This article explores the early presence of Indian migrants in the city of Bristol, as well as how they acclimatised and adjusted to the surroundings. In addition, Contractor provides an insight into the travels of Mary Carpenter, and how they influenced her many years pioneering social reform in Bristol.
'If the maintenance of order on the streets of early nineteenth century Bristol was never a simple matter, the constantly shifting presence of large visiting communities of seafaring Europeans cannot have made it any easier. With inns, lodging houses, streets and quays frequently awash with colourfully vibrant but uncustomary sights and sounds, social tensions and conflicts between host and 'outlandish' communities were rarely far beneath the surface. Often the detail of these cultural tensions went unrecorded but, as Steve Poole shows here, papers from a coroners inquest kept at the Bristol Record Office, bring them vividly back to life'.
This is the first in an occasional series in which a document relating to the history of Bristol and its region is reproduced and discussed. The aim is to provide discussion points, not to provide the last word on the issues raised. Peter Fleming investigates a number of sources relating to the growing population of 'non-Bristolians' migrating to the city, and how they were perceived.