The Huguenots were members of the Protestant Reformed Church of France (or French Calvinists) from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. Since the eighteenth century, Huguenots have been commonly designated "French Protestants", the title being suggested by their German co-religionists or "Calvinists". Protestants in France were inspired by the writings of John Calvin in the 1530s and the name Huguenots was already in use by the 1560s. Many Huguenots emigrated from France in the late 17th century.
Individual Huguenots have settled at the Cape of Good Hope from as early as 1671 with the arrival of François Villion (Viljoen).
On December 31, 1687 the first organized group of Huguenots set sail from Holland to the Dutch East India Company post at the Cape of Good Hope. The largest portion of the Huguenots to settle in the Cape arrived between 1688 and 1700, thereafter the numbers declined and only small batches arrived at a time.
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