Page images

Charles Johnson, Dauid Lecandel, et Simon Cogniet. Lesquelles sont agréez et ont esté admis à cette charge auec promesse de s'en bien aquitter.




Du 22 ditto.

Nostre consistoire ayant besoin d'une personne de piété et d'experience pour dresser les actes de nos régistres et pour receuoir les deniers des pauures et les administrer, comme aussy receuoir les deniers du ministère, nous auons jetté les yeux sur le S Isaac de la Croix, l'un des anciens, pour faire ces differentes fonctions: lesquelles charges luy ayant presentée il les a vollont acceptez, moiennant qu'il fust accompagné de l'un des frere antiens pour faire la collecte des deniers du ministere.



The church was now organized, but before proceeding with its history let us pause for a moment over the names of those who, as the records show, took part in its foundation. The most important of these, from the influential position he held, was Robert Jacob, presumably a foreign protestant, or he would not be found taking so active a part in the Dover church at its first foundation.1 One must assume from the office he held that he had been in Dover for some considerable time, but I cannot directly connect him with the earlier church, though the name Jacob does appear there twice. What is specially interesting to note for our present purpose is, that he was Mayor of Dover in this year, 1685, and again in 1688, and 1711.2 Seeing the very active part Mr. Jacob took in the affairs of the young church (he became an ancien in 1692, and signs almost every minute of the Consistoire during his term of office), one is led to infer that the foreigners were well looked on in Dover, and in establishing their worship had the countenance and approval of those in authority in the town.

The name of Charles Johnson, one of the first anciens, does not occur again in the minutes; the only instance to be found of his acting in this office is that he signs a letter to the

1 Jacob was a common Guînes name, and the family was connected with the de la Croix, Isaac Jacob having married Anne de la Croix, sister of Isaac de la Croix (Guines Reg., p. 30). I cannot, however, connect the Guines family with Robert Jacob. Robert Jacob's wife was Marie de la Pierre.

2 Mayors of Dover, from 1558 to 1890': J. B. Jones, Dover, 1890.

Archbishop of Canterbury in 1686, and a petition in 1688. One link may connect him with the earlier church; a Robert Johnson appears in the Registers of the fourth Church, whose wife was Marie Wallop, and this latter name is one frequently found in the earlier registers.1

The third church had been closed in 1661, but though its regular services ceased, several French families continued to reside in Dover. This we learn from Isaac Minet, who says, "En l'année 1674 moy ledit Minet estoit a Douvres pour apprendre la langue, ayt esté a laditte église ou un ministre francois estoit, précepteur des enfans de Cheu' Oxenden de Wingham, préchoit quatre fois l'an, y ayant alors plusieurs Francois habitant audit Douvre."2

One of these families must certainly have been that of Lecandel. We find Pierre (mar. Ester du Mont), Jacques (mar. Anne de Haze), and Antoine (mar. Jenne Duwellen), all sons of Pierre Lecandel, mentioned in the records of the earlier church; the David whose name occurs in the minute of 1685 just cited, was a son of the younger Pierre.

[ocr errors]


Of Simon Coniet I know nothing, but Isaac de la Croix connects us with Guînes: born in 1644, a merchant at Calais and a diacre receveur' of the Church of Guînes, he must have come over at the time of the Revocation, though his name does not appear among the Reconnaissances. Delebecque was another well known Calais name, allied by marriage with the de la Croix; Solomon was a member of this family, being a son of Louis Delebecque, who is twice mentioned in Isaac Minet's narrative as among those who were persecuted in 1685.* Not only then was the church, with whose history we are now concerned partly founded upon the third Dover Church,

1 I find the name as early as 1645 in the Registers of St. James', Dover, and from that date down to 1672 there are many instances of its occurrence.

2 These services must have been held at some risk, seeing that they were not, apparently, licensed; no mention of them occurs in a list of 'Licences for Non-conformist Preachers and Teachers, and for Places to be used as Meeting houses' in 1672. (Record Office; S. P., Dom.; Car. II; Bundle 321.) An account of the prosecution and conviction of certain persons for 'keeping and attending unlawful conventicles' at Dover, in 1682, will be found in the Tanner MSS., xxxv, 54.

'See Guînes Reg. pp. 14, 93, 103, for his two marriages and the death of his first wife, Margueritte Casé.


Huguenot Family of Minet, pp. 36, 56.

The church itself, distinctly claimed to be the continuation of the third church; for in the Registers, after the last entry of the former church, dated 1661, we find written " Icy suivent les baptistaires qui se sont celebres en La mesme Eglise francoise restablie en l'an 1685, sous le ministere du Sr. Salomon De le becque." The same claim is repeated in the record of marriages, where, between entries of 1660 and 1685 we find, Continuation des Enregistrements des Maryages Celebres en cette Eglise Francoise de Douure',

but it occupied the same premises, and used the very furniture of its predecessor. Let us, at the risk of seeming to diverge into a question of Dover topography, endeavour to fix the site of the building.

[ocr errors]

Our first authority must be Isaac Minet, who tells us that the church fut rétablie dans le meme lieu appellé le New Buildings,' a statement which is corroborated by the wording of James' Warrant, by which the foreigners are to be permitted to make use of the French Church built there, in the time of our Royal Father, King Charles the first'; and Isaac Minet adds il est resté dans laditte église la chaire et les bancs quy y estoient avant et au temps du rétablissement en 1685.' In the accounts of the third church, under date 1646-47, are entries of sums paid for glazing etc., but, from the nature of these entries, I think we may take it as certain that the church only occupied a portion of the New Buildings,' and that these payments, corresponding to similar ones found at the beginning of the fourth church, only refer to fitting up the room used for the services.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Both the last two foreign churches then occupied premises in the New Buildings,' a name which, as in many other instances, lived on long after its justification had ceased; it would seem that they were really new some time in the first half of the seventeenth century. This can be fixed partly by the aid of a survey of Dover harbour made in 1676, now to be found in the Record Office, which names, with great minuteness, the wharves at which goods might be landed Among these we find one open place, key, or wharfe commonly called the New Buildings key, being in length two hundred and seventy-six feet or thereabout, beginning that length at a post placed or fixed at the north east end of the said place, key, or wharfe, and so directly south west to the end of the said place, key, or wharfe, where one other post is also placed as the extent and limits of the said place, key, or wharfe; and in breadth at the south-west end fifty-one feet, and at the north-east end fortythree feet or thereabout; abutted and bounded with several warehouses belonging to Arnold Breames, gentleman, towards the north-east, and the haven or harbour towards the southwest."

The New Buildings,' then, existed in 1676, and belonged to Arnold Breames. But they can be carried back earlier than this, for the third church occupied them as early as 1647, and in its accounts Arnout Braems appears as the landlord, thus confirming the survey as to their ownership; while Hasted

1 Excheq: Q. R. Special Commissions, 6266.

[graphic][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »