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The Huguenots Of Soho

June 12, 2015
by the gentle author

The two major destination for Huguenots in London were Spitalfields and Soho. As part of the current Huguenot Summer festival, Paul Baker took me on a walk around Soho and beyond to show me some of the significant sites that tell the story of the Huguenot presence. You can join Paul on a tour to learn more this Saturday 13th June from 11am until 1pm, meeting at Eleanor Cross outside Charing Cross Station. Walks also take place on 4th & 25th July – booking details are at the end of this feature.

Commemorated in Soho Sq, Charles II granted sanctuary to the Huguenots in 1681

Berwick St once had two Huguenot chapels, L’Église de la Pattente, 1689 and L’Élise du Quarré, 1694

At the corner of Greek St & Old Compton St from 1694 – 1770 was once the workshop of Paul Crespin, Silversmith, and Nicholas Sprimant, Silversmith, had his workshop in Old Compton St from 1716 – 1771

Samuel Romilly (1758-1818) was the son of a Frith St jeweller who became the Solicitor General, notable as an anti-slavery campaigner and for abolishing hanging, drawing and quartering, and his nephew Peter Mark Roget, the Physician, wrote the famous Thesaurus

In West St, this chapel was originally built as La Pyramid de la Tremblade in 1770, but in 1742 it became a Methodist Chapel when Samuel Wesley took over

Appointed Silversmith & Goldsmith to George III in 1716, Paul de Lamerie (1688- 1751) had his workshop at 40 Gerrard St and his trade card was designed by William Hogarth

The Huguenot L’Église de Leicester Fields was built in 1693 in Orange St

A Huguenot chapel of ease was built here in Spring Gardens in 1685 but burnt down in 1726 along with the gunpowder depot next door

This Statue of Charles I at the top of Whitehall was created by French sculptor Hubert Le Suer in 1633

In 1662, Charles II granted a patent for Huguenot Chapel in Savoy Hill provided they used the Book of Common Prayer in French

London’s first Huguenot chapel was on the site of Somerset House between 1653 and 1660

Click here to book for Paul Baker’s Huguenot Soho walk on Saturday 13th June at 11am

Click here to book for Paul Baker’s Huguenot Soho walk on Saturday 4th July at 11am

Click here to book for Paul Baker’s Huguenot Soho walk on Saturday 25th July at 11am

5 Responses leave one →
  1. June 12, 2015

    A very apposite post. Next week I shall be attending a Thanksgiving service in Leicestershire for the life of Margaret LeMay who has recently died- the LeMays were one of the significant Spitalfields Huguenot families.

  2. Lesley Russell permalink
    July 31, 2015

    The first French church in London was in Threadneedle Street. A plaque marks the site. Edward VI granted the Walloon and French communities the privilege of founding their church by Letters Patent in 1550 and they were given the use of the old chapel of St Antony’s Hospital. The two congregations shared the chapel at first until the Walloons moved to Austin Friars and the French congregation stayed at Threadneedle Street. A new church was built on the site when the old chapel was destroyed in the Great Fire and remained in use until 1840.

  3. Pauline Poustie permalink
    October 27, 2017

    Very interesting site,in researching my Davis ancestors I was told that we were from France and the surname was changed which I suspect we were from Heugenot descent would love to find out for sure.

    Pauline Poustie

  4. Alice Nissen permalink
    February 26, 2022

    Saw this site while looking into my Huguenot 5 x gt grandfather Isaac Gervais. His daughter Lucia Gervais married my 4 x gt grandfather Thomas M Maude who lived at 14 Great George Street, Westminster. Having received a legacy of £1000 from Lt William Edward Fiott, he set up a firm of Navy Agents, Maude & Co 1817, later Maude and Hallett. A memorial is on the wall of St Margaret’s, Westminster. His son William Henry Maude was Rear Admiral in the Navy and became Godfather to the Duke of Clarence (later George IVth).

  5. May 19, 2023

    Very fascinating site. When I was doing research on my Davis ancestors, I was told that our family is originally from France and that our surname was altered at some point. I believe that this means that we are of Heugenot lineage, but I would want to confirm this.

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