Sidney Perley's classic "History of Salem, Volume 3" contains this chapter about Huguenots coming to Salem in the 1680s, probably seeking employment with Philip English, the wealthy merchant.

Perley resigned his position with the Essex Institute in 1926 because of a dispute as to the date of the city's founding.

Of interest are the English names; i.e. "John", instead of "Jean" and "James Thomas", a self-described Frenchman and a good Captain, rightfully concerned with the welfare of his crew.

Gov. Andros  was himself from  Guernsey,  one of the  Channel Isles. Appointed by the King Jmes II, he came with force in 1686, but by his own tyranny, he was so unpopular that when the colonists discovered in 1689 that William and Mary had come to the throne, they jailed him, in a preview of the Revolution of 1776. He escaped twice, once getting as far as Rhode Island, but he was captured and sent back to England. Andros went on to become Governor of Virginia in 1692.

Also, Stephen Sewell makes an appearance as one of the appraisers, to estimate the ship's worth.




       The word Huguenot first appeared in France about the middle of the sixteenth century,—being a term of reproach,—oath comrades or confederates. From the Catholic church they came out as followers of Calvin, being a minority of the religious people of that country, and of course an unpopular class. They had the simpliest Christian faith, happiest when least observed and their faith purest when least developed. Under the supremacy of the Catholic church, these Protestants had little freedom in civil life, and many left the country. Their farms became ruined and business lessened. The government was wise to the conditions of the country, and, in 1598, passed the edict of Nantes. Its effects were as advantageous to the Catholic as the Protestant; people returned to the country, and prosperity resumed.
       The Protestants began to organize churches in 1655, the first being established at Paris, and soon afterwards in fifteen other communities. When these churches began to be formed and edifices built, the edict received repeated modifications with lessening favor to the Protestants. The Huguenots could no longer accumulate property nor educate their children, and they were interested in a simple republican form of government, which most of the French people did not wish. The Protestants grew in piety and purity as the political arena was closed to them. In t66o, there were about two million Huguenots,—the best, most enterprising and able, and the thriftiest citizens in the land.
       In 1685, the edict of Nantes was revoked, and this was the end of the civil rights and freedom of conscience of all Huguenots in France. By the revocation of the edict, all Protestant places of worship were demolished, all such religious services were forbidden and all children were ordered to be baptized in the parish churches. Hundreds of the people were slain or sent to the galleys for life, and the rest conformed, escaped or disappeared. To them, there was no safety. This persecution was one of the greatest mistakes of the government. By it, France lost its greatest and best merchants and commerce, and increased greatly ignorance and poverty among its people.
       In secrecy, thousands left the country as they could find or make occasion, and went to England, West Indies and to the American colonies of the English, with neither money nor education, and lived among people whose language was strange to them. The great enjoyment they found in New England was freedom to a hitherto unknown degree.
       The French possessions in America (Nova Scotia, etc.), called La Cadie  (Acadia)  were settled by  the  French  in  1604,  and,  in   1633.  the



Protestants were excluded from that region. From that time, thousands of them carried into the Massachusetts Bay Colony their industrial skill, intelligence and genuine moral worth.
       By way of its commercial relations with the Isle of Jersey, in the British Channel, which belonged to Great Britain, Salem was well known to the French there as early as 1660; and subsequently a number of persons from that island established themselves here, Philippe d’Anglois (Philip English), John Touzell, Jean Le Brun (John Brown), Nicholas Chevalier, Peter Morrall, John Vouden, Edward Feveryear, Mary Butler, Rachel Dellaclose, the Valpys, Lefavors, Beadles, Cabots and others, being natives of Jersey. Most of the population of Jersey and Guernsey were of French descent and spoke a French dialect and were principally of the persecuted Protestants.
       In 1662, a body of French Protestants who had been expelled from the city of La Rochelle, in France, petitioned the governor and magistrates of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. for liberty to settle here.
       Philip English, who became a wealthy merchant in Salem, brought from Jersey a number of young men and women. The Huguenots found in him their greatest friend.
       In 1682, a few fugitives found their way hither in such a state of destitution that it appealed powerfully to sympathy. The governor and council of the Bay Colony informed the churches that “several French Protestants have fled hither for shelter by reason of the present sufferings in their country.” They came recommended by known persons of eminent integrity in London. The next Thursday after this informattion was received was a general fast, and ministers were requested to take up collections in the afternoon of that day.
       Salem was not slow to show its compassion towards these immigrants, and, in September, 1686, a considerable sum was collected, and passed over to the council. On the twenty-seventh of that month, the council ordered that “the money lately gathered at Salem by way of contribution for the poor distressed French Protestants be returned thither for the necessary support of the French lately arrived there and to be distributed according to discretion.”1
       October 26th following, Mr. Willard was paid by the town eight shillings for a barrel of beer given to the French people; and on the twenty-first of the next month there was a contribution for them.
       Their church services, though modified, were somewhat objectionable to the Puritans,  though they  failed to  qualify the   cordial  regard  they had for the

       1 Massachusetts. Archives, Council Records, 1686 and 1687, page 79.



French exiles.  “ 'Tis my hope,” said Cotton Mather, “that the English churches will not fail in respect to any that have endured hard things for their faithfulness to the Son of God.”
       But these refugees needed assistance only temporarily, as their habits of industry and thrift enabled them, in a free country, to soon provide for their wants.
       Among these people from La Rochelle who came to Salem was Pierre Baudouin, who sprang from one of the most ancient and important families of that place. He went first to Ireland and took refuge in Dublin. He secured a position in the royal customs, but soon came to Salem.
       To New York in 1686, and from thence to Boston, in the fall of 1687, came a number of these French from the Island of St. Christopher, in the West Indies. With them came David de Bonrepose, who was their minister, and continued to serve them in New York and Boston. M. de Bonrepose’s brother, Elias de Bonrepose, a merchant, and the latter’s family came with him. Elias came to Salem and bought a house and some land in an excellent location, on the southwesterly side of Central Street, opposite Hardy Street, in Peabody. One of the company in Boston wrote that their number was fast diminishing, as they were moving out into the country. He wrote as follows: “There are several French families here, that have bought habitations already improved from the English and have obtained them on very reasonable terms. M. de Bonrepose, our minister’s brother, has purchased one at a distance of fifteen miles from this place, and within one league of a very pretty town, having a considerable trade, which they call Salem, for sixty-eight pistoles of ten livres of France each. The house is very pretty, and was never built for fifty pistoles. There are seventeen acres of land, completely cleared, and a small orchard"1 M. de Bonrepose sold his place and removed from Salem Jan. 28, 1691. He had petitioned Governor Andros for naturalization.
       Sept. 9, 1687, the ship John, James Thomas, commander, from France, fleeing from persecution, arrived in the harbor of Salem. Leaving that country secretly, the vessel came without due papers, and was thereupon seized by the customs authorities here. Captain Thomas, himself a Frenchman, notified the authorities of the facts and requested that the vessel be formally taken and disposed of, that the seamen might receive their pay. The officials were not in a hurry to do so, and the vessel rode at anchor in “the Road of Salem” eleven weeks before appraisers were appointed. The appraisers were John Price, Thomas  Gardner   and   Stephen  Sewall,   merchants.    They  were  sworn  by

       1Probably written from Boston in the winter of 1687.



Bartholmew Gedney two days later. The vessel, called a bark, with its tackle was valued at thirty pounds. The following is a copy of the petition of Captain Thomas:—

To his Excellency Sr Edmond Andros Knt
Captain Generall and Governour in Chiefe of his
Majesties Territory and Dominion of New-England
       The Petition of James Thomas Comander of the Ship John
Humbly Sheweth—
       Whereas yor Petr with severall passengers brought in sd Ship for sake of their Religion to avoid the great persecution against the Protestants in France were necessitated to Leave the said Kingdom to seeke out a place where they might live in peace in the free exercise of their Religion according to a good conscience, and being encouraged by severall of their Friends that they would be received and bid welcome in this Country, accordingly resolved to come, and upon the ninth day of September instant arrived at the port of Salem, not comeing upon a designe of Trade, but onely flying for shelter from the sd persecution and on the fourteenth of the same month the said Ship John was seised, and is still continued under the said Seizure. Yor Petr humbly prayeth that yor Exey would be pleased to order a Speedy Tryal to be made of the sd Ship, and if thereupon Judgement should be given against her, That yor Excellency would be so kind and favourable, upon consideration had of the premifses) as to remit the parts that wilt belong unto his Majesty and yor Excellency, the Ship being but of inconsiderable value, that so there may be something wherewith to pay the Seamen some part of their wages and yor Petr may be inabled to procure some releife for himselfe and to live in a time of such great distrefs.—
And yor Petr as in duty bound shall
for ever pray for yor Excys happinefs
and prosperity.—
Boston: 24th Septembr 1687. J THOMAS1

       1Massachusetts Archives, volume II, page 41.

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