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Bloomsbury Project

Bloomsbury Institutions


French Protestant Church School of Westminster

Also known as Blue Coat School/French Protestant Church School/Westminster French Protestant Charity School/École de Charité Françoise de Westminster/École de Charité Protestante Françoise de Westminster


It was founded in 1747 to educate children (boys and girls) of Huguenot descent in London

Although at first successful, it was in financial difficulties by the beginning of the nineteenth century, and educated girls only from them until its closure in 1924 (Robin D. Gwynn, Huguenot Heritage: The History and Contribution of the Huguenots in Britain, 1985)

It was associated with the French Protestant Church

Both institutions survived major rebuilding of streets in the surrounding area, which saw their address change to Shaftesbury Avenue (the school became no. 233)

However, the number of French-born Protestants was steadily declining, most Huguenots having been absorbed into the Church of England, and the trustees applied for Parliamentary sanction to demolish the Church, in 1824 (The Times, 20 November 1824)

The Act of Parliament was passed and the School and Church both closed in 1924

The School was replaced in 1927 by a charity, the Westminster French Protestant School Foundation, which provides educational grants for children of Huguenot descent in financial need

What was reforming about it?

It was part of the thriving Huguenot community in London

Where in Bloomsbury

Both it and the Church were in Bloomsbury Street (later the south branch of Shaftesbury Avenue) in 1846

Website of current institution

The successor institution is the Westminster French Protestant School Foundation, at www.wfps.org.uk (opens in new window)

Books about it

The successor institution, the Westminster French Protestant School Foundation, has some details online of daily life at the school under its last mistress, Madame Flecknoe (from 1894 to 1924)


Records of the school (including details of pupils up to 1889) are kept as part of the Huguenot Library collections in Special Collections at UCL; details are available online via UCL Library Services (opens in new window)

This page last modified 13 April, 2011 by Deborah Colville


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