Jewish Emigration to Britain

Why did so many emigrants travel to Hull?

Known as ‘Britain’s Cheapest port’, sailing from Hull was a lower cost alternative to more expensive ports like London. People often broke their journeys in Hull to travel to other ports in the UK such as Liverpool and London by rail to board another ship, to sail to their final destination. 

After the creation of Hull Dock Company in 1774, Hull’s docks grew rapidly. By 1848 Hull was a major UK port. From the 1850s, the rise of the railways brought yet more people and cargo into the city and the railway companies were closely linked to the docks. 

The Wilson Line:

Hull was the home of the largest privately owned shipping company in the world: Thomas Wilson Sons & Co., (later Ellerman's Wilson Line), now remembered as ‘The Wilson Line.’ This single company helped to make Hull Britain's third largest port for moving cargo by the beginning of the twentieth century. 


Alternative – Being able to choose another course of action or thing
Cargo – Goods moved by air, sea or road
Line – A transport company running a regular route
Port – A place by the sea where ships and boats can dock and load goods or passengers

Scroll down for a list of related links on this topic and see the teachers' notes page for discussion and activity ideas.

Document icon Learning article provided by: Hull History Centre | 
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