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Assizes, in 1714, iSee ante, vol. I., p. 214

"Laval's History of the French Eeformation, Appen- f Braces, Bristows, &o.

2 w


Masslin, Esq. These unions occurring in the same year appear to have been hastened by the declining
.health of their father, as he died immediately after, in the year 1726.

This family possessed large estates in Guienne, in France, at Agenois. The title held by the head
of the family was Seigneur de Melromez, as stated in a MS. document entitled "Agreement to be
made, 9th Nov., 1570, between Noble Gerard de Geneste, Signeur de Melromez, of the town of Sar-
lat, so much in his name as being husband to Marguerite Paraiziare, living in the seigniorial house
of Melromez in Agenois ;" as also in another entitled, "Declaration of lands and lordships of Mel-
romez given to the King, 18th June, 1645, for the sake of his possessions in Guienne, to the Trea-
sury of France, by Jacob de Geneste, Lord of Melromez, and for the possession of the three-fourths
and the other one-fourth belonging to Gabriel de Geneste's father. ^ Of the several members of this
family, Louis alone adhered to the Reformed faith, thereby forfeiting his large estates at Beargues,
about five or six leagues from Cajare, from which he took the name Louis Geneste Pelras de Cajare.
After the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes he fled to Holland, and entered into the service of Wil-
liam, Prince of Orange, in whose army he held a commission, and whom he accompanied to England
and thence to Ireland, where he served in the regiment of Lord Lifford at the battle of the Boyne
and the other engagements of that time. After the pacification of Ireland he settled at Lisburn,
where he resided for some years. In 1724 he went to the Isle of Man, and remained there for seven
years ; but again returned to Lisburn with his family, consisting of two sons and a daughter ; namely,
Louis, Daniel, and Marguerite, the grand-daughter of whom was married to Jean Baptiste Shannon,
Esq., of Belfast, a lineal descendant of the celebrated Colbert. Louis Geneste was too far advanced
in years to undertake a journey to his native land, but his feeling of affection for it was still strong,
and he wrote to his younger brother (who had saved his life and property by recanting) to inform him
of his son's intention of visiting France. This led to an affectionate correspondence between them,
part of which is still extant. The letters from France are signed "Pelras." His eldest son settled
in the Isle of Man, and although he made many efforts to proceed to France, for ihe purpose of in-
quiring respecting his property, he was unable to accomplish it. However, after the Decree of the
National Assembly professing to restore their forfeited estates to Protestants, his son went to France
to prefer his claim ; but found many difficulties in the way. In June, 1792, he thus wrote to hi -
family : " All matters relative to the fugitive Protestants are enveloped in darkness, and the clerks
and persons attending at the different offices seem disinclined to draw aside the veil. Indeed it
appears to me, as well as to my friends here, on making the needful inquiries at the offices, that it is

g " Registry of the confiscated estates of the Religious Fugitives," in the Rue de Clerii, near the Gros Cheret.


their wish to suppress such nformation as would tend to throw light on the subject." Hoping, how-
ever, that he might be the means of " opening a door for the benefit of the heirs of Protestant refu-
gees, which, by the chicanery of those vipers in office, has been closely barred up, and that in direct
contradiction to the liberal terms of the Decree," he wrote to the President of the National Assembly,
mentioning the difficulties he had met with at the different offices, and his inability to obtain the
Table of Forfeited Estates, agreeably to the intention of the Decree, 19th Article. This letter was
transmitted to the Minister of Justice, and he subsequently wrote to that official himself, and then
waited on him, when he was received with politeness. The Minister apologised for the neglect of
his predecessors in office in not obeying the Decree, and mentioned that he had given orders for
printing the list of Forfeited Estates ; but that this being a voluminous document it would require a
fortnight to complete it : and, in the meantime, handed him a written order for access to the manu-
script. By means of this he was able to ascertain the situation of his father's estates ; and his anxiety
to visit them was so great that he left Paris for Bordeaux before the expiration of the fortnight, with
the assurance that the list would be forwarded to him. He had hardly reached Cajare when he was
arrested on suspicion of being a spy, and it was not until after a minute inspection of his papers and
letters of introduction that he was set at liberty. M. Pelras and his son, an Abbe, chanced to be present
during the examination, and to his great surprise the latter accosted him thus : " "We are your nearest
relations. The late M. Pelras of Cajare was brother to my father, and, consequently the same to
your grandfather, of whom I heard that he had left this country, as well as another brother." He
dined with the Abbe and met several of his nearest connections. " After dinner," he continues,
" the Abbe proposed going with me on the following day to Beargues, the ancient estate of the
family, a moiety of which was in possession of his father, and mentioned that the remaining part of
the paternal inheritance had been held by the late M. Pelras of Cajare, and, being sold by him, had
passed through several different hands. The Abbe promised to procure at Beargues (as they could
not be obtained elsewhere) every document I might require relating to the estate and family of my
ancestors. I accordingly arranged to accompany him ; but in the afternoon he excused himself, say-
ing his attendance in his parish was indispensably necessary, and that he was sorry it so happened.
I told him my time would not admit of any further delay, and that I must return the following
morning to Figeac on my way back to Bordeaux." At last, finding all endeavours to procure further
intelligence fruitless, he returned to England, and died there leaving many descendants, among whom
we may particularize the names of Stowel and Geneste, well known to the Christian world.


The estates of this family were situated in Gruienne, and the title borne by the head of the family
was that of Seigneur de Blaquiere. One individual settled in London, and became an eminent mer-


chant ; and his sons held a high position there. Another branch of the family was induced to settle
in Lisburn, in consequence oi the marriage of a M Jlle. de Blaquiere to John Crommelin, nephew to


Little more can be gleaned of the early history of the Perrin family than that they held large pos-
sessions in the fertile district of Nonere, in France. A few mutilated fragments of old French MS.
papers are all that now remain among its representatives in Ireland, and these afford but scanty in-
formation. The following passage translated from one of these would seem to indicate that the MS.
when complete had contained various interesting particulars. It commences thus : " In a sunny
vale, not far from the banks of the Garonne, surrounded by swelling hills, the first steps of the great
barrier between France and Spain, was situated a small and picturesque village. There was the re-
sidence of the Cure, there the village church, with its well-proportioned spire gracefully shooting to-
wards the sky ; while the residences of the villagers, clustering around, bore an appearance of neat-
ness and comfort which, at the epoch we are speaking of, the traveller would have elsewhere vainly
sought, for many a long mile through France. A little sparkling mountain stream danced gaily
down the main street, if indeed the expanse between the two rows of cottages could be called by that
name ; and at the middle of its course deepened into a pool, beside which, from a broad stone pedes-
tal, sprung a massive cross. It might be three o'clock, one Autumn day of the year 1725, that this
pedestal was occupied by a man of striking and impressive appearance. Above a massive forehead
waved long locks of silvery hair, the only covering it had ; the form was large and well-proportioned ;
the deep chest and broad shoulders indicated one whose earlier powers must have been of no common
order. He was speaking in grave, earnest, and, occasionally, impassioned tones, toagroupe of the vil-
lagers which was every moment increasing ; and he again and again referred to a small volume which
he held open in his hand, and from which he quoted long passages in a manner that showed he held
its words in deep reverence. That volume was the Bible ; the speaker was Delas the celebrated
Huguenot preacher. On one of his missionary journeyings he had reached and spent some days in
this remote district. Among the listeners was one whose wrapt and earnest attention was not less
striking than his personal appearance. He was in the vigour of early manhood, of thirty years, or
thereabout ; his form stalwart, yet lithe and graceful ; his black hair clustered under a small hunting-
cap, which from time to time he reverently touched, when a name or a word uttered by the preacher
claimed such an act of homage. His dress was that of an ordinary country gentleman of the age
and place ; the respectful bearing of the villagers towards him marked that his station was more ex-
alted than theirs ; while the air of proud afiection with which, from time to time, some aged sir*


among them gazed npon him, showed that the relation between them was not the too common one
of tyrant and slave. lie was indeed the representative of a family whose boast had always been the
love of their tenantry. Amongst all the traditions of the Comtes de Perrin scarce was there a mur-
mur of ill-will or strife subsisting between them and their retainers ; while many noble deeds of self-
devotion on the one part are related from the time when all his band fell one by one around the pro-
strate corpse of the old crusading lord, which they unanimously refused to leave, as still recorded in
the great tombstone dedicated to their memory, in the churchyard ; and on the other part of uncal-
culating munificence, and of resolute resistance to every invasion of their rights by King, or Church,
or neighbouring Seigneur. Everything bore witness to the unbroken traditionary love, handed down
on both sides from sire to son as their most precious heir-loom. Yes, such was the station, such
were the advantages, which to thy ardent soul, in its pursuit of truth, weighed but as dust in the
balance, ! Louis Perrin, when, resigning rank and honours and wealth, thou wentest forth from
thy ancestral home, and cheerfully became a penniless exile : amid the scorn of the worldling and
the wonder of the careless, thou, and all thy house in thee, bade an eternal farewell to the land to
whose glories they had contributed, and whose" ****** [Here the ma-
nuscript becomes illegible]

It appears from some fragments of the Comte du Perrin's correspondence that many enticements
were held out by the King to induce him to change his religion ; but all without efifect. An unre-
lenting persecution then commenced, to which he makes frequent allusion in his letters : one of his
friends was sentenced to the galleys for three years. He at length contrived to escape from France,
and settled in Lisburn for several years ; subsequently removing to Waterford. His descendants
have become honoured members of the Irish Bar. One of the family was long known as an excel-
lent French teacher in Lisburn, and the author of a good grammar of that language.


The Guillots were officers in the navy of Louis XIV., but, being driven from France by the reli-
gious persecutions, escaped into Holland, where they were kindly received by the Prince of Orange,
and presented with commissions in his navy. On more than one occasion they performed important
services. Some members of the family settled in Lisburn, and two of the ladies married eons of
Samuel Crommelin, brother of Louis.

Another family, named Jellett, which resided for many years near Moira, (a few miles from
Lisburn,) is also of French extraction, but of difierent origin from the Guillot family above mentioned :
having settled in Ireland previous to 1685. The first of the name of whom the present representa-


tives have any record is William Jellett, who was born in England about 1632, and settled at Dro-
more Co. Down, before 1687; in which year he married the daughter of Captain James Morgan, one
of Cromwell's aides-de-camp, a Welsh settler from Garth, in the parish of Llandovery, in Caermar-
thenshire, and proprietor of Tully-ard, in the County of Down. It is thought possible that he may
have been a relative of the Protestant clergyman of the same name who preached in the Cathedral
of Durham in 1656, on which occasion there appears a charge in the Church Books of three shilhnga
" for sack for Mr. Jellett." [See Quarterly Eeview, January, 1829, p. 386.] A little incident
which occurred while King William III. was at Hillsborough, may be mentioned in connection with
t\ie Jellett family settled at Moira. Being Protestants living in a district surrounded by Roman Ca-
tholics, Mr. Jellett the elder being then in feeble health, and his son probably serving in the army
under Sir Greorge Rawdon, his wife presented herself to King William., and requested him to leave
her two soldiers as a protection to her house. The King received her graciously ; but, perceiving
a great tankard, of fully a quart measure, attached to her girdle, he humorously asked for an ex-
planation. He was informed that this vessel was one highly prized in her family, and handed down
as an heir-loom, being formed of " blood-stone," mounted in silver-gilt, and believed to be of great
efficacy in curing haemorrage ; and that she was afraid to leave so valuable an article behind during
her absence. His Majesty thereupon calledforwine,filled the tankard, and drank the lady 'shealth: then
presented it to her to drink to his success, and afterwards kindly granted herrequest. The two soldiers
accompanied her home, with orders to remain until required ; but, as they never were called on, they
eventually became settlers on the property, and were long the only Protestants there. The tankard
is still preserved, and in the possession of the Rev. John H. Jellett, F.T.C.D. it had no doubt been
brought from Wales along with the Morgan family, A Captain Henry Jellett served in General
Monk's army in Ireland, in 1642, and was one of three who were deputed by the General Officers of the
army to demand from Monk his reasons for not signing promptly the " Solemn League of Covenant"
which had already been signed by all the officers but himself. One of the originals of this League
and Covenant, now in the Belfast Museum with a number of signatures attached, was presented to
that institution by the late Morgan Jellett, Esq., ^ and was believed by him to have come into the
possession of his family through this Captain Jellett.

In England there are numerous families who write their name Gillett, and Gillot, all of French
extraction : the former at Glastonbury, Exeter, and Banbury, the latter at Birmingham and Shef-
field. It is probable that these names, as well as Jellett and Guillot, have all been originally the
same, namely, Gillot, the diminutive of Gilles, the French form of Giles.

'' In a MS. autobiography of this gentleman he men- apprenticeship in 1785 to a solicitor in Lisburn, the boys
tions a little trait of his youthful days, illustrative of wore hair-powder and a cue !
the manners of the time. When he went to serve hia



The family of De Saurln resided in Languedoe, and was strongly attached to the Reformed church,
ranking among its members many individuals distinguished for their piety and learning. At an early
period we find them taking a prominent part in the affairs of the church, the names of two appearing
in the Synod Roll of Alengon, viz., Saurin, pastor of Aymarques, and Peter Saurin, pastor of
Uxeaux. The branch of the family settled in Ireland derives its origin from the noble Charles de
Saurin, of Calvission, in the Diocese of Nismes, who served for a long time in the army. lie had
two sons, John and James. ' The eldest, John, was page to the Constable de Montmorency, Maitre
de Camp of a regiment of Infantry, and subsequently appointed Governor of the Castle of Sommieres
by Letters Patent dated at St. Germain's, the end of October, 1597. He left three sons, Antoine,

N , and Daniel. " The eldest succeeded his uncle, James, in the governorship of the town of

Sommieres, and his appointment was accompanied by a letter from the Constable and the Due de
Vandadour, expressing their high sense of his father's merits. He left two sons who embraced the
military profession, and died without issue : and three daughters, two of whom became nuns, and

the third married. N de Saurin became Captain of the Guard to the Due de Royan, and was

kiUed in the service, leaving a very young son who settled at Nismes, and went to the Bar. He be-
came an advocate of great reputation, and a member of the Royal Academy of Nismes. He had
three sons Jacques, Louis, and a third (name unknown) who became Captain of Cavalry, in
the service of England. The father, notwithstanding his high position in Nismes, retired to Geneva
at the first outbreak of the " Revocation," where he died. Jacques Saurin, his eldest son (born at
Nismes 1677) entered, at the age of fifteen, a regiment raised by the Marquis De Ruvigny, for the
service of the Duke of Savoy, then engaged in the European coalition against Louis XIV,, and on
that prince's defection retired to Geneva ; where, having resigned a profession for which he never
was designed, he resumed his theological studies, under the direction of the celebrated Turretin

' James, after the death of his brother, was appointed Duchess de Montmorency - and he was so influenced by
in 1601 to the same offices which he had held. On re- their solicitations to change his religion that he subse-
signing the Governorship he retired into Lorraine, and quently returned to France from Lausanne and em-
there occupied several offices of distinction. Ilewasde- braced the Roman Catholic faith. He performed the
puted by the Duke on a mission to the Court of France duties of an Abbi- for some time, but was obliged by
to negotiate some important matters. He liad two sons, weak health to relinquish the office. lie went to Paris
who were both captains of cavalry, and lost th.oir lives "where his bright parts, and his gi'eat skill in Natural
at the battle of Seness. His widow inherited all his pro- Philosophy and Mathematics procured him a pension
perty, and subsequently married the Marquis of Cour- from the King, and a place in the Koyal Academy of
celles. _ _ Sciences. He is partly the author of the elegant and

J Daniel de Saurin was a Minister, and it is probably learned Journal of Paris." [Dubourdieu's Appeal, p.

his name that appears in the Synod of Alengon. He had 144.] He was frequently employed by the King in

two sons and a daughter, who were educated in the Ke- secret negociations with the Princes of Germany I'uring

formed faith. Louis, the eldest, received his education one of his journies in Italy he was received into the

at the Academy of Saumur : but, after the Revocation Academy of Padua: he was also a member of the Royal

of the Edict of Xantes, having occasion in his flight from Academy of Nismes. He wrote sevei-al French poems,

France to pass through Moulins, he could not resist the among the rest one addressed to the Dauphin on the

desire of calling to see his rel.tions there, two of whom Campaign of l(J9'd.
had become nuns, and at the same time of visiting the


Pictet and others, he soon became distinguished for his oratorical powers. Numbers flocked to hear
him and on one occasion it was found necessary to throw open the cathedral to accommodate the
crowd that pressed for admission. On receiving orders, he was nominated Minister to the French
Protestant Church in London, and here, taking the celebrated Tillotson as his model, he perfected
the admirable talents bestowed on him by nature. It was then perhaps, that Abbadie '' having heard
him for the first time, exclaimed : " Is this a man or an angel who speaks !" After five years' re-
sidence in England he was summoned to the Hague with the title of " Minister Extraordinary" to
the French community of nobles, and preached there with immense success, in the chapel belonging
to the Prince of Orange. He possessed all the qualifications of a great orator and preacher, exten-
sive knowledge, fervour of imagination, powerful argument, and luminous arrangement of thoughts,
with a purity of style, which, combined with the physical advantages of a noble countenance, and a
sonorous and thrilling voice, rendered him one of the most remarkable men of his time, and attracted
crowds of enraptured auditors. His sermons, some of which have been published, abound with the
noblest specimens of modern eloquence. Among his admiring hearers were the Prince of Orange,
and the Princess of Wales, afterwards Queen Caroline. So deeply impressed was the latter with his
character and his abilities that on her return to England she ordered Dr. Boulter (preceptor of
Prince Frederick, father of George III.) to write to him, with a request that he would draw up a
treatise on "the Education of Princes." This work was prepared, though never printed; but the
author received a handsome donation from the Princess, and afterwards a pension from George II.,
to whom he dedicated a volume of sermons. He died in 1730.

Louis Saurin, second son of N. de Saurin, and brother of the celebrated Jacques, also entered the
church. He became Dean of St. Patrick's, Ardagh, in March l'^26, and also Chanter of Christ's
Church, Dublin. Previous to his leaving France he had married a daughter of the Comte de la
Bretonniere, a Norman Baron, and had a son and four daughters. He died in 1749, in Dublin.

James Saurin, his son, became a Minister of the established church, and was appointed Vicar of
Belfast in June 1747, where he continued for 26 years. His memory was so respected that, 50 years
afterwards, when St. George's Church, (Belfast) was being built, ' the workmen engaged in making
the foundations, on meeting with their former pastor's grave, arched over his remains, which now rest
under the communion-table. He married a Mrs. Dufi", and left four sons, Louis, Mark Anthony,
William and James : of these only the two latter have left issue, viz., the Bight Hon. William
Saurin, and James, late Lord Bishop of Dromore.

k James Abbadie was born at Nay, in Beam, in 1654. Dean of Killaloe. in Ireland. He afterwards returned

He was educated by the distinguished La Tlucette, and to London, and died in 1727, at Maryle-bone, at the ago

afterwards studied at the University of Sedan, whence of 75.

he went to Holland and Germany, where his fame as a 'St George's church was built on the site of the old

divine led to his appointment as Minister of the French parish church of Belfast, which was taken down in 1775,

Church at Berlin. In 1690 he came to England, and as being unfit for public worship ; the ground on which

aftr officiating for some time in London, was appointed it stood had been converted into a burning- place.


The Right Hon. Willliara Saurin was born in 1758, received his early education at the school of
the Rev. Mr. Dubourdieu (in Lisburn), and entered Trinity College, Dublin, in 1775, where he ob-
tained the highest academic distinctions. In 1780 he was called to the Irish Bar; but for several
years experienced the fortune of many able men whose "moral and intellectual tendencies being strictly
professional withheld them from all irregular and indiscreet short cuts to notice." It was during
this interval that he married Mary, relict of Sir Richard Cox, Bart., niece of the late, and sister of
the present. Marquis of Thomond, by whom he had a large family. The marriage took place in
1786. He was engaged in the election contest in the County of Down, in 1790, when Lord Castle-
reagh was one of the candidates ; and he made his debut on behalf of Mr. Ward, another candidate,
in so successful a manner as to obtain at once a reputation for ability. He was soon extensively em-
ployed, and he rose steadily to the highest professional distinction. In 1796 he was elected, by the

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