Shortlisted for the History Publication Award in the Victorian Community History Awards 2021
‘Beautifully written, excellent information’ Chris Hall, reader review
At the height of the Victorian gold rush, between July 1852 and June 1853, hundreds of government-assisted migrants from Lancashire, England, made their way to Australia and disembarked in Victoria. They were part of a huge flood of such migrants who poured into the new-born colony as the colonial administration scrabbled to cope with the gold rush.
The scheme was an unprecedented achievement in government-organised migration. Yet most historians have tended to dismiss these assisted migrants as the unskilled poorest-of-the-poor, and not of the same calibre as the working-class and middle-class unassisted migrants also arriving at the colony in great numbers.
However, far from being the dross of England, these migrants were intelligent, highly motivated risk-takers, many of whom went on to experience success as gold diggers, selectors, tradespeople and entrepreneurs. Made in Lancashire is a collective biography that explores in detail who these Lancashire assisted migrants were: their origins, why they migrated, where they went on arrival in Victoria, and what they made of their lives.