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My Forbidden Bible Verses post last week looked at Matthew 8:28-34, the account the deliverance of the men near Gadara of their many demons.
This is often referred to as the story of the Gadarene swine, since Jesus sent the demons into a flock of pigs which ran off a cliff into the Sea of Galilee.
The townspeople were no doubt upset at the loss of their pigs. However, more importantly, they were alarmed by Jesus’s divine power and, instead of considering His miracle as being of God, actively rejected Him. Tomorrow’s post will reveal what happened to them. (If you’re reading this on August 27 into August 28, 2015, the link is not yet live.)
Many people today, Christians and secularists, find this healing miracle of deliverance disturbing because Jesus, at the demons’ request, drove them into the swine. The demons were so powerful that they drove the swine into the sea. Therefore, the modern conclusion is that Jesus was cruel in doing that to helpless pigs.
However, John MacArthur tells us that Jesus had to do it for reasons of human understanding:
Why? Because if He’d just said, “Demons leave,” nobody would have known whether they left or where they went … But when you watch two thousand pigs dive off a cliff and drown in the sea, they knew exactly what had happened, that the demons had entered those pigs, which proved the point that He had cleansed those two men.
This is an important — and essential — point to explain to people who object to our Lord’s actions in this healing. Everything He did — and does — serves a divine purpose.
A contentious subject among some English historians is whether the Huguenots were involved in lace making in our country.
Each side makes its own case for or against.
The case against
Those discounting Huguenot involvement say that an English cottage industry of lace making already existed by the time they arrived in the 16th century. This is true. However, very few examining this aspect of history ever said the Huguenots or their Flemish counterparts actually brought lace making to England.
What could be said is that the Huguenots and the Flemish improved our lace by bringing Continental techniques and materials to England.
Another aspect which needs to be taken into account is the association of certain types of lace with the Huguenots. Some of the laces linked to them were not devised until long afterward. However, it is possible that a few older historians misunderstood or accidentally mis-stated this.
An example of this can be found on the Wikipedia talk page for the Huguenots entry, which has an extensive analysis of lace making in England and Huguenot involvement. This involves the foremost history of English lace making, Romance of the Lace Pillow, written in 1919 by Thomas Wright. Emphases mine below:
3. The whole of Wright’s argument then turns on his statement “From this time Bucks [Buckinghamshire, southern England] point lace developed: it is a combination of Mechlin patterns on Lille ground.” In effect he is arguing that the two groups of refugees must have been responsible for the development of East Midlands lace because its style is derived from the two styles of lace of the regions from which the refugees came. Although this argument may sound plausible to the layman, it is based on the fallacy that what is now known as Mechlin lace existed at the time of the immigration from Flanders, which according to Wright was several years before 1572 (i.e late sixteenth century).
On what evidence is our knowledge of the history of lace based? Lace was primarily a fashion item, and the most extensive evidence for the development of styles of lace is from portraits, which can generally be dated accurately. Written records document the existence of lacemaking and lacemakers in particular regions at particular times, which is the basis for saying that lace was made in the East Midlands as early as 1596. However we know very little about what type of lace was made there in the seventeenth century because no descriptions have been found.
What we do know from portraits is that the lace now known as Bucks Point did not appear until the end of the eighteenth century. (It was at this time that the Lille ground was adopted by lacemakers all over Europe because it could be made more quickly than the Mechlin ground.) Santina Levey, a textile curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum, writes in her highly respected “Lace, A History” (Maney, 1990: ISBN: 0-901286-15-X) that Mechlin lace developed in the first half of the eighteenth century (pp.45 and 47), while Lille lace with its typical mesh ground first appeared towards the end of the eighteenth century (p.90).
Therefore, according to this potential editor, Socialambulator:
One final point that I haven’t addressed previously (because my views on this are subjective) is why the idea gained currency that the Huguenots influenced English lacemaking. Like Seguin and others, I think it was probably economic. French lace was regarded as of higher quality, and commanded a higher price, than English lace. Associating E. Midlands lace with the Huguenots would have been used to give it a French association (and price tag). It should be mentioned that, Harry Armstrong, the publisher of Thomas Wright’s “The Romance of Lace Pillow”, himself sold lace under the name of ‘Mrs’ H Armstrong.
The case for
One of the problems in pinpointing Huguenot influence and involvement is that many records from the time no longer exist.
Yet, Irish historians have little problem linking Huguenot refugees with lace making. A short piece from the Irish Times states:
After the end of the Williamite wars, large Huguenot settlements were established in Portarlington, Youghal, Cork, Dublin, Waterford and Lisburn, where they became celebrated for their expertise in textiles, specialising in weaving, lace-making, and glove-making. In the course of time, they became thoroughly absorbed into Irish society through intermarriage, and names such as Boucicault, Maturin, Le Fanu and Trench are still familiar in Ireland today.
Therefore, if Huguenots were involved in Ireland’s industry, why not England’s?
Lace making researchers from Buckinghamshire and elsewhere in England point to Huguenot participation in the craft.
The Cowper and Newton Museum in Olney, Bucks, has exhibits on various aspects of Georgian life. Of local lace making, a related page states:
Lace was probably made in the Eastern Counties (Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire) prior to 1563. This was, and still is, a flax growing area. The first wave of lace makers from the continent came in 1563 to 1568. They were Flemish Protestants who left the area around Mechelen (Mechlin / Malines) when Philip II introduced the Inquisition to the Low Countries …
Second wave of lacemakers, many from Lille, left in 1572 after The Massacre of the Feast of Saint Bartholomew. Exactly how many is not known but many hundreds came to Buckinghamshire and Northampton.
Local noblemen, the Museum says, offered these refugees sanctuary:
In 1586 Lord William Russell, son of the Duke of Bedford, owned property near Cranfield, Bedfordshire. This is about 10 miles from Olney. He had fought for William the Silent in the Low Countries and he was married to Rachel, daughter of the Huguenot Marquis de Rivigny. He invited many refugees to settle under his protection. Another English gentleman, who had fought for William of Orange, was George Gascoigne: he invited other Huguenots to settle near his manor at Cardington, Bedford. Huguenot emigration continued untiI the Edict of Nantes in 1598. However when the Edict was rescinded in 1685 by Louis XIV, there was another wave of religious refugees. About 10,000 left Burgundy and Normandy. The lace makers found their way to the by now well-established lace villages in the counties of Buckingham, Bedford and Northampton. Flemish and Huguenot names still common in this area are listed below; naturally most have been Anglicised over time.
The Olney Lace Circle page says the same thing but goes further:
It was the Flemish Protestants who brought lace making to England during the 1560’s. Many of these immigrants were lace makers and as they moved out of the overcrowded ports they began to settle into areas now regarded as the historic centres for the craft of lace making. In the county of Buckinghamshire these immigrants settled in Newport Pagnell, Buckingham and of course Olney …
During the following decade the Huguenots fled France and a great many French lace makers also settled in this area.
A Genealogy page on bobbins also states that this technique came from the Flemish and Huguenots:
Bobbin lace making was a cottage industry probably introduced into England by Flemish refugees in the sixteenth century. They were Protestants escaping from the Inquisition. Many drifted to the Midlands, particularly Olney, Newport Pagnell. and Buckingham, and on into Northamptonshire. The Huguenots, lace makers from Lille in France, soon joined them. These refugees brought with them the tools of their trade and their expertise. Thus pillow lace making was established in the Midlands.
The Geni page on Huguenots tells us about their settlement in neighbouring Bedfordshire and Norwich:
Other Huguenots arriving in England settled in Bedfordshire, which was (at the time) the main centre of England’s lace industry. Huguenots greatly contributed to the development of lace-making in Bedfordshire, with many families settling in Cranfield, Bedford and Luton. Some of these immigrants moved to Norwich [East Anglia], which had accommodated an earlier settlement of Walloon weavers; they added to the existing immigrant population, which comprised about a third of the population of the city.
The Pierre Chastain site has an extensive timeline of Huguenot history. The entry for 1567-1568 reads as follows:
Huguenot thread and lace makers established in Maidstone [Kent], England. Others escaped to Cranfield in Bedfordshire and others to the shires of Oxford, Northampton and Cambridge. Huguenots established glassworks in London during this period.
An essay by a family member about the Godfrey sisters in Buckinghamshire, lace makers in the early 20th century, states:
The elderly lacemakers pictured are but three of a long line of Godfrey’s dating back, in my records, to 1654, and probably of Huguenot stock, `Godefrai’ by name. My maternal grandmother Elizabeth was one of a family of eight, and the trio pictured are her three maiden sisters with whom she lived when not out nursing at homes in the vicinity. Earlier she had married Richard Green of Olney, but he died shortly after my mother and her brother were born.
The development of lace making in England
A Sixteenth Century Industry traces the history of lace making in England. It was written in the early 20th century and discusses the making and selling of lace as well as working conditions. The photographs are marvellous.
The 32-page PDF compilation of articles and essays tells us that Continental Europe was much more advanced than England in this cottage industry (PDF pp. 9, 11):
It is true that the English made what they called ‘lace’, but this was really embroidery, whether drawn linen or cut work, very attractive certainly, but not lace as we now understand this term.
Between the 16th and 18th centuries, those who could afford it were married and buried in lace (p. 10).
Lace making, rightly associated with the poor, was also a hobby among gentlewomen. It has often been said that Catherine of Aragon, one of Henry VIII’s six wives, introduced the art to Bedfordshire when she retired there at Dower House in Ampthill Park (pp. 11, 12).
Mary Queen of Scots also made lace, which kept her occupied during her years of captivity (p. 12).
By the time Elizabeth I began her reign, lace making and design were much more sophisticated (p. 12).
Protestant refugees from Flanders and France helped to advance the industry (pp. 13, 14):
The Flemish and French Huguenots may be looked upon as the real founders in this country of the lace industry …
Bucks Point is adapted from the Lace of Lille and Mechlin. It is possible that it was recognised as a distinct lace under Queen Elizabeth, and was probably made to some extent in the reign of James I, but it was firmly established in the reign of James II and William III.
The development of Bucks Point points to the influence of the Flemish from Mechlin and the French from Lille. The sentence does not say that this is the Mechlin lace of the 18th century nor that it was created in Elizabethan times.
Giddylimits‘s page on lace making tells us of another French influence:
One of the most popular and widely practised forms of lace making is Torchon Lace – this word comes from the French for dishcloth or duster. Another name for Torchon Lace was beggar’s lace and was not widely thought of but now it has made a renaissance and is popular with modern lace makers. It is also thought to be a good lace to start with as it has a structured form which is easy to pick up and follow.
The Revd Louis Fitzgerald Benson’s The Huguenots: their settlements, churches and industries in England and Ireland (1932) states:
Some lace-makers from Alenyon and Valenciennes settled at Cranfield, in Bedfordshire, in 1568 ; after which others settled at Buckingham, Stony Stratford, and Newport-Pagnell, from whence the manufacture gradually extended over the shires of Oxford, Northampton, and Cambridge. About the same time the manufacture of bone-lace, with thread obtained from Antwerp, was introduced into Devonshire by the Flemish exiles, who settled in considerable numbers at Honiton, Colyton, and other places, where the trade continued to be carried on by their descendants almost to our own time — the Flemish and French names of Stocker, Murch, Spiller, Genest, Maynard, Gerard, Raymunds, Rochett, Kettel, etc., being still common in the lace-towns of the west.
In the 17th century, men as well as women wore lace. Charles II wore a lot of it, with elaborate cuffs and jabots. William III once spent an unimaginable £2,459 on lace alone one year (p. 13, A Sixteenth Century Industry). Most of his subjects would have struggled to earn or spend £1 at any one time.
Lace in 18th and 19th century England
As the lace industry developed in England, more styles from other countries were absorbed into the repertoire. By the 18th century, the migration from Flanders and France had largely ended.
Fashion changes and the elaborate lace clothing of the centuries before gradually gave way to more modest trim. New styles refreshed the linens market: tablecloths, d’oyleys (p. 21), towels, bedclothes and curtains.
Maltese was a highly popular style in the 18th century. Buckinghamshire lace makers developed an offshoot of this called Bucks Cluny which also incorporated aspects of old Italian lace on display at the Cluny Museum in Paris (p. 18). Auvergne was another lace style also popular at the time.
Although we think of lace as being crafted exclusively by women prior to mechanisation, men and boys also made it. An article in The Agricultural History Review tells us that, in the countryside, it was a good means of making an earning when fields lay fallow. A farmer’s wife and daughters would often make it all year round. Farmers and their sons were also known to make it seasonally when not tending the fields. In towns and cities, lace making was taught to the poor, particularly children. Lace schools developed, run by a lace mistress. The primary activity was supplemented with just enough reading, writing and arithmetic to get by. Lace making was also promoted as a good way for the disabled to make a living. As long as their fingers were nimble, these people had the possibility of a livelihood.
Pay was minimal. Lace sellers made the most money. Middlemen paid a pittance for the lace they bought from home workers. The slightest flaw could cause a worker’s lace to remain unsold. Middlemen also expected undivided loyalty. A lace maker who sold wares to a competitor might find herself or himself unable to sell any further without considerable difficulty.
By the end of the 19th century, mechanised lace making was widespread in cities, especially in Nottingham. ‘A Brief History of Hosiery and Lacemaking in Nottingham’ describes the changes that the Industrial Revolution brought to the industry.
John Heathcoat had patented a mechanical way for bobbins to be ‘thrown’ one over the other. When his patent expired in the first half of the 19th century, these machines were widely reproduced by other manufacturers. Some were small enough to fit in a house, enabling piece work from home for those who were unable to work in a factory.
Nottingham boomed. There were bobbin makers in and around the city. Piece workers had to have their mechanised lace bleached and presentable for sale, so small industries grew to meet this need. Office occupations — bookkeeping, stocktaking — were also a part of keeping all sorts of factories running profitably.
In the West Country, lace making centred around Honiton and nearby towns, especially Branscombe and Beer. An essay from Branscombe Parish on lace making says that the lace from this area was called Honiton Lace because it was shipped from there. The area was already making lace by the time Huguenots arrived in the 16th century. The Honiton pillow technique used fishbones for pins and small sheep’s bones for bobbins. Branscombe and Beer each had their distinctive designs.
As with Nottingham, Honiton’s industry boomed during the 19th century. As the Napoleonic Wars had disrupted European trade, English lace could easily be made and shipped overseas. Queen Victoria ordered the lace flounce for her wedding dress from Tuckers of Branscombe in 1839. In 1863, Tuckers supplied lace for Princess Alexandra’s wedding dress. The Ford and Chick families also had successful lace businesses.
As successful as the Honiton industry was, it was still handmade and, therefore, could not compete long-term with Nottingham’s mechanisation. (Tiverton, Devon, also had a mechanised factory, Heathcotes.) There was local disapproval, too, of working conditions. Lady Trevelyan began commissioning her own work directly to avoid middlemen. She paid lace makers a higher price than the established businesses.
20th century decline
Although small-scale lace making continues in the Honiton area and is still commissioned by the Royal Family, it largely died out by the 20th century.
Buckinghamshire’s lace makers could not compete with ‘cheap Chinese and other foreign lace’ (p. 24, A Sixteenth Century Industry). ‘Mrs H Armstrong’ — in reality, Harry Armstrong — established The Cottage Lace Workers’ Agency at Olney. The Agency supplied thread, took orders and sold lace ‘in a businesslike way’.
Meanwhile, in Nottingham at the turn of the century, 20,000 people — mostly women — were employed in lace making. However, the French and German lace making industries were more competitive and the city endured periods of boom and bust, depending on what was in vogue when.
The Great War hit the city hard. One of the pre-eminent firms, Thomas Adams Ltd, had problems collecting debts from South America and Russia. Even when the war ended, the firm never recovered and had to close parts of the business and sell part of its premises to other unrelated companies.
During the Depression, the city’s Lace Market was gradually broken up. Printers, booksellers, box makers and others moved in. A decade later, Nottingham suffered damage from air raids. The lace manufacturers produced mosquito netting and camouflage nets for the war effort. After the war ended, although new lace markets developed overseas, the new products for export required new machines and new premises. These were built on the outskirts of Nottingham.
Thomas Adams Ltd closed in 1950.
Efforts from Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County councils have been under way since the 1960s to preserve the buildings of the once-great Lace Market.
Debate will continue to go on as to the influence that Huguenots and possibly the Flemish had on English lace making. As the objection to Huguenot involvement is recent, I can only think that they — and the Flemish — helped to perfect our styles and technique, making us more competitive for a while.
If we did have the pillow technique before their arrival, they might have brought us better-quality ones along with superior bobbins. Their weaving techniques were no doubt different, too. One can imagine that thread from Antwerp was probably finer than our original product as well. After all, Huguenots and the Flemish transformed our silk weaving dramatically.
Whatever the answer turns out to be, we had a once-great industry. Sadly, as with silk weaving, it died a slow death in the battle with progress.
As I mentioned last week, London’s small silk weaving industry was based in Spitalfields in the East End. In its infancy, it employed mostly Irish weavers.
When the Huguenots settled there, they were able to expand England’s silk weaving industry. It wasn’t long before Spitalfields was known as ‘Weaver Town’. Exodus (“Movement of the People”) explains that more silk coupled with French styling proved fashionable with the British upper class. It wasn’t long before Weaver Town’s Huguenot owners of silk weaving workshops became wealthy men with hundreds of employees. Their large family homes are still standing today.
From the time of the first arrivals in London, Huguenots quickly established their own churches and charities. One church, La Patente, was in Spitalfields. Another, the French Church, was further west in Soho, in present-day central London. The French Protestant Hospital, La Providence, in Old Street came later, having been established in 1718. It took care not only of the sick but also the destitute. Institutions such as these provided an informal job network, particularly for those who arrived with no contacts, such as would-be apprentices.
A Birkbeck (University of London) PhD thesis by William Farrell, Silk and globalisation in eighteenth-century London: commodities, people and connections c.1720-1800, tells us how many were employed in textiles from the records of the three aforementioned institutions (p. 85 of the document). In the 18th century, La Patente’s register showed three-fifths textile employment, the French church in Soho four-fifths and La Providence hospital 48%.
Farrell writes that earlier Huguenot records with regard to silk industry employment are unclear. However, his research reveals that the more successful weavers and artisans settled in East London between 1610 and 1694 (p. 81). Not surprisingly, Spitalfields became a nexus for Huguenot silk weaving and a century later, was a well-established community where new arrivals could seek employment.
The same was true in Ireland, although their initial settlement in the 17th century was easier than that of the Huguenots in England. William of Orange facilitated this in two ways. He recruited Huguenots who had fled to the Netherlands to his army to fight the Battle of the Boyne. He also appealed to them through the Statute of King William for Encouraging French Protestants to Settle in Ireland (p. 81).
Whilst many silk industry workers were successful, movement was sometimes fluid for those who were less in demand or beset by bad luck in short-term employment. Some moved from Ireland to London. A few dared to travel back to France for work when the British silk seasons were slow. In any event, migrations were undertaken quickly once a worker determined where he wanted to go next (pp 81, 82).
Natalie Rothstein’s Canterbury and London: The Silk Industry in the Late Seventeenth Century tells us that Huguenot silk weavers came from Normandy’s Pays de Caux region which comprises the cities of Dieppe and Le Havre. She notes that those settling in Canterbury would have found a familiarity about the region. Kent’s topography is similar to the Pays de Caux’s with its fertile farmland. In terms of employment, there was a rich market to be plumbed. The seat of the Church of England is there and, at the time anyway, there were many wealthy farmers and members of the landed gentry in the surrounding area.
Huguenot and Walloon weavers in Canterbury established a workshop in the 16th century. Edward VI granted them the whole of the western crypt of Canterbury Cathedral for worship purposes. The workshop was in steady use until 1830.
Rothstein’s paper puts together the pieces of the puzzle with regard to the workshop’s closure and the death of the silk industry in Canterbury. It must have been quite a challenge. What is available says that the original records are difficult to come by and some have even been destroyed.
However, in the mid-18th century, the War of Austrian Succession disrupted the shipment of raw silk from Asia, Italy and Turkey (Farrell, p. 83). Dublin’s silk industry shrank dramatically between 1730 and 1763. Many weavers moved to London.
Another serious challenge came around the same time: mechanisation. Punch card looms put many weavers out of work, not only in Britain but also elsewhere in Europe. By 1801, embroidery had been mechanised, too.
Yet another difficulty, despite Huguenot expertise, was that the climate in the British Isles was never going to be conducive to a large-scale silk industry.
In the end, finished Indian and Chinese silks took over.
The Exodus article says that 30,000 workers in the 18th century were affected by the downturn. Violent clashes took place between owners and employees. The 1801 Spitalfields Acts attempted to calm things down by improving wages and conditions as well as protecting the English silk market.
However, the Huguenots of Spitalfields ended up moving to what were then London’s suburbs (likely to be in the centre of the capital today). Another chapter of artisanal history had come to a close.
Although commercial controversies surrounding Huguenot trading in England had been largely resolved, Charles I’s reign brought a return of threat to French worship.
A book from 1871, Protestant exiles from France in the reign of Louis XIV or, The Huguenot refugees and their descendants in Great Britain and Ireland, details this story. A summary and excerpts follow.
The ill-fated Charles I began his reign on March 24, 1625. His relationship with Protestant practice was compromised by his Catholic family members and friends. He didn’t feel able to embrace the Huguenot cause as James and Elizabeth had done. However, he also did not want to be seen to reject them for fear of going against public opinion. In 1626, he declared official recognition of ‘existing immunities’ of foreign Protestants and their children.
In 1633, the Most Reverend William Laud became Archbishop of Canterbury. He remains controversial to this day, and people either love him or loathe him. Laud boldly declared ‘brotherhood’ with Rome and wanted to change official statements of Protestantism as ‘the true religion’. He then forbade Huguenot children born in England from worshipping in their parents’ French churches; they had to attend English-speaking Anglican parish churches. He also proscribed French language liturgy in Huguenot churches.
Ten years later, the Civil War began and Parliament abolished the episcopacy on November 5, 1643. Members of the Commons and the Lords wanted to establish a British Church of a Calvinist nature. Certain English clergymen involved knew Calvinist practice in Scotland and France well and could speak French. Other clergy helping them in this regard were Huguenots in England.
In 1660 — the year of the Restoration — the Church of England’s structure was re-established along with the monarchy. Reports circulated about some of the Huguenots who had worked for Cromwell in diplomatic missions to France during the Interregnum. A few were suspected of being closet Catholics who worked against Cromwell, helping to bring about Charles II’s ascension to the throne. Others were suspected of being anti-monarchists and had to leave England for good. It was a time of religious and political intrigue. Jesuits were suspected of stirring the pot and plotting with renegade Huguenots against Cromwell.
In 1681, Charles II proposed citizenship for Huguenots. Oddly, given supposed public support of the French Protestants, legislators did nothing for the next 20 years. Favourable public opinion to the Huguenots did not extend to giving them the same rights and privileges as natural-born Englishmen, especially in London:
Any Englishman proposing such an act, was upbraided as an Esau, guilty of flinging away precious means of provision for himself and his family, the restrictions for foreigners being providential blessings for Englishmen. Any Bill to give foreigners a share of the Englishman s right was unpopular with the City of London, and with all boroughs and corporations.
In 1694, a naturalisation Bill was quietly dropped before the requisite readings could begin.
Therefore, it was only by through special measures — patent-letters from the King or private Acts of Parliament — that individual Huguenots, families and small groups could become citizens of England.
What follows is the text of a King’s Letter granting citizenship to one Peter de Lainc (emphases mine):
CHARLES, R. In pursuance of our Order of Council, made the 28th day of July last past , in favour and for the relief and support of poore distressed protestants, who by reason of the rigours and severities which are used towards them upon the account of their Religion shall be forced to quitt their native country and shall desire to shelter themselves under our Royall protection and free exercise of their religion, of whom Peter de Lainc Esq., French Tutor to our dearest brother James Duke of York his children, is one, as appears by sufficient certificate produced to one of our principall Secretarys of State, and that he hath received the Holy Communion. Our will and pleasure is that you prepare a Bill for our royall signature, to pass our Create Scale, containing our grant for the making him the sayd Peter de Lainc, being an Alien borne, a free denizen of this oure kingdome of England, and that he have and enjoy all rights, priviledges and immunities as other free Denizens do. Provided he, the said Peter de Laine, live and continue with his family in this our kingdome of England, or elsewhere within our Dominions ; the said denization to be forthwith past under our great Scale without any fees or other charges whatsoever to be paid by him. For which this shall be your warrant. Dated at Whitehall, the 14th day of October, 1681.
By his Majesties Command,
To our Attorney or Sollicitor General.” I,. JENKINS.
Those naturalised included doctors, inventors, teachers, tutors, watch-makers, jewellers, tailors and wig-makers.
In the 18th century, some Huguenot clergymen joined the Churches of England or Scotland. One prominent case concerned The Duke of Devonshire who was the patron of John-Armand du Bourdieu. The Duke gave him the Rectory of Sawtrey-Moynes in 1701, where du Bourdieu remained until he died in 1726.
Surnames became anglicised in some cases, for example:
As to the surname, Cabibel, I have often thought that the important modern name, Cabbel, was derived from it. As a beginning of changing French names into English equivalents, observe the entry “John Greene alias Vert.”
Queen Anne’s reign (1702-1714) produced little or nothing in the way of Huguenot naturalisation in the early years. Nonetheless, they were considered responsible and productive persons, as if they were English.
Finally, in 1709, a group of MPs managed to get a citizenship measure passed, the Bill for the Naturalization of Foreign Protestants:
The Bill became an Act of Parliament on the 23d March 1709; the qualification was the taking of the usual oaths, and there was also a Proviso, “that no person shall be naturalized, &c., unless he shall have received the Sacrament in some Protestant or Reformed congregation within this kingdom”.
The fee was sixpence.
Not every Huguenot took advantage of this long-awaited opportunity. Some hoped to return to France. Taking English citizenship would annul their French nationality.
Some Huguenots went to live in Ireland early on as administrators for Elizabeth I. Others went in commercial capacities or were given property. Later, Huguenot officers were enlisted to help fight in the Battle of the Boyne under General Schomberg for William of Orange. These officers were well-received and known for their military prowess and self-discipline. Some went on to serve in the West Indies and others to fight against France in 1706.
One example of the high esteem the English nobility had for these men concerns a Major Ovray at the end of his career:
The surname Ouvry occurs in the registers under the various spellings of Oufrey, Oufry, Ovre, Ouvres, Overy. On 5th June 1708, the Duke of Marlborough writes to the Earl of Pembroke, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, in favour of Major Ovray, who, having served the crown for thirty-six years was about to retire from the army in order to settle in Ireland, and “always behaved himself, as his officers inform me, with honour and reputation.” The purport of the Duke s request to the Earl is. “Bestow upon him some mark of your favour and goodness. Enable him to support himself and his family with comfort, and in a manner some way suitable to the character he has borne.”
What a lovely sentiment and way in which to recognise Huguenot character.
The three-year Lectionary that many Catholics and Protestants hear in public worship gives us a great variety of Holy Scripture.
Yet, it doesn’t tell the whole story.
My series Forbidden Bible Verses — ones the Lectionary editors and their clergy omit — examines the passages we do not hear in church. These missing verses are also Essential Bible Verses, ones we should study with care and attention. Often, we find that they carry difficult messages and warnings.
Jesus Heals Two Men with Demons
28 And when he came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes,[a] two demon-possessed[b] men met him, coming out of the tombs, so fierce that no one could pass that way. 29 And behold, they cried out, “What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?” 30 Now a herd of many pigs was feeding at some distance from them. 31 And the demons begged him, saying, “If you cast us out, send us away into the herd of pigs.” 32 And he said to them, “Go.” So they came out and went into the pigs, and behold, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the waters. 33 The herdsmen fled, and going into the city they told everything, especially what had happened to the demon-possessed men. 34 And behold, all the city came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their region.
Last week’s post described the storm on the Sea — lake — of Galilee that struck fear into the disciples. They woke Jesus who ‘rebuked the winds and the sea’ to restore immediate calm. He then asked the disciples why they had so little faith.
Now they have crossed the lake and are in another region, that of the Gadarenes (verse 28). I wrote about Luke’s account of this story in 2013 here and here. Both of those links explain more about the background to this story. Luke’s and Mark’s accounts (Mark 5:1-20 is in the three-year Lectionary) are much longer and record that the man — only one — wanted to become Jesus’s disciple. Jesus told him to go home and tell his friends what happened to him. No doubt he would do better among his own in being a living testament to Jesus’s healing power.
The Wikipedia map at the right shows Gadara and Gerasa. They are inland, but as my posts on Luke’s account explain, thanks to John MacArthur, those were probably the largest towns nearby. In any event, this region was known as the Decapolis, which also included what is now called Kersa. Kersa, MacArthur says, has many lakeside cliffs with tombs. What the Gospels describe is accurate.
Matthew says that there were two demon-possessed men, not one. They had extraordinary strength because of the demons working in them. They had to live away from everyone else, hence the tombs.
The demons spoke when they saw Jesus (verse 29), addressing Him as ‘the Son of God’, asking Him what His business was with them and why He was coming so early. That was a reference to the Second Coming.
Matthew Henry analyses the demons’ words (emphases mine):
Even the devils know, and believe, and confess Christ to be the Son of God, and yet they are devils still, which makes their enmity to Christ so much the more wicked, and indeed a perfect torment to themselves for how can it be otherwise, to oppose one they know to be the Son of God? Note, It is not knowledge, but love, that distinguishes saints from devils …
Note, It is possible for me to call Jesus the Son of God, and yet have nothing to do with him. Secondly, It is as true, that the devils desire not to have any thing to do with Christ as a Ruler[;] they hate him, they are filled with enmity against him, they stand in opposition to him, and are in open rebellion against his crown and dignity.
A herd of pigs was feeding nearby (verse 30). How could this be in a Jewish region? Henry surmises:
Probably, lying in the outskirts of the land, there were many Gentiles among them, to whom this herd of swine belonged: or they kept them to be sold, or bartered, to the Romans, with whom they had now great dealings, and who were admirers of swine’s flesh.
He says that as a punishment to the people for breaking the Law in this manner, God allowed demon possession of these two men.
Demons don’t like the thought of dying. They assumed that Jesus would cast them out of the men. So they asked Him to let them continue their existence in the pigs (verse 31). He granted permission, they invaded the pigs and their incredible strength drove the herd into the sea (verse 32).
This should tell us how powerful Satan and his minions are. They bring nothing but destruction and death to souls:
See what an industrious enemy Satan is, and how expeditious he will lose no time in doing mischief …
Note, The possession which the devil gets is for destruction. Thus the devil hurries people to sin, hurries them to that which they have resolved against, and which they know will be shame and grief to them: with what a force doth the evil spirit work in the children of disobedience, when by so many foolish and hurtful lusts they are brought to act in direct contradiction, not only to religion, but to right reason, and their interest in this world!
The herdsmen rushed off to tell the townspeople what had happened to the men, now delivered (verse 33). The townspeople came to meet with Jesus and asked Him to leave (verse 34).
You would think they would be grateful and relieved, but they want nothing to do with Him.
John MacArthur explains:
By the way, this is the first recorded instance of open opposition to the Messiah and it all just mounts from here on. He exposed them. They despised him. He was better than they, greater than they, purer than they, more powerful than they, more holy than they, and they resented that. And they felt dirty and inadequate in His presence because He was so holy, and they felt impotent.
To a believer, rejection of Christ for those reasons is an odd reaction to have. Yet, it is entirely normal. Even God-fearing people in Scripture responded likewise:
We’re right back to Isaiah 6. “Woe is me.” Woe, that’s the word of a curse. Isaiah, the best man in the land, pronounced a curse on himself when he saw God because his unholiness was exposed. Peter, when He saw Jesus Christ and the majesty of His power, said, “Depart from me for I’m a sinful man, O Lord.” And last week I told you, when the storm came they were afraid, and when Jesus stilled the storm they were exceedingly afraid. They were more afraid of the calm than they were of the storm because they knew God was in their boat and they were in awe of God.
With the Gadarenes:
They saw the supernatural and it panicked them. They saw One who could control the demons. They saw One who could control animals. They saw One who could take the soul of a man and give it back to him as white and pure as the driven snow, and they were scared to death. They saw God, is what they saw. I don’t know if they all understood that, but they knew it was supernatural, and men don’t like that. It makes them uncomfortable: “Give us back our pigs and go away.” Men can handle pigs; they can’t handle God. The mystery of the supernatural they can’t handle.
In the larger context of the Gospel story, MacArthur says that nearly everyone rejected Christ:
They couldn’t tolerate Jesus because of His perfection. They couldn’t tolerate Him because of His absolute holiness. He was so far beyond them that He unmasked them, that He showed the stupidity of their own lives. That’s why they had to kill Him. And here it all just begins to build. They saw Him, they saw the power, they were absolutely panicked in awe of God. Instead of falling at His feet in worship, they said, “Get out. Go away. We don’t want you.”
One would have thought that witnessing His miracles would have had an overwhelming power of conversion on more people. But that wasn’t the case:
… the people who saw the miracles didn’t believe. They nailed Him to a cross and they’d seen miracle after miracle after miracle after miracle. They still didn’t believe. That just made them hate Him more and more and more and more. People think today that if they can just show everybody a pile of miracles everybody will believe. No, because some people, when exposed in the presence of the awesomeness of holy God, will literally run because they love their darkness. Have you ever picked up a rock and found a whole lot of little bugs under it that have been there for a long time, and as soon as you expose them to the light they just split, try to find a hole? That’s the way men are. You expose them to the light of God and they love their darkness. They’ll go right back into the earth to find it again. That’s where these were.
Loving darkness is the devil’s work.
May we follow the Light of the World today and always.
Next time: Matthew 9:1-8
Yesterday’s post discussed the rancour that English merchants and London Companies (guilds) had towards the Huguenots.
However, the Huguenots’ refugee-asylum status often had local or city ordinances attached with regard to work. Geni‘s article on their settlement points out that, in Canterbury, they (emphases mine):
practised the variety of occupations necessary to sustain the community distinct from the indigenous population, as such separation was the condition of the refugees’ initial acceptance in the City.
Therefore, it is hardly surprising that they were highly successful in employing skills they already had, that these skills were different to those of the indigenous population and that, eventually, these conditions were going to cause problems in terms of competitiveness.
Huguenots were kept apart from English trade, at least initially. They worked amongst themselves. Their talents and workmanship attracted the attention of the great and the good, as their products were elaborate and techniques new. It is understandable that the established London Companies and specialist manufacturers were going to resent their success and seek to rein it in.
Exodus (“Movement of the People”) tells us:
By 1710, between 40,000 and 50,000 refugees had made their way to the safety of England. Historians estimate that around half that number settled in Spitalfields [in London’s East End] where housing was cheap and the trade guilds held less economic power.
The Huguenots came from all walks of life, though many were intellectuals and highly skilled tradesmen with backgrounds in weaving, clock making, and financial services. Textile manufacturing, in fact, was the prevalent occupation amongst the refugees, and they found their services in high demand among the British upper class.
Their general demeanour also intrigued the British:
Their high fashion and language set them apart from the general population, and over time they achieved a level of respectability — particularly in contrast to the squalor and immorality of many Londoners.
No doubt that was a source of irritation to their detractors.
Another Geni page on British migration says that the Huguenots arrived when the silk industry in Spitalfields was small and employed mostly Irish weavers. The French were able to expand it greatly and add the manufacture of velvet.
Elsewhere in London:
Some were expert in making clocks and scientific instruments. Others were goldsmiths, silversmiths, merchants and artists.
Because of their hard work and skills the Huguenots were known as ‘the profitable strangers’. During the 18th century members of the Huguenot and Jewish communities gave major financial support to both state and army.
Outside of London, I’ve mentioned elsewhere that the Huguenots favoured towns along the southern coast of England. Geni tells us that in Kent, besides Canterbury, they also settled in:
Sandwich, Faversham and Maidstone—towns in which there used to be refugee churches.
Canterbury Cathedral still holds a service in the French Reformed rite every Sunday at 3 p.m. in the chantry chapel of the Black Prince.
Elsewhere in England, Bedfordshire and Norwich were popular destinations. Bedfordshire:
was (at the time) the main centre of England’s lace industry. Huguenots greatly contributed to the development of lace-making in Bedfordshire, with many families settling in Cranfield, Bedford and Luton. Some of these immigrants moved to Norwich, which had accommodated an earlier settlement of Walloon weavers; they added to the existing immigrant population, which comprised about a third of the population of the city.
Weavers who settled in Ireland often went to Dublin and the Liberties district of the city. There:
they became part of the existing weaving fraternity. Many of them were experienced silk weavers and their expertise contributed to the establishment of a thriving silk and poplin industry.
The Irish weavers seem to have been more integrated than their English counterparts. When Dublin’s weavers needed a new guildhall in 1745, a Huguenot, David Digges La Touche, advanced the necessary sum of £200.
Ensign Message‘s article says that many Huguenots who settled in England came from northern France, particularly Picardy (John Calvin’s home region), Normandy and Brittany. Brittany has a centuries-old tradition of lace making. A significant number of — though not all — silk weavers came from Lyon, which is still the centre of France’s textile industry.
The footnotes to Ensign Message‘s essay are illuminating. One neatly summarises the advances British industry was able to make thanks to the Huguenots:
These skilled workmen brought in new methods of work, and in many cases new trades. Take the silk trade as an example. Before these French refugees came into the country, the silk trade in England was a very small affair. But among the newcomers was a large body of silk-weavers from Lyons, the headquarters of the French silk industry.They settled chiefly in Spitalfields, and with their aid the English trade advanced by leaps and bounds.
Among other trades introduced by these refugees were the making of sailcloth, of paper, of hats, of velvets and damasks, while other trades much benefited were those of watchmaking, clock-making, lock-making, cutlery, glass and pottery.
One industry, that of hat-making, seemed to come over bodily to England. The art of dealing with the beaverskin was brought to such perfection among the Huguenot refugees that from the factory in London even the Cardinals of Rome used to obtain their hats.
The other footnote has a marvellous quote from historian John Finnemore’s 1924 book, Social Life in England (italics in the original):
Between 1670 and 1690 no less a number than 80,000 French Protestants came to England.They were well received, and they were worthy of a welcome. For one and all belonged to the thrifty, hard-working, deft-handed class which has always been the salt of France.
More posts on the Huguenots in Britain will follow next week.
After the St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre on August 23, 1572, hundreds of Huguenots set sail for England.
In Paris, Ambassador Sir Francis Walsingham’s house was respected as a place of sanctuary for the Huguenots. However, those who lived in the north of France packed their belongings and planned their escape.
A book from 1871, Protestant exiles from France in the reign of Louis XIV or, The Huguenot refugees and their descendants in Great Britain and Ireland, details this story. A summary and excerpts follow.
Elizabeth I, her advisers and the Church of England were shocked and moved by the persecution of their Protestant counterparts in France. Special prayers were authorised to be said in churches on October 27, 1572. Plans were made to offer the refugees shelter and a new life.
As with so many migrations, the upper classes viewed this differently to ordinary townspeople. The historian Strype observed:
The better sort of the Queen’s subjects were very kind unto these poor Protestants, and glad to see them retired unto more safety in this country ; but another sort (divers of the common people and rabble, too many of them) behaved themselves otherwise towards these afflicted strangers, and would call them by no other denomination but French dogs. This a French author, sometime afterward, took notice of in print, to the disparagement of the English nation.
Another adviser to the Queen, Lord Burghley, deeply affected by events, was kept informed of Huguenot arrivals. One of his memoranda states that, in the weeks after the massacre, 641 people from the northern French towns of Dieppe and Rouen arrived in Rye (East Sussex), one of England’s Cinque Ports. In November, 58 more arrived.
Burghley’s family estate was further north in Lincolnshire in the town of Stamford. He was instrumental in creating a Huguenot colony there. Among the new arrivals were schoolmasters, merchants, silk-weavers, hatters, dyers and cutlers (cutlery makers). They had their own place of worship and their own minister. However, by the early 18th century, the colony had dispersed. Strype wrote in 1711 that townspeople still remembered the minister, Isbrand Balkius, who must have stayed there as he was of riper years when he died.
Many Huguenots settled in coastal towns along the south coast of England from Kent to the West Country. A few, manufacturers in particular, went to the Midlands or to the East of England. English merchants had reservations about how much trade the Huguenots should do. Whilst they empathised with the plight of the French Protestants and were happy with them to make goods at wholesale level,
they were bent upon shutting up the retail-shops of all foreigners.
In 1588, much to Lord Burghley’s disappointment, Parliament debated the Bill against Strangers and Aliens Selling Wares by Retail. In an impassioned speech to Parliament, Burghley acknowledged that he must let his head rule his heart on the matter. However, he also cited the Old Testament books of Leviticus and Ezekiel which exhort kindness to strangers. He concluded that Huguenot retail shops would be so few in number that English shopkeepers would not notice an effect on their revenues.
Burghley’s speech might have helped to defeat the legislation. The Bill was also refused a second reading. A subsequent proposal requiring foreigners’ children to pay a special tax never saw the light of day.
It should be noted that none of the Huguenot groups asked for a handout, only the opportunity to work for a living. The better off took care of their poorer brethren.
Burghley died in 1598, at which point shopkeepers’ rancour again surfaced. In 1599, the Lord Mayor of London forbade foreign retail shops. Queen Elizabeth, Archbishop Whitgift and prominent advisers advised him to drop the restrictions. In 1601, Lord Buckhurst, the Lord High Treasurer, asked Attorney-General Coke to drop all legal cases against foreign shopkeepers.
Queen Elizabeth died on March 24, 1603. Archbishop Abbot said:
Queen Elizabeth, who, having at her coming to the crown, promised to maintain the truth of God and to deface superstition, with this beginning with uniformity continued, yielding her land, as a sanctuary to all the world groaning for liberty of their religion, flourishing in wealth, honour, estimation every way.
Her successor, King James, wrote letters in French to the French Church in England and to the Dutch Refugee Church promising that he would continue his predecessor’s policy of sanctuary to persecuted Protestants. He acknowledged their contributions to English society, particularly in the manufacture of goods and in political science.
Nevertheless, by 1605, the London Companies (guilds) of weavers, cutlers, goldsmiths and others were up in arms, accusing Huguenots of undercutting them. They appealed to James’s advisers for new laws protecting them from ‘alien industry’. In 1606, a law was passed requiring ‘double custom’ to be paid on baize. The same tax was payable on other exported cloth.
In 1615, the Weavers Company made the following accusation:
the strangers employed more workmen than were allowed by statute, and then concealed them when search was made that they lived more cheaply and therefore sold more cheaply than the English that they imported silk lace contrary to law.
In 1621, the Weavers Company issued another complaint:
Their chiefest cause of entertainment here of late was in charity to shroud them from persecution for religion; and, being here, their necessity became the mother of their ingenuity in devising many trades, before to us unknown.
The result was a law requiring Huguenot businesses to employ English apprentices and servants to learn these unknown trades (emphases mine):
the neglect whereof giveth them advantage to keep their mysteries to themselves, which hath made them bold of late to devise engines for working of tape, lace, ribbon, and such, wherein one man doth more among them than seven Englishmen can do ; so as their cheap sale of those commodities beggareth all our English artificers of that trade and enricheth them. Since the making of the last statute they are thought to be increased ten for one, so as no tenement is left to an English artificer to inhabit in divers parts of the city and suburbs, but they take them over their heads at a great rate. So their numbers causeth the enhancing of the price of victuals and house rents, and much furthereth the late disorderly new buildings which is so burdonous to the subject that His Majesty hath not any work to perform for the good of his commons (especially in cities and towns) than by the taking of the benefit of the law upon them, a thing which is done against his own subjects by common informers. But their daily flocking hither without such remedy is like to grow scarce tolerable.
To address these accusations, London censuses were taken in 1618 and 1621. The government considered that the London Companies’ had exaggerated their accusations. The government’s conclusion aligned with English public opinion. People were happy with the Huguenots’ presence and their contributions to society.
I find interesting the arguments that the Weavers Company advanced about immigration, industry and housing in London. The general view today is that Huguenots were absorbed into English society without a problem. Whilst that might have been true generally, London — and no doubt other centres of industry — probably had the usual problems with an influx of foreigners.
What was the truth? Quite possibly somewhere between what both the government and the London Companies asserted. At least there was no question of public assistance in those days.
Tomorrow: Huguenots under Charles I
Yesterday’s post retraced the history of France’s Protestants, the Huguenots.
After the Revolution, France was unstable until Napoleon took power as First Consul and Emperor. His reforms in the Napoleonic Code brought social and political order which lasted throughout the restoration of the monarchy (1815-1848). Today, it endures through the various incarnations of the Republic. France is now in its fifth.
A book review from 1963 by Jean (John) Tulard on Protestantism in 19th century France — ‘French Protestants at the beginning of the 19th century’ — describes what happened during the Napoleonic era and the Restoration. The essay is in French. A summary of developments follows with page citations in parentheses.
When Napoleon assumed power, a number of prominent French men and women thought he would make France a Protestant nation (p. 48). The emperor had stated his admiration for Lutheranism over the Calvinism which dominated French Protestantism (p. 49). It is possible that Napoleon viewed Lutherans as being more respectful of German state authority whilst preserving their Christianity. France’s Calvinists were known as individualists who had rebelled against the government. John Calvin encouraged this outlook which, it could be argued, helped to exacerbate the Wars of Religion and result in the St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre:
in his Readings on the Prophet Daniel, a book of 1561, in which he had argued that when kings disobey God, they “automatically abdicate their worldly power” – a change from his views in earlier works that even ungodly kings should be obeyed. This change was soon picked up by Huguenot writers, who began to expand on Calvin and promote the idea of the sovereignty of the people, ideas to which Catholic writers and preachers responded fiercely.
Nevertheless, it was only in the aftermath of the massacre that anti-monarchical ideas found widespread support from Huguenots, among the “Monarchomachs” and others. “Huguenot writers, who had previously, for the most part, paraded their loyalty to the Crown, now called for the deposition or assassination of a Godless king who had either authorised or permitted the slaughter”. Thus, the massacre “marked the beginning of a new form of French Protestantism: one that was openly at war with the crown. This was much more than a war against the policies of the crown, as in the first three civil wars; it was a campaign against the very existence of the Gallican monarchy itself”.
However, by the time of the French Revolution a little over two centuries later, some historians argue that Protestants had no desire to overthrow the state. Jean Tulard says that, in reality, many supported a counter-Revolution (p. 51). The Revolution resulted in temporary sanctions against Christianity, affecting the religious practice of both Catholics and Protestants.
As far as Napoleon was concerned, however, he knew little about Protestant belief — whether Lutheran or Calvinist — and wanted to preserve a religious peace and practice with no return to bloody religious conflict (p. 52). Therefore, those who feared or wanted the creation of a Protestant state were mistaken.
In fact, whilst Protestants had religious liberty, Napoleon decreed that consistories could have no more than 6,000 congregants, the government had to authorise synod meetings and affiliations with churches abroad were forbidden (p. 53). All of these made Calvinists quietly suspicious of his intentions. Lutherans, on the other hand, did not mind these restrictions (p. 54).
Life in the early 19th century improved for France’s Protestants. A pastor of the era, Samuel Vincent, wrote that Protestants ‘were more than tolerated’. Seven were serving in government. The number of pastors rose from 200 in 1814 to 305 by 1829. Theological debate opened up and their Bible Society also revived (p. 55). Detailed records were kept of the various consistories all over the country (p. 56).
During the Restoration, France’s Protestants were once again allowed to liaise with their fellow Christians in foreign countries. Revival was taking place in Britain thanks to the Methodists and in Switzerland with an evangelist, Mr Neff, in Geneva. These associations helped France’s Bible Society to further prosper (p. 58). Protestants felt free to evangelise in their own nation and made a number of converts, notably in the north, in the southwest (Bayonne), the central region around Saint Étienne and also further east in Lyon.
The nature of Protestant practice and thought also changed. The Reformed churches became increasingly involved in charitable works. They opened orphanages, undertook missionary work in women’s prisons and opened an agricultural school for young male inmates (pp 58, 59).
This open social outlook continues today in France’s Reformed churches which are now part of the country’s United Church, where they partner with Lutherans.
On August 23 and 24, 1572, the bloodiest religious event France had ever known took place: the St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, during which Catholics murdered Protestants.
The massacre sent disapproving shock-waves around Europe.
Over the past few Augusts, I have written about the story of the Huguenots, French Protestants — Calvinists — who longed for the liberty to exercise their religious practice openly. The symbol pictured is the Huguenot Cross, which includes the representation of the Holy Spirit as a dove.
The following posts — all available on my Christianity / Apologetics page — trace the history of the Huguenots:
Notes on the Reformation (with regard to the Huguenots)
In an attempt to exercise religious liberty, the Huguenots explored and settled in distant parts of the world in the 16th century:
Some settled across the Channel:
Huguenot migration, French alarm and the Channel Islands (the word ‘refugee’ was coined in 1681)
The next few posts will examine more aspects of the Huguenot story.
Apostleship is priceless.
However, it cannot be bought.
Unfortunately, one minister, C Peter Wagner (please read the posts at the link) makes apostleship sound like a club membership: pay and you’re in.
John MacArthur’s Grace to You (GTY) ministry unpacked this in 2013. Please do not follow anyone who says that you can buy apostleship. If you do have such a membership, please do not renew it.
Excerpts follow from Cameron Buettel and Jeremiah Johnson’s GTY article, ‘The Apostles Who Don’t Do Anything: the New Apostolic Reformation’ (emphases mine):
The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) is a movement pioneered by C. Peter Wagner. This is what charismatic and continuationist doctrine looks like when taken to its logical conclusion. The NAR claims that not only the gifts, but also the office of apostleship still continues today. And as apostles, they pretend to speak for God and wield His divine authority—but it is all merely a pretense …
Wagner even goes so far as to describe this era as “The Second Apostolic Age.” His “studies indicate that it began around the year 2001,” although he doesn’t bother to explain or define what those studies were. 
In this new age of apostles, several apostolic networks have been established. Wagner’s is called the International Coalition of Apostles (ICA). Its website contains a global map to help locate the apostles in your part of the world. According to the network, there are more than 150 apostles in the U.S. alone …
According to the ICA website, the aspiring apostle must be nominated by two existing apostles who can show that he meets the ICA’s criteria. There are some fees, too.
The pricing table for apostleship is curious. The ICA charges an annual $450 fee to be an apostle. However, Native Americans receive a $100 discount. There’s also a couple’s rate of $650, just in case your wife also happens to be an apostle. And you want to stay on top of your dues, because failure to renew your membership on time results in a “deactivated” apostleship—it’s not clear if that includes the deactivation of any spiritual gifts as well. All is not lost, however—a deactivated apostle can be reactivated for an extra $50.
Put simply, becoming an apostle with the ICA is only slightly more difficult (and expensive) than purchasing a season pass to Disneyland.
It is worth noting:
People believe in Wagner’s apostleship simply because he had the temerity to claim it. But you won’t find delusions of grandeur and audacious whimsy in the list of biblical requirements for apostles …
Just a simple reading of the book of Acts is enough to illustrate how impotent and unfit these modern apostles are, and how their fanciful assertions have perverted and distorted the office of apostle beyond recognition.
Please do not follow people like this. Think about the logic about buying apostleship. It cannot be done. It was never done in the New Testament. It’s merely a moneymaking scheme. Disregard it.