Romani Studies

Evangelical ethnographers and English Gypsies from the 1790s to the 1830s

Romani Studies (2016), 26, (1), 63–78.

Abstract

Between 1792 and 1836 the Christian evangelists Thomas Tattershall, John Hoyland, Thomas Blackley, Samuel Roberts, and James Crabb published accounts of their efforts to ‘improve’ English Gypsies. Though their missionary activities failed, their writings preserve valuable ethnographic observations about pre-Victorian Gypsies. This article examines the prejudices, impressions, and influence of these five authors, and the information about Gypsies that their accounts and surveys yield.

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CRESSY, DAVID