French line

A brief history of the du Moulin family in France.

There are detailed webpages on the du Moulin family, much of which is summarised on the Stubbs family history website. The du Moulin family generally can be traced back to the 1400s. They were of the French nobility, but strongly Calvinist. This quote is from a document duMoulin (a pdf) produced by the Kent Archaeological Society:

The Du Moulins appear to have been among the noblesse of the Isle de France, our English dignitaries belonging to the younger or Lorme-Grenier branch, the learned jurist Charles Du Moulin to the elder or Mignaux branch. Of this family, it is said, was Charles Dumoulin, in whose chateau of Brus-sous-Forges, the tower of which is still standing, the early years of Anne Boleyn were passed.

Wikipedia has an entry on Charles Du Moulin (1500-1566), as has the 1911 Encyclopaedia_Britannica. He was a lawyer and judge who was (supposedly) directly related to Anne Boleyn, wife of King Henry VIII and mother of the first Queen Elizabeth. When protestants were being persecuted he went to Germany where he taught law, returning to France 1557. He attacked the practice of paying interest on loans, as a result of which he was declared a heretic and his book condemned to be burned. As a judge he prevented a King’s Spanish descendant taking the French throne, thereby establishing the precedent that Kings of France had to be native–born (as American presidents are today). He wrote against the Council of Trent and was imprisoned until 1564, dying in Paris in 1566.

It is of interest that he prophesied 460 years ago that the Catholic Church would fall in 2015! Despite this, according to one source, Charles converted to the Catholic Church on his death bed.

Charles’ son Joachim du Moulin (1538 – 1618), who married Françoise du Plessis, née Gabet (widow of Jacques Du Plessis), became a well-known Huguenot pastor in the Orleans region of France, moving to Sédan, a Protestant commune led by Guillaume Robert de la Mark, duc de Bouillon. [The historic centre of Sédan is built on a peninsula formed by an arc of the Meuse River. It is around 10 kilometres from the Belgian border. Sédan was founded in 1424. In the sixteenth century Sédan was an asylum for Protestant refugees from the Wars of Religion.]

Joachim & Francoise’s son Pierre du Moulin has a well-documented life. Firstly we quote part of his entry in the Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 39 (the entry is quite detailed):

He was born 18 Oct. 1568 at Buhy, Vexin Français, where his father had temporarily taken refuge, and was acting as chaplain to Pierre de Buhy, brother of the so-called ‘Huguenot pope,’ Philippe de Mornay. When he was four years old his parents, compelled to flee to avoid the St. Bartholomew massacres, left their four little children in charge of an old nurse, a catholic, at Cœuvres, near Soissons. Pierre’s cries, being concealed under a mattress, on the murderers’ approach, would have attracted their attention had not the nurse rattled her pots and pans, pretending to be cleaning them, and had not his sister Esther, aged 7, put her hand over his mouth. Pierre was educated at Sedan. In 1588 his father, harassed by persecutions, dismissed him with twelve crowns, bidding him seek his fortune in England. … He married in 1599 Marie de Colignon, who died in 1622, and in the following year he married Sarah de Geslay. Two sons by his first wife, Lewis and Peter, are separately noticed.

Next we quote from Wikipedia:

Pierre was educated at the Protestant Academy of Sédan and subsequently trained for the ministry in London and Cambridge. In 1592 he moved to the University of Leiden where he taught for several years. In 1598 he returned to France and became a minister of the Huguenot church in Paris and Charenton. Du Moulin returned to England in 1615 at the invitation of King James I. Through the King he was made a D.D. at Cambridge and was appointed a prebendary at Canterbury Cathedral in 1615 (Stall IV). In 1621 his situation in France became dangerous and he moved back to Sedan where he taught at the Academy. In 1624 he returned to England where he obtained an ecclesiastical sinecure from King James. He returned to Sedan in 1625 and died there in 1658.

[A prebendary is a senior member of clergy, normally supported by the revenues from an estate or parish. When attending cathedral services, prebendaries sit in particular seats, usually at the back of the choir stalls, known as prebendal stalls.]

From an article by Amanda Fowler on Pierre du Moulin:

Du Moulin became close with James I, travelling with him and helping him in his defence of the monarchy against the papacy. … After King James’ death, Du Moulin attempted in vain to gain with Charles I the same familiarity they had shared. He remained at Sédan, and his health declined. In 1655, he was injured by a fall from a horse. He never recovered and died at Sédan in 1658.

Next we quote from Wikepedia on Pierre’s son Peter du Moulin; check the original entry to follow links to any of the names below:

Peter du Moulin (1601–1684) was a French-English Anglican clergyman, son of the Huguenot pastor Pierre du Moulin and brother of Lewis du Moulin. He was the anonymous author of Regii sanguinis clamor ad coelum adversus paricidas Anglicanos, published at The Hague in 1652, a royalist work defending Salmasius and including a strong attack on John Milton.

He was born at Paris on 24 April 1601. After studying at Sedan and Leyden, he spent time at Cambridge, where he received the degree of D.D. About 1625, after an imprisonment at Dunkirk, he was appointed to the living (refused by his father) of St John the Baptist’s Church, Chester, but there is no record of his having resided there. In 1640, however, on becoming D.D. at Leyden, he described himself as holding that benefice.

He was rector of Witherley, Leicestershire, in 1633, and of Wheldrake, Yorkshire, in 1641. During the First English Civil War he was first in Ireland as tutor in the Boyle family, and was next tutor at Oxford to the sons of Richard Boyle, 1st Earl of Burlington, Charles Boyle, 3rd Viscount Dungarvan and Richard Boyle (d. 1665), frequently preaching at St. Peter-in-the-East in Oxford. He was rector of Adisham, Kent, from 1646 (with a short intermission in 1660 on the reinstatement of John Oliver) till his death.

He sided, like his father, with the royalists, and wrote the scurrilous reply to Milton, Regii Sanguinis Clamor, at the time mistakenly attributed to Alexander More. Du Moulin concealed his authorship until the Restoration, was consequently unmolested, and was in 1656 made D.D. at Oxford.

At the Restoration he was rewarded by a chaplaincy to Charles II and by succeeding in 1660 to his father’s prebend (Stall IV) at Canterbury Cathedral. He took up his residence there.

Du Moulin died 10 October 1684, and was buried in the Cathedral. Another brother, Cyrus, was for a time French pastor at Canterbury.

On 07 May 1633 Peter du Moulin married Anne Claver (b. 1606 at Foscott, Buckinghamshire, d. 19 Jan 1678). They had a number of children.

Also assembled from Wikipedia:

Lewis Du Moulin (1603–1680) was a French Huguenot physician and controversialist, who came to England to practice medicine as a young man. He became Camden Professor of History at the University of Oxford in 1646 after petitioning Parliament. He was ejected from the position in 1660. He was a moderate critic of episcopacy [a hierarchical form of church governance in which the chief local authorities are called bishops], identified as an Erastian [a follower of Thomas Erastus (1524–1583), a Swiss physician and theologian best known for a posthumously published work in which he argued that the sins of Christians should be punished by the state, and not by the church withholding the sacraments].

And from Lives of the Fellows of the Royal College of Physicians:

Lewis Du Moulin, MD, was a doctor of medicine of Leyden, incorporated first at Cambridge, 10th October, 1634, and secondly at Oxford, 14th July, 1649. He was admitted a Licentiate of the College of Physicians, 7th February, 1639-40. “Dr Molins, or Du Moulin, was a Frenchman born, the son of the famous Peter du Moulin, a French protestant, and was lately,” says Wood, “established Camden’s professor of History in this university, by the committee of Parliament for the reformation thereof. After the restoration of his Majesty he was turned out of his professorship by his Majesty’s commissioners for regulating the university. Whereupon, retiring to the city of Westminster, he lived there a most violent nonconformist. He was,” continues Wood, “a fiery, violent, and hot-headed Independent, a cross and ill-natured man; and, dying 20th October, 1680, aged 77 years, was buried within the precincts of the church of St Paul, in Covent garden, in which parish of which he had before lived several years.”

The last words of Lewis du Moulin being his retractation of all the personal reflections he had made on the divines of the Church of England (in several books of his), published after his death, can be read in full here (see from page 11).

Google has digitised a number of (searchable) books that contain commentaries on the du Moulin brothers. Two of these books are:

The Religious Culture of the Huguenots, 1660-1750, edited by Dr Anne Dunan-Page, with a chapter The Oxford DNB, the du Moulin Connection (from page 63; some pages are suppressed online).

The History of the Variations of the Protestant Churches, Volume 2 by Jacques Bénigne Bossuet.

%d bloggers like this: