Huguenot Summer | Spitalfields Life

Originally posted on Spitalfields Life

The wooden spools that you see hanging in the streets of Spitalfields indicate houses where Huguenots once resided. These symbols were put there in 1985, commemorating the tercentenary of the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes which brought the Huguenots to London and introduced the word ‘refugee’ into the English language. Inspired by the forthcoming Huguenot Summer which runs from May to September, I set out in search of what other visual evidence remains of the many thousands that once passed through these narrow streets and Dr Robin Gwynn, author of The Huguenots of London, explained to me how they came here.

“Spitalfields was the most concentrated Huguenot settlement in England, there was nowhere else in 1700 where you would expect to hear French spoken in the street. If you compare Spitalfields with Westminster, it was the gentry that stayed in Westminster and the working folk who came to Spitalfields – there was a significant class difference. And whereas half the churches in Westminster followed the French style of worship, in Spitalfields they were not interested in holding services in English.

The Huguenots were religious refugees, all they needed to do to stop the persecution in France was to sign a piece of paper that acknowledged the errors of John Calvin and turn up at church each Sunday. Yet if they tried to leave they were subject to Draconian punishments. It was not a planned immigration, it was about getting out when you could. And, because their skills were in their hands, weavers could…

via Huguenot Summer | Spitalfields Life.

Hunt is on for Battle of Waterloo descendants for 200th anniversary in 2015 | Waterloo 200 | 1815 – 2015

First Night History

Battle of Waterloo by William Sadler
Prints of Battle of Waterloo by William Sadler are available to buy at FirstNightVintage

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Originally posted on Waterloo 200 | 1815 – 2015.

A call is going out to the nation and beyond to find descendants of those who fought in the Battle of Waterloo, the last great conflict of the age of the sword, cannon and musket in Western Europe, ahead of the 200th anniversary of the Battle in 2015.

On 18th June 1815, one of the bloodiest and most decisive battles ever was fought by the Duke of Wellington and his allied army, bringing to an end a long campaign against the might of Napoleon Bonaparte. Over rolling countryside between two ridges, 11 miles south of Brussels, the entire course of European history changed as Napoleon was defeated, ending his leadership of the French Empire. Waterloo literally means ‘wet meadow’ and the condition of the…

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Hunt is on for Battle of Waterloo descendants for 200th anniversary in 2015 | Waterloo 200 | 1815 – 2015

Battle of Waterloo by William Sadler
Prints of Battle of Waterloo by William Sadler are available to buy at FirstNightVintage

Related


Originally posted on Waterloo 200 | 1815 – 2015.

A call is going out to the nation and beyond to find descendants of those who fought in the Battle of Waterloo, the last great conflict of the age of the sword, cannon and musket in Western Europe, ahead of the 200th anniversary of the Battle in 2015.

On 18th June 1815, one of the bloodiest and most decisive battles ever was fought by the Duke of Wellington and his allied army, bringing to an end a long campaign against the might of Napoleon Bonaparte. Over rolling countryside between two ridges, 11 miles south of Brussels, the entire course of European history changed as Napoleon was defeated, ending his leadership of the French Empire. Waterloo literally means ‘wet meadow’ and the condition of the ground on the day was such that shoes and cannon balls simply disappeared by their hundreds into the mud.

Though the Duke was outnumbered in both men and cannon, his tactical skill and staying power resulted in an outcome that decided the future of Europe, becoming a milestone in…

via Hunt is on for Battle of Waterloo descendants for 200th anniversary in 2015 | Waterloo 200 | 1815 – 2015.