Henri de Boisbellaud de Montacier, Sieur de Lislemarais

From Marteau

Information compiled by Lionel Laborie


Henri de Boisbellaud (or Boybellaud) de Montacier, Sieur de Lislemarais (1641?-1722)

Lislemarais used to serve in the regiment of Vivarais under Marshall Catinat in Piedmont and sent him a letter (Frankfort, 22 Feb. 1686) on his way to Holland in which he explained his departure as a result of the revocation of the edict of Nantes.

Lislemarais was probably from Saintonge in Poitou. No trace of him after his desertion.

Lislemarais was in Casal, Italy, when the dragonnades started in Béarn. The persecution of French Protestants was reported across Italy then.

He wrote to his family to explain that God was testing them through these persecution, that they should remain patient and not leave to seek freedom of conscience elsewhere.

Lislemarais progressively got into trouble in the French army for defending his Reformed faith in front of governors, but he always refused to shut up. He finally obtained his annual leave after several denials and left with his relative, M. de Tarnac, to take his family away from France. They left Casal on 3 Nov. 1685 and traveled via Turin, Sezaune near mount Genèvre, Embrun (for three days), Mezel in Provence, where he was supposed to meet his brother, but the latter almost drowned crossing a river and only arrived two days later. Lislemarais's family was supposed to dress up as soldiers and travel with the brother, but none of them where there. He and his brother stayed in Digne, then Seigne. They attracted attention because the brother was ill and they had to call for physicians and surgeons. They were suspected of going to Piedmont illegally.

Lislemarais is denounced by Monsieur de Barras and the judge comes to arrest him. Lislemarais responds arrogantly that a man of his condition cannot be arrested so easily, but had to sign the king's warrant after he confirmed that he was a Huguenot and refused to convert. His brother died on that day and was buried at Seigne. M. de Pontis arrived with a high esteem for Lislemarais and asked him to abandon his Protestant soldiers. The latter replied that he was on his way to Casal to bring them to Catinat. The judge accepted his written statement and allowed him to leave the following day.

Lislemarais arrived in Embrun, where he was interrogated again, then went to Pragelas, Pignerolle, Arbassan in Piedmont. He gave money to his soldiers to reach Switzerland and went to Turin, where Tarnac was waiting for him, Chambery and finally Geneva.

He then served William of Orange during the Glorious Revolution and was made colonel in the Dutch army with Pierre de Belcastel in the Spring of 1701. He fought in Flanders c.1702-1705 and arrived in Valencia, Spain, in April 1707 as part of the Dutch contingent with Torsay, Belcastel and Jean Cavalier (the famous Camisard leader). All four men had their own regiment of Huguenot soldiers, which Lislemarais coordinated.

On April 6, 1716 Lislemarais entered a contract with Langallerie and Linange and became "Le grand Seneschal general Seigneur de..."

Lislemarais's will is dated 30 Oct. 1722.


Philippe de Gentil de Langallerie, General René Godefroy Louis Ernest Joseph Le Hachard, Landgrave de Linange, the admiral, Jean-René Meyer the Secretary.


  • "Relation De La Sortie De M. De Montagier, Sieur De Lislemarais, Du Royaume De France, Pour La Persécution De La Religion." Bulletin de la Société de l'histoire du protestantisme français I (pp. 357-360) and II (pp. 317-325).
  • Bulletin de la Commission pour l'histoire des églises Wallonnes (Martinus Nijhoff, 1896), p. 86.
  • Charles Edmund Lart, Huguenot Pedigrees (Genealogical Publishing Com, 1924), Vol. 1, p. 12.