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

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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

huguenot logo

Thorney

Refugees were invited to settle in Thorney, in the fenlands, Norfolk, East England because of their expertise in draining land, which could then be cultivated and farmed. Coming to Thorney offered advantages: Oliver Cromwell declared that if they bought or farmed lands the newcomers were accounted “free denizens of the Commonwealth”. In a proclamation by Oliver Cromwell, the settlers were given extra rights, including some tax relief and exemptions from military service overseas for forty years. They worshipped in the ruins of Thorney Abbey, where there is a marble memorial tablet on the north wall inscribed to Ezekiel Danois of Compiegne, France, the first minister of the Huguenot colony which fled to England to avoid persecution and settled in Thorney. He was at Thorney Abbey for 21 years, and buried there, aged 54, in 1674. Huguenot pastors continued to minister at Thorney until 1715.

The settlement had two further influxes. The first was caused by Queen Elizabeth who sent the Artois Walloons from Southampton to Thorney. The second influx was caused by the French Church in London in about 1685. They moved a group of Huguenots from the south up into the Thorney area to "take part in that congregation" to 'bolster' the population. The real reason was that the French Church had been having trouble with the Walloons at Thorney and Norwich for a long time. The Walloons spoke and read a different language, not a patois or dialect or French but their own language, Romand, which is a romance language very like French but said to be much older, and they did not want pastors coming out from London to preach in French so they arranged for their pastors to come from the Netherlands.