huguenot towns - Lord Mayors Chapel Bristol
Lord Mayors Chapel Bristol


Bristol was one of a second group of towns, after Ipswich and Rye in 1681, in which new Huguenot settlements developed. From the end of the 17th century, between 400 and 500 Huguenots moved to Bristol, making up 2.5% of the population. They received money from the Civil List, allocated by William and Mary, between 1689 and 1693.

huguenot towns - Lord Mayors Chapel Bristol
Lord Mayors Chapel, Bristol

St. Mark’s Church on College Green was given to the Huguenots by the City Corporation. They used the church between1687 and 1722. Mrs. Gautier, wife of the Reverend Gautier the French pastor, opened a boarding and day school.

A few of the Huguenots who settled in Bristol came from wealthy merchant families from La Rochelle and other French Atlantic ports. These include the Peloquins, Laroche and Goizin families. Their trading contacts with other Huguenot and Dutch merchants in America ensured they quickly established themselves and contributed substantially to the city’s prosperity.

One famous Bristol Huguenot was Francis Billo, a metalworker, who became well known for his chandeliers in the West Country. He created a ceremonial crown (c.1733) in copper, to wear for the Processions of the Trades, modelled on a Royal crown. It is now in Bristol Museum. Another renowned Bristol Huguenot was silversmith Solomon (Huguenots were often were baptised with Old Testament names) Egare who then settled in America.

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