Occupations, Trades, etc

All the censuses have a column listing occupations or other income sources, though there are many blanks against housewives, unmarried daughters and younger children. Marriage registers from mid-1837 give occupations for the groom and the two fathers. Directories have trades against the majority of entries (gentry excepted). The information given on this page is filtered from these sources.

Unusual entries

ArtistEngineers, Manufacturers Of General Agricultural Implements; Horse Hoes A Speciality ; Wagon & Cart Builders, Ironmongers &C., (Blackbourn Ironworks, & Stowmarket)
Glue MfrLate Cap.8Th Kings Own, Farmer & Brick Manufr.
Relieving & Vaccination Officer & Registrar Of Births, Deaths & MarriagesSteward In The Royal Naval College Portsmouth
BombardierFarmer & Manager Threshing Machinery
Handicap: Blind -- Basket MakerMarine Store Dealer
Sec To Building Societys Offices Of SocietySuperanuated Metropolitian Po Now Time Keeper At Woolpit
Capt. 10Th R? HussarsFarmeress & Cowkeeper
Handicap: Blind - GardenerQuarter Master
Seed Merchant, Birch Broom Mfr & FarmerYeoman
Corn Miller ImproverNothing to do besides collecting manure (Charles Woolsey 1851, No.7)
Handicap: Imbecile - Farm Servant
Shoemaker Closer
Cricket Bat Manufacturers
Housing Inspector To The Thedwastre Rural District Council
Special Pleader

Non-employment entries

Housekeeper Out Door PauperLiving On CharityNo Occupation Always Ill
Income Derived From Bank InterestLiving On IncomeOut Door Pauper
Income Derived From Landed Estates Houses Dividends Etc EctLiving On Income Of Rent PropertyPauper
Lady No ProffessionLiving On Own Means
Lady Of The ManorLiving On Parish Allowance

Regular entries

Professional & ManagerialMerchants & DealersManufacturersServantsTradespeople, Skilled Workers
Accountant & AuditorBrick MerchantAgricultural Implement Manufacturer & Agent; Ironmonger &CBarmaid/ManBaker
Assessor & Collector Of TaxesCattle DealerBrick & Tile MakerButlerBasket Maker
Bacon Factory ManagerCoal MerchantCoach BuilderCharwomanBeer Retailer
BrokerCommercial Traveller.Farm & Portable Building ManufacturerCoachmanBlacksmith
Collector Of TaxesCorn MerchantGlass ManufacturerCookBoarding House Keeper
CurateCorn Seed & Coal MerchtIron Founder & Machine MakerDairyman/WomanBoot & Shoe Maker
DentistCycle AgentManure ManufacturerDomestic ServantBoot Repairer
Farm BailiffDealer (General)GardenerBricklayer
Farm ManagerEgg MerchantsHorsemanBroom Maker
Farm StewardFlour DealerHousekeeperBuilder & Contractor
Inspector Of PoliceHorse DealerHousemaidButcher
Insurance AgentImplement AgentLady'S MaidCabnettmaker
Land Surveyor, Surveyor, Highway SurveyorManufacturers' AgentMothers HelpCarpenter & Joiner
MidwifeManure MerchantOstlerCarrier/Carter/Haulage Contractor
NurseSeed MerchantCattle Drover
PhysicianTimber MerchantChimney Sweep
Rate CollectorClerk
RectorClock & Watch Maker
Registrar Of Births And DeathsConfectioner
Sanitary InspectorCordwainer
Station MasterCutler & Grinder
Dressmaker, Needlewoman
Engine Driver
Fancy Goods Dealer
Farmer & Horse Slaughterer.
Horse Slaughterer
Machine Owner
Market Gardener
Motor Cycle & Cycle Dealer
Motor Engineer
Nursery & Seedsman
Painter & Decorator
Parish Clerk & Sexton
Plumber & Glazier
Police Constable
Pork Butcher
Postmaster/Mistress, Postman
Poultry Farmer
Railway Clerk
Railway Navvy
Railway Platelayer
Railway Porter
Railway Signalman
Rat Catcher
Saddler (Or Collar) & Harness Maker &C.
Wood Hurdle Maker
Sign& Glass Writer
Tile Maker
Traction Engine Driver


Thomas StevensAccording to his 1906 gravestone, Thomas died aged 95, but the various censuses put his birth year in the range 1814-1821, rather than 1811. He appears in the tithe apportionment as occupier of a cottage (in the Hawk End area, I think), and in censuses from 1841 to 1901. In '71 he was only rated a labourer at Eastwood Farm, but otherwise he was a butcher on Ashfield Road.
Charles RobinsonBorn about 1806, was documented as a butcher from '41 to '65 but otherwise as a farmer with quite a large acreage; he died in 1887. His son George is a butcher in '71 and James is a pork butcher in '81.
Ireland GrahamBorn in about 1806, was a farmer of some substance, occupying Elmswell Hall at least bewteen 1851 and 1871; often listed as a butcher, but did he himself doing any cutting?
Leonard BakerLand surveyor and Parish Clerk in 1861, he is in the directory as a Pork Butcher in 1865 - maybe a sort of retirement job, since he was by then about 65! 'Jobbing butcher' in '71.
Thomas EllistonBorn in 1828, this versatile chap was a brickmaker's journeyman in '51, brickmaker in '53, labourer in '55 and '59, thatcher and hay-binder in '61, '81, and '01, and a pork butcher from '65 to '91. His sons William (b.1850), Henry (b.1853) and Herbert (b.1864) all had a go at it. And we know there was a Mr Elliston who had a butchers shop of sorts at the corner of Hawk End Lane in the 1930s.
Reginald BashamKelly's 1933
C. Clarke & SonKelly's 1933; at Mill House
Thomas Edwards1901 census; Horse dealer and butcher (!) in Hawk End Lane
Arthur MillerKelly's 1908; Elm House
Mrs Mabel Beatrice PrattKelly's 1933
John Pawsey1891 census; Lion Inn
William Spencer1841 census
Thomas Shepherd1851 census; journeyman butcher

A couple of ‘Butcher’ items from the Newsletter….

Bob Durrant

I took over my butcher’s business some 40-odd years ago. At this time good beef cattle were selling at around xxx per live hundredweight. An eight hundredweight beast, nearly half a ton, was worth about £60. Today that sort of animal fetches £500.

We started off with just one van which I purchased with the business. After a few years we had increased to 3 vans. The wage then for a butcher-cum-roundsman was about £8 per week. My next venture was to take a shop in Newmarket, followed by one in Hepworth and finally one in Earls Come in Essex.

After a time the Meat and Livestock Commission reared its head. I had to pay them a levy on every animal I slaughtered, and in return they told me the best way to cut and sell the carcase – information that I did not require! Next came the E.E.C., and we were expected to come up to their so-called ‘standards’. In my opinion the standard and quality of workmanship in the butchery trade today falls far short of those we had pre-war, and, although the abbattoirs – in our language the slaughterhouses – were not as clean in those days as they are today, the meat that came out of them was. Unfortunately the growing populations in our villages are tending to go to the supermarket where they buy their meat regardless of the quality.

Good luck, I say, to the independent butchers still left!

Ernie Goodfellow

Ernie recently ceased trading as a slaughterman and retail family butcher from his shop on Ashfield Road next door to the Mace shop. He was renowned as a butcher, and especially for his sausages. [See Ernie’s page] The shop became a butchers in the 1930’s when Bill Dark moved from one of the Crown Mill Cottages from where he had established a thriving butchery business [Bill’s granddaughter, Vera Hammond still lives in Elmswell]. Prior to this the shop had served as the village Post Office, with a coal yard in the garden. To this day the garden will yield coal not far below the surface! Bill Last bought the business prior to Ernie Goodfellow, but died of a heart attack in the slaughterhouse.

The village is lucky to still have an independent butcher, John Simpson in Pightle Close.