By Wendy Cameron
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Extra resources for Assisting Emigration to Upper Canada: The Petworth Project, 1832-1837
39 Egremont, however, supported FROM "SWING" TO PARISH-ASSISTED EMIGRATION the bill, and his son-in-law Burrell championed it in the House of Commons. 40 Whether he was already preparing to approach Egremont with his emigration scheme or whether he devised it as an alternative to a labour rate, Sockett applied evidence collected for these petitions to his proposal for assisted emigration. Using evidence from his own parish, Sockett demonstrated the impact of recent disturbances, though he tactfully omitted any direct reference to them.
32 By mid-century, in 1851, a census recorded 952,000 people in the province then known as Canada West, and most of the available farm land had been taken up. ) Seen from Britain in 1832, Upper Canada appeared vast and ripe for development. The colony was divided into large districts that were being subdivided into townships; these latter, the smallest unit of local government, were many times the size of any Sussex parish. The population was still spread mainly along the principal waterways. As the eye travelled westward over the map, there were large areas not yet surveyed into townships.
The Petworth emigrations were brought to an end when Egremont died in November 1837, before Sockett s tussle with the commissioners was fully played out. 4 West Sussex Poor Law Unions formed 1835—1836 INTRODUCTION 19 The chances of their revival were weakened when news of rebellions in the Canadas at the end of the same year all but cut off emigration from England in 1838. Egremont's son, George Wyndham, who inherited Petworth, was a very different person from his father. Although he gave Sockett a hearing and sent numbers of emigrants to Upper Canada from his estates in Ireland, he decided against continuing his father's emigration scheme.