Strangers Settled Here Amongst Us: Policies, Perceptions, and the Presence of Aliens in Elizabethan England

By Laura Hunt Yungblut | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

Britain has long enjoyed a reputation as the principal European refuge for those people who, for one reason or another, have felt the need to flee their native lands. This tradition of providing a place of sanctuary has continued down to the present day, as is evidenced, for example, by the famous individual cases of Louis-Philippe in the nineteenth century and Solzhenitsyn in the twentieth. The historical roots of this long-standing reputation lie in the sixteenth century. Those aliens who fled to England during the reign of Elizabeth I were, at least in any sizeable numbers, the first to have been motivated in their immigration by factors beyond what can be characterized as purely economic ones. The purpose of this study is to provide a new perspective on the roles played by those aliens. 1 This new perspective addresses three primary aspects related to the strangers which are inextricably interwoven: the nature of their presence, native perceptions about them, and the policies engendered by both factors. Policy-making is an effective vehicle by which the complex interplay between the three aspects can be analyzed.

Because of a variety of circumstances ranging from the ‘pull’ of Crown support to the ‘push’ of religious-civil war and economic displacement on the Continent, the notion of England as a haven for refugees was not only firmly established, but also was regularly enhanced both by events and by the reactions of Elizabeth’s government to those events. Although this building of the notion that England represented some sort of island refuge for the displaced of Europe can be traced to the Tudor century, many of the conditions which permitted its growth developed almost by chance. During Elizabeth’s rule, a number of unusual circumstances converged which enabled, or even forced, the Queen and

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Strangers Settled Here Amongst Us: Policies, Perceptions, and the Presence of Aliens in Elizabethan England
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Tables vi
  • Maps vii
  • Preface viii
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - ‘strangers Settled Here’ 9
  • 2 - Dichotomies in English Attitudes Toward the Aliens 36
  • 3 - The Presence of Aliens and Government Policy in the Reign of Elizabeth I 61
  • 4 - Aliens, Policy, and the Elizabethan Economy 95
  • Conclusion 114
  • Appendix A—colchester Contribution Book to the Poor (1582-92) 118
  • Appendix B—norwich Book of Orders for Dutch and Walloon Strangers, 1564-1643 [nro Mf/Ro 31/1] 122
  • Notes 128
  • Bibliography 160
  • Index 173
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