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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 tendencies of enormous scale immigration could switch that.

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Although no such passage was discovered— not surprisingly since none exists—Cabot’s voyage did result in the ‘discovery’ of Newfoundland and New England, territories that England was to claim for itself. It was through its claim on the second of these territories that 44 FROM THE REFORMATION TO THE SECOND WORLD WAR England secured a toehold in the North American continent that was to prove so fateful in the succeeding centuries. The first immigrants to Britain who came as a result of these great sea voyages of early modernity, however, did not come from these newly discovered North American territories, despite a brief visit to London in 1616 by the native American ‘princess’ Pocahontas.

It is far more likely that they were absorbed into the newly developing English communities… In the course of the seventh century Anglo‐Saxon 25 A NATION OF IMMIGRANTS? 4 Anglo‐Saxon culture became the dominant culture within the southern half of Britain during the seventh century. By then, this part of Britain had become divided up into seven weak Saxon kingdoms, each of which had been formed from the previous merger of still smaller kingdoms established by the Saxons there. These seven Saxon kingdoms were: East Anglia, Sussex, Essex, Wessex, Kent, Mercia and North‐ umbria.

Such 34 FROM THE NORMAN CONQUEST TO THE REFORMATION stories did little to enhance their popularity among the local population. Edward I made a half‐hearted attempt to regularise their settlement by opening other trades up to them besides money‐lending, after his father Henry had forbidden Jews from engaging in it. This attempt to regularise the settlement of the Jews in England was always destined to fail, since the opportunities for work in England offered to them remained hide‐bound and severely restricted.

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