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From the sixteenth century many French people came to London as refugees. They were known as Huguenots. Huguenots had to leave France because of their religious beliefs. Many Huguenots were skilled craftsmen. Many were silk weavers and large numbers of them settled in Spitalfields. Although Huguenots had been forced to leave France they did not always have an easy time here.

People worried about their trade being taken away by newcomers and the welcome was not always friendly. There are a large number of records at London Metropolitan archives which tell some of the story of the Huguenot community. Wills, court records and images connect us to the past. All the stories and plays in this section are inspired by or based on those records - real people with their own histories and experiences.

Above is Elma's study. Click on different parts and start to explore the lives of of the Huguenots further.

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   London Lives
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Agas' map of London from 1572 reveals how people lived in the past and how places have changed.
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In 1811 Beuraws was a sailor, the son of an African man. Listen to his story.
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Many people from London's communities campaigned for reform. John Cleave was one.
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Pictures tell stories about everyday life. Look here to see weavers working in a garrett.
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