Modelling regional imbalances in English plebeian migration to late eighteenth-century London

Crymble, Adam, Dennett, Adam and Hitchcock, Timothy (2017) Modelling regional imbalances in English plebeian migration to late eighteenth-century London. Economic History Review. ISSN 0013-0117

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Abstract

Using a substantial set of vagrancy removal records for Middlesex (1777–86) giving details of the place of origin of some 11,500 individuals, and analysing these records using a five-variable gravity model of migration, this article addresses a simple question: from which parts of England did London draw its lower-class migrants in the late eighteenth century? It concludes, first, that industrializing areas of the north emerged as a competitor for potential migrants—contributing relatively fewer migrants than predicted by the model. Rising wage rates in these areas appear to explain this phenomenon. Second, it argues that migration from urban centres in the west midlands and parts of the West Country, including Bristol, Birmingham, and Worcester, was substantially higher than predicted, and that this is largely explained by falling wage rates and the evolution of an increasingly efficient travel network. Third, for the counties within about 130 kilometres of the capital, this article suggests that migration followed the pattern described in the current literature, with London drawing large numbers of local women in particular. It also argues that these short-distance migrants came from a uniquely wide number of parishes, suggesting a direct rural-to-urban path.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: migration, London, eighteenth century, Plebeian, vagrancy
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > History
Research Centres and Groups: Sussex Humanities Lab
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D111 Medieval History > D135 Migrations
D History General and Old World > DA History of Great Britain
D History General and Old World > DA History of Great Britain > DA020 England
D History General and Old World > DA History of Great Britain > DA020 England > DA129 By period
D History General and Old World > DA History of Great Britain > DA020 England > DA129 By period > DA300 Modern, 1485-
D History General and Old World > DA History of Great Britain > DA020 England > DA129 By period > DA300 Modern, 1485- > DA505 George III, 1760-1820
D History General and Old World > DA History of Great Britain > DA020 England > DA670 Local history and description > DA675 London
Depositing User: Timothy Hitchcock
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2017 14:26
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2017 10:27
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/69500

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