first trial of the scheme took place at Bledlow in Buckinghamshire,
an area of high unemployment and low wages. An Assistant Commissioner
visited the area and carried out personal visits to families in distress
who, in a previous submission to the Commissioners, had stated that
they were living on a total income of seven shillings a week. Despite
being offered the possibility of work at an initial wage of 24 shillings
a week (per family of four working hands), rising to 30 shillings after
a year, there was little interest. However, two families finally agreed,
and were followed by others, with a total of 83 individuals eventually
migrating. Subsequent migrations followed from Princes Risborough, Chinnor,
and other places in the county. The Commissioners trumpeted the success
of the scheme in their annual report:
July, 1837, around 10,000 persons had undergone relocation funded by parish poor-rates.
The agricultural county of Suffolk was one of the most prominent areas to take part in the scheme, with 275 families, amounting to 2005 individuals (20 per cent of the total), migrating by this date.
Removals were sanctioned by the Poor
Law Commissioners and managed by Mr Muggeridge at Hanchester and Mr.
Baker at Leeds.
Correspondence to and from the families
who migrated is especially valuable but not very common.
From Helmshore, Haslington, Lancs
....as we came hither, we were eight
days and nights without our clothes off, the way we came was by land
and water, a distance of 540 miles.
Another letter from Farenwith, Boulton,Lancs. ended as follows:
....For I know that there is a liven to be got here and a good one, for I don't regret coming for I am wary happy and comfortable, so if you like to rite to me at Mr.Barnes Factory, Farenwith, near Boulton, Lanes.Published 20/09/20