Page images

estimate of the numerical proportion of the French members of it. The number must have been quite small, and probably contained more Walloons than Huguenots. The intermixture of the two races of religious refugees, both speaking the same language, and bearing names in the same language, is a constant source of difficulty to students of the Huguenot emigration. The French and Walloon element in the colony of New Netherland was frequently reinforced during the remaining years of the Dutch rule there. According to tradition, Wallabout, which is now comprised within the limits of Brooklyn, takes its name from the Walloons.* In 1656 three ship-loads of Waldenses-yet another class of religious refugees —were sent out to the same country, and it was they who took part, as is believed, in the first settlement of Staten Island. Lastly a Walloon emigrant from the Palatinate founded the village of 'le nouveau Palatinat' or New Paltz, in the interior of the province of New Amsterdam (New York). This was just before New Netherland passed from the hands of the Dutch, and became a British possession (1664).

In his third chapter, Dr. Baird opens an almost unexplored field in the emigration of the Huguenots to the islands of the West Indies. He shows that for the half-century extending from 1635 to 1685 the French colonies in the Antilles formed a comparatively safe retreat for the Huguenots. Though protestant churches were forbidden, the rites of religion were suffered to be performed without hindrance in private houses; and the Huguenots could visit, when they pleased, the churches. of the neighbouring Dutch and English islands. The French shared St. Christopher with the English, and the latter had five churches in their quarter of the island. From the date, however, of the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes the French possessions in the West Indies were filled with a new protestant population, sent there in far different circumstances; the Huguenots were now transported thither, and sold as slaves to the planters. The horrors of the transportation, much like those of the English slave-trade, have often been dwelt on. Dr. Baird adds some new particulars to our knowledge of this terrible traffic; he makes a just comment on its design which is worth quoting :

* Vol. i., pp. 177, 178.

+ Dr. Baird speaks of this subject as one which has escaped the attention of the writers who has traced the wanderings of the Huguenot exiles' (vol. i., p. 201). It is, however, apparently referred to in an obscure way by Peyrat, Histoire des Pasteurs du Désert i. 93 (Paris, 1842).

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

'It is not to be supposed, however, that the French 'government seriously contemplated, at any time, the transportation of large numbers of Huguenots to serve " as slaves in the colonies. It was undoubtedly for "the purpose chiefly of intimidation that the measure was announced. All conceivable pains were taken to intensify the impression of horror which that announcement produced. Those who had withstood every other effort to 'shake their firmness, were now driven by hundreds to 'the sea-ports. The miseries of the journey were aggravated in every possible way. Parents and children, husbands and wives, neighbors and friends, were 'fully separated from one another...... Many sickened 'and died on the way...... But many thousands, after re'sisting every effort to overcome their faithfulness, and 'bearing the hardships of this shameful journey, yielded in the end. At the sight of the ships, which were to carry 'them far from their native land into slavery, their hearts 'failed them. Those who persevered, were the wonder and 'admiration of their brethren.'*


It seems indeed that their slavery proved less intolerable than they had expected; and there was in any case the possibility of escape. Dr. Baird notices that a large number of families found their way in safety to the protestant regions of North America or to Bermuda. The French government had at length to send out directions for a gentler policy to be pursued towards those who remained in the islands in order to check the emigration.

Dr. Baird's following chapters have a less direct bearing upon the fortunes of the Huguenots in their foreign wanderings. He sketches their history at home during the interval extending from the fall of La Rochelle to the Revocation of the Edict. He notices the overtures of hospitality made to them by England, Holland, and other countries; and then in fonr chapters he goes over the districts of France from which the emigration started, beginning with La Rochelle and Aunis, and passing in turn through the western, northern, central, eastern, and southern provinces. This long section, filling more than two hundred pages,† will be found of special interest to students of Huguenot names and family history. The foot-notes, which are very abundant, throw a fresh light on the exceedingly wide distribution of the homes of those who emigrated to America. This fact is all the more strikingly displayed since * Vol. i., pp. 219, 220. + Vol. i., p. 262; vol. ii., p. 147.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

we are shown the refugees from an inverse point of view from that which might seem the natural one; i.e., they are arranged according to their original homes, not according to those in which they finally settled themselves. Dr. Baird proceeds gradually from the mother country to the different refuges.' England forms the subject of chapter ix., because in by far the majority of cases this country was the halting-place from which the emigrants set out for the new world. It was in consequence of the time thus allowed them for reflexion upon the advantages offered by the several colonies of America, that the last stage of their journey was far more carefully planned than was possible in the case of any others of the exiled Huguenots.

Originating in a forced flight,' says Dr. Baird, 'the movement continues to present to the imagination 'the appearance of a dispersion, hasty and incoherent: and 'we think of the fugitives as crossing the ocean, very 'much as many of them crossed the British Channel, 'panic-stricken, and nearly desperate, abandoning themselves in utter ignorance to a guiding power which they 'religiously trusted. It will be found on further inquiry, 'that the emigration was an intelligent one. Providen'tially directed, its course was shaped by the mature judgment of well-informed men, who were enterprising and practical, as well as devout.**

It was, in fact, elaborately organised, and mainly carried out by the trustees of the national English subscription fund, which bore the name of the Royal Bounty. The account given by Dr. Baird, in his tenth chapter, of the voyage across the Atlantic is graphic and full of incident. It will be read with pleasure, even by those who have no interest in the general subject of the book.

Thus, at last, we return to America itself, from which we have been separated since chapter iii.; and the four concluding chapters (xi.-xiv.) introduce us to the colonies in New England. Dr. Baird's plan is to carry on the survey further south, to New York, Virginia, and Carolina, in a future volume (or future volumes) of his work. The present section deals mainly with the French settlements in Massachusetts. Dr. Baird gives a full description of the community at Boston, which formed the natural centre from which perhaps most of the immigrants proceeded into the interior of the province. The one specially French 'plantation,' that of New Oxford in the Nipmuck country, had an unhappy history. Undertaken in 1687, it was *Vol. ii-, pp. 188, 189.

twice destroyed by the Indians, not without suspicion of help from the French catholics of Canada; and the little colony had not heart to return a third time to their ruined home. The village lay desolate in 1704; the work had to be begun afresh by English planters nine years later. Dr. Baird relates the history at length, as also that of a no less unfortunate settlement in the Narragansett country of Rhode Island, which was broken up within five years of its foundation. In other parts of Rhode Island and in Connecticut he has no real colonies to describe. The details he gives, respecting the small number of French households, 'settled singly or in groups' in these districts, belong rather to the family history of America than to the history of the Huguenot emigration thither.

We have been able but to sketch the outline of this laborious and valuable book. We have said nothing of the biographies of individual refugees, or of the original personal narratives which add so vivid an interest to Dr. Baird's pages. If the reader is apt at first to think that the author has given too much of an antiquarian nature, and that his notes are crowded with matter which had better been tabulated in appendices, he will find, on further examination, that there are few of the notes which do not furnish some illustration of the general history, many of them illustrations of great interest;—and he will probably decide that by omitting his genealogical apparatus Dr. Baird would have made a more readable work, but one of far less permanent value. At the same time we are of opinion that, for the use of general students of history, an edition might well be issued, which by the omission of all that is of merely personal interest, would not extend to more then perhaps a third part of the length of Dr. Baird's book. It is right to add that the volumes are beautifully printed (we have noticed but very few errata, and those of little consequence) and illustrated by a number of excellent engravings. The maps are inferior in execution.

Relations politiques des Pays-Bas et de l'Angleterre sous le règne de Philippe II.; publiées par M. le Baron Kervyn de Lettenhove, Président de la Commission Royale d'Histoire de Belgique. Tomes I-IV., 1882-1885. Hayes, Imprimeur de l'Academie Royale de Belgique, Bruxelles.*


This is a most exhaustive collection of papers bearing upon the political relations of England with the Low Countries, *On peut s'adresser pour tout ce qui concerne la vente, à la librairie de "M. Ch. Muquardt, à Bruxelles."

during a period, described by Baron Kervyn, as " la plus agitée de l'histoire moderne." The work commences with the resignation of the Emperor Charles V., and it is intended to continue it to the defeat of the Spanish Armada. The fourth volume, which has just been issued, deals with the Regency of the Duchess of Parma.

But little attention is paid by the ordinary Englishman to the history of any country of modern Europe, besides his own. But there is one exception to this general indifference, one nation, in the story of whose heroic struggles for liberty he always displays the greatest interest. Through the genius of Motley, the sturdy burghers of the Low Countries have become as familiar to us as our own Elizabethan worthies, and a testimony to the interest in them, aroused by his picturesque writings, is to be found in the frequency with which scenes from his glowing pages have been transferred to canvass. The episodes of their long contest with the tyranny of Spain have proved a fertile source of inspiration to our painters, and with the exception of the dramatic events in the France of the great Revolution, no other foreign country has offered so rich a mine to the historical artist as the Netherlands.

Although the political and commercial intercourse of England with the Low Countries had been of the highest importance from the days of the Anglo-Saxon Kings, at no time were such momentous interests at stake, as in the opening years of the reign of Elizabeth. The wide spread possessions of the House of Burgundy had passed to Philip of Spain, the most powerful monarch in Europe, and soon to become our bitterest enemy. The story of his fierce attempts to suppress the revolt of his subjects in the Netherlands, a revolt, embittered by the contest being in the main, a fight for religious liberty against a most bigoted and unscrupulous, though sincere adherent, of the Romish Church, has already been made known to us by the fascinating pen of Motley. But Motley's primary object was to write a history of the Netherlands themselves during a particular period, and a special treatment of their intercourse with England did not come within the scope of his work. No other writer of note has yet dealt with this subject, and the volumes now being issued by the Belgian Commission, supply materials for a history of those stirring times which has long been wanted.

The chief cause of Philip's relentless cruelty in the Netherlands was his intense hatred of the reformed religion. The re-establishment of Protestantism in England, where his late

« PreviousContinue »