Image of Houblon taken from a £50 note

Sir John Houblon (1632-1711) was the first Governor of the Bank of England. He came from a merchant family who traded with France, Portugal, Spain and the Mediterranean. James Houblon, his father, was the son of a Huguenot refugee from Lille. His mother was Mary, daughter of Jean du Quesne (a colleague of James’ and […]


Jean Henri Guinland

Jean-Henri Guinand was director and deputy-governor of the French Hospital. In 1742 he carried out an inventory of the hospital. This inventory provides an invaluable insight into the way of life of the inmates, staff and directors of the French Hospital. Jean-Henri arrived in England in 1713 from Geneva. He was an active director and […]


The Chenevix family, from Picardy, arrived in England around 1682. Philip Chenevix became a Major with the 2nd Carabineers where he fought in the famous battle of Blenheim (1704). Philip died in the battle but his son Paul Daniel Chenevix continued the family name. The first records we have of Paul is of his shop in […]


Jacques Baudouin

René Baudouin was a Huguenot refugee from Tours in France. He established himself in Lombard Street, London, with a silk merchant Etienne Seignoret. The pair were successful but they were fined for continuing to trade with France during the Anglo-French war (1689-1697). Another Baudouin, Jacques, was a successful merchant. He gave £100 to the original […]


Jacob Albert

Many Huguenots lived by the sea or in trading towns. Their overseas contacts from old ties meant they could trade with their families and friends back on the continent. One of the first references we have to the Albert family is Pierre Albert. Pierre was a wine merchant who came across to England to escape […]