Persecutions Of The French Protestants In The South Of France During The Years 1814 And 1820

The persecution in this protestant part of France continued with very

little intermission from the revocation of the edict of Nantes, by Louis

XIV. till a very short period previous to the commencement of the late

French revolution. In the year 1785, M. Rebaut St. Etienne and the

celebrated M. de la Fayette were among the first persons who interested

themselves with the court of Louis XVI., in removing the scourge of

rsecution from this injured people, the inhabitants of the south of


Such was the opposition on the part of the catholics and the courtiers,

that it was not till the end of the year 1790, that the protestants were

freed from their alarms. Previously to this, the catholics at Nismes in

particular, had taken up arms; Nismes then presented a frightful

spectacle; armed men ran through the city, fired from the corners of the

streets, and attacked all they met with swords and forks. A man named

Astuc was wounded and thrown into the aqueduct; Baudon fell under the

repeated strokes of bayonets and sabres, and his body was also thrown

into the water; Boucher, a young man only 17 years of age, was shot as

he was looking out of his window; three electors wounded, one

dangerously; another elector wounded, only escaped death by repeatedly

declaring he was a catholic; a third received four sabre wounds, and was

taken home dreadfully mangled. The citizens that fled were arrested by

the catholics upon the roads, and obliged to give proofs of their

religion before their lives were granted. M. and Madame Vogue, were at

their country house, which the zealots broke open, where they massacred

both, and destroyed their dwelling. M. Blacher, a protestant seventy

years of age, was cut to pieces with a sickle; young Pyerre, carrying

some food to his brother, was asked, "Catholic or protestant?"

"Protestant," being the reply, a monster fired at the lad, and he fell.

One of the murderer's companions said, "you might as well have killed a

lamb." "I have sworn," replied he, "to kill four protestants for my

share, and this will count for one." However, as these atrocities

provoked the troops to unite in defence of the people, a terrible

vengeance was retaliated upon the catholic party that had used arms,

which with other circumstances, especially the toleration exercised by

Napoleon Buonaparte, kept them down completely till the year 1814, when

the unexpected return of the ancient government rallied them all once

more round the old banners.