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Plaxtol Local History Group - May update

Discussion in 'Plaxtol' started by Highland Printing, Jun 10, 2010. Replies: 0 | Views: 2686

  1. Plaxtol Local History Group - May update

    Norman Hopkins returned to give us a fascinating talk on the Huguenots.
    The origin of the name Huguenots is unclear, but they were Protestants who suffered persecution for their religion in France and the Netherlands. They rebelled against the rituals of the Catholic Church and its perceived corruption and chose instead a much simpler form of worship centred on the Scriptures and prayer. In 1572, up to 100,000 Huguenots in Paris and elsewhere in France were killed in the aftermath of the St Bartholomew’s Day massacre. It was not until 1598 that the Edict of Nantes gave French Huguenots limited civil rights once again, but the Edict was revoked in 1685 and they were again placed under stringent restrictions. All this persecution led many Huguenots to flee France for England and other countries during the 16th and 17th centuries.
    The first wave of Huguenot refugees in England were Walloons escaping the Spanish Inquisition in the Netherlands in the 1540s, many settling in Sandwich. In 1548, the first Huguenot congregation in England was established in Canterbury. In the late 1550s and 1560s, there was a major influx of Huguenots into Kent, the town of Sandwich even inviting them to settle there. Soon 129 of the 420 households in Sandwich were of Huguenot origin, conducting 59 different trades. Suffering a dearth of pilgrims following the Reformation, Canterbury also welcomed the hardworking, often middle-class, Huguenots, providing 100 houses for the refugees, many of whom settled around St Alphage’s Church. In 1592, Canterbury’s population was about 9,000, of whom 3,312 were Huguenots. The Huguenots prospered as weavers, silversmiths, bookbinders, potters, furniture makers and in many other crafts and quickly integrated into the local community.
    David Gurney mounted a display of signs from 3 old Plaxtol businesses. The centrepiece was the magnificent, three-dimensional metalwork sign made by Hyders for their workshop in the Spoute and recently donated by our President, Jayne Semple. It was accompanied by the old Rorty Crankle Inn sign donated by Clare and Luke Harrison and by the wooden board (donated by Mrs Webb) from when Ellen Hodder ran the Golding Hop.
    Our next lecture will be at 8pm on Tuesday 14th September at Plaxtol Memorial Hall, when our AGM will be followed by a talk
    by Peter Rumley on Saltwood and Allington Castles. In the meantime, there will be a Guided Tour of Sandwich on Wednesday
    14th July (places still available) and a Guided Tour of Saltwood Castle on Wednesday 21st July (this tour is full).
    Haydn Puleston Jones

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