They were mainly urban dwellers, who lived in towns in France, and the Low Countries now called the Netherlands. To create a new life for themselves, to practise their faith, they emigrated far and wide.

huguenot immigration map
Huguenot immigration map

Around 50,000 came to England with the majority settling in Soho to be near the Royal Court and in Spitalfields where there was a very small weaving industry.

It was the Huguenots that brought new techniques, new procedures and new knowledge which transformed the textile industry in this country. The Huguenots shared their knowledge by taking on English apprentices and the industry grew from small ribbon weaving to exporting plain, patterned or flower’d patterns across the world. Other Huguenots settled in Plymouth, Taunton, Bristol, Bideford, Barnstaple, Exeter, Southampton, Winchester, Dover, Canterbury, Colchester, Maidstone, Ipswich, Thorney and Norwich.

Some first came to South West England and went to Ireland (Crumlin Road in Belfast was named after Louis Crommelin, a Huguenot weaver).

Other fleeing Huguenots found their way to Switzerland, Germany (Erlangen), Holland, Sweden. Other courageous Huguenots left for Canada, the East Coast of America, The Caribbean, South Africa and some even found their way to Australia.

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