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Huguenot Cemetery in Dublin


This small cemetery is situated on Merrion Row, very close to St Stephen’s Green.  It is not open to the public, but it is only small and can easily be viewed through the railings.  Even from the road, you can soak its atmosphere of peace and history.


Those buried here are descendants of Huguenots, French Protestants, who fled France after a number of religious persecutions, finding refuge in other Protestant countries in Europe.

A trickle of Huguenot refugees began to arrive in Ireland from around 1630, with the flow increasing dramatically after Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes in 1685.  They were encouraged to come to Ireland by James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormonde, who had spent twelve years in exile in France and hoped that the skills and capital of these craftsmen could help stimulate the Irish economy and introduce new industries.  He was right: the Huguenots quickly established a thriving community in Dublin based on their skills in textiles, watchmaking and finance.

The names of the 239 Huguenots buried here are listed on a large plaque to the left of the gates, names that will be familiar to Dubliners.  For example, D’Olier Street was named after Jeremiah D’Olier, Dublin High Sherriff in 1788, while Mercer Street and French Street also show huguenot influence.  In addition, the historic La Touche Bank, founded in Dublin in 1713, was founded by the Huguenot David Digges La Touche, who fought for William of Orange at the Battle of the Boyne.



Posted as part of the Sunday Stills The Next Challenge: Historical Site.

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