oa Fundamina : A Journal of Legal History - Melius de Villiers : a biographical sketch : part I
The cradle of the extended De Villiers family in South Africa was an estate near La Rochelle, France. The revocation of the Edict of Nantes in October 1685 meant that freedom of religion came under siege in France. Among the many French Huguenots who felt compelled to flee from their beloved France in order to secure their right to worship their God as they chose, were three De Villiers brothers. They first went to Holland (the then Dutch Republic), before they came to the Cape in 1689. The De Villiers family in South Africa descended from these three brothers.
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