British passports, in the modern sense, were
introduced in 1915. Before this there were few
practical restrictions on individuals who wished
to travel abroad (provided they could afford to
do so). Documents similar to passports were issued
by the Scottish crown (prior to the union of crowns
in 1603) and by burghs, senior churchmen and noblemen.
These were letters of introduction or safe conduct
for individuals (mainly aristocrats or their agents)
travelling in Europe, sometimes on official business.
In general those emigrating permanently before
1915 did not require passports.
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