The Lord Mayor's Chapel of St. Mark's

Pierre Dragaud II and Elizabeth Tavaud were married at the French Church in Bristol, England on November 12, 1699.  The church was originally constructed in 1220 for the Hospital of the Gaunts, founded by Maurice de Gaunt before he died in 1230; it is the only structure still standing today.

The hospital was far from rich and found its duty of feeding the poor a serious drain on its revenue. At the Dissolution, the hospital was surrendered in 1539. The property was granted to the Corporation of Bristol in 1541 for 1,000 pounds.  They adopted the buildings for their own use, and Bristol is the only city in the kingdom which has a chapel as its exclusive property. The French Huguenots were obliged to leave France as a result of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 and many of them settled in Bristol.

The Corporation granted them the use of the Chapel as a place of worship and they continued to meet here until 1722 when they transferred to a new building in Orchard Street. The church is presently owned by the Bristol City Council.  There are sixty-four Council seats carved in pews, with two ornately carved wooden chairs for the Lord Mayor and Lord Mayoress.

The church is presently owned by the Bristol City Council.  There are sixty-four Council seats carved in pews, with two ornately carved wooden chairs for the Lord Mayor and Lord Mayoress. Several Dragoo Family Association members have made the exciting  trek to England to stand in the church where our ancestors stood so many years ago.

Information from Vi Parsons and the book "St. Mark’s--The Lord Mayor’s Chapel--Bristol" by Elizabeth Ralph and Henley Evans, reprinted by the City of Bristol, 1979.

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