Abjuration of Samuel and Isaac Duchemin

Abjuration of Samuel and Isaac Duchemin

Following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 many French Protestants, including Isaac and Samuel Duchemin, were forced to renounce their Protestant religion by making an abjuration of heresy. Samuel and Isaac did this at the Catholic Church of Saint-Quentin-les-Chardonnets (district of Tinchebray) on 10 Mar 1686 along with Jean Buffard, another Protestant in Tinchebray.

The original document can be found at the Department Archives of l’Orne in Alençon, France. It is very fragile and part of the document is missing making it impossible to read fully today, but it is clear that this is the abjuration of Samuel and Isaac, and the document was read by previous researchers prior to 1980 when the condition was better. Samuel signs his name, but Isaac only makes a mark as if he was unable to write. We know from prior documents (such as the 1661 Act in Advance of Succession) that Isaac was fully capable of signing his name, so the most likely explanation is that Isaac was protesting being forced to renounce his religion.

Abjuration of Samuel and Isaac Duchemin, 10 Mar 1686
Abjuration of Samuel and Isaac Duchemin, 10 Mar 1686 (courtesy of Jacky Delafontenelle)

A transcription of the French writing made by Jacky Delafontenelle in 2006 is given below. Words in parentheses are his best estimates of the partial or hard to read words.

…(le dix) mars aud(it) an (1686)
…paroisse de Saint Q(uentin)
…les personnes de Samuel et
(Isaac Duchemin, J)ean Buffard fils Isaac Buffard
…(de la religion) prétendue réformée, lesquels ont
….. et ont protesté faire profession
…(de la religion) catholique apostolique et romaine
….. ? et en pratiquer tous les exercices
…ont reçu l’absolution de leur heresie
…(révé)rend père Denis capucin de Vire
…présence de (maîtres ?) Richard Durand
…(Le)Lièvre p(rê)tres de lad(ite) paroisse”
[Suivent les signatures:]
Buffard
Duchemin
… de Vire           la marque dud(it) Duchemin
(H Quer)uel      Durand      Lelievre.

An approximate translation is as follows:

…ten March the said year (1686)
…parish of Saint Quentin)
..the persons of Samuel and
Isaac Duchemin, Jean Buffard son of Isaac Buffard
…of the alleged religion reformed, which have
…and protested to make profession
…of the Roman Catholic Apostolic religion
…and to practise all the exercises of them
…received absolution for their heresy
…reverend father Denis, Capuchin of Vire
presence of Masters Richard Durand
The Lièvre priest of the aforementioned parish

Buffard
S. Duchemin
… of Vire          the mark of I. Duchemin
H. Queruel      Durand      Lelievre.

Samuel and Isaac joined thousands of other French Protestants (Huguenots) and emigrated from France a short time after signing the abjuration.

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