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Camisards (kămˈĭsärdz, Fr. kämēsärˈ) [key], Protestant peasants of the Cévennes region of France who in 1702 rebelled against the persecutions that followed the revocation (1685) of the Edict of Nantes (see Nantes, Edict of). The name was probably given them because of the shirts they wore in night raids. Led by the young Jean Cavalier and Roland Laporte, the Camisards met the ravages of the royal army with guerrilla methods and withstood superior forces in several battles. In 1704, Marshal Villars, the royal commander, offered Cavalier vague concessions to the Protestants and the promise of a command in the royal army. Cavalier's acceptance broke the revolt, although others, including Laporte, refused to submit unless the Edict of Nantes was restored; scattered fighting went on until 1710.

See A. E. Bray, The Revolt of the Protestants of the Cévennes (1870), H. M. Baird, Huguenots and the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1895).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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