Culture, Conflict, and Migration: The Irish in Victorian Cumbria

By Donald M. Macraild | Go to book overview

Note on the text

Cumbria is the administrative county formed in 1974 from the old counties of Cumberland, Westmorland and parts of Lancashire and North Yorkshire. The Lancashire element is contained between two rivers—the Lune and the Duddon—and equates to Furness, or ‘Lancashire north of the sands’ as it was known. The term Cumbria is not a new one, and is thus deliberately employed, not as some geographical anachronism, but as an expression which immediately brings to mind more than is implied by Cumberland and Westmorland. Cumbria is also useful because it suggests that north Lancashire, the region around Barrow-in-Furness, had (and has) more in common with Whitehaven and the west Cumberland mineral belt than with the bulk of mill-town Lancashire to the south. This is a useful observation because, in terms of industrialisation (generally) and Irish migration (in particular), both north Lancashire and west Cumberland were shaped by the presence of iron-ore deposits. The main industrial towns of Cumbria—Barrow, Millom, Whitehaven, Workington, Maryport and Cleator—were, it is true, geographically isolated from one another; but, in cultural, economic and social terms, there was much to unite them.

The term migration is consciously employed in this book because under the terms of the Act of Union (1801)—however invidious that legislation might have been—the Irish who arrived in England were migrants. The terms ‘immigrant’ and ‘immigration’ are more valueloaded than ‘migrant’ and ‘migration’ because they deny or ignore the legislative realities of nineteenth-century social organisation. By so doing, these terms also pander to the language of exclusion and difference which the Victorians themselves were wont to use with reference to what they viewed as an undesirable alien influence amongst them.

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Culture, Conflict, and Migration: The Irish in Victorian Cumbria
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Figures and Tables viii
  • Note on the Text x
  • Preface xiii
  • Acknowledgements xxiii
  • Chapter 1 - Culture, Conflict and Migration- Themes and Perspectives 1
  • Chapter 2 - Patterns of Arrival and Settlement 27
  • Chapter 3 - Work 64
  • Chapter 4 - Catholicism and Nationalism 99
  • Chapter 5 - The Emergence and Identity of Orangeism 137
  • Chapter 6 - Sectarian Violence and Communal Division 170
  • Conclusions 203
  • Select Bibliography 212
  • Index 231
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