(Compiled from various sources borrowed from Dianne Blankenstein pages)
Last Will and Testament of CLAUDE PHILIPPE DE RICHEBOURG – sent by Gordon Wells
Although we have found references to the last will and testament of CLAUDE PHILIPPE DE RICHEBOURG, we have been unsuccessful in locating the official document.
An index of destroyed wills in Charleston contains a listing of the inventory of “PHILIP DE RICHBOURG – Inventory R-43,” and this record is identified as wills which were destroyed during the Confederate era.
In HISTORY OF VIRGINIA, the Reverend Vass states that the DE RICHEBOURG will was long preserved in the Probate Judge’s Office in Charleston; that the General Index of Wills recorded its existence and location, but that it, with other papers, was moved inland for safety during the War Between the States in an unbound package which was consumed by fire during the burning of Columbia by General Sherman. Other opinions hold that the documents were moved inland to Cheraw, South Carolina, and destroyed; that the documents were thrown into the river at Columbia by General Sherman’s men, and still another that the DE RICHEBOURG will, with other legal papers, were left stacked on the streets of Charleston and were destroyed in one way or another. Regardless of the manner of destruction, these valuable documents seem lost to posterity.
The Reverend George Howe in HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN SOUTH CAROLINA, )page 167) states that the will of CLAUDE PHILIPPE DE RICHEBOURG was dated Quinzieme jour de Janyier 1 ‘an mill sept cens dix-huit dix neuf (January 15, 1718/19). If this date be correct, it appears evident that CLAUDE PHILIPPE DE RICHEBOURG, who served as pastor of th St. James Santee Church until his death in 1718/19 died soon after the writing of his will. Dr. Howe also states that the DE RICHEBOURG will was preserved in the Public Office at Charleston, as is borne out by Charleston index records, and named his wife, ANNE CHASTAIN DE RICHEBOURG, and six surviving children. It appears evident that the de Richebourg children were all minors at the time of their father’s death.
The Reverend Vass’ HISTORY OF VIRGINIA describes the will of CLAUDE PHILIPPE DE RICHEBOURG, “The DE RICHEBOURG will breathes the spirit of true Christianity and exhibits a faithful servant of the Cross, still resigned to dispensations of Providence, steadfast in faith and triumphant at approaching death.” On page 309 of the same book reference is made to ‘the Huguenot colonists being led by their noble, godly, exiled pastor RICHEBOURG in their migration to Trent River, North Carolina, from Manakin Town, Virginia.” He refers to our ancestor “DE RICHBOURG was a decided French Presbyterian of unobtrusive manners, fervid piety, exalted character, devoted to the cause of Christ, with a life filled with toils, poverty, hope, faith and charity. He set an example of suffering patience which encouraged his Huguenot followers to bear their hardships.”
From these references we can only conclude that the will of CLAUDE PHILIPPE DE RICHEBOURG did exist, was recorded in Charleston, S. C., and has been destroyed in some manner. It seems very evident that he had nothing of great value to bequeath to his heirs.