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

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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.



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.


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.

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