You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘England’ tag.

This is my final entry on Huguenots for 2015. All being well, I’ll have another series next year.

Until the 19th century, many English clockmaking firms were in business. The English, being scientifically minded (until the past 20 years), had exceptional talents when it came to inventing ways to improve horology and keeping time.

Unfortunately, tempus fugit and, with cheaper clocks coming from the Continent combined with the loss of the United States as an export market around a century ago, the industry has diminished.

Present day situation

Today, only two English firms exist: Thwaites & Reed, established in 1740 and operating near Brighton on the south coast, and a newcomer, Newgate Clocks, founded in 1991 in Shropshire.

That said, the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers, established in 1631, still exists. It is the oldest surviving horological institution in the world. The Company’s motto is Tempus Rerum Imperator, Latin for Time is the ruler of (all) things. Isn’t that the truth!

Compared with the history of lace making in this country, no one argues about Huguenot participation in timepiece making.

The Worshipful Company of Clockmakers have a museum, created in 1814, which has the best of ancient and fine timepieces. Before the collection relocated to the Science Museum in the summer of 2015, the curator was on hand in April in the Guildhall location:

The Curator will be at the Museum for the most of the day on Tuesday 9th April and will be happy to answer any questions from visitors and highlight the Huguenot clocks in the display cases.

It is regrettable that the Guildhall and the Clockmakers were unable to arrive at an agreeable negotiation for renewal. The museum had its home there for 150 years. The Guildhall location closes on September 1, 2015.

The Clockmakers Collection is now on the second floor of the Science Museum and visits are free of charge.

Huguenot horologers

British History Online tells us that records of English clock and watch manufacture are thin on the ground. What follows is a summary of the article.

Were it not for the mandate to stamp gold and silver watches with the manufacturer’s name, we would know even less than we do. What is lost are the names of those who worked behind the scenes.

In London, clock and watch makers lived and worked in the City — the oldest part of London — and the West End, the political centre near the royal Court. Another watch and clock making centre was to the northwest of London in Middlesex.

The Huguenots settled in Soho (part of Westminster) in the West End.

The article states:

Some of the most skilled clockmakers employed in England during the 16th century were foreigners. Nicholas Cratzer or Craczer, (fn. 3) a German astronomer, was ‘deviser of the King’s (Hen. VIII) horloges,’ and lived thirty years in England. He was a Bavarian, born in 1487. Six French craftsmen were imported in the time of Henry VIII to make a clock for Nonsuch Palace. Nicholas Oursiau, Frenchman and denizen, was clockmaker to both Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, and constructed the old turret clock at Hampton Court. (fn. 4) He as well as his two assistants Laurence Daunton of the French Church and Peter Doute of the Dutch Church, are returned as living in Westminster in 1568.

Many Huguenots involved in the industry were workers, not owners. However, their well-honed skills and attention to detail helped English manufacturers ensure quality products for the Royal Family, the gentry and wealthy merchants.

Notable Huguenot watchmakers and clockmakers

A few Huguenots owned their own firms and were very successful.

Debaufre

The Debaufre (de Beaufré) family settled in Soho in the 17th century. They were highly skilled watchmakers. Peter Debaufre’s workshop was located in Church Street and the company was in business from 1686 to 1750. Debaufre was admitted to the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers in 1689.

In 1704, he, Jacob Debaufre and Nicolas Facio (Faccio, Fatio de Duillier) were granted a patent for jewel bearing, the application of jewels to the pivot holes of watches and clocks.

Incidentally, Nicolas Fatio de Duillier, a fellow of the Royal Society, was a controversial figure. Although he was a brilliant Swiss mathematician with a keen interest in astronomy and physics, he became involved with the ‘prophetic’ Camisards around the time this patent was granted. In 1705, he became the ‘chief’ of this radical and violent French political-religious sect. Parliament suspected Fatio de Duillier of plotting against the state and, at the instigation of the French Church in London, sentenced him to be pilloried as a common cheat and impostor spreading ‘wicked and counterfeit prophecies’. He was nearly killed on the day by a violent mob. Afterward, he left England for a tour of Europe and Asia, returning in 1712. He died in 1753, near Worcester. But I digress.

Once the Debaufres’ patent was granted, they put a sign up in their shop advertising jewelled watches. You can see an example of a ‘Debauffre’ watch in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Peter Debaufre also devised a dead-beat or ‘club-footed’ verge escapement, later adopted and adapted by several other watchmakers.

James Debaufre joined the family firm in 1712. The business closed in 1750.

De Charmes

Simon De Charmes escaped to England in 1688. He was admitted to the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers in 1691.

He was highly successful and was able to build a grand family house in Hammersmith (west London), Grove Hall, in 1730. His son David succeeded him in the business. David died in 1783.

DiscoveringClocks tells us that the Huguenots (emphases mine):

brought with them many skills which enlightened and changed fashion and brought luxury items to the market place.  Furniture and clock-making reached their zenith in this period.

DiscoveringClocks has two photos of a surviving De Charmes carriage clock, neither of which I wished to copy here as the object is so rare:

It has a green lacquer case and the domed top is exquisitely decorated with polychrome floral sprigs set against a soft bottle green ground colour …

The case has four gilt metal flambeau finials and is surmounted by carved gilt wooden sound frets set below the dome; it also retains its original gilt metal foliate handle.  One can image how colourful it was when the purchaser brought the clock home, fresh from the workshop.  It has mellowed over a period of time but it is still strikingly beautiful.

Magniac

British History Online mentions Francis Magniac. His workshop was in Clerkenwell (east London) and was in operation between 1770 and 1794.

Magniac was a highly skilled maker of complicated clocks and automata.

In addition to his mechanical expertise, he was also a colonel. He exported many of his wares to China.

Magniac married an Englishwoman, Frances Attwood, who gave birth to their son Hollingworth in 1786 in Bedfordshire. They also had two other sons, Daniel and Charles.

Francis Magniac sent Charles to Canton to keep an eye on the family business interests in that part of the world. Charles established Magniac & Co in China. It soon became one of the most powerful and successful trading houses there.

To avoid too much commercial control by the East India Company, which monopolised British trade in Asia, prominent British businessmen there renounced their citizenship for that of another European country. John Reid, a Scot, was the first to do so in becoming an Austrian citizen. Charles and Hollingworth followed suit under Prussian nationality.

Amazingly, Reid became the Chinese Consul by appointment of the Emperor of Austria. Charles was appointed Prussian Consul and Hollingworth Prussian Vice-Consul.

Charles Magniac was killed in Paris in 1824. The Wikipedia article did not state the circumstances. Daniel took over Magniac & Co but fell into disrepute when he married his Chinese mistress.

This put Hollingworth in charge, but, by then, the company was rapidly falling into decline. The Magniac brothers knew Scottish merchants William Jardine and James Matheson well. Hollingworth appointed Jardine senior partner and Matheson also received a highly responsible position.

Hollingworth returned to England in 1828. He left his capital in trust to Jardine and Matheson. His former company continued to trade as Magniac & Co until 1832, when it became Jardine Matheson and Company, a Fortune 500 company today.

In England, Hollingworth married in 1827 and became a partner of a merchant banking firm Magniac, Smith & Co in 1835, agents for Jardine Matheson. When Jardine returned to England, the merchant bank was renamed Magniac, Jardine & Co.

Hollingworth died in 1867. He is buried in the Magniac mausoleum in Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire.

Vuillamy – Swiss not French

My final mention here is of particular interest to me, as I occasionally have an opportunity to see and hear a Vuillamy clock when I am a guest at a private member’s club in Pall Mall.

Justin Vuillamy moved from Switzerland in England around 1730. He was already a skilled watchmaker and went to work for Benjamin Gray in Pall Mall. Gray was the clockmaker for George II and the Clockmakers Collection at the Science Museum has several of his specimens on display.

Vuillamy married Gray’s daughter and succeeded Gray as head of the business. British History Online tells us:

The watches made by this firm were of very fine quality: one of them fetched £120 15s. when the Hawkins Collection was dispersed by auction in 1895. This beautiful example had an outer case of gold and crystal and a diamond thumb-piece to press back the locking spring, the inner case being enamelled in colours with a garden scene.

Vuillamy’s son Benjamin later took over the business. He was a favourite of George III:

and much consulted by the king on mechanical subjects, especially in connexion with Kew Observatory.

His son, Benjamin Lewis Vuillamy, born in 1780, was the next head of the firm:

and obtained a high reputation for the exactness and excellent finish of his work, both in clocks and watches. Until his death in 1854, the office of clockmaker to the reigning sovereign continued to be held by members of the Vulliamy family.

The royal palaces and Windsor Castle have several Vuillamy clocks.

Elsewhere:

Among the public timekeepers made by B. L. Vulliamy were the large clock at the old Post Office, St. Martin’s-leGrand, and one at Christ Church, Oxford.

Benjamin Lewis Vuillamy also wrote:

several pamphlets on the art of clock-making; one of them being on the construction of the deadbeat escapement.

And:

He was a very active member of the Company of Clockmakers, of which he was five times master; in recognition of his services to them, the company presented him with a piece of plate in 1849.

The Vuillamy clock I have the pleasure of seeing is beautifully made, although without much ornamentation. The highlight for me is when it strikes the hour. The delicate chime is heavenly. I’ve not heard the likes of it before or since.

A contentious subject among some English historians is whether the Huguenots were involved in lace making in our country.

Each side makes its own case for or against.

The case against

Those discounting Huguenot involvement say that an English cottage industry of lace making already existed by the time they arrived in the 16th century. This is true. However, very few examining this aspect of history ever said the Huguenots or their Flemish counterparts actually brought lace making to England.

What could be said is that the Huguenots and the Flemish improved our lace by bringing Continental techniques and materials to England.

Another aspect which needs to be taken into account is the association of certain types of lace with the Huguenots. Some of the laces linked to them were not devised until long afterward. However, it is possible that a few older historians misunderstood or accidentally mis-stated this.

An example of this can be found on the Wikipedia talk page for the Huguenots entry, which has an extensive analysis of lace making in England and Huguenot involvement. This involves the foremost history of English lace making, Romance of the Lace Pillow, written in 1919 by Thomas Wright. Emphases mine below:

3. The whole of Wright’s argument then turns on his statement “From this time Bucks [Buckinghamshire, southern England] point lace developed: it is a combination of Mechlin patterns on Lille ground.” In effect he is arguing that the two groups of refugees must have been responsible for the development of East Midlands lace because its style is derived from the two styles of lace of the regions from which the refugees came. Although this argument may sound plausible to the layman, it is based on the fallacy that what is now known as Mechlin lace existed at the time of the immigration from Flanders, which according to Wright was several years before 1572 (i.e late sixteenth century).

On what evidence is our knowledge of the history of lace based? Lace was primarily a fashion item, and the most extensive evidence for the development of styles of lace is from portraits, which can generally be dated accurately. Written records document the existence of lacemaking and lacemakers in particular regions at particular times, which is the basis for saying that lace was made in the East Midlands as early as 1596. However we know very little about what type of lace was made there in the seventeenth century because no descriptions have been found.

What we do know from portraits is that the lace now known as Bucks Point did not appear until the end of the eighteenth century. (It was at this time that the Lille ground was adopted by lacemakers all over Europe because it could be made more quickly than the Mechlin ground.) Santina Levey, a textile curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum, writes in her highly respected “Lace, A History” (Maney, 1990: ISBN: 0-901286-15-X) that Mechlin lace developed in the first half of the eighteenth century (pp.45 and 47), while Lille lace with its typical mesh ground first appeared towards the end of the eighteenth century (p.90).

Therefore, according to this potential editor, Socialambulator:

One final point that I haven’t addressed previously (because my views on this are subjective) is why the idea gained currency that the Huguenots influenced English lacemaking. Like Seguin and others, I think it was probably economic. French lace was regarded as of higher quality, and commanded a higher price, than English lace. Associating E. Midlands lace with the Huguenots would have been used to give it a French association (and price tag). It should be mentioned that, Harry Armstrong, the publisher of Thomas Wright’s “The Romance of Lace Pillow”, himself sold lace under the name of ‘Mrs’ H Armstrong.

The case for

One of the problems in pinpointing Huguenot influence and involvement is that many records from the time no longer exist.

Yet, Irish historians have little problem linking Huguenot refugees with lace making. A short piece from the Irish Times states:

After the end of the Williamite wars, large Huguenot settlements were established in Portarlington, Youghal, Cork, Dublin, Waterford and Lisburn, where they became celebrated for their expertise in textiles, specialising in weaving, lace-making, and glove-making. In the course of time, they became thoroughly absorbed into Irish society through intermarriage, and names such as Boucicault, Maturin, Le Fanu and Trench are still familiar in Ireland today.

Therefore, if Huguenots were involved in Ireland’s industry, why not England’s?

Lace making researchers from Buckinghamshire and elsewhere in England point to Huguenot participation in the craft.

The Cowper and Newton Museum in Olney, Bucks, has exhibits on various aspects of Georgian life. Of local lace making, a related page states:

Lace was probably made in the Eastern Counties (Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire) prior to 1563. This was, and still is, a flax growing area. The first wave of lace makers from the continent came in 1563 to 1568. They were Flemish Protestants who left the area around Mechelen (Mechlin / Malines) when Philip II introduced the Inquisition to the Low Countries …

Second wave of lacemakers, many from Lille, left in 1572 after The Massacre of the Feast of Saint Bartholomew. Exactly how many is not known but many hundreds came to Buckinghamshire and Northampton.

Local noblemen, the Museum says, offered these refugees sanctuary:

In 1586 Lord William Russell, son of the Duke of Bedford, owned property near Cranfield, Bedfordshire. This is about 10 miles from Olney. He had fought for William the Silent in the Low Countries and he was married to Rachel, daughter of the Huguenot Marquis de Rivigny. He invited many refugees to settle under his protection. Another English gentleman, who had fought for William of Orange, was George Gascoigne: he invited other Huguenots to settle near his manor at Cardington, Bedford. Huguenot emigration continued untiI the Edict of Nantes in 1598. However when the Edict was rescinded in 1685 by Louis XIV, there was another wave of religious refugees. About 10,000 left Burgundy and Normandy. The lace makers found their way to the by now well-established lace villages in the counties of Buckingham, Bedford and Northampton. Flemish and Huguenot names still common in this area are listed below; naturally most have been Anglicised over time.

The Olney Lace Circle page says the same thing but goes further:

It was the Flemish Protestants who brought lace making to England during the 1560’s. Many of these immigrants were lace makers and as they moved out of the overcrowded ports they began to settle into areas now regarded as the historic centres for the craft of lace making. In the county of Buckinghamshire these immigrants settled in Newport Pagnell, Buckingham and of course Olney

During the following decade the Huguenots fled France and a great many French lace makers also settled in this area.

A Genealogy page on bobbins also states that this technique came from the Flemish and Huguenots:

Bobbin lace making was a cottage industry probably introduced into England by Flemish refugees in the sixteenth century. They were Protestants escaping from the Inquisition. Many drifted to the Midlands, particularly Olney, Newport Pagnell. and Buckingham, and on into Northamptonshire. The Huguenots, lace makers from Lille in France, soon joined them. These refugees brought with them the tools of their trade and their expertise. Thus pillow lace making was established in the Midlands.

The Geni page on Huguenots tells us about their settlement in neighbouring Bedfordshire and Norwich:

Other Huguenots arriving in England settled in Bedfordshire, which was (at the time) the main centre of England’s lace industry. Huguenots greatly contributed to the development of lace-making in Bedfordshire, with many families settling in Cranfield, Bedford and Luton. Some of these immigrants moved to Norwich [East Anglia], which had accommodated an earlier settlement of Walloon weavers; they added to the existing immigrant population, which comprised about a third of the population of the city.

The Pierre Chastain site has an extensive timeline of Huguenot history. The entry for 1567-1568 reads as follows:

Huguenot thread and lace makers established in Maidstone [Kent], England. Others escaped to Cranfield in Bedfordshire and others to the shires of Oxford, Northampton and Cambridge. Huguenots established glassworks in London during this period.

An essay by a family member about the Godfrey sisters in Buckinghamshire, lace makers in the early 20th century, states:

The elderly lacemakers pictured are but three of a long line of Godfrey’s dating back, in my records, to 1654, and probably of Huguenot stock, `Godefrai’ by name. My maternal grandmother Elizabeth was one of a family of eight, and the trio pictured are her three maiden sisters with whom she lived when not out nursing at homes in the vicinity. Earlier she had married Richard Green of Olney, but he died shortly after my mother and her brother were born.

The development of lace making in England

A Sixteenth Century Industry traces the history of lace making in England. It was written in the early 20th century and discusses the making and selling of lace as well as working conditions. The photographs are marvellous.

The 32-page PDF compilation of articles and essays tells us that Continental Europe was much more advanced than England in this cottage industry (PDF pp. 9, 11):

It is true that the English made what they called ‘lace’, but this was really embroidery, whether drawn linen or cut work, very attractive certainly, but not lace as we now understand this term.

Between the 16th and 18th centuries, those who could afford it were married and buried in lace (p. 10).

Lace making, rightly associated with the poor, was also a hobby among gentlewomen. It has often been said that Catherine of Aragon, one of Henry VIII’s six wives, introduced the art to Bedfordshire when she retired there at Dower House in Ampthill Park (pp. 11, 12).

Mary Queen of Scots also made lace, which kept her occupied during her years of captivity (p. 12).

By the time Elizabeth I began her reign, lace making and design were much more sophisticated (p. 12).

Protestant refugees from Flanders and France helped to advance the industry (pp. 13, 14):

The Flemish and French Huguenots may be looked upon as the real founders in this country of the lace industry

Bucks Point is adapted from the Lace of Lille and Mechlin. It is possible that it was recognised as a distinct lace under Queen Elizabeth, and was probably made to some extent in the reign of James I, but it was firmly established in the reign of James II and William III.

The development of Bucks Point points to the influence of the Flemish from Mechlin and the French from Lille. The sentence does not say that this is the Mechlin lace of the 18th century nor that it was created in Elizabethan times.

Giddylimits‘s page on lace making tells us of another French influence:

One of the most popular and widely practised forms of lace making is Torchon Lace – this word comes from the French for dishcloth or duster. Another name for Torchon Lace was beggar’s lace and was not widely thought of but now it has made a renaissance and is popular with modern lace makers. It is also thought to be a good lace to start with as it has a structured form which is easy to pick up and follow.

The Revd Louis Fitzgerald Benson’s The Huguenots: their settlements, churches and industries in England and Ireland (1932) states:

Some lace-makers from Alenyon and Valenciennes settled at Cranfield, in Bedfordshire, in 1568 ; after which others settled at Buckingham, Stony Stratford, and Newport-Pagnell, from whence the manufacture gradually extended over the shires of Oxford, Northampton, and Cambridge. About the same time the manufacture of bone-lace, with thread obtained from Antwerp, was introduced into Devonshire by the Flemish exiles, who settled in considerable numbers at Honiton, Colyton, and other places, where the trade continued to be carried on by their descendants almost to our own time — the Flemish and French names of Stocker, Murch, Spiller, Genest, Maynard, Gerard, Raymunds, Rochett, Kettel, etc., being still common in the lace-towns of the west.

In the 17th century, men as well as women wore lace. Charles II wore a lot of it, with elaborate cuffs and jabots. William III once spent an unimaginable £2,459 on lace alone one year (p. 13, A Sixteenth Century Industry). Most of his subjects would have struggled to earn or spend £1 at any one time.

Lace in 18th and 19th century England

As the lace industry developed in England, more styles from other countries were absorbed into the repertoire. By the 18th century, the migration from Flanders and France had largely ended.

Fashion changes and the elaborate lace clothing of the centuries before gradually gave way to more modest trim. New styles refreshed the linens market: tablecloths, d’oyleys (p. 21), towels, bedclothes and curtains.

Maltese was a highly popular style in the 18th century. Buckinghamshire lace makers developed an offshoot of this called Bucks Cluny which also incorporated aspects of old Italian lace on display at the Cluny Museum in Paris (p. 18). Auvergne was another lace style also popular at the time.

Although we think of lace as being crafted exclusively by women prior to mechanisation, men and boys also made it. An article in The Agricultural History Review tells us that, in the countryside, it was a good means of making an earning when fields lay fallow. A farmer’s wife and daughters would often make it all year round. Farmers and their sons were also known to make it seasonally when not tending the fields. In towns and cities, lace making was taught to the poor, particularly children. Lace schools developed, run by a lace mistress. The primary activity was supplemented with just enough reading, writing and arithmetic to get by. Lace making was also promoted as a good way for the disabled to make a living. As long as their fingers were nimble, these people had the possibility of a livelihood.

Pay was minimal. Lace sellers made the most money. Middlemen paid a pittance for the lace they bought from home workers. The slightest flaw could cause a worker’s lace to remain unsold. Middlemen also expected undivided loyalty. A lace maker who sold wares to a competitor might find herself or himself unable to sell any further without considerable difficulty.

By the end of the 19th century, mechanised lace making was widespread in cities, especially in Nottingham. ‘A Brief History of Hosiery and Lacemaking in Nottingham’ describes the changes that the Industrial Revolution brought to the industry.

John Heathcoat had patented a mechanical way for bobbins to be ‘thrown’ one over the other. When his patent expired in the first half of the 19th century, these machines were widely reproduced by other manufacturers. Some were small enough to fit in a house, enabling piece work from home for those who were unable to work in a factory.

Nottingham boomed. There were bobbin makers in and around the city. Piece workers had to have their mechanised lace bleached and presentable for sale, so small industries grew to meet this need. Office occupations — bookkeeping, stocktaking — were also a part of keeping all sorts of factories running profitably.

In the West Country, lace making centred around Honiton and nearby towns, especially Branscombe and Beer. An essay from Branscombe Parish on lace making says that the lace from this area was called Honiton Lace because it was shipped from there. The area was already making lace by the time Huguenots arrived in the 16th century. The Honiton pillow technique used fishbones for pins and small sheep’s bones for bobbins. Branscombe and Beer each had their distinctive designs.

As with Nottingham, Honiton’s industry boomed during the 19th century. As the Napoleonic Wars had disrupted European trade, English lace could easily be made and shipped overseas. Queen Victoria ordered the lace flounce for her wedding dress from Tuckers of Branscombe in 1839. In 1863, Tuckers supplied lace for Princess Alexandra’s wedding dress. The Ford and Chick families also had successful lace businesses.

As successful as the Honiton industry was, it was still handmade and, therefore, could not compete long-term with Nottingham’s mechanisation. (Tiverton, Devon, also had a mechanised factory, Heathcotes.) There was local disapproval, too, of working conditions. Lady Trevelyan began commissioning her own work directly to avoid middlemen. She paid lace makers a higher price than the established businesses.

20th century decline

Although small-scale lace making continues in the Honiton area and is still commissioned by the Royal Family, it largely died out by the 20th century.

Buckinghamshire’s lace makers could not compete with ‘cheap Chinese and other foreign lace’ (p. 24, A Sixteenth Century Industry). ‘Mrs H Armstrong’ — in reality, Harry Armstrong — established The Cottage Lace Workers’ Agency at Olney. The Agency supplied thread, took orders and sold lace ‘in a businesslike way’.

Meanwhile, in Nottingham at the turn of the century, 20,000 people — mostly women — were employed in lace making. However, the French and German lace making industries were more competitive and the city endured periods of boom and bust, depending on what was in vogue when.

The Great War hit the city hard. One of the pre-eminent firms, Thomas Adams Ltd, had problems collecting debts from South America and Russia. Even when the war ended, the firm never recovered and had to close parts of the business and sell part of its premises to other unrelated companies.

During the Depression, the city’s Lace Market was gradually broken up. Printers, booksellers, box makers and others moved in. A decade later, Nottingham suffered damage from air raids. The lace manufacturers produced mosquito netting and camouflage nets for the war effort. After the war ended, although new lace markets developed overseas, the new products for export required new machines and new premises. These were built on the outskirts of Nottingham.

Thomas Adams Ltd closed in 1950.

Efforts from Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County councils have been under way since the 1960s to preserve the buildings of the once-great Lace Market.

Conclusion

Debate will continue to go on as to the influence that Huguenots and possibly the Flemish had on English lace making. As the objection to Huguenot involvement is recent, I can only think that they — and the Flemish — helped to perfect our styles and technique, making us more competitive for a while.

If we did have the pillow technique before their arrival, they might have brought us better-quality ones along with superior bobbins. Their weaving techniques were no doubt different, too. One can imagine that thread from Antwerp was probably finer than our original product as well. After all, Huguenots and the Flemish transformed our silk weaving dramatically.

Whatever the answer turns out to be, we had a once-great industry. Sadly, as with silk weaving, it died a slow death in the battle with progress.

As I mentioned last week, London’s small silk weaving industry was based in Spitalfields in the East End. In its infancy, it employed mostly Irish weavers.

When the Huguenots settled there, they were able to expand England’s silk weaving industry. It wasn’t long before Spitalfields was known as ‘Weaver Town’. Exodus (“Movement of the People”) explains that more silk coupled with French styling proved fashionable with the British upper class. It wasn’t long before Weaver Town’s Huguenot owners of silk weaving workshops became wealthy men with hundreds of employees. Their large family homes are still standing today.

From the time of the first arrivals in London, Huguenots quickly established their own churches and charities. One church, La Patente, was in Spitalfields. Another, the French Church, was further west in Soho, in present-day central London. The French Protestant Hospital, La Providence, in Old Street came later, having been established in 1718. It took care not only of the sick but also the destitute. Institutions such as these provided an informal job network, particularly for those who arrived with no contacts, such as would-be apprentices.

A Birkbeck (University of London) PhD thesis by William Farrell, Silk and globalisation in eighteenth-century London: commodities, people and connections c.1720-1800, tells us how many were employed in textiles from the records of the three aforementioned institutions (p. 85 of the document). In the 18th century, La Patente’s register showed three-fifths textile employment, the French church in Soho four-fifths and La Providence hospital 48%.

Farrell writes that earlier Huguenot records with regard to silk industry employment are unclear. However, his research reveals that the more successful weavers and artisans settled in East London between 1610 and 1694 (p. 81). Not surprisingly, Spitalfields became a nexus for Huguenot silk weaving and a century later, was a well-established community where new arrivals could seek employment.

The same was true in Ireland, although their initial settlement in the 17th century was easier than that of the Huguenots in England. William of Orange facilitated this in two ways. He recruited Huguenots who had fled to the Netherlands to his army to fight the Battle of the Boyne. He also appealed to them through the Statute of King William for Encouraging French Protestants to Settle in Ireland (p. 81).

Whilst many silk industry workers were successful, movement was sometimes fluid for those who were less in demand or beset by bad luck in short-term employment. Some moved from Ireland to London. A few dared to travel back to France for work when the British silk seasons were slow. In any event, migrations were undertaken quickly once a worker determined where he wanted to go next (pp 81, 82).

Natalie Rothstein’s Canterbury and London: The Silk Industry in the Late Seventeenth Century tells us that Huguenot silk weavers came from Normandy’s Pays de Caux region which comprises the cities of Dieppe and Le Havre. She notes that those settling in Canterbury would have found a familiarity about the region. Kent’s topography is similar to the Pays de Caux’s with its fertile farmland. In terms of employment, there was a rich market to be plumbed. The seat of the Church of England is there and, at the time anyway, there were many wealthy farmers and members of the landed gentry in the surrounding area.

Huguenot and Walloon weavers in Canterbury established a workshop in the 16th century. Edward VI granted them the whole of the western crypt of Canterbury Cathedral for worship purposes. The workshop was in steady use until 1830.

Rothstein’s paper puts together the pieces of the puzzle with regard to the workshop’s closure and the death of the silk industry in Canterbury. It must have been quite a challenge. What is available says that the original records are difficult to come by and some have even been destroyed.

However, in the mid-18th century, the War of Austrian Succession disrupted the shipment of raw silk from Asia, Italy and Turkey (Farrell, p. 83). Dublin’s silk industry shrank dramatically between 1730 and 1763. Many weavers moved to London.

Another serious challenge came around the same time: mechanisation. Punch card looms put many weavers out of work, not only in Britain but also elsewhere in Europe. By 1801, embroidery had been mechanised, too.

Yet another difficulty, despite Huguenot expertise, was that the climate in the British Isles was never going to be conducive to a large-scale silk industry.

In the end, finished Indian and Chinese silks took over.

The Exodus article says that 30,000 workers in the 18th century were affected by the downturn. Violent clashes took place between owners and employees. The 1801 Spitalfields Acts attempted to calm things down by improving wages and conditions as well as protecting the English silk market.

However, the Huguenots of Spitalfields ended up moving to what were then London’s suburbs (likely to be in the centre of the capital today). Another chapter of artisanal history had come to a close.

Although commercial controversies surrounding Huguenot trading in England had been largely resolved, Charles I’s reign brought a return of threat to French worship.

A book from 1871, Protestant exiles from France in the reign of Louis XIV or, The Huguenot refugees and their descendants in Great Britain and Ireland, details this story. A summary and excerpts follow.

The ill-fated Charles I began his reign on March 24, 1625. His relationship with Protestant practice was compromised by his Catholic family members and friends. He didn’t feel able to embrace the Huguenot cause as James and Elizabeth had done. However, he also did not want to be seen to reject them for fear of going against public opinion. In 1626, he declared official recognition of ‘existing immunities’ of foreign Protestants and their children.

In 1633, the Most Reverend William Laud became Archbishop of Canterbury. He remains controversial to this day, and people either love him or loathe him. Laud boldly declared ‘brotherhood’ with Rome and wanted to change official statements of Protestantism as ‘the true religion’. He then forbade Huguenot children born in England from worshipping in their parents’ French churches; they had to attend English-speaking Anglican parish churches. He also proscribed French language liturgy in Huguenot churches.

Ten years later, the Civil War began and Parliament abolished the episcopacy on November 5, 1643. Members of the Commons and the Lords wanted to establish a British Church of a Calvinist nature. Certain English clergymen involved knew Calvinist practice in Scotland and France well and could speak French. Other clergy helping them in this regard were Huguenots in England.

In 1660 — the year of the Restoration — the Church of England’s structure was re-established along with the monarchy. Reports circulated about some of the Huguenots who had worked for Cromwell in diplomatic missions to France during the Interregnum. A few were suspected of being closet Catholics who worked against Cromwell, helping to bring about Charles II’s ascension to the throne. Others were suspected of being anti-monarchists and had to leave England for good. It was a time of religious and political intrigue. Jesuits were suspected of stirring the pot and plotting with renegade Huguenots against Cromwell.

In 1681, Charles II proposed citizenship for Huguenots. Oddly, given supposed public support of the French Protestants, legislators did nothing for the next 20 years. Favourable public opinion to the Huguenots did not extend to giving them the same rights and privileges as natural-born Englishmen, especially in London:

Any Englishman proposing such an act, was upbraided as an Esau, guilty of flinging away precious means of provision for himself and his family, the restrictions for foreigners being providential blessings for Englishmen. Any Bill to give foreigners a share of the Englishman s right was unpopular with the City of London, and with all boroughs and corporations.

In 1694, a naturalisation Bill was quietly dropped before the requisite readings could begin.

Therefore, it was only by through special measures — patent-letters from the King or private Acts of Parliament — that individual Huguenots, families and small groups could become citizens of England.

What follows is the text of a King’s Letter granting citizenship to one Peter de Lainc (emphases mine):

CHARLES, R. In pursuance of our Order of Council, made the 28th day of July last past [1681], in favour and for the relief and support of poore distressed protestants, who by reason of the rigours and severities which are used towards them upon the account of their Religion shall be forced to quitt their native country and shall desire to shelter themselves under our Royall protection and free exercise of their religion, of whom Peter de Lainc Esq., French Tutor to our dearest brother James Duke of York his children, is one, as appears by sufficient certificate produced to one of our principall Secretarys of State, and that he hath received the Holy Communion. Our will and pleasure is that you prepare a Bill for our royall signature, to pass our Create Scale, containing our grant for the making him the sayd Peter de Lainc, being an Alien borne, a free denizen of this oure kingdome of England, and that he have and enjoy all rights, priviledges and immunities as other free Denizens do. Provided he, the said Peter de Laine, live and continue with his family in this our kingdome of England, or elsewhere within our Dominions ; the said denization to be forthwith past under our great Scale without any fees or other charges whatsoever to be paid by him. For which this shall be your warrant. Dated at Whitehall, the 14th day of October, 1681.

By his Majesties Command,

To our Attorney or Sollicitor General.” I,. JENKINS.

Those naturalised included doctors, inventors, teachers, tutors, watch-makers, jewellers, tailors and  wig-makers.

In the 18th century, some Huguenot clergymen joined the Churches of England or Scotland. One prominent case concerned The Duke of Devonshire who was the patron of John-Armand du Bourdieu. The Duke gave him the Rectory of Sawtrey-Moynes in 1701, where du Bourdieu remained until he died in 1726.

Surnames became anglicised in some cases, for example:

As to the surname, Cabibel, I have often thought that the important modern name, Cabbel, was derived from it. As a beginning of changing French names into English equivalents, observe the entry “John Greene alias Vert.”

Queen Anne’s reign (1702-1714) produced little or nothing in the way of Huguenot naturalisation in the early years. Nonetheless, they were considered responsible and productive persons, as if they were English.

Finally, in 1709, a group of MPs managed to get a citizenship measure passed, the Bill for the Naturalization of Foreign Protestants:

The Bill became an Act of Parliament on the 23d March 1709; the qualification was the taking of the usual oaths, and there was also a Proviso, “that no person shall be naturalized, &c., unless he shall have received the Sacrament in some Protestant or Reformed congregation within this kingdom”.

The fee was sixpence.

Not every Huguenot took advantage of this long-awaited opportunity. Some hoped to return to France. Taking English citizenship would annul their French nationality.

Some Huguenots went to live in Ireland early on as administrators for Elizabeth I. Others went in commercial capacities or were given property. Later, Huguenot officers were enlisted to help fight in the Battle of the Boyne under General Schomberg for William of Orange. These officers were well-received and known for their military prowess and self-discipline. Some went on to serve in the West Indies and others to fight against France in 1706.

One example of the high esteem the English nobility had for these men concerns a Major Ovray at the end of his career:

The surname Ouvry occurs in the registers under the various spellings of Oufrey, Oufry, Ovre, Ouvres, Overy. On 5th June 1708, the Duke of Marlborough writes to the Earl of Pembroke, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, in favour of Major Ovray, who, having served the crown for thirty-six years was about to retire from the army in order to settle in Ireland, and “always behaved himself, as his officers inform me, with honour and reputation.” The purport of the Duke s request to the Earl is. “Bestow upon him some mark of your favour and goodness. Enable him to support himself and his family with comfort, and in a manner some way suitable to the character he has borne.”

What a lovely sentiment and way in which to recognise Huguenot character.

Yesterday’s post discussed the rancour that English merchants and London Companies (guilds) had towards the Huguenots.

However, the Huguenots’ refugee-asylum status often had local or city ordinances attached with regard to work. Geni‘s article on their settlement points out that, in Canterbury, they (emphases mine):

practised the variety of occupations necessary to sustain the community distinct from the indigenous population, as such separation was the condition of the refugees’ initial acceptance in the City.

Therefore, it is hardly surprising that they were highly successful in employing skills they already had, that these skills were different to those of the indigenous population and that, eventually, these conditions were going to cause problems in terms of competitiveness.

Huguenots were kept apart from English trade, at least initially. They worked amongst themselves. Their talents and workmanship attracted the attention of the great and the good, as their products were elaborate and techniques new. It is understandable that the established London Companies and specialist manufacturers were going to resent their success and seek to rein it in.

Exodus (“Movement of the People”) tells us:

By 1710, between 40,000 and 50,000 refugees had made their way to the safety of England. Historians estimate that around half that number settled in Spitalfields [in London’s East End] where housing was cheap and the trade guilds held less economic power.

In general:

The Huguenots came from all walks of life, though many were intellectuals and highly skilled tradesmen with backgrounds in weaving, clock making, and financial services. Textile manufacturing, in fact, was the prevalent occupation amongst the refugees, and they found their services in high demand among the British upper class.

Their general demeanour also intrigued the British:

Their high fashion and language set them apart from the general population, and over time they achieved a level of respectability — particularly in contrast to the squalor and immorality of many Londoners.

No doubt that was a source of irritation to their detractors.

Another Geni page on British migration says that the Huguenots arrived when the silk industry in Spitalfields was small and employed mostly Irish weavers. The French were able to expand it greatly and add the manufacture of velvet.

Elsewhere in London:

Some were expert in making clocks and scientific instruments. Others were goldsmiths, silversmiths, merchants and artists.

And:

Because of their hard work and skills the Huguenots were known as ‘the profitable strangers’. During the 18th century members of the Huguenot and Jewish communities gave major financial support to both state and army.

Outside of London, I’ve mentioned elsewhere that the Huguenots favoured towns along the southern coast of England. Geni tells us that in Kent, besides Canterbury, they also settled in:

Sandwich, Faversham and Maidstone—towns in which there used to be refugee churches.

Canterbury Cathedral still holds a service in the French Reformed rite every Sunday at 3 p.m. in the chantry chapel of the Black Prince.

Elsewhere in England, Bedfordshire and Norwich were popular destinations. Bedfordshire:

was (at the time) the main centre of England’s lace industry. Huguenots greatly contributed to the development of lace-making in Bedfordshire, with many families settling in Cranfield, Bedford and Luton. Some of these immigrants moved to Norwich, which had accommodated an earlier settlement of Walloon weavers; they added to the existing immigrant population, which comprised about a third of the population of the city.

Weavers who settled in Ireland often went to Dublin and the Liberties district of the city. There:

they became part of the existing weaving fraternity. Many of them were experienced silk weavers and their expertise contributed to the establishment of a thriving silk and poplin industry.

The Irish weavers seem to have been more integrated than their English counterparts. When Dublin’s weavers needed a new guildhall in 1745, a Huguenot, David Digges La Touche, advanced the necessary sum of £200.

Ensign Message‘s article says that many Huguenots who settled in England came from northern France, particularly Picardy (John Calvin’s home region), Normandy and Brittany. Brittany has a centuries-old tradition of lace making. A significant number of — though not all — silk weavers came from Lyon, which is still the centre of France’s textile industry.

The footnotes to Ensign Message‘s essay are illuminating. One neatly summarises the advances British industry was able to make thanks to the Huguenots:

These skilled workmen brought in new methods of work, and in many cases new trades. Take the silk trade as an example. Before these French refugees came into the country, the silk trade in England was a very small affair. But among the newcomers was a large body of silk-weavers from Lyons, the headquarters of the French silk industry.They settled chiefly in Spitalfields, and with their aid the English trade advanced by leaps and bounds.

Among other trades introduced by these refugees were the making of sailcloth, of paper, of hats, of velvets and damasks, while other trades much benefited were those of watchmaking, clock-making, lock-making, cutlery, glass and pottery.

One industry, that of hat-making, seemed to come over bodily to England. The art of dealing with the beaverskin was brought to such perfection among the Huguenot refugees that from the factory in London even the Cardinals of Rome used to obtain their hats.

The other footnote has a marvellous quote from historian John Finnemore’s 1924 book, Social Life in England (italics in the original):

Between 1670 and 1690 no less a number than 80,000 French Protestants came to England.They were well received, and they were worthy of a welcome. For one and all belonged to the thrifty, hard-working, deft-handed class which has always been the salt of France.

More posts on the Huguenots in Britain will follow next week.

After the St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre on August 23, 1572, hundreds of Huguenots set sail for England.

In Paris, Ambassador Sir Francis Walsingham’s house was respected as a place of sanctuary for the Huguenots. However, those who lived in the north of France packed their belongings and planned their escape.

A book from 1871, Protestant exiles from France in the reign of Louis XIV or, The Huguenot refugees and their descendants in Great Britain and Ireland, details this story. A summary and excerpts follow.

Elizabeth I, her advisers and the Church of England were shocked and moved by the persecution of their Protestant counterparts in France. Special prayers were authorised to be said in churches on October 27, 1572. Plans were made to offer the refugees shelter and a new life.

As with so many migrations, the upper classes viewed this differently to ordinary townspeople. The historian Strype observed:

The better sort of the Queen’s subjects were very kind unto these poor Protestants, and glad to see them retired unto more safety in this country ; but another sort (divers of the common people and rabble, too many of them) behaved themselves otherwise towards these afflicted strangers, and would call them by no other denomination but French dogs. This a French author, sometime afterward, took notice of in print, to the disparagement of the English nation.

William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley from NPG (2).jpgAnother adviser to the Queen, Lord Burghley, deeply affected by events, was kept informed of Huguenot arrivals. One of his memoranda states that, in the weeks after the massacre, 641 people from the northern French towns of Dieppe and Rouen arrived in Rye (East Sussex), one of England’s Cinque Ports. In November, 58 more arrived.

Burghley’s family estate was further north in Lincolnshire in the town of Stamford. He was instrumental in creating a Huguenot colony there. Among the new arrivals were schoolmasters, merchants, silk-weavers, hatters, dyers and cutlers (cutlery makers). They had their own place of worship and their own minister. However, by the early 18th century, the colony had dispersed. Strype wrote in 1711 that townspeople still remembered the minister, Isbrand Balkius, who must have stayed there as he was of riper years when he died.

Many Huguenots settled in coastal towns along the south coast of England from Kent to the West Country. A few, manufacturers in particular, went to the Midlands or to the East of England. English merchants had reservations about how much trade the Huguenots should do. Whilst they empathised with the plight of the French Protestants and were happy with them to make goods at wholesale level,

they were bent upon shutting up the retail-shops of all foreigners.

In 1588, much to Lord Burghley’s disappointment, Parliament debated the Bill against Strangers and Aliens Selling Wares by Retail. In an impassioned speech to Parliament, Burghley acknowledged that he must let his head rule his heart on the matter. However, he also cited the Old Testament books of Leviticus and Ezekiel which exhort kindness to strangers. He concluded that Huguenot retail shops would be so few in number that English shopkeepers would not notice an effect on their revenues.

Burghley’s speech might have helped to defeat the legislation. The Bill was also refused a second reading. A subsequent proposal requiring foreigners’ children to pay a special tax never saw the light of day.

It should be noted that none of the Huguenot groups asked for a handout, only the opportunity to work for a living. The better off took care of their poorer brethren.

Burghley died in 1598, at which point shopkeepers’ rancour again surfaced. In 1599, the Lord Mayor of London forbade foreign retail shops. Queen Elizabeth, Archbishop Whitgift and prominent advisers advised him to drop the restrictions. In 1601, Lord Buckhurst, the Lord High Treasurer, asked Attorney-General Coke to drop all legal cases against foreign shopkeepers.

Queen Elizabeth died on March 24, 1603. Archbishop Abbot said:

Queen Elizabeth, who, having at her coming to the crown, promised to maintain the truth of God and to deface superstition, with this beginning with uniformity continued, yielding her land, as a sanctuary to all the world groaning for liberty of their religion, flourishing in wealth, honour, estimation every way.

Her successor, King James, wrote letters in French to the French Church in England and to the Dutch Refugee Church promising that he would continue his predecessor’s policy of sanctuary to persecuted Protestants. He acknowledged their contributions to English society, particularly in the manufacture of goods and in political science.

Nevertheless, by 1605, the London Companies (guilds) of weavers, cutlers, goldsmiths and others were up in arms, accusing Huguenots of undercutting them. They appealed to James’s advisers for new laws protecting them from ‘alien industry’. In 1606, a law was passed requiring ‘double custom’ to be paid on baize. The same tax was payable on other exported cloth.

In 1615, the Weavers Company made the following accusation:

the strangers employed more workmen than were allowed by statute, and then concealed them when search was made that they lived more cheaply and therefore sold more cheaply than the English that they imported silk lace contrary to law.

In 1621, the Weavers Company issued another complaint:

Their chiefest cause of entertainment here of late was in charity to shroud them from persecution for religion; and, being here, their necessity became the mother of their ingenuity in devising many trades, before to us unknown.

The result was a law requiring Huguenot businesses to employ English apprentices and servants to learn these unknown trades (emphases mine):

the neglect whereof giveth them advantage to keep their mysteries to themselves, which hath made them bold of late to devise engines for working of tape, lace, ribbon, and such, wherein one man doth more among them than seven Englishmen can do ; so as their cheap sale of those commodities beggareth all our English artificers of that trade and enricheth them. Since the making of the last statute they are thought to be increased ten for one, so as no tenement is left to an English artificer to inhabit in divers parts of the city and suburbs, but they take them over their heads at a great rate. So their numbers causeth the enhancing of the price of victuals and house rents, and much furthereth the late disorderly new buildings which is so burdonous to the subject that His Majesty hath not any work to perform for the good of his commons (especially in cities and towns) than by the taking of the benefit of the law upon them, a thing which is done against his own subjects by common informers. But their daily flocking hither without such remedy is like to grow scarce tolerable.

To address these accusations, London censuses were taken in 1618 and 1621. The government considered that the London Companies’ had exaggerated their accusations. The government’s conclusion aligned with English public opinion. People were happy with the Huguenots’ presence and their contributions to society.

I find interesting the arguments that the Weavers Company advanced about immigration, industry and housing in London. The general view today is that Huguenots were absorbed into English society without a problem. Whilst that might have been true generally, London — and no doubt other centres of industry — probably had the usual problems with an influx of foreigners.

What was the truth? Quite possibly somewhere between what both the government and the London Companies asserted. At least there was no question of public assistance in those days.

Tomorrow: Huguenots under Charles I

A modern bottle of Pimm's No. 1 CupConsidering that Pimm’s is a quintessentially English drink, it is amazing how often it is so poorly prepared.

Pimm’s No. 1 is a gin-based ‘tonic’, which James Pimm originally devised in the 19th century to aid digestion. It was served in tankards, which, when containing the beverage, were known as No. 1 cups.

The main problem with many Pimm’s preparations is the gross sweetness of the lemonade (Seven-Up or Sprite equivalent for my American readers).

The other is not following the recipe instructions.

Before getting to the secret of the perfect Pimm’s, my first experience with the drink was a disaster. In the mid-1980s I spent a holiday with a French friend in Paris who put way too much Pimm’s in the glass then topped it up with a tiny amount of lemonade. I can remember it clearly, even now.

Later, during my first summer in England, SpouseMouse said, ‘It’s warm enough for Pimm’s. Shall I make some?’

‘Bleuugh’, I replied.

Yet, I tried it and still think it is the best summer drink ever — but only when prepared at home.

Recently, we went out to lunch with a couple who thought having Pimm’s as an aperitif would be delightful. SpouseMouse and I looked at each other but decided, as they were our guests, to order a pitcher. It was just as dire and sweet as we’d expected, although they loved it.

Here are the secrets for making the best Pimm’s. It doesn’t necessarily match the official recipe, but it is marvellous:

1/ Add an extra jigger of gin to the requisite amount of Pimm’s No. 1 in the jug. Many Pimm’s preparations are often watery. This is why. Adding gin helps maintain the integrity of the drink.

2/ Make sure you put several cucumber slices in the jug as well as in the glasses. Mint is a near-essential ingredient in both the jug and the glass. You can get by without it, though, if you have cucumber.

3/ Try to put the same amount of fruit in the jug every time for a more consistent flavour profile.

4/ Most importantly, use cloudy lemonade. For my American readers, the closest approximation is Squirt.

The usual alcohol warnings apply. You know what they are.

In closing, one jug of Pimm’s should serve six people. We fill the glasses up with fruit, mint and cucumber nearly one-third of the way before pouring which ensures everyone has a suitably full glass.

This year, both our fruit trees gave us delightful produce, despite pest problems.

Aphid removal follow-up

At the end of May, our dwarf cherry (Stella) had aphids on top. My gentle soap and water wash worked. Whilst the leaves with the infestation withered, the fruit continued to grow and ripen.

The gooseberry tree, a standard, necessitated aphid removal by carefully wiping the top of the fruit with the corner of a dry paper towel. This was not the easiest operation, particularly as gooseberry trees and shrubs have spiky thorns.

(Photo credit: Ornamental Trees UK)

Gooseberries

Our red gooseberry tree is in its third year of production. It gave us fruit in its first summer, only months after I planted it.

In 2013, we had 100g of gooseberries. Last year, 300g. In 2015, our harvest amounted to 685g, enough for three gooseberry crumbles! I was able to pick the berries in late June, early July and over the past weekend.

For those who have not tried gooseberries before, they are tart and delicious. They are a traditional English fruit. That said, one of my father’s cousins remembered gooseberry pie as standard at a café in America’s Midwest in the 1940s and 1950s. Yet, I’d never heard of them until I moved to the UK.

They freeze well. Top and tail them before putting them in a bag and tucking them away for later. A gooseberry tart or crumble in winter is a delightful reminder of summer.

Some people prefer making jam or chutney, both of which go well with grilled mackerel fillets. The tartness cuts through the fish’s oiliness.

Gooseberries are increasingly hard to find at supermarkets and greengrocers. Most of what is on offer is the green variety. I recently saw red gooseberries online priced at £4.50 for 50g! The tree cost under £10 — I’m quids in!

A gooseberry standard takes up only a square metre of space and is well worth planting, especially since they yield fruit in the first year. I planted mine in November. They come with a bare root, so will require plenty of all-purpose compost.

They require very little maintenance. I give mine some fertiliser in the spring and away it goes.

Cherries

After two years of waiting for cherries, this year our dwarf produced 110g — 15 fruits.

They are large, dark and sweet — just the way I like them.

Buying the dwarf tree was a bit controversial. My better half said they were troublesome to grow: a long wait for fruit (true) and limited lifespan (several years at most). We’ll see. I am considering transplanting it to another part of the garden in September so it has more room. Removal of another tree has opened up a new space.

Ordering advice

Make sure fruit trees are described as ‘self fertile’ before ordering. A catalogue or online display will state this.

Herbs and garlic

In other news, our herbs are having a particularly good season.

Our garlic harvest is imminent. We can hardly wait!

Our tomato and cucumber plants are coming along slowly.

It’s really worthwhile planting something edible in the garden, even where space is limited. Not only does it save money but it is also intriguing to watch the plants grow, flower and produce fruit.

Wedding bands ehowcomNorman and Joyce Johnson celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary a few days ago in July 2015.

The two grew up in the same area of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, and met early in adolescence.

Joyce was quite taken by Norman. When she found out he was attending night school, she, too, enrolled, although they took different courses.

They were married during the Second World War. Norman requested weekend leave. The ceremony took place on Saturday, and Norman returned on Sunday night.

He was among those safely evacuated from Dunkirk. In his pocket was a photo of Joyce which he’d wrapped in a 100,000 Deutsche Mark banknote to protect it.

Amazingly, although he had to swim to the rescue boat, the banknote and photo survive to this day.

After the war, Norman worked for the English Steel Corporation. Joyce took in laundry.

They have two daughters, Carol and Sue, seven grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.

Although they went through the same life experiences as any other couple of their time, Joyce said:

we lived happily ever after.

Norman explained:

the secret to a long and happy marriage was ‘being easy-going with each other’.

He said: “I can honestly say we’ve never fallen out. We’ve been very happy indeed.

“We’ve done very well really.”

Congratulations to the happy couple!

Let’s take a few pages out of their marital notebook!

Princess Charlotte of Cambridge was christened at the Church of St Mary Magdalene in Sandringham on July 5, 2015.

The newest member of Britain’s Royal Family wore a replica of the christening gown Queen Victoria’s daughter the Princess Royal, also named Victoria, had in 1841. The original is too fragile to be worn.

The Duchess of Cambridge borrowed the pram used by Queen Elizabeth for her children.

Prince George was dressed similarly to his father Prince William when the latter was his age: red shorts and a white shirt with red ornamentation across the chest.

The Daily Telegraph has an excellent set of photos from the day.

The paper also has a diary of events and personalities which is well worth reading.

Rain did not deter a huge crowd from gathering on ‘the paddock’ — public area — outside the church. Some had travelled from the United States. Eighty-year old Terry Hutt made a cross-country journey from Somerset to Norfolk for the occasion. He had also camped out at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington (London) awaiting Charlotte’s birth nine weeks ago.

By the time the ceremony began, summer sunshine abounded.

The Lily Font was used for the first time since 1841. It was created for the Princess Royal Victoria that year. A Kensington Palace tweet explained that the decorations on the font — lilies, water lilies and ivy — represent ‘purity and new life’. The Lily Font is part of the Crown Jewels collection at the Tower of London. A matching ewer was also used. It contained water from the River Jordan.

The Telegraph listed the order of service (see 16:30 entry):

Kensington Palace has released details of the order of service.

The Duke and Duchess have chosen two hymns, Praise to the Lord, The Almighty and Come Down, O Love Divine.

The lesson is from Matthew 18, verses 1-5, read by James Meade.

The anthems are I Will Sing With The Spirit and God Be In My Head, both by John Rutter.

Members of The Sandringham Church Choir are singing at the service.

The processional organ music is R. Vaughan Williams’ Prelude on “Rhosymedre”.

The recessional organ music is G. F. Handel’s Overture and Allegro from Concerto VIII in A.

Matthew 18:1-5 reads as follows:

Who Is the Greatest?

18 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

5 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me,

The Archbishop of Canterbury, James Welby, performed the baptism — assisted by the Rev Canon Jonathan Riviere, Rector of the Sandringham group of parishes — and gave the sermon (see 17:41 entry). The Archbishop said (in part):

It seems that different forms of ambition are hard wired into almost all of us. At a baptism our ambitions are rightly turned into hopes and prayers for the child, today for Princess Charlotte. Everyone wants something for their children. At our best we seek beauty, not necessarily of form, but of life.

In the reading from Matthew 18, Jesus is trying to turn one kind of ambition, an ambition for place and prestige, into an ambition for a beautiful life. To be great in the Kingdom of Heaven, he tells his very pushy disciples, is not about position but about beauty of life, a life that looks like his, and his example is someone unimportant in those days, a child …

Such beauty of character begins with baptism, and is established in the habits of following and loving Jesus Christ, habits to be learned from parents and God parents, and the whole community of the church.

Let us pray that the Princess grows up to be a model of faith and practice.

A private tea was held afterward at Sandringham. It included the sharing of the top tier of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding cake. This is a heartwarming British tradition. As our wedding cakes are heavy fruit cakes, they keep well, particularly with fondant and royal icing!

© Churchmouse and Churchmouse Campanologist, 2009-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Churchmouse and Churchmouse Campanologist with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? If you wish to borrow, 1) please use the link from the post, 2) give credit to Churchmouse and Churchmouse Campanologist, 3) copy only selected paragraphs from the post -- not all of it.
PLAGIARISERS will be named and shamed.
First case: June 2-3, 2011 -- resolved

Creative Commons License
Churchmouse Campanologist by Churchmouse is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://churchmousec.wordpress.com/.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 671 other followers

Archive

Calendar of posts

August 2015
S M T W T F S
« Jul    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  
Bloglisting.net - The internets fastest growing blog directory
Powered by WebRing.
This site is a member of WebRing.
To browse visit Here.

Blog Stats

  • 813,765 hits
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 671 other followers