CLAUDE PHILIPPE DE RICHBOURGCompiled from various sources by Jean Grunewald
THE HUGUENOT: CLAUDE PHILIPPE DE RICHBOURG came to Manakin Town on the "Mary and Ann" 7-23-1700; married before leaving France, ANN CHASTAIN; they had John who died 1748; Rene who died 1740, married Catherine Peyre; James; Charles; Claudius; Elizabeth.
About 1712-1713, CLAUDE P. DE RICHEBOURG moved to the Huguenot colony at Jamestown in S. C.; there he succeeded the ages Pierre Robert as pastor of the church in 1715. He died 1718-1719 and his will in French at one time at the Public Office in Charleston, can no longer be found. His wife, ANNA CHASTAIN and six children survived him, the children being of tender age. Though the dates of birth of the children are not known, it is thought that they were born in the following order: Charles, Rene, John, James, Claudius, and Elizabeth.
The will of Pierre de St. Julian of Berkeley Co., S. C. dated 6-2-1718 mentions 20 pds to Monsieur CLAUDE PHILLIPE DE RICHEBOURG, minister. The will of Isaac Porcher of S.C. dated 9-25-1726 mentions his wife's godsons and goddaughters, the children of late Mr. RICHEBOURG.
There is an advertisement in the Gazette of March 17, 1764 offering a tract of 200 acres of land in St. James, Santee, for sale. This advertisement was placed by Claudius Richebourg, and recites that it was originally a tract of land granted to John Barnett in 1705, who conveyed it to my mother, ANN DE RICHBOURG and directs that anyone interested treat with Mr. Peper Porcher in Charles Towne, where the deeds may be seen, or with the subscriber in St. Mark's Parish, about 25 miles from Nelson's Ferry. It is signed by Claudius Richebourg.
Charles Richebourg was a Petit Juror in St. John's Berkeley in 1731. He was mentioned in the will of Paul Ravenel, planter of Berkeley Co. dated 1-20-1735/6. The will of Charles Richebourg of Berkeley Co. dated 4-10-1736, proved 10-8-1746; Brothers: Rene Richebourg, my plantation where I now live; John Richebourg, plantation where he now lives, part of my plantation called Long Acres; James and Claudius Richebourg; sister Elizabeth Richbourg; niece Catherine Richebourg; mentions residue of estate to said brothers and sister; Exec: brother Rene Richebourg; Witn.: St. Cabanas, Jos. de St. Julien, Rene Ravenel,Jr. From this Will, it is fairly certain that Charles died without wife or children.
John Richebourg was a Petit Juror in St. John's Berkeley in 1737 and 1740. John Richebourg, planter of Berkeley Co., dated his will 11-2-1743, proved 12-27-1742: Brothers: James and Claudius Richebourg; sister Elizabeth Richebourg; to nephew Rene, eldest son of my brother Rene Richebourg deceased, plantation in Berkeley Co. on Margate Swamp: to nephew Charles, son of said brother; mentions residue of estate to said brothers and sister; Exec.: James de St. Julian, Peter Herman, brother James Richebourg; Witn. Rene Ravenel, Jr., David Lafons, Thomas McDaniel. From this Will, it is fairly certain that John died without wife or children and his brother Charles died before his will.
Claudius Richebourg is listed separately as the major descendent.
James Richebourg was listed as a Petit Juror of St. James Goose Creek in 1737, and as James Richebourg, Wassumsaw, a Petit Juror of St. James Goose Creek in 1740. He was alive at the writing of his brother John's will in 1743, but nothing found after that.
Elizabeth Richebourg was alive at the time of her brother John's will in 1743, but nothing definite after that. Was the following Will abstract incorrectly copies or printed and a clue to Elizabeth, dau. of CLAUDE P. DE RICHEBOURG? The Will of Susannah Singleton of Berkeley Co., Widow of James Singleton was dated 6-4-1754, proved 11-28-1755, and mentions Elizabeth Frierson, dau. of Rev. Claud Richardson. Was there a Rev. Claud Richardson? The writer has found no one of that name. Should this be Elizabeth Frierson, dau. of Rev. Claud Richebourg?
Rene Richebourg of Craven Co. dated his will 11-27-1740, proved 5-17-1744; wife Catherine, to live on my plantation during her widowhood; sons: Charles, plantation where I now live, Rene and Samuel - all under 21 years; daughters: Catherine and Elizabeth under 21 years and unmarried; mentions children to be under care of my executors and to be educated; said children to make their "living by Trade or other honest Employment Provided it is not against the good will of their Mother" Execs: Phillip, Rene, Samuel Peyre; Witn. Anne Crouche, Es. Cavanis, John Pamor. Rene Richbourg listed as a Petit Juror in St. John's Berkeley in 1731; as a Petit & Grand Juror in St. James Santee in 1740. Rene Richebourg m. Catherine Peyre, dau. of David Peyre and Judith Boisseau. They lived at Sandy Hill Plantation on Santee River, S.C. As Elizabeth Catherine Peyre married Rene de Richebourg, son of the Rev. CLAUDE PHILLIPE DE RICHEBOURG. David Peyre of Cravin Co. made his will 4-8-1734, proved 3-13-1734/5; wife Judith; sons: Philip, Rene, Samuel - under 21 years; daughters eldest Jean, Catherine and Elizabeth; daughters Judith and Lydia under 21 years... The will of Judith Peyre of St. Stephen's Parish, Craven Co., widow of David Peyre, was dated 12-26-1754, proved 1-27-1758; sons: Samuel and Rene; daughters: Catherine Crouch, Judith Caw, Lydia Gaillard, Jean Boisseau, grandchildren: Charles, Rene, Samuel Richbourg, children of dau. Catherine: grandchildren, John, Judith, Samuel Dubose, children of dau. Judith; Exec.: 2 sons; Witn: Alcimus Gaillard, Peter Sinkler, James Boisseau. From Judith Peyre's will, evidently Rene Richebourg's widow remarried. In 1706, the Parish of St. James, Santee was established in the colonial Craven County, Province of south Carolina, with the Parish Church at James Town, S. C. That area of the parish was settled primarily by Huguenot families and soon acquired the unofficial name of French Santee. The upper part of the Parish around St. Stephen attracted predominately English steelers (although in time there was considerable intermarriage with the French) and commonly was known as English Santee.
The children of Rene:
1. Samuel Richebourg--from his will it is fairlycertain that Samuel died without wife or children.
2. Rene Richebourg--whether he married & had children or died a bachelor is not known.
3. Catherine Richbourg--nothing is known.
4. Elizabeth Richbourg married Joseph Palmer.
5. Charles Richbourg m. Elizabeth Palmer Ch:
HUGUENOT EMIGRATION TO AMERICA Baird 284.5 B B. 2
p. 45 A list of Ye French refugees that are settled att ye Mannachin Town are as follows:
In ye first Shipp
Mr. Phillip (43) and his wife, 2... (was first on list)
(43) the full name of the minister thus modestly designated was Claude Phillipe de Richebourg. He was a relative of Isaac Porcher de Richebourg, the ancestor of a prominent Huguenot family of South Carolina, both being descended from the Counts of richebourg, of St. Severe. Owing to disputes in his parish, which were referred to the Council of virginia September 2, 1707, M. Phillippem with numerous followers, left Virginia soon after this date and settled in the Carolinas.
p. 105-6 Chapter VII 1681-1686 Isaac Porcher & Pasteur DE
The village of Saint Severe, in the province of Berri, was the birthplace of Isaac Porcher de Richebourg, the ancestor of a prominent Huguenot family of South Carolina. Isaac was a physician, and had taken his degree at the University of Paris. With his wife, Claude Cherigny, a native of Touraine, he fled soon after the Revocation to England, perhaps in company with his relative, CLAUDE PHILIPPE DE RICHEBOURG, a Protestant minister, afterwards pastor of the French colony on the James River in Virginia, and of the French church in Charleston. The Porchers were descended from the Counts of Richebourg. (1)
(1) "Isaac Porcher, ne a St. Severe en Berry, fils d'Isaac Porcher, et de Suzanne Ferre. Claude Cheriny, sa femme... This family is descended from the Comtes de Richebourg. Isaac Porcher de Richebourg, M.D. of the University of Paris, married Claude Cheriny, of the province of Touraine, and after the Edict of Revocation, they fled to South Carolina under British rule...To the same family, doubtless, belonged CLAUDE PHILIPPE DE RICHEBOURG, a Huguenot pastor who came to Virginia in 1699, as minister of the French colony at Manakin town, on the James river. In 1712 he left that colony and removed to South Carolina, where he succeeded Pierre Robert as minister of the French settlement at Santee. He died in 1719."
p. 177 Chapter IX 1700 The Expedition to Virginia
"It was in the spring of the year 1700, that a fleet of four vessels set sail from gravesend...They were followed within two months by a second company...A third detachment sailed not long after, and a fourth...In all, the colonists numbered over seven hundred...Three ministers of the Gospel, and two physicians, accompanied the expedition. The ministers were CLAUDE PHILIPPE DE RICHEBOURG, Benjamin De Joux, and Louis Lantane. The physicians were Castaing and La Sosee..."
(Many other references in the book.)
HUGUENOTS OF COLONIAL SOUTH CAROLINA 284.5 H
p. 19 Part of the colony went to the Trent River, in North Carolina, but the Rev. PHILIPPE DE RICHEBOURG, formerly a Roman Catholic, associate-pastor of the Anglicized Huguenot Church, in whose favor the adjudication of the Governor and Council was given, drew most of his sympathizers with him to Carolina. (23) There Dr. Isaac Porcher, a relative of the Rev. PHILIPPE DE RICHEBOURG, was one of the foremost planters. (24) DE RICHEBOURG was made rector of the French-Anglican Church and served it until his death in 1718. (25)
(23) Cal. St. Pa. (Am. & W. Ind.), 1702, 472; Pub. Va. Hist. Soc., V. 69 f. According to Baird, Hug. in America, II. 177 DE RICHEBOURG went to Virginia in 1700 from England. According to the Rawlinson MSS, no 271, De Joux, the associate of DE RICHBOURG, went to Virginia in the same year, and DE RICHEBOURG is among the beneficiaries who receive a bushel of Indian corn per month, beginning Feb. 1700-1. See Rawlinson MSS, no. 271, folio 9, Library of Congress.
(24) No explanation can be offered for the connection between the names of Isaac Porcher, M.D., and the Rev. PHILIPPE DE RICHEBOURG. The former mentions the children of De RICHEBOURG in his will as objects worthy of compassion. MS Pr. Ct. Rcd., 1671-1727, 275.
(25) See chapter three.
p. 80-1 ...but the arrival of PHILIP DE RICHEBOURG from Virginia as pastor of the Santee Church and his willingness to administer the sacraments according to the Huguenot forms turned them from their former decision and drew them back into a long conflict over forms and usages. (114)
(114) MS Rawlinson C., 943, Bodleian Library, Oxford.
p. 133 In 1712 PHILIP RICHEBOURG moved part of a French colony from Mannikintown, Virginia, to St. James Santee, in Carolina and became minister of the French at Santee. Being a Frenchman by birth and an Anglican by adoption, with the bitter memories of the Mannikintown experiences fresh in his mind, he continued in Carolina to take liberties with the "canons and rubrick" of the Establishment (7) Whether to win favor in St. John's, in the hope of recruiting the scattered Huguenots, or merely to please the ardent French petitioners of that parish is not known now, but he consented to visit St. John's and administer the sacrament, using the French language. (8) As we have seen, Mr. Truillard, the French minister of St. John's died in March or April, 1712. On his death the Huguenots of his congregation decided to unite as a body with, the English-speaking Anglican Church of that parish, of which Mr. Maule was rector. It was Mr. RICHEBOURG's interference at this point that incensed the Anglicans and renewed the already old quarrel between the French and Anglican factions. Mr. RICHEBOURG visited St. John's and though an Anglican clergyman, administered the sacrament in the form of the French Protestant polity, broke his promises to Mr. Maule to observe the rites of the Established Church and so completely turned the heads of the Huguenots of the community that for the time being they abandoned their plans to unite as a body with the English speaking Anglican Church of the vicinity. (9) Severely taken to task by the Anglican clergy, Mr. RICHEBOURG confessed his error and promised never to commit it again. But later accusations from the pen of Commissary Johnston, asking for the cancellation of his license and his removal from the province, indicate that he continued his practices...
(7) MS Rawlinson, C. 943, Bodleian, Oxford.
p. 62 PHILLIPPE De RICHBOURG succeeded Pierre Robert as a minister.
p. 76 La Pierre left St. Denis to suceed RICHEBOURG at Santee.
p. 81 RICHBOURG willing to administer sacraments according to Huguenot forms - caused conflict.
(Many more references in this book.)
THE RICHBOURG FAMILY IN AMERICA Reference unknown
The Richbourg family in America seems to begin with the Rev. CLAUDE PHILIPPE DE RICHEBOURG and his wife ANNE CHASTAIN who emigrated to this country with the colony of Huguenots, which founded Manakin Towne, Va. They were passengers on the "Mary and Ann" and arrived at the mouth of James River, July 23, 1700, after a voyage of 13 weeks. He married before leaving France and if any children were born to them there, they did not accompany them to Va., for the "List of ye Refugees" gives only CLAUDE PHILIPPE, at sa femme.
One version states they came from france in the year 1690; another that they came to America from England, where they had probably lived for several years after their exile from France. The latter version also says they might have been of an anglicized family. There had been Richebourgs in the Wallorn Congregation at Canterbury since 1592, if not longer, in the Parish Registers of that congregation.
There are 97 entries of the name besides several others in the various other registers of Huguenot congregation in London between 1692 and 1700. The name is spelled 27 different ways, among which we find Richebourg, Richbourg, Ricquebourg, Riqbourg, Riquebour and 22 other variants. I have not had the opportunity to investigate for myself which is the correct version. They both agree on the following:
The Rev. CLAUDE PHILIPPE DE RICHBOURG was one of three French clergymen, who came with the Huguenot colony, headed by the Marquis de la Muce and like most of the Huguenot pastors, had taken orders in the Church of England. He had been a Roman Catholic priest in early life. One of the 2 surgeons of the expedition, was Dr. Chastain or Castayne, probably the father or brother of ANNE CHASTAIN who became DE RICHEBOURG's wife.
The Huguenot settlers were received cordially in Va. A large tract of land was set aside for them west of the Virginia settlements. Richmond, the fartherest settlement on the James River, which was navigatable only up to this point, was at that time called "Lands End" and here the Virginia Assembly was glad to place on her western frontier, these high type, competent people from another country, who were seeking surcease from their religious persecutions. They were a wonderful bulwark against the Indians who had been prohibited by act of Assembly in 1646, from hunting or making any abode nearer the English plantations, than Yapin, the black water, and from the head of the black water upon a straight line to the old Mankin Towne. The Virginia Legislature granted the French refugees land which was tax free for 7 years, also bread until a crop could be raised. What was the motive then for leaving this refuge on the James?
Matters had not been running smoothly for some time at Manakin Towne. A letter written by the pastor, PHILIPPE DE RICHEBOURG, on April 19, 1707, to the Honorable Colonel Jennings, Pres. and to the Honorable Council of Va., states that, "we are extremely troubled to see dissension in our parish, caused by some person. We supplicate you to remedy this to restore order. There are some persons, particularly Abraham Salls, who are the cause of difficulties in the parish for more than three years, in such manner that some of the members have felt obliged to relinquish everything rather than dwell in contention. God knows how much we have suffered and if the Honorable Council could realize the oppressions we endure, and the very irregular conduct of Mr. Salls, of which we have already made complaint, to the council, in May 1704." signed C. PHILIPPE DE RICHEBOURG., Jacques Lacage, Estienne Chastain and Antoine Rapine.
On September 2, 1707, Abraham Salls made answer to the charge of DE RICHEBOURG. It appears form his letter, also to the council, that the ministers had refused to recognize the regularly elected vestry of which Abraham Salls was one and had demanded the register of christenings out of "ye clerk of ye vestry's hands" on peril of excommunication.
"The decision in this difficulty was made against DE RICHEBOURG. He remained at Manakin Towne until November 21, 1711, on which date he recited for five months salary." (from vol. 9, page 16 Y "SOME VIRGINIA HUGUENOTS IN THE CAROLINAS", by Mrs. Wm. H. Lanabeth.)
Sometime after that date he and some of his followers removed to Trent River in North Carolina, where they were the second body of French emigrants. After a time, about 1711 or 1712, he with a portion of his people proceeded further south and planted themselves on the Santee River in South Carolina. Here DE RICHEBOURG succeeded Pierre Robert as minister of the French Settlement, called Jamestown on the Santee.
The following is taken from SOUTH CAROLINA HISTORICAL AND GENEALOGICAL MAGAZINE, Vol. 32 #4 article: "South Carolina Indian War of 1715 as seen by the clergymen" by Edgar Legare Pennington, p. 258.
"The two French missionaries, John La Pierre and RICHEBOURG were just preparing to quit the country on account of their great want, when relief reached them through the Society's bounty." Mr. RICHEBOURG, in acknowledging the bounty of the Society (Huguenot), described the want which he, his wife and his five children had experienced on account of the war. A garrison had been kept constantly at his home, since the army had destroyed all his provisions. His Parish, St. James Santee (an incorporated church of which he was the first Rector), was the remotest of the provinces and therefore the most exposed. His parishioners had been forced to run away the 6th of May, 1815. The following week they returned to fortify themselves. 'Our fortifications', he writes, 'being not yet finished, we heard the terrible news of Mr. Barker and his company killed. The Shen King (Schendkengh) fort taken and ye garrison miserably murdered by 500 Indians, whom they trusted but proved to be their enemies by burning a plantation and killing negroes in our settlement and by a plot to fall upon us and cut our throats.' CLAUDE PHILIPPE DE RICHEBOURG died there in 1717-1719."
From ANNALS OF HENRICO PARISH by Rt. Rev. Lew to Burton, D.O., we find these words on page 86: "The same records also show that in 1701, CLAUDE DE PHILIPPE RICHEBOURG is mentioned as minister of Henrico Parish (he was minister in charge of the Huguenot church at Manaking Towne on James River 1707-1711)."
The following is taken from page 15 HISTORY OF SUMTER COUNTY by Anne King Gregorie: "A number of the later settlers of the Wateree came from the Huguenot families of French Jamestown on Santee. Claudius Richbourg obtained grants in 1765 (It is possible that this is one of CLAUDE PHILIPPE'S sons)."
VESTRY BOOK OF KING WILLIAM PARISH VIRGINIA 1707-1750 283.75561 (no index)
p. 295 * Of the names mentioned in the register [the fugitives at Manakin Town] the following ocur in Baird (Cf. Index): CLAUDE PHILIPPE de RICHEBOURG was from Berri...
p. 296 CLAUDE PHILLIPPE minister paid L25 per year.
Last Will and Testament of CLAUDE PHILIPPE DE RICHEBOURG - sent by Gordon Wells
Although we have found references to the last will and testament of CLAUDE PHILIPPE DE RICHEBOURG, we have been unsuccessful in locating the official document.
An index of destroyed wills in Charleston contains a listing of the inventory of "PHILIP DE RICHBOURG - Inventory R-43," and this record is identified as wills which were destroyed during the Confederate era.
In HISTORY OF VIRGINIA, the Reverend Vass states that the DE RICHEBOURG will was long preserved in the Probate Judge's Office in Charleston; that the General Index of Wills recorded its existence and location, but that it, with other papers, was moved inland for safety during the War Between the States in an unbound package which was consumed by fire during the burning of Columbia by General Sherman. Other opinions hold that the documents were moved inland to Cheraw, South Carolina, and destroyed; that the documents were thrown into the river at Columbia by General Sherman's men, and still another that the DE RICHEBOURG will, with other legal papers, were left stacked on the streets of Charleston and were destroyed in one way or another. Regardless of the manner of destruction, these valuable documents seem lost to posterity.
The Reverend George Howe in HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN SOUTH CAROLINA, )page 167) states that the will of CLAUDE PHILIPPE DE RICHEBOURG was dated Quinzieme jour de Janyier 1 'an mill sept cens dix-huit dix neuf (January 15, 1718/19). If this date be correct, it appears evident that CLAUDE PHILIPPE DE RICHEBOURG, who served as pastor of th St. James Santee Church until his death in 1718/19 died soon after the writing of his will. Dr. Howe also states that the DE RICHEBOURG will was preserved in the Public Office at Charleston, as is borne out by Charleston index records, and named his wife, ANNE CHASTAIN DE RICHEBOURG, and six surviving children. It appears evident that the de Richebourg children were all minors at the time of their father's death.
The Reverend Vass' HISTORY OF VIRGINIA describes the will of CLAUDE PHILIPPE DE RICHEBOURG, "The DE RICHEBOURG will breathes the spirit of true Christianity and exhibits a faithful servant of the Cross, still resigned to dispensations of Providence, steadfast in faith and triumphant at approaching death." On page 309 of the same book reference is made to 'the Huguenot colonists being led by their noble, godly, exiled pastor RICHEBOURG in their migration to Trent River, North Carolina, from Manakin Town, Virginia." He refers to our ancestor "DE RICHBOURG was a decided French Presbyterian of unobtrusive manners, fervid piety, exalted character, devoted to the cause of Christ, with a life filled with toils, poverty, hope, faith and charity. He set an example of suffering patience which encouraged his Huguenot followers to bear their hardships."
From these references we can only conclude that the will of CLAUDE PHILIPPE DE RICHEBOURG did exist, was recorded in Charleston, S. C., and has been destroyed in some manner. It seems very evident that he had nothing of great value to bequeath to his heirs.
HUGUENOT SOCIETY OF SOUTH CAROLINA
CLAUDE PHILIPPE DE RICHEBOURG:
On October 18, 1655, Louis XIV of France, revoked the Edict of Nantes and by so doing deprived his Protestant subjects, the Huguenots, of civil and religious liberty and subjected them to unrestricted persecution at the hands of the Roman Catholic Church.
As a result, more than 400,000 Huguenots abandoned their homes in France and moved to England, Holland, Germany and other lands, which permitted them to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences.
Since the world has never known more courageous and earnest folk than the Huguenots, it beggars the imagination to conjecture what France has lost in human resources during subsequent generations on account of this coerced exodus.
Among the thousands of Huguenots who sought refuge in England was CLAUDE PHILIPPE DE RICHEBOURG, a Huguenot minister, who after wards became the progenitor of the Richbourg family, of Clarendon County, South Carolina. (1)
Charles Washington Baird suggests in his HISTORY OF THE HUGUENOT EMIGRATION TO AMERICA that CLAUDE PHILIPPE DE RICHEBOURG may have fled from France to England with a kinsman, Isaac Porcher, a native of the village of Saint Severe in the Province of Berri, who was the ancestor of the Porchers of South Carolina. Baird states: (2)
Isaac was a physician, and had taken his degree at the University of Paris. With his wife, Claude Cherigny, a native of Touraine, he fled soon after the Revocation to England, perhaps in company with his relative, CLAUDE PHILIPPE DE RICHEBOURG, a Protestant minister afterwards pastor of the French colony on the James River in Virginia and of the French church in Charleston. The Porchers were descended from the Counts of Richebourg.
After their exodus from France, 800 Huguenots joined the Army of William of Orange, and fought under him the Irish wars. Dr. George Howe informs us in his HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN SOUTH CAROLINA that "they formed an entire regiment under the command of the Duke of Schomberg in the battle of the Boyle in 1690" and that "in the decisive battle of Aghrim in the following year these auxiliaries, commanded by Ruvigny, earl of Galway, contributed by their gallantry to the victory obtained over the French and Irish Papal Army under the command of St. Ruth. (3)
William of Orange was deeply impressed by the character and valor of the Huguenots who served in his army, and for this reason developed a profound concern for the plight of the Huguenots sojourning in England. As a consequence, he encouraged a substantial colony of them to migrate from England to Virginia about 1690 and establish a Huguenot settlement at Manakin Town on the James River about twenty miles above Richmond. (4)
These colonists were joined in 1699 and 1700 by additional groups of Huguenots numbering more than 700 under the leadership of marquis de la Muce. These groups sailed for Virginia from Gravesend, England, and were accompanied by their pastor CLAUDE PHILIPPE DE RICHEBOURG, who served as minister of the Huguenot settlement at Manakin Town from the time of his arrival in 1699 or 1700 until his departure for North Carolina. (5)
Unhappy differences of opinion arose among the Huguenots at Manakin Town, and in 1708 Richebourg accompanied "the great body of them" to North Carolina, where they settled on the Trent River. (6)
The Huguenots were derived from their settlement on the Trent River by the Tuscarora and Coree Indians, who unexpectedly took to the warpath on September 11, 1711, and on that day brutally massacred 111 of their white neighbors in eastern North Carolina. (7)
As a result of this tragedy, RICHEBOURG and some of his compatriots made their way to the Province of South Carolina, where many Huguenots had proceeded them. Shortly after his arrival there in 1712, RICHEBOURG established his home near the French or Huguenot Church, which stood in the center of the French village of Jamestown on a high bluff abutting and overlooking the Santee River in Berkeley County, South Carolina. Here RICHEBOURG spent the remainder of his days. (8)
The Huguenot or French Church at Jamestown on the Santee, which consisted of wood on a foundation of brick, had been constructed at an unrecorded time by Huguenots, who had settled in the area shortly before 1690 to cultivate the grape, the olive, and the silk worm and to produce naval stores, and who numbered about eighty families by that year (9) Dr. Arthur Henry Hirsch states in his history of THE HUGUENOTS OF COLONIAL SOUTH CAROLINA that this was the largest settlement of Huguenots in the province outside Charleston during the early life of the colony, and that the French or Huguenot Church at Jamestown on the Santee was probably next to that at Charleston in membership. (10)
By the Church Act of 1706 and an amendment of 1708, the South Carolina Provincial legislature established for Anglean Church purposes the Parish of St. James Santee, whose boundaries embraced the French village of Jamestown and all other parts of Berkeley County lying between the Parish of St. John's Berkeley on the south and the Santee River on the north. (11) In 1754, the Parish of St. Stephen was formed out of the northwestern portion of the Parish of St. James Santee. (12)
At the time of RICHEBOURG's arrival at Jamestown, the French or Huguenot Church on the Santee was still enjoying the labors of its venerable pastor, Pierre Robert. (13)
Dr. Howe describes the character and final years of CLAUDE PHILIPPE DE RICHEBOURG as follows: (14)
The character which has been transmitted to us of this persecuted minister of the gospel, exhibits as its peculiar trait a devotedness to the cause of Christ. He appears to have been a man of unobtrusive manners, of deep and fervent piety, and of a serious temper of mind. Adversities and poverty seem to have been his portion in the lot of life.
He seems to have lived, after his removal to South Carolina, for two or three years without a spiritual charge, and without any pecuniary resources for the maintenance of his family; and, we are informed by Humphrey, contemplated a removal out of the colony 'on account of his great want.'
The infirmities of age creeping upon him, Pierre Robert resigned his charge, and RICHEBOURG was called by the congregation to succeed him in 1715. He continued in the pastorship until his death in 1718-19. His will (original manuscript in the French language) is still preserved in the Public Office in Charleston, and breathes the true spirit of the Christian, resigned under the dispensations of Providence, steadfast in the faith, and triumphant at his approaching death. His wife, ANNE CHASTAIN, and six children survived him. Some of his descendants, who are not numerous, have attained wealth; and no instance is known of any of them having been destitute of the comforts of life.
After considering and weighing the historical data relating to RICHEBOURG and his ministry at the French or Huguenot Church at Jamestown on the Santee. Dr. Howe emphatically concluded that RICHEBOURG never became an Anglican minister and that the church retained its name and character as a Reformed Church throughout his life. (15)
Dr. Howe's conclusion on this score cannot be recorded with those of Dr. Hirsch, who states in substance, in his history of THE HUGUENOTS OF COLONIAL SOUTH CAROLINA that in 1700 the French or Huguenot Church at Jamestown on the Santee was converted into the Anglican Church at the request of its French founders and members; that its pastor, Pierre Robert, took Anglican orders, that subsequently his successor. RICHEBOURG accepted ordination in the Anglicean communion and thereby assumed in the estimation of the Anglican clergy the obligation to forsake the Calvinistic theology and liturgy of the Huguenots for that of the Anglicans; that notwithstanding RICHEBOURG persisted in preaching and administering the sacraments in the French language in accordance with the Calvinistic theology and liturgy of the Huguenots, and thereby greatly angered the Anglican clergy; that Commissary Johnston the chief representative in the Province of South Carolina of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, in adjunct of the Anglican Church, threatened to "deprive RICHEBOURG of his cure and salary and remove him from the province unless he desisted"; that RICHEBOURG "confessed his error and promised never to commit it again"; and that RICHEBOURG "temporarily submitted" to Johnston's demand, but soon returned to his Calvinistic ways. (16)
For reasons he deems compelling the writer is constrained to accept Dr. Howe's conclusions and reject those of Dr. Hirsche.
It is simply incredible that the French Huguenots on the Santee would have lightly or willingly abandoned at that time in history the profound religious convictions for which their fathers and their contemporaries had suffered martyrdom and for which they themselves had exchanged their native land and their earthly possessions for exile and poverty. (17)
Besides Dr. Hirsch's conclusions are incompatible with RICHEBOURG's character as it has been revealed by all historical data relating to him outside of the writings of representatives of the English-based adjunct of the Anglican Church the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. According to this data, RICHEBOURG was a strong-willed man, who was inseparable wedded to the Calvinistic faith of the Huguenots and was always ready to do battle for it against any that questioned its authenticity.
Dr. Hirsch based his conclusions on the records of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, where representatives in the Province of South Carolina were unrestrained in their efforts to induce or coerce the Huguenots residing there to forsake their own faith and to adopt in its stead the polity, theology, and usages of the Anglican Church.
As a consequence of their inordinate zeal they succumbed to the temptation to report their proselyting efforts to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts as more fruitful than the circumstances warranted and to change with perfidy any Huguenot clergyman who actively resisted their efforts to proselyte his charges.
Dr. Hirsch admits that Commissary Johnston, who manifested his extreme hostility to RICHEBOURG, was even more rigorous in proselyting the Huguenots than the Anglicans in England, who extended some financial aid to some Huguenot Churches and were desirous of converting their members to the Anglican faith. (18)
It is to be noted that Dr. Howe weighed and rejected as unreliable the records of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts on which Dr. Hirsch based his conclusions, and in so doing quoted with approval the deduction of another researcher of the subject that the records were "got up to advance the interests of the Episcopal Church" and were "replete with inaccuracies and misstatements." (19)
Apart from its undue acceptance of the biased records of the society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts as the embodiment of the truth in respect to disagreements between the Society's Provincial representatives and the Huguenots, Dr. Hirsch's history constitutes a reliable and readable story of the Huguenots in Colonial South Carolina.
RICHEBOURG dated his will January 15, 1718-19, and died soon after its execution. The exact time of his death is not known. Dr. Humphrey was obviously in error in stating that it occurred in 1717. (20) Hirsch gave the date of this event as 1718 and Baird at 1719. (21)
The offspring of CLAUDE PHILIPPE DE RICHEBOURG and his wife ANNE CHASTAIN were children of tender years at their father's death. The concision is made manifest by the will of Isaac Porcher, which was made September, 1726. After bequeathing and devising his property to his children, Isaac Porcher reminded them that "charity is one of the greatest Christian virtues" and charged them "to take care of the children of (the) late Mr. RICHEBOURG as being objects worthy of compassion." (22)
While the dates of the births of the six children of the marriage of CLAUDE PHILIPPE DE RICHEBOURG and ANNE CHASTAIN have not been ascertained by the writer, the wills of two of them namely, Charles Richebourg and John Richebourg, indicate that they were born in this order: Charles Richebourg, Rene Richebourg, John Richebourg, James Richebourg, Claudius Richebourg, and Elizabeth Richebourg.
Charles Richebourg was a planter of Berkeley County, S. C. It is implicit in his will, which he executed before St. Cabanas, Jos. de St. Julian and Rene Ravenel, Jr., as subscribing witnesses, on April 10, 1736, that he died unmarried and without issue.
Although his will was not proved until October 8, 1746, it is inferable that he died before November 2, 1743, because he is not mentioned in the will of his unmarried brother, John Richebourg, which was executed on that day.
By his will, Charles Richebourg made his brothers Rene, John, James, and Claudius whom he called Claude, his sister Elizabeth, and his niece Catherine the objects of his bounty, and named his brother Rene the sole executor of his estate. (23)
Rene Richebourg was a planter in the part of Craven County, S. C. which subsequently became Clarendon County. He executed his will before Anne Crouch, E. Cavinis, and John Pamor as subscribing witnesses on November 27, 1740, and died before November 2, 1743, the day on which his brother John Richebourg made his will.
By his will, Rene Richebourg made his "beloved wife Catherine," his sons, Charles, Rene, and Samuel, and his daughters, Catherine and Elizabeth, the objects of his bounty, and named his friends, Philip, Rene, and Samuel Peyre, the executors of his estate. (24)
John Richebourg was a planter of Berkeley County, S. C. It is implicit in his will that he died unmarried and without issue. He executed that instrument before Rene Ravenel, Jr., David Lafons, and Thomas McDaniel, as subscribing witnesses, on November 1, 1743, and died between that day and December 27, 1743, the day on which it was proved.
By his will, John Richebourg made his surviving brothers, James and Claudius, his sister Elizabeth, and his nephews, Charles and Rene, sons of his "late brother Rene Richebourg" the objects of his bounty, and named his brother James and his friends James De St. Julien and Peter Herman, the executors of his estate. (250
Claudius Richebourg, who is the subject of a separate sketch, pursued the calling of a planter in the part of Craven County, S. C. which subsequently became Clarendon County.
The French village of Jamestown on the Santee and the French or Huguenot Church which ministered to the spirited needs of its inhabitants and the other French Protestants living in the vicinity were located about a mile to the north of the existing municipality of Jamestown in Berkeley County.
The French village of Jamestown did not prosper because the Santee River was subject to frequent freshets at this point and the climate was not healthful. As the years passed, the original French settlers died and their progeny moved to more favorable agricultural area in the Parish of St. John's Berkeley, the Parish of St. Stephen's and Craven County, where they achieved substantial prosperity by cultivating indigo and rice, the money crops of the age and region. (26)
As more years passed, the village and church disintegrated and disappeared, and their site was recaptured by the wilderness. The writer visited this spot in July, 1971, and found nothing there indicating its historic past except a simple monument erected by the Huguenot Society at South Carolina to make the spot where the church had stood. (27)
(1) As is frequently the case in early days in the colonies and the states in respect to names of non-British origin, the family surname appears in various spellings. It is spelled Richebourg in historical references to CLAUDE PHILIPPE DE RICHEBOURG and in the wills of his sons Charles Richebourg, Rene Richebourg, and John Richebourg. It is spelled Richborough in the census of 1790, and Richbourg in the census of 1800 and the wills of CLAUDE PHILIPPE DE RICHEBOURG's son Claudius and his grandson James. It is spelled Richburgh in the census of 1810. During succeeding generations the surname has ordinarily been spelled Richbourg or Richburg. The writer spells it according to the way in which it is spelled in a particular context or in the way in which a particular individual preferred to spell it. Although a number of the descendants of CLAUDE PHILIPPE DE RICHEBOURG were undoubtedly living in Clarendon County in 1790 only two of them, James Richborough, Sr., and William Richborough are listed as heads of families in the census. This fact and the omission of ownership of slaves in some instances indicate that the census of 1790 for Clarendon County is incomplete either as taken or as preserved. Henry Richborough, Sr., Henry Richborough, Jr., James Richbourgh, Sr., Nathaniel Richborough, Sr., Nathaniel Richborough, Jr. and William Richbourgh are listed a heads of families in the census of 1800 for Clarendon County and Claude Richburgh, Richburgh, Henry Richburgh, Sr., Henry Richburgh, Jr., Louisa Richbourg, Nat Richburgh, Jr., Renna Richburgh, Samuel Richburgh, Thomas Richburgh and William Richburgh are listed as heads of families in the census of 1810 for Clarendon County. The National Archives Service does not have in its possession the census of Clarendon County for 1820, 1830, 1840, and 1850, and for this reason the census of the County for each of these years is presumed to be lost.
(2) Charles Washington Baird: HISTORY OF THE HUGUENOT EMIGRATION TO AMERICA (Baltimore, Md., 1966) Vol. 2, page 105. This history is hereafter cited as Baird. As we shall see, CLAUDE PHILIPPE DE RICHEBOURG was pastor of the French or Huguenot Church at Jamestown on the Santee--not of the French Church at Charleston.
(3) Dr. George Howe: HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN SOUTH CAROLINA (Columbia, S. C., 1870), Vol. 1, 166. This history is hereafter cited as Howe.
(4) Howe, Vol. 1, 166.
(5) Howe, Vol. 1, 166: Baird, Vol. 2 105-106, 177. See, also, Bishop William Meade: OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS, AND FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA, Baltimore, Md., (1966).
(6) Howe, Vol. 1, 166.
(7) Howe, Vol. 1, 166.
(8) Howe, Vol. 1, 166-167. Dr. Arthur Henry Hirsch has much to say concerning Richebourg in his history of "The Huguenots of Colonial South Carolina," which was published in 1962 and is hereafter cited simply as Hirsch. See pages 19, 62, 76, 81, 133-134, 137.
(9) Hirsch, 15-18, 60-61.
(10) Hirsch. 15, 60.
(11) Howe, Vol. 1. 168: Elizabeth W. A. Pringle: THE REGISTER BOOK FOR THE PARISH OF PRINCE WINYAW (Baltimore, Md., 1916), pages i-vii: Hirsch, 15.
(12) South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine. vol. 45. page 65; see, also, Hirsch pages 14-15.
(13) Howe, vol. 1, 166.
(14) Howe, Vol. 1, 166-167: The Judge of Probate at Charleston has informed the writer that the will of CLAUDE PHILIPPE DE RICHEBOURG cannot now be found in his office.
(15) Howe, Vol. 1. 169.
(16) Hirsch, 133-134.
(17) as Dr. Hirsch concedes, the Huguenots "were foreigners of a race other than that of the most numerous class in the community and spoke a language not only very different than in general as in the Province, but also held in contempt outside of English court circles. They came in want from a country that for centuries had been the political enemy of Great Britain. They were religious refugees and ardent advocates of a faith dissimilar to Anglican." Hirsch, 138.
(18) Hirsch, 132, 134.
(19) Howe, Vol. 1. 168-169.
(20) Howe, Vol. 1. 167.
(21) Hirsch, 19. Baird, Vol. 1, pages 105-106. It is obvious that he was living on June 2, 1718, because on that day Pierre St. Julian of Berkeley County made his will, which gave a legacy of twenty pounds to "Monsieur CLAUDE PHILIPPE DE RICHEBOURG, Minister." Caroline T. Moore and Agatha Aimar Sunmons, ABSTRACTS OF WILLS OF THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA 1670-1740 (Columbia, S. C. 1960), Vol. 1. page 60.
(22) Will of Isaac Porcher, which is recorded in Will Book 1726-1729, Vol. 2, page 374, on file in Probate office at Charleston, S. C.
(23) Will of Charles Richebourg, which is recorded in Will Book 1 1747-1752, pages 461-462, on file in the Probate Office at Charleston, S. C. By his will Charles Richebourg devised his 200-acre plantation on which he resided to his brother Rene Richebourg on condition that Rene convey his 250 -acre plantation known as Long Acres to his brother John Richebourg made specific legacies of one negro slave to each of his Brothers, Rene, John, James, and Claudius, and his sister, Elizabeth, and his niece, Catherine Richebourg; and left the remainder of his estate in equal shares to his brothers, Rene, John, James, and Claudius, and his sister Elizabeth. See, also, ABSTRACTS OF WILLS OF THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA 1740-1760, Vol. 2, page 140.
(24) Will of Rene Richebourg which is recorded in Will Book 1740-1747, page 170, on file in Probate Office at Charleston, S. C. By his will, Rene Richebourg devised his plantation to his son Charles, subject to the right of his wife, Catherine, to reside on it during her widowhood, and bequeathed his personal estate in various proportions to his wife, Catherine, his daughters. Catherine and Elizabeth, and his sons, Charles, Rene, and Samuel. The will shows that the children were under the age of 21 years at the time of its execution. See also, ABSTRACTS OF WILLS OF THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA 1746-1760, Vol. 2, page 30.
(25) Will of John Richebourg, which is recorded in Will Book 1740-1747, page 150, on file in Probate Office at Charleston, S. C. By his will, John Richebourg devised to his nephew, Rene Richebourg, the eldest son of his "late brother, Rene Richebourg", a 300-acre plantation lying on Magate Swamp in Berkeley County; bequeathed to his "loving sister Elizabeth Richebourg one Negro woman by name Nancy and her daughter by name Silvia"; bequeathed to his nephew, Charles Richebourg, son of his late brother, Rene Richebourg, his gun; and left the remainder of his estate in equal shares to his surviving brothers James Richebourg and Charles Richebourg" and his "loving sister Elizabeth Richebourg: See, also, ABSTRACTS OF WILLS OF THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA 1740-1760, Vol. 2. page 23.
(26) Hirsch 18. Craven County was created in 1682 and originally included all of South Carolina lying between Berkeley County and the North Carolina line.
(27) After the writer had completed this sheet, Mrs. J. W. T of Atlanta, Georgia a descendant of CLAUDE PHILIPPE DE RICHEBOURG a copy of a manuscript relating to DE RICHEBOURG compiled by the late Dr. Robert Wilson, of the Citadel at Charleston, S. C. whose existence had been unknown to the writer prior to that time. The manuscript is in complete with the research of the writer with respect to DE RICHEBOURG's family. It states that he married ANNE CHASTAIN and that their sons Charles and John died unmarried that their sons, Rene and Claudius married and left issue, and that no indication as to what because of their son, James and their daughter Elizabeth has been discovered. The manuscript surmises that ANNE CHASTAIN was probably the daughter or sister of Dr. Castaing or Castayne one of the two surgeons who accompanied the Huguenots to Manakin Town. The manuscript accepts the that DE RICHEBOURG took Anglican orders and asserts that Baird's "statement that Dr. Isaac Porcher was a Richebourg and was descended from the Count de Richbourg and his surmise that CLAUDE PHILIPPE DE RICHEBOURG was of the same stock are equally without foundation." further states that the maiden name of Rene Richebourg's wife was Catherine Peyre that they resided at a plantation on the Santee known as Sandy Hill that daughter Elizabeth married Thomas Pamer of Gravel Hill whose Anglicized as Palmer. The writer is constrained to take issue with the statement of the manuscript that Charles Richebourg the son or Rene Richebourg and his wife Catherine Peyre, died in 1792. This Charles Richebourg was the grandson of the original Rene Richebourg. The records of St. Stephens Parish in Craven County show that Rene Richebourg's son Charles died before May 4, 1771, and that on that day the Court of Ordinary granted a citation to Elizabeth Richebourg. Rene Richebourg the brother of Charles and Joseph Palmer administer his estate, SOUTH CAROLINA HISTORICAL AND GENEALOGICAL MAGAZINE, Vol. 44, page 250. Moreover, the same records disclose that Rene Richebourg's sons Charles, rene, and Samuel were active officers of the Anglican Church which served that portion of St. Stephen's parish lying in Craven County north of the Santee River. SOUTH CAROLINA HISTORICAL AND GENEALOGICAL MAGAZINE, Vol. 45, pages 162-167, 170-217, and Vol. 46, pages 40, 174.
Clara A. Langley. South Carolina Deed Abstract 1719-1772. Volume I. Greenville SC: Southern Historical Press, Inc., 1983 (reprinted 1999). Page 176.
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