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20th Century Leverstock GreenGlossary
1881 census
Individual & Family Histories.
1851  Census
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St. Michaels Families; Abbots Langley Families; Hemel Hempstead Familes; Population figures; Dwellings; Households; 3 Largest Households;   Occupations; Origins
Occupations,Origins and Gender
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.
The complete breakdown of Agricultural employment in the village can be seen in the green chart below.

The farmers were as follows:  (See below for some of the farms)

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.
Chambersbury, 1960
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.

Click to enlarge the bar chart below for comparisons and the lilac occupation chart for details.
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:

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.
Occupations in 1901 can be broken down into 7 main categories: Agricultural, Industrial, Trade or Craft, Domestic Service, Professional, Women & Children with no occupation, and others.  Some of these wereSelf-Employed, either employing others or just working for themselves.  A lucky few lived off their own means.

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.
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.
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.
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

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.
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.
Those who had travelled furthest from their places of birth to end up in Leverstock Green were:
·ROBERT BEVERAGE & his wife EDITH, from Scotland;
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
William    Kempster     servants21                                   Surrey        Penge

Age & Gender of Leverstock Green residents, 1901
This page was last updated: November 30, 2006