A Social History of English Migrants in Wales c. 1850-1914

  • Lewis Owen

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Over the course of the nineteenth century and early twentieth century, Wales experienced its most sustained and prononounced phase of demographic growth. Migration was a critical catalyst in this process, of which the most substantial contributors in terms of absolute volume were English migrants. By 1900, approximately 16% to 25% of the Welsh population was either English-born or the first-generation relations of English migrants. However, the significance of their presence in Welsh society during this period is inversely proportional to their presence in the historiography: there exists no major study devoted solely to the issue of English migration to Wales, while tangential academic discussion of the topic generally tends to focus on its negative aspects (primarily in the context of the decline of the Welsh language). This thesis will thus seek to address the aforementioned historiographical shortcomings, while endeavouring to present a more rounded analysis of the socio-cultural traits of English migrants in Wales as well as their role in shaping the complexion of contemporary public discourse. It will deploy both quantitative and qualitative methodologies to achive these objectives, making use of relevant data from both the 1891 and 1901 censuses, the abundance of material derived from contemporary newspapers, journals and other publications, and a limited range of personal accounts from English migrants themselves. The overarching aim is to contextualise the particular experiences of English migrants within the broader development of Wales’ modern national identity
Date of Award2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University
SupervisorPaul O'Leary (Supervisor) & Steve Thompson (Supervisor)


  • migration
  • English
  • Wales
  • language change
  • multiculturalism

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