There is a strong but unreliable view that immigration is a marginal and recent phenomenon. In fact, immigrants and refugees have come to Britain throughout its recorded history. In this book, first published in 1988, Colin Holmes looks at this period in depth and asks: who were the newcomers and why were they coming? What were the distinctive features of their economic and social lives in Britain? How did British society respond to their presence? The resulting book is a major historical survey of immigration which synthesises and evaluates existing work and weaves in new material on a wide range of immigrant minorities.