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1688 - A new French church opens in Spitalfields
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There have been Huguenots living in Spitalfields since the 1620s'. Now it is rapidly becoming the largest of the refugee communities.

The majority of the refugees in Spitalfields have come to work in the silk industry. There have been silkweavers in this district for a long time, but with the arrival of the newcomers, the weaving business is growing fast.

Some of these new arrivals are very highly skilled. They bring techniques for making types of silk cloth that have not been known in England until now.

Though some of the Huguenots who live in this district are wealthy silk merchants or successful master weavers, most of them are poor. They have to work very hard to make a living. It is common for three or four families to share one house.

For well over a century the Huguenot silkworkers of Spitalfields will form a large distinct community in London's East End. 



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