Papermaking was one of the industries carried on by Huguenot refugees from France after arriving in England in the 17th century. In 1688 James II granted a charter to the Company of White Papermakers, which at that time consisted of 15 members, nine of whom were members of Huguenot families and three of whom, Adam de Cardonnel, Elias de Grouchy and Claude Bordier, lived in the Southampton area. A paper mill had been established at Gater’s Mill (Up-Mill) on the River Itchen in South Stoneham in the late 17th or early 18th century. Another Huguenot refugee, Henri Portal, arrived in Southampton in 1702 and immediately secured employment at the paper mill. After becoming naturalised in 1711 he opened his own paper mill at Laverstock and in 1718 was awarded the contract to produce bank notes for the Bank of England. Henri Portal died in 1747, but the enterprise he established lasted into the 20th century.

Further reading:

L’Eglise Wallonne at Southampton, by William Portal, p23-30. (HS/j)
Southampton Occasional Notes, 2nd Series, by ‘Townsman’, p83. (HS/h)
‘Hampshire and the Company of White Papermakers’, by J. H. Thomas in Hampshire Field Club Proceedings, Vol. 26, 1869, p137-148. (H/f)
'Elias de Grouchy, merchant of Southampton' by J H Thomas in Hampshire Archaeology and Local History Newsletter, volume 1, no. 10, Autumn 1969, pages 137-40. (H/f)


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