Archive for 'emigration'

Ekwall's The Emigrants (date unknown), the art...

Ekwall’s The Emigrants (date unknown), the artist’s vision of 19th-century transatlantic emigration. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The National Emigration Aid Society was conceived and founded for the express purpose of assisted emigration. It was founded by a substantial number of influential gentlemen, and was focused on moving the excess labour force to foreign states. They believed that their efforts were vital to a sound economy at home and productive, cultivated colonies abroad.

The Society devoted serious efforts to pressing Parliament into adopting their proposed “National Policy of Colonial Emigration.” They insisted that “Emigration is eminently good for, and available to all, in every class of society whose subsistence depends on the exercise of skill and labour, but who, unable at home to obtain employment, are reduced to want, and too frequently to a life of destitution and wretchedness.”

To that effect, the Society promoted the formation of “Emigration Clubs” in each city and township. The clubs would be chaired by committees of influential gentlemen, and each club would recruit members and solicit donations.

Any working man who wanted to become a member would be required to make a small payment for himself and each member of his family. The payment would go toward that family’s passage, and would be subsidized by donations. Each local club would in turn pay fees to the National Emigration Aid Society, who would arrange passage and outfit emigrants before travel.

The Society also offered a few free passages to select groups. Single women “of good character who are capable and willing to work as Domestic Servants” were granted free passage to certain cities in Australia and New Zealand. The cities of Victoria and Queensland also offered free passage to a few married farm labourers who met their specifications.

Eventually, the National Emigration Aid Society found itself in a gradually weakened state financially. In order to secure continued State aid, the Society’s committee decided to merge efforts with the Working Men’s Emigration Society.

 

 

English: Emigrants on a ship en route to Austr...

Emigrants on a ship en route to Australia, 1900-1910 Man and a young girl on board a ship travelling to Australia in the early 1900s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The Working Men’s Emigration Society

The Working Men’s Emigration Society was focused on essentially the same goals; however, it worked almost exclusively with labourers connected to trade unions. Throughout the 1850s, the Society entered applicants into a monthly lottery. The winners of each drawing would be awarded a subsidized fare to Australia in return for a £20 loan.

In addition, the Working Men’s Emigration Society offered “working tickets”. Fare to Australia could be purchased for £15, and the prospective emigrant would make up the difference by working as a steward on the ship for the duration of the voyage.

Unfortunately, the Society was often poorly managed. Some emigrants were indeed sent abroad; however, many were let down.  Some folks who purchased working tickets would turn up dockside, only to be told that there was no record of the ticket purchase. A number of hopeful emigrants even took the cases to court, hoping to get their money back.

The National Emigration League

Once the two Societies joined efforts under the united title of the “National Emigration League”, they represented a combined 800,000+ souls. The League was led by the Duke of Manchester, and the members continued to actively promote the subject of emigration throughout the following years.

 

English: Immigrants entering the United States...

Immigrants entering the United States through Ellis Island, the main immigrant entry facility of the United States from 1892 to 1954. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An Italian immigrant was quoted as saying: “I came to America because I heard the streets were paved with gold. When I got here, found out three things: First, the streets weren’t paved with gold; second, they weren’t paved at all: and third, I was expected to pave them.” This sentiment was echoed by many who made the migratory voyage with high hopes, only to be disappointed upon arrival.

We hear many success stories of immigrants who left on a one-way trip and never looked back. We must consider though, that out of the hundreds of thousands who successfully emigrated from the UK and made new homes abroad, there were many who gave up and returned home. We have put much discussion into the decision to migrate; however, in this article, we look at some of the reasons that caused a large number of immigrants to return home.

How Frequent are Return Migrations?

Return migration can be somewhat difficult to measure. Some immigrants returned home to stay, while others returned to their home countries temporarily, only to emigrate once more.

Most countries also kept poor records on those leaving the country, focusing instead on those arriving. The US, for example, only started recording departing passengers in 1908. Even those statistics can be fairly misleading, as the records only state that an immigrant is leaving. No mention is made of whether the departure is permanent or temporary.

Prior to the 19th century, return migration was far less frequent. Travel was expensive, time-consuming and dangerous, and immigrants tended to settle since returning was so difficult. In the late 19th century, trips home became more frequent, and by the early 20th century, we begin to see clear statistical patterns of return migration.

An immigrant Punjabi family in America. c. 1900s

An immigrant Punjabi family in America. c. 1900s (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For example, some scholars have estimated that a full third of American immigrants returned home. During certain periods, such as the Great Depression, return trips were even higher.

Interestingly, however, immigrants from the UK had a fairly low return rate compared to many other nationalities. English immigrants returned at a rate of about 10.4%, while only 6.3% of Irish immigrants ever returned home.

Why Did Immigrants Return Home?

Reasons for return are almost as varied as the immigrants themselves. Some went with high hopes and gave up when those hopes were not realized. Others never intended to immigrate permanently in the first place.

“Birds of Passage”, for example, traveled purely for economic reasons. They intended to work long enough to make a bit of money so that they could better their lives back home.

Others returned due to family obligations. Many women emigrated to earn enough money for a dowry, and once that objective was achieved, they returned home. Others were forced to return home to care for parents or siblings they had left behind.

Others still had been unwilling emigrants in the first place. Shipped off as indigents, many in this group simply returned home as soon as they were able to earn passage.

Finally, a great number of immigrants were just unhappy in their new country. Instead of the easy life they had hoped for, the immigrants were faced with struggles and hostility. They looked back on their home with nostalgia and decided that perhaps things were better there after all.

English: A map of the British Empire in 1921 w...

A map of the British Empire in 1921 when it was at its height. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Emigration had sharply declined over the course of the First World War. Capitalizing on the potential of Britons wanting to emigrate from post-war England, both Canada and Australia began concerted efforts to encourage renewed immigration. Owing to these efforts, migration gradually increased between 1919 and 1920.

During this time, the British government began implementing schemes of its own – though often in collaboration with the various colonies. A couple of programs were instituted to not only encourage emigration to Australia and Canada, but also to New Zealand, and South Africa as well.

The Overseas Settlement Scheme

The 1919 Overseas Settlement Scheme was passed to assist discharged soldiers returning home from the Great War. The scheme offered free passage to ex-service men and women and their dependents.  This scheme lasted until the end of 1922, and over its duration, over 86,000 migrants were provided assistance. Of this 86,000, 26,560 went to Canada, 34,750 went to Australia, 12,890 went to New Zealand, 5,890 to South Africa, and nearly 3000 ended up in other parts of the Empire.

In Australia, just over 24 million acres was allocated to the settlement scheme. Approximately 23,000 farms were established across the country, and by June of 1924, 23,367 soldiers and sailors had emigrated and settled on the farms. This scheme enabled greater development of land that had been previously uninhabited in territories throughout Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, and South Australia.

New Zealand saw a dramatic shortage of farm labourers after the loss of 17,000 men in the war. In addition to aiding ex-service men, various private sectors in New Zealand also instituted juvenile immigration schemes. The Flock House Scheme, for example, was initiated in honour of the British Navy and Mercantile Marines, and provided homes for the children of sailors who had been killed during the war. Boys received instruction in agriculture, while the girls were trained in domestic and industrial occupations. Through this scheme and others, approximately 2600 children were brought to New Zealand.

The Empire Settlement Act

King George V with the British and Dominion pr...

King George V with the British and Dominion prime ministers at the 1926 Imperial Conference (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1922, the Overseas Settlement Scheme was expanded to provide assistance to any “suitable persons” from the general public who might want to emigrate. This scheme was dubbed the Empire Settlement Act.

This act allowed the British government to collaborate with its Dominion governments, as well as with private organizations and public authorities, to develop emigration schemes. Under this act, married couples, single farm laborers and teenagers between the ages of 14 and 17 were given free passage, and occasionally, training opportunities. In exchange for passage, the emigrants were expected to settle and remain on the land.

A variety of public and private schemes were instituted under this act, including the “3000 Families Scheme” and the “Dominion-Provincial Land Settlement Scheme” in Canada, and various Australian settlement schemes initiated by Dr. Barnardo’s, the Big Brother movement, and others.

Over its duration, the Empire Settlement Act provided assistance to 212,000 immigrants to Australia, and another 130,000 immigrants to Canada.

During the 19th century, Ireland saw a rapid increase in unemployment. Thousands suffered in poverty, and were often regarded as “permanent deadweight”, “feckless”, or a “redundant” population. Because so many were desperate for jobs, employers were able to reduce wages even further – far below the proper acceptable level – leaving even the employed in dire straits.

English: engraving of 'Emigrants leaving Ireland'

‘Emigrants leaving Ireland’ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This left much of the population looking abroad for relief. Most had family or friends in America, and these fortunate folks often had their fares paid. There was a sizeable group, however, that had neither the connections nor the finances to move.

These poorest of the poor turned to England and Scotland for jobs. Before long, however, the English government became alarmed at the prospect of thousands of migrant paupers pouring across the borders and negatively affecting the native labour conditions. The British job market was already overloaded with English workers, and there were simply not enough resources to provide for the Irish influx.

Thus, a plan was conceived to fund assisted emigration programs. The British government and poor law unions along with independent philanthropists and landlords conspired to pay the fares of 300,000 of the most destitute in Ireland. Those sent abroad were typically able-bodied workers who simply could not find employment at home. These primarily included workhouse paupers, single women, and landless agricultural labourers. This group was overwhelmingly Catholic, and made up nearly 10% of the total migration.

A number of schemes were implemented, and each saw varying degrees of success. Some colonies such as New Zealand and Australia were desperate to attract skilled immigrants, and offered money or land grants to any Irish who chose to emigrate. Most, however, were sent to North America.

Conditions varied greatly for the newly arrived emigrants. Many struggled enormously, finding conditions abroad little better than back in Ireland. Some programs, however, were very successful.

A program led by Peter Robinson, for example, stands out as a highly successful venture. A select group of Irish emigrants was chosen from a number of estates in County Cork, as well as a few from estates in the southeast of Ireland. Stringent rules required emigrants to be Roman Catholic peasants under the age of 45.

English: Emigrants memorial, Larne. This statu...

Emigrants memorial, Larne. This statue in the Curran Park, Curran Road, Larne was unveiled in 1992 to commemorate the departure of the first emigrants from Larne to America. They left onboard the ?Friends Goodwill? in 1717. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Roughly 300 families were selected, and each emigrant was given 70 acres of land in Canada’s Ottowa Valley. Emigrants would be required to pay an annual quit rent to the Crown at a rate of 2 pence per acre; however, each emigrant was provided with needed supplies, including food, seed corn and potatoes, cattle, and tools for building and farming. Log cabins were even constructed and clearings made on each settler’s land grant.

By contrast, other programs were significantly less successful. Those implemented during the Great Famine created the greatest hardships, as many schemes were enforced by landlords on unwilling evicted tenants. These were poorly funded ventures which generated great difficulty for both the emigrants and the host nations.

Overall, however, a great many of these assisted emigrants went on to prosper in their new homes. Despite the difficulties they faced, many made the courageous choices necessary and established prosperous settlements for following generations.

In 1905, the Liberal Government passed the Unemployed Workmen’s Act. The initiative had been inherited from the previous Conservative administration, and the goal of the program was to provide assistance for unemployed workmen throughout the country.

The Act was based on the establishment of Distress Committees in metropolitan boroughs with a population of over 50,000 residents. Each Distress Committee throughout England, Scotland and Ireland would be responsible for setting up public work schemes, as well as providing assistance for families to relocate in order to find employment (either elsewhere in the country or abroad).

Alexandra of Denmark, Queen Consort to Edward ...

Alexandra of Denmark, Queen Consort to Edward VII of the United Kingdom (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The government threw its full weight behind the program, putting a huge contribution into the scheme. Queen Alexandra was also fully supportive of the act, and raised over £153,000 from private donors to support the various enterprises.

Each Distress Committee was entrusted with the responsibility of helping unemployed workers with small cash handouts or with temporary work. Grants were given to select businesses and local authorities, enabling them to hire more workers; however, applicants had to meet a stringent set of requirements. “Proper cases” would be thrifty and of “good character;” they could not have a previous criminal record, and they could not have received poor law assistance.

The Act also made provision for unemployed workmen and their dependents to migrate or emigrate in order to find work. Distress Committees could refer unemployed individuals to the “Central Body”, who would assist with emigration or migration as needed.

Of course, there were conditions in place governing the emigration of any unemployed worker and his family. They would need to meet specific age and fitness requirements, as well as certain qualifications showing employability in agriculture, forestry, husbandry, horticulture, breeding livestock, or growing fruits and vegetables.

Those who met the requirements would receive assistance in relocating and finding employment abroad. In some cases, the unemployed person would agree to repay the Central Body in part or in full for the sum expended for relocation. This was not a requirement, and it’s unclear how many emigrants actually repaid the Central Body for provided assistance.

The Central Body was required to report to the Local Government Board at the end of each month. Details were provided on each person who had been aided to emigrate.

Despite heavy financial backing by the government, the monarchy and by private donors, money soon ran out and the programs were no longer financially viable. The London Committee reached the conclusion that “it is impossible to deal adequately with unemployment by local authorities and we are therefore of the opinion that in future legislation the question should be dealt with nationally.”

Despite its obvious flaws and failings, the Unemployed Workmen’s Act of 1905 was a step in the right direction. It raised public awareness of the problem of unemployment and started a serious discourse on the topic in government circles.

If you know more about this Act and can enhance this article, please comment accordingly – Ed.

Throughout much of the early 19th century, emigration assistance for women was directed almost entirely toward women working in domestic service. Domestic working women were in high demand throughout the colonies, thus, emigration societies and organizations largely focused their efforts on “matrimonial colonization”, helping women who fit this domestic profile.

English: The Last of England by Ford Madox Bro...

The Last of England by Ford Madox Brown, 1855.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There were, however, a substantial number of women in England who had a decent education and were suited for more than basic domestic labour. Unfortunately, these educated women were finding employment opportunities scarce at home. In the colonies, however, there was a dire need for such women.  By the middle of the 19th century, emigration societies began to realize that this neglected group of women was in need of help.

The need came to the foreground when a Miss Maria S. Rye published a paper entitled “The Colonies and their Requirements.” She drew attention to the serious plight of young, educated women who were consigned to English workhouses for want of more appropriate employment. She posed the poignant question, “Are women to perish simply because they are women?” Her viewpoints were soon republished by The English Woman’s Journal, and then printed in pamphlet form by Emily Faithful.

With the help and support of friends, Maria Rye began to act on her convictions. She sent her first group of educated women to Melbourne, Sydney and Natal, where they were met by local supporters and settled in posts of employment. These early emigrants were soon publishing letters of their own in The English Woman’s Journal, pointing to the great success of Maria Rye’s initial venture.

The small success so bolstered Miss Rye’s convictions that she began to appeal to the general public for funds to establish a larger permanent emigration scheme. An appeal was published in The Times, and soon Miss Rye had received over £500 in public support. With the funds raised, Maria Rye launched “The Female Middle Class Emigration Society” in May of 1862.

The Society opened its first and only office at  12 Portugal Street, sharing a building with the offices of The English Woman’s Journal. To approved applicants, the Society offered interest-free loans that could be repaid over a period of 28 months. Correspondents were set up in the various colonial ports where young women might choose to travel, so that wherever the women went, there would be someone there to greet them.

Maria Rye joined the first party which set out for New Zealand in late 1862. She dedicated the next couple of years to studying the conditions in greater depth, leaving her friend, Jane E. Lewin in charge of the Society. By the time Miss Rye returned to England in 1865, she had set her sights on the emigration of children; thus, Miss Lewin ended up running the Society for the duration of its existence.

While the FMCES never became a large or wealthy organization, it did assist quite a number of middle class women in their emigration efforts. In 1886, the FMCES was officially absorbed into the Colonial Emigration Society.

 

Sir Cornelius Vermuyden was a brilliant Dutch engineer who introduced some of the very first land reclamation methods to England. He was one of the most talented Dutch waterway and drainage engineers and made groundbreaking attempts to drain The Fens of East Anglia. Through his work he reclaimed many tens of thousands of acres for new development.

Tranquility - The Ouse Washes at Sutton Gault ...

Tranquility – The Ouse Washes at Sutton Gault (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cornelius was born in 1595 on the Isle of Tholen in the Netherlands. He was the son of Giles Vermuyden and Sarah Werkendet. As a young man, he completed his training in the Netherlands before briefly working in England on embankments in the Thames Estuary. He spent time repairing a sea wall at Dagenham and then moved on to Essex where he worked on reclaiming Canvey Island in a venture financed Dutch haberdasher Joas Croppenburg.

Through these various ventures and some subsequent work at Windsor, Cornelius caught the attention of King Charles I. The English King commissioned him with the task of draining Hatfield Chase in the Isle of Axholme, Lincolnshire. The King owned a number of manors in the region, and offered Vermuyden one third of the drained land as payment for his work. In order to finance the venture, Vermuyden sold shares to his land, bringing in a number of Dutch, French and Walloon investors.

As the King also intended to enclose a full third of the common fen for his personal use, the local population was left with a mere third. Locals were enraged, and though they didn’t particularly care about the drainage attempts, they were unhappy about losing much of the common land. They made their displeasure apparent by attacking the Dutch workers. In 1630, an agreement was finally reached, the Fenmen were compensated for their losses, and work proceeded.  The project was completed in 1637, though other engineers objected that the system was inadequate for proper drainage.

Nonetheless, Vermuyden was knighted for his efforts and he became a full-fledged British citizen.

He soon became involved with lead mining ventures in Derbyshire, and with an effort to make the county’s River Derwent navigable. In the 1650s Vermuyden got involved in the efforts to drain the Great Fen in Cambridgeshire and Norfolk. The marshland was inadequately drained by a mess of poorly maintained rivers. Attempts had been made to solve the problem, but the work did not really begin in earnest until Vermuyden got involved. He proposed two innovative solutions: washes to catch floodwater in bad weather, and a catch drain around the eastern edge of the fen. The first solution was completed in the 1650s; however, the second phase was not put in place until the 20th century.

When the Civil War broke out in the 1640s, much of Vermuyden’s work was destroyed. Parliament ordered the dykes broken in order to flood the land and stop the Royalist advance. Once the war was over, Vermuyden was commissioned to reclaim the Bedford Level. Over 40,000 acres were drained and the New Bedford River was flowing.

Cornelius Vermuyden passed away on October 11, 1677.

By the beginning of the 17th century, there was already a significant Scottish presence in Ireland. From the late 1200’s to the 1500s, Scottish mercenaries known as “gallowglass” had been brought over by Irish leaders to supplement their own armies. The gallowglass were typically paid with clan land from the clan chief they had served. Naturally, they settled in Ireland, bringing with them such Scottish names as MacSweeny and MacDowell.

Sign in County Down with Irish and Ulster Scot...

Sign in County Down with Irish and Ulster Scots text (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

During the 16th century a new wave of Scottish mercenaries flooded into Ireland from the Isles and Highlands; however, this group was paid in currency rather than land, and most returned to Scotland. A branch of the Macdonnell clan didn’t leave. They instead settled in the northeast corner of Ulster (in modern day Antrim county), and quickly dominated the region politically. The government in Dublin viewed this Scottish settlement as a serious threat, however, and in 1556 legislation was passed banning all Scots from Ireland.

A mere 50-odd years later, James VI of Scotland ascended the thrones of England and Ireland, bringing an about-face in the Irish perspective on Scottish settlers. Knowing that Northern Ireland was typically hostile to English rule, James conceived the idea of a Protestant colony as a means of establishing the royal hold on the region.

James found his opportunity when the Roman Catholic Earls of Tyrone and Tyrconnell fled Ireland to take refuge in France. Their lands were quickly seized by the crown and divided up amongst new owners. These seized lands included the counties of Antrim, Down, Fermanagh, Tyrone, Coleraine (later renamed Londonderry), and Donegal. Plans were drawn up, dividing the counties into precincts, and each of those precincts was assigned to Irish servitors or English or Scottish undertakers (so called because they “undertook” the commission of building fortifications and establishing settlements).

By 1610, the Scots were awarded nine separate precincts. Greater nobles received up to 3000 acres of profitable land, while fifty Scottish chiefs received grants of 1000-2000 acres. The government hand-picked each recipient to ensure that the noblemen had the means to meet the costs of establishing a profitable settlement.

In 1630, a military muster was conducted, and these records show the progress of the various settlements. Certain precincts, such as those in Donegal, had seen little to no growth by the time of the muster. Elsewhere, however, small communities of Lowland Scots were established and thriving. According to the muster of 1630, the adult Scottish population of Ulster had nearly reached 14,000.

Though no surveys were conducted in the years after the muster of 1630, the incoming Scots established a strong presence not only in Ulster, but also further afield. Counties Cork, Mayo, Sligo, and Wexford all show signs of a significant Scottish presence at the time. In fact, so strong was Scottish establishment in Ireland that they posed a serious threat to Charles I when he faced disputes with the Scots in the late 1630s.

English: William Petty (1623-1687)

William Petty (1623-1687) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Those very disputes brought Scottish migration to a near halt for almost a decade. When Charles tried to force the Prayer Book of the Church of England on them, denying the Scots their own form of worship, many simply pulled up stakes and went home. Charles added insult to injury in 1638 by demanding that Scots in Ulster take “The Black Oath” – a solemn vow to never take up arms against the King. Many sorely insulted Scots simply chose to return to Scotland rather than being subjected to Charles’ whims.

Finally, in 1641 an Irish rebellion broke out. Men, women and children were slaughtered, and many survivors rushed to return to Scotland. In 1642, however, ten thousand Scottish soldiers flooded in to quash the rebellion. Thousands of the soldiers stayed on in Ireland, renewing the Scottish population.

It is estimated that in all, as many as 200,000 Scots crossed the North Channel throughout the 17th century, though not all remained or survived. Exact figures vary greatly; however we know that Scottish presence throughout the time of the Restoration was substantial. Sir William Petty estimated the Scottish population to be around 100,000 in 1672, and that number continued to grow significantly until around 1715.

Kingston upon Hull sits quietly at the junction of the Rivers Hull and Humber. Due to its ideal location, the port has long enjoyed a successful and lively trade with most of Northern Europe. Shipping lines not only brought significant financial revenue to the town, but also added greatly to the culture and community as migrants made their way through the port.

English: "Farewell to home." Emigran...

Prior to 1836, however, migrants flowed in at a mere trickle. Those who passed through were primarily there for commercial reasons. Some migrant ships did pass through Hull on their way to Canada or the US, though these were infrequent and the numbers negligible. The few ships that did accommodate migrants were unpleasant and the journey was a tiresome ordeal. Accommodations were cramped and voyage timings were irregular.

All of this changed in the 1840s as steamship companies in Hull, Leith, Hamburg and Gothenburg began offering regular emigrant services via the UK. The steamships dramatically shortened the time it took to travel between mainland Europe and the UK ports, and thanks to contracts with the Royal Mail postal service, steamship companies were able to offer trips all throughout the year (rather than being limited to the previously established “immigrant season”).

The Wilson Line of Hull began running steamship services from Norway and Sweden as early as 1843. The North Europe Steam Navigation Company followed in 1853, running a strong fleet of nine steamers back and forth on the Christiania and Gothenburg route. By 1858, however, the Wilson Line practically monopolized the route from Scandinavia to Hull, and brought the majority of emigrant traffic.

From the port cities, the transmigrants were taken by train to Southampton, Liverpool, Glasgow, or London. In these larger cities, the migrants boarded large transatlantic liners for the final leg of their journey to the United States. Passengers could purchase a complete travel package that covered the entire trip including the steamship to Hull, the train ticket on the Transpennine Railway Line to Liverpool, and the final ocean liner ticket that would take them to their final destination.

This brought on a boom of transmigration as folks travelled en masse from Sweden and other Northern European countries. Of course, the city of Hull was not initially prepared for such an enormous number of emigrants, thus emigrant houses and railway stations quickly became overcrowded and a serious health risk. After a cholera outbreak in 1866, the city put major preventative measures in place. Travellers were no longer allowed to roam the city on foot, but were required to remain on board the steamers until their trains were ready to depart.

In 1871, the Northeastern Railway Company built a waiting room near Paragon Railway station so that the emigrants could relax, meet ticket agents, use the washrooms and facilities and be sheltered from the wind and weather. Eventually, the majority of the emigrants were passing through the Paragon Railway Station. Though the travellers were only there for a short time, their numbers were so great that in 1881, the station doubled the size of its waiting room. Women and children were able to wait in a separate room, and sanitary facilities were expanded and improved to meet the greater demand.

At times, so many emigrants were arriving that up to 17 carriages would be hooked up to a single steam engine. Passengers would cram into the forward carriages, while their baggage was piled high in the rear four cabs. Trains pulled out of Hull every Monday morning to make the three to four hour trip to Liverpool.

By 1914, however, transmigration had slowed to a crawl once more. The UK’s Alien Immigration Act of 1905 had severely restricted travel, and when WWI broke out followed by the passing of immigration acts in America, mass transmigration came to an end. Over those 70-odd years, however, 5 million transmigrants flowed through the UK, with approximately 60% of them passing through the port in Hull.

Related Items

Finding your Swedish Roots

The Emigration from Sweden

Swedish Americans

Sources

1. The research of Dr Nicholas J. Evans at the University of Hull. For further information please access the following article he has written Indirect Passage from Europe. European Transmigration via the UK, 1836-1914,  Journal for Maritime Research, Volume 3, No 1 (2001), pp. 70-84


Copy Protected by Chetan's WP-Copyprotect.