Welcome Stranger

The Welcome Stranger

The ‘Strangers’ was the name given in Norwich to the many incomers to the city from Europe (especially the Low Countries and northern France) in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. At one time they made up more than a quarter of the population, and they had a great effect on the city’s industry, trade and public life. The way in which the city and its residents coped with this massive influx is not just historically important, but has obvious relevance and parallels today. Many people today in Norwich and Norfolk, and well beyond, have ‘Stranger’ ancestors, and their influence is also apparent in the close links today between Norwich and the Netherlands.

This is the first book specifically about Norwich’s strangers. Frank Meeres is a very experienced author, whose previous books include the best-selling Strangers: A history of Norwich’s incomers (a shorter book with a much wider focus), A History of Norwich, and Guide to the Records of Norwich Cathedral. He had a long career at the Norfolk Records Office, and draws heavily on it for the c. 70 illustrations, many in colour, and most unique to this book.

Contents: Norwich and the Netherlands; The Dutch Revolt; The invitation; The first rush, 1567–68; First impressions: writing home; Later immigrants, 1568 onwards; Governance; The making of livings; Where they lived; Personal lives; Some Dutch families; Some Walloon families; Births, marriages, deaths; Languages, literacy, schooling; Health and welfare; Plague and the immigrant community; Connections – links with other communities; Support and opposition; Merging in and moving on; The Huguenots; Some Huguenot families; Afterwards. Full references and index.

Reviewers said:

'a fascinating account ... packed with interesting insights and useful information for family history researchers' – Trevor Heaton, Eastern Daily Press

Find the EDP's major article on the book here

Some sample pages from the book:

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ISBN 978-1-9997752-2-3
Publication June 2018.
224 pages, 234 x 156mm, with 19 colour and 41 b/w illustrations, 9 maps and 11 tables. Notes, bibliography and index.