Lecture 4: Assisted Immigration from Britain
-A minority movement through various experiments
-Small schemes, big consequences: ‘chain migration’
-‘systematic immigration and colonization’ British Government Assistance
Colonial Secretary, Lord Bathurst’s military settlements
Peter Robinson’s settlers (Almonte and Peterborough)
Chelsea Pensioners (disabled veterans as settlers)
- Edward Gibbon Wakefield; Lobbied for systematic colonization from 1829 onwards.
- thought land prices should be high in british colonies said Wakefield.
-only prosperous people could then be able to afford farm lands and they would be able to work
them efficiently. They would then hire lots of poor immigrants who would work as agricultural
labourers. Recreating this kind of British society in the Colonies. It never actually worked in
Canada but it did kind of work in Austraila.
- if the gov tried to raise prices for land, people would just go to the states.
Lord Bathurst, as colonial secretary, gave away lands and subsidized passes were given to small
numbers of immigrants coming form Britain. Some were soldiers, demobilized there or here.
Civilians were also aided. Part of the hope of encouraging significant #s of soldiers to settle was
that it was thought that soldiers would provide leadership for other immigrants. To some extent
this happened like in Perth, Ontario. Officers took a leadership role for a lil while.
- quickly settlements had no distinctions, whether they were soldiers or civilians.
- Tipperary settlers from Ireland, in 1818, only 44 families were subsidized by the British
- they were protestant irish living in a catholic neighbourhood, worried politically, etc. thought it
would be better to get out so their children could live better lives. Went ot the british gov asked
for help, were granted aid and settled in Richmond in Upper Canada.
- 775 additional families came from Tipperary after those 44 assisted immigrant families came to
Canada. Whattup chain migration. They were self-propelled, wanted to try it on their own terms,
thru word of mouf.
- Catholic families from TIpperary also came to settle right beside these protestants, brutal fights
happened. This was in the Lucan area in Ontario.
- Peter Robinson 1823-25; encouraged people from troubled places in Ireland to come to Upper
- Priest chose who would be most successful in UC, from Ireland. 530 came over, they wrote
home, saying this is sweeet, good future.
- Gov wanted Robinson to do this again, he had 50k applications. He chose 2024 people to travel
in 9 ships and settled in UC in Peterborough. Mostly poor, Catholic, Irish immigrants.
- another scheme of state assitance coming from the Gov in Britain was the settlement among the
Chelsea Pensioners (disabled veterans as settlers).
- were beign supported by the gov because of the role they played in the wars
- in 1830 came up with a proposal to relieve the gov of some of the expense of these people.
They said, we’ll pay your passage to the colony if you become a settler there. We’ll give you 4
years of the pension upfront to help you get established, but then we don’t pay you any longer.
Not all 85, 000 took this up, but something like 4, 000 opted for it. About 1500 of those settled in
UC. These were unusual settlers in UC because they were older men, in their 40s and 50s.
Unusual because they mostly had been poor people but they had cash in hands, which was like
30 pounds. They were in an unusual land, spent their money quick, and since they were disabled
they couldn’t work farms. Appealed to the gov, were like yo help me, but the gov was like no.
-Chelsea Pensioners became the first street people in Canada. They were pleading in the streets,
British gov still refused to intervene, said we had a deal, peace, we’re sticking to it.
- In addition, local government assisted immigration. Called Parish Assisted Immigration.
- was the parish’s responsibility to provide for the poor.
- gov began to say, rather than helping them out constantly. Lets pay for them to get out of here.
In the 1820s, significant numbers of parish’s subsidized the popper’s travel to the US. In the
1830s, BNA was the destination. Many ppl in Britain said it was unpatriotic sending them to the
US, ppl it he US said we don’t want these poppers being dumped on our shores.
- 20 000 people poppers immigrated to UC.
- viewed that British gov was dumping these people on the shores of Canada and then no longer
dealt with them. This immigration mainly happened in the 1830s, afterwards nat so much,
Local Government Assistance
- Parish- Assisted immigrants: ‘shovelling out paupers?’
Lord Egremont of Sussex, Engand
- concerned about the unemployed in their area, riots, people said they were going to starve
unless something was done.
- He came up with the idea to assist the people who were unemployed locally to fund their
immigration. It was called the Petworth Scheme. 1800 immigrants were assited through this plan
in the 1830s. these people were very well assisted, the ships that were provided for them were of
the best quality, clean conditions, Egremont wanted to be a great example for other land lords. In
1837 he died and his scheme fizzled. And again, it wasn’t widely adopted.
Emigration societies, people would go door to door asking for contributions to the society. They
were called subscriptions. Would also lobby the british government to support the society and
then the society would use the funds to assist emigrants who were worthy.
Eg. 1841; petition of the North Border Glasglow Emigration Society. It’s appeal was particularly
to assist 300 unemployed handloom weavers. Tried to persuade others about the legitimacy of
their appeal. Promise was these handloom weavers would also get a farm and assistance getting
settled on their land.
Lecture 5: The Irish: Orange and Green in British North America
October 5th 2010
• Ireland: a land divided
- Often seen as a turbulent bunch
- more than half of the immigrants coming to Canada were Protestant
- significant amount that went to the US weren’t poor people, had things to sell to help
finance their migration
- settled here in the countryside, became farmers, farm owners
Ireland’s brief history:
Ireland is England’s oldest colony, way back in 1169
- 1600s: England planted Scottish Presbyterians in northern Ireland (Ulster)
-1700s: imposition of an Anglo-Irish elite. A group of people who had their origins in
England, were well connected in government to the centre, the Crown. Made judges, ran
legal system, planted their particular brand of Protestantism in Ireland. Three groups: the
dominant Catholic pop, planted Scott Presbyterians and then Anglo-Irish elite. Deep
divisions between these 3 groups.
- tensions were transplanted to Canada by the Irish immigrants.
Three Periods of Irish Immigration:
• Pre-Famine Immigration, 1816-45
• Reasons for leaving: who? Push/Pull:
- not the poorest of the poor, had things to sell that would allow them to set up a farm in
Canada. Poorest of poor would leave to go to England, much closer, job opportunities to
have just across the sea. Largest group in pre-famine migration was Protestant: both
Presbyterian and Anglo-Irish
- thought their prospects would improve by leaving. Economic issues were pushing people
out, had to do with major changes in the rural economy. Linen production was on the
- much less demand for hand woven fabrics.
-before 1820s, Irish Catholics has no legal rights, all citizen ship rights went to Protestants
who had a stronger connection to the British gov. after 1820s British began to give Catholics
some rights, made the Protestants fearful, unsure of their status. If it was to be majority rule
and Catholics had rights, they would be overthrown/would have no pull in society.
• Settlement: men, women, families
-Occupational pluralism: had to be flexible, take what work was going. Might do some
carpentry on the side, or work in the woods.
- a lot of work to be had in the wintertime, felling the trees and dragging them out of the
-Agro-forest economy: during the farm off season, women were left behind to run the farm
as the men went into the forest in the winter.
- generally a success story: you could build a prosperous farm and do well. Led to chain
migration, allowed others to follow them.
Edward gibbon wakefield; lobbied for systematic colonization from 1829 onwards. Thought land prices should be high in british colonies said wakefield. Only prosperous people could then be able to afford farm lands and they would be able to work them efficiently. They would then hire lots of poor immigrants who would work as agricultural labourers. Recreating this kind of british society in the colonies. Canada but it did kind of work in austraila. If the gov tried to raise prices for land, people would just go to the states. Lord bathurst, as colonial secretary, gave away lands and subsidized passes were given to small numbers of immigrants coming form britain. Part of the hope of encouraging significant #s of soldiers to settle was that it was thought that soldiers would provide leadership for other immigrants. To some extent this happened like in perth, ontario. Officers took a leadership role for a lil while.