By Frank Neal
The Irish Famine of 1845-49 was once a big glossy disaster. The go back of the potato blight in 1846 brought on an immense exodus of destitute Irish looking shelter in British cities and 1847 witnessed an remarkable influx of Irish refugees into Britain. This ebook examines the dimensions of that refugee immigration, the stipulations lower than which the refugees have been carried to Britain, the comfort operations fixed, the horrors of the typhus epidemic in Liverpool, Glasgow, Manchester, South Wales and the North-East, and the monetary expense to the British ratepayers.
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Extra info for Black '47: Britain and the Famine Irish
The populations of slums,'teemed' and 'swarmed'; the homes of the poor were 'lairs' or 'dens'. The necessity of many poor of both sexes to share rooms or even beds was dubbed promiscuity. The downturn in the economy in 1841-2, and 1847, exacerbated the problem of poverty and it was into this environment that die famine Irish arrived. II Moving from macro analysis to micro, detailed attention must now be turned to the particular conditions in diree towns which were targets of Irish immigration; Liverpool, Manchester and Glasgow.
It is food, light and air they require. 3 In fact the Board did nothing. 4 The Irish did not create diese conditions and they were shared with sections of the English, Welsh and Scots poor. The famine crisis however exacerbated the wretchedness of many Irish in British cities and towns. 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.
The inhabitants had to use die privies in the courts. Anodier feature contributing significantly to its general unhealthy state, was the density of population. 50 Collectively the investigations of Cornwallis, Wood, Holmes and Duncan all demonstrate diat the urban environment of Liverpool was normally unhealdiy; diat the housing stock was of poor quality, even by the standards of Victorian England and that, on the eve of die Irish famine, the town was the most densely populated in Britain. Both Irish and non Irish working classes lived in such conditions.