Cazaly ~ First Generation


The Cazaly family were French Huguenots. Huguenots is the name given to the French Calvinist Protestants of the 16th and 17th centuries.

Protestantism spread rapidly, inspired by Martin Luther and John Calvin. With the onset of the French Wars of Religion in 1562, the Huguenots emerged not only as a religious movement but also as a highly organised military force. The bloodshed culminated in the Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre (24 Aug 1572) when up to 70,000 Protestants were killed. The wars subsided after the Protestant king Henry IV nominally converted to Roman Catholicism and issued the Edict of Nantes (1598) creating a state of partial religious tolerance.

In the following years the Huguenots lost their power and privileges progressively, under the strongly Catholic kings Louis XIII and Louis XIV. In 1685 the Edict of Nantes was revoked, and thousands of Protestants chose to emigrate from France rather than accept Catholicism. Over the next several years, France lost more than 200,000 of its Protestant inhabitants.

In the first part of the 18th century, the Huguenots seemed to be finally eliminated. In 1715 Louis XIV announced that he had ended all exercise of the Protestant religion in France. That same year, however, an assembly of Protestants held a conference at Nimes devoted to restoring the Protestant church. Although much reduced in number, Protestantism persisted in France.

However, persecution of the Huguenots was revived from 1745 to 1754, but French public opinion began to turn against the persecutions. This was the background to the arrival of the Cazaly family in London from Languedoc, France, around 1745. A Huguenot family with a similar name, Cazalet, emerged from France some 65 years earlier, but a connection has not yet been proved.

The first known generation of this Cazaly family commenced within a few years of 1700 in France. Investigations are continuing into their forebears, but the first named couple are Monsieur Cazaly who married Madame Marguerette, surname unknown. Monsieur Cazaly may well have been Guillaume if the naming pattern in the subsequent family occurred here.

Monsieur Cazaly was born at the Chateau des Fleurs, Pied Bouquet (locally called Puech Bouquet), see attached map of part of France, and died at Gard, Languedoc, France.
Madame Marguerette was born at Roussillon Languedoc (area 30).

In Louisa Nettlefold's application to the French Hospital, she states that "her father's grandparents were natives of France, and Protestants, and his grandmother, when a widow, had considerable property, which was confiscated at the (?Revocation of the) Edict of Nantes, and she became a refugee to England. She fled with twelve children, among whom was Peter Cazaly, grandfather of your petitioner".

Henrietta Louisa Cazaly in her application for support by "La Providence" states that her ancestor Pierre Cazaly came to England at the time of the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. She also states "The name of the estate from which my ancestors in the south of France had to fly at the Edict of Nantes the persecution of the Protestants was Peuch Bosquet near La Sommieres, Gard".

They probably both were referring to the worsening conditions for Protestants which occurred in the 60 years following the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. It is believed that the widow and children arrived in London about 1745.

Many Huguenot churches were built in the Spitalfields area of London. One such was built in 1743 on the corner of Brick Lane and Fournier Street. See photos of the Spitalfields area.

Marguerite Cazaly, grandmother, was listed as Godmother at the baptism of her granddaughter Marguerite Cazaly in 1760, and at the baptism of her grandson Jean Pierre Cazaly in 1761. Madame Marguerette was Godmother at the baptism of Marguerite Rives, her granddaughter, in 1767 and her grandson Jean Rives in 1771.

Burial of Margarčt Cazaly 13 April 1783 at Christ Church Spitalfields, abode Norton Folgate, age 83 (ref Ancestry London Bap Marr & Burials).
So far the following children have been identified. Parts of this tree have been helped significantly by Penny Cazaly of Edinburgh.


Huguenot History (pdf)

French Hospital

Photos of Spitalfields street and church
1. Guillaume (William) CAZALY born c1728 in Languedoc, France  
2. Jean Pierre (John Peter) CAZALY born in France  
3. Etienne (Stephen) CAZALY born in France  
4. Marguerite (Margaret) CAZALY born in France  
5. Louis (Lewis) CAZALY born in France  
6. Catherine (Katherine) CAZALY born in France  
7. Jeanne (Jane) CAZALY born in France  
8. Jean (John) CAZALY born in France  
9. Madeleine CAZALY born in France  

Last modified 12 Jan 2014