It was in the 15th century that 
reports began to be written 
about bands of dark foreigners arriving in 
different parts of Europe.
Gypsy's travelled on horseback and in wagons, they were frequently richly
dressed and dark in complexion with gold coins woven into their black hair.
Soon they gained a reputation as fortune tellers and magicians and were frequently
described as dukes or princes of Egypt.
The first written records of 'Egyptians' in Britain is in 1505, but there is no way of
knowing  how long Gypsy's may already have been here.
Where Gypsy's had originally come from remained a mystery until the 18th century
when an academic in Hungary realised that the language spoken by his local Gypsy's
was similar to one that was spoken in India.
Today's Gypsy's and Traveller's still speak their own version of Romany, mixed in with the Sanskrit words are others
which derive from Greek, Romanian and Slavic as well as cant, together with other local words and bits of slang.
Versions of the language are spoken by different groups of Roma across Europe from the Kalderash of Hungary to the 
Gitanes and Sinti of France and the Mustalainen of Finland.
Romany Roots
Romany Flag
In the UK today we are proud to be Gypsy's but in Europe many people regard the term Gypsy as a term of abuse and
prefer to be called Roma or to be called by the name of  their individual group, such as Kalderash or Sinti.