Emigration of Scots, English and Welsh-speaking people
to Argentina in the nineteenth century

As early as 1806, the English were arriving in Buenos Aires in small numbers, principally as businessmen and traders. They were welcomed for the stability they brought to commercial life in the newly emerging nation. As the century went on, many more English families with capital came in increasing numbers. They bought land to develop the potential of the Argentine pampas for the large-scale growing of crops. They founded banks, developed the export trade in crops and animal products and imported the luxuries that the growing Argentine middle classes sought.

Many of the Irish came to the country as sheep-farmers, others to serve as agricultural labourers, leaving behind the poverty of rural Ireland. They populated large districts of the Province of Buenos Aires, leaving their mark on the character of Argentina.

The Scots arrived in contingents from 1825, on vessels such as the Symmetry, that sailed from Scottish ports. They founded great ranches, established Presbyterian churches, raised large families, and through hard work became wealthy.

The Welsh founded an idealistic Welsh-speaking community in Patagonia in 1865, hoping by its remoteness to preserve their language and customs. The founding members arrived on board the Mimosa to a bleak welcome on an inhospitable shore. The settlement was slow to become established through uncertainty and lack of knowledge of the climate of the place where they had chosen to live. But through persistence a successful community was established in little Wales beyond the seas.

Go to the links page for the early history of the Irish and Scots communities in Argentina

Back to British Settlers in Argentina home page and search facility

© Copyright Jeremy Howat, January 2003