Black '47: Britain and the Famine Irish by Frank Neal

By Frank Neal

The Irish Famine of 1845-49 used to be a big glossy disaster. The go back of the potato blight in 1846 prompted an enormous exodus of destitute Irish looking shelter in British cities and 1847 witnessed an extraordinary influx of Irish refugees into Britain. This e-book examines the dimensions of that refugee immigration, the stipulations lower than which the refugees have been carried to Britain, the relaxation operations fastened, the horrors of the typhus epidemic in Liverpool, Glasgow, Manchester, South Wales and the North-East, and the monetary price to the British ratepayers.

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Sample text

By the time large scale Irish immigration into Britain commenced, coinciding with the appearance of cross channel steamers, die Industrial Revolution was well underway. 5 The main features of Britain's industrial takeoff need to be appreciated in order to understand some of die economic forces affecting Irish society. In Britain, the application of waterpower to the driving of machines was accompanied by die construction of a widespread canal system which by the end of the eighteenth century played a central role in reducing transport costs.

31 In die course of this he examined closely the living conditions in die slums. 32 This figure of 369 unoccupied cellars is of interest in that in indicates diat in 1836, ten years before die famine crisis, there was little spare accommodation available at die bottom end of die housing market. Wood put die cellar population between 31 000 and 32 000 persons and reported that most of the cellars were damp, all were below street level, most had only one window, no privy and no water. Water was obtained from stand pipes in die courts and diese were usually on three times a day.

7 per cent, as did die township of Manchester. In both cases, inward migration accounted for most of the increases. 3 per cent. However, in the case of long distance migrants, 83 813 were born in Ireland, 22 per cent of die total population and 39 per cent of all inward migrants. In addition to the Irish, there were 20 285 Welsh and 14 039 Scots born persons recorded in the 1851 census. This gives a total of 118 137 from the Celtic areas, or 55 per cent of all inward migrants. 13 If we examine the case of Manchester borough and Salford township togedier, the 1851 census revealed that 45 per cent of the population were born widiin the two towns and 195 748 were short distance immigrants from Lancashire and Cheshire.

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