Huguenot Freedom Fighter

Jacques de Hennot
(or de Henne)

(12th generation - G1213)

JACQUES de HENNOT (or de HENNE) was born about 1530 in Valenciennes, Nord, France. Some sources said it was as late as 1540. He married Jeanne Doye, the daughter of Antoine Doye and Rose Dujardin. She also was born in Valenciennes, France, about 1534.

Jacques was an alderman of Valenciennes.

The Huguenots were French Protestants who were members of the Reformed Church established in France by John Calvin in about 1555, and who, due to religious persecution, were forced to flee France to other countries in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

The Protestant Reformation began by Martin Luther in Germany about 1517, spread rapidly in France, especially among those having grievances against the established order of government. As Protestantism grew and developed in France it generally abandoned the Lutheran form, and took the shape of Calvinism.

The new "reformed religion" practiced by many members of the French nobility and social middle-class, based on a belief in salvation through individual faith without the need for the intercession of a church hierarchy and on the belief in an individualís right to interpret Scriptures for themselves, placed these French Protestants in direct theological conflict with both the Catholic Church and the King of France in the theocratic system which prevailed at that time.

Followers of this new Protestantism were soon accused of heresy against the Catholic government and the established religion of France, and a General Edict urging extermination of these heretics (Huguenots) was issued in 1536.

Nevertheless, Protestantism continued to spread and grow, and in about 1555 the first Huguenot church was founded in a home in Paris based upon the teachings of John Calvin. The number and influence of the French Reformers (Huguenots) continued to increase after this event, leading to an escalation in hostility and conflict between the Catholic Church/State and the Huguenots.

Finally, in 1562, some 1,200 Huguenots were slain at Vassey, France, thus igniting the French Wars of Religion which would devastate France for the next thirty-five years.

JACQUES was lieutenant of the guard formed by the Huguenot citizens of Valenciennes to resist the Spaniards; and who, after the capture of the town, fled to England toward the end of the 16th century.

The record indicated that Jacques Hennot, late lieutenant of the military guard of Valenciennes, surrendered twice at Tournai -- the first time with Guy de Bres (the celebrated Huguenot preacher, executed there in 1567); the second time after the death of the latter. He was then taken under guard toward Lisie, but escaped through the intervention of a band of Huguenot horsemen. After this escape all trace of him was lost by the authorities.

He was pursued by order of Theordore Cresia, commandant of the Italian Calvary (under the Duke of Alva), who gave instructions to capture the body of Jacques Hennot wherever he might be found, promising an honorable sum to any one who should deliver him dead, or double the amount if said Hennot should be delivered alive. There was also a decree found confiscating all the lands and goods of said Jacques Hennot, branding him as an outlaw.

The next trace of him is in the documents of the British Museum relating to the religious wars of Flanders. There among the names of the refugees is found that of Jacques Hennot, "late lieutenant of the military guard of Valenciennes". It is believed that Jacques Hennot fled France for England about 1568 and settled in the County of Essex, north of London.