The Disenchantment of the Emigrant World
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By 1795, the failures of the Counter-Revolution, the rapprochement between revolutionised France and Britain, and the political changes in France led many emigrants to reconsider their exiles. This chapter examines the private solutions chosen by exiles and discusses cases of successful and failed repatriations, suicides, marriages and pregnancies. Ultimately, it interrogates later evolutions of the emigrant discourse in which the relation to Britain as a host country was reassessed through the lens of émigré failure. While some still considered the host as an enabler of the Restoration, others contemplated integration and assimilation into their host society as the final cure to the ills of the ancien regime, the Revolution and the emigration.
- La Jeunesse:
[…] Pray, Mr Waiter, are you an Englishman?
- La Jeunesse:
You are very happy; I would willingly change my certificate of baptism with you. At least when you are thirsty, you are at the fountainhead. Do you charge anything for water here? 1
La Jeunesse’s speech is traditional of the comic, ignorant and dishonest French servant, a conventional character in French classical comedy and the ‘butt for the wit of their superior’. 2 In appearance humoristic, the uttering of an uncertain national allegiance when faced with exile and misery was not accidental. As a heroic French officer who participated in émigré military campaigns in Europe, the servant’s master could not have pronounced that sentence. It would have been un-noble, un-counter-revolutionary and hence un-French to trade a revered national identity for a drink. It would also be unmanly. In 1801, emigrant novelist Charlotte de Bournon-Malarme wrote about a female emigrant who had declared she wished she had been born a foreigner before praising the Empire. 3 Mentioned in public by a servant and a woman, these sentences hid a rather common question amongst the emigrant community. Was the belief in a counter-revolutionary nation worth the sufferings of exile and poverty? In the real world, alcohol often loosened many emigrant tongues. Some drunken Frenchmen reaffirmed their solidarity to Bourbonism , others recognised that their heart belonged to their homeland whatever its current political regime. In March 1798, Antoine Cuenin , “French emigrant”, was sent to a London house of correction after “uttering certain seditious and treasonable words […]”; “he wished success to the French and damnation to the English”. 4 He was punished for a speech in which he had praised the French expedition to Ireland in winter 1796–1797. The inebriated man had also cheered at the news of a potential second Irish expedition by General Humbert. A few months after the peace treaty of Amiens and as Napoléon struck all but a 1000 emigrants from official émigré lists, Monsieur de Membre attacked Monsieur de Sainte Victoire with a pewter mug during a heated political argument. 5 As per the journalist reporting the anecdote, the ex-guard of Louis xvi and the ex-Mousquetaire had been dining in a tavern renowned as a political forum in the emigrant community.
These amusing anecdoteson identity transgressions reveal a transformation in emigrant mentalities. As the emigrant stay in a foreign land was prolonged, the initial ideological choice between Revolution and Counter-Revolution metamorphosed into the question of the location of national loyalty. For some, king and nation had ceased to form a single entity. Monarchism, and in particular Bourbonism , was just an ideological choice amongst many other political systems. 6 The question associated with the return ceased to be ‘how’ and become ‘when’. By the mid-1790s, the dauntless and irreproachable émigrés from 1789–1792 had been replaced by anxious exiles uncertain of their futures as individuals and as a group. For most, emigration had never been thought of as a viable long-term solution. In France, by 1796–1797, several pro-emigration apologists claimed that émigrés had been forced out of their country by violence ; many legislators differentiated between men and women , the latter being ‘political nonentities’ who could not have committed a crime against the nation when leaving France. 7 Napoléon Bonaparte ’s role as a general , and later as a Consul, was essential in the normalisation of relations between the emigrants and the French state with regards to the former’s reintegration within a society divided into several political parties. 8 Under the Directory , Consulate and Empire , a series of powerful legislative gestures and the many French military victories against European Counter-Revolutionary coalitions modified the return conditions of the French exiles. 9 Meanwhile, the French Counter-Revolution was reaching a dead end, at the hand of ‘stubborn conservati[ve]’ political and religious leaders, refusing the moderation of any compromise and preferring to it a ‘politic of isolation’. 10 Louis XVI’s brothers failed to gather under a united front the diverse strands of counter-revolutionary ideologies; they repetitively engaged in military fiascos. Furthermore, the influential émigré journalists in London “failed to create a public space in which the Bourbons and their adherents could discuss and develop a relevant political ideology, and effective policies for the Bourbon Restoration”. 11 Exiled journalists, and especially constitutional monarchists, renegotiated their positions. 12 Montlosier and the Abbé Calonne merged their newspapers into a single pro-bonapartist journal, “thus contribut[ing] to both the intellectual and moral failure of Bourbonism and to the emotional and political triumph of Bonapartism ”. 13 Following the 1801 Concordat , the Catholic emigrant community and the French clergy in exile had to choose between Rome and the Bourbons. A majority of the London bishops refused the Pope’s demand to resign from their ancien régime bishopric. 14 The rebellion, led by Pierre-Louis Blanchard , ended in a schism and the birth of a Gallican Petite Église. To them, the Concordat was an “open attack on what they had come to regard as the sacred polity of the Throne-Altar Alliance ”. 15 The radicalisation and Gallicisation of courtiers and bishops surrounding the Princes had a deterrent effect on the majority of exiles who could not recognise the original objectives of emigration in this new discourse.
In fact, refugee sociology distinguishes two categories of political exiles. The first one, known as the ‘majority identified refugee’ survives and thrives from the conviction that its opposition to events in the home country is shared by the majority of their compatriots; the second category, marginalised, remains ‘ambivalent or embittered in their attitudes towards their former compatriots’. 16 While the majority-identified refugees composed the core of voluntary migrants before 1792, they seemingly became a minority within the emigrant population as the émigré project started to collapse. Following the examination of emigrants’ geographical investment of their host country, this last chapter deals with the metamorphosis of the migrants’ identities and the decline of the unsteady cohesion of the French emigrant community in Great Britain. For this, it will examine the psychological, intimate and familial adjustments made by individual emigrants throughout their stay as they became disenchanted with the political and ideological visions of their leaders. Desperation , pessimism and the loss of faith in the Counter-Revolution converted into diverse resolutions, from an acute blindness when it came to the transformation of France into a modern society, to the proactive acceptation that the host country could be a new home.
Failed Repatriations, Isolation and Despair
Historical scholarship rarely examined the conditions of emigrant departures before 1815. 17 Around 1797, British newspapers started to give weekly reports of successful emigrant returns . By 1802, it was very common to read that, in several British ports, packets and boats were “filled with emigrant passengers” and other comments on the scale of emigrant departures. 18 British attitudes towards the repatriation of French emigrants to France were enthusiastic, especially in times of peace. Between 1800 and 1802, several optimistic rumours concerning Napoléon Bonaparte’s policy of forgiveness circulated in the United Kingdom. The days preceding 14 July 1800 saw a tale that the First Consul would symbolically burn the émigré lists in a bonfire to celebrate the return to Peace and the reunification of the French Nation. 19 In December 1801, a second rumour held that Bonaparte had allowed the return of the entire French “emigrant nobility” in France . 20 A minority of British voices rejoiced at the departure of “popish emigrants ”, some regretting that their retreat was so unhurried. 21 The Albion and Evening Advertiser blamed British charities and the government’s benevolent policies in this tardiness, “because the assistance they receive from the government places them above absolute indigence, by which those on the Continent suffer so severely”. 22 Emigrant hopes of a successful repatriation were fed with numerous articles of famous repatriated emigrants reintegrated in the French elite circles and counter-revolutionary officers being struck from the émigré lists. Sometimes, British journalists narrated the stories of emigrants who, returned to France, were reinstated into their pre-revolutionary estates after a faithful servant had bought and taken care of properties until the return of their ancien régime rightful owner. 23
However, many cases of repatriation were in fact unsuccessful. At times, the failure to return took place even before the departure. The first pragmatic consideration to take into account was the cost of the return journey. Some sold their belongings at auction to fund their return; others simply could not afford to return home. Besides, the Aliens Act gave the British Administration complete power over foreigners’ movements within the country and, henceforth, on those who were trying to exit Great Britain. The same newspaper that complained about the slow rate of returns explained that if so few emigrants had left Britain, it was because the Alien Office had only distributed six hundred passports allowing for a return to France, including eighty for priests. 24 In 1797, three adolescent deserters from an emigrant regiment in the York Hussars were caught trying to cross the Channel. 25 Failing to present a passport stamped by the British Authorities, they were consequently thrown in jail. This anecdote puts the enlistment of many male emigrants in the British armies into perspective. The financial incentive to enlist under British command for men who were refused the civilian relief certainly surpassed their political motivations. 26 In May 1800, a French emigrant was apprehended in Dover . He was trying to leave the country “without permission to embark from this port”. 27 These clandestine returns were treated as threats to the British national security, especially because the repatriates were able-bodied men. Like the French prisoners of war in Britain, these emigrants joining France were capable of bearing arms against their British hosts. If successful in reaching France, the emigrants were confronted with their next potential failure. They were simply not welcomed by their fellow countrymen. This information was mostly reported in conservative loyalist and governmental British newspapers. In 1797, a group of emigrants who had embarked for their homeland were forced to turn around after a series of “unsuccessful attempts to land in France ”. 28 Many English captains testified that homecoming Frenchmen were “received with inhumanity by their countrymen”. 29 Furthermore, newspapers circulated stories of emigrants returning from other European havens being arbitrarily executed upon crossing the border with France.
Meanwhile, some emigrants began to feel inadequate in Britain. By the late 1790s, the community had progressively lost the sympathy of the fashionable British aristocracy and that of many politicians. With the death of Edmund Burke in 1797, the emigrant community lost its most fervent defender. As previously discussed, the public failed to back up charities, and several subscriptions raised in favour of the emigrants proved unsuccessful. Indeed, the same fashionable men and women who had publicly affirmed their support for the émigré cause in the early 1790s were now showing their sympathy for ex-revolutionaries and newcomers in French politics. The host community welcomed those displaced by the Terreur Blanche. Though these new arrivals often had played minor roles in the Revolution, they embodied the nemesis of many emigrants. In 1797, a newspaper reported that a French emigrant lady fainted after seeing Pierry, a man identified by the journalist as one of the deputies at the national assembly who voted for the death of Louis xvi and “caused [her] family to be massacred at Paris and [herself] to be thrown in prison”. 30 Diarist Mary Frampton mentioned a similar rumour in her private journal: as one of the members of the Directory was seen in the Strand, a “French lady whose father, mother and brother he had murdered” fainted. 31 In 1798, the Saint James’s Chronicle reported an anecdote in which a man intending to visit the conventional Joseph Niou in his house in George Street, Portman Square, accidentally knocked at “the door of Count***, a French Emigrant”. 32 Stunned, the latter shut the door in front of the intrusive visitor with the following words: “Do I look like a regicide?” In 1800, a mean-spirited British Lady of fashion was teaching a male interlocutor that the English etymology of the word emigrant was “a compound of three English words—a meagre rat ”. 33 Lady Holland expressed her distaste for the Comte d’Artois , described as “a man of slender abilities with violent passions; before the Revolution he was weak and volatile; he is now weak and revengeful”; she preferred the “talented Bonaparte ”. 34 The situation was however condemned by the most conservative British journalists who saw a strong injustice in the treatment of the emigrant population. When the Abbé Grégoire and Volney arrived in London, Cobbett’s Annual Register blamed “some, at least, of the great and the rich of this country” for encouraging their arrival while “hundreds of the French emigrant loyalists are dying by the inches for want of sufficiency of food ”. 35 Following the cruel rules of fashion, emigration had been à la mode amongst the English elites until a new French trend naturally replaced it.
The emigrant feeling of inadequacy might have been worsened for some by a low social and financial integration into the host country. In the early 1790s, hopes of a fast return home had discouraged French emigrants from integrating within the British society; by the end of the decade, some had become excluded by default. Without falling into the trap of a psychologising reading of inadequacy and exclusion in exile, it is important to differentiate with psychiatrists the common acculturative stress from the “immigrant chronicle and multiple stress” also known as Ulysses’ syndrome. 36 The latter arises from four environmental factors known as stressors: the fear related to the host State’s legislation on foreigners, extreme poverty in immigration, loneliness and familial separation, and finally the impression of constant failure. In cases when both the repatriation and the settlement in the host country had become impossible, a few emigrants chose to self-harm. The suicide of the emigrant identified by the British press as the Comte de Melfort was only reported because the press mistook him for the British Duke of Melfort. 37 Despite carrying in her pocket a letter narrating her distress in emigration, the death of a French female drowned in the Thames was ruled as an accident. 38 The British press took a particular interest in two suicides, the first for its violence and the second because of its resemblance to English educational and moral literature. In both cases, the deceased was considered as unstable or “melancholic ” by the examining coroners. In July 1800, sixty-year-old Captain B. Kellerie shot himself in the head twice in a public park, in front of young and impressionable children. 39 Kellerie, who “displayed the symptom of melancholy and occasionally symptoms of mental derangement ” had lost his two sons in the continental wars. The second case presents much similarity with Hogarth’s series A Harlot’s Progress. In January 1810, Miss Paris voluntarily overdosed on opium. 40 The young woman, presented as the orphaned “daughter of a French emigrant of Rank”, had left her boarding school to marry a British navy officer. She then eloped from the marital home and lived as a prostitute before being rescued by a religious organisation. The moral and ethical difficulties in adopting new behaviours, nostalgia for what they had lost in France, and the asymmetrical relations emigrants had with their host society led to the long-term financial, social and psychological marginalisation of a number of French emigrants.
Familial Regeneration and Dynastic Strategies
By 1802, instances of the expressions “French emigrant” and “refugee” decreased in newspapers. Yet, British journalists continued discussing titled emigrant’s whereabouts and the political decisions of public émigré personae. Removed from the public eye, part of emigrant community in the British Isles had, by all appearances, grown increasingly tight and organised in the late 1790s . It sustained its own schools , churches and hospitals . However, it can be argued that those who stayed despite mass repatriations were either the most radically engaged against the new French authorities, or individuals who had distanced themselves with the émigré group to better integrate within their host community. A study of the lifestyle and familial strategies behind the prolongation of exile in the late 1790s might help understand the significance of these emigrants’ choice to stay in the British Isles. As time passed, the emigrant community was confronted with new ethical choices if it was to survive as a nation in the long-term: should its members marry and give birth in a foreign country? The important gender imbalance in the emigrant community must be pointed out at this point. It first emerges from the lists of the Overseers of the Poor. Furthermore, the men registered with local administrations presented themselves as officers. Hence, they were statistically likely to be in their forties or older. 41 Some had wives and children waiting for them in France. 42 Others could not afford to marry. Then, there was the question of who could they marry? What would be the social impact of marrying and having children with a member of the host community? Would the emigrant second generation be better off with a Gallic and Catholic education, or should they be taught skills to adapt and thrive in their host country?
Much information concerning the marriages and birth of emigrants helped by St-Pol de Léon are available in the archives examined by Kirsty Carpenter. It is otherwise difficult to find traces of both in British archives, as there was no civil registry at the time. Church registers are useless, as standardised baptism and marriage records were only introduced to British parishes in 1813. 43 It is furthermore difficult to differentiate the descendants of French immigrants from French emigrants. At least one French exiled priest registered the baptism of new-borns, the name of their parents and those of their godparents. Louis Benjamin Robin had been in the British Isles for three years when he opened in 1795 what is considered to be the first parochial register of Catholics in England. 44 Yet, he was the only emigrant to dwell in the Cheshire town of Macclesfield . As a result, emigrant marriages and birth are difficult to quantify. However, several wedding bans were published in newspapers. When reported, marriages were both endogamous and exogamous . Until 1795, endogamous marriages and pregnancies seemed overtly connected to hopes of counter-revolutionary military victories and the desire for an imminent repatriation. In eighteenth-century military circles, a soldier “focused on his patriotic duties, while his wife […] submits to her own national sacrifice by parting from him”. 45 On 26 December 1793, the Comte de Fauchecourt married Madame de Saint Germain , a widow. 46 The day following the wedding, Fauchecourt left London to join Moira ’s army in Southampton, where the British general was contemplating an attack on St. Malo. Memoir writer Walsh reported that Sombreuil , commander of the expedition of Quiberon and hero of the counter-revolutionary martyrology, delayed his wedding to Mademoiselle de La Blache with the following words: “Ici, vous n’épouseriez qu’un émigré, là-bas, ce sera un victorieux [Here, you would only marry an émigré; there, he would be triumphant]”. 47 The comment is probably apocryphal, but significant of emigrant hopes and familial strategies in 1795. A similar strategy was applied to pregnancies. Also in 1795, the British Relief Committee asked for subscriptions to help eighty pregnant French women lying in after their husbands left for Quiberon. Later in the decade, Bouillé sent his pregnant wife back to France “afin que, du moins, l’enfant à qui elle allait donner le jour, ne fut point en naissant, marqué du sceau de l’émigration [so that, at least, the child she would give birth to, would not be marked at birth with the seal of emigration]”. 48 In this, emigration was perceived as a failure. All these stories are emblematic of the symbiotic relationship between the emigrant sense of honour and the French territory.
Throughout this period, finances and social distinction remained the most important pulls on both endogamous and exogamous marriages. Amongst the French emigrant community, Créole women were highly sought after. The rich planters of Guadeloupe, Martinique and Saint-Domingue had managed to save some of their colonial fortunes, in part thanks to the British invasion of the three islands. Hence, the Marquis de Duras gained a fortune in marrying Mademoiselle de Kersaint in November 1797, as did Edward Fitzjames by wedding Betsy de la Touche . 49 Bouillé almost broke off his engagement with Mademoiselle de Sérent when he learnt from her brother that the British-dominated part of Saint-Domingue could be evacuated. 50 British heiresses made up for their nationality with important dowries. In 1797, a Miss Fagnani , the daughter of a Marquis, was engaged to a “French Emigrant, not in the most affluent circumstance”. 51 The fiancée reportedly inherited the enormous rent of £10,000 from a British gentleman named George Selwyn . 52 In 1798, the aforementioned Henry Roquemont espoused Miss Freeman of Appleshaw, whose worth was £25,000. 53 In 1806 Oxford , a Chevalier Dustervalm , “French Emigrant”, married Miss Parry , heiress to a fortune of £20,000. 54 Young female emigrants were also introduced to rich British families. Juliette Gros , friend and correspondent of Fanny Krumpholz , summarised the situation: “il vaut mieux ma chère que tu trouves l’aisance en te mariant que d’être obligée de supprimer la coquetterie et les dépenses [it would be better, my dear, to find material comfort through marriage than to give up elegance and consumption]”. 55 In 1798, the marriage of Adèle d’Osmond and East India Company veteran de Boigne was the talk of the town. 56 In fact, the financial benefits of emigrant women marrying Englishmen were doubled in the late 1790s. Financially stable, these women were eligible to regain their familial properties in France, as French law would recognise them as foreigners and no longer as émigrées. 57 In a society where social distinction and appearance ruled the elite sociability, endogamous and exogamous marriages functioned as a vector of financial and social integration within the highest circles.
The British viewpoint on marrying into the emigrant community evolved throughout the period. Commonplace mentions of French sexual and adulterous mores were aplenty. The young Countess Granville complained about Artois’s courtiers : “Puységur is a little too dévoué aux dames […]. Lord help them! Their only héros de roman are the Baron de Roll and the Duc de Castries”. 58 A few days after writing this letter, she was forced to hide from the Baron who had “been following [her] all over the house to prove that the Baronne and he are not in love with each other”. 59 Newspapers circulated scandalous stories of French husbands prostituting their wives, exiled teachers eloping with daughters of local genteel families and emigrant tutors impregnating young English girls. The fiercest attacks targeted the Catholic clergy . In 1804, Louis Darnley , “French emigrant priest” in London was “capitally convicted for an unnatural crime”. 60 Reports of the priest’s homosexuality were as outrageous as that of the pregnancy of a female emigrant in the Yorkshire town of Wetherby . 61 She had fooled the locals into thinking she was an exiled priest. The imposture was unveiled as she was brought to bed with a child. The Morning Post and Fashionable World sarcastically reminded its readership: “the French clergy are prohibited from marrying by their religion”. 62 Anti-popish newspaper True Briton thought it funny to conclude: “this will finish our Protestant Divines with an additional argument against celibacy of the Catholic Clergy”. 63 Yet, by the late 1800s and early 1810s, marrying into the emigrant community was normalised in some social circles. Emigrant in-laws were still not desirable in the English, Irish and Scottish aristocracy, as, in the words of Paul Langford, “a propertied upbringing promoted an undue apprehension of the risks of an injudicious union”. 64 It was one thing to pity the dispossessed French refugee and another to marry someone who did not legally own the lands they pretended to. When in 1809, Louis-Guillaume de Rohan-Chabot married his childhood friend Isabella, daughter of the Duke of Leinster, the bride’s family perceived it as a “bad marriage”, something to be “reconciled to”. 65 Yet, marrying an emigrant was not considered a disgrace in less opulent and provincial families, as well as in non-titled families. In fact, they brought a name into the union. Mixed marriages have been a common theme in British 1810s moral comedie s. A comic opera by Anacreon Moore , M.P. or the Blue-Stockings, staged in a sub-plot the story of an emigrant mother and her son in an unknown spa town. 66 A fraudulent British provincial gentleman threatened the son, Monsieur de Rosier, with deportation under the Aliens Act . In the final scene, Rosier, who has been granted leave to remain , marries an English girl. Her father blesses the wedding: “you love each other and I rejoice”. In 1813, Thomas Morton ’s Education, shown in Covent Garden, dealt with the story of Count Villars and his daughter Rosine, both married to provincial English subjects. 67 The family of Villars’ second wife rejected him for being an emigrant: “the marriage almost broke the [bride’s father and main landlord in the village’s] heart”. However, in the final scene, Rosine is made the sole heiress to her in-laws’ fortune and marries her British lover.
J’apprends en arrivant ici, mon Cher Comte, que vous voila grand-père et qui plus est d’un male ce dont je me réjouis. C’est une bonne race de notre haute noblesse qui ne s’éteindra pas et qui n’aura que changé de sol par l’émigration. Cette transplantation ne peut que lui donner une nouvelle sève.
[I am learning upon my arrival, my dear Comte, that you are the grand-father of a male, a situation I am delighted with. It is a good race of the highest nobility that will not die and would have been pricked out in another soil with emigration. This transplantation can only renew its sap].
To further Dumouriez’s arboricultural metaphor, mixed marriages in which the groom was an emigrant allowed for a French family to take root and blossom in the host country. These births kept alive those French noble names threatened with extinction.
I really consider the idea of forcing the miserable French Boys to be foreigners here, is a little less than downright madness; and the educating them as ecclesiastics, when we have nothing for them, by any possibility, but some chance of their struggling in some parts of these dominions, in a military line, is I think no less so! 73
Despite his efforts to bring “a good dash of English education” at Penn School, Burke also promoted social exclusivism. He felt that a Catholic Anglophone Clergyman should be responsible for English lessons and that all pupils should be Catholics. 74 When the American spouse of a French man forced her son’s way into Penn, Burke compelled her to disclose the child’s religious conviction. 75 She refused. Burke considered her conduct “abominable” and concluded that he would not “breed the child of any Protestant in the Roman Catholic Religion”.
What is allowed in generosity and charity to unfortunate Refugees may become a permanent establishment, which would be so much the more dangerous as it would be the means of cementing a connection between Catholics and Emigrants. 80
These conspiracy theories were few. In fact, the French Revolution had quashed the Jacobite desires for a Restoration, and Jacobitism turned into a branch of political conservatism. 81
The exclusive education delivered by the clergy in exile reflected parents’ fear that their children would be perverted by emigration and the prolonged contact with their host. Migrant children are vulnerable to the differences between the cultural behaviours transmitted by their families and behaviours in their host country. 82 Few documents contemporary to emigration illustrate this fear. Yet, it is clear that some parents despaired at their progeny’s distaste for philosophical matters. After her return to France, Madame de La Tour du Pin wrote that the youth was more interested in “les chevaux, la mode, les petites intrigues, mais n’ouvraient jamais un livre’ [horses, fashion, intrigues, but would never open a book]”. 83 The Comte de Jarnac made a similar reproach to his son. 84 He felt he had failed as a father. Louis-Guillaume did not like reading . He was interested in all things fashionable, and frequented dandy circles. Importantly, Louis-Guillaume de Rohan-Chabot was also one of the very few emigrants who openly converted to Anglicanism. Though his mother was Irish Protestant and his father irreligious, the young man was baptised as a Catholic. Only two cases of religious conversions were unearthed during this research, his and that of teenager Fanny Krumpholz . Both children had been isolated from the emigrant community. Louis-Guillaume was raised with the children of the Duke of Leinster at Carton lodge from 1789 onwards. 85 The devout Catholic Duchesse de Bourbon took the orphaned Fanny Krumpholz in after her father died. 86 The girl was educated in a Catholic convent. In 1792, the Duchesse asked the Earl of Hardwick to take the young Fanny under his protection. She was raised in London with his children. Fanny received several letters from her French benefactor, in which she was exhorted to pray, confess and receive the communion in a Roman Catholic Church . 87 A letter dated from June 1800 hints at her conversion. 88 A memorandum on Fanny written by her children states that she had converted to Anglicanism at age sixteen in reaction to the interdiction by a Catholic priest to attend a Protestant ceremony. 89 In exiled situations, religious conversions are often considered as a shift of convenience as opposed to an emotional and psychological shift. 90 However, both the conversion of Louis-Guillaume and that of Fanny Krumpholz respond to their particular familial circumstances and the rejection of the émigré group. It is clear from marital practices and educational policies that while some perceived their host as a means towards repatriation, others saw it as an escape from the increasingly isolated position of emigrants in Great Britain .
Were Naturalisations the Sign of a Rupture with Emigration?
The case of these two teenagers is barely representative of the emigrant community. The scale of the emigrant repatriation up to 1815 seem to signify that while emigrants had individual financial, professional and familial ties to their host country, they refused to integrate as a group within their host community. Nonetheless, a large amount of sources from the hand of French emigrants reveal the existence of individual and emotional attachment to the host country. These final paragraphs will discuss the significance of national membership in exile, as well as the evolution of a discourse in which Britain was perceived as a new homeland and a place where emigrants could thrive. Kirsty Carpenter reports that “102 French citizens made applications for British naturalisation” between 1793 and 1832. 91 This number does not take into account those who obtained limited citizenship through denization . It also discounts those who, domestics like some servants, left France in response to the revolution, but stayed in England after 1815. Nowadays, naturalisation is seen as the pinnacle of a migrant’s assimilation in a host country. However, in the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth century, becoming a member of the host community presented little advantage to some migrants, in particular as the right to vote was conditional to crossing a particular wage threshold. Furthermore, the emigrant women who stayed with their British husbands after the Restoration could not apply for naturalisation. Jane Austen’s cousin, the Comtesse de Feuillide returned to England in 1790 with Françoise Bigeon , a French maid. 92 The latter remained in London until her death in the 1830s. As a woman and as a working class individual, she was doubly excluded from participation in the British public sphere. It is worthy to note here that there is no correlation between a change in one’s exilic project and the anglicisation of one’s name. 93 In this research, when a name was anglicised, it always appeared as an administrative mistake made by non-French-speaking overseers.
Il est extrêmement urgent pour moi d’être constaté anglais pour pouvoir ici toucher mes revenus comme étranger et payer mes créanciers dans une residence de six mois.
[It is very urgent for me to be approved English to receive here my allowance as a foreigner and pay my creditors within the next six months] 96
He then added that he was entitled to £30,000 upon receiving his new citizenship, perhaps inferring that he could finally use his letters of credit in Britain. De Lisle felt that as the grandson of a British subject he should, by law, be recognised as a British subject. This ethnic argument was, in fact, often used in cases where impoverished emigrants were looking for financial relief. In the late 1790s, a petition to George iii by a French emigrant reminded him that “two of my ancestors, Sire, nearly six centuries ago, bore in turn one of the three crowns which now for the glory and happiness of the British Empire and the whole world, adorn in Glory the reverend head of your majesty”. 97 In this letter, citizenship was also unrelated to politics. The case of Régnier is the only one found in this research where a man newly awarded a British status studied the British Constitution, to serve a country he called his new “homeland”. 98 For all intents and purposes, naturalisations and denizations were not the sign of a rupture with the émigré ideology. On the contrary, they appeared opportunistic.
Je voudrois bien y être encore et faire usage de la petite serpette dans les jardins d’Holyrood, attendus que de bons arbres produisent au moins de beaux et bons fruits, tandis que sur le sol que nous labourons péniblement depuis plus d’une année, nous ne récoltons que des illusions.
[I wish I was still there and use the pruning knife in Holyrood’s gardens, as it is expected that healthy trees will produce nice and tasty fruits, while we only harvest illusions from the soil we have laboriously been ploughing for more than a year].
Gardening, as an act and a metaphor, was seen as an escape from worldly matters. More than anything else, it required patience, whether as a sign of rupture in one’s exilic project, or one of ideological resignation.
By the late 1790s, the heterogeneous collection of emigrants from the early years of emigration had become a narrowly defined faction of émigrés. Legally ostracised by their host and the establishment in emigration, the majority of emigrants returned to France and attempted to reintegrate the new French Nation. The repatriates came from economically disadvantaged and politically marginalised groups. Those with financial resources and familial connections in the host country had the means to maintain their political exile throughout the years. They used their private lives to sustain the counter-revolutionary fight, with marriages, birth and education perceived as means towards the restoration of the Bourbons on the French throne. These strategies turned exile into a durable solution. In turn, emigrant inadequacy in the host country and their increased marginalisation from the majority-identified group led many to find alternative solutions. More research within French and British archives might reveal, in time, new cases of French emigrants who felt that a rupture with their original homeland was the only response to what they saw as the failures of their nation.
The Emigrant in London, Act 1, Scene 1.
Fairchilds, p. 230.
Charlotte de Bourbon-Mallarme, Le Temps passé ou les malheurs de Mademoiselle de Mo…émigrée, 2 vols. (Paris, 1801), p. 40, quoted in Michel Delon, ‘Violence in the novels of Charlotte [de] Bournon-Mallarme’, in Representing violence in France 1760–1848, ed. Thomas Wynn (Oxford: Voltaire Foudation, 2013), pp. 251–262.
Oracle & Public Advertiser, 9 March 1798.
E. Johnson’s British Gazette and Sunday Monitor, 13 June 1802; Caledonian Mercury, 21 June 1802.
Karine Rance ‘L’historiographie de l’émigration’, in Les Noblesses Françaises Dans l’Europe de La Révolution, ed. Philippe Bourdin (Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2010), p. 363.
Jennifer Heuer, The Family and the Nation: Gender and Citizenship in Revolutionary France, 1789–1830 (Ithaca: Cornelle University Press), p. 108.
Jean-Clément-Martin, ‘Introduction’, in La Contre-Révolution en Europe: XVIIIe-XIXe Siècles: Réalités Politiques et Sociales, ed. Jean-Clément Martin (Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2001), pp. 13–14.
Natalie Petiteau, ‘La Contre-Révolution endiguée? Projets et realisations sociales impériales’, in Contre-Révolution en Europe, ed. Martin, pp. 183–192 (p. 184). The ratification of the 15 July 1801 Concordat with Pope Pius VII and the 26 April 1802 general amnesty pardoning all but 1000 intransigents seem to be a consequence rather than a cause of emigrant repatriation.
Dominic Aiden Bellenger, The French Exiled Clergy in the British Isles after 1789: An Historical Introduction and Working List (Bath: Downside Abbey, 1986), pp. 112–113.
Simon Burrows, French Exile Journalism and European Politics, 1792–1814 (Suffolk: Royal Historical Society), p. 230.
Ibid., p. 183.
Ibid., p. 230.
HRO, Winchester, Carnavon of Highclere papers, 75M91/A6/38, Archbishop of Aix to Earl Carnavon (2 December 1800). Birmingham.
Bellenger, Exiled Clergy, p. 112.
Egon F. Kunz, ‘Exile and resettlement: Refugee theory’, International migration Review 15 (1981): 42–51.
At the time of writing this manuscript, doctoral student Kelly Summers was examining the condition of repatriation of a group of émigrés who landed in the West coast of France.
Morning Post &Gazetteer, 12 March 1801.
Whitehall Evening Post (WEP), 10–12 July 1800.
Hull Packet, 1 December 1801.
Lloyd’s Evening news, 4–7 August 1797.
Albion and Evening Advertiser, 13 September 1800.
Saint James’s Chronicle or British Evening Post (SJC or BEP), 25–27 July 1797.
Albion and Evening Advertiser, 13 September 1800.
WEP, 31 October–1 November 1797.
Rance, ‘historiographie’, p. 360.
London Packet or New Lloyd’s Evening Post, 7–9 May 1800.
True Briton, 9 October 1797.
Jackson’s Oxford Journal, 15 May 1802.
Lloyd’s Evening, 22 February 1797.
Journal of Mary Frampton, widow of Charles Wollaston, ed. Harriot Georgiana Mundy (London, 1885) (3 March 1797).
SJC or BEP, 13–15 September 1798.
Oracle & Daily Advertiser, 10 October 1800.
The Journal of Elisabeth, Lady Holland, ed. by Earl of Ilchester (New York, 1908), pp. 50–51 (1st March 1800).
Cobbett’s Annual Register, 30 June 1802.
Joseph Achotegui, ‘Emigrar en situación extrema: el Síndrome del inmigrante con estrés crónico y multiple’, Norte de Salud Mental 21 (2004): 39–52.
Morning Chronicle, 8 August 1811.
Jackson’s Oxford Journal, 11 July 1801.
London Evening Post (LEP), 4–7 July 1800.
Morning Post, 8 January 1810.
The prosopographical work of Pinasseau on military emigrants demonstrates that the medium age for emigrant officers in 1791 was 47.4 years.
Heuer, p. 99.
LMA, London, Saint Pancras Parish Church, Euston Road, Camden. These registers highlight the presence of many French emigrants in its burial grounds, but no birth.
BAA, Birmingham, Macclesfield Alban Catholic church.
Jeannine Hurl-Eamon, Marriage and the British Army in the long eighteenth century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), p. 2.
Public Advertiser, 20 January 1794.
Joseph-Alexis Walsh, Souvenirs de Cinquante Ans (Au Bureau de la Mode, 1845), p. 69.
Bouillé, ed. Kermaingant, II, p. 473.
SJC or BEP, 28 Novembre 1797; Mémoires de la Marquise de La Tour du Pin: Journal d’une femme de Cinquante Ans, ed. Christian de Liedercke (Paris: Mercure de France, 2006), p. 317.
Souvenirs et fragments pour server à l’histoire de ma vie et de mon temps, par le marquis de Bouillé, ed. P.L. de Kermaingant (Paris: A. Picard et fils, 1906), II, p. 312.
True Briton, 15 April 1797.
Gentleman’s magazine, Vol. 69, p. 183.
WEP, 20–23 October 1798.
Hampshire Telegraph and Sussex Chronicle, 13 October 1806.
ESRO, Lewes, Archives of the Stapley, Wood and Davidson families, HIC1056, Juliette Gros to Fanny Krumpholz (13 July 1799).
LEP, 15–18 June 1798.
Heuer, pp. 111–112 and 114.
Letters of Harriet, countess Granville, 1810–1845, ed. F. Leveson-Gower, 2 vols. (London, New-York: Longmans, Green, 1894), I, 6 October 1811.
Ibid., 11 October 1811.
LEP, 13–16 April 1804.
General Evening Post, 1/4 April 1797.
Morning Post & Fashionable World, 3 April 1797.
True Briton, 3 April 1797.
Paul Langford, Public life and the Propertied Englishman, 1689–1798 (Oxford: Clarendon, 1991), p. 3.
Journal of Elizabeth, Lady Holland, p. 355.
Thomas Anacreon Moore, M.P.: or the Blue-Stockings (London: J. Clawes, 1811); Morning Post, 10 September 1811.
Thomas Morton, Education: a comedy (London, 1813); MP, 28 April 1813.
WSRO, Chichester, Goodwood Estate Archives, GOODWOOD/1172, M. de Rebourquil to Adam Gordon (1 January 1801).
CARAN, Paris, Fonds Jarnac-Lasteyrie, 729MI/55, Dumouriez to Comte de Jarnac (23 August 1810).
The Correspondence of Edmund Burke, ed. Copeland (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), X, pp. 9–11: Burke to Letter to Walker King, 14 May 1796.
Ibid., X, p. 5, letter to the abbé Maraine, 2 May 1796.
Ibid., X, pp. 16–20, to the Marquess of Buckingham, 24 May 1796.
Ibid, X, pp. 20–21, To the Rvd Thomas Hussey, 25 May 1796.
Ibid., X, pp. 39–42, To Lord Buckingham, 1 June 1796.
Ibid., X, pp. 191–192; To Walker King, 21 December 1796 and p. 232.
Walsh, pp. 103–104.
Walsh, p. 121.
MP&G, 8 September 1801.
Sun, 23 May 1800.
James Sack, From Jacobite to Conservative: reaction and orthodoxy in Britain, c.1760–1832 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993).
Marie-Rose Moro, Parents en exil. Psychopathologue et migrations (Paris: PUF, 1994), p. 24.
La Tour du Pin, ed. Liedercke, p. 318.
CARAN, Paris, Fonds Jarnac-Lasteyrie 729MI/57, Jarnac to his son (23 February 1799).
Juliette Reboul, ‘La branche Jarnac de la famille Rohan-Chabot, 1740–1848’, unpublished master diss., Clermont-Ferrand, 2010, p. 94.
ESRO, Lewes, Archives of the Stapley, Wood and Davidson, HIC/1059b, ‘account of the life of Fanny Krumpholtz written by her daughter’.
Ibid., HIC 1048–1056.
Ibid., HIC 1054, Juliette Gros to Fanny Krumpholz (21 June 1800).
James T. Richardson, ‘The active vs passive convert: Paradigm conflict in conversion/recruitment research’, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 24: 163–179.
Kirsty Carpenter, Refugees of the French Revolution: Émigrés in London, 1789–1802 (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1999), p. 166.
Claire Tomalin, Jane Austen: a life (London: Penguin, 2000).
Like in the Huguenot Community, as demonstrated in Robin D. Gwynn, Huguenot Heritage: The History and Contribution of the Huguenots in Britain (Brighton: Sussex Academic Press, 2001), p. 203.
Carpenter, Refugees, p. 166.
ESRO, Lewes, 38M49/8/125/13.
CCA, Chester, Stanley of Alderley Records, DSA/33, Comte de Lisle to Lord Sheffield (May 1792).
HRO, Winchester, French Émigrés Letters, 109A02/1/10, petition from a French nobleman to George III (c. 1790s–1800s).
Ibid., Wickham family, 38M49/8/125/17, Régnier to Grenville (20 March 1806).
Ibid., French Émigrés Letters, 109A02/1/8, Monsieur Gaillard to Lord Stafford (8 February 1793).
WSRO, Chichester, Goodwood Estate Archives, GOODWOOD/1172, Comte de Vaudreuil to Adam Gordon (10 September 1799).
ESRO, Lewes, Archives from the Stapley, Wood and Davidson families, HIC1057, Juliette Gros to Fanny Krumpholtz (27 July 1801).
Ibid., Juliette Gros to Fanny Krumpholz (19 September 1801).
WSRO, Chichester, Goodwood Estate Archives, GOODWOOD/1172, Comte Descars to Adam Gordon (2 September 1799).
Ibid., GOODWOOD/1172, M. de Rebourquil to Gordon (7 July 1800).
Ibid., GOODWOOD/1172, Bishop of Arras to Adam Gordon (15 June 1800).