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Huguenot history, sites, archives, art, and institutions.

Huguenots and the World of Finance: Part Two

02 May, 2022 by Huguenot Society
In part two of her overview of Huguenots in Finance, Joyce Hampton follows the Huguenot Portal family from their rise to fame as papermakers to the Bank of England in the 18th century, to the current evolution of Portals International as suppliers of high security paper to organisations worldwide...

Huguenots and the World of Finance: Part One

25 Apr, 2022 by Huguenot Society
This post by Fellow Joyce Hampton examines the background to the foundation of the Bank of England in 1694, and the role played by the Walloon Houblon family, particularly Sir John Houblon, the Bank's first Director. Among the original subscribers to Bank stock were many Huguenots...

The Grand Tour and its Huguenot Tutors

15 Feb, 2022 by Huguenot Society
The Grand Tour, a rite of passage whereby young men of means could complete their education through cultural discoveries, became a source of employment for Huguenot tutors during the early modern period; however, these journeys were not always plain sailing for the tutors, as Professor Michaël Green explains....

French Protestant Temples old and new

19 Dec, 2021 by Huguenot Society
In this month's blog, we take a look at the difficult history of Protestant temples in France after the 1685 Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and how very few survived demolition, whilst others were later rebuilt or relocated in repurposed buildings as a result of the 1787 Edict of Toleration, and the 1811 Napoleonic Concordat....

Spotlight on the Huguenot ivory carver David Le Marchand

18 Nov, 2021 by Huguenot Society
With the recent addition of a new piece by ivory carver David Le Marchand to the V&A's sculpture collection, guest writer Dr Kira d'Alburquerque (Curator, Sculpture 1600 - 1800), shines a spotlight on the life and work of this virtuoso Huguenot artist....

Three Mills Island, Bromley-by-Bow, a Huguenot industrial enterprise

13 Oct, 2021 by Huguenot Society
This post by Huguenot Society Activities Chairman Tony Wilson looks at a lesser-known example of Huguenot heritage in these islands - the surviving examples of Huguenot industrial enterprise in the south of England; in particular the Three Mills site in east London, a popular tourist attraction....

Relief for ‘Poor Protestants’: Public Appeals for Refugees before 1685

03 Sep, 2021 by Huguenot Society
Well before the setting up of various relief funds to assist Huguenot refugees fleeing France in the 1680s, English parishioners were being exhorted to contribute towards Church appeals in favour of groups of persecuted Protestants abroad, notably the Waldensians. This proto-Protestant community, driven into the Italian Piedmont valleys by Louis XIV's cousin, the Duke of Savoy, suffered a cruel martyrdom, but their cause was championed by England's Lord Protector, Oliver Cromwell....

L’Assemblée du Désert, 1911 - 2021.

04 Aug, 2021 by Huguenot Society
After a rare omission in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic, the Assemblée du Désert, French Protestantism's iconic annual gathering, will be taking place again this September in the evocative setting of Mialet in the Cévennes where the Musée du Désert is also proposing a full programme for its visitors....

The Huguenot settlement at Portarlington, Ireland

23 Jun, 2021 by Huguenot Society
In 2010 the Huguenot Society organised a visit to Portarlington for its members during the conference at Londonderry. Here we look at the history of the town's foundation by Henri de Ruvigny, Earl of Galway as a settlement for war-weary Huguenot veterans and their families, and consider the political repercussions of this undertaking....

A Huguenot Haunt: A Shell House in Hatfield Forest

03 May, 2021 by Huguenot Society
In the Georgian period, an unusual lake side cottage in Hatfield Forest, decorated with shells by a young member of the Houblon family, became the setting for convivial picnics on the Hallingbury Place estate in rural Essex....

The Huguenot Society in Denmark

05 Apr, 2021 by Huguenot Society
The Society's visit to Denmark in 1999 explored Huguenot colonies in rural Fredericia and in Copenhagen and its region, where fortunes and architectural landmarks were built by 18th-century Huguenot entrepreneurs, active in the financial and shipping sectors....

The early years of the Huguenot Society of London and its international connections

04 Mar, 2021 by Huguenot Society
Created in the bicentenary year of the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes by directors of the French Hospital, the Huguenot Society of London, now of Great Britain and Ireland, would become well known internationally for its publications, its research collections at the Huguenot Library, and its links with similar societies worldwide....

A Red Admiral butterfly leads to the identification of Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues (c.1533-1588)

01 Feb, 2021 by Huguenot Society
The life and art of 16th century Huguenot artist Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues are equally intriguing. A fine set of his naturalistic watercolours forms part of a forthcoming exhibition showing Renaissance watercolours from the V&A's collection, aspects of which can be previewed online now....

The Royal Bounty Archive unveiled

05 Jan, 2021 by Huguenot Society
Following a previous post, in which the details of how the Royal Bounty collection has been made available online, we look at the history of these manuscripts and how the fund was set up and organised. The Royal Bounty was a forward thinking project aimed at lifting Huguenot refugees and their descendants out of abject poverty. Indeed, the majority of them were left with nothing after having had to flee France without their possessions….

Karlshafen, a Huguenot Town in Germany

26 Nov, 2020 by Huguenot Society
Well known in the 19th century as a spa resort, Karlshafen, along with its surrounding villages, was initially founded in the late 17th century by Landgrave Karl of Hessen-Kassel as a settlement for Huguenot and Waldensian refugees. Fleeing religious persecution in France and in the Piedmont, the settlers left their mark on local customs and architecture; their heritage is kept alive by their descendants and in museum displays at Karlshafen and Hofgeismar….

Strangers in the House: immigrant business in Parliament in the mid-17th century

17 Oct, 2020 by Huguenot Society
Following a previous blog on a mid-seventeenth century Southwark MP of immigrant stock, we look at how Protestant 'strangers' were viewed in Parliament during that period. While some incomers could be perceived as a threat to vested interests or to the peace of the realm, others might be welcomed and given assistance. The parliamentary Journals yield a variety of interesting insights....

The French Protestant Church of London, Soho Square

16 Sep, 2020 by Huguenot Society
With the French Protestant Church of London preparing to reopen this Sunday after its impressive renovation, and the Covid-19 closure, we take a look at the Church's history and influence from its foundation in 1550 to the present day....

Uckermark, Huguenot Refuge in Germany

26 Aug, 2020 by Huguenot Society
With group trips impossible this year due to the pandemic, and our September visit to Guernsey postponed, we look back at a fascinating tour we made in 2003 to the Huguenot refuge of Uckermark in Germany. There, Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg, settled on his lands many of those fleeing oppression in France under Louis XIV....