Monday, July 27, 2009

Little Nightcap

Suzanne Rochet (sometimes spelled "Rochette") was the youngest of the three daughters of Moses Rochet. In 1685, Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes and determined to take away the protections that the Hugeunots had enjoyed for nearly ninety years. Rochet's two older daughters made successful escape to Amsterdam, but fearing it was too dangerous to take her along, they left Suzanne behind. Before they left France, however, they made an agreement with their father that they would send for Suzanne when they felt the time was right. Afraid a letter might be intercepted, they worked out a code. The letter stated that they thought it would be perfectly fine to send the "Little Nightcap" which they left behind.*
Finally, the letter arrived. M. Rochet hid Suzanne in a hogshead, which was entrusted to a friendly sea captain, who had the cask placed on board ship. When the ship had sailed and they were safely past the guards, the barrel was opened, Suzanne was lifted out, and she was brought to safety in Amsterdam. She is still known in the annals of French Huguenot history as "Little Nightcap."
She married Abraham Micheaux, also a Huguenot from Sedan, on 13 Jul 1692 in the French Church in Amsterdam, Holland. The Michauxs left Holland and first moved to London, then later to Henrico County, Virginia. They had twelve children, their son Jacob being my ancestor.^ Suzanne died 17 December 1744 in Henrico County where she is buried. Suzanne Rochet is my 7th great grandmother, agnate.

Suzanne Rochet Michaux 1667 - 1744 RIP

[Historical note: France suffered a terrible loss when so many of its finest citizens left the country due to persecution; but the greater world enjoyed the gain.]
*Some versions of the story state that she was called "Little Cap" because she was plucked from her bed in the middle of the night to be put aboard ship for her escape, the sisters not mentioned.
^Six of the children were born in Holland, the rest in America. Some researchers say there were fourteen offspring, but records exist for only twelve of them. Jacob may also be listed as "Jacques."


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