I WAS most surprised to read the assertion of J Button that the Huguenots were a turbulent warmongering tribe who conquered and according to him were, among others, responsible for “the destruction of the Ancient British way of life” (Mailbag November 14).
My academic research over the past 50 years has never revealed that allegation before.
On the contrary, they were usually described as a peaceable group who came as refugees from political (NB: not religious; their religion was tolerated) oppression in France. Most of all they were welcomed by their host nations.
Interestingly, they very quickly taught the English their trades and, equally importantly, promptly, as early as 1703, introduced their own personal care facilities of the poor and indigent refugees, so that they were not a “charge” on the English; therefore being one of the pioneers of Care in the Community.
If J Button can let me have evidence of his opinion I will be very pleased to see it.
Directeur Francois Hopital des Pauvres Protestants, Fellow of the Huguenot Society of Great Britain and Ireland