The Richbourg Family of South Carolina

Pages 61 – 69 The Richbourg Family of South Carolina by Sam J. Ervin, Jr. , as borrowed from Dianne Blankenstein pages

The Richbourg Family of South Carolina


On October 18, 1655, Louis XIV of France, revoked the Edict of Nantes and by so doing deprived his Protestant subjects, the Huguenots, of civil and religious liberty and subjected them to unrestricted persecution at the hands of the Roman Catholic Church.

As a result, more than 400,000 Huguenots abandoned their homes in France and moved to England, Holland, Germany and other lands, which permitted them to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences.

Since the world has never known more courageous and earnest folk than the Huguenots, it beggars the imagination to conjecture what France has lost in human resources during subsequent generations on account of this coerced exodus.

Among the thousands of Huguenots who sought refuge in England was CLAUDE PHILIPPE DE RICHEBOURG, a Huguenot minister, who after wards became the progenitor of the Richbourg family, of Clarendon County, South Carolina. (1)

Charles Washington Baird suggests in his HISTORY OF THE HUGUENOT EMIGRATION TO AMERICA that CLAUDE PHILIPPE DE RICHEBOURG may have fled from France to England with a kinsman, Isaac Porcher, a native of the village of Saint Severe in the Province of Berri, who was the ancestor of the Porchers of South Carolina. Baird states: (2)

Isaac was a physician, and had taken his degree at the University of Paris. With his wife, Claude Cherigny, a native of Touraine, he fled soon after the Revocation to England, perhaps in company with his relative, CLAUDE PHILIPPE DE RICHEBOURG, a Protestant minister afterwards pastor of the French colony on the James River in Virginia and of the French church in Charleston. The Porchers were descended from the Counts of Richebourg.

After their exodus from France, 800 Huguenots joined the Army of William of Orange, and fought under him the Irish wars. Dr. George Howe informs us in his HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN SOUTH CAROLINA that “they formed an entire regiment under the command of the Duke of Schomberg in the battle of the Boyle in 1690” and that “in the decisive battle of Aghrim in the following year these auxiliaries, commanded by Ruvigny, earl of Galway, contributed by their gallantry to the victory obtained over the French and Irish Papal Army under the command of St. Ruth. (3)