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Huguenot History

By Linda Tancs

Huguenots were French Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries who fled religious persecution. Overall, nearly 180,000 found homes elsewhere around the world. Many of them escaped to Britain, contributing crafts, skills and trades that formed the basis of the modern economy. Britain’s only museum of Huguenot history is located in Rochester. Many of the items on display are from the nearby French Hospital, founded in 1718 as a charity for poor Huguenot refugees. The museum also offers an ancestry research service, considering that one in six English people may be of Huguenot descent.

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