Tuesday, March 3, 2015

England's Immigrants 1330-1550

The British National Archves has just launched England’s Immigrants 1330-1550, a major new research database.  This work is the result of a three year project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) directed by Professor Mark Ormrod, of the University of York’s Centre for Medieval Studies, who headed a team of researchers based in York at and here at The National Archives.
The British Isles has seen a steady flow of immigrants over the past two millennia. Invasions by the Romans and Normans, sanctuary sought by the Protestant Huguenots, or the need for a workforce encouraging West Indians to immigrate all have had a part to play in making Britain the nation it is today.
Alien poll tax inquest for Northamptonshire, 15 April 1469

The central information is drawn from taxation records. In the mid-fifteenth century, as a response to growing tension against England’s immigrants, a series of alien subsidies were granted by parliament. Other records from the period also survive, including various letters patent on the Patent Rolls, detailing requests for immigrants to remain in England and be treated like denizens.  It reveals evidence about the names, origins, occupations and households of a significant number of foreigners who chose to live and work in England in the era of the Hundred Years War, the Black Death and the Wars of the Roses. 
The database contains the names of a total of 65,000 immigrants resident in England between 1330 and 1550. In one year, 1440, the names of 14,500 individuals were recorded, at a time when the population of England was approximately 2 million.
All of this information has been gathered onto the database providing easy access to complex data for the first time.  The database is accessible to all and is a fully searchable and interactive resource, from which data can be downloaded.

No comments:

Post a Comment