Jacques DE BRISSAC 1573 - 1657
Born Before 1573
Died Before 1657
Married Jeanne CHEVALERIE b.1583
Jacques and Jeanne had at least four children
1) Jacques de BRISSAC c.1592 – 1672 Born at Chatellerault
2) Marie Catherine de BRISSAC 1601 – 1633 Baptism 1 July 1601 at Temple, Bonchamp-lès-Laval, 53, MAYENNE, Pays de la Loire
3) Samuel de BRISSAC 1607 – 1671 Baptism 14 November 1607 at Temple, Saumur
4) Georges de BRISSAC 1613 – ???
Sieur du Pré, dit Raton.
The above quote or saying comes with the information on Jacques. Maybe it is a forgotten joke?
It can be loosely translated as - "The chap from the sticks." said Ratty
‘Capitaine en 1589, S'illustre dans la défense de Vitré contre la Ligue.’
Translates - Captain in 1589, distinguished himself in the defence of Vitré against the League.
Sources - Individual, family: R.Gennerat (Huguenots de France 2003)
Religious Beliefs and Strife
Jacques was born into an intellectually exciting but dangerous time in France for religious belief.
Reformed churches had developed in France during and after the 16th-century Reformation, yet early movements made slow progress in France.
Before Martin Luther had emerged as a reformer in Germany, French thinkers had created much interest in biblical studies and had aroused a concern for a purer type of Christianity. Margaret of Angoulême, a sister of King Francis I, became the centre of a group known as the Group of Meaux, which created great interest in reform. Its members contributed much by their writings to biblical and theological studies. Several members of the group left it and became Protestants. Not until 1555, however, was any attempt made to organize Protestant congregations in France.
The Reformation movement then gained rapidly in France until 1562, when a long series of civil wars began in France and the Huguenots (French Protestants) alternately gained and lost. During this period of strife, the Massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Day occurred (1572), and several thousand Huguenots were murdered. (Source adapted - Église Reformée de France, Britannica.)
Judith Frances Hubbard writes
We don’t know much about the early (pre-1500’s) de Brissac family. There is a persistent belief or understanding that has come down the generations, that the de Brissac’s, our forebears, Huguenots who fled France, were from an older branch of the family Cossé – Brissac, owners of the Chateau de Brissac. The Chateau is situated in the Brissac-Quincé townships of the commune of Brissac Loire Aubance, located in the department of Maine-et-Loire, France.
The present family Cossé – Brissac are aware of this belief, but they have never come across or made known of any evidence of an older branch or of any Huguenot connection. My father, The Rev George E Hubbard, together with Nicolas G Hubbard my brother, met the (then) Duc de Brissac in Paris in the late 1960’s and a very friendly time was spent together. Anthony Prior, another Huguenot de Brissac descendant, has had a strong friendship with the present owners of the Chateau (14th Duke of Brissac) and stayed there but has never found any evidence.
John Evans (1823 - 1908) the well-known antiquarian had pictures of the chateau in his personal papers (now in the Ashmolean, Oxford.) Jane de Brissac Frederika Phelps (1842 – 1926) owned an ancient family tree of the Cossé-Brissac family, which Frances Ann Hubbard 1899 – 1985 painstakingly copied by hand. Alas that copy shows no evidence of identifiable connection.
The name de Brissac is a topographic surname – that is a surname derived from a place name. So, the probability that the early de Brissac’s came from the little town of Brissac (now Brissac - Quincé) is almost certainly assured. That the family held the name de Brissac holds some early importance.
Charles II de Cossé (1550 – June 1621) was the first Duke of Brissac, a title he was granted in 1611. Jacques de Brissac 1573 – 1657 was something of a contemporary, so we are looking at a connection (or a severance) which goes back further to the late 1400’s or early 1500’s. This would correspond to the rise of Calvinism and Reformation.
The early castle or château was built in the early 11th Century, which our ancestors would have known, whether or not they lived there. If a split in the family happened in the 16th Century, then our ancestors would not have ever lived in the château in its present form, with its architecture being from the 17th century onwards
Like all good myths or fairy tales, there will be a strand of truth. I am very happy to hold onto the idea of the de Brissac’s being descended from a very much older branch of a family going back into the mists of time.