Why emigrate in 1877 or 1878? (General)

by Mike Pinchin @, Bedford, England, Friday, March 30, 2018, 15:37 (834 days ago) @ ianjmill

There are many letters and articles in the BNA concerning conditions in the Forest at that time. This one from the Western Daily Press, Saturday 6th October, 1877, just about sums them up,


The South Wales Daily News states that the inhabitants of the Forest of Dean are passing through a period of severe privation. Never before, it is believed, has there been such suffering in the Royal Forest. Only those who have traversed the once busy, populous district from end to end , and have noticed the significant tokens of patiently borne misery everywhere manifest, can judge the dread paralysis which has benumbed the Forest trade, and reduced a large proportion of its inhabitants to utter want. Day by day the outlook for those who remain in this unhappy locality becomes blacker. At Parkend, which may be described as the headquarters of the distress, the silence of death pervades the once thriving neighbourhood. The Forest of Dean is 22,000 acres in extent – about nine miles long by six wide. The population is 25,000 representing 5,000 families, about equally divided between East and West Dean. East Dean comprises Drybrook, Cinderford, Lydbrook and Ruardean Hill; West Dean taking in Oldcroft, Yorkley, Whitecroft, Bream, Parkend, Berry Hill and Lane End near Coleford. Down to the last three years the output of coal in Dean Forest was 850,000 tons per year; before the present climax of the great depression it had fallen to 650.000 tons annually – a decrease of 200,000 tons. This decrease represents a loss to the Forest population of £100,000 a year.

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