Immigrant England, 1300–1550

Immigrant England, 1300–1550 provides a comprehensive account of the identities, nationalities, occupations, families and experiences of first-generation immigrants to England during the later Middle Ages. It addresses both official policy and public responses to immigration in the age of the Black Death, the Hundred Years War and the early Tudor monarchy, revealing how dramatic changes in the English economy fundamentally affected the levels of tolerance and discrimination allowed to immigrants.

Drawing on data unique in Europe before the nineteenth century, the book provides both a quantitative analysis of immigrants and a qualitative assessment of the reception that these incomers received from English society at large. Accounting for 1 per cent or more of the population of England in the fifteenth century and coming from all parts of Europe and beyond, immigrants spread out over the kingdom, settling in the countryside as well as in towns, and in a multitude of occupations from agricultural labourers to skilled craftspeople and professionals. Often encouraged and welcomed, sometimes vilified and victimised, immigrants were always on the social and political agenda in late medieval England.

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‘The authors know that they are pioneers in this field, at least in terms of providing a systematic and robust study, and they duly lay the foundations for any future scholars wanting to work on the history of immigration to medieval England, its origins and causes, the experience of immigrants, the vagaries of government and civic policy, and the attitudes of the host population. This book will be essential reading for scholars embarking on research in this field.
Economic History Society

‘With Immigrant England, 1300–1550, W. Mark Ormrod, Bart Lambert, and Jonathan Mackman provide readers with a truly fascinating, thoughtful, comprehensive, yet accessible, account of immigration into England in the later Middle Ages. Their work poses, and answers, important questions about our understanding of immigration. For example, to what extend did inward-looking English nationalism (such as it was) at this time promote racial and ethnic hostility? Furthermore, the authors have sought to “humanise the immigrant experience in England” (259); in this, they have succeeded.’
Journal of British Studies
June 2020

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