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Further Reading

section 2: 'frontier towns' of the industrial revolution

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Population of Preston in 1851

Birthplace

Total Population (%)

In-migrants (%)

In Preston

48

-

1 - 4.9 miles distant

8

15

5 - 9.9 miles distant

13

27

10 - 29.9 miles distant

14

28

30 miles and over (excluding Ireland)

8

16

In Ireland

7

14

Not traceable

2

-

Source: Anderson, 1971, p. 37

The table shows that, although only 48% of Preston's population was born in the town, a further 35% were born within 30 miles. Apart from the 7% who were born in Ireland, a comparatively small 8% came from more than 30 miles away. Anderson's study, therefore, suggested that the main recruiting grounds for the textile factories on which the expansion of so many Lancashire towns, including Preston, were based was the immediate vicinity of those towns.

7% of Preston's population were Irish immigrants. The potato famine of the late 1840s had driven many Irish people to Britain, and in 1851, 9.3% of the population of Lancashire was Irish-born. The figure for the population of Manchester, where 13.1% of the population in 1851 was Irish-born, was even higher, although the figure for Liverpool was the highest of all, standing at 22.3%.

More on Irish immigration
Visit Section 2: The Irish in Britain of the Migration unit to look at the question of Irish immigration in more detail. Here it is necessary to note that the large numbers of Irish immigrants in British towns - before, during and after the potato famine - were seen by many observers as a contributing factor to the squalor associated with urbanisation.

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