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English Argentine

Template:Image array
Total population
Regions with significant populations
Mainly Buenos Aires
Spanish. Minority speaks English as first language.
Roman Catholicism, Protestantism (Episcopalianism, Methodism, Presbyterianism et al.)
Related ethnic groups
English, Scottish Argentine, Welsh Argentine, Irish Argentine, English Paraguayan, English Chilean, English Mexican, Mexican British

English Argentines (also known as Anglo-Argentines) are citizens of Argentina, or the children of Argentine citizens brought up in Argentina,[2] who can claim ancestry originating in England. The English settlement in Argentina (the arrival of English emigrants),[3] took place in the period after Argentina's independence from Spain through the 19th century. Unlike many other waves of immigration to Argentina, English immigrants were not usually leaving England because of poverty or persecution, but went to Argentina as industrialists and major landowners.[3] Argentina in the Victorian age was part of the United Kingdom's informal empire, an independent nation that Britain had economic influence in, that was outside the British Empire.[4] However the position of English Argentines was complicated when their economic influence was finally eroded by Juan Perón's nationalisation of many British-owned companies in the 1940s and, more recently, by the Falklands War in 1982. Famous Argentines such as Presidents of Argentina Raúl Alfonsín and Carlos Pellegrini, adventurer Lucas Bridges, Huracan football club president Carlos Babington and writer Jorge Luis Borges are partially of English descent.

English immigration

File:Britons in Argentina (1914).png
Percentage of immigrants born in the United Kingdom in the provinces and territories of Argentina, according to the 1914 Argentine census. Britons were 9% of the population of Santa Cruz.

English settlers arrived in Buenos Aires in 1806 (then a Spanish colony) in small numbers, mostly as businessmen, when Argentina was an emerging nation and the settlers were welcomed for the stability they brought to commercial life. As the 19th century progressed more English families arrived, and many bought land to develop the potential of the Argentine pampas for the large-scale growing of crops. The English founded banks, developed the export trade in crops and animal products and imported the luxuries that the growing Argentine middle classes sought.[5]

As well as those who went to Argentina as industrialists and major landowners, others went as railway engineers, civil engineers and to work in banking and commerce.[3] Others went to become whalers, missionaries and simply to seek out a future. English families sent second and younger sons, or what were described as the black sheep of the family, to Argentina to make their fortunes in cattle and wheat. English settlers introduced football to Argentina.[4] Some English families owned sugar plantations.[3]


In a treaty of 1825, the United Kingdom became one of the first countries to recognise the independence of Argentina. English arrivals and investment played a large part in the development of Argentine railway and tramway lines, and also Argentine agriculture, livestock breeding, processing, refrigeration and export.[6] At one point in the 19th century, ten per cent of British foreign investment was in Argentina, despite not being a colony. In 1939, 39% of investment in Argentina was British.[7]

File:Estación Constitución (ca 1890).jpg
Constitución railway station in Buenos Aires. Opened in 1907 by British developers, it is the busiest station in Argentina.

English culture, or a version of it as perceived from outside, had a noted effect on the culture of Argentina, mainly in the middle classes. In 1888 local Anglo-Argentines established the Hurlingham Club, based on its namesake in London. The city of Hurlingham, Buenos Aires and Hurlingham Partido in Buenos Aires Province later grew up around the club and took their names from it. The Córdoba Athletic Club, one of the oldest sports clubs in Argentina, was founded in 1882 by English men that lived in Córdoba working in the railroads.

In 1912 Harrods opened a department store in Buenos Aires; the only Harrods ever opened outside of London. Harrods Buenos Aires became independent of Harrods in the 1940s but still traded under the Harrods name.

File:Harrods Buenos Aires.jpg
Harrods on Florida Street. Opened in 1912 as their only overseas branch, it closed in 1996 and is now an exhibition hall.

Afternoon tea became standard amongst large segments of the population and generated the popular merienda, an afternoon snack also known simply as la leche (milk) because it was served with tea or chocolate milk along with sweets. The Richmond café on Florida Street is a notable tea venue near the Harrods department store, now turned into an exhibition hall.[1]

Gardened chalets built by railway executives near railway stations in suburbs such as Banfield, Munro, Ranelagh and Hurlingham gave a pointed English atmosphere to local areas in Buenos Aires, especially in winter when shrouded in grey mists and fallen oak leaves over cobblestones. Belgrano R, within the Belgrano district, is another train station known for the British neighbourhood around it originated by the railway. An Anglican church from 1896 and the Buenos Aires English High School[8] founded by Alexander Watson Hutton in 1884 are both located in this area. Also important are the railway terminals Retiro in the homonymous neighbourhood and Constitución. There are numerous countryside stations in the Pampas.

English-style houses on a residential street in Belgrano R.

Around 100,000 Anglo-Argentines are the descendants of English immigrants to Argentina.[1] They are one of the most successful immigrant groups of Argentina, gaining prominence in commerce, industry, and the professions. Many are noted by their ability to speak English in family circles with an undistinguishable English accent. An English-language newspaper, the Buenos Aires Herald, continues to be published daily in Buenos Aires.

Anglo-Argentines have traditionally differed from their fellow Argentines by largely retaining strong ties with their mother country, including education and commerce.[9] Many of the schools in Argentina are bilingual offering both English language and Spanish language, including Northlands School, St. Mark's College, Balmoral College, St. Alban's College, St. George's College, Belgrano Day School and Washington School. Buenos Aires had a number of branches of the Asociación Argentina de Cultura Inglesa (English Cultural Association) and throughout the 20th century English language learning and teaching in state schools and private institutions was invariably geared towards the Received Pronunciation. Blue blazers and grey flannels are still used as uniforms in most private schools.

The Anglo-Argentine Society, based in London, was founded in 1948 and has about 900 members. It is a society for Argentine people living in the United Kingdom, particularly those of Anglo-Argentine heritage. One of its main aims is to promote understanding and friendship between the two countries.[10] Also in London is the Canning Club, formerly the Argentine Club until Juan Perón nationalised Argentine-based British businesses, the main source of revenue of the club in the 1940s. The club is for those with a particular link to, or special interest in, Argentina and other Latin American countries.

The Coghlan neighbourhood in Buenos Aires, known for its large English-style residences, was originally inhabited by English and Irish immigrants. Furthermore, Caballito contains an area called the "English District".

In 1794, the British Empire opened a consulate in San Nicolás,[citation needed] leading to the development of a large British community in the area, which became known as the "English borough". They founded the English Merchants' Society in 1810 and in 1822 the British Consulate became home to the first modern bank in Buenos Aires.

World War II

During World War II, 4,000 Argentines served with all three British armed services, even though Argentina was officially a neutral country during the war.[11][12] Over 600 Argentine volunteers served with both the Royal Air Force and the Royal Canadian Air Force, mostly in the 164 Argentine-British RAF squadron,[13] whose shield bore the sun from the Flag of Argentina and the motto, "Determined We Fly (Firmes Volamos)".[11] Many members of the Anglo-Argentine community also volunteered in non-combat roles, or worked to raise money and supplies for British troops. In April 2005, a special remembrance service was held at the RAF church of St Clement Danes in London.[12]

Falklands War

File:Torre Monumental.jpg
The Torre de los Ingleses (Tower of the English), now officially known as Torre Monumental (Monumental Tower) in Plaza Fuerza Aérea Argentina (Argentine Air Force Square)

When considering the British response to the Argentine landing on the Falkland Islands in 1982, at the start of the Falklands War (Spanish: Guerra de las Malvinas), Margaret Thatcher was advised of the potential risk that a military response might pose to Anglo-Argentines,[14] although the risk did not materialise and people with a British background were not endangered. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were broken off that year, and were normalised in 1990.[15]

English place names

A number of towns, villages and cities have English place names. These include Banfield which is named after Edward Banfield. Wilde, Buenos Aires, named in 1888 by Eduardo Wilde in honour of his uncle Dr. José Antonio Wilde, who was an English Argentine.[16] Hurlingham, Buenos Aires and Hurlingham Partido took their name from the Hurlingham Club around which the city of Hurlingham grew. Others include the town of Lincoln, Washington and City Bell, a small town in La Plata partido, Buenos Aires province, which was founded around 1900 by English immigrants and which is named after its founder, George Bell. Temperley is named after the industrial and textile merchant George Temperley, who was born in 1823 in Newcastle upon Tyne in England. He helped to create Lomas de Zamora Partido and made possible the foundation of the town of Temperley. Allen, Río Negro is named after Charles Allen who managed the construction of the city's train station.

There are several train station-founded towns with English names in the country such as Goudge in Mendoza province. Roberts, Smith, Hereford, Henderson and Hale. The station of Monte Coman in Mendoza Province owes its name to a dispute with a British company which did not pay its local workers on time. The workers complained they had nothing to eat; an engineer responded, in bad Spanish, "coman monte" which was supposed to mean "eat the woods". In Córdoba province, English names can be traced in Morrison or James Craik, and in Santa Fe province, there's Armstrong.[citation needed]

English colonies in Argentina

The city of Villa María in Córdoba Province was co-founded by English families.


Sports such as football, tennis, rugby union, hockey, golf, cricket and polo were introduced to Argentina by English settlers.

San Andrés Golf Club, San Martín, Buenos Aires Province.


Polo was first played in Argentina at the Hurlingham Club and the Argentine Polo Association was founded at the club in 1922. Argentina has since become a dominant power in international polo, and the Campeonato Argentino Abierto de Polo has been held annually since 1893 at the Campo Argentino de Polo in Buenos Aires.


Main article: Football in Argentina

English railway workers from Northern England founded the Buenos Aires Football Club on 9 May 1867 in Temple Street (now Viamonte) at a meeting organised by brothers Thomas and James Hogg who were originally from Yorkshire. The first football match to be played in Argentina was played at the Buenos Aires Cricket Club in Palermo, Buenos Aires on 20 June 1867. The match was played between two teams of British merchants, the White Caps and the Red Caps.[17]

Alumni Athletic Club was founded in 1891 as Buenos Aires English High School, and the club was the most successful in the amateur era in Argentina. The club took part in the inaugural Association Football League (AAFL) league in 1893 and played again in 1895 and 1900, under the name English High School. In 1901 they changed their name to Alumni. They continued to play in the league until the club were disbanded in 1911. The AAFL later became the Asociación del Fútbol Argentino.

Evidence of the influence of English settlers in Argentine football can be seen by club names, and the tradition of giving clubs English names, such as All Boys, Club Atlético Banfield, Chaco For Ever, Newell's Old Boys, Racing Club, Boca Juniors and River Plate.

A number of clubs were founded by English settlers, including -


Anglican church in Argentina

Anglican churches were established in Argentina, where the religion is otherwise overwhelmingly Roman Catholic, in the early 19th century to give a chaplaincy service to expatriate workers living in Argentina. In 1824 permission was given to hold Anglican church services, and in 1831 St. John's Church was built in San Nicolás, Buenos Aires[3][19] on land donated in 1830 by Governor Juan Manuel de Rosas for the benefit of the new St. John the Baptist Anglican Church. It is the oldest in existence in Buenos Aires.

English naval captain and Christian missionary, Allen Gardiner founded the Patagonia Mission (later to be renamed the South American Missionary Society) in 1844 to recruit, send, and support Protestant Christian missionaries. His first mission, which included a surgeon and three fishermen was sent to the Yaghans on the island of Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego. They arrived at Picton island in Tierra del Fuego in December 1850, but their food began to run out. They had expected scheduled supplies, however they did not arrive, and by September 1851 they had died from sickness and hunger. The Patagonia Mission continued and in 1854 changed its name to the South American Missionary Society.[3]

In January 1869 the Society established a mission at Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego under its superintendent, Waite Hockin Stirling.[20] On 21 December 1869 Stirling was ordained at Westminster Abbey as the first Bishop of the Falkland Islands and at the time had episcopal authority over the whole of South America, until power shifted to the Bishop of Buenos Aires.[19] In 1914 the first mission, Misión Chaqueña, was founded in the north of Argentina.

The Anglican Diocese of Argentina is part of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone of America and is headed by the current Bishop of Buenos Aires.[19]

Notable English Argentines



  1. ^ a b c Chavez, Lydia (23 June 1985). "Fare of the country; Teatime: A bit of Britain in Argentina". New York Times. Retrieved 9 January 2010. 
  2. ^ During World War II many Anglo-Argentines served in the British military forces and, while in Britain, married British women, then returned to Argentina with their wife and child. Such children are considered Anglo-Argentines.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Anglicans in Argentina". Iglesia Anglicana Argentina. Retrieved 7 January 2008. 
  4. ^ a b Kuper, Simon (25 February 2002). "The conflict lives on". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 January 2008. 
  5. ^ "Emigration of Scots, English and Welsh-speaking people to Argentina in the nineteenth century". British Settlers in Argentina—studies in 19th and 20th century emigration. Retrieved 8 January 2008. 
  6. ^ "Historia general de las Relaciones Exteriores de la República Argentina: Hacia la crisis (1880-1890)" (in Spanish). Universidad del CEMA. Retrieved 8 January 2008. 
  7. ^ "Historia general de las Relaciones Exteriores de la República Argentina: Capítulo 49: Las relaciones económicas con Gran Bretaña en el período 1930-1943" (in Spanish). Universidad del CEMA. Retrieved 8 January 2008. 
  8. ^ "Buenos Aires High School". Buenos Aires High School. Archived from the original on 22 August 2008. Retrieved 6 January 2009. 
  9. ^ Graham-Yooll, Andrew (3 July 1999). "Dos nostalgias" (in Spanish). Clarín (Argentine newspaper). Retrieved 8 January 2008. 
  10. ^ "The Anglo-Argentine Society". The Anglo-Argentine Society. Retrieved 8 January 2008. 
  11. ^ a b "Wings of Thunder - Wartime RAF Veterans Flying in From Argentina". PR Newswire. 6 April 2005. Retrieved 8 January 2008. 
  12. ^ a b Buckley, Martha (9 April 2005). "How Argentines helped British win war". BBC News. Retrieved 8 January 2008. 
  13. ^ Argentine pilots break silence over World War Two - Reuters
  14. ^ Margaret Thatcher (13 March 1995). The Downing Street Years. pp. 173–85. ISBN 0006383211. 
  15. ^ "Timeline: Argentina". BBC News. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
  16. ^ Eduardo Wilde y el laicismo argentino Buenos Aires, 1948 by Solari, Juan Antonio.
  17. ^ Gorgazzi, Osvaldo José; Bobrowsky, Josef (18 February 1999). "Some Information on the Early History of Football in Argentina". RSSSF. Retrieved 8 January 2008. 
  18. ^ a b "Clasico Rosariono". Retrieved 8 January 2008. 
  19. ^ a b c Millam, Peter J. (August 1997). "The Falklands - The World's Largest Diocese: "A Noble History and a Glorious Past"". Falkland Islands Newsletter (Falkland Islands: Falkland Islands Association) (70). Retrieved 7 January 2008. 
  20. ^ Bridges, E L (1948) The Uttermost Part of the Earth Republished 2008, Overlook Press ISBN 978-1-58567-956-0

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