The sentences imposed
on Protestants

The Edict of Fontainebleau (1685) and various decrees of 1686 imposed penalties on Protestants.

Galley-rowing, imprisonment, death penalty

  • Marc Dautry : In memory of the convicts on the galleys - Aigues-Mortes © O. d'Haussonville

« A life sentenced to rowing in the galleys, or imprisonment for women : for Protestants who attempted to leave the country, for those who provided help to pastors in hiding or for any public expression of the Reformed faith ». The members of the Reformed Church could be convicted, whether they be fugitives arrested at the country’s borders, people suspected of helping the fugitives or worshippers caught while attending an illegal meeting. Similar sentences could be imposed on the new converts also suspected of practising in secret.

The death penalty was reserved for pastors, preachers or smugglers who helped the fugitives.

There were also post mortem sentences : if it turned out that a “newly converted” dead person had actually remained Protestant deep down, his body was exhumed, dragged on a hurdle and then thrown away. His bequests were confiscated.

Associated notes

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