From Strangers to Citizens

Published in Early Modern History (1500–1700), Early Modern History Social Perspectives, Issue 4 (Winter 1999), News, News, Volume 7

Great Britain and Ireland have long been the homes of multicultural societies, in the early modern period no less than in the present day. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries many came from the European continent to settle here—some to escape war and religious persecution, others to find better lives. These immigrants struggled to adapt to their new homeland, in the course of which they changed not only themselves but their host society.
The Huguenot Society of Great Britain and Ireland is convening on 5-7 April 2000 this international historical conference, under the patronage of  The Prince of Wales, to mark the 450th anniversary of King Edward VI’s charter granting ‘strangers’ the right to hold Reformed services in England. It will be held in the Dutch Church, Austin Friars, in the City of London, which stands on the site of the first of the stranger churches.
The conference will discuss the integration of the many immigrant groups—Dutch, Flemish, Walloons, French, Jews, Germans, Italians, Africans and Asians—who came to Britain to settle, or who used it as a springboard for migration across the seas to Ireland and the American colonies.
The fifty to sixty speakers will include, as keynote speakers, Patrick Collinson and Hugh Trevor-Roper, sometime Regius Professors at Cambridge and Oxford respectively, and Robin Gwynn, author of Huguenot Heritage; and in panels: Margrit Beerbuhl (Dusseldorf), Nicholas Canny (NUI Galway), Karen Hearn (Tate Gallery), Carolyn Lougee (Stanford), Michelle Magdelaine (CNRS, Paris), John Marshall (Johns Hopkins), Nabil Matar (Florida), Tessa Murdoch (Victoria and Albert Museum), Gordon Schochet (Institute of Advanced Study), James Walvin (York), Ruth Whelan (NUI Maynooth), Miriam Yardeni (Haifa).
A reception will take place at the Spitalfields Centre and a conference banquet at the livery hall of the Carpenters’ Company. There will also be guided tours of the seventeenth-century Bevis Marks synagogue and of neighbouring Spitalfields, an exhibition of rare books, with a speaker, in the library of the French Protestant Church of London, founded in 1550, and an excursion to an exhibition on the history of immigration and a one-day workshop (8 April) at the Public Records Office, Kew.
Enquiries (including full programme and registration information): Dr. C.G.D. Littleton, Huguenot Library, University College, Gower St., London WC1E 6BT, e-mail:


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