“Nous nous soumettons sans répliques à la volonté du meilleur des Rois…”. Un mémoire inédit du consistoire de l’Église française de Berlin (1809-1810)

Unlike the other sites of the Refuge, the Huguenot Colony of Prussia maintained a strong administrative structure for over a century, with integrated management at the highest level of state. While scholarship has paid little attention to the late period of the Colony, it actually represents an exciting time when the royalty, the age-old protector of Colony, faced such major crises as the stinging defeat at Jena (1806) and the Napoleonic occupation. As such, it was a time of the great state reforms that paved the way for the recovery of Prussia but also led to the suppression of the institutional Colony. From the early warning signs and in fact throughout the entire process, the leaders of the French Church in Berlin were vigilant and active in preserving their rights. It was within this turbulent context that the memorandum, which is published here for the very first time, was addressed to the government. It highlights the specificity of a Church which, a century after the Grand Refuge, was still deeply committed to the principles of the ecclesiastical order (Discipline) of the Reformed Churches of France (ERF) and intended to continue applying them autonomously despite its stated submission to the royal will. More broadly, the approach taken by the French Church sheds light on the place of this ethnic and religious minority in a state undergoing profound changes.