NameCaptain Théophile de la Coeur Desbrisay [18], 7G Grandfather
Death1761, Dublin, Ireland
Marriage13 Dec 1692, Savoy Temple, London
Notes for Captain Théophile de la Coeur Desbrisay
[Lart, II, 15]. [18]
I found a lot of Desbrisay information at, at and at I have used this to sort out the Desbrisay line as far as I can. I quote some of it below. Thanks to Don Lowe and Jean-Marie White for their help.

For a long time I was confused about Theophilus and his son Samuel (or Samuel-Theophilus, or just Theophilus, depending on whim it seems). However, in 2017 Richard Sturt sent me the baptism record of son Samuel, and some information about this. I quote directly:

“The confusion about which Théophile was which and when they all died etc is a bit easier. There is no doubt that Samuel-Théophile was born in London, possibly Threadneedle Street, in 1694. There is also no doubt that he was entered at Trinity College, Dublin (as “Delacour, Theophilus, Pen. (Mr. [Rev Jacques Fontaine] Fountain, Dublin) Jan 13, 1712-13, aged 12 [18]; s. of Theophilus Desbayley [sic] Dux; b. Dublin.” The reference to birth in Dublin is a red herring as it was customary to enter the place of residence of the father at the time entry and this was assumed by registrars to be the place of birth. The same error appears many times in Alumni Oxonienses and other works, as does the error in the age.

I have also puzzled over Theophilus senior’s date of death, which I can’t resolve. It seems likely that he was indeed 30 or so at the time of his marriage, as stated in the Allegation, and was therefore born in about 1662. I am sure that it cannot have been the same date as Boileaus and I am equally sure that it was not the father who became insolvent in the 1760s. I am attaching a page from  the Act of Parliament of 1767, for the relief of the creditors of “Theophilus Desbrisay, Esq”. If this referred to Theophilus the father, he would already have been 105 and moreover the Act makes provision for his wife Magdalen, clearly alive at the time who would also have been over 100. It seems to me that it must refer to the son, who would himself have been 73 or so and could properly be described as of very advanced years, and the son’s wife and Magdalen Boileau. This could probably be verified by studying the Dublin Gazette for the period between the Act and Samuel-T’s death in 1772, as the Act laid down a bankruptcy procedure with advertisements for creditors etc.”


The de Brisay are given in [C-D, IV, 206]. According to what follows, it is possible that Theophile was the grandson, or other close descendant, of Jacques de Brisay [C-D, IV, 206]. This connection is roundly chastised by BBB [15], who calls it certainly incorrect. According to [BBB]: “The story which first appears in the large genealogical chart, giving her [a granddaughter, Magdalena Elizabeth] name alternatively as 'de Brize', and so connecting her with a very distinguished French family, is incorrect; there is no connection whatever between the two.” I have to admit that I trust BBB.

If you assume the link to be true, this extends the Desbrisay line far back into the mists, through the Valois kings of France, to Charlemagne. Nevertheless, unless the connection can be substantiated the ancestry remains speculative and so I don’t include it here.

However, just for the record, here’s a transcription of one of the sources that presents this theory.
The family of "de Brisay" or Desbrisay, as it was at one time called, now existing in England, is without doubt of Huguenot descent, their common ancestor having been a Théophile de la Cour de Brisay, an officer in the Regiment of Frédéric Guillaume Comté de Marton afterward, Earl of Lifford, 4th Son of the Comté de Roye, which Regiment was originally raised by Cambon & called after him.

We may presume that this "Capitaine Théophile desbrisay ", whose name we find in a "List of the Staff and Standing Officers of the Earl of Lifford's Regiment of Foot" in the year 1698, & who crossed over from Holland with the French Huguenot Regiments was a descendant of Pierre de Brisay III Chevalier and Seigneur de Denonville and Jacqueline D'Orleans Longueville his wife (see part lst p.61.).

This Pierre de Brisay was one of the first, (though an Abbé of the Romish Church) to embrace the Reformed Faith.

His Son Jacques de Brisay , Chevalier and Seigneur de Denonville who was born at Denonville on 4 January, 1579 fled to Holland and died at Heusden in 1625 leaving, by his wife Judith D’Argenson, a Son, Pierre de Brisay IV , and it is more than probable that other children were also born to Jacques de Brisay during his exile in Holland.  Pierre de Brisay abjured the Reformed Faith and on his return to France, succeeded to his Father's Estates, he alone is mentioned by the French Genealogists. Descendants given in [C-D, IV, 206].

This Pierre de Brisay, the welcome apostate, was created a Vicomte de Montbazillac, and Marquis d'Avesnes & ect; he enjoyed many favors and dignities at the Court of France.  Of his fourteen Children by his wife Louise d'Alès, nine of them subsequently held high positions and preferments at the Same Court; we may therefore conclude, that they adhered to the original faith of their forefathers and were all Roman Catholics.

Presuming therefore, that there were other children born to Jacques de Brisay who settled and died in Holland cir. 1625 and that they, with their Father continued Huguenots & exiles from France, the descendant from one of the Sons, was most probably the Father of the Théophile de la Cour de Brisay of the Earl of Lifford's, French Huguenot Regiment, whose commission, we find, is dated in 1689, four years after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes and 64 years after the death at Heusden in Holland of the Refugee Jacques de Brisay; who may have been his Grandfather (see part 1 St page 35)

The name of the Family since its flight from France, has been variously spelt, as De Brisay, Du Brisay, Des Brisay and Desbrisay etc.  This may be accounted for, by the Dutch people, instead of pronouncing the "e" in "de" as "deux" in French, gave to the "e" the sound of "a", as in "day", the "s" being subsequently added and the name written as one word "Desbrisay", such as we find it in the Muster Rolls of the French Regiments, who crossed to England with William of Orange in 1689.

Arms: fascé d'argent et de gueules de huit pieces

NOTE: This is a transcription of a small part of the 100 page handwritten manuscript by Rev.  DesBrisay, a photocopy of which is in the possession of Richard B. DesBrisay (Moncton, NB).  Names which are uncertain in transcription from the original handwritten record are underlined.  The original punctuation has been retained.
Douglas L. Smith         26 Feb 1990
Webster, NY
Notes for Madelaine Boisrond (Spouse 1)
[Lart, II, 15] [18].

I know a little about Madelaine, or, more accurately, about her father and brothers. Her father, Réné de St. Leger, Seigneur de Boisrond et de Orignac was the Protestant commander of a French regiment at the time of the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. Although he converted to Catholicism, his wife and children did not, deciding to flee the country. One of his sons, Samuel de St. Leger de Boisrond (mentioned in the baptism documents of Madelaine’s daughter and son), entered Brandenburg service before joining Cambon's Huguenot regiment in England. Another of his sons, Henri, also served in Ireland in one of the Huguenot regiments. Madelaine was their sister. I don’t actually know this for absolutely certain, but given the baptism documents of her children, she can’t really be anything else.

Note that Samuel was in the exact same regiment as Théophile; indeed, he was a lieutenant-colonel (commissioned in September, 1690), while Théophile was a mere captain. They appear together in the list in Agnew's book.\footnote{{\it Protestant Exiles from France in the Reign of Louis XIV: The Huguenot Refugees and their Descendants in Great Britain and Ireland}, Rev. David C. A. Agnew, Reeves & Turner, London, 1874}.

Yet another of Réné's sons was Henri; in the act of Parliament that naturalised him it states that he was the son of Réné Boisrond de St. Leger, by Benine, his wife, born in the province of Saintonge in France\footnote{{\it The Huguenot Settlements in Ireland}, by Grace Lawless Lee, Longmans, 1936.}. One of Henri's sons was called Théophile, who was presumably named after the good Captain, his aunt's husband.

Agnew claims that the wife and daughter of Réné were refugees in England (which confirms that Réné had a daughter), and says that the daughter was imprisoned in France, being conveyed from one convent to another from 1685 to 1688, but, upon proving `obstinate', was banished. We don't know this daughter was Madelaine, but it might have been. It's certainly consistent with a marriage date of 1692.

All in all, there can be little doubt that we've now found Madelaine's family.

Pursuing the St. Leger family a little further, a 1698 list of the nobility of the region around La Rochelle lists ``de SAINT-LEGER, seigneurs de Boisrond, d'Orignac, etc., ... De gueules, à la croix écartelée d'argent et d'azur, cantonnée de 4 fleurs de lys d'or." So a red background, a silver and blue cross with golden fleurs de lys. Sounds quite nice, doesn't it? It'd make a nice cushion. More history of the St. Leger family appears in Archives Historiques de la Saintonge et de L'Aunis, published by the Société des Archives Historiques de la Saintonge et de L'Aunis. The first Réné de Saint-Légier, Seigneur de Boisrond et de la Montagne, married Péronne de Pradel in 1560, and was still living in 1582. His son, another Réné, became the Seignuer d'Orignac by virtue of his 1578 marriage to an eleven-year-old heiress, Marie Le Forestier, dame de Lussac et d'Orignac. This second Réné was killed at the siege of Brouage in 1585, when Marie would have been only 18, but they still managed to reproduce. One can only feel sorry for Marie.

The final mention of this family in the archives of Saintonge is in 1686 (or 1687), when François-Louis de Bourbon wrote a letter to Monsieur de Boisrond, in Pons. The recipient was ``Réné de Saint Légier de Boisrond, IV du nom, dit `Le Forestier' et surnommé `Fine Plume' "; this Réné was also the author of some memoires, but I have not been able to find out much about them. The only extract from them I've found\footnote{In {\it Société Archéologique et Historique de la Charente -- Bulletins et mémoires}, Série 6 Tome I, 1890--1891} is a couple of pages that don't mention his family, and a short introduction that says ``Boisrond is a Saintongeais Gentleman; a converted protestant by necessity, and combining in his person the grace, spirit and legendary insouciance of the French Nobility. His wife and children were refugees in Holland; his person, his servants and his goods were in peril; but he did not cease, for a single day, to continue his gay parties in Paris, in Saintes, and in the chateaux of his friends. The style of his Memoires is sharp and clever, with a Gallic twist; there is nothing more amiable." Right. So his wife went off to danger and privation, while he stayed behind with the money and partied on. Quite the insouciant French noble, no doubt. Vomit making. I'm quite sure I don't like Réné de Saint Légier de Boisrond, IV du nom, dit `Le Forestier' et surnommé `Fine Plume'.
Last Modified 11 Sep 2016Created 11 Sep 2016 using Reunion for Macintosh