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Huguenot Society of Great Britain and Ireland


Founded 1885 - Registered Charity No. 214726

It is thought that around fifty thousand Huguenots fled from France to the British Isles between the mid 1500s and the late 1700s. In order to research and exchange knowledge about these refugees, the Huguenot Society of London (later becoming the Huguenot Society of Great Britain and Ireland) was created in 1885.

In 1685, when Louis XIV overturned the Edict of Nantes, which had given freedom of worship, many Protestants fled the Catholic country in which they were living. The background or occupation of the people was of no account, as they could be soldiers, aristocrats, artisans and pastors. Many modern-day people have these exiles as their ancestors.

The first task of the Huguenot Society was to record the English and Irish temple registers as well as documents from the poor relief institutions such as the French Protestant Hospital, which was founded in 1718 and the Spitalfields soup kitchen, the former being opened in 1797.

All surviving records of naturalisation and citizenship have been recorded and are available in the Quarto series. Details of these books can be found by clicking the links at the bottom of this page,

The annually published 'Proceedings', which centres on Huguenot historical material, captures the lives of the people of the times and is a fascinating account for those with an interest in family history. For example, the spectacular flights from France of two Huguenot refugees, the Reverend Jacques Fontaine and Isaac Dumont de Bostaquet are vividly recounted.

Please note that all Huguenot Society publications and CD-ROM offered for sale on this site have the prefix HUG.