Frederic de Coninck Letters
Marie gets out on bail and goes into hiding; Daniel expects a great harvest;
Francois reaches a bad settlement; Jean and Marthe have their second child; Rachel wins her last lawsuit;
Frederic anxiously waits for his lover while Catherine tries to keep everyone satisfied
Greenway Court, Kent
Photo by Warren Culpepper, October 1999.
Source:From early January 1686 to the end of March 1687 Frederic was domiciled with his uncle and aunt, Daniel Crommelin and Anne Testart, at Greenway Court, Kent, England. This house which Daniel rented from Thomas Culpeper burned down in 1782. A 'new' house was built in 1786 on the old foundations.
All Saints Hollingbourne Church
where Frederic and Marie Camin were married on 8 November 1686.
26 April 1686 - Received Letter #107 from Mother at Le Havre to Frederic at the home of his uncle, Daniel Crommelin, at Greenway Court. Replied 1 May.
My very dear son,
I received your last one while I was at Rouen. I returned to this city on the 3rd of this month having received the news on the previous day that the good man was at death's door which made me leave immediately. I was too late, God having put him to rest the same day that I learned about his illness. At last he's quite happy now being outside the conflict, and the good Lord gave him the special grace to pass away gently. [This pertains to her father-in-law, Robert Oursel, who died at Le Havre on 2 April 1686, aged 79 years.] We have a little dispute with the son-in-law. He doesn't reply to me at all so without contact we don't know what arrangements have been made. We'll just have to be patient.
I was quite annoyed having to return so quickly from Rouen because I had begun seeing some people who, with some friends, would try to obtain the deliverance of our dear Mayon. I asked Miss Lefebure [Rachel Testart, daughter of Pierre Testart, of St. Quentin, and of Rachel Crommelin, who married her first cousin, Pierre Le Lefebure of Rouen, at Paris on 20 June 1677. Therefore she was the niece of Catherine Crommelin] to employ these friends. She replied today that this was impossible, which saddened me.
I received a letter of the 30th March from Mayon. She tells me that if there were someone to help her, she would climb over the wall. I spoke to a sympathetic person who's prepared to find someone to do that. May God strengthen and assist us by His Holy Spirit!
We are all under great strain; happy is the one who overcomes. There seems to be some relaxation since we don't have to be forced anymore, but this is probably meant to put us to sleep. God knows all things, and even the hearts of kings are in His hand. He will come to our deliverance in the fullness of time when our suffering will be accomplished. It is certain that our dear and unique Savior will not abandon his own.
I saw madam Le Cordier last Friday who left the harbor here for a visit to Holland. She obtained a passport for 3 months. Mr. Caron who lived at the "Croix de Pierre" in Rouen, got one for 2 months. So they're gone, that's enough. I'm dying to see myself left behind. I can't forsee a day without trouble. You will have learned that a marquis and his wife were arrested here by those who discovered 7 other people in another vessel. They're all in prison. They all knew each other. This is a great tragedy for many.
My dear, I saw your brother [Francois] who hasn't fallen like you had suspected, thank God. The lack of intelligence he had from birth is in him but he's a poor unfortunate who's lost everything and consumes what's left. My heart aches for him. It's true he talks about coming over to you but it won't amount to anything. He's quite upset. He told me that you had abandoned him totally without giving him any news. Now he's looking for work but can't find any. Don't mention any of this to him. You can suggest a job on a certain ship that makes long trips. Remember me to my brother. Adieu. We greet you all affectionately. Your affectionate mother...
PS - I planned to go and see your grandmother. I hoped to leave, God willing, around Pentecost. The poor woman wants me urgently. My dear one, take care, and keep your brother [Francois] in mind. I believe that if he can cross over to you that he'll soon find more opportunities than in this country. Speak to Mr. Morse about it, and to cousin Otger [David Otghers, of London, husband of Catherine Crommelin, widow of Abraham Desdeuxvilles], and if there's some chance, please write him, but don't say anything to our friends about his attitude. Things are so uncertain. Everybody's lost in this time of calamity.
27 April 1686 - Mademoiselle Mettayer (wife of monsieur Ammonet) and two daughters are captured at the border town of Valenciennes trying to escape into Holland. Her husband, a former elder of Charenton consistory, was in hiding at Mayenne. [The brother of this Ammonet was the wealthy Francois Ammonet who, with his wife Jeanne Crommelin, fled years earlier to London forseeing the persecution.]
See: and Also:
Greenway Court, England
26 May 1686
Madam Caterine Crommelin [at Le Havre]
Since the last letter I had the honor to write you on the 26th of last month, I haven't heard anything from you. I hope you received a cheque that I wrote you eight days ago
by which I ask that you assist my dear mistress in doing whatever you can to pull her out of her long and cruel captivity. I repeat the same wish and, above all, to have her hold all the money she needs as soon as you get this. Don't spare her anything. Since this will be a big help in the unfortunate times we are in, and since I fear she'll find it difficult to ask you for some, I beg you to have the kindness to write her and offer it to her. I will have you maintain a good and faithful accounting. As for a receipt, I don't think there's any need for it since you've already been given one. I don't doubt you'll grant me the courtesy to do what I ask, and I'll be infinitely more grateful than if you had done it even to me. I would be quite displeased if I had to have him [Mr. Oursel] hold it for her on the other side because it's safe and secure [with you].
I'm depressed and in a pitiful state, because in the end I no longer know what will happen or where I can find a single moment's rest. Won't God have any pity on me by returning the one person who is so precious and gives me all my felicity here in the world below? I can't miss living happily with her, being so accomplished and virtuous as she is. If I have to suffer again a long time, it would be more merciful if God would simply take me away to be with Him because my anxiety increases every day, and I feel like I'm dying without there being any solution. In God's name, please don't forget to pray for her, and continue in your tenderness toward her which you expressed in the past. I commend myself to all your family and to you as well. Please tell my older brother that I'll return his linen whenever he wants it. May God watch and be merciful toward His poor Church and bestow on you His most precious blessings. These are the wishes of one who will be until his last breath...
7 June 1686 - Letter #108A from Jean de Coninck in Rotterdam to Frederic at Greenway Court, England.
June 7 1686
Monsieur my brother,
I wrote you eight days ago under cover of our cousin de la Chambre to let you know that amongst my clothes which he sent me there were your paintings which he said he had received from Mr. Durand. No doubt Mr. Durand failed to say that they belonged to both of us, so Mr. de la Chambre sent them here thinking they were mine. Now I await your reponse to know what you'd like me to do with them. I benefited from the occasion of monsieur de Grave who came to make a tour of this country enroute to London.
Imagine my delight when I learned that Miss Mayon had left the convent! Our brother [Francois] was her 'rescuer', having taken her away to Rouen where I'm pleased to say that she's staying with Mr. Durand [Jacques Durand, of Rouen] who is one of those who stood bail for her. Since I believe him to be well intentioned, I hoped he wouldn't be too upset if she didn't go back again but, on the contrary, he'd be quite pleased if she could find some reasonable plan, and she would be well advised to hide herself until a good meeting place can be found to have her put in safety.
I'm told that, not wanting to jeopardize those who stood bail for her, she's prepared to return to the convent. However, I think that rumour is only for the purpose of hiding his plan better because at the end of similar cases he didn't have a conscience quite so delicate. Besides, until now he hasn't done too badly with other people he's bailed out, and who have since fled. I don't doubt that possibility considering she didn't always get your letters in the mail, especially those you sent her with advice on how to escape, and informing her of your intentions. It will be nice, however, to see her away from trouble and delivered to her refuge. I also have here the portraits of her father and mother.
I received a letter from mother in the last regular mail. She's doing well. She told me not to be surprised if one day we're informed that she's in prison because she's decided that she would rather suffer than go to their abominable Mass. I replied to her yesterday. She hopes to flee, but vigorous arrests have been going on lately against new pretending converts who have been caught trying to leave the country. The men are forever condemned to the galleys [to become perpetual slave oarsmen on the king's ships] while the women in convents are similarly terrorized. May the good Lord have pity on her and all our other friends.
We're told that all is in ruins at Rouen and that commerce there is dead. You probably know about the fire there that burned down about thirty houses and a convent. Our grandmother is pursuing her lawsuits all over again, which surprises me considering the good woman is sitting on the edge of the grave. She goes to Paris for this business. Meanwhile mother tells me that she'll try to live again at Rouen because the persecution has become too intense at Le Havre. Hopefully it's less so at Rouen. I'm surprised at our brother who does so little to maintain himself. He lives there but doesn't think about what to do. I wrote him a long time ago but he didn't reply, so I think writing him is useless.
I believe that, being in such a beautiful neighborhood and at the best time of the year, you're spending your time as well as can be. When you write me, please tell me if my uncle will be happy this year which I'd really like to know. I wish him an abundant harvest. I've been quite unfortunate in not being able to earn anything here, or do anything except eat up the little bit that we have left. Business here is too difficult for a novice who doesn't know the language of this country well enough to be of any use - a language which is very difficult in my opinion. English isn't quite so difficult. If I were alone, and my wife were in a low cost home, after which she would wait for the right moment, perhaps I could make the trip to England which I've been longing for. Please convey my greetings to our aunt and uncle Crommelin. My wife does the same. I am...
Monsieur, my brother, your very obedient servant, Jean de Conincq
Greenway Court, England
9 June 1686
Monsieur Francois de Coninck [in Rouen]
This is to thank you for the trouble and care you took on behalf of my dear mistress. I will never forget it, and I'm as grateful to you as though you had done it to me personally. Please continue to help her, and do all that you possibly can to enable me to see her again soon so she can lift me out of the pitiful state that I've been reduced to by her long and cruel absence.
I don't know anymore what will happen, or how to clear my head of worry since sadness so overwhelms me. Please see her often, and try to console her in the situation where she is now. Do what you can to have her get a passport. If you can't do it better, then please engage all of our friends on this matter whom I greet affectionately. I will wait with unbelievable impatience the outcome of this business. Incidentally, I've received your linen.
I'll do whatever you want, or return it if you wish. I pray God that He will bless you and cause your plans to prosper. Please believe that I am with all my heart...
12 June 1686 - Received Letter #108 from Mother at Le Havre to Frederic at the home of Daniel Crommelin at Greenway Court. Replied 7 July.
3 June 1686
My very dear son
I've just received yours of the 6/16 of May and have received the enclosure. Take courage, my dear child, our good God who has begun the work will not leave it unfinished. He will return to you your dear mistress who I love with all my heart. I doubt she overlooked writing you last Friday as soon as she arrived at Rouen. She wrote saying that she was out on bail for a month, and that your brother had gone to fetch her for which she was most grateful. She didn't say any more than that, and I've received no mail from your brother.
I myself have to go to Rouen on the 11th of this month. I'm counting the hours and minutes to see her, but I can't leave sooner because of a funeral. When we're together, God willing, we'll discuss what best to do next because we'll have to keep a low profile in the eyes of the world. Perhaps Paris will be the best refuge for her, and having her name changed. This should hide her for a little while. [Catherine's letter of October 27 is addressed to 'Miss de la Tour' which was Marie Camin's new assumed name.]
My mother must go there shortly because she is somewhat better, thank God. This is for a lawsuit over which the poor woman has already made several trips, but this time she has some hopes of victory, and I must go to find her. Rest assured, my dear son, that I will forget nothing for our dear Mayon, and I will engage all our friends in getting a passport for her otherwise it won't become a reality. You will have learned that Madam Laurent, haberdasher, is in prison here with several of her daughters having been found hiding below the river several months ago. Patience, therefore, my dear boy, and gather up your spirit.
Your brother did you a big favour, so please forget everything in the past. I believe he's erratic because of the business he had with the 'grave' [the death of his father] and something he still can't get over. It still gives me a lot of heartache. He would rather be at 'La Caroline' [a local pub or cabaret at Rouen]. I wish I were with you all.
Think no more about Elisabeth [Jacob Crommelin's wife who fled to England with her children having been miraculously picked up by the Huguenot vessel "La Rochelle" which Catherine apparently wasn't aware of yet.] There's nothing more that can be done. Furthermore, all the ports are closed and a close guard is being kept on all the coasts. Even to cross over to Honfleur you need a passport. One is being watched in every way. Lord, come to our rescue and be merciful to us. Nothing is more cruel than to be oppressed for one's conscience. There's nothing else I can say. We greet everyone affectionately. Please give our regards to your uncle and aunt. I pray God that He blesses you all. Adieu, your very affectionate mother...
PS - Our vessel left on a whale hunt. May God grant it good success. When you write me, send your letter under cover of your cousin Cabinet. Mayon is residing with Mr. Etienne Hubert. Don't show Mayon's name on the mail.
DCAP18.jpg and DCAP19.jpg
Greenway Court, England
17 June 1686
Monsieur Jean de Conincq [at Rotterdam]
I received your two letters of the first and 7th of this month. I can't express the emotion I had while opening the first one because seeing it with a black seal made me think there had been a death at your place. Happily I was wrong! I am most grateful for the part you played in what touches me, and the good wishes you conveyed with regard to my dear mistress.
She's a person endowed with an admirable virtue and a sensitivity without example for all those in whom the least attachment has fainted, but she persists in the tender love we swore to each other which is all the more worthy of esteem and admiration. I have plenty of praise to render unto God who allowed me to choose a person so accomplished, and according to all indications, someone I can't fail to be happy with, especially in drawing down heavenly blessings on whatever we will undertake. Her long and cruel captivity put me in such a languor and deep sadness that without the excellent letters she wrote me, I believe that if it had gone on much longer I probably wouldn't have been around anymore. The grief inevitably would have been too much for me. Days seem unbearably long and no sooner has the sun come up than I wish it were night again. Boredom consumes me and everything I see reduces me to tears since I can't see what can be done for my happiness and felicity. All we have is the consolation of writing to each other for weeks on end. The time she's been given [to be out on bail] will expire, and then I don't know what will happen. May the good Lord hear my prayers and return her soon so that only death will be able to separate us again in the future.
Grain farmer, Daniel Crommelin, worked leased acreage
at Greenway Court near Hollingbourne, Kent
My uncle will have a prodigious harvest this year. He's never had one so nice, and unless some misfortune should happen to his grains up to harvest time, he will be rich. You can judge for yourself if you'll come and visit us, which is what we hope for a lot. If you had persisted in your first decision to come here, this wouldn't have been the worst decision you could have made. Near here, among other places, is beautiful land that is vacant. If you had accepted the suggestion I made to you, we could have taken it together and we would have been received as patriarchs for, besides the assistance and support we could have given each other, we would have had the consolation to live in the same family so that it would have cost us less to get established. However, it's not as though, if you found the least repugnance, that we couldn't separate and then run our own separate farms. I'm quite content for not having pressed you on this opportunity until you've had time to think it over but when you are here, you'll see what we've been talking about so much. If such is your intention, then there's no time to lose, and the sooner you get over here the better. My uncle greets you warmly and...
instructs me to tell you that his house is always at your service. I spend little here and I give myself to agriculture as much as I can and even begin to understand tolerably well how the business operates. As soon as I've recovered the person who is so precious and dear to me, I'll think about my own establishment.
With regards to this country, I don't doubt that papism will establish itself here but, if it pleases God, it will only be for a time. The belief that what happened in France will also happen here is nothing to be feared since there are some 50 Protestants for every Papist. I don't even know one who holds to this religion in our whole county. Some say the papists will be able to become under this king what we formerly had in France but, God willing, it won't go any further and we'll be able to live in peace. One hardly sees any revolts, which is a good sign.
I'm quite annoyed at the mistake Mr. de la Chambre made in sending you our portraits. I asked him several times to remove them from your package which he apparently forgot to do. Please keep them for me and unroll them so they don't get damaged. Then you can send them back to me when the opportunity arises.
My mistress tells me that our brother [Francois] reached a pitiful settlement with Mr. Oursel of the sum of 400 pounds and he gave him a final receipt. [This pertains to the loans that each of the three brothers made to Mr. Oursel from inheritance money they had received from their natural father, Francois de Coninck.] Therefore he'll consume this 400 pounds and he won't have a penny left. The boy must have lost the spirit to look after himself by not holding out for a better offer. I warned him about this a long time ago but he didn't want to listen. So now he's our problem. As for me, I don't know what to do about him. He seems quite upset that I didn't write him, something I did last week to thank him for the trouble he took to go to Dieppe. I haven't received one of his letters for over 9 months, something it seems he should have done if only to indicate some remorse for his bad attitude. It seems his usual arrogance still hasn't left him.
Mother's situation causes me some anxiety. She hasn't said anything to me about any plan to save herself, although I've urged her to do this several times. As for grandmother [Rachel Tacquelet], she prefers to involve herself again in lawsuits rather than think anything about her conscience.
Please give affectionate greetings to my sister, your wife [Marthe Duval]. I wish her a happy delivery and all that her heart may desire. [This refers to the imminent birth, two days later, of their second child, Marie de Coninck, born 19 June 1686 at Rotterdam. This girl would become an orphan as a youngster. She died single 16 February 1713 in Amsterdam, age 27, having struggled with proverty all her life. Meanwhile their other 1-year-old daughter, Catherine ('Catin'), was still in France in the hands of a friendly Catholic family who were waiting for an opportune time to return the baby to Jean and Marthe in Rotterdam.]
With regards to our brother, let's both maintain a cordial brotherly relationship with him and suppress any grudges or animosity. If you don't come to see us, though I hope you do, I will be delighted to get news from you from time-to-time, but unless you have anything to say to Mr. de la Chambre, don't put my letters under cover to him. If there's anything I can do for you, please let me know, and know that I am wholeheartedly...
[There may have been a mild strain in the relationship between Frederic de Coninck and his cousin, Jean de la Chambre, in London, or it may be that it was inconvenient to go to London to pick up his mail now that Frederic was living at Greenway Court, Kent.]
DCAP21.jpg and DCAP22.jpg
Greenway Court, England
7 July 1686
Monsieur Jacques Durand [In Rouen. An uncle of Marie Camin, he is the one who paid the bail money to get Mayon out of her convent prison in Dieppe.]
I would not have had the pleasure, monsieur, to mention the joy I have to be involved in your family if the unfortunate incident involving my mistress hadn't arisen. You can judge for yourself what position that puts me in, but I hope that following your usual understanding you will forgive my oversight. You have done me the honor...
before this to regard me as one of your friends which makes me believe that presently you would indeed afford me a continuance of this same grace, and to consider me as one of your chums and comrades who have the great pleasure to esteem and honor you as much as anyone in the world. As such I will be honored to be of service to you whenever the opportunity arises.
I am indeed grateful, sir, for the trouble you took to liberate the one person whom you know to be my every happiness. I look upon this as the beginning of a deliverance which I dare say, thanks to you, will enable me to see her again soon and see me rise to the heights of my felicity. You have great ability with the help of nice friends, and an infinite merit accompanied by a prudence which doesn't leave you. This is what persuades me all the more that you can easily get whatever you would like. My only prayer is that you speed things up as much as possible and that you take pity on two lovers who tenderly cherish one another, and whose complete satisfaction is intertwined - lovers who have only seen each other from afar because of a long and cruel separation. We have suffered enough and may you help us come together again as soon as possible.
We will never forget the good you did for us and I don't think there are enough days to adequately recognize this kind deed. We will be grateful all our lives and regard you as our liberator, causing us to wish incessantly for your prosperity and your conservation and for all those who belong to you. I pray the same for our mutual friend Mr. Le Vanasseur whom you will please assure of my very humble services.
I would wish, monsieur, that I may be able to render some service to you in this country. If there's something I can do for you I would be only too happy to do so. While awaiting your instructions may you believe that I am with all my heart...
Greenway Court, England
7 July 1686
Madam Caterine Crommelin
I learned with considerable dismay that Mr. Oursel raised difficulties to put in execution what I asked of you. I can't understand why he raises all the tricks and obstacles imagineable. It's a strange thing that in spite of all the calamity of the times he still won't do things amiably. He must not abuse the confidence that I had in him. If the receipts I sent him had been able to cover me and prevent any claims that one could have made against him, I believe they haven't lost their efficacy and value since that time, and that they're still valid for any purpose he wants to use them for.
Furthermore I don't believe that my brother will refuse to give you in writing that he desists in his claim. In case he won't do it, however, I swear on my faith as before God to indemnify Mr. Oursel for any loss which he may suffer in my regard, but I don't believe this would ever happen in any way. In truth these gripes and sordid behaviour are not the actions of a good Christian. But if they caused me grief, at least on the other hand I learned that you don't like it either and are willing to give entire satisfaction. This makes me very happy. I ask very humbly therefore that when you receive this letter you won't charge any longer to my mistress' account all that she needs and to give her the most that you possibly can. Charge all her expenses to my account, and I'll maintain a good and faithful accounting. In this regard I'd like to know what papers Mr. Oursel requires. It isn't my affair. My brother's in charge of this business so he can act as he wishes with Mr. Oursel. [ie., maintaining Frederic's account with Mr. Oursel.]
Therefore all he does is fine with me, and I would quite willingly give my approval. I'm not concerned anymore about papers at the present time and this is what I hardly ever think about.
I pray in God's name that you see my dear mistress often. Try to console her in her affliction and do whatever you can to make a reunion possible soon. I'm in despair and if she doesn't come before it diminishes, I'll heal myself without facing any peril because it's impossible to go on living in the pitiful state I'm in right now. Please also have my dear sister Manon see her everyday and kiss her continually for my sake. O God, take pity on us and be merciful toward your poor children. I commend myself always to your kind regards and to all those who belong to you. I am...
18 July 1686 - Received Letter #109 from Mother at Rouen to Frederic at the home of Mr. Crommelin at Greenway Court. Replied 21 July.
July 15 1686
My very dear son
It's been a while since I received yours of 5/15 June. I didn't respond to it right away to save you money on postage. I assured our dear Mayon to give her the money after sending your cheque to Mr. Oursel. My dear son, our intentions are noble but the ability simply isn't there. May God by His grace not abandon us in our suffering. He will open the door to us some day. Don't worry about your mistress. So far nobody's asked about her, and we give enough thought to such things because the risks are so great as you can well imagine.
I plan to leave tomorrow for Paris where your grandmother went 10 days ago, and I'll take 'Terotte' along [Esther Oursel, her younger daughter] to keep her company. I also intend to spend some time there. If it pleases God, I'll see if there's some way to get a passport. Rest assured, my dear one, that I'll do whatever I can; again a little patience.
Someone reported here that you spend your time in strong amusement and debauchery which I can't believe that you do. In God's name, profit from our misery. Even the most debauched person must withdraw himself from his liquor for it's necessary to be regenerated into newness of life. I pray God with fervor to have pity on his Church. My dear son, don't be cross that I've given you this exhortation. Receive it from me - one who loves you and prays everyday for God to bless you since the days of your youth. You must leave it alone. Fear God and think about how this good God will give you a person to love, perhaps soon.
I kiss you, as well as my brother and sister, and all our friends. Your sisters greet you. Manon is inseparable with your mistress. Adieu. Your very affectionate mother...
PS - I asked your brother to execute the debit of your account. He said he doesn't have it and that you probably do. I need it so please send it back to me. I have a number of entries to make for things done for Mayon. She says that when she has any need, she'll let me know.
PPS - Your brother told me that le Auller [perhaps an accountant] had almost no papers. I didn't tell him this was hogwash because I know he wouldn't like that. Farewell, my dear sweetheart. I am your faithful woman. [Marie Camin's handwriting...]
Greenway Court, England
21 July 1686
Madam Caterine Crommelin
I didn't think it would be any use to reply to your letter of the 15th of this month to straighten out the false rumours and reports that tarnish me according to you. Obviously the impudence of those who dared say such things have climbed to the heights of audacity, so we'll just have to see what they say next. I pity those who I see who always come up with such unusual surprises.
Among others, our minister and my uncle quite willingly wanted to give me an excellent recommendation of my conduct to send to you, but I refused it because I had sufficient faith in your better judgment to know that what I tell you is true regarding the gross slander and infamy of my enemies. Far from being involved in amusements and a life of debauchery, I don't think there's a more austere and serious person because my pain increases everyday, and I don't know how it will all end if God doesn't take pity on me by returning a special someone whose absence torments me and causes my sorrow.
One of the Serrurier men passed by here recently having had the good fortune to flee. [The Serrurier family was one of the most notable Protestant families in Saint Quentin.] He told me that if my mistress went to St. Quentin, she would exit quickly enough since there are a number of people there whose job is to save everybody. My aunt [Anne Testart] wrote today and... [Unfinished]
25 July 1686 - Letter #110 from Mother at Paris to Frederic at the home of Daniel Crommelin at Greenway Court.
July 25 1686
My very dear son
Eight days ago I arrived here in Paris to see your grandmother once more. She isn't doing too well. She won her lawsuit for most of the expenses against the widower Pierre Levert.
Yesterday I received your letter of the 17th of this month and am quite surprised that someone gave you the idea that Mr. Oursel refused to give our dear Mayon what she needed simply because he gave her a request that if you weren't in charge of your account, then I should get the money from your brother. But your brother said he couldn't do that because I was here in Paris. Your mistress wrote me saying she needed 500#. I replied that I didn't have any money here so she'd have to write to Mr. Oursel for it before she leaves. I notified him that she had been assured to get it and he replied that he gave her as much as he could thus he didn't refuse her at all. I think he'll give it all to her, and I wrote asking him to make every effort.
My dear child, your letter kills me because it seems to accuse me of not being satisfactory. I would like to have had the money in my hands so I could hand it over to satisfy you, but please believe me, we don't have any money. As God is my witness, if I had it I would soon pay you the balance outstanding.
Mr. Oursel won't abuse your receipts. I'll press him to pay as much as he can so that she has the means to pursue her business which, God willing, will succeed. If it pleases God to bring back our ship, we can sell the oil quickly and then we'll be in better shape financially than we are now. Her father left only enough money to pay for his funeral and we don't know how to get any money out of the farmers. So there you are, my son. Sorrow I always have plenty of, while land and property I now look upon as trash. May God help us and may He have pity on us. May He soon bring you this dear person who is as dear to me as she is to you. Take courage in the name of God, and don't worry so much. Let's put our hope and trust in God who knows better than we do what is necessary for us.
The poor mademoiselle Mettayer is here with 4 children. [The wife of pastor Samuel Mettayer of Saint Quentin , or she may be referring to the wife of ? Ammonet and two children who were captured at the frontier town of Valenciennes on 27 April 1686 trying to escape into Holland and thrown into the Bastille in Paris in order to force her husband, ? Ammonet, to give himself up.] There are many heavy hearts here.
My mother [Rachel Tacquelet] sends her regards and also to your uncle [Daniel] and aunt [Anne Testart]. I do the same, and also Terotte [Esther Oursel]. I am your affectionate mother, Catherine Crommelin