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1. Method of Tabulation and its Difficulties

Difficulties in tabulating occupations

The most laborious, the most costly, and, after all, perhaps the least satisfactory part of the Census, is that which is concerned with the occupations of the people. It is well that those who may purpose to make use of the tables relating to these occupations should be fully aware of the difficulties that beset such a tabulation, so that they may form a just estimate as to the degree of accuracy to be fairly expected in so complex a matter.

The vast number of occupations

In the first place, the number of distinct manufactures and industries in such a country as this is enormous. Moreover, most of these manufactures and industries are sub-divided with great minuteness; and each group of artizans whose operations are confined to one of these minute sub-divisions is known by a special designation, or not infrequently by several different designations in different localities. These designations in a large proportion of cases give no indication whatsoever as to the character of the business to those who are not possessed of some special acquaintance with technical terms. Here, for instance, are a hundred,—all names of occupations in current use, and yet such that in all probability an ordinary educated man would know at most but one or two of them, and often would not know a single one. Moreover, in those cases where he might fancy that the term gave some clue, he would find on inquiry that the supposed clue was completely misleading.

All-rounder. Doctor maker. Orange raiser.
Barker. Dog minder. Painted-front maker.
Bat-printer. Doler. Paste fitter.
Baubler. Duler. Patent turner.
Bear breaker. Egger. Peas maker.
Beatster. Fagotter. Piano puncher.
Blabber. Faster. Ponty sticker.
Black picker. Firebeater. Ransacker.
Block minder. Flat keeper. Riffler maker.
Bomb setter. Fluker. Sad-iron maker.
Branner. Foot maker. Sand badger.
Brazil maker. Forwarder. Scratch brusher.
Budget trimmer. Gin maker. Shore woman.
Bull-dog burner. Glan rider. Sparable cutter.
Bullet pitcher. Grafter. Spitch dealer.
Busheller. Hackneyman. Spittle maker.
Butt woman. Hawk-boy. Spragger.
Buttoner-up. Horse marine. Sprigger.
Camberel maker. Hoveller. Swift builder.
Can breaker. Idle back maker. Tawer.
Carriage straightener. Impression maker. Temple maker.
Cheeker. Iron bolster maker. Tharme maker.
Chevener. Keel bulley. Thimble picker.
Churer. Lasher. Thurler.
Clapper carrier. Learman. Tingle maker.
Combright. Lurer. Toother.
Coney cutter. Maidenmaker. Townsman.
Crowder. Marbler. Trowler.
Crutter. Moleskin shaver. Walk flatter.
Cullet picker. Muck roller. Westernman.
Cut looker. Notch turner. Wheel glutter.
Cut-jack maker. Off-bearer. Whim driver.
Dasher. Oliver man. Whitster.
Dirt refiner.    

Dictionary of names of occupations

The abstracting clerks could not, of course, be expected to know the meaning of such names as these, and consequently it was necessary to make a dictionary for their use, instructing them how to deal with each name that might occur. It was found that the dictionary in use for past censuses, and which had been constructed, we believe, chiefly on the basis of the directories of London and other large towns, had become obsolete. A great many terms that occurred in it had ceased any longer to be used, and, what was of more importance, several thousands that are now used had no place in it at all. Under these circumstances we determined to make a new dictionary of the names of occupations,—a work, it need hardly be said, of very great labour, especially as we could lay no claim to special knowledge in the matter of trades. With this view we sent out circulars to leading manufacturers, asking for information as to the designations used in their branches of industry, and the information thus collected we supplemented by searches through trade directories, and especially by a preliminary examination of the enumeration books from the chief industrial centres. By these means we eventually collected together between eleven and twelve thousand different occupations having each its name.2

Classification of occupations

The names thus collected by us we grouped into some 400 headings under which they were to be abstracted; and these headings, were again grouped in sub-orders, orders, and classes, these larger groupings being taken with some modifications from the Census of 1871.

Names common to several occupations

We have mentioned that in some cases there are several names for one and the same occupation. This, of course, was of no importance, except that it added very slightly to the number of names of occupations with which we had to deal; but a much more serious matter was the fact that, again and again, one and the same name is used for totally different occupations. By Clothier is meant in some parts a Cloth-maker, whereas in other parts it means Clothes-dealer. By Bricksetter is in some parts meant a Bricklayer, whilst in most parts it means a man who performs certain operations in Brickmaking. By Bank Manager is ordinarily meant the manager of a money bank, but in mining parts it is also occasionally used for the man who superintends the operations at the pit's mouth. By Drummer may either be meant a Musician or a Blacksmith's hammerman; by Muffin-maker, either a man who makes the eatable that bears that name, or the man who makes what is known as a muffin in China manufacture. An Engineer may be either a maker or a driver of engines. A Collar maker may be a Seamstress or a Harness-maker. A Bookcase-maker may be a Cabinet-maker or a Bookbinder, and so on. In these instances the confusion is only between two occupations; but there are other cases, much more numerous and much more troublesome, in which a common name is used for some branch of perhaps half a dozen or even more different trades. There are Spinners, Weavers, Warpers, Winders, &c. in Cotton, Silk, Wool, and Flax Factories alike; and when an operative is returned simply under one of these or similar designations, without further specification, it is impossible to say to which of the several manufactures he should be assigned. Still more general names are such as Backer, Bailer, Bender, Binder, Bleacher, Blocker, Blower, Bluer, Boxer, Brasher, Burnisher;—a list which by no means exhausts this one initial letter, and, if made complete, would be found to comprise some hundreds of similarly vague designations.

Vagueness in stating specific occupation

Now an operative, not recognising the importance of greater precision, and perhaps in ignorance of the existence in other branches of industry of a designation identical with his own, very commonly returns himself by one of these general terms without further specification. In order, as far as possible, to prevent this, a special circular was sent to the persons engaged in local enumeration, calling their attention to the matter, and requesting them to see that in all cases the occupation should be described in a sufficiently specific manner. This, doubtless, had the effect of reducing the number of vague returns very considerably. Still, out of an army of thirty-five thousand enumerators; there could not but be a certain proportion of unintelligent or careless men, and the requisite precision of statement as to occupations was far from being universally observed. Thus, there are still in the tables of occupations such headings as "Miner (undefined)," "Weaver (undefined)," "Factory hand, textile (undefined)," "Artisan, Mechanic (undefined)," and the like. In estimating, therefore, the precise numbers of persons employed in any manufacture, the existence of these vague headings must not be lost sight of, and due allowance must be made for them. For instance, under Cotton Manufacture are given 487,777 persons employed; but there are also 21,145 returned as "Factory labourer (undefined)," 13,514 as "Factory hand, textile (undefined)," and 4,841 as "Weaver (undefined)"; and an unknown proportion of each of these was engaged in cotton manufacture. Still it will be seen that the number of these undefined Factory hands is but very small in proportion to the number known to be engaged in the Cotton Manufacture; and as, moreover, even of this small number only a part were Cotton hands, we may neglect, as practically unimportant, the slight understatement of the Cotton industry caused by the vague returns. So also in the case of Miners. There were, it is true, some two thousand men who were returned simply as Miners, without the kind of mineral being specified, but the men returned as miners of specified kinds were nearly half a million in number, so that the omission of any precise statement as to the 2,000 miners may be disregarded.

Cross divisions in classification

Another very great difficulty which occurs in tabulating occupations is this. The number of headings cannot, of course, be unlimited; there clearly cannot be one for every distinct occupation. Now, group these occupations as one may, it is practically impossible to devise such headings that a given occupation shall invariably fall naturally under one special heading and under no other. An example will make this plainer. There is a heading "Cutler and Scissors Maker," and there is a heading "Bone, Horn, Ivory, Tortoiseshell, Worker." Now, to which is a man who returns himself as "Knife-scale Maker" to be assigned? By knife-scales are meant the pieces, usually of horn or ivory or bone, that form the sides of the handle. So, again, there is a heading "Tool Maker," and a heading "Wood Turner." To which of these is the man who makes wooden hafts for tools to be assigned? In all such cases as these, and they were extremely numerous, we were obliged to make arbitrary rules, and in the instances quoted we laid down the rule that the makers of handles and hafts for tools and cutlery were to be considered as tool makers and cutlers.

Rules as to persons with multiple occupations

Then, again, came the question of how to deal with the numerous persons who return themselves as following more than one occupation. The general rules we laid occupations, down were, firstly, that a mechanical handicraft or constructive occupation should invariably be preferred to a mere shop-keeping occupation; secondly, that, if one of the diverse occupations seemed of more importance than the others, it should be selected; and, thirdly, that in default of such apparent difference the occupation first mentioned should be taken, on the ground that a person would be likely to mention his main business first. In some cases of multiple occupations we made special rules. For instance, a considerable number of clergymen are schoolmasters. How should "Clergyman, Schoolmaster," be dealt with? In this case we decided that Schoolmaster should be taken, on the ground that it was possible to ascertain pretty closely from other sources how many Clergymen there were, but there were not the same facilities in the case of Schoolmasters. So again, and on similar grounds, Members of Parliament engaged in any branch of commerce or industry were to be assigned to such branch, rather than to the heading "Legislator."

Rule as to persons to be included under any heading

Another question to be settled was this: who should be considered as engaged in persons to be any stated occupation? For instance, was an apprentice to be so considered, or a included person who returned himself as "retired" from any business, or as "out of employ," or the like? The rules we adopted were these: Apprentices, Journeymen, and Assistants were to be classed under the occupation to which they were apprenticed or in which they assisted; but Messengers, Errand Boys, Porters, and "Watchmen (excepting Railway or Government) were not to be so classed, but to go to a special heading provided for them.3 As regards persons "retired" from any business, we found ourselves in some doubt. In the Census of 1871 such persons had been considered as following the business from which they had really retired, and were abstracted accordingly. To depart from this former practice would, of course, interfere in some measure with the ready comparison of the returns for 1881 with those of 1871. But, on the other hand, it was known that a very inconsiderable proportion of persons who had retired from business made mention of their former occupation in their schedules, and that, consequently, if such persons were included, the return made by us under any occupation would be neither of persons actually so occupied, nor yet of these together with those who had retired from the trade, a large proportion of the latter being omitted. "We found by careful examination of the enumeration books for an entire county, including a large town, that, had we included the "retired," as was done in 1871, the persons returned by us under any heading would on an average have been about 2 per cent, more than they are actually. On the whole, seeing that the difference was so small, we thought it best altogether to omit those who had retired from business; and we also excluded, as having almost certainly retired, all Patients in Lunatic Asylums and all Inmates of Workhouses over 60 years of age. Paupers under this age, Patients in General Hospitals, and Prisoners with stated occupations, were abstracted by their occupations, as being possibly only temporarily debarred from them; and the same rule was applied to persons "out of employ" from any stated handicraft.

It will thus be seen, without going into further details, that the tabulation of occupations required a very complex system of rules, and was not an operation that could be carried out by any chance clerk in an off-hand manner.

Few of us can in any way realize what is meant by a million, still less what is meant by twenty-six millions. But let any one try to realize to himself what is meant by sorting out twenty-six millions of persons according to their sexes, their ages, and their occupations, the very names of which are themselves a bewildering puzzle, and to sort these from enumeration books in which the handwriting is often very obscure. Let a person, we say, try to realize this, and he will, we think, admit that the task is not only one of gigantic dimensions, but one in which strict and unfailing accuracy is practically unattainable. We made every effort to secure as great accuracy as was possible under the circumstances, but we are bound to state that the margin that must be allowed for error is very considerable. Where the heading is something very definite, such as Baker, Butcher, Tailor, and the like, the abstracting clerk is not likely to have been much perplexed, and the figures given are doubtless fairly accurate, but in the case of complex businesses the figures must be regarded as only approximative.

We have thought it our duty to set forth as clearly as we could, and without any attempt at disguise, the difficulties that we met with, as also must have done our predecessors, in carrying out this part of the Census, and the consequent uncertainty that necessarily attaches to much of the tabulation. Having discharged ourselves of this duty, we shall now proceed to discuss the results.

The six classes

The 400 and odd headings under which occupations in combination with ages were The six abstracted have been arranged by us, as was previously mentioned, in sub-orders, classes. Orders, and classes, much after the same plan as that followed in 1871, though with some not inconsiderable modifications. The largest groups, or the classes, are six in number,—the Professional, the Domestic, the Commercial, the Agricultural, the Industrial, and the Unoccupied class,—in which latter we have included all children under five years of age. The names of these classes must not be interpreted too literally, nor must the lines of demarcation between them be supposed to be very definite. Still, for general purposes, and disregarding minute details, this division into classes is not without use. It will be found, for instance, that if counties or other areas be" compared with each other in regard to the per-centage of their populations that is included in each of these six classes, a very tolerable idea may be got of their general character. We have accordingly added some columns in. Appendix A., Table 32, showing these proportions for each county, as well as for the whole country.

The goodness, however, of a classification depends on the purpose to which the classification is to be applied; and, as different classifiers may have different aims in view, we have, in addition to the table which gives the classified arrangement for the whole country, and those which give it for each division, county, and large urban sanitary authority, also given an alphabetically arranged list of the headings, with the numbers of persons, males and females, belonging to them severally; so that every one may have facilities for grouping the occupations in such way as seems best to him (see Vol. III., Summary Table VI.).

In such remarks as we shall ourselves make on the results of the tabulation, we shall not attempt to deal with all the headings, nor shall we confine ourselves strictly to the classification in our tables; but we shall select such headings, and group them in such combinations, as may seem suitable.

Comparison of figures for 1881 with those for 1871

From time to time we shall have occasion to compare the figures for 1881 with those for 1871; and in most of such cases it will be necessary to correct the re turns for 1871, on account of persons "retired" from any business having been included in the returns for that Census, and not so included in the present Census. The correction which we shall apply can, of course, be only a rough one, and will consist in a deduction of two per cent, from the totals of 1871 this ratio having been found, as previously mentioned, to be approximately correct on examination of the enumeration books of a large county. For instance, in 1871, the returns gave 468,142 persons engaged in Cotton Manufacture; this, by a deduction of 2 per cent., becomes 458,779; and this latter number we shall consider to be the true return, for comparison with that of 1881, and stall speak of it as the "corrected" number. Other corrections will also have to be :made by us on account of differences in the methods of tabulation adopted on the two occasions. The comparison can rarely be exact, and consequently too much stress must not be laid upon minute differences.

2. Female as compared with Male Occupations .

Relative numbers of the two sexes employed

The total number of males returned as engaged in some definite occupation was 7,783,646, being 71.5 per cent, of all the enumerated males aged five years and upwards. The total number of females similarly occupied was 3,403,918, or only 29.4 per bent, of all females aged five years and upwards. It must be remembered, however, that a very large number of wives and daughters assist their husbands or fathers in business, and also that the most important of all female occupations, and that which employs the largest number, is altogether omitted from the reckoning, namely, the rearing of children and the management of domestic life. To make the comparison at all a fair one, we should take into account the existence of the 4,437,962 wives;4 and, were we to do so, the proportion of occupied women would be much the same as that of occupied men. Although, in by far the greatest number of industries, the men employed largely outnumber the females, yet there are a considerable number of occupations in which the reverse is the case, and the female workers predominate. The following is a list of these:—

Females. Males. Females. Males.
Subordinate Medical Service (including Midwives and Nurses) 37,821 1,972 Lace manufacture 32,785 11,359
Teacher 12,995 47,836 Fustian manufacture 5,176 3,011
Actor, Actress 2,368 2,197 Tape manufacture 1,159 732
Domestic Service 1,258,285 244,391 Thread manufacture 1,672 498
Washing, Charing, and other Service 287,017 14,117 Hemp, Jute, Cocoa Fibre, manufacture 2,297 1,181
Bookbinding 10,592 9,505 Net-maker 1,481 252
Pin Manufacture 495 234 Sacking, Sack, Bag, manufacture 1,594 575
Steel-pen manufacture 2,503 220 Straw-plait, Straw-hat, &c., manufacture 27,983 3,001
Toy-making, selling 1,233 1,099 Milliner, Dressmaker, Staymaker 357,995 2,937
Artifical Flower manufacture 4,461 720 Shirt-maker, Seamstress 81,865 1,379
Fusee, Fireworks, and Explosive Articles, manufacture 1,887 950 Shawl manufacture 408 208
Lodging-house, Boarding-house, keeping 32,890 4,486 Hosiery manufacture 21,510 18,862
Pastry-cook, Confectioner 13,051 12,483 Glove-maker, Glover 13,261 2,263
Wollen Cloth manufacture 58,501 57,307 Button-maker 4,121 2,286
Worsted, Stuff, manufacture 63,801 35,436 Old Clothes dealer 1,663 639
Blanket manufacture 1,374 1,313 Hair, Bristle, worker 1,743 893
Silk, Silk goods, manufacture 39,694 17,655 Quill, Feather, worker 2,089 429
Ribbon manufacture 1,186 878 Japanner 1,539 1,359
Crape, Gauze, manufacture 1,006 176 Envelope maker 1,933 175
Cotton, Cotten goods, manufacture 302,367 185,410 Paper-bag, paper-box maker 8,718 1,187
Flax, Linen, manufacture 7,853 4,212 Metal Burnisher, Lacquerer 2,209 478
      Fancy Chain, Gilt-toy, maker 700 342

With, some exceptions, the occupations in which more women than men were engaged in 1881 are the same occupations in which the female workers were the more numerous in 1871. But it will be seen hereafter that, in many industries in which both sexes are engaged, there has been a tendency to employ an increased proportion of female labour.

Summary of female occupations

The following gives, in small compass, a general summary of the occupations among which female workers were divided, and the numbers employed in each:—

Teaching 123,995
Nursing and similar offices 37,821
Lodging-house keeping 32,890
Domestic service 1,258,285
Laundry and other services 287,017
Agricultural labour 64,171
Textile manufactures 590,624
Dressmaking 616,425
All other industries 392,690
Total females aged five years and upwards specially occupied 3,403,918

3. Professional Class

The Professional class, as given in the tables of occupations, numbered 647,075 persons, or 2.5 per cent, of the entire population at all ages. It is, however, a most heterogeneous class, including the highest State Dignitaries as well as the street mountebank. Moreover, many of the headings that are comprised in the class are such that the figures attached to them are but of little value. Such, for instance, are the headings "Artists," and "Literary and Scientific Persons;" in both of which cases the boundary is very vague that separates those who are really entitled to the designation from those who assume it undeservedly. Who can say how many of the 7,962 persons who were returned as Artist Painters were really such, and how many were house decorators, who had magnified their office? We shall, therefore, pass over a good many of the headings without comment.

Civil Service

The Civil Service employed 50,245 persons, consisting of 25,568 officers and clerks 21,180 office keepers, messengers, porters, and letter carriers, and 3,497 prison officers of these 50,245 persons,45,892 were males, and 4,353 were females. These figures are exclusive of dockyard and other artificers in Government establishments, who have been classed by the character of their craft, and therefore they are not comparable with the figures in the 1871 Census, when such artificers were included amongst civil servants.


The Police numbered 32,508, being about 17 per cent, in excess of the corrected Police, total in 1871. The increase in the police force was, therefore, proportionally rather greater than that of the population. One policeman sufficed on an average to maintain order among 799 of the population.


The Soldiers, as given in the Occupation Table, are those soldiers only who were Army. present in England and Wales at the date of the Census, and numbered 87,168., in which total are included those persons who returned themselves as in the Yeomanry, Militia, and other similar services outside the Regular Army, and also 8,572 pensioners. By special returns, however, we are enabled to give separate tables (see Appendix A., Tables 37 and 40) showing the number and ages of the entire regular army at home and abroad. It comprised 186,428 persons, of whom 9,222 were commissioned officers, and 177,206 were non-commissioned officers and men. Of the entire body, 128,856 were of English or Welsh birth; 15,177 were Scotch; 39,471 were Irish; and the remaining 2,924 were of foreign or colonial birth.

The Royal Navy

The total number of officers and men in the Royal Navy returned as being in this The Royal country at the date of the Census, excluding 8,910 pensioners, was 20,732. To Navy. these must be added 23,668 who were serving out of the country at that date, making a total of 44,400 officers and men in the service. This is exclusive of the Marines, of whom 7,720 were enumerated in this country, while 5,464 were serving out of the country, making together a total of 13,184 officers and men. Table 40 in the Appendix gives the ages of persons serving in the Navy and Marine's, whether at home or abroad.

Clerical Profession

The Clergy of the Established Church number 21,663 in the table. But it must be Clerical remembered that many Clergymen are schoolmasters, and in such case they were Profession, classed as Teachers, not as Clergymen. Judging from the Clergy List, the real number of Clergymen at the time of the Census was not far short of 24,000. The Roman Catholic Priests numbered 2,089, against 1,620 in 1871. They had therefore increased by 29 per cent. The Ministers of other religious communities numbered 9,734, against 9,334 returned in 1871, an increase of 4 per cent. The Missionaries, Scripture Readers, and Itinerant Preachers, 4,625 in number, had increased by 42 per cent., and the Nuns and Sisters of Charity by more than 50 per cent. Taking the whole sub-order together the increase in the ten years was 14.7 per cent., or much the same as the increase of the population.

Legal Profession

The Barristers and Solicitors together numbered 17,386, and were 12 per cent, more numerous than in 1871. The Law-students, 1,653 in number, had increased by 7 per. cent.; and the Law-clerks, 24,602 in number, by 33 per cent. The whole legal profession, as thus constituted, included 43,641 persons, and had increased by 23 per cent.

Medical Profession

The Medical Men on the official register in 1881 numbered 22,936; but the number Medical of Physicians, Surgeons, and General Practitioners returned as being in England and Profession. Wales at the date of the Census was only 15,116. The balance consisted of Medical Men registered in England, but practising abroad, and of some who had died, but whose names had not been removed from the register, owing to no notice of death having been received. The number of Medical Practitioners enumerated in 1871 was 14,692; go that the increase in this group was less than 3 per cent. The increase of the Dentists was much greater. Of these there were 3,583 enumerated in 1881, and only 2,466 in 1871, a difference of 45 per cent. It is not improbable that the small apparent increase among the Medical Practitioners, and the large apparent increase among the Dentists, may be due to many, who since the passing of the Dentists' Act in 1878 style themselves Dentists, having preferred in 1871 to return themselves as Medical Practitioners, or, at any rate, under some other designation than Dentists. If the Medical Practitioners and the Dentists be taken together, the total was 17,158 in 1871, and 18,699 in 1881; an increase of close upon 9 per cent. Besides the 18,699 Medical Hen and Dentists, there were also 6,056 Medical Students and Assistants, 2,646 Midwives, and 37,147 persons, most of whom were nurses, in the Subordinate Medical Service. The whole medical profession as thus constituted consisted of 64,548 persons; without reckoning the Chemists and Druggists, who numbered 19,000, or the Surgical Instrument makers, who numbered 1,511.

The large number of sick nurses included in this sub-order caused the Medical Profession to consist of many more females than males.

Schoolmasters and teachers

The number of persons employed in general education, that is, the Schoolmasters and Schoolmistresses of all grades (including Professors, Lecturers, Tutors, Governesses, and Pupil Teachers), was 168,920, to whom should be added a further 2,911 engaged in subordinate school services, making a total of 171,831, Of these, 72 per cent, were women.

In 1871 the corrected total under the corresponding headings was 124,597, of whom 32,243 were males, and 92,354 were females. Thus the Teachers in the course of the decade had increased by 38 per cent., the male teachers by 48 per cent,, and the female teachers by 34 per cent.

The results of this enormous increase in the number of teachers in diffusing elementary education cannot be stated with certainty, because the only available test we have of the spread of education is the increase in the proportion of persons who are able to sign their names in the register when they come to marry; and only few of the children who were at school in 1871, and none of those who were at school in 1881, are yet of marrying ages. Still it is worth noting that the educational efforts of late years, which of course date back far beyond the 1871 Census, have had the effect of reducing the proportion of persons who could not sign their names from 40 per cent, in the decade ending with 1850 to 20 per cent, in the decade ending with 1880.

Civil Engineers, &c.

The Civil Engineers numbered 7,124, and were 35 per cent, in excess of the number returned in 1871. But it is by no means certain to us that the persons who returned themselves as Civil Engineers in 1881 precisely corresponded to those who did so in 1871; so that, though there was doubtless a great increase, it must be left uncertain what was its exact extent. The Mining Engineers, now for the first time taken out as distinct from the Mine Service, numbered 2,291; and the Surveyors, a somewhat vaguely-used term, numbered 5,394.

Musicians, &c.

Among artists and other persons who minister to our amusement, by far the most numerous were the Musicians. Of these, including all grades down to the street-organ player, 25,546 were enumerated, showing an increase of 38 per cent, upon the corrected total in 1871. The appliances of music were provided by 9,249 Musical Instrument Makers, who also had increased by 28 per cent, in the course of the decade, and by 1,440 Printers and Sellers of Musical Publications. Taking them all together, the persons who gain their livelihood by music amounted to 36,235, and had increased since 1871 by 37 per cent. This increase was the more remarkable, inasmuch as the growth of the same group had been 24 per cent, in the preceding intercensal period.

Actors, &c.

Nor was this great development confined to music. It extended to other forms of amusement. The Actors and Actresses, 4,565 in number, were 30 per cent, more numerous than in 1871; while the Persons engaged in Exhibitions or as Professionals in various games numbered 5,043, and had gone up more than 60 per cent. As regards the theatre, it is to be noted that whereas the Actors outnumbered the Actresses very considerably in 1871, the reverse was the case in 1881, there being 2,368 Actresses enumerated to 2,197 Actors.


The Photographers, as might be anticipated, had increased greatly. In 1871 the actual number given in the return was 4,715, which had increased in 1881 to 6,661, or more than 40 per cent.

4. Domestic Class

The Domestic Class, as how constituted, differs very widely from the same class as constituted in the Census of 1871. It included at that time not only Domestic and other Servants, to which it has been restricted in the present Census, but also Innkeepers, Beersellers, and others whose business it is to provide board and lodging. These we have removed to the Industrial Class. "We have also not taken Wives into account, inasmuch as to do so would in many cases involve reckoning the same women twice over, once as Wife and again as Boarding-house Keeper or the like, when wife has any specified occupation of her own. On the other hand, we have included in the class all persons engaged in Laundry-work, who in 1871 were classed with the Makers of Dress. The number of persons comprised in the class as now Constituted was 1,803,810, and of these 86 per cent, were females.

Domestic indoor servants

The persons returned as Indoor Domestic Servants were no fewer than 1,286,668, and exceeded the next most numerous group, the Agricultural Labourers, by some 50 per cent. Out of every 22 persons in the population at all ages, one was an Indoor Domestic Servant. The proportion differed, of course, very largely in different parts. Speaking generally, it was lowest in mining and manufacturing parts, higher in agricultural districts, and highest in towns, especially in such towns as are the habitual resorts of the wealthier classes. Thus in London the proportion of Indoor Domestic Servants to the population was 1 to 15, in Brighton 1 to 11, and in Bath 1 to 9; in the Eastern Division, comprising the agricultural counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, and Essex, it was Ito 21; and in the South-western Division, also mainly agricultural, 1 to 18; whereas in Staffordshire it was 1 to 28, in Lancashire 1 to 30, and in Durham 1 to 31.

This occupation is practically monopolised by the female sex, who outnumbered the males in the proportion of 22 to 1. Of females above 5 years of age, one in nine was an indoor servant. The occupation contrasts with most others in the age-distribution of those who follow it. Not far short of half of them were under 20 years of age; and of girls between 15 and 20 years of age no less than one in three was a domestic indoor servant. Such, at least, was the case according to the returns; but, as we have stated elsewhere, there is reason to believe that a considerable number of servant girls who are not yet 15 years old represent themselves as having reached that age, so as to be more readily taken into service.

The Indoor Domestic Servants in 1871 numbered 1,275,747;5 so that the increase in this class of persons in the course of the decade was less than 1 per cent. As the population has increased more than 14 per cent., it is possible that the frequently heard complaint of householders as to the increasing difficulty in finding suitable servants may have a real foundation.

The above account refers simply to the Indoor Servants in private families; that is to say, it excludes Coachmen, Grooms, and Gardeners, who are dealt with in other paragraphs; neither does it include the 62,310 Inn Servants, nor the 92,474 Charwomen, nor the 180,078 persons engaged in Laundries. If all these and similar forms of service included, the total number of servants, domestic or other, was no less than 1,803,810, already stated.

5. Commercial Class

In the Commercial Class are included not only the persons directly engaged in Commerce, that is to say, the Merchants, Bankers, and Insurers, with their Agents, Clerks, and Travellers, the Accountants and the Auctioneers but also the persons engaged in Conveyance and Storage. The whole class as thus constituted comprised 980,128, or, in round numbers, a million persons. Of these, the first order, the persons directly engaged in commerce, numbered 316,865; and the second order, the persons engaged in conveyance and storage, numbered 663,263. But if we also take into consideration, as we shall do, those industries outside, the class that are indirectly subservient to conveyance, we shall have a much larger total; conveyance and storage by themselves, thus construed, occupying a million persons.


Among the headings in the Table relating to the Mercantile Class are some that are not very satisfactory. Such, is "Merchant" itself. What constitutes a Merchant? Probably it would be said that the term applies to any wholesale dealer on a very large scale. But there are many large wholesale dealers who do not call themselves merchants, and many retail dealers who give themselves this designation. There are Wine and Spirit Merchants, Corn Merchants, Tea Merchants, Merchant Tailors, Bag Merchants and the like, many of whom deal by retail. The rule adopted by us was, that whenever the nature of the goods in which the merchant dealt was stated, the individual should be classed by the character of his merchandise; but that when the kind of goods was not stated, the simple return being "Merchant, without further specification, or when the name of the country only was given with which the merchant traded, e.g. East India Merchant, he should be placed under the heading "Merchant." Of such persons the number was 10,359, whereas in 1871 the number placed under this heading was 15,936. Doubtlessly, the term Merchant must have been used with a less restricted signification in the tabulation of 1871 than on the present occasion.

Commercial Travellers

That no such depression as these figures by themselves might be supposed to indicate really occurred in commerce maybe inferred from the numbers returned under the less vague and indefinite heading "Commercial Traveller." Of these there were 35,478, or twice as many as in 1871. Among them were 878 European foreigners.

Commercial Clerks

The Commercial Clerks numbered 181,457, and were also twice as many as were so classed in 1871, but the term was used in different ways on the two occasions. In 1871 the clerks in factories were placed to the account of the special manufacture in the office of which they were engaged; For instance, a clerk in a cotton warehouse was placed to Cotton Manufacture; but in 1881 all clerks, employed in any branch of commerce or industry, were assigned, not to that special branch, but to the general heading "Commercial Clerk." The heading was thus made to include all clerks excepting Civil Service, Army, Navy, Law, Bank, Insurance, and Railway Clerks. The returns, therefore, for 1881 and 1871 are not comparable. Of the 181,457 Commercial Clerks 3,327 were European foreigners, 1,795 being natives of the German Empire.

Merchants and Bankers, though their business keeps them in the daytime in towns, yet so often live outside that a comparison of the numbers present on the night of the Census in the respective great towns would hardly be of much interest. But it is otherwise with the Commercial Clerks as a rule, and we find that of the 181,457 enumerated, 116,520 were present in one or other of the 47 urban districts that had populations exceeding 50,000 persons. There were 60,605 in London, with 1,847 more in West Ham and 1,195 in Croydon, which in this respect may be looked on almost as parts of London, making together 63,647. Next to London came Liverpool with Birkenhead, where 10,961 clerks were enumerated. Then followed Manchester soul Salford, together accounting for 7,324, Birmingham and Aston with 4,907, Leeds with 2,523, Sheffield with 2,265, Bristol with 2,253, Newcastle-on-Tyne with l,993 Kingston-on-Hull with 1,817, Bradford with 1,568, and Nottingham with 1,346. In none of the other towns did the number reach 1,000.


The Agents, Brokers, and Factors numbered 31,208, and were also vastly in excess of the number so returned in 1871; but these terms are used in so vague and indefinite a manner that not much importance can be attached to the returns.


The Bankers, together with the Bank Clerks and generally the Bank Service, numbered 16,055, and exceeded the corrected total for 1871 by 35 per cent.

Persons engaged in Insurance

The increase was still greater among Persons engaged in Insurance. Of these, 15,068 were enumerated, whereas the number returned in 1871, after including 253 Underwriters and 11 Average Adjusters, was only 5,687, or not much more than one-third. This enormous apparent increase naturally leads us to suppose that the method of tabulation must have differed in 1871 from that pursued in 1881, but we can find no. evidence that such was the case.

Accountants, Auctioneers, &c.

The Accountants numbered 11,606, and were 20 per cent, in excess of the corrected total in 1871; and, lastly, the Auctioneers, Valuers, House Agents, 10,075 in number, had increased apparently more than 60 per cent. Some small part of this apparent increase was due to the fact that in 1881 all Valuers were placed to this heading, whereas in 1871 some Valuers were classed by the commodities which they valued Valuers of Mines, for instance, going to Mine Service, and Valuers of Timber and Wood to Timber Merchant. This change, however, can scarcely have had any very important effect on the figures, and, after all allowance for it, the growth under this heading must have been enormous.

Conveyance of goods and of passengers

The number of persons engaged either directly in the Conveyance of Goods and Passengers, or in the industries that are subservient to such traffic, is enormous The ramifications of these branches of industry are so wide and so complicated that it is impossible to follow them all out, and we must content ourselves with an estimate of the main contributories. The traffic may be either by road, by railway or by water and it will be convenient to estimate the three separately.

Road traffic

We will begin with Road traffic; and under it include the following trades and businesses:—

Road Contractor, Surveyor 1,326  
Road Labourer 10,947  
Turnpike-keeper 1,104  
    Total engaged in making and keeping roads   13,377
Makers of Carriages and other Vehicles 27,006  
Wheelwrights 28,732  
Saddlers, Harness makers 23,866  
    Total engaged in making vehicles and harness   79,604
Horse Proprietor, Breeder 2,233  
Groom, Horse-keeper, Breaker 40,863  
Domestic Coachman, Groom 73,167  
Cabman, Flyman, Coachman (not dom) 30,492  
Omnibus, Cab, Livery-stable, &c., keeper 6,787  
Carrier, Carter, Haulier 125,342  
Tramway Service 2,650  
    Total engaged in driving or in care of horses   281,534
Total engaged in Road Traffic   374,515

Among the occupations that are included in the above reckoning is one that is dying out, namely, Turnpike-keeper. The number fell from 3,928 in 1871 to 1,104 in 1881, On the other hand, there are two that barely appeared in the returns for 1871, but had gained very largely in 1881, and, though as yet not of much importance, doubtlessly will make a much more considerable figure in 1891. These are Tramway service, the persons employed in which rose from 63 in 1871 to 2,650 in 1881; and the making of Bicycles and other Velocipedes, which occupied only 12 persons in 1871, but under which 1,072 were classed in 1881, chiefly at Coventry.

Railway traffic

Let us now estimate in the same general way the persons engaged in Railway traffic and its ancillary industries.

Railway Contractors 1,182  
Railway Labourers 36,850  
Platelayers 21,997  
    Total engaged in making and keeping railways   60,029
Railway Carriage-makers 7,570  
Locomotive Engine-makers ?  
    Total engaged in Carriage-making   7,570
Guards 10,296  
Engine-drivers, Stokers 22,856  
Pointsmen, Level-crossing Men 6,205  
Other Railway Officials and Servants 100,051  
    Total engaged with trains or stations   139,408
Total engaged in Railway Traffic   207,007

We can give no estimate of the Locomotive Engine Makers, who are merged in the makers of engines of all kinds, nor of the Rail-makers, who are lumped with the iron steel industries, nor of many other subsidiary trades that might otherwise be included.

Water traffic

There remains Traffic by Water, under which come:—

Ship, Boat, Barge Builders 21,741  
Shipwright, Ship-carpenter (ashore) 3,930  
Ship Riggers, Chandlers, Fitters 2,861  
Anchor, Chain Manufacturers 5,029  
Mast, Yard, Oar, Block, maker 1,419    
Sail-makers 4,129  
    Total engaged in making or equipping vessels   59,109
Seamen (Merchant Service) enumerated 95,093  
Seamen (English and Welsh)* abroad 63,330  
Bargemen, Lightermen, Watermen 30,223  
Boatmen on Seas 1,570  
Pilots 2,991  
Ship Stewards, Cooks 6,767  
    Total seagoing persons   199,974
Navigation Service (on shore) 4,697  
Harbour, Dock, Lighthouse Service 42,643  
    Total of Shore Service   47,340
Total engaged in Water Traffic   306,423
* Only those Merchant Seamen abroad who were of English or Welsh birth are here reckoned in. The total number of Mariners abroad in Foreign-going British Merchant Vessels was 130,587.

The result of this necessarily imperfect estimate of the persons engaged directly or indirectly in the conveyance of goods and passengers is a total of 887,945; and if in addition to these we reckon in the 32,026 persons who were employed in storage, either as Warehousemen or as Weighers, and allow that about two-thirds of the 131,171 persons returned as Messengers, Porters, or Watchmen were occupied in porterage of goods, we have eventually a total of a million of the population employed in transport and its subsidiary industries.

6. Agricultural Class

Under the various headings that are placed together to form the Agricultural Class 1,383,184 persons were enumerated; which number showed, as compared with the total in 1871, duly corrected for comparison, a decline of 8.2 per cent. The Agricultural Class, however, comprises not only those who may properly be called agricultural, as being engaged in cultivation, but also 104,560 persons engaged about animals, many of whom, and especially the Fishermen, are in no sense agricultural persons. The persons engaged in the cultivation of farm lands, including woods and gardens, numbered 1,278,624, and showed a decline since 1871 of 9.3 per cent.


In 1871 there were 249,907 Farmers and Graziers enumerated in England and Wales. In 1881 the number had fallen to 223,943, a decline of 25,964, or of 10.39 per cent. It is true that in 1871 "retired farmers" were included in the reckoning, whereas this was not the case in 1881. But, as has been previously stated, the allowance to be made on this account is probably at the outside some two per cent.; so that the decline in the number of farmers was real and very considerable. Moreover, coincidently with this decline in the number of farmers, there was a notable increase in the number of farm bailiffs. In 1871 these had numbered 16,476, but in 1881 they had risen to 19,377, that is had increased nearly 18 per cent. These figures clearly point to the surrendering of farm-holdings by tenant farmers, and their cultivation by the owner himself or his bailiff.

Agricultural Labourers

As regards Agricultural Labourers, there was also doubtlessly a very considerable Labourers. decline in the interval between the last two enumerations, but it is difficult to deal satisfactorily with this class, because of the confusion between agricultural and other labourers in the schedules. Special attention was called this time to the importance of carefully stating the exact kind of labour in the schedules, and, owing to this, the returns of agricultural labourers were probably more complete in 1881 than on any previous occasion. At any rate we may be perfectly assured that the returns were fully as complete as in 1871, so that any apparent decline in the numbers of this class of persons will be, if anything, below and not above the mark, if we take care to allow the 2 per cent, already mentioned for the omission in 1881 of retired or superannuated labourers from the account. Now, in 1871 the Agricultural Labourers, the Indoor Farm Servants, the Shepherds, and the persons returned simply as Cottagers, amounted together to 981,988, or, after deduction of two per cent, for the superannuated, to, 962,348, whereas in 1881 they numbered only 870,798. There was thus a decline of some 91,550, or of nearly 10 per cent., in this class of labourers. There was also a slight decline in another group of persons who may be regarded as an upper kind of farm labourers, namely, the sons, grandsons, and nephews of farmers, returned as living in the farmhouse and yet not stated to have had any definite occupation. These male relatives of farmers, who may be assumed to have been engaged in farm work, fell from 76,466 in 1871 to 75,197, in 1881.

This decline in the number of agricultural labourers was apparently not due to any falling off in the amount of land under cultivation; for it appears from the Agricultural Returns that though the total acreage of arable land in England and Wales fell from 14,946,179 in 1871 to 13,977,662 in 1881, yet this decline was much more than compensated by an increase in the permanent pasture from 11,376,298 to 13,471,238 acres; so that the acreage of arable and pasture land together had risen from 26,322,477 in 1871 to 27,448,900 in 1881, an increase of 1,126,423 acres or of 4.28 per cent. To what extent the exchange of 968,517 acres of arable land for 2,094,940 acres of permanent pasture would affect the amount of labour required for cultivation is a question which we must leave to agricultural experts.

Some small indication, however, of a reason for the decline in the number of agricultural labourers is perhaps to be found in the fact that the Proprietors of, and Attendants on, Agricultural Machines, who only numbered 2,160 in 1871, had increased to 4,260 in 1881, that is to say, they had doubled in number in the course of the ten years. Machinery had taken the place of hand labour. In 1871 the ratio of agricultural labourers of one kind or other to cultivated land was 3.95 labourers to 100 acres; in 1881 the proportion of labourers to the same area was 3.45, that is to say, the labour had diminished by 12.7 per cent, for like areas of cultivation.

General Labourers

Although General Labourers are not grouped in the agricultural class, with which we are now more especially concerned, yet, inasmuch as there is admittedly a certain amount of confusion in the returns between general and agricultural labourer, it may be well to deal here with this group of workers, and it will be convenient to give a summary view of all such labourers as were abstracted separately.

(Corrected numbers).
Agricultural Labourers 962,348 870,798
General Labourers 506,273 559,769
Railway Navvies and Platelayers 44,169 58,847
Road Labourers 8,136 10,947
  1,520,926 1,500,361

There is a considerable increase under each heading, excepting the agricultural, the general labourers having increased 10.6 per cent., the railway labourers 33.2 per cent., and the road labourers 34.6 per cent. The whole mass of labourers put together, exclusive of labourers in more specialised occupations, was 1,520,926 in 1871, and was 1,500,361, or practically the same, in 1881. Thus the class of labourers had remained stationary, while the general population had increased by 14.36 per cent.

Had the labouring class increased in the same ratio as the general population there would have been 239,016 more of them than were actually enumerated. This number, therefore, may be supposed either to have emigrated or to have adopted more specialised kinds of work.


Passing from the cultivation of fields and pastures to that of gardens, we find some strange differences between the figures for 1871 and for 1881. The number of Market Gardeners had apparently gone down enormously, from 98,069 to 65,882, while the number of Nurserymen and Seedsmen bad gone up, namely, from 5,495 to 7,755. If, however, we look to the heading "Domestic Gardener," we find that the number given in 1871 was 18,688, while the number returned in 1881 was 74,648. It is quite plain that there has been some confusion between Market Gardeners and Domestic Gardeners. In 1881, when a man returned himself simply as Gardener, he was taken, in the absence of any certainty, to be a Domestic Gardener, on the ground that this was likely to be the more numerous class. But our predecessors in 1871 took the contrary view, and considered the gardener undefined to be a Market Gardener. Clearly the only safe plan of comparison under these circumstances is to lump all Gardeners, market or domestic, together, and also with them to take in the Nurserymen and Seedsmen. These together in 1871 amounted to 122,252, or, after due deduction for the "retired," to 119,807, and had increased in 1881 to 148,285 or by 24 per cent.; so that garden cultivation, as measured by the number of persons employed in it would appear to have grown at a much more rapid rate than the general population.


The Fishermen, including 294 women, who were probably shrimp, cockle, or mussel gatherers, numbered 29,696. This tallies very nearly with the estimate formed by the Board of Trade, who calculated that the number of men and boys constantly employed in fishing and resident within the limits of the English and Welsh ports was 29,141 in. 1881, in addition, however, to 12,519 other persons who, though not regular fishermen, were occasionally employed in fishing.

As compared with the corrected total for 1871, there was an increase of no less than 44 per cent, in the enumerated fishermen.

The produce of the industry of these fishermen, who were furnished with the implements of their craft by 1,733 Netmakers and 1,461 Tacklemakers, was distributed to the consumers by 17,906 Fishmongers; so that, disregarding the imported produce of foreign fishers, there was one seller to less than two catchers of fish. Neglecting, as insignificant in number, the few professional, fishermen in inland waters, the fishermen are of course limited by the nature of their industry to the maritime districts. Their distribution, following the coast line, was as follows:—

Northumberland 1,402 Dorsetshire 370
Durham 327 Devonshire 1,826
North Riding 1,232 Cornwall 4,400
East Riding 2,003 Somersetshire 59
Lincolnshire 4,357 Gloucestershire 105
Norfolk 2,898 South Wales 637
Suffolk 2,763 North Wales 284
Essex 980 Cheshire 334
Kent 1,793 Lancashire 1,342
Sussex 1,473 Cumberland 149
Hampshire 527    

7. Industrial Class

The Industrial Class, speaking generally, is the class of Makers and of Shopkeepers. It includes all persons with specified occupations who were not referred to the Professional, Domestic, Commercial, or Agricultural Classes, and by itself outnumbers all these put together. It comprised in 1881 no fewer than 6,373,367 persons, or 24.5 per cent, of the entire population of all ages and both sexes, and 57.0 per cent, of the population with specified occupations. After carefully correcting the figures so as to render them as nearly comparable as possible, it appears that this class increased by somewhat less than 11 per cent, in the interval between the last two Censuses; or in a lower ratio than the general population.

It will be impossible to deal with all the headings and sub-divisions in this huge class. We shall, therefore, make a selection of the chief groups, and confine ourselves to these.

Industries subservient to production of Books, &c.

A fairly natural group of industries may be made by putting together those which are mainly subservient to the production of literature. There are, in the first place, the Authors. Of these no accurate account can be given. Writers of books, and especially of the best books, are scarcely likely to return themselves in the occupation column as Authors. There were, however, 3,434 persons, probably mostly Journalists, who returned themselves either as Author, Editor, or Journalist, to whom may be added 1,200 more who returned themselves as engaged in various scientific pursuits, and who would also be probably contributors to literature. The Journalists were furnished with their daily material by 2,677 Short-hand writers and Reporters; and the Authors had. 1,083 persons to serve them in literary and scientific institutions. This gives us to begin with, 8,394 persons, as the direct or indirect contributors of literature, whom we borrow from the Professional Class.

The physical materials used by these persons are paper, which was derived from 18,629 persons employed in its manufacture, who in their turn received materials from 3,291 Bag-gatherers and dealers; steel pens, made by 2,728 persons, almost all women; pencils, made by 232 persons; and ink, the makers of which were not separately abstracted, but were included with the Makers of Blacking and other Colouring Matter. These goods were sold by 15,241 Stationers, who employed 2,108 persons, almost all women, merely to make envelopes. This second division of our group makes up in all 42,224 persons supplying writers with their materials.

Then come the Printers, numbering 61,290; besides 2,265 Engravers, 6,721 Lithographers, Copper or Steel-plate printers, and Map-makers. The type used by these printers was made by 1,169 Type founders and Cutters.

The printed matter was dealt with by 20,097 Bookbinders, and eventually distributed by 9,910 Publishers, Booksellers, and Librarians. If we also take into account 5,515 Newspaper Agents and News-room keepers, and 1,440 Sellers and Printers of Musical publications, with a few nondescripts, we have eventually a total of 159,094 persons contributing directly or indirectly to literature. Of course all the products of these persons were not literature. The Paper manufacture, for instance, supplied many other industries than the literary. But, on the other hand, there are numerous persons who contribute to fill our bookshelves who cannot be taken into the reckoning; so that the total may stand as a rough approximation.

Comparing the returns for the chief of the above-mentioned occupations in 188,1 with those in 1871, we find, after due correction of the figures, that the Papermakers had increased 13.3 per cent., the Printers 39.6 per cent., the Binders 32.5 per cent., the Stationers 30.7 per cent., and the Publishers, Booksellers, and Librarians 7.7 per cent. In these industries there has been, as in many other handicrafts, a tendency to use female in place of male labour, doubtless on economical grounds. This is shown by the following statement of the proportion of females to 100 males employed in each industry in 1871 and in 1881:—

  1871. 1881.
Paper manufacture 65 80
Printer 2 4
Bookbinder 95 111
Stationer 34 53
Bookseller, Publisher, &c. 15 17

Even in the making of envelopes, which has always been a specially female occupation, the males have lost ground; for in 1871 there were 1,012 females to 100 males employed, whereas in 1881 the female proportion had risen to 1,105.

Makers of Machines and Implements

The number of persons working and dealing in machines and implements was 267,976, who were almost exclusively males. Some of the smaller sub-divisions of this order have already been casually noticed, such as the Musical Instrument Makers, the Surgical Instrument Makers, and the Makers of Apparatus for Games. There remain, however, the three chief sub-orders, namely, the Machine Makers, the Tool-makers, and the makers of Clocks, Watches, and Philosophical Instruments.

Machinery Makers

The makers of Machines of all kinds numbered 160,797, and, after due correction of the figures so as to make them comparable, showed an increase of 28 per cent, upon the return for 1871. The greatest increase was among the makers of Spinning and Weaving machinery, who were 19,896 in number, and almost exactly twice as many as in 1871. The makers of Agricultural Machines and Implements numbered 4,119, and had increased 16 per cent.; while the 6,940 Millwrights, the 26,170 Boiler-makers, the 64,663 Fitters and Turners, together with the 38,481 Makers of Engines and Machines other than spinning or weaving or agricultural, made up a total of 136,254, and showed an increase of 21 per cent. Of this last group of 136,254 persons, 25,864 were enumerated in Lancashire; 17,529 in London; 1,5,591 in the West Riding; 11,132 in Durham; 5,626 in Staffordshire; 5,141 in Northumberland; 3,596 in Warwickshire; and 3,283 in Derbyshire. Of the 19,896 Spinning and Weaving Machinery makers, 9,110 were enumerated in Lancashire; 7,257 in the West Riding; 1,653 in Nottinghamshire; 530 in Cheshire; 452 in Leicestershire; and 318 in Derbyshire.

Makers of Tools and Implements

The Tool and Implement Makers numbered 48,556, and, as compared with the duly corrected total in 1871, showed an increase of scarcely more than 5 per cent. The chief sub-divisions under which they were grouped, and the number of persons in each. sub-division, at the two Censuses, were as follows. The figures for 1871 have been corrected by a deduction of 2 per cent, for the retired.

(Corrected Numbers.)
Tool maker and dealer (undefined) 7,474 9,353
Cutler and Scissors maker 18,958 18,234
File maker 8,821 8,967
Saw maker 1,919 2,116
Pin maker 673 729
Needle maker 4,644 4,455
Steel-pen maker 1,741 2,723
Pencil maker 170 232
  44,400 46,809

It will be seen that though the smaller industries of Steel-pen, Pencil, and Pin making had increased, as also had the group as a whole, yet, under the chief heading of all, Cutler and Scissors maker, there had been a decline, as also under the heading of Needle maker.

The giant share of tool-making belongs to the West Riding, and especially to Sheffield. Of the 18,234 Cutlers and Scissors makers, no fewer than 16,449 were enumerated in this Riding, and of these 15,290 were in Sheffield. Similarly, of the 8,967 File makers, 6,756 were in this Riding, and of them 5,541 were in Sheffield; in this industry, however, Lancashire has a respectable share, 1,042 File makers having been enumerated in that county. Again, of the 2,116 Saw makers, there were 1,237 in Sheffield, and 130 others in the rest of the Biding. Altogether, of the 38,670 Cutlers, Scissors makers, File and Saw makers, and General Tool Makers and Dealers, who were enumerated in the country, no fewer than 27,553 were enumerated in the West Biding, and of these 24,206 were in Sheffield. The only other counties in which these tool-making industries can be said to be carried on, are Staffordshire, Warwickshire, and Lancashire, in which, respectively, 2,011, 2,783, and 2,168 such Tool makers and dealers were enumerated.

The manufactures of Needles, Pins, Steel-pens, and Pencils are carried on elsewhere. Of the 4,455 Needle makers, 2,394 were enumerated in Warwickshire, 1,555 in Worcestershire, 245 in Leicestershire, and 193 in Nottinghamshire, leaving only 68 scattered in other parts.

Of the 729 Pin makers, 406 were enumerated in Warwickshire, mostly in Birmingham and Aston, 180 were enumerated in Gloucestershire, in the Stroud district, and 51 in Worcestershire.

Of the 2,723 Steel-pen makers, 2,578 were enumerated in Birmingham and Aston, 75 in Worcestershire, and 30 in Staffordshire. This manufacture is almost exclusively in the hands of women, who outnumbered the men in the proportion of 1,138 women to 100 men.

The making of Pencils is carried on chiefly at Keswick, in Cumberland, in which county 116, or exactly half of the entire 232, were enumerated; of the remainder, 77 were enumerated in London, and 32 in Birmingham.

Makers of Clocks, Watches, and Scientific Instruments

From Tools and Implements we pass on to instruments of greater delicacy and complexity, such as Clocks, Watches, Optical and Philosophical Instruments. The total number of persons returned in this sub-order was 32,064, almost exclusively of the male sex, and was about 22 per cent, in excess of the corrected total in 1871.

The most important heading in the sub-order is that of the Watch and Clock makers, who numbered 23,351, and had increased 12 per cent. Probably, in many cases, the Watchmakers are not distinguishable from Goldsmiths, Silversmiths, and Jewellers, who are not included in this sub-order, but numbered 24,715, and had increased 14.5 per cent., or much in the same ratio as the population. The Opticians and Philosophical Instrument makers, also doubtlessly often mixed up with the Watchmakers, numbered 3,605, and had risen by 13.5 per cent. The Makers of Electrical Apparatus, who in 1871 only numbered 428, had risen with the development of electrical science to 2,522 in 1881. The remaining heading in the sub-order, Makers of Measuring and Weighing Apparatus, included 2,586 persons, showing an apparent increase in the decade of not far from 50 per cent. The tabulation, however, under this heading was probably somewhat uncertain.

Makers of Guns and Weapons

The Makers of Weapons comprised 8,227 persons, of whom 2,741 were Gunsmiths. Makers of The Gunsmiths had declined very considerably in number since 1871, when 11,576 were returned. This is the more noticeable, inasmuch as the Gamekeepers had slightly increased in the same period, haying risen from 12,431 to 12,633. Probably the reduction in the number of Gunsmiths is to be explained by the decline in the export of small fire-arms from the United Kingdom, which fell from an annual mean of 469,207 in 1870-71 to a mean of 259,563 in 1880-81,—a decline of 45 per cent. Of the 7,741 persons returned as Gunsmiths, 4,408, or considerably more than half, were enumerated in Birmingham or Aston.

Building Trades

The number of persons employed in Building trades, using this general term to Building include Architects, Builders, Carpenters, Joiners, bricklayers, Masons, Slaters, Tilers, trades. Plasterers, "Whitewashes, Paperhangers, Plumbers, Painters, and Glaziers, amounted to 673,636. But in order to make a comparison with 1871 we must also include 4,150 Paviours, as in the Census of 1871 Masons and Paviours were not distinguished. This gives us a total of 677,786 persons employed in these allied branches of industry. The number engaged in the same trades in 1871 was 571,217, which is reduced by correction for the "retired" to 559,793. The growth of the Building trades, as shown by the number of persons engaged, was thus 21 per cent, in the course of the ten years. These trades, therefore, had grown in higher proportion than the general population.

Of what this army of Builders may have done in the course of the ten years in the way of repairs, alterations, additions, and substitution of new houses for old houses no account can be given. But, as shown in the Summary Table (Vol. I., Table I.), taking the inhabited and uninhabited houses together, there were 697,733 more houses in 1881 than in 1871. There were, moreover, 46,414 houses in course of construction at the date of the Census in 1881 against 37,803 in 1871.

Stone, Slate, Cement, Brick and Tile industries

If the Building trades had thus increased, we should expect to find a corresponding growth in those trades which provide the Builder with his materials, namely, among the Stone and Slate quarriers and workers, the Cement and Plaster makers, and the Brick and Tile makers; and this anticipation is justified by the figures. The numbers engaged in these industries in 1871 was, after correction for the retired, 81,928; it had grown in 1881 to 105,544, that is, it had increased by 29 per cent., or even in a higher ratio than the Builders themselves.

Furnishing trades

From the Building trades, and those who supply the Builders with their materials, Furnishing we pass naturally to the Furnishing trades, tinder this heading a vast number of trades, trades might be classed. We shall take, however, the following as forming the group, Upholsterers, Cabinet Makers, French Polishers, Locksmiths, Bellhangers, Gas Fitters, House and Shop Fittings Makers and Dealers, Wood Carvers, Carvers and Gilders, Furniture Dealers, and Carpet and Rug Manufacturers. The total number of persons returned as engaged in these trades was 124,355, while the corrected number in 1871 was 106,108. The growth in these trades had,, therefore, been at the rate of nearly 17 per cent., or again more rapid than that of the population.

The Carpet and Rug Manufacture had grown 23 per cent., and, as in the other textile manufactures, there had been a great increase in the proportion of female to male labour employed in it. In 1871 the proportion was 47 to 100, in 1881 it was 59 to 100.

China, Earthenware, and Glass manufacturers and dealers

In the above account of the Furnishing industries we did not include the manufactures of Earthenware, China, and Glass, thinking it better to give the figures of these industries separately. The total workers and dealers in these articles numbered 74,407, showing an increase of 8 per cent, upon the corrected total for 1871. These industries, therefore, in contrast with the other Furnishing trades, do not appear to have grown in equal proportion with the population.

Putting out of the account the mere dealers in Glass and Earthenware, and confining ourselves to the Manufacturers, we find an increase of 5 per cent, in the Earthenware and China industry, and of 10 per cent, in the manufacture of Glass.

The Glass manufacture is almost monopolized by men, there being 19,938 men and only 1,692 women returned as engaged in it, or nearly twelve men to one woman. Not so the manufacture of China and Earthenware. Here the female sex has a considerable share, the males employed numbering 28,719, and the females 17,877.

The great bulk of the China and Earthenware Manufactures is carried on in Staffordshire; for of the 46,596 persons employed in these industries, no fewer than 36,230 were enumerated in this county.

The Glass manufacture is more widely distributed. For of the 21,630 persons engaged in it, 5,984 were enumerated in Lancashire, 3,591 in the West Riding, 2,884 in Durham, 2,769 in London, 2,089 in Worcestershire, 1,752 in Warwickshire, 1,151 in Staffordshire, and only 1,410 in all the other counties.

Carriage and Harness makers

We have already incidentally spoken of Carriage and Harness makers, as also of Harness Shipbuilders and Riggers, when we were dealing with the conveyance of goods. A few makers. additional words are required, however, as to the comparison of the figures under these headings with those of 1871.

The Makers of Carriages and of Vehicles of all kinds, excepting bicycles, &c., numbered 62,236, and exceeded, the corrected total in 1871 by 13.9 per cent. The Harness Makers numbered 23,866, and had increased by 5.8 per cent.

Ship Builders, &c.

The Ship and Boat Builders, including the Riggers, Fitters, Chandlers, Sailmakers, &c., numbered 54,080, whereas the uncorrected total in 1871 was only 45,164. The figures, however, are not comparable; for in 1871 the return did not include Shipwrights or others employed by the Government, who were classed on that occasion with. "Government Messengers, Workmen," whereas in 1881 they were referred to their trade.

Purveyors of Food and Drink

The Purveyors of Food form a very large class. They may be divided roughly into those who supply us with Animal Food, those who supply us with Bread and Vegetables, those who supply us with Groceries, and those who supply us with Spirituous or other Drinks.

The Purveyors of Animal Food, including 81,702 Butchers and Meat Salesmen, 3,591 Poulterers and Game Dealers, 17,906 Fishmongers, 16,584 Provision Curers and Dealers, 25,805 Milksellers, and 4,379 Buttermen and Cheesemongers, numbered in all 149,967, and exceeded the corrected total for 1871 by 15.4 per cent.

The Purveyors of Bread and Vegetables, including 23,462 Millers, 9,966 Corn or Flour Dealers, 71,032 Bakers, 25,534 Pastrycooks or Confectioners, and 29,614 Greengrocers and Fruiterers, numbered 159,608, and exceeded the corrected total for 1871 by 12.5 per cent.

The Dealers in Groceries, including 129,818 Grocers and Tea Dealers, 3,070 Sugar Refiners, and 1,509 Makers and Sellers of Mustard or other Condiments, numbered 134,397, and exceeded the corrected total for 1871 by 18.8 per cent.

The Purveyors of Spirituous Drinks, including 438 Hop Dealers, 9,531 Maltsters, 24,567 Brewers, 86,689 Innkeepers, Publicans, and Beersellers, together with 7,889 Wine or Spirit Merchants, and 6,044 Cellarmen, numbered 135,158, and showed; as compared with the corrected total for 1871, a decline of 5.8 per cent.

It thus appears that, while in each of the other great branches of food-supply there was a growth, fairly proportionate to the growth of the population, in the supply of spirituous drinks there was exceptionally a decline. The actual decline was, as shown, in the ratio of 5.8 per cent. But, if we take into consideration the growth of the population, it was much more, these trades having fallen off, for equal populations, no less than 17.7 per cent.

If to the above-mentioned Purveyors of Food be added 4,662 Makers and Dealers in Mineral Waters, 8,173 Coffee-house or Eating-house Keepers, and 30 nondescripts, we have a total of 591,995 persons engaged in purveying food; with whom are further grouped in the table 37,376 Keepers of Lodging or Boarding Houses, making the total in this order amount to 629,371 persons.


Many of those who deal in food also deal in tobacco; but the number of persons who were returned as dealing in this commodity, or in pipes and other smoking apparatus, was 22,175, or 34 per cent, more than the corrected total in 1871.

Makers of Textile Fabrics

The persons returned as working and dealing in Textile fabrics numbered 1,053,648, or, in round numbers, a million.

Cotton Manufacture

By far the most important of these industries is the Manufacture of Cotton and Cotton goods. The persons engaged in this manufacture, including 8,187 Fustian makers. 1,891 Tape makers, and 2,170 Thread makers, numbered in all 500,025; to whom are further to be added 26,682 Cotton printers, dyers, and bleachers, and 3,554 Cotton warehousemen and dealers. This makes up a grand total of 530,261 persons, without reckoning in the 82,362 Drapers or the 1,884 Manchester warehousemen, who deal in other goods besides cotton. Thus the cotton industries by themselves more than equal all the other textile industries put together.

The Cotton printers and dyers, as also the Cotton, warehousemen and dealers, are chiefly males, but the Cotton manufacture itself employs very many more females than males, the number of the former being 310,374 and of the latter 189,651, or 164 females to 100 males. Moreover, the proportion of females to males has increased with successive Censuses. In 1861 there were 130 females employed to 100 males; in 1871 the female proportion rose to 148; and in 1881, as already mentioned, to 164. Not only has the proportion of females to males increased, but the absolute number of males has declined. The entire increase has been on the side of the women. Putting aside the printers and dyers, and the warehousemen and dealers, we have the following figures for three successive Censuses:—

Males 202,540 192,881 189,651
Females 264,166 286,258 310,374
Total 466,706 479,139 500,025

In 1871 the increase under the head of Cotton manufacture was 2.7 per cent, upon the total for 1861; and, if we correct the figures for 1871 by a deduction of two per cent, for the "retired" operatives, as previously explained, the increase in 1881 was 6.5 per cent. This manufacture, therefore, if measured by the number of persons employed, increased in the interval between 1871 and 1881 more rapidly than in the preceding decennium, but nevertheless did not grow in equal proportion to the population. According, however, to the returns of the Board of Trade, the increase, as measured by the declared quantity of Cotton goods exported from the United Kingdom between 1870-1 and 1880-1, was 39 per cent.

Of the 530,261 persons employed in Cotton industries, including again the printers and dyers and the Cotton warehousemen and dealers, no fewer than 432,146 were enumerated in Lancashire, 28,485 in Cheshire, 40,606 in the West Riding of Yorkshire, 14,854 in Derbyshire, and only 14,170 in all the other counties.

Linen Manufacture

The Manufacture of Linen forms but a small industry in this country, and an industry, moreover, that appears to be declining; for, whereas in 1871 the corrected number of persons employed in it amounted to 17,772, in 1881 there were but 12,065, showing a decline of 32 per cent. As in most other textile manufactures, the female outnumbered the male hands. There were 7,853 of the former to 4,212 of the latter. This manufacture is mainly carried on in the West Riding of Yorkshire and in Lancashire, where 6,860 and 2,840 persons respectively were enumerated as engaged in it.

Lace Manufacture

More important is the Lace industry. This employed 44,144 persons, of whom 32,785 were females. But this industry also seems to have declined, for the corrected number of persons engaged in it in 1871 was 48,383, the falling-off in the following decade being 8.8 per cent. The probable explanation of this decline is the gradual and increasing supersession of pillow-made or bone lace by lace bobbin-net, first made by hand-machines, but more recently by water-power or steam-power. This explanation of the matter is confirmed by the fact that the decline occurred in those counties where hand-made lace is made, namely, Bedfordshire, Devonshire, Buckinghamshire, and Northamptonshire, while in Nottinghamshire and the adjoining part of Derbyshire, where lace is made by machinery, there was an increase of no less than 36 per cent.

The following are the figures for each of the lace-making counties for the last three Censuses, the figures for 1861 and 1871 being uncorrected.

COUNTY. 1861. 1871. 1881.
Buckinghamshire 8,501 8,106 4,456
Northamptonshire 8,221 6,404 3,232
Bedfordshire 6,728 6,077 4,792
Devonshire 5,263 4,658 3,428
Nottinghamshire 16,712 16,620 22,228
Derbyshire 1,977 1,725 2,233

The substitution of machinery for hand labour further explains why the proportion of females to males employed in this industry declined in the decade 1871-1881, whereas in other textile manufactures the reverse was the case, and the proportion of female labour increased. In 1871 the females employed in Lace-making were 83 per cent., whereas in 1881 they were but 74 per cent., of the whole.

Hosiery Manufacture

The Hosiery manufacture occupied 40,372 persons, and showed a slight decline as compared with 1871, when the corrected number was 41,197. This industry is almost confined to Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire, with the adjoining part of Derbyshire, there being also a small isolated factory in Cardiganshire. The figures for those counties are an follows:—

COUNTY 1861.
Leicestershire 22,276 20,286 21,594
Nottinghamshire 18,452 17,161 14,155
Derbyshire 2,960 2,286 2,275
Cardiganshire 515 819 799

In this manufacture, also, female labour appears to be supplanting male labour to a Considerable extent. In 1871 there were 114 males employed to 100 females, but in 1881 the proportion was exactly inverted and there were 114 females to 100 males.

Woollen Manufacture

Next in importance to Cotton among textile fabrics come Wool and Worsted. The workers and dealers in these substances, excluding those employed in the Carpet and Rug manufacture, of which we shall speak separately, numbered 233,256; and, comparing this total with the corrected total for 1871, it would appear that these great industries had slightly declined, viz., by 1.5 per cent., in the course of the decade.

Cloth Manufacture

The Woollen Cloth manufacture occupied 115,808 persons, about 8 per cent. Less Than the corrected number in 1871. In 1871 the females employed in it were considerably outnumbered by the males, there being only 79 of the former to 100 of the latter. But in 1881 female labour had taken the place of male labour to such an extent that the males were slightly outnumbered, the proportion being 102 females to 100 males.

Cloth manufacture is mainly carried on in the West Riding of Yorkshire, where 85,062 persons employed in it wore enumerated. Next came Lancashire with 11,317; Gloucestershire with 4,403; Wiltshire with 3,886; and Somersetshire with 1,881. The order was the same in 1871.

Worsted and Stuff Manufacture

The Worsted and Stuff manufactures occupied 99,237 persons, which was almost exactly the same as the corrected total in 1871. In this industry the female outnumbered the male hands in much higher proportion than was the case in the Cloth manufacture. In the latter, as we have seen, there were 102 female hands to 100 male hands, but in the Worsted and Stuff manufacture the females were in the proportion of 180 1o 100 males. As in other textile industries, they had partly superseded the males in the course of the decade; for in 1871 there were but 162 female to 100 male hands.

This manufacture is almost exclusively confined to the West Riding of Yorkshire, whore 95,485 of the 99,237 were enumerated. Of the remainder, 1,570 were in Lancashire, and 804 in Leicestershire, leaving only 1,288 elsewhere.

Blanket and Flannel Manufactures

The Blanket manufacture occupied 2,687 persons, whereas in 1871 only 1,845 persons were returned under it, Of the 2,687 persons engaged in this industry, 2,362 enumerated in the West Riding and 220 in Oxfordshire against 1,681 and 125 respectively in 1871.

The Flannel manufacture had remained stationary during the decade, for in 1871 there were 1,158 and in 1881 there were 1,126 persons engaged therein.

Carpet Manufacture

The Carpet and Rug Manufacture employed 13,985 persons, which was 23 per cent. in excess of the corrected number in 1871, This industry differs from other textile manufactures in having a larger number of male than of female workers, The males were 8,795, and the females only 5,190, Even here, however, a tendency to substitute female for male labour is apparent; for while in 1871 there were 47 women to 100 men in the business, in 1881 the female proportion had risen to 59.

The main seats of this manufacture are in Worcestershire and in the West Riding Of Yorkshire; and it would appear from the following table that the increase in 1871-81 occurred exclusively in the former county

Worcestershire 1,673 3,590 6,659
West Riding of Yorkshire 3,735 5,056 4,621
Other Counties 2,057 2,922 2,705

Silk Manufacture

The persons employed in the manufacture of Silk and Silk goods, including Satin, Velvet, Ribbon, Crape, and Gauze, numbered 60,595. To these must be added 1680 Silk Dyers or Printers, and 1,302 Silk Merchants, making a total of 63,577 returned as engaged in making or selling Silk goods. As compared with the corrected total for 1871, this showed a decline of 22.2 per cent. The decline was at the rate of 22.5 per cent, in the Silk, Satin, Velvet, and Crape manufactures; and of 31.9 per cent, in the Ribbon manufacture, under which small industry 2,064 persons were returned. The Silk Merchants declined 17.0 per cent. The Silk Dyers and Printers did not participate in the decline, but on the contrary increased by about 5.5 per cent. Coincidently with this decline in the persons employed in the Silk manufacture there was an even greater decline in the amount of raw silk imported into the country. This fell, in round numbers, from 14 million pounds in the two years 1870 and 1871, to 6 million pounds in 1880 and 1881,.a fall of 55 per cent.

In the Silk and Ribbon manufactures, as in most other textile industries, the females employed largely outnumbered the males, there being 224 of the former to 100 of the latter. The proportion, moreover, of the females had increased; for in 1871 there were but 208 females to 100 males.

The counties which were the chief seats of the Silk manufacture, and the numbers of persons employed in each of such counties, were as follow; the returns for 1871 not being corrected for "retired."

COUNTY. 1871. 1881.
Cheshire 17,768 14,206
Lancashire 15,920 10,317
Warwickshire 13,444 9,109
West Riding of Yorkshire 3,764 5,387
London 5,792 3,877
Staffordshire 4,371 3,789
Essex 3,032 2,803
Norfolk 2,602 2,623
Derbyshire 4,000 2,323
Nottinghamshire 2,001 1,250
Suffolk 1,703 1,173
Somersetshire 1,138 961
Wiltshire 802 670
Hertfordshire 944 546
Gloucestershire 651 511
Other Counties 2,200 1,050
Total 80,132 60,595

It will be noticed that in the West Riding of Yorkshire there was a very considerable increase in the decade preceding the Census of 1881; that in Norfolk the number remained practically unaltered; but that in each of the other counties there was a large falling off. The increase in the West Riding was due to the establishment of a large factory at Bradford.

Workers in Hemp, &c.

The Workers in Hemp and other fibrous materials numbered 22,471, the males Workers in employed in these rough textile industries outnumbering the females, of whom there Hemp, &c. were but 60 to 100 males. In some of the headings, however, that come into this Sub-order the female workers predominated. Thus of the 3,478 persons returned as engaged in the manufacture of Hemp, Jute, or Cocoa fibre, 2,297 were women; of the 1,733 Networkers, 1,481 were women; and so also were 1,594 of the 2,169 persons engaged in the manufacture or sale of Sacking and Sacks. Of the Hemp industries, the largest is that of the Rope and Twine Makers. These numbered 11,751, mostly males, and, as compared with the corrected total of 1871, showed a slight increase. Ropemaking is canned on in all parts of the country; but the localities in which the numbers of workers were highest were, Lancashire 2,384, London 1,404, Dorsetshire 1,118 and the West Riding of Yorkshire 1,040; so that those four areas between them account for a full half of the Rope and Twine makers.

Persons working and dealing in Dress

In treating of the great group of "Persons working and dealing in Dress" we shall depart from the table us printed, by omitting the 14,988 Hair-dressers and Wigmakers, and by including the 82,362 Drapers and Mercers. The group as thus constituted numbered a million, or, more exactly, 1,048,534 persons, of whom 404,096 were males, and 644,438 were females. As compared with the corrected returns for 1871, this great group taken as a whole had increased by only 7.1 per cent. There were, however as we shall see, enormous differences in this respect between the several kinds of dress fabrication.


Among these workers in dress by far the most numerous were the Milliners, Dressmakers, and Staymakers. These together numbered 360,932 persons, almost exclusively women, and exceeded the corrected total for 1871 by 18.4 per cent.


The Tailors numbered 160,648, and exceeded the corrected total for 1871 by Only 5.2 per cent. Thus the Milliners, Dressmakers, and Staymakers had increased almost twice as much as the Tailors. There was one Milliner, &c. to every 37 females, and one Tailor to every 79 males. The proportion of females to males in this latter employment had considerably increased; in 1871 there was one tailoress to three taylors, whereas in 1881 there was one to two.


The Seamstresses and shirtmakers numbered 83,244, and had grown since 1871 by only 5.2 per cent. It is true that there were also 7,524 women returned vaguely as Machine-workers or Machinists, and probably a large proportion of these were Seamstresses: but this cannot explain the small growth of this class of Needle-workers since 1871: for, in the Census of that date, the indefinite Machine-workers or Machinists were vastly more numerous, the females under this heading numbering no fewer than 20,971. The small growth, or actual decline, in the number of seamstresses is probably to be explained by the increased use of the sewing-machine; thought it may also be true that many women are now returned as "tayloress" or as "milliner's assistant" who were formally returned as "seamstress," the line of demarcation between these sewing industries being very vague.

Putting the three groups together as representing needle-workers who have a total of 604,824 persons, and an increase since 1871 of 14.0 per cent., or much the same as the increase of the population. The comparison, however, with 1871 is much vitiated by the large number of indefinite female machinists returned at that date.


The Boot and Shoe Makers, exclusive of 7,503 Pattern and Clog Makers, numbered 216,556. They had slightly declined in number since 1871, when their corrected total was 219,213. If we look still further back to earlier Censuses, we find that there was an even greater decline in this industry in the interval between 1861 and 1871, so far as can be judged from the number of worker. Here are the figures, corrected for the retired, and for slight differences of classification:—

1851 235,447
1861 246,493
1871 219,213
1881 216,556

As boots and shoes are among the most indispensable of goods, it is highly improbable that their production should have declined, while the population increased by 14.36 per cent. The most probable explanation is that the use of machinery has gradually supplanted hand-work in this industry; and this accords with the fact that in Northamptonshire and Leicestershire, which are the chief, though not the only seats of the manufacture of machine-made boots, the number of bootmakers increased enormously, namely, 34 per cent., in the interval between 1861 and 1871, and 41 per cent. In the interval between 1871 and 1881. The making of boots and shoes is mainly in the hands of male workers; but, as in many other industries so in this, there has been a great increase in the proportion of female labour. In 1871 the proportion was 13 females to 100 males; but in 1881 the proportion was 20 to 100


The Hatters, excluding Straw-hat makers, numbered 22,689, and were mostly men, Their increase since 1871 was under seven per cent.

Straw Plait Manufacture

The makers of Straw Hats and Bonnets, and generally of Straw Plait, numbered 30,984, and showed a decline since 1871 of no less than 35 per cent. This industry had indeed shown signs of decay or of arrest in the preceding intercensal period, during which the numbers of persons employed in it remained stationary in spite of the growth of the population. This industry is practically monopolized by females, though a few males are engaged in it as agents and dealers. It is confined to a few counties; for of the 30,984 persons returned under it, 17,316 were enumerated in Bedfordshire, 7,882 in Hertfordshire, 1,741 in Buckinghamshire, 930 in Essex, 781 in Suffolk, and only 2,334 in the rest of England and Wales.

Notwithstanding the smallness of the increase in the number of Hatters, and the great decline in the Straw Plait manufacture, it appears from the returns of the Board of Trade that the export of hats of all kinds from the United Kingdom rose from 452,153 dozen in 1871 to 1,025,931 dozen in 1881.

Hosiery Manufacture

The Hosiery manufacture employed 40,372 persons, more than half of whom were females; but of this manufacture we have spoken already, when dealing with Textile fabrics.


In previous Censuses, an attempt was made to divide the Glovers into those who made leather gloves and those who made gloves of other materials. But the distinction could not be made with any accuracy, as a large proportion of these workers return themselves simply as Glover, without specifying the material. We have therefore in this case, as in many others, abandoned a distinction which could not be made in a satisfactory manner. The Glovers of all kinds numbered 15,524, of whom 13,261, or 85 per cent., were females. The corrected total for 1871 was 22,590, so that this industry would appear to have declined no less than 31 per cent. How far this decline is to be explained by the use of sewing machines, and how far by increased importation of foreign-made gloves, we are unable to say. Of the 15,524 Glovers, 4,913 were enumerated in Somersetshire, 3,003 in Worcestershire, 2,180 in Dorsetshire, 1,533 in Oxfordshire, 1,242 in Devonshire, and 2,653 in the rest of England and Wales.

Drapers, Mercers, Hosiers, Haberdashers, &c.

The Drapers, Mercers, Hosiers, and Haberdashers together amounted to 91,927, and as compared with 1871 showed an increase of 13.2 per cent.; that is to say, they had increased in nearly the same proportion as the population.

To the industries already mentioned must be further added 616 Shawl makers, 6,407 Button makers, 8,230 Umbrella, Parasol, and Stick makers, 600 Accoutrement makers, and 2,302 Old Clothes dealers and nondescripts, making up as before said a grand total of slightly over a million. The list of industries grouped under Dress might indeed be further extended. We might, for instance, have included the 2,421 Embroiderers, the 6,499 Trimming makers, and the 8,148 Furriers and Skinners. So also a very large proportion of the persons employed in the manufactures of Cotton, Woollen, Worsted, Linen, and Silk fabrics should be reckoned as ministering to dress. But all these we have excluded as only partly employed in the preparation of dress materials. Were it possible to make due allowance for these, in all probability it would be found that the number of persons occupied in clothing us could scarcely be less than a million and a half.

Miners and Mine Service

The Miners of all kinds numbered 437,670, and with 2,291 Mining-engineers, and 3,602 persons engaged in Mine service, made up a total of 443,563.

The great bulk of the Miners were employed in the coal-fields; the Coal-miners by themselves numbering no fewer than 381,763, or 87 per cent, of the whole. Of these Coal-miners 65,515 were enumerated in Durham, 60,801 in Lancashire, 55,818 in the West Riding of Yorkshire, 44,864 in Glamorganshire, 37,514 in Staffordshire, 20,752 in Northumberland, 18,959 in Nottinghamshire, 17,424 in Derbyshire, 14,936 in Monmouthshire, 5,416 in Denbighshire, 5,393 in Cumberland, 5,079 in Somersetshire, and 29,292 in the remaining counties.

Next in numbers to the Coal-miners came the Ironstone miners, numbering 26,110, and mainly enumerated in the North Riding of Yorkshire Cumberland, Lancashire and Staffordshire, Then followed the Tin-miners, 12,402 m number, and almost entirely in Cornwall, After these, the Lead-miners of whom 11,226 were returned, and who formed two main divisions, one in the Welsh counties of Cardigan Montgomery, Flint, Denbigh and Carnarvon, in which five counties, 5,357, or nearly half the whole, were enumerated; the other in the Northern English counties of Derby, York, Durham, Northumberland, Cumberland, and Westmorland. which together accounted for 4,780 more. Of the remainder, 407 were in Cornwall, 302 in Shropshire, and. 380 in all other parts.

The Copper-miners numbered only 4,067, and of these 3,505 were in Cornwall and Devonshire, 279 in the Isle of Anglesey, and only 283 in the other counties. Finally, there were 2,102 miners of other or unspecified minerals.

Comparing the figures for 1881 with the corrected figures for 1871, we find that the persons returned as working in mines had increased in the interval by 24 per cent. Unfortunately so large a number of miners were returned in 1871 without specification of the kind of mineral in which they worked, that it is impossible to make any accurate comparison of the numbers of each separate class of miners at the two periods. It is plain, however, that Coal-mining at any rate has increased very largely; for even if we consider that all the 38,712 undefined miners in 1871 were Coal-miners, which is highly improbable, and further make no deduction for the "retired" Coal-miners, we still have an increase of no less than 23 per cent. "We may be sure, then, that Coal-mining, as measured by the number of persons employed, increased between 1871 and 1881 by fully 20 per cent.; and this tallies with the returns made by the Board of Trade, from which it appears that the output of Coal in 1881 was 31.4 per cent, more than in 1871.

We can also make some kind of comparison in the case of the Tin-miners, in the following way:—Cornwall is the only county in which there is any considerable number of Tin-miners; and the only other miners in this county are Copper-miners and a few Lead-miners. Now in 1871 the enumerated male Tin-miners in Cornwall numbered 10,393, and the enumerated male Copper and Lead miners numbered 3,513, while in the same county there were 7,315 male miners of undefined minerals. Dividing these latter, who must have been either tin, copper, or lead miners, between these groups in the proportions of their enumerated numbers, we have a total of 15,860 Tin-miners in Cornwall in 1871; and, correcting this for the "retired" by a deduction of 2 per cent., we have a total of 15,543 in 1871, to compare with the total of 10,253 in 1881. It thus appears that the Tin miners in Cornwall decreased by 34 per cent, or thereabouts in the interval between the two Censuses. The amount of tin produced in the United Kingdom also fell off, according to the Board of Trade returns, by 21 per cent, in the same interval.

Metal workers

From the Miners we pass on naturally to the Workers in Metal, including under this general term those who smelt the ore, as well as those who deal with the metals thus extracted. The number of these Metal-workers is difficult of estimation, in more than a rough fashion, so intricate are their ramifications, and so mixed up are they in many cases with workers in non-metallic, industries. Putting together, however, all those headings in the Occupation Tables that relate to workers and dealers in metals, or in products that consist mainly of metal, we have a total of 760,411 persons; or, without affecting an accuracy that is of course impossible, of some three-quarters of a million. Treating the Occupation Returns of 1871 in the same way, we find, after correction for the retired, that the workers and dealers in metal had increased in the intercensal decade by about 15 per cent., or in a slightly higher ratio than the general population.

The Workers in metal might be divided into those who extract the metal from the ore, that is, the smelters, dressers, and the like; those who work the metal into comparatively coarse and simple forms, such as plates, rails, girders, or articles for rough usage; and those who construct articles of greater delicacy or complexity, such as machinery, tools, and watches. But, unfortunately, the excessively vague way in which a large proportion of the Metal-workers returned their occupation rendered this, and indeed any tabulation of them, very unsatisfactory. We found, for instance, that it was quite impossible to separate the Tin-smelters from the Tin-plate workers, or these from the Tinmen or Tinkers; the Copper-smelters from the Coppersmiths, and so on. We were obliged, therefore, to abandon these and many other distinctions which we had proposed to retain, and to lump all the Tin-workers together, as also the Copper-workers; and although in the case of Iron-workers we were able to separate a few well-marked industries, such as Nail-making and Anchor and Chain making, yet the great bulk of the Iron industries had to be thrown together under a single heading.

The makers of machines, tools, and metallic articles of greater delicacy, in which the form given by the workman vastly outweighs the material in importance, as a rule return their occupations in a clearer and more definite manner than the comparatively undifferentiated makers of coarser goods; and consequently of this higher class of metal workers we have been able to give better account. Putting these aside, we must deal with the others in a very summary manner.

Iron and Steel manufactures

The Workers and Dealers in Iron and Steel numbered 361,343; and only exceeded the corrected total in 1871 by some three per cent. Among them were 18,741 Nail-makers, and 5,029 Anchor and Chain makers. The Anchor and Chain makers remained much the same in number as in 1871; but the Nailmakers had fallen off by 18 per cent,, probably owing to the increased use of wire and other foreign-made nails.

Copper, Tin, Zinc, Lead manufactures

The Workers and Dealers in Copper numbered 7,348, and exceeded the corrected total in 1871 by 30 per cent. The Workers and Dealers in Tin numbered 36,923, and had increased by over 40 per cent. The Workers and Dealers in Zinc numbered 2,265, and had increased by 34 per cent. Finally, the Workers and Dealers in Lead, 2,460 in number, had fallen off by 27 per cent.

Workers and dealers in Mixed or Unspecified Metals

Among the Workers and Dealers in Mixed or Unspecified Metals, the largest group is that of the Brass Workers, with whom may be grouped the Bronze Workers, and the Makers of Lamps, Candlesticks, and Chandeliers. These together amounted to 30,918, and exceeded the corrected total in 1871 by 36 per cent. The persons engaged in the White Metal, Electro-Plate, and Plated Ware manufactures, together with the Pewterers, numbered 5,629, and had increased very greatly, the uncorrected total returned under these headings in 1871 having been only 3,407. The Makers of Bolts, Nuts, Rivets, Screws, and Staples numbered 8,017, and had also increased very greatly, the uncorrected total in 1871 having been 5,726. The Burnishers and Lacquerers, who differ from most of the Metal-workers in being chiefly of the female sex, numbered 2,687, and had increased nearly 30 per cent. In the case of all these groups of Metal-workers, excepting the Iron-workers, the numbers are comparatively small, so that very small differences in the accuracy of the returns, or in the methods of tabulation, would seriously affect the comparison of the figures for the two Censuses. Still the rate of apparent increase or decrease is so great in each case that, when every allowance is made for possible inaccuracies, we may still feel assured that the changes agreed, if not in actual amount yet in direction, with those indicated.

8. Unoccupied Class .

There remain for brief consideration those persons who were returned without any specified occupation, constituting what we have styled the Unoccupied class.

In 1871 the class called the "Indefinite and Non-productive Class" comprised not only persons without specified occupations, but also the considerable body of persons whose occupations were described in the schedules in general or vague terms, such as General Labourer, Artisan, Apprentice, &c., or in terms the meaning of which was unknown. These latter we have removed to the Industrial class, and our Unoccupied6 class comprises and is confined to all those persons who were returned by rank, property, &c., and not by occupation, including all children under five years of age.

The Class comprised 14,786,875 persons, or 57 per cent, of the entire population, the females in it being to the males in the proportion of rather more than two to one.

Children and aged persons

It included, in the first place, 8,936,851 children and young persons under 15 years of age, most of whom were simply unoccupied in the sense that they were as yet preparing for the various businesses of later life. Secondly, it included 532,441 others, who were 15 but under 20 years of age, and of whom also a large proportion were preparing for active life. Thirdly, it included 676,393 persons who were 65 years of age or more, and of whom a large number had been engaged in business, but had retired.

Wives and other women engaged in domestic duties

Excluding these three classes of persons there remained 4,641,190 who were 20 but not yet 65 years of age, that is to say, who were in the working prime of life, and yet were without specified occupation. Of these, however, 4,458,908 were women; Wives and of whom by far the greater part were married and engaged in the management of domestic life, and who can only be called unoccupied, when that term is used in the limited sense that it bears in the Census Returns. Many more of these women, though unmarried, were also engaged in domestic duties, or were assisting their fathers or other near relatives in the details of business.

The male residue

Of the 182,282 males in the working period of life (20-65) without specific occupation, a large number, doubtless, were busily engaged in avocations which were none the less serious or less important because not recognized in our classification. They were managing their estates and property; directing charitable institutions; prosecuting literary or scientific researches; or engaged in other of the multifarious channels by which unpaid energy finds vent. If these were deducted from the 182,282 unoccupied males, and a further deduction were also made for those who were incapacitated for work by physical defects, the remainder, constituting the really idle portion of the community, would probably prove to be but very small.

1 The tables relating to Occupations are in Vol. III., which has an index at p. 526. Occupations are given In combination with Ages and Sexes, for all England and Wales, in Summary Tables 4, 5, 6; and for each Registration Division and County, as also for the large Urban Sanitary Districts, in Table 10 of each Divisional Part. The Occupations of European Foreigners, distinguishing Country and Sex, are in Summary Table 13; the Occupations of the Blind and the Deaf and Dumb in Summary Tables 17, 18, 19.

2 The dictionary of occupations used in previous censuses contained almost exactly 7,000 names. The great change in the nomenclature of occupations that appears to have occurred since the former dictionary was compiled is partly due to new branches of industry having sprung up, and greater sub-division having been made; but probably also in great part to the fact that many of the names in current use are scarcely more than nick-names, which have but short lives, but which nevertheless it was necessary for our purposes to take into account as being actually used in the schedules.

3 This rule as to apprentices will explain how it is that under occupations which are only carried on by adults, young lads or mere children will sometimes be found classified. But it also cannot be doubted that in some cases there has been a magnifying of office on the part of the lad or girl. When, for instance, we see boys under 15 returned as railway guards, or as authors or journalists, we cannot but think and hope that such is the explanation.

4 Some of these wives will, of course, have had specified occupations of their own, and so in the proposed calculation would be counted twice. But, on the other hand, daughters or nieces assisting their fathers uncles in business will be omitted, as also widows employed in domestic duties.

5 No correction for "retired" has been made in this case in the 1871 total. For the great bulk of female servants retire by marriage, or by entering on other occupations, and would not return themselves, unless exceptionally, as "retired domestic servant."

6 By an inadvertence the old name of this class has been used in Vol. III., Summary Table 4.

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