Agriculture was effectively the biggest employer, with 18% or the population engaged in agricultural pursuits – exactly the same percentage as half a century earlier in 1851. However, the list of jobs given showed some interesting additions reflecting improved technology. The list of agricultural jobs occupations included 1 man as an agricultural machinist, 2 men as steam ploughmen or labourers, with a further individual as a machine plougher. One labourer was specifically given as working on a threshing machine, and another man was listed as an agricultural engine driver. Horses were still used for ploughing on some farms, as 3 men were listed as “ploughmen horse” and a further one ambiguously as just a ploughman. Although these modern machines only accounted for 5 out of a total agricultural workforce of 116, it showed that Leverstock Green had arrived at the 20th Century.
·Edgar P Leno – One of Matthew Senior’s sons – HILL FARM
·Matthew Leno Junior – WESTWICK ROW FARM
·Thomas Orchard – WOODWELLS FARM
·William Davis – WELL FARM (Interestingly he was not listed as an iron founder as well, though he was known to be a co-founder of the Boxmoor Iron works with Joseph Bailey Junior)
·Joseph Bailey Senior – CHAMBERSBURY
·Robert Little – WESTWICK HALL FARM
·Thomas Childs – NORTH END FARM
·Jane Finch & her 2 sons George & Herbert Finch – CORNER FARM
·John Knox-Hart – LEVERSTOCK GREEN FARM- he was also listed primarily as a Woolen Merchant and was included in the Trade & Craft section of the analysis rather than agricultural.
Woodwells Farm 1995
Cox Pond Farm c. 1920
Westwick Hall Farm & schedule 1930, still belonging to R Little
Corner Farm, about 1996
Leverstock Green Farm, 1964
Hill Farm 2003
If you have any earlier photos of the above farms you are willing to share, or of Northend Farm, PLEASE, contact me.
Just over 10% of the agricultural workforce were the employers – the farmers, with a further 11.5% being farmers family: sons, one farmer’s daughter and a brother listed as an agricultural assistant rather than just a labourer.
Compared to the mid nineteenth century, industrial employment in the village had not only increased, but was of a different character. In 1851 those in industry accounted for just 6.7% of the population, whereas by 1901 it had more than doubled, rising to 14%. In human terms that was 50 men & women & in some cases children in 1851, and 90 men & women in 1901. A study of the individual occupations concerns shows considerable change. Brick-making was still an important industry in the village, with 23 employed from within Leverstock Green, and probably more from neighbouring areas. This number had increased since 1851, but by some quirk of statistics was exactly the same percentage ( 26%) or the total industrial workforce. The straw hat industry had obviously diminished in importance as a local employer, employing only 8 personnel in 1901 as against 32 in 1851. This industry, based in Luton, had accounted for over 64% of the industrial workforce in the village in 1851, but had shrunk to a mere 8.8% in 1901.
Two other industries also featured, a local apron factory, and the Boxmoor Iron Foundry, founded and run by Engineer Joseph Bailey Junior of Chambersbury. Although listed as a farmer, William Davis of the neighbouring Well Farm was Bailey’s associate in the Iron foundry, so although not based in the village it could be said to have emanated from it.
The main Industrial employers by 1901 were the Paper Mills at Nash Mills (see photo), Two Waters, Apsley and Frogmore, all easily accessible by bicycle or even on foot for the hardy. At this time they employed 48 villagers; that is a massive 75.5% of those who worked in industry in the village, and just under 7.5% of the whole village population.
Typical box mould from an Edwardian Iron foundry
An Edwardian apron.
ABOVE: Nash Mills
LEFT: Dickinson's envelope factory.
FAR LEFT: Sorting rags. (Thomas Ayres, aged 19 was a labourer at the rag merchants, a subsidiary of the paper industry.) Reproduced courtesy of the Apsley Paper Trail.
Society being less mobile than it is today, and equality of opportunity being negligible in 1901, professionals in the village at the start of the 20th Century, were of course small in number, being only 9. The most prominent amongst them was the Vicar, the Rev. Arthur Durrant, with his family at the Vicarage. In addition was the Schoolmaster, Thomas Ford, and his schoolmistress wife Frances;Police Constable Sharpe,(see 1901 census webpage) and another member of the force, Retired Police Officer, Alfred Leigh, who lived at Breakspears with his wife Emma and sister-in law, retired domestic nurse Hannah Knowles. Student teacher (listed as a teacher’s apprentice), 16 year old Gertrude Cope, lived with her uncle Walter Cook and his family in the village. Two other professionals were listed in the census, one, Theodore Pelley, a Lieutenant in the 5th Battalion, was brother to Mrs Durrant, the Vicar’s wife. Aged 19 at the time of the census I think it likely he was just visiting, perhaps before being posted, or whilst on leave. We were after all, at war at this time in South Africa, the Boer War not coming to an end until 2 months after the date of the census. A fact which makes me wonder how many lads from Leverstock Green were away in South Africa fighting, and therefore not included in the census who would otherwise have been.
FAR LEFT: Schoolmaster Thomas Ford; LEFT Mrs. Ford ( in hat) and possibly trainee teacher Gertrude Cope; RIGHT: Rev Arthur Durrant.
The other professional man, 32 year old Robert Beveridge, was a freelance journalist and author who lived with his wife Edith at Bennetts End Farm. They had 3 visitors staying with them on census night, Mrs Margaret Wright, Miss Julia Ruddock and Miss Ada Ruenhall. None were given occupations, and it is interesting to speculate on whom they might be and why they were staying.
Apart from the principal farmers & author mentioned previously, there were several other self-employed persons in the village in 1901. Joseph Bailey Junior from Chambersbury was an Engineer, and as previously mentioned the founder of the Boxmoor Iron Foundry, so he employed several others besides himself. Mary E Lack was a master Taylor and Dressmaker, George Howlett (based at The Crabtree) was a Plaiting Straw Dealer, who no doubt also sold the odd pint of beer, and Albert Western was a coachbuilder, all employed others to work for them.
Others working purely for themselves , or “on their own account” as recorded in the returns, were:
·GEORGE NEAL, a Hay & Straw Dealer
·ALFRED ARNFIELD, a Licensed Victualler (probably either the Plough or the Mason’s Arms at Belconey)
·JOHN JORDON, a Grocer and Provision dealer who ran a shop at Bennetts End, somewhere down Tile Kiln Lane.
·ANN LAWRENCE – a seamstress from Pimlico
·ALBERT TUCKER – Licensed Victualler at the Rose & Crown PH
·WALTER S. COOK – A book maker. Uncertain as to whether he was someone who dealt in betting, or whether he made, i.e. bound, books. I think the latter was the most likely as I believe (although I have been unable to confirm this, despite an Internet search), that “book-keeping” i.e. street betting was illegal at this time.
·WILLIAM CHILD – Brick Manufacturer. I was surprised to find he was entered as working on his own account rather than an employer, as William ran his brickmaking business in the village, building a house for himself and his unmarried sister Jane, who kept house for him. This house, HILLSIDE, still stands today at the corner of Green Lane, made out of William’s Leverstock Red bricks. A local man, William had previously been a Beekeeper and the village Wheelright, a profession also followed by his father John.
·HARRIET GARETH – A Worsted Maker, was a 47 year old spinster who worked from home. Her 4 room cottage was somewhere in the St. Michaels section of the centre of the village. She had been born in Mile End London, and had not been present in the village for the 1891 census, so her presence is a bit of a mystery.
·WILLIAM SEARS – a 74 year old jobbing Gardener who lived with his wife Eliza.
·WILLIAM W. SEARS – I suspect the son of the above, William Walter Sears was a Grocer and Carpenter, who kept the village shop and Post Office. He had taken over as Village Postmaster only recently.
·SAMUEL COOPER - Bootmaker or Cordwainer. A local man, 62 year old Samuel lived with his wife Sarah in a 4 roomed cottage next to the The White Horse. SARAH COOPER was also self employed as a Hat Sewer.
The Leather Bottle, (left), with landlord Arthur Seabrook (right) and the transfer of the license to him in 1894.)
Below: Fishmonger William Parkins and his son Thomas.
As can be seen from the pie chart below, by far the biggest section were the women (mostly married) and children who had no work. The children were of course by this time supposedly in fulltime education, so even if they did take time off to help in the fields etc. this would not be recorded in the census; and the married women no doubt worked very hard at keeping the family together, doing the washing and ironing, shopping and cooking. Generally conforming to the then generally held view that a women’s place was in the home. However, in comparison to 1851 (click here) there are over 20% more women and children who have no official occupation, and this despite the 111 children recorded in 1851 as scholars. The principle reason for this is, I am almost certain, due to the decline in straw-plaiting coupled with the strongly held Edwardian view of the woman’s place being in the home, any occupation outside the home being generally frowned on if you were married, whether or not you had a young family.
Police Constable Sharpe
If you have any other photos of these people, and the other Profesionals mentioned which you are willing to share, Please Contact Me.
If you have any other photos of these people, and the other Self- Employed mentioned which you are willing to share, Please Contact Me.
WORKING ON THE LAND - AGRICULTURE
OCCUPATIONS IN 1901
A fairly large proportion of Leverstock Green’s workers (8%), that is 51 people, were employed in a variety of Trades or Crafts. A full breakdown is given in the pale blue chart. There were of course the obvious and time honoured occupations for a rural community: Licensed Victuallers, Publicans or Beerhouse keepers; Blacksmiths and farriers (Leverstock Green was fortunate enough to have 2 Master Blacksmiths/Farriers and also one apprentice.) There were dressmakers, grocers, carpenters and joiners and even a coachbuilder. A Telegraph Messenger and a Railway Porter were the only two which were concessions to the more modern age, though not stricktly either trades or craftsmen, they provided a commercial service.
PEOPLE EMPLOYED IN A TRADE OR CRAFT
There were relatively few employed in Domestic service in the village (see Petrol Blue Chart), a few of whom were live-in staff at the Vicarage for the Durrant family. Others, such as the coachman, I also suspect worked for the Durrant’s. We know George Finch had a coachman (RIGHT) as we have a photograph of him at the very end of the 20th century- whether he then went on to work for the Durrant’s we don’t know.
IN DOMESTIC SERVICE
A very small number of the local residents come into this category (see peach coloured chart); which in itself can be subdivided into 3 sections: Those in receipt of Parish Relief (5) and their dependants, those living on their own means, i.e. invested income (5); and three children listed specifically as scholars.
On the parish were: 81 year old JAMES BLEA, and presumably therefore his 79 year wife EMMA (living in the Belconey area); 76 year old CHAARLOTTE WILSON and her 88 year old sister MARIA COOPER; 65 LYDIA ASHWELL who lived near to the school in Bedmond Road; 74 year old SARAH WILSON, who also lived near to the school. Both Lydia and Sarah were widows, and they lived in 4 roomed dwellings. I suspect they had part each of Northend Cottage, with the central section being let to George Currall and his wife. Strangely there were no persons at this time dependant on the parish in the St. Michaels section of the village.
In the enviable position of not having to work for a living were
·ELIZA KENTISH, a 70 year old spinster living at Adeyfield Farm
·GERTRUDE WITHERS, her 3 year old son GRAHAM WITHERS, and her mother JEANETTE LACK. In the same household was Gertrude’s sister, a Master Taylor & Dressmaker, and their live-in-servant WILLIAM KEMPSTER. They lived at Buncefield Farm.
·At Woodlane End Farm were THOMAS COX, his wife MARY, their two daughters PHYLLIS (12) AND DORIS (10). They also had a visitor CHARLES RANSHAW, who also lived on his own means.
·At Orchard Cottage Westwick Row (I think probably either today’s Westwick Cottage, or King Charles II Cottage, both show large orchards on the OS map.) was WILLIAM INGHAM & FAMILY
William Ingham -head - m - 59- Living on own means
Mary Ingham - wife- m - 56
Elizabeth M. Ingham - daughter - s - 25 - China Shop Manager
Tom Ingham - son - s - 22 - Fitter
Charles Alfred Inghamson - s- 16 - clerk
They were an interesting family, and obviously prominent as on 7th September 1901 - The death was reported of Herbert Ingham, son of Mr W Ingham of Westwick Row in an item in the Gazette. Herbert died in Auckland New Zealand, aged 28. [Gazette 7th Sept 1901] Charles often later appeared in Gazette reports on village affairs, and amongst other things he became an assistant Scout Master. Tom Ingham was to be killed during WW1. The Ingham family were included in the 1891, but not the 1881 census, at the same address.
PLACES OF ORIGIN OF LEVERSTOCK GREEN RESIDENTS
In the 21st Century we are used to being a mobile society. Relatively few of us are now living close to where we were born, and most families have to travel considerable distances to meet up with even their closest families. A century ago things were very different. Although society was becoming more mobile, and in particular with the advent of affordable railway transport for many sections of society, nevertheless, most people stayed close to their original roots, and often had numerous members of their extended families living within a few miles. This was certainly true of Leverstock Green at the turn of the 20th Century as can be seen from the table to the right and the charts below.
With 65% of the village’s population living within 5 miles of their place of birth, and a total of 76% living within 15 miles of their place of birth, mobility is still fairly static. However, compared to 50 years before there is quite a marked difference.
Leverstock Green’s population was larger in 1851, and a direct comparison can be seen in the graph below. Nevertheless if one works in percentages, in 1851 80% of the total population ( i.e. 15% more than in 1901) were born within a 5 mile radius, and a massive 93% within 15 miles. Furthermore in 1851, residents places of birth were represented only by 13 English counties as opposed to 25 in 1901. There were no oversees residents listed at all in 1851, whereas in 1901 there are 4, 3 of whom originated in the southern hemisphere, from Australia & South Africa, with a further 4 having been born in Scotland.
The LITTLEWOOD FAMILY were well travelled. Father, 36 year old Carpenter JONAS, was born in Bloomsbury, and his 31 year old wife MARY came from Cornwall. Their eldest son 9 year old JONAS JNR, was born locally to Leverstock Green, but his 7 year old younger brother EDWIN was born in Johannesburg, S. Africa. They then returned to Britain because 5 year old CHARLES, was born in Cornwall. They had since returned to the area to live in Pimlico, as baby ELIZABETH was born there in December 1900.
Those who had travelled furthest from their places of birth to end up in Leverstock Green were:
·ROBERT BEVERAGE & his wife EDITH, from Scotland;
·JOHN JORDON, a Grocer & Provision dealer from Bennetts End, had been born in Ireland and was married to a girl from St. Albans. They had obviously travelled about a bit as their two daughters were born respectively in Gravesend & Liverpool.
WILLIAM INGHAM & his wife MARY who came from Yorkshire. Again they hadn’t ended up directly in Leverstock Green as their two daughters were born in Islington, London.
ROBERT JOHNSON, an 57 year old agricultural labourer born in Bradford
NATHANIEL BULL, a 41 year old agricultural worker from Lancashire. Both the above 2 men worked for Hannah Goodman in Pimlico.
MARY TUCKER, wife of the publican at The Rose & Crown, had been born in Australia. As husband ALBERT and their two daughters were all from various parts of London, it’s a mystery as to how they arrived in Leverstock Green to run the local hostelry!
JAMES KNOX-HART, a woollen merchant and the farmer at Leverstock Green Farm had originated from Scotland and his wife CHRISTINA had been born in Yorkshire. James (frequently know as John) had purchased Leverstock Green Farm in 1885 for the princely sum of £2355.00 . According ro his obituary in 1932 when he died at the age of 85, “he came from Scotland at the age of 36 a changed profession and a more southern climate being necessitated by his unfortunate ill health. Mr. Knox Hart was a tweed merchant and had a flourishing business in north Britain before his departure south. Since living at Leverstock Green he resided at Tile Kiln Farm and Belswains farm, Hemel Hempstead and was for a little time at residence in Berkhamsted.” The move obviously benefited his health, given the grand age to which he eventually lived. The farm was just over 65 acres at the time, and prior to the purchase by James Knox Hart, had been in the possession of the Tower family for well over a century and a half, being farmed by tenants. The Knox-Hart family were prominent members of the Leverstock Green community.
Another family that had obviously travelled was that of GERTRUDE WITHERS. As can be seen from the table below, Gertrude was listed as the Head of the family despite being married rather than widowed, there was no mention of her husband, and given their obvious financial independence, one wonders what led them to settle in Leverstock Green. Despite the returning officer listing Newbury inititally as in Bedfordshire, it is of course in Berkshire.
Gertrude M.WithersHeadm24Living on own meansBedfordshireNewbury
Graham Withersson s3 Yorkshire Sheffield
Jeanette Lack motherw63Living on own means Berkshire Newbury
Mary E. Lack sister s40Master taylor Dressmaker Berkshire Newbury