Modelling Regional Imbalances in English Plebeian Migration to Late Eighteenth‐Century London

25 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2018

See all articles by Adam Crymble

Adam Crymble

University of Hertfordshire

Adam Dennett

University College London

Tim Hitchcock

University of Sussex

Date Written: August 2018

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.

Suggested Citation

Crymble, Adam and Dennett, Adam and Hitchcock, Tim, Modelling Regional Imbalances in English Plebeian Migration to Late Eighteenth‐Century London (August 2018). The Economic History Review, Vol. 71, Issue 3, pp. 747-771, 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3212416 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ehr.12569

Adam Crymble (Contact Author)

University of Hertfordshire ( email )

Hertford Herts, SG13 8QF
United Kingdom

Adam Dennett

University College London

Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

Tim Hitchcock

University of Sussex

Sussex House
Falmer
Brighton, Sussex BNI 9RH
United Kingdom

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