Huguenot objects in Bristol
Bristol Culture was the first to respond to our request to find out where Huguenot treasures are located: the Huguenots are mentioned in the Life Gallery in M Shed and the European Ceramics Galley on the top floor of Bristol Museum & Art Gallery. We are always keen to gather information for the website so do tell us if you know the location of other Huguenot objects.
The Lesturgeon Clock
We were intrigued to hear that a rare time piece by Lesturgeon was shortly to come onto the market and we are delighted to hear that the clock has been purchased by a local resident and is now much admired. The engraving is truly exquisite and the complexity of the workings is impressive. Spitalfields is not usually known for its clocks and watchmakers so we are keen to know more when Richard Edmunds launches his new book entitled The Huguenot Clock Makers of Spitalfields. https://www.richedmunds.co.uk/huguenot-3
Kate Boyle, our Huguenot guide in Greenwich mentioned this remarkable Huguenot family, who designed the midwifery forceps that bear their name even today: https://www.rcog.org.uk/en/guidelines-research-services/library-services/archives-and-heritage/archives/rcog-heritage-the-chamberlen-family/
…to the Charles French Trust and Allhallows and Aldgate Foundation for awarding Huguenot of Spitalfields two grants for separate primary school projects. Fundraising is always challenging so you can imagine the pleasure at hearing that we have been awarded funds. The theme of our dedicated educational programme is to highlight how the poor, jobbing weavers lived, worked and worshipped.
…to Julian Woodford, Philip Carstairs and the Gentle Author for their presentations as part of London Metropolitan Archive’s Word on the Street: Ordinary People Festival. Click here for Philip Carstairs’ blog about soup kitchens and their role in feeding the poor weavers of Spitalfields: http://spitalfieldslife.com/2019/05/15/the-soup-kitchens-of-spitalfields/ Julian undertook specific research and gave a riveting talk on the poor Huguenot weavers and the Gentle Author’s approach to writing up family stories was inspirational.
…to Victorine Martineau and also Richard Bryant, of the Oswestry Family & Local History Group, who responded to our call for information about the Minet family. Victorine suggested contacting the Minet Archive at 52 Knatchbull Road, Lambeth SE5 9QY, 020 7926 6076 which was opened in 1890 by William Minet, a founding member of the Huguenot Society. Richard wasn’t able to find any Minet family members but did find information on the Minett family (e.g. Thomas Minett died 29th March 1860 aged 73yrs. Formally Morda Mill – Morda is about a mile or two from the centre of Oswestry. J.T. Minett died 3rd August 1894 aged 73yrs. He died at Oswald House, Woodford, Essex. Formally of Morda Mills).
…to Adrienne Slater who four years ago telephoned offering help four years who has now left to move on to work on other heritage projects. We wanted to publicly acknowledge her tremendous contribution.
…to Graham Nicholls for sharing a familiar Huguenot family challenge: Antoine Dufosse was my x5 great grandfather, who worked for the Earl of Pembroke and invented a special loom. Cruel twist of fate meant that by the time my x2 grandfather applied to the French Hospital he couldn’t even prove his Huguenot ancestry not even with a letter from the (now deceased) Earl, future generations have been equally unsuccessful.
…to Benedicte Fougier, Curator of the French Protestant Church Soho, for pointing out this useful website on Huguenot history: http://www.museedudesert.com/article5759.html
…to Peter Duval, who recently retired as Deputy Governor from the French Hospital. Peter Duval's family has been involved with the French Hospital since 1777 and when he was elected a Director in 1973 he was the 16th Duval Director. During his time in office, he has seen the French Hospital expand significantly, growing from 39 flats to 60 and adding a residents' common room and garden. In the last 5 years, he has overseen the establishment of the Huguenot Museum in Rochester - the first of its kind in the UK.
A posthumous and sincere thank you to Keith Neuhofer who passed away recently. Keith was so kind, generous and helpful with his IT and creative expertise to us in the early days of the charity. We really appreciated his support at a crucial time for the charity. We won’t forget him.
Books recommended to us…
The forthcoming biography of Louis XIV by Philip Mansel, King of the World: The Life of Louis XIV, to be published in July 2019, features a chapter on the Huguenots, and stresses that the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes was his biggest single mistake.
Also by Philip Mansel, Dressed to Rule, Royal and Court Costume from Louis XIV to Elizabeth II. “A brilliant book” Karl Lagerfeld.
A fully searchable digitised version of the Wandsworth Historian containing many references to local Huguenots is available on DVD, price £5.00 plus p&p. Contact email@example.com .
Isabelle Janvrin and Catherine Rawlinson’s book, The French in London, from William the Conqueror to Charles de Gaulle, contains a chapter on the Huguenots’ contribution to England and lists many places where the Huguenots have left their traces including museums, galleries, statues and blue plaques.
Paul C.R. Monk’s trilogy, The Huguenot Chronicles, opens in 1685 and is composed of Merchants of Virtue, Voyage of Malice, and Land of Hope which is also available in audiobook format.https://www.amazon.co.uk/Huguenot-Chronicles-Merchants-Virtue-Voyage-ebook/dp/B07H9C7LM3
The Silk Weaver, by Liz Trenow, was recommended to us by Adam Pollock. Liz’s family were weavers over many generations in Sudbury and she has written a charming tale with expert descriptions of silk weaving, no doubt based on her knowledge growing up of her family’s business.
Two Huguenot Brothers: Letters of Andrew and James Coltee Ducarel, 1732 – 1773. James Coltee Ducarel’s letters sent from France to his elder brother Andrew in London are an unknown resource for the study of the Enlightenment and the French Huguenots in the mid 18th century.
Mike Steele alerted us to the publication of The Streets of London: The Booth Notebooks, which provide a real insight into 19th century London and the way in which the weavers lived and plied their trade.
Other events which may be of interest….
Dr Robin Gwynn, ‘Extremes of Poverty and Wealth among Huguenot Refugees,’ 15 June, 2pm, Huguenot Museum, Rochester
Digital Textile Design, 21 – 22 June, 10.30am to 5pm, V&A Museum
Medway Print Festival, 22 June, drop in from 10 am to 2pm, Huguenot Museum, Rochester
Celebrating the 200th birthday of Joseph Bazalgette, 27 June, 2pm, London Metropolitan Archives
French Connections in Soho, 3 July, 2pm, Society of Genealogists
Visit the French Protestant Church in Soho, 5 July, 11am
Bizarre and Curious Silks exhibition by Hannah Robson, 5 July - 21 September, Rochester Art Gallery and Craft Case
Bazalgette's Embankment: Blackfriars to Westminster, 21 August, 11am
Reading & Understanding French Family History Documents with Dr Kathy Chater, 31 August, 2pm, Society of Genealogists