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Nantes was revoked, and thousands of Protestants chose to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
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,
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
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
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)
Photos of Spitalfields street and church