Defoe’s spelling for Huguenots. French Protestants violently opposed to the Catholic Church, the Huguenots experienced various levels of repression in France in the 16th century. At times they were more or less tolerated, as after the Edict of OrlĂ©ans in 1561 and the Edict of Saint-Germain in 1562, but were occasionally massacred as well. The St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre in 1572 killed anywhere from a few thousand to more than a hundred thousand Huguenots in Paris.