Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Overcrowding - 1851

Here is a Census entry for a family living in Cooke Street, Wolverton in 1851. These terraced cottages had one room on the ground floor and one room above. There was a lean-to scullery at the back for washing and an outside loo (probably an earth closet) in the back yard.

Name Age Occupation Where born
Thomas Walker Husband Mar 35 Labourer Bucks
Eliza Walker Wife Mar 33 Wife Bucks
James Walker Son 10 Scholar Bucks
Mary Ann Walker Dau 8 Bucks
Jane Walker Dau 6 Bucks
Eliza Walker Dau 2 Bucks
Emma Walker Dau 5m Bucks
Thomas Ellis Lodger Unm 27 Labourer Scotland
Michael kennedy Lodger Unm 17 Fitter Ireland
Robert Woodward Lodger Mar 35 Boiler maker Ireland
James Battrick Lodger Mar 23 Cheshire
Thomas Capper Lodger Unm 25 Manchester

So here we have a man and his wife with five children and five adult lodgers. The living arrangements defy imagination. Perhaps some curtain was strung across the bedroom to provide some separation. bath night must have been a complex arrangement. The living room downstairs also doubled as a kitchen.

And just to show that this was not unusual, this was the household next door.

Name Age Occupation Where born
Joseph Anstee Husband Mar 40 Post Boy Bucks
Mary Anstee Wife Mar 42 Wife Northampton
Lucy Anstee Dau 16 Warwick
Thomas Anstee Son 14 Engine cleaner Warwick
William Anstee Son 12 Bucks
Jane Anstee Dau 8 Bucks
James Anstee Son 6 Bucks
William Thomas Lodger Mar 42 Engine driver Caermarthen
John Roberts Lodger Mar 35 Engine driver Montgomery
Frederick Bpnham Lodger Unm 22 Policeman Northampton
John Munroe Lodger Unm 22 Engine fitter Aberdeen

And for contrast, living in a three storey house on Bury Street with 6 bedrooms:

Name Age Occupation Where born
William Kennedy Unm 36 Cashier Scotland
Robert Logan Husband Mar 26 Engineer Scotland
Sarah Logan Wife Mar 24 Derby
Kennedy's house rented for 7 shillings a week; the houses on Cooke Street could be had for 1s. 6d. a week. Mind you Kennedy had an annual income of £150, whereas poor old Joseph Anstee was delivering letters for about 6 shillings a week.

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