The Rodier family
The Rodier story (as told by W.E.Heath)
Samuel Rodier was a Silk Merchant residing in France during the Revolution
of that Country - called the "Reign of Terror." [this is incorrect, see below]
Fortunately he had warning that a general massacre of the French Protestants or
their friends was about to take place. His family consisted of his wife, 2 sons
Samuel and James, and 4 daughters, named respectively Mary, Judith, Elizabeth &
Lucy. Acting on the friendly warning before mentioned, Monsr. Rodier fled to
the Sea Coast of France with as much of his property as he could take with him.
He then embarked with his wife, 2 sons and 3 daughters & proceeded to England,
where he landed at Topsham [other sources say Torquay?] in County of Devon.
Before embarking on the Ship one of the daughters could not be found.
Consequently she was left behind, but was afterwards found and reached Devon
in another ship. So infuriated were the French mob on finding their intended
victims had eluded their grasp that the beds belonging to the Rodier family
were pierced through with swords. The Rodier family whilst in France had
enjoyed good property which they never reclaimed. The family remained in
Topsham for many years.
The Rodier family escaped not from the "French revolution", but from (according
to one source) the Massacre of Bartholomew which occurred in 1688 following the
revocation of the Edict on Nantes (which instituted "tolerance" of Protestants)
by Louis XIV in 1685. Some 500,000 Hugenots fled during the period 1685-1710,
many fleeing to England, Germany and Holland, and impoverished France of many
kinds of artisans.
Unfortunately the chronology doesn't quite seem to add up, since the Hugenot
migrations were finished before 1710. If Mary Rodier was 10 then, she must
have been 59 when her second daughter Mary was born in 1759. Perhaps a
generation is missing?