By David Conway
Examines the heritage of immigration to Britain, and notes that the small numbers all for the previous allowed for the neighborhood tradition to succeed. present traits of huge scale immigration could swap that.
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Additional info for A Nation of Immigrants?: A Brief Demographic History of Britain (CS58)
The financial shoes left vacant by the expulsion of the Jews were quickly filled by bankers and financiers from Lombardy. Traces of their settlement survive in such place‐names as Lombard Street in the City of London, as well as in the names of England’s pre‐decimal currency, such as the florin and the acronym ‘Lsd’, composed from the first letters of the three Italian words that designated each of its three principal 35 A NATION OF IMMIGRANTS? denominations: lire, pounds; soldari, shillings; and dina, pence.
A recent article4 in the European Journal of Human Genetics reports that seven white British males, who share a rare surname derived from a village in East Yorkshire but who are apparently unrelated, have the same rare type of Y chromosome that is seldom found outside West Africa where it is typical. This suggested they had a common West African male ancestor in the early eighteenth century, who probably arrived in Britain as a slave, although the possibility that he was a north African Roman soldier who came to Britain eighteen hundred years earlier has not been excluded.
They initially took up residence in 33 A NATION OF IMMIGRANTS? London, subsequently being joined there by spouses and children. Later, these Jewish financiers and their families, together with others from Normandy, spread throughout England, establishing small communities in nearly every major commercial centre. As well as financing royal activities, they began in time to extend credit to several other prominent figures, among whom were several Norman bishops, the construction of whose cathedrals in England Jewish capital helped to finance.