Huguenot was the name applied to French Protestants in the 16th century and was probably a corruption of the German
They were severely persecuted in France under Francis I and Henry II, and following the massacre on St. Bartholomew's Day in 1572 many Huguenots came as refugees to settle in England, mainly to London and to Canterbury where they founded their church (now in the Black Prince's Chantry) in the Crypt of Canterbury Cathedral.
The Thirty Years' War which followed failed to crush them. Although in 1598 Henry IV had granted tolerance by the Edict of Nantes, in 1685 Louis XIV revoked the Edict and the forcible conversion and persecutions started again with renewed vigour with the result that about 250,000 people left France. Many migrated to England, others to Ireland, elsewhere in Europe and America.
The Huguenots were well received in England and they brought finance, industry, soldiering, intellectual life and the arts with them, contributing to the rise of British prosperity and power.
More information on Huguenots and Huguenot ancestry can be obtained from the Huguenot Society and through the Huguenot Library, London.
The Edict of Nantes
Henry IV of France demands the promulgation of the Edict of Nantes, proclaimed on 23rd February 1598, from a miniature contained in a triptych of the Huguenot ancestry of TRH Prince William and Prince Henry of Wales, researched by Royston Gambier, F.S.G., engrossed and illuminated by Revd D.N.Chesters O.B.E., Writer to Her Majesty's Remembrancer, and photographed by Trevor J. Moore.