David Peloquin - Circa 1699-1762 (Sheriff 1735, Mayor 1751)


David Peloquin was a wealthy merchant and member of one of the Huguenot families that settled in England in the late 1600's.  He died in 1762 and there is a tablet erected in his memory in St Stephen's Church, Bristol

Why did the Huguenots leave France? :-

In 1598 the French king Henry IV was anxious to restore peace in his kingdom as there had been conflict between Catholics and Protestants for many years.  He issued the Edict of Nantes which recognised the legal position of the Reformed church and gave rights to its members.  However, when his grandson Louis XIV assumed personal control of the government in 1661 he made it clear that one of his objectives was to do away with this 'heresy' and all his subjects were expected to become members of the Roman Catholic Church.  In 1681, after a period of progressive restrictions, physical brutality began to be applied in cases where 'legal' methods had failed to persuade protestants to convert.  In October 1685, this culminated in the revocation of the Edict of Nantes - the remaining protestant chapels were demolished and their pastors banished.  England was an obvious option for refugees and the first contingent arrived in Bristol in December 1681.  Most of the Bristol Huguenots came from western France and in particular from the area stretching south from La Rochelle to Montagne-sur-Gironde.* 


*The Huguenots in Bristol by Ronald Mayo, published by the Bristol Historical Association, 1985   


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