By E. Joyce Best




Huguenot Society's Proceedings IX

A Brief History of The Huguenots

The Huguenots come to Lisburn

The Huguenot Weavers come to Lisburn

The Huguenot Pastors of Lisburn

More Huguenots

A Selection of Names of the Huguenots of Lisburn

Intermarriages in the First and Second Generations
between Huguenots



This book has received support From the Esm?Mitchell Trust First published in 1997 by Lisburn Historical Society ? Lisburn Historical Society ISBN 0 953188701 Printed by Belfast Litho Printers Limited Design by Dunbar Design


The Huguenots came to the Lisburn area in the seventeenth century and, whilst their contribution to society in other parts of Ireland has been well documented by historians, their part in the development of Lisburn has largely been forgotten. Perhaps the best known Huguenot to come to Lisburn was Louis Crommelin, who was encouraged to settle here in 1698 by King William III and to expand and develop the linen industry in this town.

Christ Church Cathedral LisburnMany other Huguenot families settled in Lisburn, both earlier than Crommelin and later; they started to arrive in the 1660s, encouraged by the policies of the Lord Lieutenant, the Marquis of 0rmonde, towards settlers after the ravages of the Cromwellian period. This book by Joyce Best brings to life many of those families, many now forgotten or assimilated through marriage in earlier generations. Over many years it has been a labour of love for Mrs Best and her husband, Bill DuBourdieu Best, a descendant of one of those settlers. It is with pleasure that the Lisburn Historical Society now presents this work as a somewhat belated contribution towards the recognition of the influence of the Huguenots in the early history of Lisburn.

 We are grateful for permission from a number of individuals and institutions to publish illustrations in their possession; Mrs E. L. J. Day and Mrs G. M. Stone; the Rector and Select Vestry of the parish of Glenavy; the Minister and Kirk Session of First Presbyterian Church, Lisburn; the Rector and Select Vestry of Lisburn Cathedral; the Huguenot Library, London; the Linen Hall Library, Belfast; the National Library of Ireland; the Trustees of the Ulster Museum; Mr Alister McReynolds, Lisburn College; British Museum and Mr Brian Mackey of Lisburn Museum. Mr Trevor Neill was instrumental in keeping the project alive over many years and Dr Kathleen Baotou edited the book, bringing the work to a form ready for publication. To each of these, the Society is deeply thankful.



In the Huguenot Society's proceedings written about a hundred years ago is the following entry on Page 352, Volume III, No. 11

"The Lost Register of the French Church of Lisburn, Ireland." Mr. George Gilligan, J.P., of Turret House, Reading, writes:

"I have been searching for this register for some years but without success. Dr Purdon of Belfast wrote on December 22nd, 1876. The old Register of the French Church is at present, I am certain, in the custody of Rev. Dr Hodson, Rector of Lisburn, as when I examined it formerly the late Rector had charge of it. I therefore applied to Dr Hodson but no trace of the Register could be discovered. In 1885 the Canon Pounden (successor to Dr Hodson) found a few stray leaves of it in one of his Church Registers and I would suggest that these should be printed by,,, Society. A correspondent in Ireland writes that he believes the missing register was last seen in the possession of the Rev. Armand Du Bourdieu, grandson of the last pastor of the Lisburn French Church, but a diligent search for this gentleman has failed to find him. If any fellow can give any information which will lead to the discovery of the missing Register he will render a most valuable service to the Society."

The Register is almost certainly lost, but over the last few years I have done my best to replace it. It is questionable if Rev. Armand Du Bourdieu ever owned it, or even if he was a grandson of the Rev. Saturate, Du Bourdieu, but in the spirit of `better late than never' - here is the best replacement I can make. The names I have written are only of the Lisburn Colony.