Rev. Elias Prioleau

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Rev. Elias Prioleau

Birthplace: Pons, Saintonge, France.
Death: 1699 (39-40)
The Medway Back River, South Carolina
Place of Burial: Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Samuel Prioleau and Jeanne Prioleau
Husband of Jeanne Prioleau
Father of Samuel Prioleau, I

Occupation: Pastor, Huguenot Church of Charleston
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Rev. Elias Prioleau

He was born in 1659 in Pons, Saintonge, France. He died in 1699 in Prioleau land on Medway I Back River, SC. He was buried in 1699 in Prioleau land on Medway I Back River, SC. He was also known as Elie and Elisha. He studied theology at Geneva and was Pastor at La Mothe - Saint Heraye after 1678. In 1683, he followed his father as minister at Pons and was subject to the same persecutions. In Feb 1684, Du Vigier, Councillor of the Parliament at Bordeaux, charged with looking into religious infractions, came to Pons with 2 monks and demanded all the church papers. One monk, La Roussie, made extracts of all of the Prioleau sermons, distorted them and gave them to the Deputy Commissary. The other, Mayan, who had persecuted the pastor's father, formulated 16 charges against him. These were finally dismissed, but persecutions increased. On 22 Oct 1685, the Edict ofNantes was revoked, protestant churches were ordered destroyed, ministers were ordered to leave France in 15 days, and parents were ordered to present their children for catholic baptism under penalty of a 500 pound fine. Prioleau did not leave at once and organized secret assemblies. On April 15, 1686, his church was battered by a mob and burned to the ground. He escaped to England and stayed there for over a year. He obtained rights of denization to Carolina on April 15, 1687. Having been granted 8 pounds by the King to defray the costs, he sailed for Charles Town with his wife and daughter. They arrived in Charles Town in late 1687. Dr. van Ruymbeke estimates there were about 56 Huguenots and 800 inhabitants in Charles Towne in 1685, but it was hard to find a place to settle. When certificates of naturalization were issued on June 14, 1697, his name was first on the list. . He brought his Pons ministry to the Charleston Huguenot Church, which was originally built in 1681, and became its Pastor. He also conducted services at the small church in St. Thomas Parish, between the Cooper and Wando Rivers. With funds he had brought, he bought 140 acres of land from John Davis on Back River, then called Midway or Medway River, and built a house. This property is just South of the present Medway Plantation and North of Foster Creek. (The Prioleaus expanded the plantation to 1,240 acres by 1792 and sold it to Peter Gaillard Stoney in 1834. It became part of the Medway property in 1880 and the Navy Station in 1960). His death at age 40 was attributed to fever acquired from his visiting the Medway home at all seasons of the year. He was buried in the Northwest comer of the walled cemetery on the land, which still exists inside the Naval Weapons Station. There is an inscription on the tombstone. This family cemetery was used until Mrs. Martha Prioleau, who died 26 May 1875. There was no more space. Elie started the American Prioleau family

Elias Prioleau (son of Samuel Prioleau and Jeanne Merlat) was born 1659 in Xaintonge, France, and died 1699 in Medway, South Carolina.He married Jeanne Burgeaud.

Elias was the son of Samuel Prioleau, pastor at Pons, 1650-1683, and succeeded his father at Pons.The religious wars in France were now at their height and October 22, 1685, witnessed the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and on 15 April, 1686, the church at Pons was shuttered down, and Elias Prioleau, his family and many of his congregation made their way to England, after severe hardships.In 1687 he and a number of his followers emigrated to Carolina, and acquiring land on the Back River,became pastor of the first Huguenot Church in Charles Town.He died in 1699. Children of Elias Prioleau and Jeanne Burgeaud are:

   Jeanne Prioleau, b. Bef. 1687, St. Jean D'Angely, d. date unknown.
   +Samuel Prioleau, b. 1690, Charles Town, South Carolina, d. April 30, 1752, Charles Town, South Carolina.
   Marie Prioleau, b. Aft. 1690, d. date unknown.
   Ester Prioleau, b. Aft. 1691, d. date unknown.
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Rev. Elias Prioleau's Timeline

Pons, Saintonge, France.
SC, United States
Age 40
The Medway Back River, South Carolina
French Protestant Huguenot Cemetery, Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina, United States