Mary Ann Aldis (1794-1889)

Things did not always proceed smoothly. The parish of Diss, for example, was keen to support the application of the ‘man Woodrow’ together with his wife and children to sail to Canada in the ship ‘Eldon’ on the 20th of May 1837. Whether the Woodrow family got off on the 20th of May or had to wait for a later sailing (‘The Brightman’ was due to sail on the 10th of June) is unclear. Certainly the parish officials of Diss received a letter dated the 25th of May 1837 from the Poor Law Commissioners in London who, with typical bureaucratic officiousness, refused the application because it had not been submitted on ‘the requisite forms’ (NRO PD 100/147). So did the Revd. Manning and his colleagues at Diss play the bureaucrats’ games and re-submit the application, making the Woodrow family delay their emigration; or did they pack off the family anyway on the assumption that the correct paperwork would eventually follow? Some parishes, understandably, also saw the scheme as a way of getting rid of, not only honest labourers who had no work, but also ‘undesirables’ for whatever reason. The parish papers of Thetford St Mary include correspondence between Mr L Fitch, Richard Munn, and the Board of Guardians in support of the emigration of Elizabeth Andrews as a means of ridding the parish of its responsibilities to the girl and “… the great advantage of the girl whose conduct of life has been regrettable…”(NRO PD 156/22). What a convenient rationalisation!

Not all emigrants were parish-assisted, of course. Mary Ann ALDIS was a privately-funded emigrant, and there must have been many more whose details do not appear in official records; Mary Ann, for example, does not figure in the parish papers of Tivetshall. The parish of Kettlestone contains in its Baptismal Register an Emigration Account for 1836 which includes a detailed list of emigrants together with the goods bought to be taken on board and incurred expenses.

Emigration Account Parish Of Kettlestone 1836
April Beer to people at first meeting 5..0
Letters to Col. Jones, Lynn & C.Clerk etc 2.. 6
Coryn’s expenses to Lynn Horse 10/-, Est. 2/6 12..6
May 17th Expenses to Lynn self 6..6
Journey to Hockden & ?? from Mr Coke 6...8
June 16th Landing Money 51..12..6
Cladding? Stock? And Cash 110..4..0
Passage by ship 149..12..6
To Lynn Gates and Corn and Refreshment 1..16..3
Gaywood Inn 3..0..0
Horse and Gig of Ward 18..0
Supper at Lynn to people 16..1
Blanket Haliday and cash advance 4..0
Boat to ship 1..6
Tins 4.14..0
Tobacco 2..0
Willm. Goodwyn’s wife 2..6
Tins by boat to ship 1..0
Crown Turnors? Bill 14..8
Ferry Gates etc 1..0
Horse and gig to Lynn with people 18..0
Syder’s Team 2..0..0
Own Team 2..0..0
One horse do to make up Alley’s team 10..0
Expense of Borrowing Exchequer Bill 2..19..11
Olley bill for Team & Mony’s Waggon 1..10..0
Redc. Loan £200.0..0
Col. Jones £10..0..0
Mrs Dew £5
Mr Coke £5
Mr Corg £5
Tuthill’s Boy £6

The passenger list includes “Thos. Harrison Senr. and his son James” who have also “gone to Canada at their own expense”. In all 40 passengers sailed from the Port of Lynn on the 15th of June 1836 in the ‘Eliza Little Brig’, 262 tons, captained by Mr Surtees. Total expenses amounted to £233.9.0 of which £200 was a loan.

Wendy Cameron and Mary McDougall Hyde list the total number of emigrants arriving at Quebec and Montreal between 1832 and 1837 (p. 90 “The Petworth Project”). The largest number was 51,746 in 1832, and the smallest 12,527 in 1835, giving a total of 166,403 and an annual average for the six years of 27,734, or almost 2% of the total population.