About 10,000 Huguenots came to Ireland as refugees from France where Protestants were persecuted after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, 1685. Migrating in family groups, they formed about twenty settlements in Dublin, Portarlington and elsewhere and became active in business and trades.
England sent about 3,000 Protestant refugees from the Rhineland to Ireland in 1709. They came as family groups and were settled as farmers in Counties Limerick, Wexford and Dublin. They were known as Palatines and the group in Limerick remained distinct for several generations. Arthur Young, travelling in Ireland in the later eighteenth century was impressed by the Palatine women he observed:
|Palatines were settled here [Adare] by the late Lord Southwell about seventy years ago ... They preserve some of their German customs ... The women are very industrious, reap the corn, plough the ground sometimes and do whatever work may be going on; they also spin and make their children do the same.
Arthur Young, A tour in Ireland, 1778. Reprinted Cambridge 1925, p.125.
Some of these immigrants, especially those who brought women and families with them, formed lasting communities by marrying within the group and they still retained some of their original identity for generations while others were completely assimilated. Many immigrants of all kinds were disillusioned with their lives in Ireland and either returned home again or moved on to other locations.