Page Navigation - Go to: site index | start of page content | links to sections in this story | links to related material | story theme menu
MAKING THE MODERN WORLD
Stories about the lives we've made

story:Rise of the factory system

scene:The Huguenots

The Huguenots were French and Flemish Protestants who fled their own countries because of religious persecution. There were two main waves of Huguenot migration – in the latter half of the sixteenth century and towards the end of the seventeenth century. In all, over 200,000 Huguenots fled to the UK and Netherlands.


Handloom with Jacquard mechanism, c.1825. Made by Guillotte of Spitalfields, London, the loom was used in the silk industry at Braintree, Essex. picture zoom © Science Museum/Science and Society Picture Library

Huguenot migrants possessed considerable knowledge of the textiles industries –especially silk-making. The Courtauld family established a prospering silk industry at Braintree, Essex, while Huguenot weavers also concentrated in the Spitalfields area of London. Lewis (Or Louis) Paul invented the method of roller spinning that was later developed by Richard Arkwright to such great effect.


Papermaking machine developed by the Huguenot Fourdrinier brothers and patented in 1807. Making paper in continuous lengths, it made hand-production of single sheets obsolete. picture zoom © Science Museum/Science and Society Picture Library

Elsewhere, the Huguenot brothers Henry and Sealy Fourdrinier invented their revolutionary papermaking machine and Henry Bessemer, born in England of a Huguenot family, pioneered the first cheap, mass-production steel making process.

Skilled and industrious Huguenot workers injected British industry with a new vitality, bringing new ideas and technologies that were to transform life in many ways.

Resource Descriptions

Handloom with Jacquard mechanism, c.1825. Made by Guillotte of Spitalfields, London, the loom was used in the silk industry at Braintree, Essex.
Papermaking machine developed by the Huguenot Fourdrinier brothers and patented in 1807. Making paper in continuous lengths, it made hand-production of single sheets obsolete.
GO BACK TO THEME GO BACK TO THEME
Icon
Scene
Scene  Rich Media
Scene
Learning Module
Learning Module