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Scope of this project is to look in to the history of the huguenots in Britain and to indentify those who came and settled in Britain.

The Huguenots

An estimated 50,000 Protestant Walloons and Huguenots fled to England, about 10,000 of whom moved on to Ireland around the 1690s. In relative terms, this could be the largest wave of immigration of a single community into Britain ever.

Of the refugees who arrived on the Kent coast, many gravitated towards Canterbury, then the county's Calvinist hub, where many Walloon and Huguenot families were granted asylum. Edward VI granted them the whole of the Western crypt of Canterbury Cathedral for worship. This privilege in 1825 was reduced to the south aisle and in 1895 to the former chantry chapel of the Black Prince. Services are still held there in French according to the Reformed tradition every Sunday at 3 pm. Other evidence of the Walloons and Huguenots in Canterbury includes a block of houses in Turnagain Lane where weavers' windows survive on the top floor, and 'The Weavers', a half-timbered house by the river (now a restaurant—see illustration above. The house derives its name from a weaving school which was moved there in the last years of the 19th century, resurrecting the use to which it had been put between the 16th century and about 1830. Many of the refugee community were weavers. Others practised the variety of occupations necessary to sustain the community distinct from the indigenous population, as such separation was the condition of the refugees' initial acceptance in the City. They also settled elsewhere in Kent, particularly Sandwich, Faversham and Maidstone—towns in which there used to be refugee churches.

The French Protestant Church of London was established by Royal Charter in 1550. It is now at Soho Square.Huguenot refugees flocked to Shoreditch, London. They established a major weaving industry in and around Spitalfields (see Petticoat Lane and the Tenterground).In Wandsworth their gardening skills benefited the Battersea market gardens. The Old Truman Brewery, then known as the Black Eagle Brewery, appeared in 1724. The flight of Huguenot refugees from Tours, France had virtually destroyed the great silk mills they had built.

Other Huguenots arriving in England settled in Bedfordshire, which was (at the time) the main centre of England's lace industry. Huguenots greatly contributed to the development of lace-making in Bedfordshire, with many families settling in Cranfield, Bedford and Luton. Some of these immigrants moved to Norwich, which had accommodated an earlier settlement of Walloon weavers; they added to the existing immigrant population, which comprised about a third of the population of the city.

Notable English Huguenots or Huguenot descent:

Huguenot emigration paths found

  • La Trobe family France
    > England ---> Ireland
    > New Orleans.
  • Manigault --> La Rochelle, France --> England --> South Carolina
  • Horry -->Paris, France --> Holland --> London, England -->South Carolina
  • Mestayer : Languedoc France --->Dublin Ireland ---> London England.
  • Hautenville : Rouen, France ---> London, England,
    >Lisburn, Ireland
    > Dublin,Ireland See more paths

Huguenot ancestors

Current discussion:

Families that immigrated: