Friday, February 2, 2007

The long history of immigration into this country

I have recently been spurred to research some of the history of immigration into this country. I found a superb timeline at the website of the Commission for Racial Equality.

The first thing this timeline reminded me of, is this: People often make a sweeping assumption that "British" people are "Anglo-Saxon". This is wrong for a whole host of reasons. One of those reasons is me, and millions like me - Celts. I was reminded that, in fact, the Celts started arriving here in 400 BC, whereas the Angles and Saxons didn't start arriving here until the best part of a millennium later, in 390 AD. So yaboo sucks to you Saxon lot!

The time line also highlights how long ago many ethnic groups starting arriving on our shores:

250AD - First black people arrived here as part of the Roman legionaires

1507 - There was a black trumpeter at the court of Henry VII

1510 - People from the Punjab arrived here

1555 - More substantial numbers of Black people arrived as slaves from Africa

1650 - Chinese and West African "Lascars" arrive

1685 - Thousands of Huguenots fled here

1770s - 20,000 Black people were living in London at the end of the 1700s plus another 4,000 in the rest of the country.

1820 - Chinese communities take root
1840 - Substantial numbers of skilled Indian workers arrive plus those from Italy and Southern Europe

1890 - "Chinatown" established in London
1916 - Carribeans arrive to aid the war work
1940 - RAF have shortage of pilots. Pilots from the Carribean, South Africa, India and Eastern Europe (especially from Poland and Czechoslovakia) arrive.


  1. There was a story about 5 years ago of an archeaological dig at Stonehenge finding the "King of Stonehenge" who it was reckoned was of Italian origin.

    Things may go back way before you suggest :-)

  2. I read down thru your immigration issues in England, and find simmilarities with what has been going on here in the USA.

    We started out to be a nation of Indians, which originally migrated down from eastern Siberia thru Alaska; and down into Mexico and South America (All either Spanish or Portuguese). Then we were 'colonized' by the English and some French. Then the 'Slave-trade' brought the Africans here.

    More recently, at least 11 million Mexicans have illegally immigrated across our borders (now we have to have signs up in both Spanish and English, including in our 'voting' material). We now have members in our midst from every country in the world, let alone their religions!

    On top of that, the world has drastically changed the economies of the nations over time; such that neither England nor America are the major suppliers to the rest of the world any more! We are flooded with cheaper products from China and other Asian countries, and these are becoming economic blocs, just like the European bloc has!

    You talk about changes that you have noticed, but there's MORE to come! It's in global religion! Watch out! It's already here!

    We have Hindu, Buddhists, Muslims, Jews, Christians...and every other kind of imaginable religion you can think of. Our government in the USA has to placate to every one of them (Religious freedom). Some of them have become a powerful force, and entering into the politics of our nation!

    Not ALL these religions can be right! But they all claim to be! Which one is the legitimate one?


    See the "Chosen"Code and "Color"Code; VISIT: !

    Save or Print it to study.


  3. Greetings, Liberal Amigo.

    Amongst my pet hates are the following:

    David Blunkett (don't go there, I just lose myself)
    and Starbucks

    So I'm a top-notch kind of a guy, and no two ways about it. The immigration issue sometimes does my head in, though.

    I liked reading your list and enjoyed - up to a point - the comment from Rudy Wellsand. We kind of parted company at the bible code bit and I'm not sure we'll meet again. But still. In fact, we may just have been saying our goodbyes a little earlier than that, as it happens, but I digress.

    I like immigration. Love it, in fact. And this is a convenient and welcome feeling, because I also happen to think it is vital to the economic and cultural wellbeing of, I suppose, The World. Bizarrely, then, I am usually to be found screeching for tighter controls on the flow of peoples from one country to the next and beyond.

    It just seems like common (long-term) sense to me that restrictions should be in place. I feel a dreadful unease that everything is about to go properly pear-shaped. Too much, too fast, too soon.

    It just fosters (understandable?) resentments, unfortunately, when a native community feels suddenly jostled by large numbers of "others". There is never any excuse, of course, when this feeling manifests itself in outpourings of racist drivel. But the nagging and dreadful doubt remains, that the loudmouths may just have a point. We need to be so very careful about the steps we next choose to take.

    Apart from anything else, it is singularly unfair on the immigrants themselves to expose them to such vile racist backlash. They need time and space to develop their place in a nation that needs them quite badly.

    Integration totally rules, no doubt about it. To achieve this, however, those that are trying to integrate - and the host community that is trying, one hopes, to help them achieve this integration - should not be taking on more than they can handle at any given time. That way leads to disaster.

    You're right, though. We Celts certainly spread it around a bit, don't we? Those pesky Angles and Saxons had just better watch their step.

    Today, in honour of your post, I am choosing to be Irish. Tomorrow, who knows, Swedish? It barely matters, does it? And you heard it here first, Mr Burblings, straight from the gobby mouth of a proud Scottish nationalist.

    Kind regards etc....(and OMG, I'm so sorry for going on and on)

    The Temporary Irishwoman

  4. Of course, you celts came in as immigrants usurping those who lived here before ;)

    All these immigrant groups have brought new things to our culture over the years, although with increased communication we are now exposed to even more, but its wonderful. I love many of the influences which other cultures have had on Britain.
    Immigration per se is no problem, problems come when groups isolate themselves and set themselves against the rest of society, but these need not be immigrant groups.

    I wouldn't be surprised if some non-europeans arrived here before the romans, arriving here through trade (as traders or as slaves).

    With better DNA collecting capabilities and other ways to work out the origin of people (oxygen content in teeth for example), I'm sure we'll have some surprises on the way from archaeologists.