The niece who married a Courtauld;Social history

23rd April 1999 at 01:00
Louisa Perina Ogier was a year old when her Huguenot father Pierre fled religious persecution in France in 1730 and arrived in Spitalfields. Many of his family were already settled there, including his younger brother Peter Abraham. In France the family had been lawyers and landowners; in England they became silk weavers.

Pierre and Peter Abraham were particularly successful: they lived in gracious merchants' houses like the one at 19 Princelet Street - where Peter Abraham moved in 1744. His brother's daughter Louisa (pictured left) would have regularly visited her cousins there from her nearby house in Spital Square.

Not all Huguenots were so successful: one Ogier brother, Andrew, died in a paupers' hospital, and records show that French ribbon and handkerchief makers regularly attended soup kitchens. Even Peter Abraham, as the silk trade declined, had to install high windows in his attic room and let it to his weavers.

But Louisa moved further up the social scale. She married a Courtauld - soon to become great textile manufacturers - and when her husband, Samuel, died in 1765 she took over his trade as silversmith. She had four children, aged 12, four, three and 19 months. She continued to run the business for 15 years, and died in 1807.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today