Sunday, 6 December 2015

Unique occupations in 1871 in England and Wales

The Online Historical Population Reports (OHPR) collection at provides online access to the complete British population reports for Britain and Ireland from 1801 to 1937.
Searching for information on occupations in the 1870s in England and Wales I chanced across a report on the census of 1871 where in appendix A in Table 99, there's a list of "England and Wales occupations of the people arranged in alphabetical order" which includes numbers of people so employed.
Starting with Her Majesty the Queen, a unique occupation, the list, takes up 8 pages closely spaced, from accountant to Zinc manufacturer.

What is the first word in the second item in the image? There's just one woman who followed that occupation.
Other unique occupations were:
Designer of Fashions, Director of Nurses (Miss Nightingale's), Lithographic Stone Importer, Razor Strop Paste Maker, Steeple Jack, Vegetable Ornament Cutter.
Occupations, such as the mystery one above and the Steeple Jack entry are printed in italics indicating secondary occupations.


Beyond the BMD said...

Hahaha! A bumboat woman takes provisions in a small boat out to a big boat anchored offshore - she is a character in Gilbert and Sullivan's HMS Pinafore.

Patricia Jones said...

North of the border, Ancestry has one of my Scottish relatives listed in the census transcription as a 'wife layer' ... that he may have been, but his occupation on closer examination of the original document was that of 'pipe layer' ... maybe not as much fun ...

jon said...

One of my people was transcribed as "nude woman." The original certainly looked like that too but after some discussion and reflection we thought that what was meant was "needle woman."