J185.61 : Laurent Chappuzeau (also found as Lorenz, Lawrence)
Laurent was probably born before 1654, and died on 7 March 1725. Few records are available, and although he does write of him in letters, Samuel never mentions his first son by name. Samuel left him with friends or relatives (perhaps his wife's parents) in Lyon when he travelled to Paris and Amsterdam in 1656, and made arrangements for him to rejoin the family in 1658. He was probably at least two years old in 1656.
In 1666, Laurent and his three brothers received citizenship of Geneva, at the same time as their father. Although the whole family is recorded as fleeing into exile in 1671 (as a result of an unfortunate remark made by Samuel in a book), Laurent is next mentioned in Geneva in 1674 as an apprentice watchmaker to Antoine Rey.
see Genava index
His father was then still in exile, though he was permitted to return briefly around this time. Samuel was finally allowed back to Geneva at the end of 1679.
We don't actually know how Laurent arrived in London. In 1682, when Samuel and his family finally left Geneva for Celle, we do not know which children went with them - in fact we know fron council records that he went ahead and the family followed, after promising to pay his debts. Christoph by this time had already been working in Celle for some years. Laurent was in his late twenties and presumably independent, having been apprenticed as a watchmaker. When the rest of his family left Geneva, he may have seen no reason to stay, and perhaps decided to join the growing Huguenot community in London, a city which was going through a major redevelopment following the Great Fire of 1666.
Foreign clockmakers were much in demand at the time. It is surely possible that at least one of Laurent’s brothers also went with him. Up to 50,000 French Protestants moved to England, mostly after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and Jean and Henri could have been amongst them, though as citizens of Geneva they would not have been directly affected by the persecution of Huguenots.
Alternatively, we know from his own writing that Samuel’s last visit to London was in 1684, and it is possible that Laurent accompanied him on this journey. We speculated in the biography that this trip may have been made to escort Samuel's sister Marie to safety in England. Samuel was now a Genevan citizan, but Marie was still French and would have had no protection from the persecution there. It is recorded by Haag that she moved to England, but no information was given as to the date. Samuel's brother Daniel also went to England, but had returned by 1685.
Laurent is recorded as Lawrence in the City of London, marrying Jean Goad or Jeanne Godé in July 1685, and then Ann Noel or Knowles from Anjou in January 1686.
Both marriages were at St James’s, Duke’s Place, near Aldgate, a church notorious for conducting unlicensed marriages, and therefore give no reliable guide to where he actually lived.
see "Laur. Chappuzdau"
London Parish Registers Marriages at St James's, Duke's Place, P 65, 2nd July
and Lawrence Chappuzeau
P 134 13th January
Note that due to the New Year starting on 25 March in the old calendar, the second marriage would have been in 1687, new style, and eighteen months after his first marriage.
It is assumed that he worked as a watchmaker while living in London.
He was registered in Hanover in 1689 and listed as a married watchmaker there in 1690.
There is one record of a daughter born in Hanover in 1690, and Samuel mentions staying in 1699 with his son, ‘horloger de Sa [Séré]nité Ele[c]t.’, i.e. clockmaker to the Elector (who was later George I of England).
Letter to Leibniz
There are official records from England on 4 May 1693 and 11 May 1697 of passes being issued for Laurent to travel to Holland, so he obviously moved to and from England in this period.
See Calendar of state papers, domestic series, of the reign of William III
by Great Britain. Public Record Office, V4, P 120
Calendar of state papers, domestic series, of the reign of William III
by Great Britain. Public Record Office, V8, P 150
This could be an indication that he left a child from his first marriage with relatives in London.
Laurent died in Hanover in 1725, and Anne Noel of Saumur/Anjou is listed in Hanover as the widow of Samuel Chappuzeau.
This is a mistake: she was certainly the widow of Laurent. Anne died on 31 May 1733, aged seventy-six, which means that she was born c. 1657.
Only one child, a daughter, Helene Clara, is actually documented (see here Ludwig and Helene)
, but it is almost certain that both Jacob Chappuzeau and John Christopher Chappuzeau, watchmaker, who married Martha Gwillims on 24 July 1718 in London were his sons.
He is the only real candidate for their father. A likely reason for Laurent’s remarriage in 1686 was that his wife had died as a result of childbirth, when delivering either John or Jacob.
As John never seems to have left England, but Jacob is recorded in Hanover, it is most likely that John was the son of Jean Goad, and may have stayed with his grandparents in England when Laurent moved to Hanover.
Indirect evidence of Jacob being Laurent's son is the frequent reference to Jacob's son Alexander being a nephew of Count L'Estocq. In fact, he would actually have been a nephew of the count's brother Ludwig, who married Helene Clara.
In 1703, there is a record of a "Chapezeau" who set up a new cafe, "The Electoral Cafe" using a cheeky sign apparently depicting the Duke. This cafe is also mentioned in a book by David L Crockett.
"First American born: the life and journal of Jonathan Belcher, the first-known, American-born Freemason"
Jonathan Belcher stayed at Chapezeau's cafe in Hanover in 1704.
We believe that this "French" cafe-owner was probably Laurent, perhaps investing a legacy from his father in a new business.