May 6, 2010

Nicholas Hebert - Paris France

"New Findings on Louis Hébert and His Family Before His Departure for New France" by Madame M. Jurgens in the "French Canadian and Acadian Genealogical Review, Vol. V, Nos. 1-2," 1975.

The following is the account of Madame Jurgens.

Nicolas was Executor of his mother-in-law's estate. The entire Pajot family eventually turned against Nicolas and his wife, accusing them, before the provost of Paris, of owing them various sums and objects. The matter was settled out of court to avoid the cost of a lawsuit. All parties appeared contented after that. The Saint-Mande house, with the vineyards, became the inheritance of Jacqueline and Nicolas.

Nicolas owned property that he purchased himself, The Coeur Royal and the Trois Piliers and the Mortier d'or, all on the south side of Rue Saint-Honore. Nicolas lived in the Mortier d'or ( the golden Mortar). This was where son, Louis, lived as a a boy. The house was ancient, being already in existence in 1415, inhabited by a wine merchant, Jehan de Paris, and later by the Teste family, owners of part of the quarter. The house was large, with double living quarters, of freestone. On the ground floor the store and back store were located, and on the side a vaulted alley which opened out to the street and ended with the stairs leading to the upper stories and the court; under the stairs, an iron grill protected the descent toward the cellars. The second floor, square, included two large rooms with fireplace, one facing the street and the other the court; a passageway served as entrance, and behind this passageway, a small room used for storage. The third floor, under the gable, was panelled facing the street,but square facing the court and included 5 small rooms, of which 3 had a fireplace. An attic topped it all, and the roof was tile. In the court, there was another small living quarters which, thanks to a passageway in back of the houses of the Trois Piliers and the Aigle royal, had an exit to Rues des Poulies. The living quarters facing Rue Saint-Honore still exist at present, at No. 129, slightly altered, because it was raised by 2 floors and decorated by balconies at each of the 3 facade windows, toward the end of the XVIIIth century. At the present time (1975), two stores occupy the ground floor (one is lodged in the old vaulted alley) and access to the apartment of each floor is obtained by a new stairway built at No. 20 of the Rue du Louvre, at the site which previously served as an exit for the outbuildings of the Mortier d'or.

Financial worries plagued Nicolas, as it did the rest of the bourgeois of Paris, as it was a troubled period, with the financial requirements of the religious wars and the League overwhelming it. The first sign of it was Nicolas' sale of Coeur royal on 27 July 1569. The following year he was forced to mortgage his home, Mortier d'or. After Nicolas' remarriage, besides his own difficulties, he had to resolve those of his new wife and step-children. He had some of his goods seized over an inheritance of his new sister-in-law.

The year 1588 brought the most critical days in Paris for the League. The kingdom was in the throes of war, and Paris was living in an air of insurrection. The representatives of the 16 Paris quarters had formed into a council within the League. King Henry the Third was forced to flee Paris, which was bristling with barricades. The beorgeoisie favored the League, and Nicolas was one of them. Nicolas was close friends with one of the fiercest orators of the League, Jacques de Cueilly, the parish priest of Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois. Jacques was likely one of the stepsons of the first marriage of Nicolas' wife, Jacqueline. The temporary victory of the League at Paris did not end bad times. In 1589 the King was assassinated. In 1590 the seige of Paris began, with all it's consequences, misery, famine and the end of all commerce.

With the seige of Paris going on in 1589, Nicolas was forced to borrow a larger sum, which he was unable to repay as agreed. He was forced by the courts to repay the loan, and had to sell his share of Mortier d'or. He was unable to pay all he owed, and was sentenced to spend two years in prison, in the Chatelet. He was so poorly cared for in prison that his son-in-law, Maheut, had to pay the rate of 30 ecus per year for food and the jailer 26 ecus. When Nicolas got out of prison he was so ill that doctors were not able to heal him.

What became of Nicolas? His second wife, Marie, had died. He did not try to recapture the habits and memories of the past. He crossed the Seine River and established himself in the new quarter of Saint-Germain-des-Pres. With him was his third wife, Renee Savoreau, of whom nothing is known except that she had many financial interests in the Chartres region, and so likely came from there.

The last record of Nicolas' life was at Chartres, where Nicolas went to carry out a transaction regarding a tennis court, Rue de l'Autriche, and lands located at Saint-Denis de Champfer. His hand was shaky and his signature incomplete. This was his last appearance on 8 January 1600. He was to disappear in the course of the year, without a will or inventory, as he was without property.


Lori E said...

I have written about this ancestor of ours before on my family history blog. I actually have some of the postage stamps with his likeness on them. Always good to find another source.
You have a problem with your comments. When the word verification comes up we lose the "post comment" button and can only get the verification space by clicking around for it. You might want to move the gadget to the bottom of the posts if you can.

My Life said...

Yes I saw that. I found many articles on the Heberts. We seem to have a lot of "relatives" out there. Today's paper says we're probably related to Neanderthals as well... I did something with the posts, let's see if it fixes it.