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The latest news and information from the Achievements team.

  1. A stranger in the parish

    If you see the term “stranger” in a parish register this might refer to a Huguenot. Huguenots began arriving in England from the Spanish Netherlands during the reign of Elizabeth I, seeking refuge from persecution. Many settled in Norwich, where they had been invited by the city authorities. Indeed at one time they accounted for a third of the city’s population. Their earliest church was established in 1550 at Threadneedle Street. After the Revoking of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 by Louis XIV of France, their numbers increased and it is thought that about 50,000 Huguenots arrived in England. So many of us may have Huguenots in our family trees. They brought with them new skills, especially in weaving (particularly silk), gold and silversmithing, clockmaking, furniture making, printing bookbinding and papermaking. Whilst the term strangers fell out of use as they established themselves in England, the legacy of the term “stranger” can still be seen in street signs and buildings. For example there is a Stranger’s Lane in Canterbury and the Mayors house Norwich is called Stranger’s Hall.

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