I dedicate this poem to Louise, the wife of my nephew Jeremy Starr, of Littlebourne, Kent who is descended from the Huguenot weavers, who were forced to flee France through religious oppression in the year 1560. Their distinctive houses can still be seen throughout East Kent.
In fifteen sixty, in the year of our lord,
it seems such a long time ago,
those people fought, with pike and sword,
to protect the poor Huguenots.
Their days of weaving, had been peacefully spent.
They were famed for such wonderful clothes.
All their wool came from their friends in Kent,
those Quakers, like Huguenots.
The Queen of Guise, in anger not spent,
watched as their church slowly grows,
ordered their extinction, as her spite is vent,
to ensure that they just had to go.
Two thousand were hung, on that day in lent,
those poor families, such crying and woe.
So they fled to the coast, on their way to Kent,
to the land where their children could grow.
So sadly from their homes they went,
what they could on their back did throw.
Their loom and kettle and makeshift tent,
those Calvinistic Huguenots.
They came ashore in fairest Kent,
to be met with warming glows.
Those Quaker folk, their welcome meant,
as their friendship really shows.
So they became so English,
watching generations grow.
But I hope, and always wish,
they remember they were Huguenots.