THERE is much talk in Britain today about immigrants. However it is worth remembering that a thousand years ago there were really no such people as the British.
A succession of invaders, pirates and adventurers who had come to these shores in search of plunder displacing many of the original inhabitants to remote areas in Cornwall, Wales and the north and west of Scotland.
The Norman Conquest united most of Britain under a single ruler for the first time since the Romans and he brought with him Jews from Rouen in Normandy to finance his conquests.
A succession of immigrants followed in its wake. Protestant refugees 1500-1700 sought refuge from persecution from Catholics in Spain. In 1555 the merchant John Lock brought a small group of black slaves to England, as a result throughout the 18th century, estimated black population 20,000.
Irish immigrants as early as 1243, followed in 1848 by Hungarian/Polish/Russian/Italian. Because of numbers The Aliens Act was introduced in 1905 which marked the end of the system of free entry to Britain.
Kenneth Bowker, Vesper Walk, Huntington, York.
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