This was the common name given to French Protestants during the Reformation:
The common name given to French Protestants during the Reformation, Huguenots, came into use after the first synod of Calvinist, or Reformed, churches, which met in Paris in 1559. They formed a loose national organization as they won converts among many French nobles. This led to a series of wars as Roman Catholic nobles feared the growth of Huguenot power. The Religious Wars were marked by the St. Bartholomew?s Day Massacre of 1572 in which Huguenot leader Gaspard de Coligny and thousands of Huguenots were killed at the behest of Catherine de? Medici. Persecution of Huguenots persisted until the French Revolution in 1789 granted freedom of religion.