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The Huguenot Galley Slaves by Jean Martielhe (2011 Illustrated Paperback)


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The Huguenot Galley Slaves

From the Memoirs of Jean Martielhe (Author)

About the Author:

Young French Huguenot caught up in the persecution of the Protestant Christians in 1700 after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes by Louis XIV. At sixteen years of age he was imprisoned for the Reformed faith and when he would not convert to Catholicism, he was sentenced to slavery for life on the French Royal Galleys. After being freed through the intercession of the Protestant princes of Europe, he wrote his Memoirs recounting his experiences.

Book Description: (back cover info)

The captivating true story of Jean Martielhe, who, at sixteen, was forced to flee home and country in search of religious freedom. In the year 1700, a fresh revival of persecution against the Huguenots was storming across southern France under the command of the Duke de la Force.

King Louis XIV had issued the infamous “Revocation of the Edict of Nantes” in 1685 and 15 years later, still finding no end to the number of adherents to the Reformed faith, unleashed yet another wave of dragoonades in a determined effort to abolish Protestantism and unite France under Pope, creed, and King. Bibles were burned, children were taken from their parents, conversions were forced by every means, and the citizens were subjected to outrages, torture, and death. Such an unbridled fury against the Protestants excited an exodus of France’s most productive and pious citizens, and no further threat of penalty, imprisonment, slavery for life, torture, or execution, could stop it.

Follow our young Christian as he perseveres through imprisonments, attempts to bring him to renounce his faith, and ultimately his enslavement on the French Royal Galleys.

The Huguenot Galley Slaves by Jean Martielhe (2011 Illustrated Paperback) Paperback Edition Details:

2011 Illustrated Edition:  Taken from the Memoirs of Jean Martielhe, as included in a history of the French Protestants by Johann Jacob Rambach (1693-1735), Published Originally in French (1759). Edited and abridged by Rev. Christian G. Barth, D.D. (1799-1862). Edited, updated, and footnotes and illustrations added by Hail & Fire.

Publisher:  Hail & Fire

Page Count:  164 pages

Illustrated:  over 23 Illustrations, Illustrated throughout

Book Binding:  Paperback (US Trade Paperback)

Product Size:  5" x 8" x .37" inches

Interior Color:  Black and White

Language(s):  English

ISBN-10:  0982804342

ISBN-13/EAN13:  9780982804346 (978-0-9828043-4-6)

BISAC Category:  Religion / Christian Church / History

Table of Contents:

Preface by Rev. Christian G. Barth - page xi.

Preface ~ to the modern edition - page xiii.

Note ~ regarding the modern edition - page xvii.

Historical Background ~ to our story - page xxi.

Map ~ tracing the path of our narrative - page xxxvi.

Chapter 1 ~ Introduction - page 1.

Chapter 2 ~ Flight - page 9.

Chapter 3 ~ Imprisonment - page 21.

Chapter 4 ~ Second Imprisonment - page 31.

Chapter 5 ~ Third Captivity - page 49.

Chapter 6 ~ The Galleys at Dunkirk - page 57.

Chapter 7 ~ The Journey to Marseilles - page 77.

Chapter 8 ~ Deliverance - page 85.

Chapter 9 ~ Concluding Remarks - page 107.

Further Reading - page 119.

Quotations and Excerpts: (from this book)

quotation markI fled from my father’s house before the Dragoons entered. It was in October, 1700 that I left my home, being at that time about sixteen years of age. I was young indeed to be exposed to such perils, with scarcely sufficient prudence and experience to extricate myself from them. Could I hope to elude the vigilance of the soldiers who occupied all parts of the town? Nevertheless, by God’s goodness, I was enabled to effect my escape. Accompanied by a young friend, I fled at night without being observed and, pursuing our journey through a forest, we found ourselves the next morning at Mussidan, a small town which lies about three leagues distant from Bergerac. From there we resolved, in spite of any obstacles that might arise, to continue our journey to Holland. We solemnly committed ourselves to the protection of God and resigned ourselves to his will in all the dangers that might await us. And we determined by his grace not to look back, as Lot’s wife did, but to abide steadfastly in the profession of the true faith, although we might be sentenced to death or to hard labor in the Galleys on account of that faith.quotation mark

~ Chapter 2

Excerpt from Chapter 2 on Jean Martielhe's Escape from his home.


quotation markWe became so thin and weak that we could scarcely hold ourselves upright. A little damp straw full of vermin was our only couch, and yet even on this we were glad to rest. And happily it was near the door or we would never have been able to reach our food, which was thrown to us as if we were dogs. In this extreme misery, we sold our coats and waistcoats to the turnkey for a little bread. And indeed, shortly after, we sold all our clothes except the clothes we had on our backs, but alas, these soon became old and tattered. No one visited us but the priest, whose only question was whether we were not weary of enduring so much misery. To this he added that no mercy would be shown to us because our freedom depended upon us alone. In order to obtain liberty, we only had to renounce the errors of Calvin.quotation mark

~ Chapter 4

Excerpt from Chapter 4 on Martielhe's Second Imprisonment.


quotation markAn expedition against English and Dutch ships was undertaken every year by these six Galleys, which were manned by a total of three hundred men. The prisoners, who were continually employed at the oars, were often on these occasions in great peril of their lives.quotation mark

~ Chapter 6

Quote on the Life of a Galley Slave.

quotation markIn 1559, when Pius V came to the Pontifical office, he, with 'an intense, unmitigated detestation of Protestantism, and a fixed, inexorable determination to root it out,' occupied himself continually sending money and soldiers to France, and letters to the kings and bishops across Europe inciting them to zeal in the ruin of the heretics. To the commander of his military force, Count Santafiore, according to Catena, he had given the instruction 'to take no Huguenot prisoner, but instantly to kill every one that fell into his hands.'

In 1569, however, despairing of the destruction of the Huguenots in France, Pius suggested a more secret and sure way for their eradication. In a letter to the Cardinal of Lorraine, the Pope wrote, 'use all your influence for procuring a definite and serious adoption of the measure most proper for bringing about the destruction of the implacable enemies of God and the King.' And to the King, Charles IX, who was the son of King Henry II and Catherine de Médici, he wrote an exhortation to 'pursue and destroy all the enemies that still remain.' 'For unless they are radically extirpated, they will be found to shoot up again.' 'You will not succeed,' he tells Charles, 'in turning away the wrath of God, except by avenging him rigorously on the wretches.' The Pope then presented himself as the prophet Samuel delivering the message to Saul—Charles IX, to destroy the Amalekites—the Huguenots, utterly. To Catherine, the Pope wrote plainly, advising that she pursue the 'enemies' until 'they are all massacred, for it is only by the entire extermination of heretics (deletis omnibus) that the Roman Catholic worship can be restored.' quotation mark

~ Historical Background

Excerpt on the Persecution of Protestants by the Roman Catholic Church.