Huguenots were French Protestants living in a Catholic country. During three centuries they struggled to practice their religion.
Some French kings were sympathetic and allowed the protestant faith to be practised under strict controls, others were not and persecuted Protestants.
There were periods of peace when Huguenots flourished in France but many periods of civil war, persecution and unrest.
By 1685 Huguenots in France had to give up their faith, hide their religion or escape.
|1560||First recorded use of the word Huguenot|
|1562||Religious civil war begins between Catholics and Protestant Huguenots|
|1572||Thousands of Huguenots killed at St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre|
|1598||Huguenots allowed to worship due to the Edict of Nantes|
|1681||Military troops called Dragoons were sent to persecute Huguenot families|
|1685||Huguenot faith no longer allowed as the Edict of Nantes is revoked|
|1687||James II grants freedom of worship in England|
Many Huguenots escaped to England, others to Ireland, other European countries, America and South Africa.
Huguenots were, on the whole, well received in England. They brought with them skills in finance, industry, medicine, arts and crafts.