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Protestant Solidarity in the Eighteenth Century: Relief Efforts of the Walloons for the Polish Reformed Churches

  • Kazimierz Bem (a1)

Extract

The connections between the Polish Reformed Churches and the Dutch Eglises Wallonnes have never been properly examined. Apart from a few notes in articles from the beginning of the twentieth century, no attempt has been made to describe them in an integrated manner, taking into account the Walloon archives in the Bibliotheque Wallonne, as well as other Walloon sources. The aim of this publication is to examine Walloon–Polish communications in the eighteenth century, a time important for both the Walloons and the Polish Reformed. While for the former it was a period of growth and expansion, for the latter it was quite the opposite. This difference allowed the Walloon to help the Poles in their plight, strengthening the Walloon's position as supporters of endangered Protestant communities worldwide.

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1. Perk, M. A., La charité wallonne, discours d'ouverture de la Réunion wallonne, Bulletin de La Commission de L'Historie des Eglises Wallonnes, (hereafter BCHEW), (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1902), 18; Munier, P. J. J., Les Églises Wallonnes des Pays-Bas et les Églises soeurs d l'etranger; discours d'ouverture de La Réunion de La Haye, août 1852, BCHEW, (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1909), 6870; Poujol, D. F., Histoire et influence des Eglises Wallonnes dans les Pays-Bas (Paris: Fishbacher, 1902), 319; Les Eglises Wallonnes des Pays-Bas (Amsterdam: Edition de l'Echo des églises wallonnes, 1963), 38.

2. Now at the Univeristy Library in Leiden, Netherlands.

3. Bolckmans, W. and Prevenier, W., The Promised Lands: The Low Countries under Burgundian Rule 1369–1530 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999), 121–22.

4. Cornu, F. Le, Origine des Eglises réformées Wallonnes des Pays-Bas, 2nd ed. (Utrecht: Van Boekhoven, 1949?), 3339.

5. Parker, G., The Dutch Revolt (London: Lane, 1977); Israel, J. I., The Dutch Republic. Its Rise, Greatness, and Fall 1477–1806 (Oxford: Clarendon, 1998), 137–97.

6. Ibid., 205–20, 307–15.

7. Knetsch, F. R. J., The National Synod of Dordrecht, 1578, and the Position of the Walloon Churches. Acta Historiae Neerlandicae 13 (The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1980), 4050.

8. Munier, , Les Eglises Wallonnes des Pays-Bas, 13.

9. Ibid., 14.

10. Ibid., 14.

11. Ibid., 16–17.

12. For a detailed account of their legal position, see Kriegseisen, W., Ewangelicy polscy i litewscy w epoce saskiej (Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Semper, 1996), 1950.

13. Styled “dyssydents” in Polish law.

14. Though as one author pointed out, the law only mentioned that being a member of the Lower House (Izba Poselska) was barred to Protestants. Thus, in theory, they retained the right to be nominated for senatorial positions and to sit in the Senate. However, since the last Protestant senator died in 1666, and no new nominations were made, this right was indeed illusionary. Kriegseisen, W., Ewangelicy polscy, 47.

15. For literature on the Toruń Tumult, see Salomonowicz, S., O toruńskim tumulcie z roku 1724. Odrodzenie i Reformacja w Polsce 18 (Warsaw: Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, 1973), 161–84 (hereafter OiRwP); “Sprawa Torunska z 1724 roku. Geneza i przebieg wydarzeń,” in Szkice toruńskie z XVII–XVIII wieku, ed. Salomonowicz, S. (Toruń: Tow. Nauk. w Toruniu, 1992), 77115.

16. Though the Lithuanian Brethren did indeed have a considerable following among the ethnic Lithuanian peasants, it was completely dominated by the Polish nobility and clergy, as were the other two Brethren. Following World War I and the creation of a separate Lithuanian state, the Lithuanian Brethren in Poland was now predominantly Polish, and the only reason to remain separate church entities was purely historical. Yet, despite repeated unification attempts by the Warsaw consistory, these were resisted by both the Lithuanian Brethren, as well as the former Greater Poland Brethren, now in the United Church. Kosman, M., Litewska Jednota ewangelicko—refor-mowana od potowy XVII w. do 1939 r. Studia i Monografie WSP w Opolu, no. 121 (Opole: Wyzsza Szkola Pedagogiczna im. Powstanców Slaskich w Opolu, 1986).

17. Dworzaczkowa, J., Bracia czescy w Wielkopolsce w XVI i XVII w. (Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Semper, 1997); Kreigseisen, W., Ewangelicy polscy, 7988.

18. Kriegseisen, W., Ewangelicy polscy, 3435.

19. Wundrack, A., “Zur Geschichte der Deutschen Ansiedlungen in ehemaligen Polen,” Historische Monatsblätter für die Provinz Posen 7 (1906): 8186.

20. Konarski, S., Szlachta kalwiéska w Polsce (Warsaw: Semper, 1932), throughout; Kwilecki, A., Ziemiaństwo Wielkopolskie (Warsaw: Wydawnictwo “Pax,” 1998), 393406; Bem, K., “Żychlińscy herbu Szeliga,” Jednota 6 (1999).

21. Kriegseisen, W., Ewangelicy polscy, 8485.

22. It was only in 1781, after the First Partition of Poland, and with Krokowa now in Prussia, that the Krokowski family reintroduced a Reformed minister. Ibid., 84.

23. Ibid., 57–68.

24. Ibid., 64–65; Bem, K., Zarys dziejów zboru ewangelkko-reformowanego w Piaskach Luterskich (Wielkich) koto Lublina 1563–1649–1849. OiRwP 43 (1999), 8598.

25. Konarski, S., Szlachta, throughout.

26. Kriegseisen, W., Ewangelicy polscy. 60.

27. Ibid., 23; Darowski, R., Szczepanowice nad Dunajcem. Dzieje wsi, parafii katoiickiej i gminy kalwińskiej (Kraków: Wydział Filozoficzny Towarzystwa Jezusowego, Instytut Kultury Religijnej, 1993), 117–22.

28. Kriegseisen, W., “Polski kwestarz ewangelicki w Niemczech i Holandii w końcu XVIII wieku,“ in Ludzie—Kościót—Wierzenia. Studia z dziejów kultury i spoteczeństwa Europy Środkowej (Warsaw: Wydawnictwo “DIG,” 2001), 407–16.

29. Kriegseisen, W., Ewangelicy polscy. 88116; Kosman, M., Litewska Jednota, throughout.

30. S. Konarski, Szlachta, throughout; Bem, K., “Kielmy na Żmudzi. Dzieje zboru oraz pewnej rodziny,” Jednota 34 (2001); see also http: / / www.szlachta.org.pl/Kielmy.htm.

31. Fijałkowski, P., Polska wspólnota ewangelicko—reformowana w Królewcu. OiRwP 45 (2001), 133–53.

32. Kriegseisen, W., Ewangelicy polscy, 100107.

33. Klemp, A., Protestanci w dobrach prywatnych w Prusach Królewskich od drugiej połowy XVII do drugiej potowy XVIII wieku (Gdańsk: Zakład Narodowy im. Ossolińskich, 1994); Arndt, P., Geschichte der evangelisch—reformierten Geminde in Torn (Torn: n.p., 1904); Kerstan, E. G., Die evangelische Kirche des Stadt—und Landfreises Ebling (Ebling: n.p., 1917).

34. Due to the lack of records it is difficult to point to an exact date, but the first separate treasurer of the Warsaw Reformed is known in 1712, which indicates that the congregation must have had its own elders before then. Kriegseisen, W., “Ewangelicy warszawscy w epoce saskiej,” Rocznik Warszawski 28:1531.

35. Wyszomirski, T., Z przeszlości zboru protestanckiego w Wegrowie w XVII i XVIII wieku. OiRwP 4 (1959), 137–54; Stegner, T., Ewangelicy warszawscy 18151914 (Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Semper, 1993), 10; Diehl, E., Wiadomości historyczne o cmentarzu ewangelicko—reformowanym w Warszawie (Warsaw: Konsystorz Kościoła Ewangelicko-Reformowanego w Rzeczpospolitej Polskiej, 1867), 8.

36. Kriegseisen, W., Ewangelicy Polscy, 155–62.

37. For more on Mennonites in Poland, see Klzik, E., Mennonici w Gdańsku, Elblagu i na Żulawach Wiślanych w drugiej połowie XVII i XVIII wieku. Studium z dziejów małej społeczności wyznaniowej (Gdańsk: Wydawnictwo Gdańskie, 1994); Klassen, P., A Homeland for Strangers: an Introduction to Mennonites in Poland and Prussia (Fresno, Calif.: Center for Mennonite Bretheren Studies, 1989).

38. Wansink, H., Politieke wetenschappen aan de Leidse Universiteit 1575–1650 (Utrecht: n.p., 1981); Israel, J. I., The Dutch Republic., 572–73; de Leeuw, R. and Thijssen, L., Związki między Holandią a Polską w XVI i XVII wieku. Katalog wystawy (Gdańsk: Muzeum Morskie, 1978).

39. Poujol, D. F., Les Eglises Wallonnes, 122–23.

40. Bibliotheque Wallonne (hereinafter BW), Dousa Kamer (hereinafter vD) 596, Leeuwarden Synod of 1710, Article 35.

41. Ibid.

42. BW, vD 596, Hague Synod of 1715, Article 54. Perhaps it was brought to the attention of Walloons by Dawid Cassius and Marcil Teofil Woide, who in 1714 were touring the Netherlands seeking aid for the Greater Lithuanian Brethren; see Kriegseisen, W., Polski kwestarz, 409.

43. BW, vD 596, Hague Synod of 1715, Article 54.

44. Ibid.

45. BW, vD 597, Leiden Synod of 1719, Article 33.

46. The king of Poland, Augustus II the Strong, was also the hereditary elector of Saxony (as Frederic Augustus II). This union continued under his son Augustus III (as Frederic Augustus III).

47. BW, vD 597, Breda Synod of 1721, Article 63.

48. For more on the Gdańsk Huguenot congregation, see Szultka, Z., “W sprawie obecności uchodźcźw religijnych z Francji w Gdańsku w XVI–XVIII wieku,” Rocznik Gdański 1007 (1987):251–60; Komaszyński, M., “Dziaialność kupców francuskich w Gdańsku w XVII–XVIII wieku,“ Roczniki Dziejów Społecznych i Gospodarczych 16 (1954): 239–80; Muret, E., Geschichte der Französische Colonie in Brandenburg-Preussen unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Berliner Geminde (Berlin: Büxenstein, 1885), 211–12; Bern, K., Huguenots in 18th Century Poland. Refuge in a Catholic Country of Limited Tolerance. Proceedings of the Third International Huguenot Conference, Huguenot Society of South Africa, September 2002.

49. Kriegseisen, gives his name as “Pering.” Ewangelicy polscy, 143.

50. On Mennonite aid in that period see “Danzig Mennonite Church,” Mennonite Encyclopedia, (Hillsboro, Kans.: Mennonite Brethren Publishing House, 19561996), 2:911; see also “Poland,” 4:199–200, 5:707; “Lithuania,” 3:374–75; “West Prussia,” 4:20–26, 5:927–28; Gemeente Archief Amsterdam (hereinafter GAA), 379, (Archives of the Mennonite congregation in Amsterdam); On the double function of foreign aid collections, see Kriegseisen, W., “Podróże i projekty pastora Boguslawa Jelitko Kopijewicza,” in Ludzie-Kontakty—Kultura XVI–XVII w. Prace ofiarowane Marii Boguckiej, eds. Kawecki, J. and Tazbir, J. (Warsaw: Semper, 1997), 246–52.

51. Their mission to the Dutch synods managed to obtain for the Lithuanian Brethren a yearly donation off 526. Kriegseisen, W., Polski kwestarz, 409.

52. Jean Royer was a Walloon Pastor in Leeuwarden (1728–31) and in the Walloon church in The Hague (1731–79), as well as the court chaplain of the Prince William V of Orange. See van der Aa, J., Biographisch Woordenboek der Nederland (Amsterdam: B. M. Israël, 1969), 6:166–67; Gagnebin, M. F. H., Liste des Eglises Wallonnes des Pays-Bas et des pasteurs qui les ons desserivies, BCHEW (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1888), 3 54, 58.

53. Jean Brutel de La Rivière was a Walloon pastor in Vree (1695–1702), Rotterdam (1702–20), and in Amsterdam (1720–42). van der Aa, J., Biographisch Woordenboek 6:114; Gagnebin, M. F. H., Liste des églises, 26, 112, 333.

54. BW, vD 598, Maastricht Synod of 1737, Article 52.

55. Ibid.

56. According to the family history and papers, the Delprats had an office in Elblag by the end of the eighteenth century. It is not clear if the office existed there earlier, but given the extensive enterprise of the two Delprat brothers, this is possible. Furthermore, Jacques Delprat had spent some time in Berlin and even married his spouse, Cathérine Benezet, there. The Berlin Huguenots kept close contacts with the Huguenots of Gdańsk, and it is possible that Jacques Delprat had some contacts in Poland through his former colleagues and his wife's family. Delprat, M. D. H., Généalogie de la famille Delprat, BCHEW (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1888), 3:364–67; see also note 48.

57. BW, vD 598, Naarden Synod of 1737, Articles 42–43.

58. Ibid., Article 42.

59. Ibid., Article 43.

60. BW, vD 598, Breda Synod of 1738, Article 43.

61. BW, vD 598, Goes Synod of 1741, Article 43.

62. Under strong pressure from the Greater Poland Brethren, he declined, though he later returned to the Netherlands as a political representative of Polish Protestants (1765) before finally moving to Great Britain, where he settled down and became a well-known professor of Oriental languages. Kriegseisen, W., “Karol Godfryd Woide—polityczna geneza kariery uczonego doby Oświecenia,” in Kultura staropolska—Kultura europejska. Prace ofiarowane Januszowi Tazbirowi w siedemdziesiątą rocznicę urodzin, (Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Semper, 1997), 249–57.

63. Algemeen Rijksarchief den Haag, Eerste Afdelig, Collectie Fagel 1673, [not paginated].

64. BW, vD 600, Rotterdam Synod of 1776, Article 32.

65. The text attached at the end of the Synod's proceedings, Ibid.; BW Actes Wallonnes (hereinafter AW) 452, “Memoire concernant les Eglises reformées dans la Royaume de Pologne par. M. H. P. Cassius, Ministre du St. Evengelie” [not dated]. On the same year the Lesser Poland organized its own collection in the Netherlands conducted by the Rev. Jan Daniel Klaudian and the nobleman Grzegorz Pakosz, though they did not seem to have contacted the Walloons. Kriegseisen, W., Polski kwestarz, 410.

66. BW, vD 600, Synod of Rotterdam of 1776, Article 32.

67. BW, vD 600, 's Hertogenbosch Synod of 1777, Article 44.

68. Unfortunately the letters have not survived in the Walloon archives.

69. BW, vD 600, 's Hertogenbosch Synod of 1777, Article 44.

70. This was later reaffirmed in 1784. BW vD 601, Amsterdam Synod of 1784, Article 41.

71. BW, vD 600, Kampen Synod of 1777, Article 32.

72. BW, vD 600, Tholen Synod of 1778, Article 31.

73. BW, vD 600, 601, throughout.

74. BW, AW 453. “Balance de Recette et de Debours de gestion dess dons et contributions recus en faveur des Eglise de Pologne 1777–1801” (hereinafter Balances).

75. Gemeente Archief Leiden (hereinafter GAL), Inventaris van de Archieven van de Waalse Gemeente (hereinafter WG) 535:47.

76. GAL WG 535:47 k. 497–98.

77. BW vD 601, Article 51.

78. BW, AW 453, Balances. Though if we take into account the Leiden records, that must be plainly wrong; see note 72.

79. Ibid.; The Acts of the Leiden consistory also do not give any indication to which congregations the money was sent. GAL WG 535:47, 48, 49, 59.

80. BW, vD 601, Amsterdam Synod of 1784, Article 41.

81. Kiec, O., Protestantyzm w Poznańskiem 1815–1918 (Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Semper, 2001), 105.

82. BW vD 601, Dordrecht Synod of 1788, Article 43.

83. BW vD 601, Naarden Synod of 1787, Article 17. No such letter is in the archives of the Leiden congregation, GAL WG 535:48.

84. BW vD 601, Gouda Synod of 1789, Article 37. No such letter is in the archives of the Leiden congregation, GAL WG 535:48.

85. Kriegseisen, W., Polski kwestarz, 414–15.

86. BW, vD 601, Leeuwarden Synod of 1790, Article 42.

87. A copy at the end of the Synod'xss proceedings, Ibid.

88. BW, vD 601, Leeuwarden Synod of 1790, Article 42.

89. BW, AW 453, Balances.

90. GAL WG 535:48 k. 265, 269–70.

91. BW, vD 601, Arnhem Synod of 1791, Article 35.

92. Ibid., at the end of the proceedings.

93. Jan Teofil Woide, Jan Samuel Stock, Jan Daniel Mullack, Jan Daniel Kuntze. Interestingly, these names indicate that it was only elders of the German congregation that signed the letter, and the Polish did not, which seems odd, Ibid.

94. General superintendent Frederick Kloze (Leszno), Chrystian Teofil Cassius (Leszno), George Wilhelm Behr (Orzeszkowo), Jan Ludwik Cassius (Leszno), Bogusław Dawid Cassius (Leszno), Jan Samuel Cassius (Waszkowo), and Karol Bogumił Diehl (Poznań), Ibid.

95. BW, vD 601, Arnhem Synod of 1791, Articles 36.

96. BW, vD 601, Rotterdam Synod of 1793, Article 36.

97. BW, vD 601, Tholen Synod of 1795, Article 48.

98. BW, vD 601, Hague Synod of 1795, Article 42. No copy of that letter survives in the Leiden congregation papers or in the minutes of the congregation's consistory, GAL WG 535:48–49.

99. BW vD 601, Utrecht Synod of 1796, Article 40.

100. BW, vD 601, Heusden Synod of 1796, Article 40.

101. BW, vD 601–2, throughout.

102. BW, AW 453, Balances.

103. BW, vD 602, Nijmegen Synod of 1804, Article 46.

104. A bill for a letter sent to Leszno in the Dutchy of Warsaw. BW, AW 454, “Livre de Cassie du Consistoire a Leyde 1777–1822 concernant les Eglises Reformees de Pologne et de Franeker,” k. 29.

105. BW, AW 485, “Administartion des Fondes des Eglises de Pologne et de Franeker 1838–1867.”

106. On the history and doctrine of the Waldensians, see Audisio, G., The Waldensian Dissent. Persecution and Survival C.1170–C.1570 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999).

107. BW vD 598, Article 44; Poujol, D. F., Les Eglises Wallonnes., 294–96.

108. BW vD 598–602, throughout; Poujol, D. F., Les Eglises Wallonnes., 296; Rieu, W. N. du, Essai bibliographicjue concernant tout ce qui a parus dans les Pays-Bas, au suject et en faveur des Vaudois, BCHEW, (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1890), 105–38.

109. Poujol, D. F., Les Eglises Wallonnes., 314–15.

110. Ibid., 393–94.

111. This is a general observation. The Dutch Mennonite aid to their Polish brothers and sisters in faith is still waiting for its historian, and the material is vast: see GAA 565; also see note 50.

112. On the help of the Dutch Reformed Church to the Polish, see GAA 379; W. Kriegseisen, Ewangelicy polscy, throughout.

113. See note 1.

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