The Huguenots were members of the French Protestant Church, many of whom, in the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, left their homes in France to escape persecution. More than 50,000 of these refugees came to the British Isles and, in 1718, a French Hospital * was founded in London. In 1885, the directors of the Hospital created a Society to promote the publication and interchange of knowledge about Huguenot history.
The original ‘Huguenot Society of London’ has since been renamed 'The Huguenot Society of Great Britain and Ireland', and an Irish Section with its own website has been established. Both sections of the Society aim to form a bond of fellowship among those who respect and admire the Huguenots and seek to perpetuate their memory, and membership is open to anyone wishing to join. A list of past Presidents of the Society is available.
Meetings. Four meetings are held in central London each year, at which a paper of Huguenot interest is read and an optional tea or dinner is available, giving members an opportunity to exchange their ideas. The list of lectures is published in the members' annual programme card, together with notice of visits to inland or overseas sites with a Huguenot connection. Those who would like to attend a particular event, or to have their details added to the dinner list, are asked to contact the Meetings Secretary: [email protected].
Publications (link to separate webpage). The Society publishes an annual Huguenot Society Journal (formerly Proceedings) amd, since 1887, has brought out many volumes of Huguenot records. Originally known as 'Publications of the Huguenot Society of London', these volumes became the 'Huguenot Society Quarto Series' in 1969. More recently, in 1990, the Society started a New Series of monographs editing personal reflections by Huguenot refugees and their descendants.
Library facilities (link to separate webpage). The Huguenot Library contains valuable collections of printed and archival material on Huguenot history and on family history. The collections are currently housed at the National Archives at Kew and may be consulted by appointment only.
Education and Research. The Society supports academic research into Huguenot history and in 2022 launched an annual bursary of £1000 to support and encourage research among students in higher education into Huguenot individuals and communities. Information on this bursary and the application procedure can be found on its downloadable information sheet and application form. The Society also helps to bring notice of the annual award made by the trustees of the French Huguenot Church of London Charitable Trust of a scholarship to a student working for a higher degree on a Huguenot subject. For more information click here
International connections. The Huguenot Society exchanges information with Corresponding Societies with similar interests in Europe, North America, South Africa, and Australia, and has links with active local and international organizations: The Huguenots of Spitalfields, Waldensian Church Missions, Amitiés Huguenotes Internationales (AmHI), The Virtual Museum of French Protestantism (VMFP), and the Groupe des Recherches en Histoire des Protestantismes (GRHP). For details see Huguenot Heritage websites.
*If you know of anyone of Huguenot or French Protestant descent who is in need, and would like to live in one of the French Hospital's sheltered flats in Rochester, Kent, please contact The French Hospital for details.
The French Hospital, Rochester
No part of Huguenot Society publications may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission from the Huguenot Society. The Society is not responsible for the content of any site linked to this website and disclaims all warranties express or implied as to the accuracy, legality, reliability, or validity of any content on any other site.