Most emigration from England was voluntary, self-financed, and pursued by people who, while expecting to improve their economic prospects, were also critical of the areas in which they first settled.
The exodus from England that gathered pace during the 19th century accounted for the greatest part of the total emigration from Britain to Canada. And yet, while copious emigration studies have been undertaken on the Scots and the Irish, very little has been written about the English in Canada.
Drawing on wide-ranging data collected from English record offices and Canadian archives, Lucille Campey considers why people left England and traces their destinations in Ontario and Quebec. A mass of detailed information relating to pioneer settlements and ship crossings has been distilled to provide new insights on how, why, and when Ontario and Quebec acquired their English settlers. Challenging the widely held assumption that emigration was primarily a flight from poverty, Campey reveals how the ambitious and resourceful English were strongly attracted by the greater freedoms and better livelihoods that could be achieved by relocating to Canada’s central provinces.