My grandfather, Anthony Trabue, fled from France in the year of our Lord, 1687, at the time of a bloody persecution against the dissenters by the Roman Catholics. The law against the dissenters was very rigid at that time. Whoever was known to be one, or even suspected, if he would not swear to visit the priest, his life and estate were forfeited, and [he was] put to the most shameful and cruel tortue and death. And worse than all, they would not let any move from the kingdom. Guards and troops were stationed all over the kingdom to stop and catch any that might run away. At every place where they would expect those persons might pass, there were guards fixed and companies of inquisitors, and patrols going on every road, and every other place, hunting for those heretics, as they called them; and where there was one who made his escape, perhaps there were hundreds put to the most shameful torture and death. * * When the decree was first passed, a number of the people thought it would not be put in execution so very hastily; but the priests, friars and inquisitors were very intent for their estates, and they rushed quick. * * I understand that my grandfather, Anthony Trabue, had an estate, but concluded he would leave it if he could possibly make his escape. He was a very young man, and he and another young man took a cart, and made their escape to an English ship, which took them on board, and they went over to England, leaving their estates, native country, relations, and everything for the sake of Jesus who died for them. [probably he went to Switzerland instead]
The original certificate on vellum given Anthony Trabue by the ministers and civil officers of Lausanne, attesting to his place of origin, Protestantism, and character, is dated in Lausanne 7/15/1687. This small, burnt and tattered piece of history is in the Virginia Historical Society Library (although one source claims it was burned in a fire).
In his Journal, Daniel Trabue also tells about the Huguenots' religious beginnings. He says they were a sect of dissenters called Congregationalists. In Virginia the King of England allowed them their "privilege of conscience; and to have their religious worship, and it was never taken away from them, and they were never compelled to pay anything to the separate church, but paid their own, and what they were pleased to pay." Becoming Anglicans, then, was achieved painlessly. In 1771 Baptist ministers began coming to the settlement, and 7 were in jail at one time. However, others came to visit, and many, including Daniel, were converted by John Waller. He later "backslid" and was converted again, as were others in a big revival and much baptizing, in 1785, just before removing to Kentucky.
Papers of the
Taken from The Huguenot magazine, 1931, 1933-35
to Top Page of Website
Copyright claimed 1999 - 2003 by C. Carlton Smith, Memphis, Tennessee
This is an electronic book publication - all rights reserved by the author.