- (Swiss Crommelin Branch)
Dates: 1647 - 1694
Pierre-Etienne Crommelin (1647 Saint Quentin -1694 Lausanne), was a tradesman in Lyon where he married his wife, Francoise Signoret. They had eight children: Adrien, Suzanne, Francoise, Pierre, Marc-Antoine, Etienne, Antoine and Jean-Martin.
Adrien, raised in Saint Quentin since his early age, married a daughter of M. Rohart, lawyer, with whom he had a son and a daughter. He was a linen merchant.
Marc-Antoine became the 'patriarch' of the India, English, Australia, New Zealand and South African branches of the family.
His son, Pierre (1683 Lyon - 1739 Geneva) fled to Lausanne and later became a pastor in Geneva and a Geneva citizen. According to "France Protestante" Pierre was taken by his mother to Lausanne in 1697 following the revocation of the "Edict of Nantes". He came to Geneva in 1700 (age 17) and was registered in the "Livre du Recteur" on 24th December 1700 as student in philosophy and theology, and on 8th June 1702 continued with theology. He received his school certificate on 24th December 1706. Being a Minister of the Gospel, he was allowed into the Geneva Bourgeoisie at the cost of 3000 florins 10 ecu for the library, and a rifle plus game bag for the Arsenal. He was elected pastor in Dardagny in 1711, in Cartigny 1712, in Saconnex 1716, in Geneva City 1718. Thereafter he became Professor in Eloquence and Belles-Lettres (Literature) in 1719 and rector of the Academy between 1727-1731.
After his death in 1739, the Moderator at the Conseil (government) spoke the following words: "Pierre's death is a great loss for the Church and for the Académy, where he was one of the principal assets. He spent all his time for the well-being of his students to have them develop clear and unambiguous ideas. He was an honest person, liked everything to be in good order, and maintained a profound reverence for the Conseil. If anything may have hastened his demise, it would have been the sadness he felt as a result of our present problems".
[Either Pierre or his son, Jean-Pierre, was a friend of Voltaire, as Isaac-Mathieu C. mentions in his Memoirs.]
Source: [see pp 123-124]
Jean-Pierre (1716-1768), Pierre's son (Pierre-Etienne's grandson), distinguished himself in Geneva as a minister of state to the French Court. Jean-Pierre was Honorary Professor in civil history from 1739 to 1751, then member of the CC until 1752, Lord of the Manor of Peney until 1754, member of the XL until 1764, Minister of the Republic at the French Court between 1763-1768, where - upon his death - he was succeeded by Jacques Necker (initially Geneva banker, later Finance Minister of France and father of the renowned author Madame de Staël). The Conseil (Government) expressed their satisfaction at various occasions about the way J-P handled a number of delicate matters (in particular the way how he managed to reinstate the good name of Jean Calas in 1765) and about the useful services he had provided to the Republic. After his death he had a gold medal passed to his sister Elisabeth, his heiress.
During his 6 years as Chargé d'Affaires of the Republic in Paris, having succeeded M. Sellon in this capacity, J-P had regular correspondence with the Geneva Council on several subjects. [This correspondence is available at the Geneva State Archives.] Here is just a short (and incomplete) summary of some of the issues that were discussed:
- 1763: L'église et le curé de Burfin; les contacts avec M. le Duc de Graslin (une 'affaire d'état'?) - In a letter of 5th August 1763 J-P wrote: "Je vous rend bien des graces de votre obligente attention à informer M. de Roeij et M. de Voltaire de ce que ce qui se passe....etc.). (Thus Voltaire must have been a friend or acquaintance of J-P.)
Also, in a post-scriptum to a letter of 24th August 1763, J-P wrote: "Vous devriez bien dire à la Chancellerie de se servir de pour les mémoires et enveloppes, de papier fin, au lieu de leur carton, qui double les ports, bien inutilement..." (This shows remarkably well the thriftiness of the Crommelins throughout the centuries...)
- 1764: Liberté des Paysages (ecclésiastique), les dîmes pour le curé de Moëns, transport du sel, difficulté avec la Poste de France, Edit du Roi: concernant la libération des dettes de l'état.
- 1765: Dîmes pour le pays de Gex, la mort du Dauphin, Edit du Roi: concernant le renvoi des Suisses: ".....Pour le renvoi des Cent-Suisses de la garde de sa Majesté, Suisses de douze et apartemens, Suisses employés dans les Chateaux, maisons, jardins et bâtiments de sa Majesté, Suisses de portes et autres du canton de Schwitz, qui vont actuellement dans le Royaume......"
- 1766: Lettres concernant la Médiation, nomination de stenpotentiaires (?), les affronts intérieures
- 1767: Interdiction de commerce avec la France, mémoire de Theodore Billet intitulé "Projet de Conciliation", actions des Répresentants, interception du Conseil auprès M. le Duc de Choiseuil.
- 1768: Lettres de J-P (et son successeur, M. Necker) au projet de Conciliation, les exigences de Répresentants, déces de la Reine. Dernière lettre de J-P (to give some flavor of the times): "...Cependant, le jour que je quittai St. Gobain, pour venir ici, qui était le 21 juin, j'écrive de nouveau, soit pour recommander la diligence, soit pour prier qu'on m'adresse la réponse ici. A propos des lettres, souvenez-vous, s'il vous plait, Monsieur, quand vous serez dans le cas d'écrire sur le mort de la Reine, de ne point faire de lettres pour M. Le Dauphin, on ne lui écrit point, et le Ministre m'a averti qu'il supervisait celles que vous lui avait adressé, à M. et Mme La Dauphine."