Group From 1500 To 1800
French Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries. The name emerged in 1560 but its derivation is unknown. The faith attracted skilled city workers such as weavers, goldsmiths and fan-makers but persecution tended to be their lot; the pictures shows the 1572 St Bartholomew Day's massacre when almost 6,000 were killed.
The 1598 Edict of Nantes established Roman Catholicism as the religion of France but set reasonably acceptable terms for non-Catholics, such as the Huguenots. But over time conditions for them became harsher.
1685 King Louis XIV gave them the choice of conversion (to Catholicism) or prison. Some found a third option and relocated to London, bringing their skills and establishing, mainly in the East End, thriving industries in silk, lace, weaving, fan-making, etc.
Spitalfields Life has a post tying together the Hugeunots of Soho.