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Friday, 9 September 2011

Charles De La Valade

The Huguenot refugee, Rev. Charles de la Valade, became the pastor of the French Church in Lisburn in 1704, a post he held for 40 years. He died in 1756 - if he died at the age of about 80, then his date of birth would have been circa 1670.

The Lavalade name in Ireland only occurs in the Lisburn/Dromore area.  Spelt phonetically for the most part, there are a variety of different spellings.  Our paternal great-great-great grandmother was named Agnes Lavalet/Lavalade and married our great-great-great grandfather, Reid Wilson, in Ballygunaghan, Donaghcloney, just south of Dromore, Co. Down, in about 1826.

It's important to clarify that I have found no link between the first of the French Lavalade family to settle in the Lisburn/Dromore area of Northern Ireland, Rev. Charles Lavalade, and the cluster of Lavalades who lived in the Dromore/Donaghcloney area, but since the name only occurs in this one particular area, I would suspect that a family link is likely.   In January 2017 I received the results of an Ancestry DNA test which revealed that I share an early genetic link with a fellow researcher who descends from the Crommelin/de la Cherois family of Lisburn and Donaghdee.  The sister of Rev. Charles Lavalade of Lisburn was Madeleine de la Valade who married Alexander Crommelin, a member of the Lisburn Crommelins.

Where did the Rev. Charles Lavalade originate in France?   The name of the family was de Lavalade/de Lavallade/de la Vallade/de la Valade. There was no nom de terre added to it.  Having researched as many of the La Valade families as I could find, via the Geneanet website which holds a large online collection of original French historical material in their library,  I isolated the staunchly Protestant ones, and none of these had a ‘nom de terre’ attached.
I isolated the staunchly Protestant Lavalade families in the southern part of the country, ruled out many, and concentrated eventually the families of Bertrand de Lavallade of Nerac who was the attorney general of Henry IV of Navarre,  and the family of the Protestant pastor, Pierre de la Vallade of Fontenoy-le-Conte.  Both Betrand de Lavallade and Pierre de la Vallade are well-documented and lived in the Languedoc area, which in earlier times generally referred to much of the South of France, and Rev. Charles de la Valade of Lisburn was reputed to come from this same area of the country.

In 'Recherches Historiques et Archaeologiques sur Fontenoy'  Bernard Fillon states (page 254) that Pierre and Bertrand de La Vallade were of the same family...'Pierre de la Vallade, né dans le Languedoc, d'abord ministre a Bergerac, s'acquit beaucoup de réputation...Pierre de la Vallade etait parent de Bertrand de la Vallade, conseiller du roi de Navarre...'
 The following links give details on these two earlier Protestant French Lavalades...

The siblings of Rev. Charles de la Valade/Lavalade also fled France.  He was known to have one brother, possibly named Alain, who supposedly succeeded him in Lisburn Cathedral for two years, and six sisters. Four of his sisters remained unmarried and settled in the Lisburn area -  they were named  Ann, Martha, Catherine, and Judith Lavalade.
The fifth sister of Rev. Charles de la Valade, Magdalen Lavalade, married into the Crommelin family who were the founders of the linen industry in Lisburn.  I recently - in January 2017 - took an Ancestry DNA test, which revealed that I'm a distantly related to the Crommelin family.  This would seem to suggest, therefore, that the Donaghcloney Lavalades were relatives of the Lisburn Lavalades, although I have found nothing to shed any further light on the family link.

Charles de la Valade's sixth sister married into the Dubourdieu family.  Her first name is unknown, although she might be the sister, Madeleine, who married Alexander Crommelin of Lisburn as a second marriage.

The Dubourdieu family originated in Bergerac and fled France, settling eventually in London where they were closely linked to the French church there.

Rev.Isaac Dubourdieu (1567 - 1700) had been born in Bergerac to Pierre Dubourdieu, the governer of Bergerac.  Rev. Isaac Dubourdieu would die in London. By his first wife, presumably a La Valet although some sources suggest she was a Lavalade, he had two children:

1)Andrée La Valet Dubourdieu who married, firstly, Jean Vachan, and, secondly, Jean Boisbellaud de la Chapelle. They were the parents of the pastor Armand Dubourdieu Boybellaud de la Chapelle. Jean Armand Boisbeleau de la Chapelle was called from London, where he had been the pastor of the Church of the Artillery, to the Walloon Church in La Haye, Holland, where he was installed on 11th November 1725; he died in 1745.

2) James/Jacques Dubourdieu (1621 - 1682ish)  who married the older sister of Charles de la Valade/Lavalade.  He was murdered just before the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, possibly in Blaye or Montpelier. (There is a record of a Jacques Dubourdieu attending the Synod of Charenton in 1644;  he was noted as an elder of the church at Blaye.  Our Jacques Dubourdieu would have been 23 years old in 1644.)
The son of Jacques Dubourdieu and his wife née Lavalade, was Jean-Armand Dubourdieu (1683 - 1723) who would later marry Charlotte Massy - their son was Rev. Saumarez Dubourdieu, the celebrated third pastor of the French Church in Lisburn who succeeded his great-uncles, the two Lavalade brothers, Charles and Alain.

The second wife of Rev. Isaac Dubourdieu was Marie de Costebadie, the daughter of the minister Jean de Costebadie. They married in 1660 and had four sons. One of them, Jean Dubourdieu, helped to organise the escape of many French Protestants from the county, including the widow  - Charles de la Valade’s sister - of his murdered half-brother, Jacques, and her baby son Jean-Armand, who would take refuge with the Rev. Isaac Dubourdieu in London.
Rev. Isaac Dubourdieu was transferred to the Reformed Church in Montpelier in 1651 and was exiled to London in 1683 where he became pastor of the French Church at the Savoy.
A Dubourdieu,one of the pastors who succeeded Isaac Dubourdieu at the French Church in the Savoy in London, appears many times in the Calendars of State Papers in Whitehall as the person who recommended that a travel pass be awarded to French Protestants wishing to travel from London to, for the most part, Holland.
This particular Dubourdieu  may well have been Isaac Dubourdieu’s grandson, Jean-Armand Dubourdieu, who had been born to Isaac’s son, James/Jacques Dubourdieu and his La Valade wife in about 1680.  James Dubourdieu was murdered in France in about 1682 - but it’s unclear where but possibly in Montpelier - which prompted his widow’s escape to London in 1683, aided by her brother-in-law Jean Dubourdieu.  Madame Dubourdieu ‘walked the entire width of France, from near the Atlantic to Switzerland….the Count’s daughter enlisted the services of a faithful domestic, disguised herself as a peasant, put her infant son in a shawl on her back, and set off on her long long journey.’  (From ‘Baby on Her Back’ by Rev.William J. DuBourdieu.)
From the safety of Switzerland, she entered Germany, then Holland, and finally London where they were taken in by the patriarch of the family, Rev. Isaac Dubourdieu.

Madame Lavalade Dubourdieu and her young son, Jean-Armand Dubourdieu, were shortly joined in the same London household by Jean-Armand’s two cousins, Armand Boybellaud, who was the son of Andrée La Valet Dubourdieu and Jean Boybellaud de la Chapelle, and by J.Armand Dubourdieu.  All three cousins were educated and reared in the home of their grandfather, Rev. Isaac Dubourdieu.

Rev. Charles de la Valade escaped from France to the safety of Protestant Holland and settled at Haarlem where Samuel Crommelin and his wife, Madeleine Testart had also settled following their expulsion from St. Quentin.  Charles' sister, Madeleine de la Valade, married their son, Alexandre Crommelin;  the young couple spent time in Hamburg before moving to Lisburn.  The sister of Alexandre Crommelin, Anne Crommelin, had married her cousin, Louis Crommelin, who was the founder of the linen industry at Lisburn, and it was Louis Crommelin who suggested Charles Lavalade as a possible pastor for the French church there.

The following document, sourced from ‘The Pedigree Register, Vol.2’, documents later legal wrangling by the Crommelin family, and makes mention of the Lavalade sisters - Magdalen/Madeleine Lavalade who married Alexander Crommelin, and the unmarried sisters, Ann, Martha, Catherine and Judith Lavalade:

'Cramer V. Steward:  1790, July 5th.  Marmaduke CRAMER only child and heir at law of Balthazer CRAMER v. Poyntz STEWARD and Ann, his wife,  late wife of Abraham CROMMELIN. WILL OF ALEXANDER CROMMELIN OF LISBURN, Co.Antrim in Ireland, dated 19th April 1735, his wife Magdalen and daughter Martha executrixes. Testator died 2nd December 1737. Marriages articles 29 July 1741 between late plaintiff Balthazar CRAMER and said Martha CROMELIN, who died and adm’on of her effects was granted 9 March 1741 (sic for 1741/2) to the said Balthazer. His marriage in 1743 with Elizabeth STEPHENS, marriage articles 22 Sept. 1743, between him, Ambrose CRAMER, William STEPHENS Doctor in Physick, and the said Elizabeth his daughter,  trustees Brewster LAUGHLIN and  Walter STEPHENS. Annuities left by testator Alexander CROMMELIN to Magdalen CROMMELIN, Charles CROMMELIN, and Ann Martha Catherine, and Judith LAVALADE.  That by the affidavid of Anne Maria STEPHENS, sworn 28 April 1790 at New Ross in Ireland it appears that the said late Balthazar CRAMER and Elizabeth had three children born of their marriage, viz., two daughters who died in their infancy and one son, the present plaintiff. That the late plaintiff, Elizabeth CRAMER died in January 1783 and was buried at St.Mary’s, Ross, Co. Wexford, leaving the said Balthazer her surviving, who also died 22 December 1783, intestate, leaving the present plaintiff Marmaduke, the only child of the said marriage, in whom the remainder in fee of the estate to be purchased is vested.’

The original will of Alexander Crommelin was published in 'Huguenot Wills and Administrations of England and Ireland, 1617 - 1849':
  'Alexander Crommelin, of Lisburn, wife Magdalen, daughter Matty, son Charles Crommelin, annuity for sisters-in-law, Anne, Martha, Catherine and Judith Levallade, to daughter Magdalen and her husband Rev. Francis Hutchinson 65/- and no more, nephew Paul Mangin £20. Executrixes wife and daughter. Dated 19 April 1735. Probate 15th December 1737.'

Sightings of Charles de la Valade:

On 1 Sept. 1690,  the English authorities granted travel passes to Charles and Madeleine de Lavalade to travel from Harwich, north of London, to Holland:
'Passes for John Watson, his wife, and three children to go to Chester for Ireland; for Peter Doorn, Jasper de Vries, William Rechtering, Cornelis de Clerk, and Nicholas Vanderstar to go to Harwich for Holland; for Charles Lavalade and Magdalen Lavalade, his sister, ditto; and for George Boscher, ditto. [Ibid., pp. 363, 364.]'
  (From 'Calendar of State Papers Domestic: William and Mary, 1690-1)

Charles died in 1756; if he was aged about 85 at the time of his death, then his date of birth would be about 1670, which would make him 20-ish when he travelled from London to Holland in 1690 and was confirmed in Haarlem in 1699.

From 'La Confession de Foy des Eglises Reformees des Pays-Bas',  which details the synods of the Protestant Church in Holland, I discovered a reference to our Charles de la Valade, who was present at the Synod of Middlebourg on September 4th 1699.
  'Charles Lavallade, appellé a l'Eglise de Lisburn en Irlande; confirmé par l'imposition des mains, dans le meme synode, par Mr. Prevost, Pasteur de l'Eglise de Haarlem.'  ('Charles Lavallade, called to the Church in Lisburn, confirmed with the laying-on of hands at the same synod, by Mr. Prevost, the pastor of Haarlem'.)

Charles Lavalade had been confirmed in Haarlem by the pastor, Jean Prevost, who had been called to the church from Dordrecht in 1671 as the second pastor, becoming the head pastor there in 1689 and dying in 1715.
I scoured the records of the Walloon Church, ie: the Reformed or Protestant Church, in the Netherlands but there was no mention of Charles Lavalade working as a pastor there; perhaps he was merely a member of the congregation prior to his confirmation by Jean Prevost in 1699. His older sister was living with her son, Jean-Armand Dubourdieu, with Rev. Isaac Dubourdieu in London at this time, while his younger sister, Madeleine had married Alexander Crommelin and was living at Haarlem and then Hamburg at this time - Charles may have been moving between England, Holland and Germany, before settling finally in Lisburn.

In the same year, 1699, he was apparently noted in the register of the French Church of Threadneedle Street in London, although I haven't seen this record.

The 'Livre Synodal Contenant les Articles Résolus dans les Synodes des Églises Wallonnes des Pays-Bas' mentions Charles de la Valade as being present at three Dutch synods - September 1697,  April 1698 and September 1699.
(The same publication mentions that Jean Prévost, who had confirmed Charles Lavallade in 1699, was the pastor of Haarlem, and that one of his church elders was Jean Crommelin - about this time, Charles' sister, Madeleine, married Alexander Crommelin.  Another section mentions a Pierre Prévost as being a second Haarlem pastor. Jean Prévost of Haarlem also confirmed Jean Guillebert, a refugee pastor from Caen, Normandy, on 20th January 1686;  the same Jean Guillebert, himself one of the pastors of Haarlem,  would later, in 1701, be confirmed once again, this time by Joncourt of La Haye, and would be called to be the pastor in Dublin.)

As already mentioned, in 1699 the Rev. Charles De La Valade appeared in the register of the Huguenot Church in Threadneedle Street as a Pastor, (I haven't seen this reference yet) but in 1704 he was replaced by the Rev. Jacques Saurin and it seems reasonable to assume that it was in 1704 that he made the move to Lisburn where he held the post of pastor until his death in 1756. There are few records of Charles in Lisburn during his time there, and he himself was notorious for not keeping comprehensive records of his congregation.
However, 'Huguenot Wills and Administrations in England and Ireland' shows up the will of Nicholas de la Cherois which makes mention of Charles Lavalade in Llisburn in 1702:
    'Nicholas de la Cherois, major in my Lord Lifford's regiment, living in Lisburn, blessing to my wife and three children, Lisburn poor £5, De Valeda, Minister £5, wife Maria Madeleine, children Maria Madeleine, Nicholas and Samuel. Executors brother David and brother-in-law, Lewis Crommelin. Dated 12 June 1702. Probate July 1702.'
    (Nicholas de la Cherois was the brother of Daniel de la Cherois who served in the army alongside Louis de Gorron de la Thenies who was the husband of Suzanne de La Vallade, the granddaughter of Pierre de La Vallade, pastor of Fontenoy. I don't know if these connections are significant.)

From Treasury Warrants, Whitehall:
‘August 12th 1717: 
Civil List Establishment of Ireland or List containing all payments to be made for Civil affairs for the Kingdom of Ireland: under the royal sign manual given at Hampton Court Aug. 12: to commence from 24 Aug. 1717.
List includes the following: A French Minister at Lisburn  £60 0s. 0d.’

'Researching Huguenot Settlers in Ireland' records 'An Account of Royal manufacture of Linnen Cloth in Lisburn' for the period 25th September 1711 to 25th March 1712. ' Among the list of subsidized residents was the name of Ann La Valade who was one of the sisters  of Charles Lavalade:

  'Name of Subsidized Residents                                      
       Louis Crommelin
       Samuel Crommelin
       Samuel Lewis Crommelin
       Daniel Crommelin
       Alexander Crommelin (married to Magdalen Lavalade)
       James Truffet
       Louis Poiriez
       Abel Dartigues
       Nicholas Laurent
       ANN LA VALADE                                                    
       Salomon Lubia
       John Douillez
       Peter Douillez

The Rev. Lavalade subscribed in 1728 to 'Sermons Sur Divers Textes de l'Ecriture Sainte' by the French pastor in Dublin, Gaspard Caillard.

The Great Fire in Lisburn:
The great fire of Lisburn started at 11am on Sunday April 20th 1707 and spread rapidly through the town.  Constructed almost entirely of highly flammable material, the town was consumed.
A local minister wrote: "This is a very sore and sudden shock and...I pray God you never experience the like. There are many families wholly broken and several had not so much as to buy bread to their children last market day."
The linen business of Louis Crommelin temporarily closed and the authorities had to step in to help the colony.   Following the catastrophic fire of 1707, many of the inhabitants of the town moved the few miles south to the town of Dromore, and it's in the Dromore area that the Lavalade name seems to have carried on until it died out in the mid 19th century.

Rev. Charles de La Valade/Lavalade of Lisburn had an only daughter, Ann, who married George Russell and Charles was living with this couple in Lisburn at the time of his death in 1756.

George Russell and Ann Lavallade (sic) married on 2nd May 1737 in Lisburn Cathedral - this from the register of the cathedral, which I went through in the Public Record Office in Belfast.  A possible relation of this George Russell might be the following, earlier, George Russell of Lisburn....
This, from the Trinity College Admission records....'George Russell, Siz (Mr. Harvey, Lisburn) Jan 30 1688 - 1689,  aged 20;  son of Thomas, Armiger; born Newtown, Co. Down.'

Rev. Charles Lavalade made his will in Lisburn in 1758;  there was another record of this same will in 1775, although the document, headed 'Connor Diocese Administration Bonds' and viewable online on the PRONI website, was listed under the name of  'Rev. Charles Laralade.'
The same will was in probate in 1827.
Charles' widow, listed as 'Widow Lavalach' was listed on the 1766 Religious Census for Lisburn.
An Anne Lavallade made a will in Lisburn in 1859, but I wonder was this erroneously transcribed, and whether it should be 1759 -  Charles had sisters in Lisburn, one of whom was Anne Lavalade; his daughter, from the time of her marriage to George Russell, would have been known as Anne Russell.

Evolution of the Lavalade name in the Dromore area:

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