Constance Charlotte Elisa Lennox Russell.

The rose goddess and other sketches of mystery & romance online

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horrible " Dragonnades." Noailles wrote to the King that
he promised that before the next 25th of November (1683)
there would be no more Huguenots in Languedoc, and two
years later Louvois, in reporting his operations, said that
" twenty thousand * conversions ' had been made in the dis-
trict of Montauban alone."


A Huguenot Family

Amongst those who stoutly refused conversion at any cost
were Samuel de Pechels and his brother Jerome de Pechels, sons
of the last-mentioned Jean Horace. Jerome fled to Holland
and went on to Berlin, where he became Chaplain to the
regiment of Mousquetaires, commanded by the Due de
Schomberg.^ Samuel, who was born in 1644 and had married
in 1677 Mademoiselle Marquise Thierry de Sabonieres,- has
left us in manuscript his own description of the terrible perse-
cutions he and his family went through. The following is an
abridged and translated account taken from it. The original,
which is in French, is at Castle Goring.

"On the 20th of August 1685 the troops entered Mon-
tauban, and were quartered upon such of the inhabitants as were
of the Protestant faith. This was done with much tumult and
disorder ; officers and soldiers vied with each other in committing
acts of violence, with the full sanction of the magistrate, who
authorised the greatest excesses. All persons of the Reformed
Religion, without distinction of age, sex, or condition, were cruelly
oppressed by threats, blows and spoliation. . . . Upon the
twenty-sixth day of that month my house was rifled with such
barbarous zeal and cruelty that in a few days I was almost
stripped of the property which God had given me, and I was
thrust out into the street, with my wife, who was close to her
confinement, and four very small children, taking nothing with
me but a little cradle and a small supply of linen for the babe,
who was almost momentarily expected. As we left we were
pitilessly drenched by the troopers, who amused themselves at
the window with emptying pitchers of water upon our heads.

' It is not unlikely that his descendants still exist in Germany, and there
is or was of late years a scientific writer, Oscar Peschel, who published his works
at Leipzic.

* Madame Samuel de Pechels wa5 a daughter of Jacob de Thierry-Saboni^res,
by his wife Anne de Caila, and was born in 1655.


A Huguenot Family

I tried to complain to the Marechal de Boufflers, the General in
command at Montauban, but was given to understand that it
would be continued unless I changed my religion. That, I said,
by God's help, I would never do. For a long time we were
wandering through the streets, no one daring to offer us an
asylum, as the Ordinance imposed a fine of 400 or 500 livres
upon any who should receive Protestants, ... In this lament-
able plight the good Providence led us to the house of Madame
de Guarrison, my wife's sister, and hardly had my wife accepted
the bed she offered her than she was happily delivered of a
daughter; but that same evening a great many soldiers took
up their quarters in Madame de Guarrison's house, and con-
ducted themselves with a degree of violence scarcely to be
described. . . . They took possession of all the rooms, and
obliged the poor sick woman, my wife, to get up. She crept
into the courtyard, where with the new-born infant she was
detained in the cold for a long time. At length she got into the
street, but was followed by soldiers, who had orders never to
lose sight of her, in order that any persons with whom she
found a refuge might be made to pay the penalty. The good
Samaritan appeared in the form of a Catholic lady. Mademoiselle
de Lad a, who, being the mistress of Monsieur Berchere, the
Governor of Montauban, was able to get permission from him
to shelter my wife and her babe. This kind-hearted woman
sent her to a pleasure-garden not far from the town, whither
she had a bed conveyed, and four other persons accom-
panied Madame de Pechels. During her stay here Madame de
Pechels learnt that her husband, who had been imprisoned at
Cahors, was about to be removed to Marseilles, and that he
with other prisoners would pass not far from Montauban.
She therefore went and waited by the high-road, and when
they came up she obtained from the guard who was con-
ducting them permission to converse with him and they prayed


A Huguenot Family

Meanwhile, to continue M. de Pechels' account in his own
words, he says : —

" All my effects were sold or dispersed, including my library,
which was considerable, and all my papers. My farms were wasted
and my cattle sold by public auction in the square. The entire
dispersion of our property did not end our persecution, which
now fell on ourselves and our unfortunate family. Up to this
time we had dwelt together within the walls of Montauban ;
now we were soon scattered abroad. On the 14th January 1686
Monsieur Mabasson, the Consul, came into a house where some
of us had taken refuge and carried off my youngest sister,
dragging her with great violence to the Convent of St. Claire.
My dear mother was also conveyed there at the same time, and
the next day my sister Derassus was committed to prison. My
children were all taken from their mother, even the young
infant, and it was intended to commit my wife to prison, but
she managed to conceal herself for six months in the house of
a poor weaver who was devoted to the de Pechels family. All
day long his work was carried on in the only room which he
possessed, and Madame de Pechels passed the day in a recess
concealed by his bed ; in the evening she came out, and the
good people supplied her with what was necessary. Six months
were passed in this retreat without any one knowing what had
become of her. Her persecutors thought that she was safe in
some foreign land. It then became easier for her to find an
opportunity to escape. After many troubles and dangers she
arrived at Geneva, where regret at being separated from her
children detracted much from the satisfaction she otherwise
felt at her escape from persecution. She offered to the guide
who had conducted her what money she had left if he could
bring her one of them, and suggested the eldest girl Suzanne,
then nine or ten years of age, but the latter refused to go. She
and her sister Anne remained in the convent where they had
been taken and conformed to the Catholic reliorion, in conse-


A Huguenot Family

quence of which the family estates were settled on them, and
they both married. Suzanne became the wife of Monsieur
Andre de Saint-Sardos of Castel-Sarrasin, whose descendants
still live there. One of them, the Marquis de Saint-Sardos,
spent some time in England in 1777, when he became 'very
intimate with his English relations. He afterwards married
the heiress of the family of Mondenard, and assumed that
name in addition to his own. Anne de Pechels in} 1697
married Messire Louis de Cahuzac, avocat en la cour des aides ;
their son also, Louis de Cahuzac, was a well-known dramatic
writer much in vogue in Paris in the eighteenth century."

The infant born in the midst of such terrible troubles died
soon after it was deprived of its mother's care. There remained
Jacob, the boy of seven, and he earnestly entreated to be taken
to his mother. And accordingly the guide managed to convey
him, by travelling only at night, to Geneva, where Madame de
Pechels was maintaining herself by her work and waiting for
intelligence respecting her husband, whose further accounts of
his vicissitudes we will now continue in his own words : —

" I was taken from the prison at Montauban to Cahors, where
I was put into the lowest dungeon. I was then transferred to
the citadel of Montpellier, and shut up with many others in a
miserably small cell. After that I was conducted to Aigues-
Mortes, and there locked up with thirty male prisoners and
twenty women and girls, who had also been brought thither tied
two-and-two together. From Aigues-Mortes we sailed to
Marseilles, where 230 of us were put into a single compartment
in the Chamber of Darkness. We were then shipped with many
others for America. The misery we were in during our voyage
was great ; I knovv' not how to find terms strong enough
adequately to represent it. The space between decks in our
ship was divided into five compartments. At the poop was the
captain's and other officers' rooms ; the next was used by the


A Huguenot Family-
soldiers and sailors who guarded usj; the third was for our
prisoners ; then came that appropriated to the use of seventy sick
felons, Turks and Christians chained with heavy irons. These
unhappy men were despatched to America to be sold as slaves.
The compartment in which I was was so small that twenty
persons could scarcely move in it, and we were fifty-nine, heaped
upon each other without power to stand upright, the ceiling
being so low, or to lie down and stretch ourselves full length except
one upon another. This sorry den, moreover, was very dark,
admitting no daylight save through the hole by which we were
obliged to enter, and even this was often closed. The crowded
state of the room, the burning heat of the sun, the never-ceasing
fire of the kitchen next door, the pestilential filthiness which
prevailed among us, and the proximity of the galley-slaves,
who were in the same state as we were, devoured by swarms of
vermin which covered us day and night, tormented by excessive
thirst impossible to allay except by a few drops of foetid water,
the miserable diet distributed amongst us, all occasioned
grievous diseases to most of the prisoners during the whole
voyage, which lasted five months ! All this misery sufficed not
to satisfy our overseers, and they sometimes struck us and very
often threw down sea-water upon us from above when they saw
us engaged in prayer. When we reached St. Domingo the galley-
slaves were disembarked and sold on the spot, as well as some
sick persons of our own party. I and two ladies, Madame de
Raisin and Madame de Fouquet, were taken on to the little
island of Vacca, from whence after two months I managed to
escape, and made my way to the English island of Jamaica in
a little shallop of that generous nation which in its course
stopped at Vacca to water. Arrived at Jamaica I was seized
with violent illness accompanied by delirium. This left me quite
prostrate, but ultimately I was able to embark in a vessel for
London, which I reached on the 24th December. There I
expected to meet my wife, some of my children, and my mother


A Huguenot Family

and sisters ; but, alas ! instead of finding these great sources of
consolation, I learnt that the first was still at Geneva with one
of our boys, that the youngest had died, that my daughters
were unhappily well at Montauban, the eldest in the convent.
My mother and youngest sister both in prison. From the 24th
December 1688, I remained in London till the loth August of
the following year, when the Duke of Schomberg's Huguenot
Regiment of Cavalry left for Ireland, and I accompanied it with
the rank of lieutenant/ Four days after my departure my
beloved wife and son, from whom I had been separated for four
years, arrived in London from Geneva. Their surprise was
great at not finding me there, and my regret not less when
informed of their arrival that I had not deferred my journey
for a few days. We embarked for Ireland on the 25th of
August and landed between Carrickfergus and Belfast, two
small towns of that country. Next day the Duke, our General,
moved us in pursuit of the enemy, who were commanded by the
Duke of Berwick."

Samuel de Pechels, after describing the operations of King
William's army, says that his regiment remained stationary at
Dundalk for some time, where provisions were short and the
weather cold and rainy. In consequence disease soon made
its appearance, carrying off the men by hundreds. Ague,
dysentery, and fever raged, and de Pechels fell ill and was unable
to pursue the campaign further. After remaining for some
weeks at Lurgan to recruit his health, he obtained leave from
the Duke of Schomberg to return to London, where, after the
lapse of four years, he found his beloved wife. The fighting in
Ireland continued during the following year, 1690, but de Pechels

^ How little did Samuel de Pechels think, when he joined the Duke of
Schomberg's regiment, that one of his descendants would marry a descendant of
his General ; yet such was the case some years after, when Lady Caroline Kerr
married Horace Pechell.


A Huguenot Family

remained invalided and was unable to rejoin the army of King
William. He finished his narrative thus : —

"We reached London, thank God ! on the 4th January 1690.
After some stay there it was the King's pleasure to exempt from
further service certain officers specified by name and to assign
them a pension ; through a kind Providence I was included in
that number. I lived in London for two years and a half, and
then in 1692 left, in company with my wife and son, to remove
into Ireland, whither my pension was transferred."

This pension was only 2s. 6d. a day, but the de Pechels' means
of support were angmented by donations from their daughters
in France. Samuel de Pechels was now only forty-eight years of
age and his wife thirty-seven, and they lived on for forty years,
both dying in 1732. We know little of their life in Ireland,
but with their tiny means it must necessarily have been a very
quiet and uneventful one. Their names appear repeatedly in the
Registers of the French churches at Dublin as sponsors, witnesses
to marriages, and attendants at funerals.^

Samuel was eighty-eight when he died ; his wife survived
him some months, and she continued to receive the pension that
had been granted to him, which was regranted to her by Queen
Anne. They were buried together at St. Anne's Church, Dublin.

Samuel de Pechels lived to see his son Jacob make an
honourable career and become the happy father of a family. As
we have seen, he chose to follow the fortunes of his parents and
submit to their trials rather than give up his religion. He
arrived in Dublin with them in 1692, and shared their poverty
till he was eighteen, when he joined the Regiment of Cromstron
as Ensign and went to Holland. In 1706 he was in Spain, and

^ See Registers of the Conformed Churches of St. Patrick and St. Mary,


A Huguenot Family

was wounded at Almanza ; he then served in Flanders and
fought through the wars in the Lower Countries under Marl-
borough and Ligonier, gaining much credit as a gallant soldier.
When he returned to Dublin on half-pay, he was fortunate enough
to win the affections of a young lady of property as well as of
ancient lineage. Miss Jeanne Elizabeth Boyd, who became his
wife in 17 13-17 14, was the daughter of John Boyd of Bordeaux,
a grandson of William Boyd, ninth Earl of Kilmarnock, her
mother, Jeanne de Berchault, being the daughter of a Huguenot
refugee from La Rochelle. Owenstown in co. Kildare became
their home ; but Jacob de Pechels joined the i6th Regiment of
Infantry and continued on active service, rising to be Lieutenant-
colonel in 1739. His name was entered as " Pechell " at the
War Office, and the family patronymic has remained thus spelt
ever since Colonel Jacob Pechell died in 1750, aged seventy-two,
and was buried in St. Anne's Church, Dublin, near his father and
mother. After his death his widow went to live at Twickenham,
and whilst there she wrote in French a short narrative of the
persecutions suffered by the de Pechels, the pith of which is
embodied in the foregoing account. Mr. Jacob Pechell died in
1765, aged seventy-six, and was buried at Richmond Church,
Surrey. There are portraits of Jacob Pechell and his wife
as well as of his father and mother and other relatives at
Castle Goring in Sussex, now in the possession of the Somerset

Colonel and Mrs. Jacob Pechell had four children ; a
daughter Mary, who married Brigadier-General Caillaud of
Aston Rowant, Bucks, and died in 1808, aged seventy, and

^ Adelaide H. Pechell, second daughter of Sir George R. Brooke-Pechell,
married Colonel Alfred Somerset, succeeded to them at the death of her elder
sister, Lady Burrell.

177 M

A Huguenot Family

three sons, Samuel, George, and Paul Pechell. George, the
second one, was killed at Carthagena at the age of twenty-one ;
Samuel, the eldest, became Master of Chancery, and it was said
of him, " O that man ! if there were seeds of the old virtue left,
they live in him : ad unguem factus homo." His high sense of
honour and disinterested integrity was shown in the following
matter : Amongst his very great friends the Master of
Chancery counted the Marquise de Montandre, a daughter of
Baron de Spanheim, Ambassador Extraordinary at the Court of
Prussia. This lady's husband, Field-Marshal the Marquis de
Montandre, a descendant of the de la Rochefoucaulds, left
his fortune to his wife, and she in her will made Samuel Pechells
her residuary legatee, the sum which he thus became entitled
to inherit amounting to upwards of ^^40,000 ; but from the
dictates of a very highly sensitive conscience Mr. Pechell did
not feel it quite right that he should acquire so large a
fortune from a person to whom he was in no way related
(although he was such a very great friend of hers) until he had
ascertained that there were not any relations of the testatrix in
existence. He therefore collected all her effects and put them
into Chancery, in order that those who could make good their
claims by kindred to the Marquise might do so before the
Chancellor. Accordingly, one family from Berlin and another
from Geneva appeared, claimed, and obtained the whole of the

Samuel Pechell married twice. His first wife was Frances,
daughter of Fran9ois Gaultier, a Huguenot, and his second
Margaretta, daughter of Sir Thomas Pym Hales, Baronet. As
he had no children, it devolved upon his only surviving brother,
Paul, to carry on the Pechell family. Paul became a distin-
guished soldier, and was wounded at the battle of Lafeldt. In


A Huguenot Family

1797 he was created a Baronet by George III., and had in
consequence to be given English arms. Thus henceforward the
Pechell family dropped the " or, four eagles displayed," and
bore " Gules : a lion rampant " or on a chief of the Second
three laurel branches erect proper.

Sir Paul Pechell again improved the fortunes of the family by
marrying an heiress, Mary, only daughter of Thomas Brooke,
Esq., of Pagglesdon, Essex, who brought her husband
;/^ 1 00,000, and desired in her will that her eldest son, Thomas
Pechell, should assume the arms and name of Brooke in addition
to Pechell for himself and his issue. This Sir Thomas, who
married Charlotte, daughter of Sir John Clavering, had two
sons,^ both of whom were admirals and became successively third
and fourth Baronets. The latter had one son a Captain in the
77 th Regiment, who, after having received honourable mention
in the despatches, fell leading on his men to repel an attack
made by the Russians on the advanced trenches before Sebastopol
on the 3rd September 1855. This young officer was mourned
by all who knew him, and sorrow at his loss was expressed by
Queen Victoria, the Commander-in-Chief, and the whole of the
Light Division. A statue of him was erected by public
subscription, the work of Noble, and stands in the Pavilion at
Brighton, which borough his father represented in Parliament
for twenty- five years.

This ended the elder branch of the Pechells in the male line,
but Augustus Pechell, the second son of Sir Paul, carried on
the family, and was the progenitor of numerous descendants.
Amongst his grandsons were Sir George Pechell (father of the

^ Sir Thomas and Lady Brooke-Pechell must have been both very good-look-
ing, from the charming portraits of them at Castle Goring, by Hoppner, and Lady
Charlotte Bury in her "Journal" talks of the good looks of the sons.


A Huguenot Family

present Sir Samuel Brooke-Pechell) and the late Admiral
Mark Pechell, whose two brave sons ^ kept up the traditions
of the Pechell family by adhering firmly to their duty and
dying at their posts, leaving behind them unblemished reputa-
tions and everlasting regret.

^ Mark Horace Kerr Pechell and Charles Augustus Kerr Pechell, both
Captains in the King's Royal Rifle corps, killed in South Africa ; the former at
Glencoe, 20th October 1899, aged thirty-two, and the latter near Mafeking, 31st
October 1899, aged thirty. (See Appendix.)


t'lh'ltl VI*VAi I.

Captain iMakk Ki-.k-k I'l chi:i.i.

J^hoto. MAYALL

Captain Charles Kerr Pechell.


" What made thee haste to an untimely date ?
'Twas friendship, that deserv'd a better fate."

It seems hardly credible that, as late as the reign of William
the Third, the punishment for " aiding and abetting " the
carrying off of a young lady under age, although done with her
consent, should have been death, and still more curious that the
actual abductor should have been allowed to go literally (and
metaphorically) "scot free"; yet such were the facts in the
following case.

In November 1690 there lived in Great Queen Street,
London, Mary, the young daughter and heiress of Philip
Wharton, Warden of the Mint, by his wife, who was a daughter
of Richard Hutton of Goldesborough, Yorkshire. Her parents
were dead and she lived with an aunt, Mrs. Bierley, who pro-
bably, as the sequel shows, had designs on the girl's fortune of
;^50,ooo for her son. At this time she was only thirteen years
of age, but apparently very precocious, and Captain the Hon.
James Campbell, a younger son of Archibald, ninth Earl of
Argyll, determined to secure her as his bride. Accordingly he
persuaded some of his friends to lend him an helping hand.
Archibald Montgomery was one whom he pressed into his
service, and Captain Sir John Johnston, third Baronet of Caskieben,
was another. The latter had served in the army with Captain

Campbell, and had distinguished himself greatly in King


A Strange Miscarriage of Justice

William III.'s wars in Flanders, and fought also at the battle of
the Boyne ; and, besides being a gallant soldier, was an accom-
plished and amiable young man.

With the assistance of his friends, Captain Campbell carried
off Miss Wharton, and was married to her by a clergyman of
the Established Church at his lodgings, where the newly-married
pair remained for two days, the bride writing from there to her
aunt to say that everything had taken place with her own free
will and consent. This did not prevent her friends from
taking immediate steps against the abductors. Lord Wharton,
a near relation of the bride, had much influence with the King,
and a Royal proclamation was issued for the apprehension of
Captain Campbell and his abettors, a high reward being offered.
Captain Campbell managed to escape into Scotland, but Sir John
Johnston was betrayed by his landlord for ^^50 and brought to
London. He was tried at the Old Bailey and condemned to
death, although evidence was given by the clergyman and many
others that the bride was a very willing party to the transac-
tion. Notwithstanding the great application that was made,
both to the King and to the Whartons, all was of no avail,
and the unfortunate young man was hanged at Tyburn on the
22nd December 1690, in his twenty-seventh year. Just before
his death Sir John wrote to the clergyman who attended him as
follows : —

"Sir, — I think it not amiss as a dying man to give you
a short account of all my innocency. On Friday morning, being
the day she was taken away, about ten of the clock. Captain
Campbell and Mr. Montgomery came to my lodging with a
haunch of Venison. Mr. Montgomery told me it was to treat
Madam Bierley and the rest of the young ladies, and that he
would have Captain Campbell marryed to one of them this


Capt. SiK John Johnston, Third Hart., of Caskieben.

From an old Woodcut.

A Strange Miscarriage of Justice

night, and asked me if I would go and be a witness to it. I
told him it must be by consent or I would have nothing to do
with it. He told me that if he did not procure her consent he
would not meddle with it, and so we parted, he desiring me to
come and meet him at 6 of the clock at a coffee-house near his
lodging, which I did, and met Captain Campbell there, and some
time afterwards Mr. Montgomery came and called us to the
door and told us ' the business was done.' About 8 of the
clock Madam Bierley's coach came by and they went all away.
Captain Campbell called a coach and six horses and had us go in

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Online LibraryConstance Charlotte Elisa Lennox RussellThe rose goddess and other sketches of mystery & romance → online text (page 14 of 22)