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

Wednesday 10th October 2018

'There's scarcely a day when my heart does not weep': the plight of Flemish and Walloon women in the 1560s revealed in letters to their families in England.

Speaker: Dr Alastair Duke

Alastair Duke became Reader in History at the University of Southampton, retiring in 2001. Gained his doctorate at Leiden University and has written quite widely on the religious history of the early modern Low Countries, including the strangers who took refuge in England, and on the Dutch Revolt. In 2007 he published Dissident Identities in the Early Modern Low Countries.
Guildhall Library, Aldermanbury, EC2V 7HH
Admission: Free

The scarcity of correspondence from ordinary people in the sixteenth century makes the survival of the two collections of letters under discussion here especially remarkable. Through them we can eavesdrop on the lives of Netherlanders disrupted by the religious and political upheavals of the 1560's. Among the letters are a few from women left behind in Flanders and Wallonia when their Protestant menfolk sought refuge in London and south-eastern England. This talk will focus on their poignant letters, which reveal both their tenacity as they confronted the difficulties of bringing up their families in an often hostile environment and demonstrate their literacy.  

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Image courtesy of Algemeen Rijksarchief: Raad van Beroerten 96 fo. 53.

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