The British case, 1750–1900

Very large numbers of people began to depart the British Isles for the New Worlds after about 1770. This was a pioneering movement, a rehearsal for modern international migration. This book contends that emigration history is not seamless, that it contains large shifts over time and place, and that the modern scale and velocity of mobility have very particular historical roots. The Isle of Man is an ideal starting point in the quest for the engines and mechanisms of emigration, and a particular version of the widespread surge in British emigration in the 1820s. West Sussex was much closer to the centres of the expansionary economy in the new age. North America was the earliest and the greatest theatre of oceanic emigration in which the methods of mass migration were pioneered. Landlocked Shropshire experienced some of the earliest phases of British industrialisation, notably in the Ironbridge/Coalbrookdale district, deep inland on the River Severn. The turmoil in the agrarian and demographic foundations of life reached across the British archipelago. In West Cork and North Tipperary, there was clear evidence of the great structural changes that shook the foundations of these rural societies. The book also discusses the sequences and effects of migration in Wales, Swaledale, Cornwall, Kent, London, and Scottish Highlands. It also deals with Ireland's place in the more generic context of the origins of migration from the British Isles. The common historical understanding is that the pre-industrial population of the British Isles had been held back by Malthusian checks.

1 The migration mystery Caesar’s crossing that petty stream, the Rubicon, is a fact of history, whereas the crossing of the Rubicon by millions of other people before or since interests nobody at all.1 Horizons Laurie Lee’s memoir Cider with Rosie contains a marvellous evocation of life in a Gloucestershire village of the 1920s, in which he mourned the loss of the world of his childhood. With a certain poetic license he charted the end of an era of British rural life: ‘soon the village would break, dissolve and scatter’. Laurie Lee had ‘belonged to a

in The genesis of international mass migration

This book introduces the reader to emerging research in the broad field of 'imperial migration' and shows how this 'new' migration scholarship had developed our understanding of the British World. This is done through an analysis of some of former colonies of British Empire such as Australia, Canada, India and Zambia. The book focuses on the ideas of Reverend Thomas Malthus of how population movements presaged forces within sectors of a pre-industrial economy. The formation of national and imperial identities along racial lines in the mid-nineteenth century is covered by an analysis of the mid-nineteenth century British censuses. The clergy played a pivotal role in the importation and diffusion of a sense of British identity (and morality) to Australian churchgoers. The resistance and accommodation of Welsh Presbyterianism in Eastern Bengal is investigated through the varieties of engagement with Indian Christians and non-Christians. The book argues that Asian migration and the perceived threat it posed to the settler colonies was an issue which could unite these seemingly incongruent elements of the British World. Child migration has become a very sensitive and politically charged issue, and the book examines one of the lesser studied child migration agencies, the Middlemore Children's Emigration Homes. The book also deals with the cultural cross-currents in the construction of an Anglo-Canadian or 'Britannic' national identity. The white settlers' decisions to stay on after independence was granted to Zambia are instructive as it fills an important gap in our understanding of Africa's colonial legacy.

The case of the Middlemore Homes, 1872–1972

Introduction Between 1869 and 1939, over 100,000 children, seen to be at risk from crime and destitution, were removed from orphanages, workhouses, families and streets of Great Britain. Many were sent to Canada and are now known as British Home Children. Others went to Australia, New Zealand and Rhodesia. Approximately fifty organisations were involved in juvenile migration

in Empire, migration and identity in the British world
‘For spirit and adventure’

Between 1921 and 1965, Irish and Scottish migrants continued to seek new homes abroad. This book examines the experience of migration and settlement in North America and Australasia. It goes beyond traditional transnational and diasporic approaches, usually focused on two countries, and considers a range of destinations in which two migrant groups settled. The book aims to reclaim individual memory from within the broad field of collective memory to obtain 'glimpses into the lived interior of the migration processes'. The propaganda relating to emigration emanating from both Ireland and Scotland posited emigration as draining the life-blood of these societies. It then discusses the creation of collective experiences from a range of diverse stories, particularly in relation to the shared experiences of organising the passage, undertaking the voyage out, and arriving at Ellis Island. The depiction at the Ellis Island Museum is a positive memory formation, emphasising the fortitude of migrants. Aware that past recollections are often shaped by contemporary concerns, these memories are also analysed within the broader context in which remembering takes place. The book then examines migrant encounters with new realities in New Zealand, Australia, and Canada. The formal nature of ethnic and national identities for Irish and Scottish migrants, as exhibited by language, customs, and stereotypes, is also explored. The novelty of alleged Irish and Scottish characteristics emphasised in accounts presumably goes some way to explaining the continued interest among the children of migrants. These ongoing transnational connections also proved vital when migrants considered returning home.

Both writers and critics of the British World have primarily focused on the white inhabitants within it; the role of non-whites and their impact remains problematic. It is only by studying the reactions to Asian migration, however, that historians can understand why, over time, the concept of empire became less compelling to the settler colonies and why alternative imagined

in Empire, migration and identity in the British world

7 Migration in Shropshire and the English Midlands Inland beginnings Landlocked Shropshire experienced some of the earliest phases of British industrialisation, notably in the Ironbridge/Coalbrookdale district, deep inland on the River Severn. Precocious industrialisation came to Shropshire by the 1770s and performed its dynamic and disruptive functions in classic but localised form. Shropshire and the Midlands provide instructive examples of mobility induced by rapid economic and demographic change, redistributing and dislocating its population in certain key

in The genesis of international mass migration

5 Topography and migration Why did Alberto leave the Val Seriana and why did he go to Cremona and take up a job there carrying wine? The legends advance two possible answers, first that his desire to make pilgrimages lured him away and second that a property dispute drove him away. But the lack of corroborating evidence demands that we suspend judgement on these matters, and turn instead to topography, plus the historical experience of several generations in Alberto’s part of the world, to consider what these have to say, not specifically about Alberto

in Indispensable immigrants

60 2 Empire, migration and the NHS The establishment and development of the NHS in the post-​war period coincided with the dismantling of the British Empire. Colonial-​era language or parallels have been used at times to describe the relationship between the NHS and the migrant labour it has relied on.1 However, the development of the British healthcare system and the impact and legacy of the Empire are two closely linked phenomena that historians have rarely considered together.2 The same can be said of the history of post-​war migration to the UK and the

in Migrant architects of the NHS
Abstract only

5 The discontinuity Continuity? The Isle of Man and West Sussex stories were minuscule pieces of the intricate jigsaw puzzle of international migration that stretched across centuries and continents. The Manx and Sussex people who left Britain in the 1820s had particular local reasons and special circumstances, often deeply personal states of mind. They are frequently fascinating individual narratives. Yet these emigrants were not unique, and their similarities with people on the move from the rest of the British Isles, perhaps from Europe in general, is

in The genesis of international mass migration