Migrations of people, ideas, beliefs and cultures have closely shaped relations between the nations of the British and Irish Isles. In part this was the result of Anglo-imperialism, which expanded from a heartland around London and the South of England, first, then through the ‘Celtic fringe’, creating hybrid peoples who were both Irish and British, before spreading across the globe. At times, Catholics of both islands were exiled from this narrative of nation-building. Political pressures, economic opportunities, a spirit of adventure and sometimes force, spurred the creation of multiple diasporas from the British and Irish Isles. This book brings together a range of leading scholars who explore the origins, varieties and extent of these diasporas. Wherever Britons and the Irish went, they created new identities as neo-Britons, neo-Angles, neo-Irish, neo-Scots: persons who were colonials, new nationals, and yet still linked to their old country and home nations. British and Irish emigrants also perpetuated elements of their distinctive national cultures in music, literature, saints’ days and broader, diffuse interactions with fellow nationals. These especially commissioned essays explore processes of diaspora-formation from the English Catholic exiles of the sixteenth century, through the ‘Wild Geese’, Jacobites, traders and servants of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, to the modern colonising diasporas associated with the modern age of mass migration.
Complicating the coloniser: Scottish, Irish and Welsh perspectives on British imperialism in Asia
This book is about Scottish, Irish and Welsh involvement in the English East India companies that controlled official contact between the BritishandIrishIsles and Asia throughout the early modern era. 1 It uses three societies not usually considered central to Europe’s eastward expansion to consider the multiple pathways into empire and to reflect on the ways in which links to Asia changed colonising countries in profound and often contrasting ways. The central contention is that Scotland, Ireland and Wales’s engagement with the English East India companies
The book is a comparative analysis of Scotland, Ireland and Wales’s participation in the English East India Company between c.1690 and c.1820. It explains the increasing involvement of individuals and networks from these societies in the London-based corporation which controlled contact between the early modern British and Irish Isles and one hemisphere of world trade. Scottish, Irish, and Welsh evidence is used to consider wider questions on the origins, nature and consequences of the early modern phase of globalisation, sometimes referred to as ‘proto-globalisation’. The book contributes to such debates by analysing how these supposedly ‘poorer’ regions of Europe relied on migration as an investment strategy to profit from empire in Asia. Using social network theory and concepts of human capital it examines why the Scots, Irish and Welsh developed markedly different profiles in the Company’s service. Chapters on the administrative elite, army officers and soldiers, the medical corps and private traders demonstrate consistent Scottish over-representation, uneven Irish involvement and consistent Welsh under-representation. Taken together they explore a previously underappreciated cycle of human capital that involved departure to Asia, the creation of colonial profits, and the return back of people and their fortunes to Britain and Ireland. By reconceptualising the origins and the consequences of involvement in the Company, the study will be of interest to historians of early modern Scotland, Ireland, Wales and Britain, the East India Company and the early phases of British imperialism in Asia.
British and Irish diasporas: societies, cultures and ideologies
Donald M. MacRaild, Tanja Bueltmann, and J.C.D. Clark
BritishandIrishIsles from the 1500s onwards.
For the early modern period in particular many of those departing were
religious refugees, both British and Irish, English as well as Scots. Even
later, indentured labourers, Jacobin radicals and Chartists, and displaced
handicraft workers, were, to differing degrees, victims. While these types
of victim diasporas from the BritishandIrishIsles were not the same as
british and irish diasporas
those of the Jewish exile or African slaves who were forcefully shipped
across the Atlantic, some of our groups faced real
‘Poor’ Europe’s pathways to empire and globalisation
an investment and development strategy, lies at the heart of this book. As a mode of expansion it constituted the primary means by which the metropolitan provinces of the pre-1815 BritishandIrishIsles accessed the eastern hemisphere of England and later Britain’s world empire.
The emergence of this economy of human capital and its capacity to accumulate financial surpluses offers a number of interpretative perspectives. Firstly, it provides a holistic understanding of the scale of Ireland, Scotland and Wales’s participation in a part of the British Empire that
Taken together, the essays in this volume point to
Welsh relationships with the British overseas empire that were complex, multilayered and at
times contradictory; and by bringing together a very wide range of evidence they
significantly advance our understanding of the different ways in which Wales interacted with
the wider world. The authors have measured participation in imperial activity, mapped
overseas connections, marked out similarities and differences by comparing Wales with other
parts of the Britishand
British and Irish sojourners.
Whether such wealth was ever anything more than wishful thinking is beside the point. As with the mental horizons of the boys in Ulster, the expectation developed across the BritishandIrishIsles that Asia offered accessible and lucrative employment. 27 One feature of the civil service seemed especially suited to provincial regions lacking large reserves of venture capital. Promotion prospects were largely although never exclusively based upon seniority rather than financial resources. 28 Some of the defining aspects of human and
associated cultural attitudes to soldiering. The intersection of the old and the new ensured that customs of military entrepreneurship that might otherwise have been rendered obsolete and even undesirable within the BritishandIrishIsles were transferred over oceanic distances and gained a new lease of life in North America and Asia. However, the evolution into niche but global roles altered profoundly the character of military migration in countries like Ireland and Scotland in ways that belie the outward continuities. Exploring how the metropolitan provinces
attempt to assess the pre-1815 Eastern Empire’s impact upon the metropolitan provinces. Equally, however, the example of Ireland, Scotland and Wales offers new and distinctive light on such broader questions. They provide routes into exploring how such returns might look different in the materially less developed regions of the BritishandIrishIsles. These were, after all, societies deploying different forms of human capital through economies of migration which resulted in financial returns appearing in localities often far removed from the formal centres of imperial
London and early links with the English East India companies
histories frame the chronology of this book. At the start of the 1690s the Company of Merchants of London Trading to the East Indies (the ‘Old’ Company), which had been established in 1600, held the monopoly of trade between England and Asia. Its privileges, though extensive, were far from secure. 8 In 1695 the Scottish Parliament challenged the assumption that England alone in the BritishandIrishIsles was entitled to participate in oceanic commerce with Asia. Yet for all its ambition the Company of Scotland trading to Africa and the Indies marked an end rather than a