Talks, Tours & Events for Adults

Lessons from Lancashire's Past? Mass Migration

Obelisk in Preston's Market Square, 1846

Wednesday 29 March
6.00-7.30pm

Dr Lewis Darwen – Mass migration in a time of crisis:
Lancashire and the Irish Famine 1847-1848

Join us for the last of three events, exploring the past, present and future of Lancashire.

Modern Lancashire is in a state of flux. While some areas of the north, such as Manchester, have seen tremendous economic growth, others are struggling. What lessons can we learn from what historians have called ‘the first industrial society’? What is the future for Lancashire? What can policy makers learn from historians?

These free talks draw upon Lancashire’s unique past and current research to open debate on issues which have faced the county and continue to resonate. There will be time after each talk for questions and discussion.

During the Irish Potato Famine (c.1845-49) hundreds of thousands of emaciated Irish men, women and children arrived at the port of Liverpool by steamer, desperately escaping the starvation which caused approximately one million people to die in their native country. Oversees migration on such a scale was unprecedented in Britain at the time, and the episode bears comparison with the current migrant crisis engulfing Europe. There was a great deal of concern in Lancashire about the sudden influx of so many people from Ireland, not least because the authorities feared they would bring disease and be a tremendous burden on the county’s welfare institutions, notably the Poor Law. After all, these people had often sold everything before coming to Lancashire, and had little or nothing on arrival.

In this talk, Dr Lewis Darwen looks at the response to and treatment of Famine migrants in the towns and villages of Lancashire during the period 1847-48, when the movement of people fleeing Ireland was at its most intense.

What time? 6.00 - 7.30pm
Cost? Free
Do I need to book in advance? Booking recommended. Book at Eventbrite here or contact the museum shop on 01772 905414

Image: Obelisk in Preston's Market Square, 1846

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Harris Museum and Art Gallery

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