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18 June 2014
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Legacies - Cambridgeshire

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Immigration and Emigration
The Globe Inn before it was demolished in 1962
Riotous Littleport

Towards the end of the 18th Century, a new solution to overcrowded gaols was initiated - deportation to another colony. This time it was Australia’s turn, in particular New South Wales and a scheme was devised and agreed by Lord Sydney, the then British Home Secretary. It proved highly successful and between the late 18th and 19th Centuries over 160,000 convicts were sent there.

As a rule, skilled workers such as, carpenters, stonemasons and cultivators, were chosen for essential jobs as soon as they disembarked. Others were assigned to labouring or handed over to property owners, merchants or farmers who may once have been convicts themselves.

The lack of fresh water in the Botany Bay area of New South Wales, led to a move further north to Port Jackson (now Sydney Harbour).
The Globe Inn
Th Globe Inn - scene of the initial meeting of the rioters
© Adam Strawson
In turn, this led to the development of farms and industry around Parramatta, which is today the site of Australia’s largest city - Sydney.

Napoleonic aftermath

An increase in taxation on imported wheat and grain had been imposed to help recoup the costs of funding the Napoleonic Wars, 1803 – 1815. This created a climate of social unrest because even basic commodities, like cereals and bread, became heavily over-priced. This was particularly hard-felt by those returning from the Battle of Waterloo (1815) who had no prospects of employment.

On 22 May, 1816, the Littleport farm labourers held a meeting to call for financial aid. They discussed the plight of their community as a whole, which had been enraged by the news that three fellow labourers had been sacked by local farmer and landowner Henry Martin. Martin was thought to have been wealthy enough to keep them employed, as he maintained a conspicuously affluent lifestyle, regularly spending more than the combined wages of his three employees.

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Internet Links
The Littleport Riots – Adam Strawson
Descendants of Convicts Groups
Convicts re-united
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Colonisation of the Antipodes
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