In 1701 Élie Bouhéreau (1643–1719), the only son of a Reformed pastor with the same name (1600 or 1603–1653) and of Blandine Richard (married 13 February 1635), became the first keeper of Archbishop Marsh’s library in Dublin, which was the first public library founded in Ireland. The Bouhéreau family had been prominent in the Reformed Church of La Rochelle from its foundation. Pierre Bouhéreau, a merchant and member of the municipal council, was one of eight men on the first consistory of the church, according to a list dated 1561. 1 Élie’s father had been pastor of the Reformed Church in the commercially important town of Fontenay-le-Comte, in the Bas-Poitou, before being appointed in 1640 to the church in La Rochelle, where he was one of three, and occasionally four, Protestant ministers serving the very large community there, estimated at some 8,000 souls in mid-century. 2 The Richard family was originally from Saint-Savinien- sur-Charente but had long resided on the Ile de Ré; they were merchants for the most part, involved in overseas trade and commerce, winemaking and salt production on the island, which, as is well known, was of major importance to the French economy in the early modern period. The Richards were probably not among the wealthiest, but their commercial activities meant that they were part of a powerful and close-knit network of merchants on the Ile de Ré and in La Rochelle, who numbered in the hundreds. 3 So the web of filiation in which Élie Bouhéreau (junior) found himself from birth was that of the provincial Protestant elite, made up of notables, people of substance whose status was based on education, office, or money derived from commerce.