An excellent overview of the influx to Norwich of C17th ‘Dutch’ families who were escaping persecuton in the Low Countries.

Norfolk Record Office

This week is Refugee Week and an opportunity to celebrate Norwich’s long history of welcoming incomers to the city. This week’s blog post introduces us to the Strangers and has been written by Archivist, Frank Meeres. refugee week logo

The word ‘Stranger’ was originally used in records to mean anyone who was not a native of a particular town – it occurs in Norwich leet court rolls of the later thirteenth century, where the people described as ‘strangers’ are from places like Thorpe, Hellesdon and Earlham – and therefore, legally, not within the jurisdiction of Norwich.  Later the word came to be used for a particular group of incomers – refugees from the Low Countries from 1567 onward, who were fleeing from persecution in their own land, and who found a welcome in the city.  Most of these people were Dutch speakers, but a considerable number were French speakers; the latter are known…

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