Edward Arber.

The torments of Protestant slaves in the French king's galleys, and in the dungeons of Marseilles, 1686-1707 A. D online

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A Christian Library.

A POPULAi^ Series of Religious Liteeature.

Editod and Privately Printed b\

Professor EDWARD ARBER, D. Litt. (Oxon), F.S.A.,
Fellow of King's College, London.

In these popular Editions, all Latin. Greek, and learned. Notes are

The prepaid net Prices include a free and guaranteed Postal
Delivery to any part of the World.

1. Dean W. Whittiugham. A Brief Discourse of the Troubles at

Frcinkfort. 1554-1558 A.D. ■ 58.-6 frs. 32 cts.— ftl . 22 cts.

2. The Torments of Protestant Slaves in the French King's Galleys,

and in the Dungeons of Marseilles. 1686-1707 A.D. Ed. by
E. Arber, D. Litt., F.S.A. - - 5s.— 6 frs. 32 cts.— $1 . 22 cts.

3. The Sayings of the Wise, or Food for Thought. A Book of

Moral Wisdom, gathered from the ancient Philosophers. By
W. Baldwin. 1555 A.D. - 3s. 6d.— 4 frs. 43 cts. — ;i0.85 cts.

Tin* Torments


ProfestaHt Shires

hi the Frencli Kiiufs Galleys, and in
tJie Dungeons of Marseilles^

1686—1707 A.D.

With some Illustrative Texts.

Edited by

Professor Eclwarcl Arber, D. Litt. {Oxon.),F.S.A.,

Fellow of King's College, Loiidou.

Privately Piiuted.

Only to he obtained from
The Manager, 26, Priory Road, Bedford Park, London. W


General Preface.

The central purpose of this Series of Books is
not to excite the least ill will or prejudice towards
any existing body of Christian men and women
whatsoever : but rather to implant and cherish in
the hearts of all its Readers a perfect detestation
and execration of Compulsion in Religion ; and of
Persecution for Religious Opinions.

Christian History only too sadly demonstrates
the truth of our blessed Lord's saying, ' I came not
to send peace ; but a sword ' ; because we mortals
will not act upon the Golden Principle of Life
that he has given us, ' By this shall all men know
that ye are my disciples; if ye have love one to
another,' E.A.




General Preface - - -. - .. y.

Contents - - ....... vii.-xii.

Introduction ......... xiii.-xli.

A True Kelatiou of the Sad Estate of the Keforiued Churches in France.

•167 [9] 1-45

Note 2

The Preface 3, 4

A Brief Relation of the Persecuted Protestants in

France - -... - . 5.42

A List or Catalogue of the Protestant Churches

deniolislied in France - - - 48-45

The Present State of the Protestants in France.

1681 47-90

To the Header 49-51

Letter I. .-.-..-.- 53-65
Letter 11. 66-90

Three Letters from France.

First Letter 84, 85

Second Letter - - - - - - - 85, 86

Third Letter by [Sir J. P.] - - - • ■ 86-88



Jean Claude.

Au Account of the rersecntions and Oppressions of tlie Protestants

in France. 1686 - - - 91-156

Note 92-94

M(tflcyH of Fdct pvovinti the Pevsecuiio)} - - - 9.5-132

First Method. Law Suits in Courts of Justice- 97-100

Second Metliod. Deprivation from all Offices and
Employments ; and, in general,
of all ways of subsistence - 97, 101-103

Third Method. Infractions of the Edicts, under
the pretence of Explications of
them 97, 104, 105

Fourth Method. New Laws and Orders - 97, 106-109

Fifth Method. Juggleries and deceptive

Tricks - ■ . . 97,110-113

Sixth Method. The animating of the people

against the Huguenots - 97, 114-116

The Revocation Atrocities .... 117-125, 127-132

A Description of the Revocation Edict - - - 126, 127

TtefiectioiH on all tJiese cruel PeysecntioiiH.

I. The dignity of the King has been sullied by

persuading him to break his word - - 133-139

II. The great injury to the Trade of France.

The Huguenots will, one day, be missed 140-143

III. All the Princes and Powers of Europe,

whether Catholic or Protestant, are

deeply concerned in these Persecutions 144-146

IV. The Pope [Innocent XL] himself and the

whole Body of the Roman Church are
affected, by this last Persecution in

France 147-149,153



In which there are Five things that strike the niind
with horror :

They make the Consciences and Keligion of Men
to depend sovereignly upon the Will of a King.

They violate a Faith authentically sworn to.

They force men to be hypocrites and wicked ; by
seeming to embrace a Religion which they

They prohibit all flights, or retiring, out of the

They do not put to death ; but preserve life, to

oppress it with longer torments - - - 148

The impudent and lying Assertions of the Romanists :

M. Grosteste des Mahis.

That force and violence have had no share in the Con-
versions ; but they were soft, calm, and voluntary :
and that if there were any Dragoons concerned
therein ; it was because the Reformed themselves
desired them, that they might have a handsome
pretence to change their Religion - - - 150

D. de Cosnac, Bishop of Valence.

He tells Louis XIV., How miraculous his reign is ; see-
ing such infinite numbers of Conversions are
made to the Roman Church, without violence and
Arms : ' much less by the force of your Edicts, as
by the example of your exemplary piety' [! ! I] - 150

The Consolations of the Hugiienots ... - 155, 156



Some early details of the Kevocation Atrocities, in the begin-

iiiiij,' of tlie Dra^oniuulcs. 1685 - ■ - 157-182

A Short Account of the unheard-of Cruelties which

they have exercised upon those; of Montauban, etc. 159-167

A Letter sent from Bordeaux, givinff an Account of

the Persecution 168-178

An Extract of a Letter, by T. G., containing some
more instances of the cruel usage of the
Protestants 179-182

Louis de Marolles.

A Specimen of Papal and French Persecution ; as also of the
Faith and Patience of the late French Confessors and Martyrs.

1686-1692 183-258

Dedication of this History, by his son - - ■ 185, 186

The Contents of this History 187, 188

The History of the Sufferings of the blessed Martyr,

Louis de Marolles - 189-255, 316, 328-332. 337, 338, 353. 354, 388

Reflections bv the Writer of this History - - - 256-258

Elie Neau.

An Account of the Sufferings of the French Protestants, Slaves
on board the French King's Galleys.

1692-1698 259-280

A True and Exact List of the French Protestants,

Slaves on board the French King's Gallevs - 271-280

A Faithful Account of the Cruelties done to the Protestants
on board the French King's Galleys, on account of the Reformed

Religion. 1700 281-302

see also 378-380, 389-398

Preface by the Editor 283, 284

Letters from Marseilles. August 1700 - - - 285-288

Several other Letters from Marseilles. September-
October 1700 ... - .. 289-297

Observations by the Editor 298-301

Postscript - . ■ - - - - - - - 302



Isaac Le Fevre.

An Historical Account of his Sufferings and Death. - - - 303-412

Note 304

Preface of the English Editor 305-310

An Account of the Sufferings and Death of that
faithful Confessor and Martyr. Monsieur Isaac
Le Fevre - - - 311-412

A Letter to the Confessors, from Herr Heinrich

Esclier, President of the Swiss Republic - 349-351

The History of the Labours. Sufferings, and
Death, of Pierre Mauru, 1686-1696; fur-
nished by Isaac Le Fevre : who protested
that he did not think that there was a
greater Saint on eartli tlian Mauru - - 355-368

Monsieur D. L's Answer to the Missionary - 369, 370

The poor, simple, l)ut illustrious. Shepherd ;

who learned to write since he was in bonds 374, 375

The young Huguenot Maiden of Marseilles - 376, 377

Monsieur D. S. L's Petition to the Intendant of
Marseilles, on l)ehalf of the Protestant
Slaves in the Gallevs. June 1700 - - 381-384

The P'irst Storm and Fury of the Bastinados.

June 1699— July 1701 - -281-302,378-380,389-398

An Extract of a Letter from Pierre de Serres
the Elder, with a bloody and torn body, and
manacles on his hands. October 18 1700 - 393-394

Extracts of Letters concerning the death of

Isaac Le Fevre ... - - 403-405

A Memoir of Isaac Le Fevre, by certain Galley

Slaves Marseilles. August 21 1702 - - 408-412



Hilary lleneu.

The Preface to the Second Enj^lish Traiishilioii (1707) oi Jeiui

Claude's * Les riaintes des ri'oteslaiits cnielleiueiit oppriincs

dans le liovaiune de Fnince' (1686) - - - 413-431

Jean Francois Bion.

An Accoimt of the Torments which the French Protestaiits

endure aboard the Galleys. 1708 - - - 433-460
Dedication to Queen Anne - .-.. 435, 436

Preface 437, 438

The Sufferings of the Protestants in the French Galleys 439 - 460

Index 461-470



A few words, at the outset, require explanation.
Aliiiouer. The Chaplain of a Galley, or a Prison.
A})ie}ide HoiiorahJc. This degrading punishment is described
at pp. 67, 68, 78, 419.

AjMsfatc. The Government name for a Roman Catholic who turned
Protestant. The Huguenots called siich a one, a Proselyte.

Ayf/ouzin. The Boatswain's Mate of a Galley, or a Galley Serjeant.

Bastonnade. The Bastinado : which was not inflicted on the soles of
the feet, as among the Turks, but on the back ; with a tarred
rope, dipj)ed in the sea, and as hard as an iron liar, pp.
294, 392. This awful torture is descril)ed at pp. 285-296, 299,
390-392, 458, 459.

Coniifc. The Boatswain of a Galley.

Courficij. The raised Gangway, between the two rows of Slaves, of a

Coio-fiie)'. The Chase Gun of a Galley, throwing a 361b. ball. It was
placed at the Prow, on the Coursey.

Exercise of Religion. Public Divine Worship.

GalJerian. Marolles seems to use this word in the sense of a
Protectant Galley Slave, pp. 207, 240.

Misf<io)i(trief<. The Fathers of the Royal Mission of France for the
conversion of the Protestants ; who greatly urged on the Per-
secution, and were ever increasing the torments of the Huguenot
Slaves. They were the Directors of the Hosijital of the Galley
Slaves on shore at Marseilles. They also appointed and controlled
the Almoners in the Galleys, p. 379.

Rehqjscd. The Government name for a Huguenot who, having become
a Roman Catholic, afterwards returned to Protestantism.

B.P.R. ' Religion Pretendue Reformee,' Religion pretended Reformed,
was the Government name for the Huguenot Church.

Siijfcrin(/ Socictij, also called, The Chained Society. A small Associa-
tion of the leading Huguenot Galley Slaves at Marseilles, p. 295.



Temple. Tlic hiiiUliiij,' in wliicli :i h'l'ciicli Protestant Cliiircli met lor
Divine Woi'sbip, ]). 109. That at Cliaicnton in I'aris was practically
the Meti-opolitaii Protestant Cliiiicii of iMaiuc. Jkax Ci.al'DK
was its Senior Minister at the Uevocatioii ; and refers to his
instant expulsion Ii'omi l''i-ance, at p. 127.

All sums of nu)n(\v mentioned in this Vohnne should he multiplied
twice or thrice, in order to ascertain the corresponding^ puchasing
power of the same in the present day. Thus, 1,000 French Livres =^
i;iOO then, or X-200 to X:!00 now.




t is not possible to deal adequately here with so vast a subject as
this gigautic Persecution. All that can 1)G done, is very briefly
to touch upon the following points :

III. How (lid thifi prodirjioiifi and niercilefm PeraccHtioii, jthe

loiHicfit ill Iliniian History, arif^e t Hoir was if. that it
became at all i^ofisihle ?)

IV. TT7(o ircve its real Authors '!

V. lis relation to Eiujlish Historij of that period.

VI. Some otJier information from the E)if/tis/i Envoy at Paris.

VII. The Bei^ocation Atrocities.

VIII. What arc ire to think of the French Confessors of that Ar/e !

IX. TI7(o n-erc the supposed Gainers hj/ it.' and what was their

success .'

X. Wliat sliould the study of tliis VoUone lead us to do /

Besides all this; tbere is herein such a Picture of the French
Galley Life of that Time as does not exist elsewhere in our language.




Hoiv did tliifi prodiriioKfi and mercUefis Persecution, flic lonf/eat
in Htonan Hifitorii, arise l^ Hoir was it, that it became at all possible ?

1. /^"^ liAUOK, wbo lived in the midst of it all, tells us.

I To begin with Matters of Fact. There is

^-^ nobody but knows that, a while after his present
Majesty of France [Louis XIV.,] came to the
Ci'own, there arose in the K^ingclom a Civil War [of the
Fronde, 1()4H — 1()53] ; wliicli proved so sharp and desperate
as brought the State within a hair's breadth of utter ruin.
It is also known that, in the midst of these Troubles,
those of the Reformed Religion kept their loyalty in so
inviolalile a manner, and attended it with such a zeal and
extraordinary fervour, that the King found himself obliged
to give public marks of it, l)y a Declaration, made at Saint
Germain, [May 21,] in the year 1652. Then, as well at Court
as in the field, each strove to proclaim loudest the deserts of
the Reformists : and [Anne of Austria,] the Queen Mother
herself readily acknowledged, That they had preserved the
State. I

This is known by all : but it wifl hardly be believed,
though it l)e too true, what our enemies themselves a
hundred times told us, and which the sequel has but too
shrewdly confirmed. That this was precisely the principal
and most essential Cause of our ruin ; and of all the
mischiefs which we have since suffered. Endeavours were
used to envenom all these important services in the King's
and his Ministers' minds, by persuading them. That if, on
this occasion, this Party could conserve the State : this
shewed they could likewise overthrow it, should they have
ranked themselves on the other side ; and might still do it,
when such a like occasion should offer itself. That there-
fore this Party must be suppressed ! and the good they have
done no longer regarded but as an indication of the mischief
which they may, one day, be capable of doing. This
diabolical reasoning, which hinders subjects from serving
their Prince, to avoid drawing on themselves chastisements
instead of recompenses, was relished as a piece of most
refined Isnbtle'] Policy.

For, as soon as the Kingdom was settled in peace, the
Design was advanced of destroying the Reformists, pp. 95,96.


Consider we a while, what they make the King say —
That at his first coming to the Crown, he was in the Design
which he now comes from executing. They would say,
without doubt, from the time he actually took in hand the
reins of Government [,in 1661]: for he was too young before
to enter personally on any Design of this nature. He
entered thereon then precisely at the time when the Civil
Wars were ended. But what does this mean, but that he
undertook this Design, at the very time when the Protestants
came from rendering him the most important service Sub-
fw jects were ever capable of ! They came from rendering him
the highest testimonies of loyaltj^; when the greatest part
of his other Subjects had taken up Arms against him !
They had vigorously opposed his enemies' progress ; rejected
the most advantageous offers ; kept towns for him, yea,
whole Provinces ; received his Servants and Officers into
their bosoms, when they could not find safety elsewhere ;
sacrificed their estates to him, their lives, their fortunes :
and, in a word, done all with such a zeal as became faithful
Subjects in so dangerous a conjuncture. And this is the
time, when the King enters on the Design of destroying
and extirpating them !

This so confirms the truth of what we said in the
beginning, that it puts it out of all question, That the
Project of their Destruction was grounded on the services
they had rendered to the King. p. 136.

2. The Huguenots as implicitly believed in the Divine Right of
Kings as niucli as Louis XIV. himself did. Claude tells us,

We know very well the Authority of Kings ; and the
respect and submission with which we should receive their
Orders : and therefore have we [had] , during all these
unsupportable usages, a patience and an obedience so
remarkable that it has been the admiration of the Catholics,
our countrymen, p. 137. See also p. xxiv.

Elsewhere he wrote, in 1688.

The Protestants receive their Evils with all the respect
and all the humility that they owe to a Sacred and Sovereign
Authority ; which they consider as the lively Image of that
of GOD on the earth.



3. This religions belief gave them a Patience that was simply

Benoit^ tells us, The Patience of tlie Reformists passed into a
Proverb among the Catholics. When they wished to speak of a
Patience beyond all measure; they called it, 'The Patience of a
Huguenot,' 'Hist, of the Edict of Nantes,' iv., 459.

This is confirmed by the following statement at pp. 169, 170.

All those thundering Declarations and destructive
Arrests (which continually were sued for, and obtained
against us ; and which were executed with the extremity of
rigour) were scarce ahle to move any one of us. The for-
bidding of our Public Exercises, tlie demolishing of our
Churches, and the severe Injunction that not so much as
Two or Three of us should dare to assemble in order to
anything of Divine Worship ; had no other effect upon the
far greater part of us, than to inflame our zeal, instead of
abating it : obliging us to pray to GOD with greater fervour
and devotion in our Closets, and to meditate of his Word
with greater application and attention. And neither the
great Wants, to which we were reduced by being deprived of
our Offices and Employs, and other means of living ; and
by those insupportable Charges with which they strove to
overwhelm us, as well by Taxes as the Quartering of
Soldiers, both [of] which were as heavy as could be laid upon
us : nor the continual trouble we were put to, by Criminal
and other matters of Law, which, at the suit of one or
other, were still laid to our charge, though upon the most
frivolous and unjust pretences imaginable — I say, all these
were not able to wear out our patience ; which was hardened
against all Calamities: insomuch as the Design of forcing
us to abandon the Truth of the Gospel would infallibly have
been shipwrecked, if no other means had been taken in
hand for this purpose:

But, alas ! our enemies were too ingenious to be baulked
so ; and had taken our ruin too much to heart, not to study
for means effectual and proper to bring about their desires.
They called to mind what a prodigious success a new kind
of Persecution had had, of late years, in Poitou, Aunis, and
Saintonge ; which the Intendants of those places had
bethought themselves of : and they made no difficulty to
have recourse to the same, as to a means infallible, and not
to be doubted of.


4. As Citizens, the Huguenots led an absolutely blameless life.
Claude says,

'Yet, amongst all these Afflictions, we are not destitute
of comfort. We, if ever any did, do truly suffer for Con-
science sake : the malice of our Persecutors not being able
to charge us with the least misdemeanour. We have served
our King and the State with zeal and faithfulness. We
have submitted to the Laws and to the Magistrates : and as
for our fellow-citizens, they have no reason to complain of
us. We have, for twenty years together, suffered, with an
exemplary patience, all thoTse furious and dreadful Storms

In these latter Storms, we have been like sheep,
innocent and without defence. We then comfort ourselves
in the justice of our Cause ; and our peaceable deportment
under it. p. 155.

' 5. And so, for those twenty years together, 1665-168.5, we watch
the Gathering of this dreadful Storm : during which time, some Four
Hundred Edicts, Declarations, etc., were issvied against the Huguenots ;
being at the rate of about one every fortnight. At last, the Storm
burst, in the Dragonnades, and the Revocation, of the year 1685. "j




Who were its real Authors ?

1. /^ X 11 tliis point, we are able to adduce an Eye Witness


testimony that cannot possibly be disputed, from the
' Savile Correspondence.' (Camden Society. 1858.)

Henry Savile was the younger brother of Geokge
Savile, who later became the Marquis of Halifax. He was our Envoy
Extraordinary at Paris from February, 1679, till March, 1682. He had
Ijreviously been somewhat a Man of Pleasure : but his intimate
association with the best Huguenot Society in the French metropolis
led him strongly to advocate their Cause ; and especially to write
that noble Letter to Charles II., from which we shall presently quote.
His Letters are addressed to his brother George ; or to Sir Leoline
Jenkins, the Secretary of State : with their rei^lies. All the dates
are of the New Style ; and the references are to the Camden Society's

Henry Savile. Paris. June 5 1679.

[(Francois de) Harlay de Chanvallon,] The Arch-
bishop of Paris, and Father [(Francois d'Aix] la Chaise, do
all they can to prevail with this King to make him revenge
the Quarrel of the English Catholics [in the Popish Plot]
upon the French Protestants : who tremble for fear of some
violent Persecution ; and are ready to go into England in
such vast numbers as would be a great advantage to the
nation, if you would, by easy Naturalization, make it, in the
least, easy to them.

I find those who are rich are afraid our King should
meddle with their affairs : but the crowd and the number
talk of nothing but the necessity of his declaring himself
Protector of the whole Protestant Religion ; and live upon
the hopes of seeing that Glorious Day.

How ripe you are for such designs I cannot answer :
but, after some steps are made, I believe you will find this
a very necessary one. p. 93.

I hear from England, I shall be forced to keep a Chap-
lain ; which I never less needed : having never failed [going
to the Protestant Temple at] Charenton one Sunday, since
I came into France. How much more that is for the
King's service, you cannot imagine; unless you saw how
kindlj^ those poor i)eople take so small a countenancing as
mine is. pp. 94, 95.



George Savile. [London.] June 12 1679.

It becomes the zeal of the French Clergy to press the
King to a Persecution, by way of revenge upon us here : but
I will hope wiser things of the Government there, than that
so unreasonable a thing should prevail.

However, if the fear of it putteth thoughts into the
Protestants of removing thither ; I am sure we must
renounce all good sense, if we do not encourage them by all
possible invitations. It hath ever been so much my prin-
ciple, that I have wondered at our neglecting a thing we
ought to seek : and those that have not zeal enough to
endeavour it for preserving of our Religion, might have wit
enough to do it for the increasing our Trade.

I approve your going to Charenton, and your counte-
nancing the Protestants ; which I think the principal work
of an English Minister in France : but I am apt to believe
[that] it may make the Court there very weary of you ; it
being a method that they have of late been so little used to,
that they take it for an injury, pj). 97, 98.

Henry Savile. Paris. June 16 1679.

The Judges [of the ' Chambre Ardente '] , that were
appointed to try the prisoners for poison, have their authority
increased ; by being also made Judges of all things relating
to the poor Protestants here. By which means, I suppose
we shall suddenly see more Temples demolished ; their pre-
decessors having condemned sixteen in Gascony and Poitou
within these six months. Brittany and Normandy come
next. I doubt [fear'] these poor people have the worse
quarter; in revenge of what is done to the Papists in
England. Would to GOD, we had a good change made !
p. 100.

Henry Savile. Saint Germain. February 9 1680.
I am grown such a Pillar at Charenton, that very grave
people, looking upon me as such, do often speak to me to
prefer [place'] Protestant servants in England, p. 136.

Henry Savile. Paris. February 28 1680.

My great assiduity at Charenton has gained me a
general acquaintance and kindness among the Huguenots ;



and, as generally the women are most pleased with such a
proceeding, I have got into the friendship of the gravest.

They all think themselves unliappy, by being of a
different Persuasion from the Government ; [and] appre-
hending, daily, greater calamities than they yet lie under,
most of them are disposed to marry their children rather
into England and Holland than in France.

Amongst this number, there is one who will give
'200,000 Crowns down, paid at London and in English
Crowns, viz., £25,000, with a very pretty daughter, as

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