Calling All Huguenots!
Click to enlarge Adam Dant’s Map of Huguenots in Spitalfields
This week sees the inauguration of the Map of Huguenots in Spitalfields at Townhouse in Fournier St to which anyone with Huguenot ancestors in this neck of the works is invited to come along and add their forebears.
Cartographer extraordinaire Adam Dant has drawn a huge map as big as a wall and Stanley Rondeau, whose great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather Jean Rondeau arrived as an immigrant in 1685, put a pin in it to mark his ancestor. Undoubtedly, this was the first of many to come as the Huguenots converge upon Spitalfields again next week for the Huguenot Threads festival which runs from 9th until 20th July.
The plan is to collect as many stories of Spitalfields Huguenot ancestry onto the map as possible to create an archive, and the next steps will be an online version and a possible publication. In the meantime, if you are unable to come to Spitalfields in person to make your mark, you can follow the evolution of the map at the facebook page for Townhouse and submit stories of your Huguenot ancestors to be included. Later, everyone with forebears on the map will be invited to a party to meet each other and celebrate their shared history.
Spitalfields was the most concentrated Huguenot settlement in Britain of the twenty-five thousand French Protestants who fled across the Channel, to save their lives after the Revocation of the Act of Nantes, in 1685 – and who thereby introduced the word refugee into the English language.
Stanley places his ancestor Jean Rondeau on the map
Stanley Rondeau, Spitalfields’ most celebrated Huguenot
Stanley Rondeau congratulates Adam Dant on his Huguenot Map of Spitalfields
Stanley recounts the tale of the Rondeaus of Spitalfields for Adam
Photograph of map © Patricia Niven
Photographs of Stanley Rondeau & Adam Dant © Sarah Ainslie
The Map of Huguenots is at Townhouse, 5 Fournier St, until the end of August
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