Grand revival at first Huguenot day in Cork
MEMBERS OF the Protestant Reformed Church of France, who left their home country for Ireland due to religious persecution, will be remembered in Cork today at the city’s first annual Huguenot Day.
The Huguenot community, of around 300, first settled in Cork in the late 17th century.
When the Edict of Nantes in 1685 withdrew their rights and liberties, about 5,000 fled to Ireland to escape religious persecution.
By 1712, the community had become part of the commercial and civic life of Cork.
Huguenots became established in business and manufacturing, including linen, while others became gold and silversmiths.
Between 1694 and 1840, 11 members of the community served as mayor of Cork, including Joseph and William Lavitt, after whom Lavitt’s Quay is named.
The last major arrival of Huguenots to Cork was in the 1730s. Within 100 years, and with no further influxes, the community virtually disappeared.
The first annual Cork Huguenot Day will take place today at the Masonic Hall in Tuckey Street in the city.
Events will begin with talks by Dr Alicia St Leger and Dr David J Butler, the librarian and archivist of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Munster Freemasons.
A tour of the Masonic Hall will follow with emphasis on the items of Huguenot heritage on display.
There will also be walks to sites of Huguenot interest in Cork such as the Huguenot burial ground in French Church Street and the Triskel Christchurch.
Participation in the day costs €5.