Imatges de pàgina

it may please the magistrates to open for them a church to enable them to preach and administer the sacraments. Therefore, Decreed that we advise the selecting of a proper place of worship for said English, and that the parties confer thereupon with Monsieur Calvin." 1

This eminent man, at that time, was all powerful at Geneva. It so happened that he had occasion to make this request a few days only after the final overthrow of the Libertines. The leaders of this pestilent sect, arrested or dispersed, lay under the sentence of a capital condemnation, incurred by their attempt to effect a revolution in the state, under the pretext that too many foreigners were admitted to citizenship. They had been the political as well as the personal enemies of Calvin; and hence, deprived of their power at this precise moment, they were driven back and had left an open field to the friends of the strangers. Besides, if some of those who feared the influence of the French refugees were still found in the Council, they must have seen with pleasure the arrival of other strangers who would be able to balance the French influence. Thus everything concurred to favor the applicants, and to ensure their obtaining the same rights which had been granted to others.

Nevertheless, as several Englishmen had already arrived before any final action had been taken, Calvin, on the twen tieth of October, presented himself anew before the Council, in support of his former request. He said that they had then promised to the strangers Saint Germain or Notre Dame-la-Neuve, and added: "At other times the said English had received other nations among themselves, and had given to them a church; but now it has pleased God to afflict them." They appointed three councillors to examine the case and report. Subsequently, on the fourteenth of November, it was decided to grant, both to the English and to the Italians, the church of Marie-la-Neuve.3 Finally, on the twenty-ninth of the same month, the two ministers

1 Registres du Conseil, vol. de 1555, fol. 102. 2 Ib., 2d vol. de 1555, fol. 17.

3 Ib. fol. 35.

named by the new congregation and paid by it, were approved by the Council and took the required oath.1


The English colony having been once established and organized, our registers contain but few notices of them, for the simple reason, as we are authorized to believe, that the exiles furnished no cause for complaint. Since the colony consisted entirely of men who had fled from their country on account of the persecutions which the reformed suffered from Mary, they had of course, after the death of this queen and the succession of Elizabeth, no reason for remaining any longer, but would wish naturally to return to England.2 Hence on the twenty-fourth of January, 1559, several among them, more especially some of the ministers, presented to the Council of the city a request, stating that, as it had pleased God to reestablish the reformation in their own country, they desired to return thither that they might labor to extend it there; and further, thanking them sincerely for the friendly reception which they had enjoyed in the place of their retreat, they asked that they might receive a regular permission to depart. Some months later, a person designated as a bishop of England presents himself to express his desires and feelings to the same effect, and to receive likewise a similar response.*

In pursuing this course, these English not only showed themselves grateful for the hospitality which they had received, but conformed strictly to the law of the Genevans, which forbade the inhabitants to leave the city without per

1 Registre du Conseil, 2d vol. de 1555, fol. 51,

2"The tidings of queen Elizabeth's peaceable coming to the crown," says Fuller, was no sooner brought beyond the seas but it filled the English exiles with unspeakable gladness, being instantly at home in their hearts, and not long after with their bodies. I knew one right well, whose father, amongst them, being desperately diseased, was presently and perfectly cured with the cordial of the good news; and no wonder if this queen recovered sick men, which revived religion itself."

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3 Registre du Conseil, vol. de 1557-59, fol. 361.

4 Registre du Conseil, 2d vol. de 1559, fol. 81, August 24, 1559. VOL. XIX. No. 75.


mission. Besides, some among them had obtained the rights of citizenship. About the middle of the year 1557, we find it mentioned in the records of the Council, that there were certain Englishmen who desired to be received as citizens; and the information was not unwelcome, as it was understood that some among them were wealthy merchants. Still it is not ascertained that, with the exception of some of this commercial class, any were received at this period, at least from the English, except Whittingham; but about a year later, six of his countrymen were also enrolled as citizens. These were John Bodley, having five sons; William Williams; Richard Amondesham; John Baron, having one son; John Knox, having one son, named Nathaniel; and finally, Christopher Goodman. The first five were received on paying the usual fee, very moderate for that time, six gold crowns and a fraction; the last two were received gratuitously, out of respect to their ministry of the word of God. For those English who became, in a civil sense, Genevans, it was the more necessary that they should obtain a regular leave of absence in order that they might preserve their new rights for themselves and their children. The importance of this precaution is recognized, for example, in the terms of the dismission granted, at his request, to John Bodley. In the month of March, 1560, we find that Baron, named above, asked and obtained liberty to remain, during three years, for the purpose of printing a book against the Anabaptists, and afterwards to return, without loss of his citizenship, to his country of Scotland where the gospel was preached.4

The last departure took place at the end of the month of May, 1560. The reader may be pleased to see, in full, the section of the register which makes mention of this event.

"English citizens and residents. Wm. Whittingham, citizen, in his own name and that of his companions, came to

Registre du Conseil, 2d vol. de 1557, fol. 206, 28th of June.

2 Registre du Conseil, fol. 211, July first.

3 Registre du Conseil, 2d vol. of 1559, fol. 91, 5th of September.

4 Registre de 1560 and 1651 (1561?), fol. 16, 17, 7th and 8th of March 1560.

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thank Messieurs for the good treatment which they have had in this city, and signified that to serve the church in their own country it is necessary that they should remove thither, praying us to retain them as humble servants of the state, and declaring that, at all times and in every way in which they may be able to render service to the state and to individuals of the city, they will exert themselves to do so to the utmost of their power; and requesting us to give them an attestation of their life and conversation while they have been in this city. And they have presented the 'book' of those of their nation who came to sojourn in the city, as a perpetual memorial: Decreed, That an honorable dismission be granted to them and an attestation of the contentment we have had with them, and that they be exhorted to pray for us and to do to strangers among themselves as others have done to them;- and let them always be ready to bear good affection to this city. And it is agreed that we retain those who are citizens and subjects as such in the future."


The book,' which forms the subject of this Article, exists still in the archives of Geneva. It is a manuscript of the quarto form, with a parchment cover, and bears the title, — Livre des Anglais. It is divided into four parts. The first is the list of the English Company composing the congregation; that is, those who arrived on the 13th of October, 1555, in order to avail themselves of the privilege which was to be conceded to them (to use the benefit of the churche then newly grannted), those who were at Geneva before the 13th of October, and those who came afterwards. The second is the list of the ministers, deacons, and elders elected annually. The third is a record of the baptisms celebrated in this church (eglise). The fourth is the list of marriages (the names of all soche persons as have bene coupled by mariage); and finally, those of the deaths, or rather the interments (the

Registre du Conseil, fol. 44, May thirtieth 1560.

2 This title,


as the contents are in English, was affixed, no doubt, by a foreign

names of all soche of the English congregation in Geneva as have bene buried there).1

If this book had been kept with entire exactness, the first part should have included all the English who resided at Geneva from 1555 to 1560; for they all came there for the single object of enabling themselves to live according to the principles of the reformation, and without doubt according to the reformation of Calvin. But we cannot count upon any such accuracy in the plan of the book. In fact, some names which are found in the last part, are not found in the first part; and in comparing this first part with the fragments of the register of the inhabitants, which we have for that period, we discover still other omissions; while at the same time we obtain a knowledge of slight details which are not noticed in the 'book.'


As a means, therefore, of ascertaining as nearly as possi ble, the actual number of individuals who composed the English Colony, we have, in the first place, formed a table of all the English and Scotch received as residents from 1555 to 1560, and have inserted against the names the information relating to them, furnished both by the book,' and by the Genevan register. We have then brought together, in like manner, all the names which are not in our public registers, but only in the first part of the 'book'; and, finally, those which are found only in some one of the last parts of the same 'book.' By this process it is found that between

1 We may add a few items to this statement. The form of the book is long and narrow. The paper is thick and of a coarse material. The hand-writing abounds in contractions. The mode of spelling words, as some examples in the body of the Article show, illustrates fully the antiquated style of that period. The manuscript is still in a good state of preservation. Thrice three centuries need not efface its lines or wear away its texture. There are many blank leaves between the written pages, appropriated to the different headings. The space left for additional entries looks as if the wanderers anticipated a longer exile than it proved to be their fortune to endure. It makes on one the impression that the day of hope broke suddenly upon them, and summoned them back to help forward the reformation at home, sooner than they had dared to expect. The American traveller could hardly seek out an object of greater ecclesiastical or antiquarian interest at Geneva, than this manuscript of the English Puritan Fathers.

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