The Social and Economic Effects of Migration to New Zealand on the people of Stoke by Nayland, Suffolk 1853-71

Moore, Wes (2020). The Social and Economic Effects of Migration to New Zealand on the people of Stoke by Nayland, Suffolk 1853-71. Student dissertation for The Open University module A826 MA History part 2.

This dissertation was produced by a student studying the Open University postgraduate module A826 MA History part 2. The research showcased here achieved a distinction.
Please note that this student dissertation is made available in the format that it was submitted for examination, thus the author has not been able to correct errors and/or departures from academic standards in areas such as referencing.
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This dissertation will analyse what happened to the people of Stoke by Nayland as a result of the migration to New Zealand in the mid-nineteenth century. Its time parameters – 1853-71 – are the period of the provincial administration control of migration into New Zealand. The key research questions of this study are: Who migrated to New Zealand during this period and how did the migration affect their life chances? What were the social and economic effects of this migration, particularly on the poorer local families?

How did these effects compare with other parish assisted migration in eastern England? Stoke by Nayland in 1851 appears to have been a relatively settled farming community dominated by a few wealthy landowners so emigrants were motivated more by the ‘pull’ of the areas they were moving to than by being ‘pushed’ by high levels of unhappiness ‘at home’. The migration to Canterbury, New Zealand of a large group of predominantly young single people and young families, was encouraged by Rev. Charles Torlesse and his contacts. The Torlesse servants, the Songers, had travelled to Nelson, New Zealand, ten years earlier. Most migrants were agricultural labourers or female domestic servants, but a significant number were village tradesmen. A few were wealthy. Migration encouraged and assisted the most able to move. Migration provided new openings and brought in new people. It may have diffused the resentment which later surfaced in the East Anglian agricultural disturbances of the mid-1870s. Usually migration opportunities for these men were restricted to parishes a few miles from home. However, for those who could face the upheaval and initial hardships, New Zealand offered a real opportunity to transform their family’s prospects. This dissertation concludes that it is doubtful how much the migration process assisted the life chances of the poorest families in Stoke by Nayland, but the scale of migration was larger than was usually found in parishes which assisted emigration.

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