Cavalier, Jean (zhäN kävälyāˈ) [key], 1681?–1740, French Protestant soldier, a leader of the Camisards. From his home in the Cévennes region of France, he fled to Geneva (1701) when persecution of the Protestants became intolerable, but he returned when he knew that the Protestants were about to rebel. As chief leader of the Camisards, he showed remarkable military genius. In 1704 he made peace with Marshal Villars and received from King Louis XIV a commission as colonel and a pension. The peace was repudiated by his followers because it did not restore the Edict of Nantes (see Nantes, Edict of). Distrustful of the king, Cavalier fled from France. He fought for the duke of Savoy and later for England in Spain against the French. His later years were spent in Great Britain, where he was given a pension, made major general, and appointed governor of the isle of Jersey. The Memoirs of the Wars of the Cévennes, published in 1726 and dedicated to Lord Carteret, is attributed to Cavalier.
See biography by A. P. Grubb (1931).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.