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Posts tagged with 'emigration'

150th anniversary of Mimosa’s emigrant voyage

28 May 2015 by Ellie

Group photograph of Welsh settlers

Settlers in Patagonia, 28 July 1890, including some Mimosa emigrants. Image courtesy of Archives and Special Collections, Bangor University, John Murray Thomas Collection

In our Emigrants to a New World gallery at Merseyside Maritime Museum, we tell the story of the millions of people who left Europe in the 19th and early 20th centuries in search of better lives overseas, with Liverpool being the departure point for many.

Large numbers of Welsh emigrants sailed from Liverpool, mostly settling in the United States of America. With the next generation, concerns were raised about that fact that the Welsh language was no longer being spoken and traditions were being forgotten. Read more…

New display on Brunel’s SS Great Eastern

18 June 2014 by Jen

Photograph of the SS Great Eastern with large Lewis' Department Store advert on the side.

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Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s SS Great Eastern was, in her day, the largest ship ever built. A truly ambitious project from one of the most famous names in engineering history, the Great Eastern was built to provide a ship that could travel all the way to Australia or the Far East without the need to stop and take on more coal. Despite this she was only used on the transatlantic routes, travelling to Canada and North America as a passenger liner, often departing from Liverpool and playing a part in the emigrant trade.

Read more…

The boy in the lifebuoy

21 March 2012 by Sam

old group photo of boys on the deck of a ship

Child emigrants on the ship Rangitoto, on their way from England to New Zealand in 1951

When you look at old photos like the one above in museum displays, do you ever wonder what happened to the people in the picture? Curator of Maritime Collections, Ellie Moffat, has spent a lot of time researching their stories. This has led to an international exhibition and a special visitor to Merseyside Maritime Museum last week, as she explains:

“Last week I was delighted to finally meet up with Tony Chambers, a gentleman I have been in touch with since working on our exhibition On their own – Britain’s child migrants.

The exhibition was a collaborative venture between us and the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney, bringing in to focus the experiences of many thousands of British children who were sent to Canada, Australia and other Commonwealth countries between 1869 and 1967.

It opened in Sydney in November 2010 and is currently touring various museums around Australia. Unfortunately it is unlikely to go on display in the UK, but we developed an accompanying website which reflects all the content – so do have a look if you haven’t already done so. The message board has received a tremendous response, with many people sharing personal stories. Read more…

The Irish Connection

16 March 2012 by Lucy

Tomorrow is one of my favourite days of the year (except for Christmas and Derby Day). It’s St Patrick’s Day, and if you’re not in Ireland, Liverpool really is one of the best places to celebrate.

The early 19th Century saw half a million Irish people settle in the city, and the country’s music and culture has thrived here ever since. So much so, that we have our own Irish Festival, which takes place in October each year. Read more…

Maritime Tales – Roaring Twenties

12 December 2011 by Stephen

Painting of shi[p

Image courtesy Liverpool Daily Post & Echo


I have some fabulous foxtrot 78 rpm wax records from the 1920s which evoke the crazy days when people reacted to the horrors of the Great War.


This was also a time when countries such as the United States started to put restrictions on immigration after the great free-for-all when virtually any healthy person could settle.


The three sister ships took settlers to Canada in the closing years of the great age of emigration which lasted from 1830 to 1930. Read more…

Liverpool’s Chinese Family Tree

30 June 2011 by Lucy

How much do you know about your parents and grandparents?

Bernie, Denise and Sun Yui worked with us to find out more about their families who feature in a new interactive Family Tree displayed in East meets west – The Story of Shanghai and Liverpool, part of the new Museum of Liverpool opening on July 19th.

Copies of marriage certificates, passenger lists and trade directories have been put together in a visual log that will provide visitors with plenty of ideas on how to track down family members past and present. These personal stories took us to archives in Shanghai where researchers tried to trace the participants’ Grandfathers – Sow Loo, Ching Ming and Leung Ngau. Read more…

Einstein’s immigration papers to go on display

5 May 2011 by Sam

Lucy Gardner, assistant curator at the UK Border Agency National Museum, has news of a how a simple document – which is going on display next week – marks a key moment in Einstein’s history.

photo of Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein during his stay in Oxford in 1933. © Senior Common Room, Christ Church, Oxford

“The Seized! the Border and Customs uncovered gallery has been collecting items which tell the story of immigration into the UK throughout history. Many people have come to Britain over the years, including some who were made to flee their native countries in fear for their lives.

A landing card that will go on show for the very first time next week is proof that one of the most famous names in history came to Britain seeking safe haven in 1933. Albert Einstein was forced to leave Germany when Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party gained power and began its brutal persecution of minority groups, including Jewish people. Einstein was already world famous for his discoveries in physics but the Nazi regime said he was an enemy of the state and made him an assassination target! Read more…

A new life overseas

17 February 2011 by Sarah Starkey

Drawing of people outside emigration office 1850

Emigration Office, Illustrated London News, 6th July 1850 (DX/287/62/5)

There has been a recent change to the regulations regarding the number of non-EU immigrants that can work in the UK.  In 1850 emigration from the UK was seen as a good way for the unemployed to seek new opportunities.  Government supported emigration required more regulation.  This image from the Illustrated London News shows the Medical Inspectors Office.  Destination countries obviously wanted healthy new arrivals and the spread of disease on a crowded emigrant ship could cause many deaths.  I hope that dog isn’t being left behind. Read more…

Farewell my Valentine

10 February 2011 by Lucy

Francesca Aiken, assistant exhibition curator for the Global City gallery in the new Museum of Liverpool says:

Photograph of porcelain tea cup and saucer

‘The Sailors Farewell’ cup and saucer, on display in the Global City gallery from July in the new Museum of Liverpool

Working late, forgot the flowers, no card this year? Spare a thought for the wife of this sailor, whose husband must soon depart for many weeks or months on board ship without contact from home.

A sailor’s life was a dangerous one, where being swept overboard or wrecked without hope of rescue were a constant risk.  Forget texts or Facebook, this young woman would have to wait until he returned home to know if he was safe or not.

Known as ‘The Sailors Farewell’ this porcelain teacup and saucer was made in China in the early 1800s for sale to European socialites who enjoyed the delicate art of tea drinking.

Due to be displayed in the new Museum of Liverpool opening this July, this rare example of a European couple painted by Chinese artists will feature in the Global City gallery alongside some of the best examples of Liverpool and Chinese pottery from the 18th and 19th centuries.

East meets West the story of Shanghai and Liverpool illustrates how potters in Liverpool upped their game by imitating Chinese porcelain (even going so far as to add fake Chinese marks to the base) to meet the insatiable demand of consumers.


Sailing to Australia

13 January 2011 by Sarah Starkey

plan of accommodation on an emigrant ship

While Australia is currently suffering terrible hardships brought about by flooding, for many it was and remains a land of promise and opportunity.  This image is taken from a newspaper article from 1852 explaining the Government funded emigration system that provided assisted passage for those wanting to start a new life in the Colonies. The drawing was highlighting the space available on an emigrant vessel and the physical separation between single men and single women, located safely away from each other at either end of the ship.  Unfortunately the ship in question, the Bourneuf, did not have a successful voyage and by the time it arrived in Australia after leaving Liverpool in May 1852, 88 of the 830 passengers had died, mainly from diseases caused by poor sanitation. The ensuing enquiry banned the vessel from carrying emigrants until improvements were made, but the vessel was wrecked anyway on its next voyage from Melbourne to Bombay on the Great Detached Reef just off the Northern Australian coast. The enquiry report also stated that although the unmarried female passengers had been protected from the unmarried male passengers, they had not be able to prevent contact and fraternisation with the crew.  So, all in all, not the most successful vessel that has sailed on the high seas. Read more…

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