Catherine of Aragon who came to the UK from Spain. Portrait by Lucas Hornebolte
New research has found that one in every hundred people in medieval England was an immigrant, at a time when the country's population was just two million.
According to the England's Immigrants project, led by the universities of York and Sheffield, about 65,000 people migrated to England between 1330 and 1550. The project is a “fully-searchable database” that contained the names, origins and occupations of immigrants from other parts of the British Isles and mainland Europe. This arrival of people was mainly a result of the Black Death causing a shortage in labourers.
Scottish “foreigners” made up the largest number of immigrants, especially in York, followed closely by the French. The database is a rich resource for anyone interested in the significant historical and cultural context of immigration, multiculturalism and national identity.