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East End Weavers.


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Many of my East End ancestors who lived in Shoreditch, Bethnal Green, Spitalfields and Whitechapel in the 1700s and 1800s were silk weavers by trade. As most of them were of French Huguenot descent, they bought that craft with them. I can imagine them toiling away at their looms hour after hour, day after day. Many of them had their own looms in their tenements and worked from home.

There is a concoction of French Huguenot and Norfolk blood amongst the East End family, and Norwich had a good weaving trade in the mid 1700s but was a declining industrial city by the 1780s so that is probably why Dennis Helsdon migrated 100 miles to Bethnal Green in London. Most of Bethnal Green was full of silk weavers and cotton winders.


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