huguenots of spitalfields
huguenots of spitalfields
huguenots of spitalfields
huguenots of spitalfields
huguenots of spitalfields
huguenots of spitalfields

huguenot footsteps

Join us and retrace the footsteps of the Huguenots in Spitalfields, Soho, Greenwich, City of London and Wandsworth. No need to book just turn up and donate £10 to the educational fund on the day. Please click here to go to Huguenot Footsteps.

huguenot families

Are you descended from a Huguenot Family?  Add your name to our List

huguenot traces

Huguenot Traces - a list of Huguenot paintings, artwork, artefacts, buildings, street names etc. Please help us by adding your findings to the list.

c2a city walks

Designed for groups, organisations, companies and parties of ten people or more. The City of London Walking Tours can be booked throughout the year. Click here for programme.

Strangers' Newsletter

Want to stay in touch? If so please enter your details below.

Help Us Grow

Please support our efforts to highlight the contribution of the Huguenots in our educational and heritage programme. We are Gift Aid registered.

c2a society

c2a society

c2a museum

huguenot towns

Spitalfields Life Stories

Sir John Cass Primary Foundation School

Please email info@huguenotsofspitalfields.org if you wish to purchase postcards. Designs by the pupils of Sir John Cass Primary Foundation School. Cost £2.50 including postage.

Sir john Cass Primary SchoolSir john Cass Primary School

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 French Connection

FrenchFlagCapital: Paris

Population: 66.03 million

President: François Hollande

Motto: Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité – Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

French is the official language in France and it is also the second major language in Europe.

French is spoken by more than 300 million people around the world as first or second language.

France is the 42nd largest country in the world but the largest country in the European Union (EU).

It is the 20th most populated country in the world and the second-most populated country in the EU.

France receives around 83 million foreign tourists annually – the most of any country in the world.

France is a founding member of the United Nations (an international organisation of countries which tries to keep peace around the world), where it serves as one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.

CroissantsFrance is a founding and leading member state of the EU.

France has five overseas territories: French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, and Reunion.

Although France is a secular (non religious) country, the largest religion is Roman Catholicism.

The blue, white and red flag is known as Le drapeau tricolore.

The highest mountain in France is the Mont Blanc, which is 4,810m high and stands at the border between France and Italy.

Children all around the world love French literature, like the famous “The Three Musketeers” by Alexandre Dumas and “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

France is famous for its great painters and sculptors. Famous French painters are Monet and Renoir.

Some typical French food includes: baguette, which is a long bread stick; Croque Monsieur, ham and cheese grilled sandwich; escargots, snails; pain au chocolat, similar to a croissant filled with chocolate; crepes, very thin pancakes; and ratatouille, vegetable stew.

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Persecution

dragonades

The Huguenots were Protestants, whereas the official religion in France was Roman Catholic. It is thought that in the 17th century, over one million French people had embraced the Protestant religion (out of a population of 15 million). There were a number of battles between Protestants and Catholics in various parts of the country.

The King, Louis XIV, thought that it was his mission to return France to 100% Catholicism, and to do this he sought to pressure those of his subjects who had embraced Protestantism to convert. He signed the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, within which Protestants were forbidden to enter many professions, such as law or medicine, and could not become a midwife, or engage in the printing or selling of books.

Other oppressions followed...the most serious came from the 'Dragonnades', where a company of soldiers would be sent to occupy a known Huguenot family╩╝s household, where they bullied the family and took, or ate, everything they had and made their lives a misery in order to force them to convert.

Huguenot pastors were ordered to leave the country, whereas ordinary Protestant families were forbidden to leave on pain of death, condemnation to the galley ships or life imprisonment.

King Louis XIV hoped that this would force them to convert back to Catholicism. However, many of them were true to their faith and sought freedom elsewhere going to Holland, England, Germany, Switzerland ....and further afield, to such countries as South Africa and the United States.

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Values

WeaverTower Hamlets Local History Library and ArchivesThe Huguenots possessed certain characteristics which helped them to fit in and be accepted when they arrived in England: they worked hard and uncomplainingly, showing initiative and determination in supporting themselves and their families, as well as setting up their own businesses; they were thrifty, quiet and sober; and they were clearly courageous people, having fled their homeland rather than deny their faith. They also translated their names into English or anglicised them and declared their loyalty to the British Monarchy, so were generally considered to be model citizens.

In addition to the skills which they brought with them (silk weaving, silver-work, ceramics, commerce, bookbinding, clock-making, etc.), their love of nature and the outdoors led to the creation of gardens, often in the tiny yards behind their houses, where they cultivated flowers and herbs. They also introduced canaries in large numbers, keeping them in the weaving lofts where their song drowned the noise of the looms.

Faith

christchurch

The Christian Faith is centred on Jesus Christ. Christians believe that He was God come to earth when He was born as a baby in Bethlehem - the event we remember at Christmas. He went on to live a perfect life but then was put to death on a cross (which we remember on Good Friday) and then three days later rose from the dead (which we celebrate at Easter). After forty days He returned to His home in heaven, from where one day He will return again to earth in glory.

The Cross has become the great symbol of Christianity because it reminds Protestant Christians that Jesus died on a cross so that all who trust Him are saved from all the wrong things they have done. The name "Jesus" means "Saviour".

The Bible

The Bible is a collection of books written by 40 authors over 1,500 years.

It consists of 39 books in the Old Testament, telling the story of God's people right from the creation up until shortly before Jesus came. The New Testament has 27 books, telling the story of Jesus in four gospels, an account of the early church in the Book of Acts, and letters written by Paul, Peter and other close followers of Jesus to explain the meaning of the Christian faith. Protestants believe God speaks to them direct as they read the Bible.

The Catholic Church

The Catholic Church (within Christianity) consists of people all over the world who follow Jesus. From its beginnings in the Middle East, Christianity spread into Europe and then later into every country in the world, and it is now growing very fast in Africa, South America and parts of south-east Asia. The Roman Catholic Church is that part of the church which follows the teaching of the Pope in Rome, believing he is the successor to St Peter, who was one of the 12 disciples of Jesus. Catholics also rely on the divine intervention of the Virgin Mary and the Saints.

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The Reformation

The Reformation owed a lot to a man in Germany named Martin Luther. He was a monk in the Roman Catholic Church about 500 years ago. As he studied the Bible he came to see that we are saved by faith in Jesus, not by trying to earn our salvation by the things we do. Believing the church at that time to be wrong, he led a movement to protest about what it was teaching - this was the beginning of the Protestant Church.

John Calvin

John Calvin came along a few years after Luther as a leader in the Protestant church. Although French by birth, he eventually became leader of the church in the Swiss city of Geneva. He is especially remembered for the books he wrote explaining about the Christian faith, and these spread rapidly through Europe and later into North America.

The French Huguenots adopted his teachings, and in 1662 Holland adopted Calvinism as the state religion.

christchurch

The Christian Faith is centred on Jesus Christ. Christians believe that He was God come to earth when He was born as a baby in Bethlehem - the event we remember at Christmas. He went on to live a perfect life but then was put to death on a cross (which we remember on Good Friday) and then three days later rose from the dead (which we celebrate at Easter). After forty days He returned to His home in heaven, from where one day He will return again to earth in glory.

The Cross has become the great symbol of Christianity because it reminds Christians that Jesus died on a cross so that all who trust Him are saved from all the wrong things they have done. The name "Jesus" means "Saviour".

The Bible

The Bible is a collection of books written by 40 authors over 1,500 years.

It consists of 39 books in the Old Testament, telling the story of God's people right from the creation up until shortly before Jesus came. The New Testament has 27 books, telling the story of Jesus in four gospels, an account of the early church in the Book of Acts, and letters written by Paul, Peter and other close followers of Jesus to explain the meaning of the Christian faith. Christians believe God speaks to them as they read the Bible.

The Catholic Church

The Catholic Church consists of people all over the world who follow Jesus. From its beginnings in the Middle East, Christianity spread into Europe and then later into every country in the world, and it is now growing very fast in Africa, South America and parts of south-east Asia. The Roman Catholic Church is that part of the church which follows the teaching of the Pope in Rome, believing he is a successor to St Peter, who was one of the 12 disciples of Jesus.

badge

The Reformation

The Reformation owed a lot to a man in Germany named Martin Luther. He was a monk in the Roman Catholic Church about 500 years ago. As he studied the Bible he came to see that we are saved by faith in Jesus, not by trying to earn our salvation by the things we do. Believing the church at that time to be wrong, he led a movement to protest about what it was teaching - this was the beginning of the Protestant Church.

John Calvin

John Calvin came along a few years after Luther as a leader in the Protestant church. Although French by birth, he eventually became leader of the church in the Swiss city of Geneva. He is especially remembered for the books he wrote explaining about the Christian faith, and these spread rapidly through Europe and later into North America.

The French Huguenots took on his teachings, and in 1662 Holland adopted Calvinism as the state religion.

 

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Timeline

1517

The Reformation – the new Protestant faith sweeps across Europe.

1548

First Huguenots in London – King Edward VI Charter allowed Huguenots to pray at Austin Friars Church in the City of London.

1548

St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre – around 30,000 Catholics and Protestants were slaughtered across France on the eve of the wedding of Henry of Navarre, heir to the throne, and a Protestant, to Marguerite de Valois, a Catholic.

1548

The Edict of Nantes – signed by Henri of Navarre, which allowed Protestants to practise their faith in France providing they didn’t upset the Catholics.

1548

The Revocation of the Edict of Nantes – Louis XIV wanted everyone in France to be Catholic. Protestants had to convert to Catholicism, or be punished by the forfeiture of all their goods, bullying, imprisonment, torture and being sentenced to work on the galley ships.

1548

Large numbers of Huguenots arrive in London – mainly settling in Spitalfields and Soho but also Wandsworth, Clerkenwell, Greenwich, the City of London and as far afield as Plymouth, Bristol, Taunton, Exeter, Southampton, Faversham, Sandwich, Dover, Rye, Colchester, Canterbury and Norwich. 

1548

French Revolution – Protestants free to practise their faith in France.