|A lady's shoe made in Spitalfields|
The district of Spitalfields lies in the East End of London. Many Huguenots - Protestant refugees who moved to the city after they were forbidden the exercise of their religion in France - settled in Spitalfields, bringing with them a number of useful skills, particularly those connected with the textile trades and the manufacture of elegant articles such as robes, shoes, embroidered waistcoats etc. Once a respectable district and home of craftsmen and merchants, Spitalfields of late has attracted many emigres fleeing the wars in Europe and its character has coarsened.
Spitalfields takes its odd name from a former hospital and priory established there in the 12th century.