NameFrançoise de Vignolles [19], [18], 7G Grandmother
Birth2 Nov 1643 [18]
Death14 Jan 1700, Geneve. Thursday, 1.30 am. [18]
FatherJacques de Vignolles (1609-1686)
MotherLouise de Baschi d’Aubais (1618-1666)
Spouses
Birth15 Jan 1626 [18], [19]
Death17 Jul 1697 [18], [19]
TitleSeigneur de Castelnau
FatherNicholas (ii) Boileau (1578-1657)
Marriage18 Nov 1664 (1660?) [18]
ChildrenAnne (ii) (1662-1694)
 François (ii) (1664-1683)
 Henri (1665-1709)
 Jean Louis (1667-1704)
 Louis (1669-1685)
 Charlotte (i) (1670-1696)
 Marguerite (iii) (1671-1688)
 Charles (ii) (1673-1733)
 Jean Jacques (1673-)
 Madeleine (iii) (1674-1691)
 Alpines (1676-1677)
 Maurice (i) (1678-1742)
 Francois (iii) (1680-1681)
 Louise (iii) (1681-1681)
 Henri (1682-1682)
 Louise (iv) (1683-1748)
Notes for Françoise de Vignolles
[15][BBB]: Françoise and Jacques had twenty-two children, among whom were : Anne ii, Francois ii, Henri iii, Francoise iii, Jean-Louis i, Louis ii, Charlotte i, Marguerite ii, Charles ii, Madelaine iii, Alphonse i, Maurice i, Francois iii, Louise iii, Henri iv and Louise iv.
[19][C-D, III, 386] gives the marriage as November 1660, and her death in 1701.

[15][BBB]: “Jacques's wife, Françoise, was among the first to suffer under the new measures. The Protestant women were even more obstinate in their adherence to their faith than the men, and this spirit was shown by Françoise and her daughters and other Boileau women, as will be seen.

She must have refused to abjure, as she was confined in a convent in 1686, and two years later was transferred to another at Nîmes. Having somehow escaped, she fled to Lyon, and then in February 1690 got out of France into Geneva, where she stayed until 1692. Two at least of her daughters then living were sent to convents: Françoise iii, aged 19, was taken in flight and kept in a convent for some years until she too escaped from France; her sister Marguerite iii died in a convent when she was 17. Anne ii and Charlotte i also left the country, while Madeleine iii followed her mother to Switzerland, dying there in February 1691, aged 16.

We have no details of their escapes, but they must have been such as many other well-born girls endured, who disguised themselves as peasants, lackeys, and footmen, and had to walk hundreds of miles through woods and across mountain ranges. All the ways out of France were patrolled and guarded by troops and gendarmes; but the emigration was conducted on a regular system; itineraries were secretly distributed, in which the safest routes and hiding places were described. By an Edict of May 1686, any captured fugitives and their guides were to be condemned to death, but still the flow of refugees went on.”
Notes for Jacques (ii) (Spouse 1)
[13]Jacques Boileau, 10th Baron and 5th Lord of Castelnau etc, was born in 1626, and succeeded his father, his elder brother Francis having died. In 1652 the inhabitants of Nismes elected him Councillor. In 1660, he married Françoise (daughter of Noble Jacques de Vignolles) who brought him a fortune of £20,000 Sterling. The Edict of Nantes having been revoked by Louis XIV in 1685, Françoise took refuge in the Convent of the Pugin, and in 1688 removed to the Ursuline Convent at Nismes whence she fled to Lyons, and ultimately to Geneva in 1690. Her family having escaped to Brandenbourg, she joined them in that place in 1692, and having there buried 5 of her children, returned to Geneva a short time before her death (which took place in January 1700) having survived her husband and eleven children. The Baron Jacques, with many others of the reformed religion at Nismes, was sent to Lyons and there imprisoned in the Chateau de Pierre Guise, in which place he had a paralytic stroke, and was in consequence permitted to visit the Baths of Balarne, but deriving no benefit from them, he was again imprisoned at St. Jean de Vendas, one league from Montpellier, where he died July 1694 after a captivity of 10.5 years, aged 71.

[13]Jacques had 16 children. His 5th but eldest surviving son Charles emigrating to England (as will be more fully detailed below) he was succeeded by his next surviving son Maurice as 11th Baron and 6th Lord of Castelnau &c. He was born in 1678, had twelve children, and dying in 1741 was succeeded by his son Charles as 12th Baron and 7th Lord of Castelnau etc. He was born in 1715 and entered the Army in 1734, but quitting? it soon after his father's death in 1742 he settled at Nismes. There he married Catherine Vergez D'Aubesargues, by whom he had five children. In 1754 he visited Spain and Portugal, and perished in the great Earthquake at Lisbon on 1st November 1755. He was succeeded by his son Charles as 13th Baron and 8th Lord of Castelnau. He was born in 1745, married in 1765, had nine children, died in 1785, and was succeeded by his eldest son Simeon Charles Barnabe as 14th Baron and 9th Lord of Castelnau. He was born in 1767. In 1790 he visited his relatives in Ireland, and returning to France, resided at Castelnau Castle till the Peace of 1814, when he accompanied Louis XVIII to Paris. He was Mayor of Nismes in 1811. His descendants and the present Baron still reside in the ancient Chateau de Castelnau, 6 miles from Nismes, which has been for upwards of 3.5 centuries in the family.

Lart [18]: Jacques served in the company of gentleman cadets, and became head of the fmily at the death of his brother, Francois. Elected a Councillor of Nismes in 1652. Maintained his nobility at the Visitation of 1668. He was imprisoned in 1685 and remained in the prison of St. Pierre Ancise at Lyons for eleven and a half years, where he died, 17 Jan. 1697, in the 71st year of his ate. His portrait was painted by Jeanne Garneir Charpy, of Lyons, dated 15 April, 1694.

[19][C-D, III, 386] : “Jacques Boileau, born on 15 January, 1626, died on 17 July, 1697, served in the Cadets-Gentilshommes, and became head of the family at the death of his brother François. In 1652, Louis XIV made a declaration which give to the inhabitants of Nimes, of the Reformed Religion, the right to elect the most qualified of their number [to the council], to balance, in the Conseils Politiques of that town, the voice of the Bishop. Jacques Boileau was chosen to hold this place. In 1668 he was examined by the Royal Commissioners, who verified his letters of nobility, and confirmed him and his descendants in the nobility.”

[15][BBB]: “Served in the Cadets Gentilhommes. Studied the law at Orange and took Doctor's degrees, 28 Oct 1642; admitted Advocate at Nîmes 31 Oct 1642. Succeeded his father as Seigneur de Castelnau et de Ste Croix, 15 Jan 1657, his elder brother François having d in his father's lifetime.

He m 14 Nov 1660 Françoise, dau of Noble Jacques de Vignolles, Seigneur de Prades, Major of Cavalry, by his wife Louise de Bachy d'Aubais. She had a portion of 20,000 livres. They had in all 22 children, among whom were : Anne ii, Francois ii, Henri iii, Francoise iii, Jean-Louis i, Louis ii, Charlotte i, Marguerite ii, Charles ii, Madelaine iii, Alphonse i, Maurice i, Francois iii, Louise iii, Henri iv and Louise iv.

The family no doubt suffered from the increasing restrictions imposed on the Huguenots, which culminated in the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes on 22 Oct 1685. Jacques was unable to escape from the persecutions which followed, and was arrested in Nîmes with several other Huguenot gentlemen, and was imprisoned in the castle of Pierre-Encise, near Lyons on 12 Jan 1686. His captivity lasted for 10 years; he was stricken with paralysis in 1696 and was permitted to go to the baths at Balaruc for a cure, but derived no benefit, and d at St Jean de Veda, near Montpellier, on 17 July 1697. he had made his will the year before at the prison of the Archbishopric in Lyons.

His wife, Francoise, had been sent to the convent of Payen in 1686, from where she was transferred to that of the Ursulines at Nîmes in 1688, and she escaped two years later from there and out of France to Geneva, and d there in 1700. They were survived by four of their ss; two were later killed in action while serving the Elector of Hanover, while Charles ii went on to found the not inconsiderable British branch of the family, and Maurice remained at Castelnau to keep the French branch alive, but there it withered on the vine. For much more detail on Jacques and his immediate family see also Sections 'Jacques ii' et seq of the Chronicles.”

Again from BBB:

Imprisonment of Jacques ii


In January 1686, Jacques himself was arrested. A friend of his, d'Esperandieu, had a plan for getting out of France, but had been prevented by illness from putting it into effect. In that month the latter had gone to a meeting of the 'newly converted' Nobles, meaning to join someone who had decided on flight. Apparently Jacques also was present, and fell in with his friend's plan. But it became known to the authorities, and these two and another friend called Riffard were apprehended, their property was confiscated and they were sent without trial to confinement in the castle of Pierre-Encise, at Lyon, the bastille of the Archbishop. There Jacques was to remain for more than ten years.

We know something of what this imprisonment meant, for there is a letter written to the King in 1694 written by Jacques and some of his fellow-sufferers. They had previously written to ask for release and that they should not have to go on paying the cost of their food and their maintenance, which crushed their families, deprived as they were of the property of the prisoners, and wearied their friends. Now they appealed to the King in the following terms :-

'Sire : Esperandieu, Castelnau (sic), Riffard, the brothers Baudan, of Nîmes and Uzès in Languedoc, detained by your orders in your castle of Pierre-Encise at Lyon, since 19th January, 1687, appeal to your clemency, and pray you very humbly to have the charity to order that the subsistence which it has pleased your Majesty to accord since the month of April 1693, may be regularly paid to them. They have until now, Sire, lived by the help of their friends, who being no longer willing to continue this for fear of losing what they have lent, they thus see themselves reduced to the state of wanting for bread, if your Majesty does not take pity on them and has not the charity to provide it. It is, Sire, that they have reason to expect justice and kindness from your Majesty, who has always taken care to give needed relief to the miserable; the suppliants who find themselves of this number will have the happiness of obtaining the favours that they ask with all possible respect in this submission, and by the vows and prayers which they address unceasingly for the continued good health of your sacred person, for that of all the Royal Family, and for the prosperity of your State and of your Arms'.

But the King was deaf to these cries of distress, and the unhappy prisoners died in the end with no relief.

An idea of the effect that imprisonment had on Jacques is to be found in the following inscription on the portrait he had painted during it. The Latin in which it is written is abstruse, but this is the sense of it :-

In lasting memory of his hard imprisonment at Pierre-Encise the most Noble Jacques Boileau, Seigneur de Castelnau et de Sainte-Croix, &c had painted by the hand of the worthy woman, Joanne Garnier Charpy, of Lyon, in the year of salvation 1694, the 15th day of April; of his age, 68 years and 3 months; of his captivity, 8 years and 3 months and 3 days; he died 17th July, 1697, in the 71st year of his life, the 6th month and the 2nd day, and of his captivity, 11 years, 6 months and 5 days; this portrait, showing the sadness of his heart, by the dirt and leanness, the ugly wrinkles on his furrowed brow, the bristly beard, his face watered by copious tears drawn forth by the bitter fate of his exiled and best beloved wife and unhappy family scattered through various parts of Europe. O Lord, him who thou hast kept from the womb, forsake him not in his old age'.

There is a discrepancy between the dates given for Jacques's committal to prison, the inscription making it January 1686 and '1754' making it January 1687.

It is not known when the inscription was put on the portrait, but obviously not until after his death in 1697. It is quite possible that there were some confusions over the old and the new styles in the calendar, the old carrying the year over to the end of March, and the new ending the year at the end of December. Jacques's name also appears at the head of a list of a convoy of prisoners arriving at Lyon from Nîmes in January 1687. (He may have been kept in confinement initially at Nîmes).

There appear to be two versions of the portrait, if not two different portraits. One is at Rampisham, which does not bear out the woeful picture presented by the inscription above, as Jacques is shown with brown hair and beard, red cheeks and a bright complexion. The other now exists, as far as is known, only in photographs, and depicts grey hair, and a haggard sad face, much more likely to to be true to life for a man of 68 with the weight of many sorrows on him.

Jacques became paralysed in August 1696, and in May 1697 was allowed to go to the baths at Balaruc on the south coast for treatment, but without avail, and he died at St. Jean de Vedas, near Montpellier, presumably on his way back to Lyon, on 17th July 1697, having been in captivity 10 years, 6 months and 5 days. He never saw his family or estates again.
Last Modified 16 Feb 2009Created 11 Sep 2016 using Reunion for Macintosh