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Contemporary mention of Abraham Noquet by a "cousin"

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Contemporary mention of Abraham Noquet by a "cousin"

Posted: 1113676528000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1166199609000
Descendants of Abraham Noquet, Huguenot refugee in London, may not know about an account of his life left by a "cousin", Jean Nivet.

Reference: N. Weiss, "Le désert (et la révocation) en Poitou d'après de nouveaux documents", Bullétin de la Société de l'Histoire du Protestantisme Français (1894), pp. 122-150.

Among the papers of the minister Antoine Court (at the Bibliothèque Publique et Universitaire de Genève) is a small notebook of 6 leaves containing an anonymous "Mémoire des faits de ceux qui ont proposés la sainte évangile de notre seigneur Jésus Christ, après nos temple abbatus et une grande partie des peuples dispercés, et les autres toujours souteneu et soupirez après cette pâture de vie, sont tel dans la province du Poitou en France qu'ils ont proposé, de ma connoissance".

The memoire is by a "prédicant" who was imprisoned in 1715 at Niort for preaching to an unlawful assembly. The author names the protestant preachers he had known in Poitou, and specifically those who were imprisoned with him. Because the records of that time have survived, it has been possible to establish that the memoire was, in all probability, penned by Jean Nivet of Prailles, sentenced to the galleys (galérien) and released in 1717. He found refuge at St. Gall, Switzerland, where he was treated as something of a celebrity for his courage and faith. He managed to get his family out of France, and in 1732, the family moved to Lausanne, where he died in 1742. Part of his story has only recently come to light, thanks to the archivist of the city of Lausanne and other correspondents. One aspect of the problem of documentation is that for years, Nivet's name was misread as Vinet, Niret, etc., until finally settled by Gaston Tournier (Les galéres et les galériens), who observed that in ONE document, the first letter was undoubtedly an N. This was my first confirmation of a long-held suspicion that even the French could not read their own writing.

Also at Lausanne in the years 1729-1760 was the minister and church historian Antoine Court. The memoire has additional notations in Court's hand. Evidently, the memoire was written at the request of Court, who collected information about all those who had suffered for their faith in France.

Among the people mentioned are two who are identified as "cousins" of the author. In those days, as now, the word "cousin" often meant something other than first cousin.

Here is what Nivet says:

Un autre appelé Abram Noquet natif d'une grosse ferme appelée Lagroix Labe, paroisse de Celle, où il était fermier, qui était mon cousin. Après avoir proposé quelques années, il s'est sauvé en Angleterre.

That's all! (Weiss gives the modern name of the farm in a footnote, La Groie-l'Abbé).

I would be delighted to hear from anyone who has further documentation of Abraham Noquet's origins in France and his arrival in England. Jean Nivet's parents are named in the judicial records (Jacques Nivet and Marie Claire), and I see no connection with the parentage given for Abraham Noquet in this forum. Undoubtedly, that means that they are more distantly related than first cousins. I think it is likely that we will eventually figure out the link from other records.

John McCoy
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