JOUBERT FAMILY HISTORY from FRANCE to SOUTH AFRICA.
More than three centuries ago the earliest of our family's ancestors to make their home in Africa, sailed from Europe for the Cape, seeking a new life, travelling with other Huguenots fleeing from the upheaval caused by the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. This particular group had first escaped from Provence in France and fled to Holland, from there in 1688, they made their way by sea and after landing in the Cape, were granted land in the beautiful valley that was eventually named Franschhoek. ['French Corner'] There they built their homes, planted vineyards, tilled their lands and left an indelible mark on the future of their new homeland.
"[Persecuted for their Protestant faith by the Sun King (Louis XIV}, they brought from France their knowledge of wine growing, an early sense of liberte, egalite and Fraternite and a certain je ne sais quoi. After Jan van Riebeck's time, they adopted the Cape Dutch architecture as if to the curlicue born, and to this day the Huguenot valley of Franschhoek is the last mot in great style.]"
Some historical notes and background information on the Huguenots follows:
From: Funk and Wagnalls New Encyclopedia. HUGUENOTS.
Huguenots, name given to the Protestsnts of France from about 1560 to 1629. Protestantism was introduced into France between 1520 and 1523, and its principals were accepted by many members of the nobility, the intellectual classes, and the middle class. At first the new religious group enjoyed royal protection, notably from Queen Margaret of Navarre and her brother, King Francis I of France. Toward the end of his reign, however, Francis persecuted the Protestants; his successor, Henry II, followed his example. Nevertheless, the French Protestants increased in number. At their first national synod (1559), or council, 15 churches were represented. At the next, held two years later, more than 2000 churches sent representatives.
Civil War. The rise in the numbers of French Protestants excited the alarm and hatred of the Roman Catholics. The religious hatred was intensified by political rivalry between the house of Valois, then in possession of the French throne, and the house of Guise. Catherine de Medicis, widow of Henry II, who governed in the name of her son, King Charles IX, at times allied herself with the Huguenots for political reasons, but generally sided against them. The Huguenots were persecuted severely in Charles' reign, and they in turn made reprisals upon the Roman Catholics. Finally, open civil war broke out. Between 1562 and 1598 eight bitter wars were fought between French Roman Catholics and Protestants.
The Huguenot leaders in the first of the nearly four decades of conflict were Louis I de Bourbon, prince of Conde, and the French admiral Gaspard de Coligny; subsequently they were led by Henry of Navarre, later Henry IV, king of France.
The principle Roman Catholic leaders were Henri I de Lorraine, 3d duc de Guise, Catherine de Medicis; and King Henry III. Each side from time to time called on foreign help. The Huguenots obtained troops from England, Germany and Switzerland; the Roman Catholics, from Spain. The treaties that concluded the wars usually granted the Huguenots some measure of tolerance, but the government's subsequent ignoring or outright repudiation of the terms of the treaties led to a renewal of hostilities. The greatest act of treachery of the period took place in 1572. Two years previously, Catherine and Charles IX had signed a treaty with the Huguenots granting them freedom of worship; they had remained on friendly terms with the Huguenots, calling Coligny to court, where he enjoyed great influence. Having lulled the Huguenots into a feeling of security, on August 25, 1572, St. Batholomew's day, the queen mother and the king caused thousands of them to be massacred in Paris and elsewhere in France. Coligny was found and killed by the duc de Guise himself.
Huguenots. The eighth civil war took place during the reign of Henry III, successor to Charles IX. The Huguenots, now led by Henry of Navarre, inflicted (1587) a crushing defeat upon the Roman Catholics at Coutras. Strife among the Catholics themselves, which resulted in the assassinations of the duc de Guise in 1588 and Henry III in 1589, helped the Huguenot cause. With the death of Henry III the house of Valois became extinct, and Henry of Navarre, the first of the Bourbon line, became king of France as Henry IV. To avoid further civil strife he conciliated the Roman Catholics by converting to Catholicism in 1593. In 1598, Henry IV issued the Edict of Nantes, by which the Huguenots received complete religious freedom.
An end to Persecution. Under Henry IV the Huguenots became a strong power in France. To break this power, which stood in the way to the absolute type of government that the next two kings of France, Louis XIII and, particularly, Louis XIV, wished to impose on the country, both monarchs instigated new persecutions of the Huguenots, and new civil wars took place. The French statesman and cardinal Richelieu caused the political downfall of the Huguenots with the capture (1628), after a long siege, of their principle stronghold, La Rochelle. Thereafter he sought to conciliate the Protestants. Louis XIV, however, persecuted them mercilessly, and on October 18, 1685, he revoked the Edict of Nantes. Finding life in France intolerable under the ensuing persecutions and evaporation of religious liberty, hundreds of thousands of Huguenots fled to England, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the English Colonies in North America, including Massachusetts, New York, and South Carolina. The total emigration is believed to have been from 400,000 to one million, with about one million remaining in France. Thousands of Protestants settled in the Cevennes mountain region of France and became known as Camisards; the attempt of the government to extirpate them resulted in the Camisard War (1702-5)
Huguenots. The enlightened and religiously sceptical spirit of the 18th Century, however, was opposed to religious persecution, and during this time the French Protestants gradually regained many of their rights. Although Louis XV issued an edict in 1752 declaring marriages and baptisms by Protestant clergymen null and void, under Louis XVI the edict was recalled. After 1787, Protestant marriages were declared legal, and Protestants were granted other rights as well. Several laws passed later in the 19th century gave full religious freedom to all French sects, including the Protestants. In the 19th and 20th centuries French protestants, although comparatively few in number, have been influential in French life, playing an important part in education, law and finance, and in general taking a liberal stand on social reform.
Massacre of Saint Bartholomew's day: The mass slaying of Huguenots (Protestants) in Paris, on St. Bartholomew's Day. August 24, 1572. In order to increase the royal power, the queen mother, Catherine de Medicis, attempted to play the French Roman Catholic faction, led by the house of Guise, against the Huguenot faction, led by the house of Conde. Jealous of the growing power of the Huguenot leader Gaspard de Coligny, adviser to her son, King Charles IX, Catherine ordered Coligny's assassination. The plot failed, however, and a number of Huguenot leaders who were gathered in Paris for the wedding of Catherine's daughter to Henry of Navarre, later King Henry IV of France, demanded an investigation. Because an investigation would implicate his mother, Charles was persuaded by the Queen to order the murder of the Huguenot leaders. The number killed cannot be determined with any accuracy; estimates vary from 2000 to 100,000. Coligny was among the first to fall. The massacre spread from Paris to the Provences, causing new religious wars.
Provence: PROVENCE, region, S.E.France, comprising the departments of Basses-Alpes, Var, and Bouches-du-Rhone and parts of the departments of Vaucluse and Alpes-Maritimes. Provence is bordered on the E by Italy, on the S by the Mediterranean Sea, and on the W by the Rhone River. The area abounds with flower fields, vineyards, orchards, and olive and mulberry groves. Along the seacoast is the French Riviera and the ports of Marseille and Toulon. The modern inhabitants of Provence preserve a distinct regional character, as well as their own language.
The region originally formed part of a Roman province, Provincia Romana, constituted about 120 BC. It passed successively into the possession of several ancient Germanic peoples, the Visigoths, the Ostrogoths, and the Frankish kings. In 897 the area was incorporated into the kingdom of Provence, sometimes called Cisjurane Burgandy and in the 10th century into the kingdom of Arles. After being ruled by the house of Anjou from about 1245 to 1482, the region came into the possession of King Louis XI of France, and in 1486 it was annexed to the French Kingdom. Provence was a province of France until the French Revolution, after which the area was distributed among several departments.
Extracts from: 'The French Refugees at the Cape' - Colin Graham Botha (of the Cape Archives). CAPE TOWN: CAPE TIMES LIMITED. 1919.
At the time of the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, when thousands of fugitives from France were seeking an asylum in various parts of Europe, the Dutch East India Company seized the opportunity of offering to send out some of the Refugees with other emigrants who were willing to settle at the Cape. The Directors of the Company, or Seventeen, as they were usually termed, saw that the expenses of the Cape Government were growing heavy, but that the agricultural prospects were gradually becoming favourable. It was not the policy of the Company to carry out a general scheme of colonization of its possessions, but an exception was made as regards the Cape ...
Those who wished to go to the Cape were to present themselves at the Amsterdam and Zeeland Chambers, and if accepted as suitable emigrants were to be accommodated on the outgoing ships of the Company. They were promised a French minister to hold divine service for them. Both the regulations which were to guide them, and the oath of allegiance which they were obliged to take, were translated into the French language.
The agreement and regulations drawn up provided for a free passage in their ships to all those who wished to come out as colonists. They were only allowed such luggage as was necessary for their use, and that was to be according to the discretion of the Seventeen. They were permitted to take as much specie as they liked, and were to earn their living at the Cape by agriculture, trade or any industry. As agriculturists they were to be given as much land in ownership as they could till, and such implements and cattle as they would require, but the price of these was to be refunded to the Company in corn or otherwise. Those going, whether married or single, were to remain in their new settlement for five years, which period could be reduced by special request to the Directorate. Those wishing to return to Europe after the five years were to pay their own passages. Pecuniary assistance towards procuring an outfit was given to each one according to whether he were [sic] married or single.
The ships were small, and living and sleeping space was limited: some of the vessels were no longer than 150 feet. Not only were the people faced by the danger of tempestuous seas, stranding or fire, but they also ran the risk of capture by pirates or a foreign enemy.
Death was a frequent occurrence during the voyage, and the means for combating it limited. The want of fresh food, vegetables, and a limited allowance of water caused scurvy. [Water was precious, needing preserving, cooking done in salt water and wine given out to save its use.] ...
On 4th August, 1688, there arrived in Table Bay the 'Berg China' which had left Rotterdam on 20th March previously. [160 foot in length] There were 34 French fugitives on board when she set sail, but the greater portion of the thirty who died were Refugees ...
When the farms were allotted care was taken to scatter the French among the Dutch farmers already settled there ... some were given ground in the Stellenbosch district, but the greater number were at Drakenstein and French Hoek ...
The majority of the Refugees to the Cape possessed little or nothing when they landed. Many had escaped with only their lives ...
[They received, about two years later, pecuniary assistance from the Batavian Government of 6,000 rix dollars]
The majority of the farms held during the 17th and 18th century were on loan tenure...
In the country districts the services of the people were impressed for carrying out road-making and other public work ...
In choosing names for their homesteads at Drakenstein and French Hoek they did not forget the land of their birth. Many of the early land grants prove that they named them in honour of the towns and provinces in which they were born ... Pierre Joubert gave the name of La Provence to his farm granted in 1694 ...
[re the Huguenots]:
Before the close of the 16th century fugitives from Flanders were taking refuge in England. Few of them brought any property ?... [they were mainly destitute] ... but many brought with them intelligence, skill, virtue and the spirit of independence which money could not buy and which made them all the more valuable to the countries of their adoption. Many of the best citizens of Antwerp fled to Holland and England; after the sack of that town in 1585, one third of the remaining merchants and workers in silks, damasks and other stuffs left their country for good. Many of the Flemish Huguenots settled in London and Norwich. In France matters were no better, for the memorable night of St. Bartholomew in August, 1572, witnessed the striking of a blow at the very heart of the nation, the first step in a succession of events of murder, persecution and proscription. The Edict of Nantes passed in 1598, gave comparative liberty of conscience and freedom of worship. By the revocation of the Edict in October of 1685, these privileges were taken away once more and it meant the death knell of the Huguenots.
What did the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes involve? [The demolition of remaining Protestant Churches throughout France, prescription of their religion; no private worship under penalty of confiscation of body and property, banishment of Protestant pastors from France within 15 days, closing of Protestant schools, forbidding parents to instruct children in the Protestant faith and children must be baptised under penalty of fine of 500 livres and brought up as Roman Catholics; the confiscation, within four months, of all property belonging to Protestant refugees. Galleys for life of all who attempted to escape from France]
The year 1685 is fitly identified with the depopulation of France.
IMBERT Jean: born at Nismes, Languedoc, an agriculturalist at Drakenstein, received the grant of land of farm Lanquedoc, along the Palmiet River. He died 1723 and instituted as his heir, Pierre Joubert of Provence, agriculturalist at Drakenstein, in recognition of faithful services rendered. He does not appear to have married. [It seems he was taken to be a Joubert in de Villier's List and Theal's History]
JOUBERT Pierre: of de la Motte d'Aigues in Provence, born 1663/1665, arrived in the 'Berg China' in 1688 with his wife Isabeau Richard of Provence, born 1668/1670. According to Captain Hinde he married, on 1st February, 1688, Susanne Reyne de la Rogue, of d'Autheron in Provence. He suggests that the wife was the same as Susanne Rene q.v. who must have died in Holland or on the voyage, as he arrived with Isabeau Richard. He was an agriculturalist and possessed many farms at Drakenstein. Pierre Joubert died 31st June, 1732 and his widow in 1748. The farms owned at the time of her death were Bellingham, granted in 1695; Lamorin; La Roche; La Motte, La Provence and De Plaisante, the latter being at Waveren (Tulbagh) Descendants.
LORET Guillaume of Nantes, born 1671, came out in 1695, died at Drakenstein 5th January, 1718, married Elizabeth Joubert, daughter of Refugee Pierre Joubert. They had only daughters.
Reference old Stellenbosch Freehold Volume:
Ref.No: Grantee Name of farm Date of grant Remarks
1.371 Imbert Jean Lanquedoc near the 17.4.1694 Granted 1689
Palmiet River (44)
2.52 Joubert Pierre La Provence, 11.5.1712 Granted 1694
Oliphants Hoek (8)
2.128 Joubert Jean Monpeliers Waveren 30.8.1714 Held for several
(Jugbert) (near Tulbagh) years on loan.
2.291 Joubert Joshua De Koo, district 12.1.1759 Held for several
of Swellendam years on loan
2.150 Joubert Pierre De Plaisant Plaat 26.5.1716 Held for about 7
over the Breede River years on loan
Extracts from: 'Fatal Majesty' - Reay Tannahill - The Drama of Mary Queen of Scots.
"news came from Paris of the Massacre of St. Bartholomew's day. "
Someone had shot at, and slightly wounded Admiral Coligny, who was in Paris with other leading Huguenots to attend a royal wedding. Within hours, rumour flying from mouth to mouth across the city, the incident had been inflated into the preliminary to some grand and terrible design. Panic spread among the Huguenots and they were said to be threatening to attack Catholics in revenge. Catherine d' Medici ordered them cleared out of the city. And then the Paris mob took a hand, and for the next two days Protestant blood flowed in the gutters.
No one knew how many had died, but twenty thousand was the figure quoted in England, where the massacre was believed to have been a premeditated attack, supported by Spain and the papacy, its objective to eradicate all who professed the reformed faith. In England, fear of Catholic plots and hatred of Catholic Mary redoubled ...
The massacre of St. Bartholomew's day now made their [Queen Elizabeth and Cecil's] task very much easier, and the weariness of some of Mary's supporters made it easier still.
... Tragic though the affair [Mary's execution] had been, it had its political uses. ...
All that had gone before was irrelevant. What now consumed her [Elizabeth] was guilt over having put to death a divinely ordained queen ...Nothing improved.
Because of the closure of England's ports, it was three weeks before news of Mary's death reached France. ....
In Spain, Phillip II had for years been thinking of invading England. Some day. When he had settled his problems in the Netherlands. When he had managed to convince His Holiness that his purpose was zealously spiritual rather than vulgarly acquisitive.
By April, 1586, however, Elizabeth's interference in the Netherlands had annoyed him into beginning to make naval preparations, and a few weeks later, the imprisoned Mary, feeling betrayed by her son, wrote to Mendoza to say that, unless King James of Scotland had become a convert to Holy Church by the time of her death, she proposed to bequeath her right of succession to the crown of England to King Phillip of Spain.
By natural logic, her execution guaranteed the ultimate launch of the great Armada against England.