Gypsy Roma Traveller Leeds
The permanent site of the Gypsy Roma Traveller Communities
Gypsies and Travellers in their own words compiled by the Gypsy Roma Traveller Achievement Service is a fantastic read, and gives amazing insights into the lives and times of Travellers in this country.
Unfortunately this book is no longer available.
The collection of stories and personal histories in this rich volume creates a vivid picture of life within the Gypsy and Traveller communities.
Romany people reach the area of modern Turkey and Greece.
Simeon Simeonis, a visiting monk, writes an account of Gypsies in Crete and living in "oblong tents, black and low like the Arahs" and in caves.
First record of Gypsies in Britain.
First law expelling Gypsies from England.
First law making being an immigrant Gypsy in England a crime punishable by death.
106 men and women condemned to death at York just for being Gypsies, but only 9 are executed. The others prove they were born in England.
Last known execution for being Gypsies, in Suffolk. Others are transported to America.
Dutch government follows policy of getting rid of Gypsies. Some Gypsies tried to charter ships to escape to America. They were chased by Rotterdam port authorities who forced them to jump overboard.
The map above shows the main routes of the Gypsies out of India up to about 1700. The greatest numbers stayed in Eastern Europe and were called Rom. In Northern and Western Europe many were called Romanichals. In Spain and southern France were the Cale. These names included many smaller groups. Non-Gypsies called them different names e,g. 'Gypsies' in England, 'Gitanos' in Spain. from' Gypsies' by T Acton 1981.
By selling themselves as slave labour a few reached Pennsylvania. They escaped and formed a community known as the Chi-keners or "Black Dutch" and are still to be found in America today.
Maria Theresa and Joseph II try to force Gypsies to settle with several government decrees.
Census in Hungary of Gypsies. Of 43,787 Gypsies counted 1,582 were musicians.
|18th Century Gypsy Fiddler from Galanta|
John Hoyland, a Quaker, writes the first serious book calling for better treatment for Gypsies in England. Several charitable projects follow; but many Gypsies are transported as criminals to Australia.
First wooden horse-drawn caravans developed.
Agricultural depression brings poverty to many Gypsies, who move to squatter areas near towns.
Unsuccessful attempts to introduce Moveable Dwellings bills in Parliament to regulate Gypsy life.
The Showmen's Guild formed to oppose Moveable Dwellings Bills: Showmen begin to become a distinct group from other Travellers or Gypsies.
|End of 19th Century. Gypsy children musicians in Gyor.|
Children's Act: Education made compulsory for Travelling Gypsy children, but only for half the year. This was continued in the 1944 Education Act, but many Gypsy children still have no schooling.
|Kalderash Gypsies from Poland on arrival in England 1913 (from "The Gypsies in Poland" Ficowski).|
Second World War. Up to 500,000 Gypsies killed in Europe; Nazis draw up lists of English Gypsies for internment. British government creates caravan sites for families of Gypsies in the army or doing farm labour. These sites are closed after the war.
Gypsies begin to use motor-drawn trailers, and buy land for their own stopping-places.
Caravan Sites (Control and Development) Act stops new private sites being built until 1972. Eviction and harassment of Gypsies starts to reach a crisis.
|1961 Budapest. Dining with Gypsy Orchestra.|
Growing eviction and harassment leads to formation of Gypsy Council to fight for sites.
First Gypsy Council summer school, in Essex. National Gypsy Education Council follows in 1970 (renamed Gypsy Council for Education, Culture, Welfare and Civil Rights in l991).
Caravan Sites Act insists that from 1970, local authorities should provide caravan sites for Gypsies. This Act is never fully enforced.
First World Romany Congress held in London.
Government begins to exempt some councils from building sites. The Gypsy Council begins to split. Government starts to give grants only to Gypsy organizations who co-operate with it.
Second World Romany Congress in Switzerland, founds International Romani Union - accepted as representing Gypsies by the United Nations in 1979.
22 May: European Union starts five-year programme for the education of Gypsy children.
Criminal Justice Act abolishes Caravan Sites Act leaving about 5,000 families with no legal home. British Gypsies look to Europe for protection.
Leeds and Yorkshire has a history rich with the presence of Traveller and Gypsies.
In fact the first recorded mention of Gypsies was in 1572.