The Lincolnshire Farmers: Introduction—Victims of fraud, 1873

Introduction     Tom Shrewsbury     The Shrewsbury Family tree
Annie Kennett's memories     Kennett and Godward family photos
Emma and I. Edwards     Arrival at Rosario     What happened afterwards?
Article by Andrew Nickson

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Introduction
These pages centre on the history of a group known as the Lincolnshire Farmers, who were persuaded to leave England for Paraguay in 1872. The scheme was inadequately financed and supervised, and ended about a year later when the colonists were rescued and taken to Rosario and Buenos Aires for a better life.

Their story has been written about in two studies and one article. There is an excellent study by Harris Gaylord Warren, published in The Journal of The Americas, vol. XXI, January 1965, pages 243-262. The other by Juan Carlos Herken Krauer, published in the Revista Paraguaya de Sociología, Año 18, No. 52 (Setiembre/Diciembre 1981, p. 33/107) “La Inmigración en el Paraguay de Posguerra: el caso de los ‘Lincolnshire Farmers’ (1870—1873)”. The published article is by Andrew Nickson and is published in English and Spanish. It is reproduced on another page of this website with the author's permission.

There is also a document in the Argentine National Archives ‘Cuadro demostrativo de las colocaciones dadas a los inmigrantes ingleses venidos del Paraguay por el vapor “República”’ that gives the names and details of the 96 English and 11 Germans who arrived in Rosario from the abandoned scheme in November and December 1873. This is reproduced on the page Arrival in Rosario (linked at the head of the page). The original group of documents can be found in the Biblioteca Nacional, Sala Alcorta “Informe Anual del Comisario de Inmigración de la República Argentina (1873/76)”, Buenos Aires 60441.

Additionally, three personal accounts of the months spent in Paraguay, two letters and a personal reminisence, have come to light, which the owners have given their permission to reproduce in the pages. Two, Tom Shrewsbury's and Annie Kennett's, tell a terrible tale of unpreparedness, corruption within the administration of the scheme and abandonment.

Finally the hearts of the Paraguayan Government and the British communities in Rosario and Buenos Aires were moved to mount a rescue plan, in which the 'Lincolnshire Farmers' were taken to Argentina to enable them to make a fresh start. Krauer cites sources that state that the original number of settlers under the scheme who went out to Itapé and Itá in Paraguay was 888. Another researcher has arrived at the following details (Mary Godward in private correspondence): 911 sailed from England; 888 arrived in Paraguay; 160 died in Paraguay; 563 were rescued and went to Buenos Aires; 107 were rescued and went to Rosario; about 10 returned to England or were scattered around Argentina.

The third personal account reproduced here is the letter from Emma and I. Edwards. This tells a somewhat different story, one of relative progress. But it appears that the Edwards had experience in farming and so were able to make a better attempt at crop growing in the Paraguayan jungle. The tone of their letter is more optimistic.

Links at the head of this page will take the visitor to the different parts of the story.


© The form of presentation is the copyight of Jeremy Howat, February 2007

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