Frederic de Coninck Letters
Translation Project

Frederic wraps up his business affairs in Hamburg; Frederic proposes to Marie Camin;
Rachel Tacquelet blesses Frederic's engagement; concerns about gifts;
Marie Camin is embroiled in an inheritance dispute

1685 Timeline

[As this year begins, Frederic de Coninck is nearing the end of the long period he spent working in Hamburg, Germany. He's 24 years old and on his way home to Rouen, France. When the religious persecution intensifies, he later flees to England to stay with his uncle, Daniel Crommelin, at Greenway Court, Kent. As a young man he is in transition occupationally while fleeing persecution and looking for a new place to settle with a view to marriage and starting a family.]


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Hamburg, Germany
2 January 1685

Mademoiselle Marthe Duval [In Rouen. She is the wife of his younger brother, Jean de Coninck]

I well received the letter which it pleased you to honor me with

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on November 29. I am obliged to you and thank you for all your kindness and friendship that you express toward me. I will be eternally obliged. Please graciously continue your friendship, then, certain that I have it, I will consider myself happier than I am. As for me, you can be entirely sure and believe that it will always be my pleasure to esteem you as highly as anyone in the world.

I'm surprised that my brother [Jean de Coninck], your husband, didn't write me. I proposed making a trip with him which I would have much enjoyed. This is what causes me to remain here longer than I want to because I'm obliged to wait for two or three friends with whom I hope to leave in ten or twelve days if everything goes according to plan.

When mademoiselle M. (likely 'Mayon', Marie Camin) gives you this letter, please give her my love. I wish you this new year all that one can desire to make a person entirely happy. I pray God that He gives you a happy delivery. [This refers to the upcoming birth on 25 February 1685 of Catherine de Coninck, Frederic's niece 'Catin', who would become an orphan at a very early age.] I'll hurry as much as possible in order that I may assist at the baptism thereafter. Be assured that I will be overjoyed. I haven't spoken to my brother not knowing where he is.


January 3, 1685 - Letter #91 from Mother at Le Havre to Frederic who is in Hamburg, Germany.

My very dear son,

Yesterday I received your letter of 22 December and see that you sent your older brother [Francois de Coninck] your bill to receive the instalment on your account. He thus gave it to me and told me that it was important. Getting it will go quickly enough but there is danger in pressing it too much. This isn't something that can be done right away. I can bring it to a satisfactory outcome one way or the other and undoubtedly he'll bring it to you.

On my last trip I wanted to square up with him. In his receipt he made reservations thus always leaving the door open for future complaints. Thus we didn't want to accept it. My son, you yourself complain, and I also, but I wouldn't say a word if I had the strength. Then it pleased God that he reduced me to the state where I am now, depriving me of the means to do the deeds of gratitude to you which I would do gladly - if I had the strength, and of that which afflicts me. But my dear son, God is all powerful. He will lift me up if He finds it appropriate. You know the inclinations I have for you, and which I will continue to have, if it pleases God to give me time.

It's true that God afflicted me again by the loss of our vessel which all agreed was sound. It was lost by those of the consortium. Several vessels were considered redundant because of the bad times and those of the consortium pulled the above so that it was necessary to downsize, and our poor vessel was the unfortunate victim. We flatter ourselves to think that we will be alright and that, God willing, there will be peace with Spain. The captain holds to that, and Mr. Oursel is ready to leave for Bayonne but the weather is so hazardous and so full of snow that he's at a loss whether to go by sea or on the ground. His friends give him no advice and he's in a big quandry because he needs to be at Bayonne and le Havre both at the same time. Because the season is advancing he has to do work on a ship that he bought and when the offer on your account comes, receive it if you are wise, and then if you want, take a share in the vessel yourself along with Mr. Oursel - perhaps 1/4 or 1/8 as he sees fit. Even 1/8 is enough to begin. If that succeeds, you can take as much in another. I assure you that Mr. Oursel will assist you in everything as much as he is able. Then you can write to your brother [Francois] that he doesn't have to hurry so much.

Touching now, my dear son, on the declaration that you made me about your proposal to Miss Mayon Camin [Marie Camin] which takes me by surprise. I had no idea that you had done it so quickly. Although you had indicated that you had some interest in her, it seemed somewhat superficial. I know that she is a wise and honest girl, but it's necessary to wait for these matters to settle. It's true that these affairs are beginning to get under control, but they still serve as an interruption for us. I told her that it's necessary to press her aunt more so she can help settle the debt. It's true that she married her husband hastily, but you, my son, give it some thought. Inevitably things will go wrong with Mr. Camin. Besides you will take a wife without the means to help you live and you will attract lawsuits. In the end, my dear son, I am quite dismayed and I can't find anything appropriate to write her. Write her that she ends it as soon as she can [a quarrel with her aunt over an inheritance], and that she takes the advice of someone like your dear sister who can help. I asked her to inquire of Mr. Camin, not only to know what goods she had...[incomplete]


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Hamburg, Germany
January 9, 1685

Madame Catherine Crommelin

Your letter of the 3rd of this month grieved me to the core. I expected more consolation from you in the situation I find myself in. I thought I had expanded enough on what I wrote you regarding the understanding I have with Miss Mayon. Mother, I wish to say that it's a done deal and that it will be accomplished. Should I die a thousand deaths, it must be done.

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I will marry her even with ten times more lawsuits than she has now. I will uphold these lawsuits against whomever they may be. Forgive, my very dear mother, my fit of anger. I always will have nothing but great respect for you and will never do anything against your wishes, but also from your side please help me and be a good mother. I was rather displeased that you didn't accord me the courtesy I requested which was to write to my sweetheart. Please, I ask you once more, for the love of God, write her and express to her all the tenderness that a mother can have for her child. Having done that you will restore my life and put my spirit at rest. Although I made an accord with her, this is not to say that I won't have patience if it is necessary to have it. I will only advance things in an orderly manner. Please don't refuse what I ask and give me a response, please, at Anvers. Address your letter to the home of aunt de Coninck. She wrote me and I'll write her today to please keep the letters she'll be getting for me. I'll stay there for only one or two days.

One is for my 'boss' [Robert Oursel Sr.] to whom I have sent a proxy in favor of my brother. He didn't want to talk to me about it. I didn't give him [Francois] any instructions to pursue the thing rigorously. I'll write him today asking him to be gentle. Mr. Oursel must also be thinking of satisfying me if he wants to give me 1/4 or 1/6 share in his ship. I will take it gladly since I will be well pleased to have the money all ready when I'm in Rouen. I urge him to pay the remainder to my brother and to do it before his trip to Bayonne. With regards to the receipt it is necessary to have it written up in a manner so that everyone is satisfied. I'll write my brother about it. It's strange that there will always be some who delay right up to the last minute regarding any benefits or liberality that I...

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ask for. This is my estate which my father left me and which legitimately belongs to me. Enclosed is a letter that I pray you deliver to his address.

If I've been here a long time it's not because of me. My companions for whom I've been obliged to wait are the cause. We leave on Monday next, God willing. I've sold part of my furniture. I'll be pleased if my dear sister sent my linen to Anvers. I wish you a good and happy year. I pray God that He puts an end to our dissentions so that in the future we'll be able to live in harmony and tranquility. This is what I passionately wish for.


Hamburg, Germany
January 9, 1685

Monsieur Robert Oursel

I accept the proposition that you made me shortly before I came to this country which was to engage me in taking part in a ship for whale fishing. If you wish, I will take 1/4 or 1/6 share in the one that you have deducted what you owe me. With regards to the remainder you will have the grace to pay it to my older brother to whom I have sent a proxy. I am writing him today so that he gives you a receipt that will be satisfactory to one another. This is why I urge you to reply to me addressing your letter to Antwerp at the home of my aunt de Coninck because I leave here in three days. My mother wrote me saying that you were well inclined toward me and that you would assist me by your good counsel when the occasion would present itself. I pray you, sir, to hold to your promise and believe that I am...


Hamburg, Germany
January 9, 1685

Monsieur Francois de Coninck

I haven't received any of your letters since my last one of the 12th of last month. My mother wrote me saying that you had to declare to him the proxy that you were sent. I pray in the name of God that you do it vigorously so that I'm paid since I'll need money when I return.

I believe the reason is because you are still unknown, so see mademoiselle M. [Mayon - Marie Camin] often. Accord her your friendship and your protection and express to her all your kindness. I hope, my dear brother, that you will do me...

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favorably and that you approve of my choice. This is what I aspire to learn.

I urge you to treat Mr. Oursel Sr. gently until I'm paid off. After that I'll do whatever you want. If you wish to write me, you can address your letters to Antwerp at the home of my aunt where I'm headed next Monday in the company of Mr. Le Blanc. We take with us a Fransche Coh who has an affinity for the kitchen to amuse a dozen of our friends who will accompany us to Boxtehude, a small town near Bremen. We go by water. I don't expect to stay at Antwerp more than a day or two. I am as you know...


Hamburg, Germany
January 9, 1685

Monsieur Jean Camin

In response to your letter of the 7th of last month, I will say that I wasn't able to bring down anything on the account of Mr. Wetken. I consulted here with several of my friends more astute than I am who unanimously advised me to do this rather than undertake a lawsuit. If it had been me, I could not have done better. This is why I urge you, sir, to condone what I did.

I sold him the remainder at mf 8 of which here is the accounting:

Calf livery coats to Mr. Wetken paid ord 2764 lbs
1% for the commission 28 lbs
2736 lb at 8% = mf 218:14

For the balance of the previous account
which Mr. Wetken retained : 42:6
For freight to the said party: 2:8
Total: 44:14

Leaving mf 174: in current money made at 2% loss in French money, f170:12 which I will remit to you in the same. The said Mr. Wetken promised to give me mf9: of this but this said person my aunt de Coninck wrote that she was ready to satisfy me any way you wish and to pass your name to whomever. Please, sir, do me this courtesy and I will be most obliged. I'll give you a valid discharge...

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as soon as I have reached the full age of 25 years. Above all please give me a reply. You can address your letter to Anvers at the home of my aunt because I leave here in three days. If you grant me what I ask, please send me at the same time what you wrote me - your receipt. Meanwhile I'll take care to complete the docket.

I don't expect to be more than a day our two at Antwerp. I received the letter that my sister wrote me on the 7th of this month. I will write her on the way. I greet you both affectionately...



[Promissory Note...]

Hamburg
9 January 1685
In the amount of f170:12

In two weeks I will pay in Rouen to Mr. Jean Camin one hundred and seventy livres, twelve sols, converted, for the net proceeds of what I received from Mr. Wetken for the calf hides.
Frederic de Coninck



[Sample Discharge...]

To me... Frederic de Coninck
.... accepted at Rouen.
Frederic de Coninck


Hamburg, Germany
January 9, 1685

Madame, the Widow of Monsieur Joan de Coninck [at Anvers (Antwerp)]

I received the letter that you graciously wrote me on the 4th of this month. By way of response I will say that I wrote today to Mr. Camin touching on what you told me. Nevertheless it raised some difficulties. I humbly pray that you grant me 1000#. For the remainder, please give it to me in 8 or 9 months since I will then be a male of full age according to the laws of your country at which time I will give you a receipt such as you wish.

I hope, madam, my aunt, that you will grant me what I ask. Unfortunately I'll be staying at Antwerp only a day or two because of the company that I'll be with and am obliged to follow. I greet you affectionately and am...


[Frederic has now wrapped up his affairs at Hamburg and is about to travel via Antwerp to his mother's home at Rouen, France where she lives with her second husband, Robert Oursel Sr.]

Summation:

On January 22 1685 Frederic de Coninck left Hamburg for good with some friends, taking away with him all his affairs. He passed through Antwerp to finish there the settlement of his situation. In fact, his uncle Joan de Coninck, who had custody over the estate bequeathed to Frederic of Coninck by his paternal father and by his aunt Anne, died on November 20 1684, and his widow and son required only the liquidation of these financial matters as soon as possible. Later we find Frederic at Rouen the following April 4th.



21 January 1685 - St. Quentin


Baptism of Elizabeth Crommelin,
daughter of Pierre Crommelin and Marie Vauquet.
Godparents are Jean Crommelin and Anne Crommelin,
wife of Louis Crommelin "of Lisburn".
Click to enlarge.


Closure of the Church at Quevilly

1 February 1685 - Closure of the Protestant church serving the people of Rouen located outside the city at Quevilly following a cessation order by the royal court.

The temple at Quevilly was demolished and razed down to its foundations following another arrest order on 6 June. The registers of baptisms, marriages and burials made at Quevilly continued at Rouen. Between 6 July to 15 October baptisms there were performed at the city hall (Maison de Ville) by Ephraim de Vallemont, sieur of Voute, minister of the church at Lintot-Bolbec.

The emigration of protestants to Holland and England began in the month of June. By October, when the Edict of Nantes was revoked, only 2500 protestants remained in Rouen of the 4400 who could be found there the previous year.


The Protestant church serving the people of
Rouen was located at Quevilly


4 February 1685 - Meanwhile, at Charenton temple in Paris, Andre [Adrien] Crommelin - merchant, son of the late Adrien, merchant at St. Quentin, and of Susanne Doublet, married Marie Jeanne Le Maistre, daughter of Jacques and of Jeanne Crommelin, age 28. Witnessed by Adrien Crommelin of St. Quentin, brother. Marriage 1685-02-04 [Haag Notes P210] [A year later Andre [Adrien] was in the Bastille because of his faith.]


25 February 1685 - Birth at Rouen of Catherine de Coninck ("Catin"), daughter of Jean de Coninck and Marthe Duval. Jean Duval (perhaps Marthe's brother) and Catherine Crommelin were the godparents.

["Catin" and her younger sister, Marie, were to become orphans at an early age. Catin married Nicolas Caron in 1715. They went to Barbados where they both died in 1725. Her sister, Marie, born in Rotterdam 1686 June 19, died in Amsterdam 1713 February 16. Their inheritance money became an issue of great dispute between Frederic de Coninck and his uncle, Daniel Crommelin, for over 20 years.]


April 6, 1685 - Frederic and Marie Camin at Rouen received Letter #92 from Mother at Le Havre.

Le Havre
5 April 1685

[Letter to Marie Camin - at Rouen]

My very dear lady. I received your letter most gladly. I had thought to write you but I found a small duty upon my arrival [at Rouen] which distracted me and regretfully put me off seeing you. I had wished to be useful to you [in helping Marie resolve her inheritance dispute with her aunt] since you were so nearby but my duties obliged me to stay there a little longer. Having to find lodgings, I returned home [to Le Havre] but if my presence would be useful to you I would be quite ready to serve you and return although the trip is a bit tiring. But you promised me, my dear girl, to come and see me here with my son Frederic. Rest assured that I will receive you here with joy and will receive you as my daughter. Be assured that I regard you as one.

I would be quite pleased if Serge Vuide with madam, your aunt, grants your affairs with self-denial in acquiring the better part [of property at Abbeville bequeathed by Marie's parents]. You will also get for me what Mr. Durand of London acquires for you. I greet you and my son Frederic affectionately. I believe that Mr. Oursel will not delay long in going to Rouen. I am your very affectionate servant. In haste... Catherine Crommelin


The road trip by stage coach between Le Havre and Rouen
was a tiring one, as Catherine observes


April 10, 1685 - Frederic at Rouen received Letter #93 from Mother at Le Havre.

Le Havre, France
9 April 1685

My very dear son [at Rouen]

I received yours of April 4th last Saturday, the second day of my return. I had a small disagreement with Mr. Oursel over your subject which made me hope that it will all be possible for you, and I will uphold your interests. He isn't in this city having left Thursday for Tonque to take delivery of gear for the vessel. Apparently he'll be returning the next day on the passenger coach from Honfleur. He wasn't able to cross because of the strong contrary winds which prevented any boat from coming in. [Honfleur is at the mouth of the Seine River on the opposite shore of Le Havre. Apparently ferries were used to cross between the two towns.]

I'm indeed quite upset because it's necessary that he has to speak with members of the crew. I believe he also went with impatience because he also had to go to Rouen and I believe, my dear son, that he would then attend to your matters and give you some money. But since you don't have any, go find Pierre Godefroy and ask him for 500 pounds. I will write him to pay you until Mr. Oursel has returned to Rouen because I don't know if there's any cash in the bank right now. If Mr. Oursel were here, he would attend to these matters. As I have been living at Rouen for a long time, I don't know about any of the unpleasantness there. I have enough of that here.

My dear child, do not be hasty in proposing to your sweetheart. Before you grant it, you must first have a settlement after which you can propose, something you have already done. I believe that these accounts to her are sold. [A reference to the settlement of the will of Mayon's (Marie Camin) parents.] They must be examined to see what can be recovered for her. I have written to madamoiselle Mayon last week under cover of your sister in quite a hurry because since my return I haven't had any spare time. I always have to speak to someone or other. I believe that now you will find yourself returning to the clever person. I would gladly have this consolation. Tomorrow I hope to bring to the coach a small package addressed to Mr. Camin. I'll send him something for Robert [Oursel Jr.]. For you I will put in some pieces of cloth to make sleeves with laces that your sister will sell you.

Here there is strong oppression against the poor Huguenots. Adieu, my dear son. I greet you and Miss Mayon affectionately. I am your your affectionate mother.

PS: My poor boy, don't go to any great expense on your engagement. The necklace from Ester Torin is pretty for its price. It has to be worn double. Miss Mayon, who is quite prudent, will not want you to go in debt while we're still in a time of calamity and this will please me. I affectionately greet your brother Francois.

[Apparently Jean Camin, his wife Catherine de Coninck, Robert Oursel Jr., Francois de Coninck, Frederic de Coninck and 'Mayon' (Marie Camin) were all living now at Rouen. All, except Francois, eventually fled to places in England and Holland after the 'Revocation'.]


April 14, 1685 - Frederic at Rouen received Letter #94 from Mother at Le Havre.

Le Havre
April 13, 1685

My dear son

I wrote you last Monday believing that you received the five hundred livres which I instructed Mr. Pierre Godefroy to make to your account. I'm rather annoyed that Mr. Oursel still didn't know to go to Rouen. He returned from Tonque only yesterday. Crewing the vessel was a terrible job, and I'm so busy I have no spare time so it was time to come home. Therefore, in God's name, please have patience a little while longer.

Your older brother wrote me that Mr. Oursel is moving quickly. I would like it if everything can be done at the same time if possible. I'll be depressed until it's all over, and if he can't give you everything, hopefully he'll make you a promise to pay interest. After the vessel has left he'll try to assemble what he can in order to achieve it as soon as he can. Meanwhile please steer your brother toward some closure. My dear son, I'm dying a thousand times each day.

I'm sending you 2 pairs of sleeves with laces and an apron for Miss Mayon whom I greet. I will be pleased to know if he has given you these accounts. Goodbye, my dear one. Your affectionate mother...

PS - Let me know what news you get from London.


April 21, 1685 - Frederic at Rouen received Letter #95 from Mother at Le Havre.

Le Havre
20 April 1685

My very dear son,

I have yours of the 16th. I am greatly surprised by the account returned to Miss Mayon Camin by madam, her aunt, which puts her almost in debt. This astonishes me extremely, for the worldy goods which she can hope for runs to about f2700 pounds according to the account of Mr. Lelarge and to sell it wouldn't earn more than f2000 pounds. However there's enough income to satisfy your wish to give her a necklace worth 420#. She's quite right in not wanting to have a ring. No, my son, I don't want such large expenditures to be made. A necklace costing 200# is enough, and I implore you to buy only things for Miss Mayon that are practical. You don't have to go so fast. Consider the times we are in and whether it brings happiness, makes life easier, or can be taken with you when things go wrong. That's why it's necessary to go gently with everything.

Our vessel left yesterday. May God protect it and give it a happy success. Mr. Oursel goes promptly to work on the bank accounts so that he can go immediately to Rouen. I do what I can, my dear poor son, so that he can give you what you wish. I know too that he'll make every effort. You'll see when he gets to Rouen. He will be able to counsel you in your affairs.

I believe you have received the 500# from Pierre Godefroy. In God's name save your money and do nothing that displeases me. This will enable you to buy a less expensive necklace. Mr. Oursel cannot give you everything. It's quite essential that your cousins de Coninck [at Antwerp, Joan de Coninck's children who held Frederic's estate until Frederic attained the full age of 25 years] gives you all that belongs to you from your father. There are only 6 more months to wait.

My son, at all costs I'm mortally bothered in seeing my family so poorly established. You must have well regretted having spent your money badly on matters in Hamburg and on the last trip. Meanwhile your older brother [Francois] overwhelms me by thinking that he'll sell everything. He wants to go to England and have his bed, table and armoire sold to an English ship's captain to transport him over there. He'll lose mightily and go empty to his grave. Don't ask him for your silverware. You'll often see it in his room. God willing he won't go to the cabaret anymore where he'll lose everything. I go on without saying anything. Burn my letter.

I greet you affectionately. Miss Camin thanked me for a few little things and I greet her affectionately too. I am your very loving mother...

PS - If Miss Mayon mentions the necklace of 420#, tell her that I don't want more than 200# spent on it. If she wants to please me, she'll be satisfied with that, and there's nothing to be in a hurry about. Miss Auboing will counsel her well.


May 9, 1685 - Frederic at Rouen received Letter #96 from grandmother Rachel Tacquelet at St. Quentin.

Rachel Tacquelet, the wife of Jean Crommelin, was the 'matriarch' of many of the Crommelins alive today. She was born in 1609, so she was about 11 years old when the "Mayflower" landed in Plymouth, USA with a ship full of Puritan settlers. She married her husband, Jean Crommelin, at age 14. They inherited the large Crommelin linen industry at St. Quentin which she later turned over to her son, Jacob Crommelin, as a wedding present when he married Elizabeth Testart on 16 September 1663. Rachel Tacquelet died a year after this letter was written, on 10 August 1686, age 77, and was buried in the cemetery of Saint-Sulpice in Paris.

Saint Quentin, France
5 May 1685

My very dear son

Your uncle [Jacob] gave me your letter that reached me upon my arrival yesterday at 6 o'clock [presumably arriving from Paris where she was living], tired and in poor condition. Never have I had such a bad trip, being 8 persons including one daughter of your uncle Jacob who I brought over from the great country of Holland. It broke me entirely because we were badly shaken and that’s how I developed a headache yesterday that has since fired darts through my head. God willing this pain won't bother me for too long so that I would have to be treated like the last time when I was laid up in bed - just short of fearing that my time had come. This all happened before I could reply because you probably think I’m still in Paris.

I learned then by your letter, dear son, that you are resolved to marry Miss Mayon Camin with the consent of my dear daughter, your good mother, and all your dear relatives. Thus I also give you my approbation, having for your future bride a great deal of esteem and friendship since I see in her lots of kindness, gentleness and virtues. I don't doubt that she is a good housekeeper too, as is the wife of your brother Jean [Marthe Duval] and also your sister [Catherine de Conink], the wife of Mr. Camin, your brother-in-law. This brings me even more to love and pray that God might pour out his precious blessings on your holy matrimony and cause you to succeed mightily to His glory and your happiness so that you might live together many years in good health and friendship. May it also please Him to bless your undertakings so that you might be an honorable man in the sight of your most precious Savior.


Charenton temple on the outskirts of Paris

If it weren't for my bad headache I would write my dear daughter, your mother, so she would know about my arrival and that I found all our friends in good health except my daughter, your aunt ['Louise'? - perhaps an in-law] who had a severe fever. God deliver her from that soon. I took lodging at Mr. de la Chambre to whom I made my recommendations and also with Mr. [Pierre] du Chemin and your aunt du Chemin [Esther Crommelin, the youngest of Rachel Tacquelet's children] who came to make her devotions at Charenton and was with me 4 days [previously, in Paris]. Together we talked about the plans you had to get married. I gave her ten gold louis [coins] to give to you to buy candlesticks since I have a custom of giving this to all my children as a wedding present. But you can use it any way you want as a remembrance of your dear grandmother.


The louis d'or of Louis XIII were struck 1640-43 in large quantities
in an attempt to displace the miscellaneous écus d'or of an earlier reign, and that of Henri IV.
The louis d'or would be struck until the end of the ancien régime in 1792. It consisted of 6.75 g, .917 fine gold,
plain edge, 24.10 mm diameter.

I embrace you and your sweetheart with all my affection, also monsieur Camin, your brothers, and his wife, Mr. and Miss LeFebure, and finally all those who belong to me and remember me. I ardently pray God to fill you all together with His precious blessings, to conserve you in his holy protection in this time of upheaval and calamity. God willing that He keeps his desolate church under His eye so that He might once again bring peace to His church. This is my prayer, my dear son, with affection from your dear grandmother, Rachel Tacquelet


May 11, 1685 - To Frederic, staying at the home of Mr. Dumenil, rue St. Estiene at Rouen, received Letter #97 from Mother at Le Havre.

[Several clues indicate that the de Conincks lived in the lower West quadrant of Rouen. Church records from the Protestant church at Quevilly mention the Parish of St. Eloy area #145; Marthe Duval may have some connection with 'Monsieur or Maison Duval' #134; and now this mention of Rue St. Estienne #370-371 which are all in the same vicinity.]

Le Havre, France
10 May 1685

My dear son

I have your letter sent yesterday which tells me that my mother has arrived at St. Quentin and that she instructed you to write me saying that she was exhausted. She is still quite spry for her age. May God conserve her for us a number of years longer since she's such a blessing to all her family. I'm sorry she found my sister [Louise?] with a bad fever. May God restore her health.

Grandmother made you the usual present of a couple of torches, but since you have them, you better keep the money to spend on something else. I'm quite satisfied with the choice you made and which my mother approves of and appears pleased with. Since Mademoiselle Mayon is good, everyone will love her. You gave her the gift of a necklace of 100 ecu. I hope she's happy with it and that she might wear it in good health.

My dear son, make little noise about the rest. When you're settled you'll be able to apply yourself to something and then at your leisure you can assess whatever thing will accommodate you. I will be more at ease when the accounts of your mistress are settled. When I visited your sister, we talked about it, but nothing profitable. I hasten to know what she can have and if the bottom of Abbeville can be sold. According to Mr. Oursel, there was only a lawsuit at Rouen which the grounds keeper made for us. He was promised that he got rid of it without blame but now that it's gone he will leave next Saturday. I've been pressured to leave immediately since Monday.

[Apparently there was a legal dispute taking place between Marie Camin and her aunt over the division of some inherited property at Abbeville bequeathed by her parents.

Now Catherine turns her attention to the claim that Frederic is pressing for the return of his own inheritance money which was loaned to his step-father, Robert Oursel.]

My dear child, end this thing in the name of God. Have regard for my misfortune. If I thought that you and your older brother needed my blood, rest assured I would gladly arrange it, and I always would do it if I possibly could. However, your brother has big expectations that one can squeeze blood out of a stone for he prepared a legal writ to see his portion returned to him in the difficult times we now find ourselves. The softer, the better. We will strive to work out a settlement for you one day. I can only write you with tears in my eyes because I'm so hurt by this burden. I would quite gladly serve you, but the strength simply isn't there. Your brother [Francois] is killing me. If the cabaret didn't get all his money, he wouldn't treat me so harshly. So please press your claims gently and get rid of this affair with the grave [ie. Marie Camin's inheritance dispute].

Goodbye, my dear son. I kiss you and your mistress. I am your affectionate mother...

PS - Mr. Oursel will bring along messages from Manon.


[Frederic de Coninck is again at Rouen in June, but the persecution has become more intense, and in the last days of July, he left Rouen for London without saying goodbye to his mother at Le Havre fearing that he might not be able to flee from there. Next we find him in London in August 1685 anxiously waiting for his fiancee to come over from Dieppe after she had tried to resolve an inheritance dispute with her aunt over some property in Abbeville before getting married.]


Closure of the Church at Lehaucourt (St. Quentin)

June 12, 1685 - Letter from J. Coulliette at Chauny, France to his pastor, Samuel Mettayer, at St. Quentin regarding the current state of the church at Lehaucourt.

Chauny
12 June 1685

Monsieur [Samuel Mettayer likely in London]

Here are extracts of the baptistry acts that I found in our registers for this year. If I had been able to obtain them a little sooner from Mr. Marin who had them, I wouldn't have delayed in sending them to you. [Mr. Marin was another R.P.R. minister living at Chaumont.]

Yesterday at 10:00 in the evening I obtained from monsieur, a Lieutenant, the liberty to visit monsieur Tugnac in this town to take charge of the furniture [of the temple at Lehaucourt?] and to remove them six leagues according to the terms of the King's proclamation. [The church pews of Lehaucourt were removed to the St. Quentin city hall where they were still in use as late as 1900 .]

What I couldn't obtain by a request which I presented to him, he said that he saw necessary to seize whatever was not handed over to the aforementioned Sieur Tugnac. Still it seems that it was done by stealth. This is to say that he urged me to say to him that he took no pleasure by these visits fraught with fear for the people that came to learn of his return with appeals to execute his previous decision.

So this is the state we have been reduced to, especially the poor pastors who, after undergoing so much grief, are still denied the liberty of returning to their homes and retaking what belongs to them. All are inconsolable at the loss that we undergo. May God by his grace grant us the consolations necessary to support us in our affliction. On behalf of my wife and I, as well as Miss Mettayer and all our beautiful family, I am to you...

Your very humble and obedient servant,
Monsieur J. Coulliette