Irish immigrants came to England fleeing poverty and the Great Famine in Ireland. By 1861, 600,000 people, or 3 per cent of the English population, had been born in Ireland.
Three-quarters of Irish immigrants were unskilled labourers or farm workers. Many ended up living in Irish areas of towns, especially Liverpool and Glasgow, in indescribable filth. They were victims of racial and religious discrimination (most were Roman Catholic) – in 1846 and for many years after there were anti-Irish riots.
Irish immigrants made a key contribution to the life of Britain in the years up to 1900:
The Jewish community had been slowly growing since Oliver Cromwell started allowing Jewish people to settle in England in 1656:
Between 1880 and 1914, a further 150,000 Jewish people came to England, fleeing persecution in eastern Europe:
Although the first Jewish immigrants from eastern Europe were welcomed and given charity, as their numbers grew, they suffered discrimination and hatred. Even some members of the established Jewish community openly said that they ought to go home.
Jewish immigrants made a great contribution to the life of Britain in the years up to 1900: