, the soldiery, who at that time composed five regiments, were not included. If to these be added the 3,000 French refugees who, having at first planted themselves in Switzerland, afterwards joined the colonies of Brandenburg, in 1699, and about 2,000 refugees from the principality of Orange, who arrived in the first years of the 18th century; the sum total cannot amount to less than 25,000 men. These may be divided into six classes, soldiery, gentlemen, men of letters and artists, merchants, manufacturers, and agriculturists, without taking account of proletarians wholly devoid of means. All received assistance in money, employment, and privileges, and all contributed in degree vastly superior to their numbers, to the greatness of their adopted country.
     Many of the exiles devoted themselves exclusively to trade. In the outset they sold only at retail; they had no cash-keepers, no bookkeepers, no clerks. It was the merchant himself or sometimes even his wife or children, who filled these offices. They went to the most frequented fairs, often on foot, their wares on their backs. Their simplicity of manner and stern economy laid the foundations of great fortunes. With the growth of their means they aspired to extend the growth of their busines. Soon they contented themselves no more with domestic traffic, but frequented foreign frontiers. These incipient efforts were facilitated by the immigrant Protestants, already settled in nearly all the German cities. The central position of the market of Brandenburg also great favored that traffic. By slow degrees, the merchants established in that province rendered themselves the commercial agents for all who trafficked in the Northern States. Berlin, Magdeburg, Frankfort, became commercial places. The Elbe and Oder were covered with ships; all the great roads were thronged with carriages importing foreign merchandise, and exporting the manufactures of the country.9

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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