The defeat of Napoleon, together with the Victorian expansion of the British Empire, brought a boom in maritime trade. Bideford’s quays were a hive of activity: large quantities of timber, hemp, and tallow were imported from the Baltic and America; wines and fruits arrived from the Mediterranean, cattle came from Ireland; coal, culm, iron, and flag-stones from Wales; and marble and slate from Cornwall. The Newfoundland trade had also revived. Yet something else was also going on. The early half of the 19th C. saw a mass exodus from England of folk seeking a better life abroad. For many, Bideford was their chosen port of embarkation.