Protestant Exiles from France/Book First - Chapter 9 - Section IV

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IV. Le Thieullier.[1]

Jan Le Thieullier (as already noted) died as a martyr at Valenciennes in 1567 or 1568. His grandfather, Pierre Le Thieullier, is on record as having been born in 1466, and as having married, in 1490 (he being aged twenty-four), Agnes Couillet, aged nineteen. His son, the martyr’s father, was Jan Le Thieullier, husband of Jeanne Mesureur. The martyr’s wife was Catherine Godin, but whether she survived him I am not informed. His family were scattered, but did not take refuge in England. His son Jan retired to Cologne, and of him it is recorded that he married Jeanne, daughter of Jan Trappe, of Tournay, and had a son Jan; that he died in 1593, and that his widow remarried with Jan de Weez, of Frankfort. She was bereaved of her second husband also. In 1605 she came to England as Madame de Weez, with her son, Jan Le Thieullier (born 1591), who now becomes[2] John Lethieullier. Madame died on 24th July 1631, in London. Mr. Lethieullier lived for some time at Great Ilford, in Essex, and married a very young lady of a refugee family, Jane, daughter of John De la Forterie and of Anne de Francqueville, by whom he had ten children. These were not all born in England, the civil wars having driven Mr. and Mrs. Lethieullier to Amsterdam. The family, however, returned and settled at Lewisham, he carrying on his business as a London merchant. He died at the age of eighty-eight, at Lewisham, on 2nd November 1679, and was buried at Peter-le-Poor, London.[3] (His widow died in 1693, aged eighty-two.)

Their eldest daughter, Jane (born 1629), was married, on 22nd May 1649, to Mr. James Burkin, merchant in London (their children were registered in the Dutch Church); another daughter, Leonora, was married, first, on 7th July 1658, to Charles Marisco [Marescaux], merchant, of London, and secondly, on 28th September 1675, to Jacob David.

Of the sons, Peter died at Ilford in 1646, aged ten. Samuel, born in Amsterdam in 1643, was perhaps the most prosperous of all, but he lived a bachelor; on 12th July 1694 he was elected one of the first Board of Directors of the Bank of England; on 18th July 1695 he paid the fine to be excused the acceptance of the office of Sheriff. Narcissus Luttrell writes on 7th February 1710 (n.s.), “Samuel Lethulier, Esq., an eminent merchant of this citty, is dead, and, ’tis said, has left an estate to the value of £100,000.” There were also twin sons, William and Abraham, born 2nd December 1646. William married Mary, daughter of Henry Powell, of London, merchant; he died at his house in Maddox Street, Hanover Square, 9th February 1733. In 1688 he had three daughters, Mary, Sarah, and Anne, and two sons, John and William; after 1688 he appears to have had a son, Henry, probably Henry Lethieullier, Esq., a Director of the South Sea Company in 1721. Abraham Lethieullier married Protesay, daughter of Edward Pitts, of London, linen-draper; in 1688 he had Mary, Jane, and Abraham; after 1688 he had a daughter Anne, who was married to Christopher Burrow, of Holborn, a Director of the East India Company, son of Thomas Burrow and Jane Lethieullier, and grandson of Sir Christopher Lethieullier. Luttrell writes, “21st June 1705. This morning Mr. Abraham Lethulier, an eminent merchant, being melancholly, hanged himself.”

But the two elder sons of John Lethieullier and Jane de la Forterie, named John and Christopher, demand special notice. For the sake of clearness, we shall speak of them as knights, the rank to which they attained.

(1.) Sir John Lethieullier, the refugee’s eldest son, was born in 1633; he married in London, 18th May 1658, Ann, daughter of Sir William Hooker, knight and alderman. Pepys is not complimentary to Hooker, who (says the diarist) “keeps the poorest, mean, dirty table in a dirty house that ever I did see any Sheriff of London, and a plain, ordinary, silly man I think he is, but rich.” But he goes on to say, “Only his son, Mr Lethieuillier, I like for a pretty, civil, understanding merchant, and — the more by much — because he happens to be husband to our noble, fat, brave lady in our parish that my wife and I admire so.” John Lethieullier was elected Sheriff of London in 1674, and was knighted at Guildhall on the 29th October of that year. He became a widower in 1702. He was an influential member of the Old East India Company. The Historical Register announced: “4th January 1719. Died, Sir John Lethieullier of Lewisham in Kent, knight, aged ninety years. He was, in fact, about eighty-six. He had four daughters, of whom Anne (born 1663) was married on 17th April 1683, to John Delaune, of London, merchant (she married, secondly, Sir William Dodwell of Sevenhampton, Gloucestershire, and died in 1719). The youngest daughter, Leonora, died in 1717, unmarried, aged thirty-eight; Letitia, who was aged twenty-two in 1688, died unmarried, and Jane in early childhood. As to Sir John’s two surviving sons, I begin with the second, William, who was by birth the third, named after Sir William Hooker, but Sir John was so anxious to do honour to his father-in-law, that after the death of one William, he gave his name to the next son, born in 1672. William Lethieullier, Esq., married, first, Mary, daughter of Nicolas Manning of Hamburgh, merchant, and secondly, Miss Salkeld; and, according to the Dublin Journal, he died on 3d April 1743. His son was Colonel William Lethieullier, F.A.S., who married, on 10th April 1733, Kitty, third daughter of Sir John Tash, knight, alderman of Walbrook Ward; he was celebrated as an Egyptian traveller and collector of curiosities, and dying in 1756, bequeathed to the British Museum “a very perfect mummy,” and a curious collection of English antiquities. The eldest son of Sir John Lethieullier was John Lethieullier, Esq., of Aldersbrooke in Essex, where he settled in 1693. He married in 1695, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Joseph Smart of Havering in Essex, by whom he had three sons and two daughters. The death of this lady is thus recorded in the Historical Register:— “1724, Nov. 20, Died Mrs. Lethieullier, wife of John Lethieullier of Aldersbrook, in the county of Essex, Esq., of a contusion she received in her head by the overturning of her coach.” Mr. Lethieullier was reported to be aged twenty-nine in the year 1688, and must have been born in 1659; at his death, in 1737, he must have been in his seventy-eighth year, although the Historical Register says, “January 1737. Died in the eightieth year of his age, at his house in Ormond Street, John Lethieullier, Esq., merchant, and son of the late Sir John Lethieullier, knight.” His eldest son John had predeceased him; he was therefore succeeded by his second son, Smart. His third, and second surviving, son was Charles Lethieullier, LL.D., F.A.S., Fellow of All-Souls’ College, Oxford, and Counsellor-at-law, who was married, and died 10th December 1759, aged forty-one, leaving an only child, Mary. Smart Lethieullier, Esq., of Aldersbrooke, was born 3d November 1701; he married on 5th February 1726 (new style), Margaret, only daughter of William Sloper of Woodhays, in the county of Bucks, Esq., but she died without issue on 19th June 1753, aged forty-five. He himself died on 27th August 1760, in his fifty-ninth year; as an eminent man he will appear again in another chapter. Dying childless, he was succeeded by his niece, Mary Lethieullier, above described. She is described as “a young lady of immense fortune” by the Gentleman’s Magazine, on the occasion of her marriage to Edward Hulse, Esq., who became in 1800 Sir Edward Hulse, third baronet; she is the ancestress of the succeeding baronets, now of Breamore House, Hants.

(2.) Sir Christopher Lethieullier, the refugee’s second son, was born on 21st July 1639, and married, in the parish church of St. Pancras (Rev. Thomas Watson, parson of Walbrooke, officiating), on 20th August 1661, Jeanne, aliàs Jane, daughter of Peter Du Cane, aliàs Du Quesne, of London, merchant. The young couple, according to an old family memorandum, “lived at Peter Du Quesne’s house until March 1663 (n.s.), then at their father Lethieullier’s until the sicknesse year, June 1665, then at Sheen and so continued at the house in Austin-Fryers until the fourth year after the fire.” The bridegroom was a Turkey merchant and an alderman, and did not receive the honour of knighthood until 29th October 1689, when he was Sheriff of London and Middlesex, along with Sir John Houblon, who was knighted at the same time.[4] For a very short period was he Sir Christopher Lethieullier, for he died on 13th July 1690, having nearly completed his sixty-first year. His widow, who was born 24th August 1644, survived till 3d August 1718, dying in her seventy-fourth year at London. Sir Christopher had five children, Christopher, Benjamin, Jane, wife of Thomas Burrow (she died in 1734), Anne, wife of Sir Gerard Conyers (Lord Mayor of London in 1722), and Mary (who died 7th May 1744, aged seventy). Mr. Benjamin Lethieullier, the youngest child and second son, was baptized in Threadneedle Street on 29th February 1688 (n.s.); he lived for a time at Sheen, married, and had a son, Christopher, who was represented by a daughter unmarried. Sir Christopher’s elder son, Christopher Lethieullier, Esq., of Belmont, Middlesex, was born in 1675, married, on 16th December 1712, “by special license, at 7 p.m., at Sir Gabriel Robert’s house,” Mary Woolfe; I quote from the register of the parish of Hackney. Sir Edmund Du Cane informs me that the bride was a widow lady, Mrs. Iremonger, and eldest daughter of Sir James Woolfe. Mr. Lethieullier was a Director of the Bank of England in 1717 and subsequent years, the last being 1728. The date of his death was 21st November 1736; the Historical Register says he died at Bath, and styles him “Christopher Lethieullier, Esq., late Bank-Director.” His sons, Benjamin and Christopher, predeceased him. His daughter, Mary, was married on 24th December 1746, to Sir Matthew Fetherstonhaugh, Bart, F.R.S., and died on 27th August 1788, leaving an only son, Henry, who succeeded his father as Sir Henry Fetherstonhaugh, Bart., of Up Park.

  1. I am much indebted to George E. Cokayne, Esq., Norroy King-of-Arms, and to Sir Edmund Du Cane, K.C.B.
  2. Although he is the only refugee whom I can find on record, there was probably another, perhaps a brother, father of Christopher (b. 1648). The Historical Register says, “1728, Sept. 18. Died, aged about eighty, Christopher Lethieullier, Esq., father to the lady of Sir Richard Hopkins.”
  3. The refugee’s sister, Catherine, was married, in 1630, to the Pasteur Jacob Desbouverie, of Heilighorn in Holland; another sister, Margaret, died of a fall from a window.
  4. Narcissus Luttrell writes in September 1689. “Mr. Hubland and Mr. Lethulier, who on Midsummer-day last were chosen sherifs, and afterwards, to be excused, paid their fines to the court of aldermen, have their money returned to them, and have signed bonds to hold (the Common Hall at their last meeting declaring against fines, except with their consent).”