Frederic de Coninck Letters
Translation Project

Death of Madelaine Testart, wife of Samuel Crommelin; Problems with the disposition of Catherine Crommelin's estate

1700 Timeline


Schiedam, Holland
18 January 1700

Mademoiselle Marie Oursel

You beat me, mademoiselle, my dear sister [in conveying new year's greetings]. This would not have happened if I had known that my sister had written you 15 days or 3 weeks ago. I would have made use of that occasion in order not to multiply the cost of posting letters. My sister Camin having made known to me that she would write you today, I use hers as a cover to wish you a good new year as much in the spiritual realm as in the temporal, and that with the new century the evil that the Church has been suffering for so long can also come to an end. I pray God that it pleases Him to pour out on you and all your enterprises a bouquet of His blessings, not only for this year but to the end of your life which I hope may be long and in continual prosperity.

I wish the same for our sister Rachel as well as monsieur, your father. I hope he's finished with the affair concerning those two profiteers. In that I would be much more at ease if he took strong measures so that he wouldn't have anything more to fear. I hope too that he will have withdrawn all the papers that were in the hands of my venerable uncle Durand and which you know must be returned to me. I also pray monsieur, your father, takes care of the "Jardin" and makes the necessary repairs so that it doesn't fall into ruins.

With regard to our uncle at St. Quentin, I heartily approve for my part that you rendered him an accounting, not doubting that afterwards you acted for me in this as a good sister so that each will get what belongs to him although it isn't a big thing since I'm not bequeathed any goods - to me, say I, who is loaded with family and could benefit from this comfort.

I saw the letter extract that our uncle Daniel wrote to his brother on the subject of the assets of our nieces. I wasn't able to read it without indignation seeing there so many lies and such dishonesty. I believe these assets to be absolutely lost without one ever being able to retrieve any of it. Nevertheless I will soon write him again and will press the matter with vigor, but since he won't listen to any of the reasonable suggestions we made him, I believe it will be fruitless. He remains inflexible and I believe all is wasted.

Mademoiselle Petit is coming to stay here in 25 days with one of our ministers whose wife is from this country and who has several big girls. I think she will be quite well over there and at a fairer price than at Delft. I am delighted that she is coming this way so that we can enjoy her company. I would want, my dear sisters, to be able to say the same thing about you! I am persuaded that you would be able to establish yourselves very well in this country, especially at Amsterdam, but then you say that you aren't able to do that. One must have patience. We don't agree on this point. I would prefer to be in a country of liberty while in a mediocre state, and even with so little as I have here, than to be in abundance in a country of persecution where one sees everyday so many injustices and cruelty being committed towards our brothers without mentioning the continual alarms that one is exposed to at every moment. God willing He will not send you any more trials than you can bear, but on the contrary that He strengthens you against the temptations where you can be exposed. I am most obliged for the kindness that you express for me and my family. I am persuaded that you will continue it towards me. As for me, I will never lack in esteem and affection for you. I will be that way on all occasions that will present themselves, and until the end it will be my pleasure to say always...

Schiedam, Holland
15 February 1700

Monsieur Pierre Godefroy [In Amsterdam]

A person of my acquaintance who apparently intends to place himself in a land of liberty has sent the enclosed letter of exchange in the amount of f500 on Madam van Robais of Paris, and since its expiry is the 27th of this month, I take the liberty of sending it to you and pray that you...


negotiate it more favorably than he will be able to do himself, and then at your convenience sending me the net revenue by way of our boat after having deducted the fee and whatever other expense there may be.

I know you willingly dealt severely with Claas. I can't think of the damage which this simpleton has caused us without falling into extreme sadness which I can't overcome. What brings me to depression is that he even puts the blame on us! I admit that I can't bear his reproach without making me rage against him. There's one part that isn't spoiled, and that's all that he sent me during the heat of last summer. In that there is more than 3000 [money] and if he doesn't salt the skin evenly everywhere he will make the same mistake again because the hair can hold in places on the skin and then be rotten in other places where the salt hasn't been carried as I mentioned in my last letter. I find it hard to say that in the last shipment that he sent there wasn't a single skin that was well conditioned. In truth it was a little better salted and was treated a little less badly, but it was still more than three-quarters bare. I'm glad you've given him an assistant and I hope that in future he'll benefit from the fear you've instilled in him so that he'll be more dilgent because one cannot be careless especially in hot weather. Also it's mainly when he's not under your scrutiny that he does so poorly.

I want to say that since the salt cellar is somewhat distant, I pray that you from time to time send one of your clerks over there to see how things are going and to see how effectively he uses all the salt which he accounts for because I'm properly aware only about the salt he used in the previous shipment. Please instruct him also to send me next Monday all that he's able to skin. And since I no longer have liver oil please send me at the same time 6 or 8 barrels, more or less, depending on whether you can get it at a good price. But please make sure that it's of better quality than the last load that was much too thick and in which there were several barrels half-filled with a mud that had to be thrown out causing great loss. This is why I pray that what I obtain is clear, without any impurities, yet fatty and well-cooked. My wife hopes to have the honor of going to see you this summer and to humbly meet you and your wife. As for me, I am perfectly...

PS - The enclosed letter was taken from Abbeville 3 months ago by the van Robart brothers.

Schiedam, Holland
22 April 1700

Mademoiselle Marie Oursel

[The last letters to Marie Oursel ('Manon') involve some issue that isn't well understood. It may pertain to the division of their mother's (Catherine Crommelin) estate according to her will. Heirs living outside France were excluded following the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. Because of the innate injustice of this restriction, Frederic and Marie may be trying to work out some kind of provision whereby Frederic and others will receive a share of the estate. In any case, the affectionate tone between Frederic and his half-sister seems to have cooled off and there may even have been some hard feelings between them in these latter years. A tally of the estate would likely involve the debts owing to their mother when she died and perhaps payment was now being demanded by the executor 'Mr. R.'.]

Miss vanden Beer, our good friend, under whose cover I'm writing you this letter, said to me that you had changed your mind regarding the liquidation ['ploirie'] by Mr. R. I wish to say that you receive what we have returned for our part of the sale. Apparently this is what our sister Catherine wrote you that produced this change. Nevertheless I can assure you that it's wrong to explain oneself and that she had no intention to upset you. This she exclaimed to me and that she wrote you begging you to put an end to this affair and to receive this debt. If you do not want to do it presently, it will happen possibly when the rest of those who are in a mood to pay now will no more be so some other time or he may formulate some other opposition which we can't foresee, and thus this affair will be lost for us.

Believe me, don't neglect anything. It remains only to receive when one can do it, at least for the love of me and our nieces for I declare that we really need it. If you only want me to deal with this matter, then you can remit to me what was returned after which I will faithfully return to each his portion. I hope that you will indeed take the trouble and that you will not refuse me this kindness.

I know although there are certain pretensions which I have written you here before of that you held back in suspense, but what have you to fear? I don't see that you consider that. Let him have his pretensions as long as he wants. If they aren't just, he's allowed to defend himself. For this effect to take place we must have all things in good order and go on living in good intelligence together without worrying so much about the future. It could perhaps happen that the things will themselves bring about better friendship than one expects. This is what I wish with all my heart.

I hope that monsieur, your father, will have retrieved from the hands of Mr. Durand all the papers that he has and that they haven't been mislaid. I embrace you both and am entirely...

Schiedam, Holland
19 June 1700

Monsieur Pan de Beauterroir

Since Mr. Claude Nicolas Pan was my friend besides being your brother, I thought you would not be annoyed that I relate to you this news. Therefore I take the liberty of writing you...


this letter to give you notice that God recalled him from this world on Wednesday, the 9th of last month, after a rather long and fatal pulmonary disease. He leaves 4 children, 3 boys and a girl. Their mother died in childbirth 3 or 4 months ago therefore the children are orphans without any help having nothing at all and are worthy of compassion.

I hope, monsieur, that you will have some pity and that you will indeed contribute something for their maintenance if you don't prefer to take what their father left in the way of goods in France consisting of some f200 of revenue according to what he told me several times. Meanwhile we will do whatever we can to have the said children placed in the orphanage of this city although it poses some difficulties. On this subject, it is hoped, God willing, that over time these problems will be resolved because if that doesn't happen their situation would be sad indeed!

With regards to your brother, he withdrew to this city five or six years ago where he exercised the profession of school master but since then he had a large family he wasn't able to become rich by it. On the contrary, he left several debts. Nevertheless he lacked nothing during his illness and right up to the end he had all the care imagineable. He died most repentant and was a good Christian putting his confidence in God alone and embracing only the merits of Jesus Christ. I don't believe that one can doubt the sincerity of a man who had such a good disposition. This is the best consolation that I can give you on this occasion. I pray God that He preserves you and that He fills you with His blessings.

If you wish to do something good for these poor orphans, I will take the trouble to address your letters to messieurs, our bugomasters [magistrates].

26 June 1700 - Letter to Marie Camin, c/o Pierre Godefroy in Amsterdam, from Frederic in Schiedam.

It seems, my dear wife, that you are pleased to be where you are since you say nothing about coming home. It's fine for a woman to leave while her husband lives fasting like a poor beggar. Meanwhile madam thinks only of amusing herself and gobbling food and coffee. If I were in Amsterdam I would link up with my venerable brother Mr. le Charpentier and we would delight in spoiling your extravagance. But it would be bad form and infectious if I were to find myself where you are now. All kidding aside, I'm delighted that you are having a good time. In fact you never seemed younger. The bad weather here is too bad for fun and it's spoiling our carnival. Other than that, I must admit that I'm a bit annoyed in not receiving any news from you and that I had a secret joy when little Jean brought me from school your first letter which was 5 or 6 days old. The second one wasn't that late.

I'm not at all happy with the little detail you were able to give me. Apparently you were conducted quite far. I would like, however, that you tell me if the navigation from Fardam was pleasant and whether the reception of Garbrant was nice and extravagant, and if you ate big bass [perch] as he wrote me that he prepared.

I see that the money is going quickly and that you're afraid of running short. If you need any, you could ask Mr. Godefroy for some and ask him to put it on the account of Mr. Camin who I've written about it. I don't think he'll object to that. We are all doing quite well. Sometimes Frans calls for 'mom' and 'tan tan' when he's in a bad mood, but that soon passes. I'm relieved that Frederic is doing better. The children of Pan have been put in the orphanage. An inventory has been made of the furnishings. Grootie has pillaged the best things. In the new school year Ester will live here and awaits your return to take over our children.

A man close to Mr. Coulez had bad luck. This man who had escaped from prison has been recaptured. He's now in prison tonight. His daughter has also been apprehended and is a prisoner in Leyden. I'm following her situation. There's talk about exemplary punishment for these people. The enclosed letter is from Miss de Vaux. She asks that you give it to her mother or give it to someone regarding this matter.

Farewell my dear wife. Please write me. I don't know when I can expect you. My regards to everyone. I am your dear and faithful husband. Fr. D. C.

29 June 1700 - Letter to Marie Camin, c/o Pierre Godefroy in Amsterdam, from Frederic in Schiedam.

Since there's a slim hope to see your amiable face soon I'll have to await with patience this happy day. When I know the hour that you'll be returning to Overschie [adjacent to Rotterdam and close to Schiedam] I won't neglect to find myself there also. I'm delighted that you did me the hope of inviting Madam Godefroy to stay awhile at our humble Schiedam dwelling. This is the right place to get some lean meals when one has been living too well. It will be necessary however to expect foolishness rather than amusement. You only have to be bothered with our children. Fortunately they're doing well. They're a little rowdier and dirtier than when you are here but they'll settle down and be better when you're back.

I only wish that the fair was over because of the great crowds that pass by in front of our door. But that shouldn't upset you. You will also find a bazaar at Haarlem. Apparently it will be at the home of Madam Samuel where you will be lodging since you mentioned that you will be sleeping also at Leyden. No doubt you'll be staying with your relative Rissart instead.

You can buy at Mr. Godefroy the absolute essentials that we need and and for those who we owe money to, we will repay here to Madam his wife, or however he judges appropriate.

I am well pleased that Claas has a good opinion of the calf hides. I still cannot offer a good opinion at present because I've still only received the light ones but soon, and even at present, they must increase which is what I will judge better when I receive again something that they've sent. I am of the strong opinion to increase the butcher's [price] because it is only in the big gamble that one gains something.

I don't know if you'll be able to be here on Sunday which is the day of our communion. Goodbye for now. Please greet everyone again for me. I kiss you my sweetheart, and am your dear and faithful husband. Frederic de Coninck

26 August 1700 - Letter to Marie Camin in Schiedam from Frederic in Amsterdam.

My dear wife, I didn't plan to write you this letter since I expected to leave this morning. I would have left alright if the Eastern Travellers hadn't missed giving word which is why I wasn't able to leave on time by boat which had already gone. However, I won't miss leaving tomorrow by taking the boat at 6 o'clock for Delft and consequently being at Overschie at 7:15. If these days were longer I would ask you to come and meet me, but I don't advise it.

We left Friday evening for our trip. We were in a company of 12. We had a boat to ourselves which we returned when we got back to Harderwijk. There we took carts which took us quite a long way. We have been to Dieren, Zutphen, and the Voorsterdam house of the count of Albermarle. We slept at Zutphen where at Loo we saw the King. We saw all there was to see and amused ourselves quite well.

Only the water travel wasn't too pleasant. I wish we had gone some other way both leaving and coming since it caused us to stay on water for nearly 24 hours each time. It was yesterday morning that we arrived back here where most of our party of travellers disembarked. Thank God I'm still alright. I hope the same applies to you and the children. I would rather be home already because frankly I like our bed better than the one I'm sleeping on which is a bit too short. This forces me to curl up but even then it's too short.

I saw Miss Cognard get married today. Goodbye my dear wife. I kiss you in thought until tomorrow when I can do it in reality. I am your dear and faithful husband. Frederic de Coninck

Schiedam, Holland
8 October 1700

Monsieur Jean Durand - Secretary to Mr. le Resident of England at Stockholm

I received with pleasure your letter of July 21. It's been a long time since I asked for news about you without being able to learn anything definite. Your letter thus took the trouble to inform us. I congratulate you on the position that you now occupy. One could not cast one's eyes on a more capable person. I wish you all sorts of prosperity and blessings in your new job. I am most grateful for the offers of service that you extend to me. For my part I also would like to be able to be of use in anything that I will undertake heartily.

I see by your letter that the single life begins to displease you and that you would have the desire to end it but that at the same time it would mean ending sleeping alone. Is it possible that an accomplished man of merit such as you hasn't found some beautiful maiden who can bring you many delights amongst the attractive Risdalders? It would be quite easy to reduce their volume a little. It's true that in this country there are various ladies who are nothing special and who I believe require nothing better than to be maintained but they have the same malaise as your northern peoples. I want to say that the money is likewise available. It isn't that there aren't others, but believe me it would be worth a small trip. One must understand this before liking it. Think seriously about it and you'll see that I'm right.

All our relations and their family are doing well. They have charged me to convey their compliments to you. Our cousin Rachelot Camin of whom you inquired is also well. She is a nice big girl who I believe wouldn't make a bad wife. This could well be your opportunity. Our friend Allart is still living at Rotterdam. No doubt you are aware of the death of his brother in Dieppe. Shortly thereafter the marriage of his sister was announced with a person named Asveille said to be 'matonville'. He took the name d'Allart and he continues the business.

As for me, I also continue in the manufacture of leather in this famous city. My family has grown since your departure. I presently have six children which is enough for one with so little income but still content that we go on living here. What else is there to do? One must have patience since in this drudgery it would be useless to complain.

Mr. Pieter your former landlord, the famous restorer, is doing well but his dear wife is deceased. As for us, we are all well. None of us have any problems with our teeth so we don't miss having you look for any! I wish you perfect health and all that your heart desires. I pray that you always hold us in your memory and know that I am always perfectly...

Schiedam, Holland
8 October 1700

Monsieur Dayroller - Secretary of the British Envoy at the Hague

I take the liberty to send you the attached letter, bidding you to forward it to his address for which I am most obliged...

1701 Timeline

Schiedam, Holland
24 March 1701

Mademoiselle Marie Oursel

Our sister at Rotterdam having sent me a letter for you, I send it to you along with a note I had signed by Mr. Camin. This is on the subject of this liquidation ['ploirie'] of St. Quentin. Since you mentioned to me before of some mistrust, I hope that this little note will suffice to be put under your covering letter. At least on my part I extend...


no schemes. I believe likewise and I can assure you that it is also the sentiments of the one who signed it with me. He objected to it more than once and you must not doubt that. I made him understand that if you did not receive this matter (having only you who could do it at present), I believed it to be entirely lost. We are in accord and he bid me write you about it so I hope you will no longer make difficulties over it.

Juffraux Vandenbeer leaves tomorrow from her place of residence to make a tour to Rotterdam. Here her reputation increases little by little, and I don't doubt that in time she will become famous in history but it must not cause strife between us over that. That would be counter productive. It is, however, to fear that we do not have it and to prepare oneself for any semblance of it. God willing to guarantee that and to send us only what is appropriate.

My wife greets you most warmly, as well as sister Rachelot. I almost dare say to you that the good woman is bearing up for some time in her nine months, an example of exemplary fecundity, a very small fortune with that. This is not the way to go via stage coach. I pray God that He keeps you in good health and am with all my heart...

1702 Timeline

1702 - The year that Anne Testart (Daniel Crommelin's wife), age 51, and their son, Isaac, age 25, died in New York during the yellow fever epidemic that claimed the lives of 10% of New York's population of 5000. They would have been buried in an unmarked common grave.

Schiedam, Holland
19 August 1702

Monsieur Henry Samuel Crommelin [a son of the wealthy Samuel Crommelin and Madelaine Testart, daughter of Ciprien Testart and Marie Bossu. They had 23 children! This Henry Samuel Crommelin married (1) Catharina Maria Crommelin who died in 1695, and (2) he married Jacoba Sophia van Wickevoort in 1697.]

The sad news that you informed me concerning the death of my cousin your mother [Madelaine Testart, who died on 15 August 1702], touched me deeply, so much the more because we hadn't heard mention of her illness. It is to inform you that I share in your loss and sadness that I have the honor of writing you this. The loss which you suffer is great indeed having lost such a good mother who was loved and honored by everyone, and of whom the memory will be one of veneration. It is a big consolation, however, for you to have seen her die in a country of liberty and sooner or later we must all go the same way.

I don't doubt that having done the necessary reflections on this subject it will contribute much to submitting oneself to the orders of providence. May God console you and keep you in his holy protection along with all those who belong to you. Please continue to honour me with your memory and know that I am...

11 September 1702 - Letter to Marie Camin in Schiedam from Frederic in Amsterdam

My dear wife, I'm writing to let you know that we arrived safely. We found Mr. Godefroy wasn't well and this hour that I'm writing you he's no better. He complains of extreme fatigue and a bad pain in the calves of his legs. I found him changed. He has, however, a good appetite. May God bring him relief. He's in no condition to undertake the tour which we had planned, at least not until his condition improves. Thus I can't say what we'll do. I will return with the men which will be perhaps in 2 or 3 days. I still haven't seen my sister Oursel. I've seen 'Catin' who is doing well, but haven't as yet seen Frederic.

Yesterday we arrived at the gates of Haarlem at 7 o'clock where we found the group with Mr. Godefroy. He left a moment later by another route. Therefore we were able to get through. They had been waiting for us for nearly 8 1/2 hours. The whole company had dinner at the home of brother le Charpentier who is quite handicapped but a good talker.

Goodbye my dear. Father Abraham is waiting for me to leave. Everyone sends affectionate greetings. Mademoiselle Godefroy is sending the opiate to make 'l'eau de coin'. Your dear and faithful husband, Frederic de Coninck

Schiedam, Holland
20 November 1702

Mademoiselle Ester Oursel

I received with pleasure the letter that you wrote me last Monday on the subject of Mr. [Philippe] Le Meusnier your suitor. The report you gave me regarding his good qualities gives me esteem for his person. Being good in both body and spirit, having abilities, pious, of a good family, these are qualities not to be neglected. Since you would like my feelings on this matter I will tell you seriously and candidly that you would do well to make him my brother-in-law.

If he doesn't have as much capital as you would like, his ability in matters makes up for any deficiencies. There are many people who are well off today who began with less than him. Ditto when you put your pieces together, the things will grow and since both of you have qualifications one must hope that you will succeed in whatever you undertake. Since it is a thing that one considers more than any other and that marriage is for life, I don't doubt that you did all the necessary research that befits the importance of the subject and that it won't fail for having been dealt with lightly.

I would put great stock in the advice of Mr. and Mrs. Godefroy. They are good friends who will counsel you only to your advantage with regard to what you say about the monsieur proposing that you keep the books in a bank for a year. I would say that I find this a wise move. I would advise him not only for a year but for as long as he finds it appropriate, not so much for the buoyancy in the low countries as to remain flexible. Some f200 is a good amount to set aside and since he gives to this only a few hours of his time, it will not detract him a lot from his particular affairs without mentioning the fact that you will make a good office assistant.

So there, my dear sister, are my sentiments. I give it to you in all candid sincerity from a good brother. I pray God that He showers his blessings on your enterprise and gives you good counsel, and that if it succeeds, it will be to your joy and contentment. These are the wishes of one who is wholeheartedly...

1703 Timeline

2 September 1703 - Letter to Marie Camin from Frederic in Amsterdam.

My dear wife, I write you in a bit of a hurry, being late. Besides, I must post my letter through sister Meusnier [Esther Oursel] who has a package to send you. I'll say therefore that we arrived here safely on Saturday earlier than expected. Because of that and since the wind was good at Leyden, it made us decide to put in at the Hague by crossing the Haarlem Sea which we did fortunately, arriving before 5 o'clock at the Overton.

I haven't done anything yet but I'm going to the stock exchange to speak with the broker of the prices in order to do some conversions. Everything was in upheaval with Mr. Rousselet. His granddaughter was quite sick. She's doing a little better now. His servant was also sick. His wife isn't too well and neither is the father Rousselet. Without mentioning that they have a lot of difficulties, they have given plenty of business to Frederic. He has been suffering for several days from a violent headache. Yesterday he dined with us and is doing a bit better. I had to give him a purgative quickly in the hope that it would do him some good for his headache. So, that's the situation he'll have to deal with, but otherwise I'm pleased with him.

I believe the group will leave tomorrow for Utrecht so I can't say exactly the day I'll be leaving which I will mention in my next letter. I'd rather be on my way back home now, my dear, because in your absence I'm only half alive. Tell me how you're feeling and how everyone is doing. I'm still hale and hearty.

We go to bed much too late and I chat until after 6:00 a.m. with le Chavalier who I share a room with. We didn't sleep two hours. The father thought we had just gone to bed so we went without breakfast.

I kiss you and all the tribe, your dear and faithful husband. Greet everyone for me. Frederic de Coninck


Schiedam, Holland
7 October 1703

Mademoiselle Marie Oursel

I received the letter that you wrote me on 10 August which is more than a month ago. I have written you some time before under cover of sister Meusnier [Ester Oursel] who came here to see us. I took note of your afflictions. They touched me deeply but since it pleased God to ordain this, it's up to us to aquiesce to his sacred wish. I pray with all my heart that He sends you the consolations needful and that He preserves you one way or another a great number of years in good health.

With regard to the matters I reiterated to you which I mentioned, I put my interests entirely in your hands. I will approve implicitly all that you will do, persuaded as I am that you will only do whatever is good for the common cause. I declare again openly and sincerely that I have no other pretensions which I can legitimately resort to regarding the succession of our mother. I would like you to know my innermost being. There you would see a heart without guile. Our sister here knows me well enough and is able to render witness of it. Therefore it's in you, my dear sister, in whom I take my refuge. It's you who must appear as the sole heir of our mother. It must be that our names don't appear in any way otherwise this would be the way to lose all and to cause the seizure of everything. In God's name don't abandon the Jardin and complete what your father had planned to do. Consider also who is owing at St. Quentin. If you can quickly make something from all that, it would be a great blessing.

With regards to our nieces de Coninck you know there is no guardian but this must not stop you. While acting on our behalf, you will at the same time be doing so for them. These are poor girls stripped of everything. Our brother and sister [Camin] use me like a big charity in their place. They must be settled in Amsterdam but with nothing one can do nothing. My sister Camin promised to address herself to the last wishes of our mother in their regard, but she said she would have to speak to her husband about it. I have since pressed the matter but with no response. Thus you see that the thing is uncertain. This would go a long way toward establishing these girls. All that you undertake, my dear sister, to our relief in such a pressing necessity and to do all that you can for us, I would have on my part every gratitude imagineable and you would have from me every assurance you could wish for.

Touching what you told me about the period of mourning [for some unknown death], I will say that we all took it also and although we saved the most that was possible for us, since we are many that didn't leave much to count. It seems to me that on this occasion sorrow must carry its appropriate burden. Nevertheless it will be whatever it pleases you to give.

I have told you of the sad state I find myself reduced to by the bankruptcy of Mr. Camin. To him it was a comfort to cover me but far from that he absented himself [went away, perhaps due to ill health. He died later in 1705 in Vianen, a city in central Netherlands, in the province of Utrecht] without saying anything to me, and leaving more debts to pay which constitute more liabilities for our factory. You can imagine the state in which I now find myself, responsible for a large family. May the good God assist me in such an overwhelming situation and give me the strength necessary to be able to resist it. Enclosed is a letter from my sister Camin where you will see her feelings on the subject of what you ask. All the inventory at her place has been seized and I'm told that her husband obtained a safe-conduct for the current month. Apparently this will become evident this week. I await what will happen because it's hidden from me as though I were a stranger. This matter is spoken of in diverse places. If he had friends he certainly didn't lack enemies.

May God determine my well-being shortly. May He calm my agitated spirit and give me a little more rest. My wife who does not enjoy good health greets you warmly and embraces you along with sister Rachelot. I do as much and ask for the continuation of your friendship. I am perfectly...

1704 Timeline

Schiedam, Holland
28 March 1704

Monsieur Andre le Cointe

Frederic's wife, Marie Camin, was a daughter of Louis Camin and Anne de Santerre.

III-b Louis Camin, zoon van Nicolas Camin (zie II) en Anne Clavier. Louis trouwde op 7 mei 1656 in Abbeville met Anne de Santerre. Het kerkelijk huwelijk vond plaats op 7 mei 1656 in Abbeville. Anne is een dochter van Philippe de Santerre en Madeleine le Roy. Kinderen van Louis en Anne:
1 Louis Camin.
2 Noel Camin.
3 Marie Camin, geboren op 14 november 1659 in Abbeville. Volgt IV-c.

Marie Camin's uncle, No Camin, married Rachel Lecointe, a daughter of Andre Lecointe and Anne Lemonnier.

III-c No(l) Camin, zoon van Nicolas Camin (zie II) en Anne Clavier. No(l):
(1) trouwde op 21 mei 1665 in Pont-Audemer met Rachel Lecointe. Het kerkelijk huwelijk vond plaats op 21 mei 1665 in Pont-Audemer. Rachel is een dochter van Andr Lecointe en Anne Lemonnier. Rachel is overleden vr 1680.
(2) trouwde op 2 juni 1680 in Rouen met Sara Leforestier. Sara is een dochter van Jean Leforestier en Sara Chauvin.


I am sorry to inconvenience you about a thing that perhaps will not be agreeable since it involves a legal dispute I have against madam, your mother. Since I know that you are fair I address myself to you in the hope that if you cannot obtain justice for me, at least you won't be annoyed if I recount my reasons.

It is in regard to a small letter of f52:14 French money drawn at Frankfurt on the aforementioned madamoiselle the V. le Francois on madam your mother payable to the order of Madam the V. Lorquin who endorsed it to me. This letter came quite a long way having been twice returned to Germany. I presented it several times to madam your mother for collection but in vain. She was accompanied this last time with a letter from mademoiselle le Francois and of monsieur, her son, to madam their aunt. Perhaps you have seen it. Their reasons seem sound...


and unassailable. In fact since the mother is responsible for the maintenance and education of her son, it is just that she enjoys the income that belongs to him. Madam your mother alleges one reason for not paying is that the letter of the son isn't from him and must be a forgery because it's signed 'Thomas' whereas, she says, his name is 'Nicolas'. She is being fooled with his permission.

You can readily affirm that he is called 'Thomas' being godson of monsieur his grandfather. Besides, having one such thought of his mother would insult her cruelly. I cannot comprehend such a hateful deception over a thing of so little consequence. I involve myself in this matter only because I am interested in being reimbursed for money that I loaned to madam Locquin during her sojourn here.

I pray you, monsieur my cousin, to assist me on this occasion and to dispose madam your mother to the payment of the said letter. I hope that you will not refuse me this courtesy. I will be obliged to you and if you judge me able to return you some service I will do so wholeheartedly. I greet very humbly my cousin your wife and wish you both a long life full of joy, pleasure, and contentment. I am entirely...

Schiedam, Holland
24 July 1704

Mademoiselle Camin, my sister [Catherine de Coninck]

Today it's been eight days since I was at Rotterdam. I pondered the things you asked me about. I admit I found great difficulty seeing the situation of the matters for you aren't authorized to receive anything, nor Mr. Camin any more.

I am persuaded that you will not find it wrong that I take my precautions in this thorny situation since it will ruin me completely. Nevertheless despite all these obstacles, as you informed me that you need money and to show you that at all times I had the intention to act well with you, I have gone over all these difficulties despite great risk to me.

On the same day, I left a docket in the hands of cousin Torin that he was able to receive the same day if he wanted the sum of f300:18. I don't doubt that he has received it since and I'm surprised that he didn't already tell you about it. He only told me that he kept this sum p6, your accounting according to your order to help in furnishing what you must remit to our uncle Crommelin. Enclosed is a receipt sample that I pray you send me at your convenience. I've been advised to have one made because in some way it covers me.

Yesterday I received a letter from Mr. de Rochefort that informs me that the liquidator intends to sell the tanneries shortly. He instructs me to send him the formalities of this city that are necessary to observe on this occasion which I will do tomorrow. God grant the strength to succeed well.

We have been in great anxiety regarding nephew Camin. Praise God that he left it at such a good price. This blessing will be glorious for him and doubtless an occasion to advance him.

My wife and I greet you warmly, as well as our nieces, your daughters. I'm told that niece 'Catin' is at the Hague. Being so nearby perhaps she will come and see us. I wish you a good constitution with perfect health and am with all my heart...