CAVERSWALL : A Demographic Analysis 1851 - 1891

Introduction

 

Caverswall village, while still being thought of as such, has like many places, altered considerably since the mid 19th century. To many its easterly expansion has meant that it has subsumed the once separate hamlet of Cookshill. Yet Caverswall itself has altered very little in terms of building and it was the westerly growth of Cookshill that saw the much smaller hamlet lose its autonomy. So what were the differences between these two places, and how did they compare to other communities?

 

Caverswall village lies towards the southern extremity of its parish, two miles east of the urban sprawl of Longton, whose predominant industry during the Victorian period was earthenware. It lies a mile away from both the main Stoke to Uttoxeter road, and the Stone to Leek road, itself being part of no major thoroughfare. When the Stoke to Derby railway line opened in 1848 it was by-passed again, the nearest station being a mile and a half away.

 

Geographical features helped to make Caverswall a linear or street village in form, despite the focal point of a small village square. The 1842 tithe map[1] indicates the nucleus of the village running along a straight line, from Dove House Farm at one end to Bank House Farm at the other. The castle, church, school and a few outlying farms completed the picture. Cookshill, on the other hand, was a cluster of just over a dozen dwellings around a junction of two lanes, close to the mill.

 

In an article by Fred Dennis written around the 1920’s entitled Caverswall Past and Present[2] he described what a writer saw of the Caverswall in 1823. “The village itself is picturesque and has many old houses with thatched roofs and also a village green, in the centre of which is a raised mound and it was at this spot that the stocks stood. The Red House inn which stands in the square is the scene of many a scrimmage between the potters of Longton and the ploughmen of Caverswall”. Judging by the number of postcards of Caverswall it would appear that these were produced as souvenirs for those whom a walk or a bicycle ride amounted to a worthy excursion out of the potteries. One of these dated 1908 depicts the square with the large constable or moot tree in the centre and the façade of Sargant’s grocery shop adjoining the Wesleyan chapel[3].

 

The Census Enumerators Books

The bulk of the information for this project derives from the census enumerators’ books (CEB). The census was recorded every ten years from 1801 onwards, although 1841 is the first census for which these books survive. The CEB are a second-order source, in that they were the work of the enumerators recording the information that they collected on the individual household returns, and therefore they are the filters between the historian and the people he wishes to study. In an age when form filling by the masses was unknown, along with prevailing levels of illiteracy, many people did not know their precise date or place of birth. In some cases household schedules had to be filled in by the enumerators or neighbours who may have misunderstood accents or made assumptions. However, census data does give a reliable approximation of the features of 19th century society[4], and discrepancies over individuals can often be overcome with the coincidence of other personal details as well as those of other members of the household.

 

The physical evidence contained within the CEB may have been amended up to three times, firstly by the enumerators’ themselves who were empowered to correct household entries, then by the district registrar who had the authority to alter the CEB, and thirdly by the clerks in the census office. However these clerks had no local knowledge and their marks have been chiefly disregarded.

 

The 1841 census asked for less information than that of 1851, from whereon the questions remained fairly standard – address, name, his or her relationship to the head of the household, marital status, age, sex, occupation, birthplace and infirmity. The 1851 census was the first to require a person to state his exact age. In 1841 exact ages were required only for those under 14, those above, if not wanting to state their exact age were to round their age down to the nearest 5-year age group, which all but a minority did.

 

It should be remembered that the household in the census is an administrative unit, and does not correspond to the biological family. This may lead one to overlook the importance of relationships between households (especially between women), the role of kin living nearby, and support given by friends. The temptation to see Victorian society as constructed solely from the building blocks of census families should be resisted[5], and census households are often referred to as ‘co-residing groups’ rather than families. The head of a household was a social position, not necessarily reflecting priority in terms of biological descent. Thus in one household an aged widow might be described as head, but in another case a son or daughter who had taken over running the affairs of the household may have been designated as such. The household in census terms was those people present in a house on census night. Problems of what constituted a house that the enumerator faced applied more to urban rather than rural areas. This is confirmed when examining the 1841 and 1881 censuses with the 1842 tithe map and 1880 6” - 1 mile ordnance survey maps respectively, as the number of households and the number of houses shown on the maps broadly correspond to each other.

 

The castle, for the purpose of this exercise, has been ignored although it would no doubt have had an influence upon the village. From 1811 it had been held by an order of Benedictine nuns as a convent and school for young ladies. In 1853 it was sold and became a private residence of the first of four successive owners during the second half of the 19th century. The statistics, which its inhabitants would have generated, would have affected the overall picture of village life, particularly those concerning birthplaces and occupations, as well as giving an unbalanced picture of village demography.

 

Topography

 

Comparing the 1842 tithe map with the 1880 ordnance survey map is a good indicator as to the appearance of new buildings as well as changes in the landscape. During these 40 years the castle moat was drained and replaced by gardens. St. Filumena’s church had been erected in the castle grounds between the entrance and the Wesleyan chapel in 1864. The presbytery opposite, erected about 1870, was built on the site of an earlier building that had existed there in 1842, and St. Filumena’s Catholic school had appeared in 1878. The square remained virtually unchanged, as did High Street, with the exception of a group of six terraced houses, built slightly back from the road sometime before 1880 (The Crockett). There were two larger than average houses in the middle of the west side of the square, flanked by the more humbler terraced cottages and the Wesleyan chapel. One of these, the one abutting the chapel was a shop and post office. At the bottom of the hollows was the imposing building known as The Stone House which had two cottages adjoining it. Facing this was The Old Green Man public house next to which appears to have been a group of outbuildings. The north end of the square was dominated by The Red House public house that stood at the entrance to High Street. On the opposite side of High Street facing The Red House stood a pair of larger than average semi-detached houses (The Villas). These were neighboured by Yard Farm, and then another larger than average detached house (the shoemakers). From hereon up High Street the buildings became more humble, the majority being small terraced cottages, many of which opened out directly onto the street. The exception was the grander Bank House, and the large detached house that stood opposite its entrance. School Lane remained virtually unchanged with the school at the beginning before reaching the vicarage built in 1840 with its extensive garden and orchard, and the smithy. Cookshill Mill and the old vicarage were away from the road on the other side. The lane now known as Cookshill Green though had altered considerably. In 1842 it had only one dwelling. By 1880 it contained 17 new dwellings, all of which were on the right hand side, plus a further 8 newly built terraced houses (Long Row) running at a right angle to the lane. A large building had appeared at the bottom of Cookshill Green, which was to become The Auctioneers’ Arms public house. The map clearly shows a public house called The Robin Hood halfway along Cookshill Green, although this should be treated with caution because it does not appear in any trade directory or CEB. All of the other buildings were terraced houses and cottages with the exception of a pair of semi-detached houses towards the top of the lane.

 

There was little change between this ordnance survey map and the same scale map of 1900. The house which stood opposite the entrance to Bank House had disappeared, and new outbuildings appeared in the castle grounds, including the two lodges – the East Lodge adjoining the churchyard wall, and the West Lodge at the other entrance out of the village in the direction of Park Farm. Also connected to the castle, though not physically, were Gable Cottages, a group of six rather grand terraced cottages just beyond Dove House Farm, which had been built by the castle’s owner. In 1879 St. Peter’s church had a vestry and south porch added, as well as substantial alterations to the interior[6]. Cookshill remained the same with the exception of three or four new buildings behind the Auctioneers’ Arms that may have been almshouses[7]. The 1900 ordnance survey map mistakes The Stone House for The Red House, Yard farm as the post office, and The Old Green Man was no longer listed[8]. Similarly in Cookshill The Robin Hood had disappeared and The Auctioneers’ Arms was now listed.

 

Structure and Commerce

 

Of the 65 households recorded in the 1841 census (48 occupied and one unoccupied in Caverswall, and 17 in Cookshill), it is possible to positively identify 37 of them on the 1842 tithe award, and therefore possible to fix their positions on the accompanying map. The figure was not higher because the award did not list every individual. Entries such as ‘Brassington and others’ followed by a map reference and then ‘3 houses’ are not uncommon. However plotting those who can be positively identified leaves those who cannot falling neatly into the vacant spaces. The result therefore not only places people back in their homes, but also reveals the route that the enumerator took. Used in conjunction with the map it is possible to identify whether consecutive entries were next-door-neighbours, or whether there were large distances between them.

 

The tithe award reveals that there were three shops, a blacksmith, and a public house in Caverswall at this time.[9] Using the census reveals what those three shops were. Charles Simcock lived directly behind the Red House in High Street and was a blacksmith, this being the site of his smithy. Thomas Abberley who lived almost opposite him was a shoemaker, and further up High Street on the same side was the recently widowed Lydia Hyde, whose husband Thomas had also been a shoemaker. The only shop catering for provisions was the large terraced house in the square, being the grocers’ shop of John Sargant. Those with occupations such as tailor or basket-maker, if they cannot be found in the corresponding directories, it is assumed that these people did not work from home, but were employed outside the village, possibly in Longton. Trade Directories did not list everyone in the way that the census did. It may have been that a tailor or basket-maker did work from home but was too insignificant to appear in a directory, & on this basis it is assumed that Caverswall had at least one of the three butchers listed. Cookshill merely boasted two blacksmiths and a corn mill.

 

By 1851 both Caverswall and Cookshill had increased by four households each to 52 and 21 respectively. (Caverswall also had a further three unoccupied houses). It is more difficult to place the persons of the 1851 census back on the ground because the censuses rarely gave more than a few specific addresses. Twenty-nine households of 1841 can be identified in the 1851 census, and it is assumed, with caution, that none of them had moved during the 10 years. At first it was thought that some people had moved, especially when calculating the enumerators route, but it was noticed that most of these residents still had the same neighbours, and it would be foolish to assume that these people had moved en-bloc. The very few shops that existed were rarely mentioned in the censuses, and the commerce of both Caverswall and Cookshill altered little. Along with The Red House and The Green Man, the grocery and provisions shop of John Sargant, later run by his son William, also spanned six censuses. Other occupations that appear to have operated from Caverswall include a bootmaker, carpenter, wheelwright, blacksmith and butcher. Cookshill offered little in the way of commerce, as there appeared to be no shops. The Auctioneers Arms public house was built during the 1870s, the same time as Cookshill mill changed from grinding corn to grinding bone and flint for the pottery industry. The only other consistent trade was that of the blacksmith.

 

By 1861 only 14 households identified in the 1841 census appear. The number of houses in Caverswall had risen by five to 57 (with a further one unoccupied), while Cookshill’s had fallen by four to 17. By 1871 only five of the households of the 1841 census could be identified. Caverswall had now risen from 57 occupied and one unoccupied house, to 62 occupied, one unoccupied, and two houses where the head was listed ‘absent from home’, while Cookshill had almost doubled from 17 occupied to 30 occupied and three unoccupied houses. By 1881 four of the households of the 1841 census remained, and Caverswall now had 61 inhabited and two uninhabited houses (2 less from 1871), while Cookshill had another considerable rise to 49 inhabited houses and one uninhabited. By 1891 only three households of those of 1841 could be traced, the number of houses in Caverswall remaining the same, 61 inhabited and two uninhabited, while the figure for Cookshill had fallen by six to 44. Despite this anomaly the progressive rise of houses in Cookshill when viewed alongside the population and occupational analysis figures reveals that the majority of these were built for the influx of miners into the community.

 

Population

 

Total Population

Census

1841

1851

1861

1871

1881

1891

Caverswall

226

230

262

314

286

278

Cookshill

75

122

79

139

231

219

 

Caverswall slowly increased to a peak in 1871 before gradually decreasing[10]. The most likely reason for the slight decline was its close proximity to the nearby industrial towns, Longton in particular, whose earthenware business was expanding rapidly at the time. Some of the residents of Caverswall found employment, as well

as housing, in the newly created East Vale area of Longton, which had until recently

been within the parish of Caverswall.

 

Adult Population

Census

1841

1851

1861

1871

1881

1891

Caverswall

152

142

164

193

181

184

Cookshill

46

62

51

79

138

136

Adult Population expressed as a percentage of the total population

Caverswall

67.25

61.73

62.59

61.46

63.28

66.18

Cookshill

61.33

50.81

64.55

56.83

59.74

62.1

 

Cookshill’s growth was more rapid than Caverswall’s, despite a fall in 1861, this figure being heavily influenced by a sharp drop in the number of children rather than that of adults (a drop of 32 children from the preceding census, while adults only decreased by 11). However, Cookshill’s population grew by three times between 1841 and 1891, which is reflected in the difference between the 1842 tithe map and the 1880 ordnance survey map. Cookshill also suffered a slight decline from 1881 onwards, no doubt the same factors which influenced Caverswall’s migration also existed here. Why the number of Cookshill’s children should drop so sharply in 1861 is interesting, especially as the number of children in Caverswall still increased, and an examination of the parish register or school log book (being outside the scope of this dissertation) may help to provide the answer.

 

Child Population

Census

1841

1851

1861

1871

1881

1891

Caverswall

74

88

98

121

105

94

Cookshill

29

60

28

60

93

83

Child Population expressed as a percentage of the total population

Caverswall

32.74

38.26

37.4

38.53

36.71

33.81

Cookshill

38.66

49.18

35.44

43.16

40.25

37.89

 

Caverswall and Cookshill were remarkably similar in terms of age-sex structure. The majority of the censuses show a typical drop in numbers, beginning in the 10-14 female age band to reveal in all probability that a large portion went into domestic service away from home. Decreases in the 15-19 female age band and above may also indicate migration through employment, as well as through marriage. Like females, the males usually drop with the 10-14 age band, which may account for apprenticeships where the young male moved away from home to lodge with an employer. The sharp drop from 1861 onwards for this age band and the one above may imply migration to the pottery towns, particularly Longton’s East Vale. Most of the pyramids show a middle-age ‘swell’, rather than being true pyramid in shape, which suggests marriage for females into the village, or where the male age band mirrors this, possibly immigration due to the husbands employment. This appears to occur elsewhere in similar-sized rural communities. The age-sex structure for Bagnall 1861 also shows a considerable swell for the 45–49 age band, while nearby urban communities reveal the age-sex structures to have a much wider base and are more triangular in shape, without the middle-age swell[11]. None of the Caverswall age-sex structures reveal that females outlived males. Examining the number of females over the age of 60 it becomes apparent that around 25% of them include mothers, mothers-in-law, and grandmothers moving in with kinfolk.

 

Caverswall Age Structure of Young, Middle, & Old (%)

Age

1841

1851

1861

1871

1881

1891

0 – 29

63.68

61.72

66.38

65.57

59.06

62.2

30 – 59

29.17

30.4

28.6

28.63

32.14

29.46

60 & over

7.07

7.8

4.94

5.7

8.71

8.22

Cookshill Age Structure of Young, Middle, & Old (%)

0 – 29

67.97

70.46

64.53

69.04

67.07

65.73

30 – 59

19.99

23.72

29.08

26.58

28.96

26.45

60 & over

12

5.7

6.31

4.28

3.88

7.73

 

Cookshill had a slightly higher percentage of those under the age of 30 with 67.5% compared to Caverswall’s 63.16%, both these figures being fairly stable throughout the six censuses, suggesting a young community. These figures were similar to those for Longton in 1851 with 63.6% and Burslem with 65%[12]. Those over the age of 65 for both Caverswall and Cookshill were 4%. The figure for Bagnall in 1861 was also 4%, yet the figure for Longton was only 2.43% suggesting a rural rather than an urban environment was healthier[13].

Adult males outnumbered adult females in Caverswall apart from 1871, when females outnumbered males by just 3. In Cookshill adult males also outnumbered females apart from 1881. There was usually little difference between the figures, except for Caverswall in 1891 when adult males outnumbered females by 20. Male children in Caverswall outnumbered female children, except for 1851 and 1861. In Cookshill female children outnumbered male children in three of the censuses, and for 1861 the figures were equal, otherwise they were relatively close. This slightly higher number of adult males over adult females for both Caverswall and Cookshill was remarkably similar to Bagnall and Longton, and the same can also be said for the figures of children with either an equal or slightly higher number of females[14].

 

Child Population

Census

1841

1851

1861

1871

1881

1891

Caverswall

74

88

98

121

105

94

Cookshill

29

60

28

60

93

83

Child Population expressed as a percentage of the total population

Caverswall

32.74

38.26

37.4

38.53

36.71

33.81

Cookshill

38.66

49.18

35.44

43.16

40.25

37.89

 

Examining the number of children elsewhere for 1851 shows Burslem with 31.07%, Longton with 31.77%, and Penkhull with 35.66% of the total population being under the age of 14[15]. Both Caverswall’s and Cookshill’s figures were often higher, with almost 50% of the population of Cookshill being under 14 in 1851. This higher percentage of children suggests a more settled community. The figures for the children in Caverswall for the last two censuses fall faster than the adult figures, which virtually remained unaltered, which is also true of Cookshill, suggesting that people were having smaller families. Comparing adult males against adult females in the last two censuses shows that for both Caverswall and Cookshill adult males increased, while the figure for adult females decreased. One reason for this, particularly for Cookshill, was the influx of miners that helped to increase the male figures. Cookshill had a larger amount of children than Caverswall when expressed as percentages of the total population, therefore giving Caverswall a higher percentage of adults.

 

Family and Household Size

 

Not until 1871 onwards does Caverswall see families of 10 or more members (with the exception of one 10-member family in 1851). The largest proportion of families were those of between 2 and 5, although childless couples as well as families of up to 8 were not uncommon, which also applied to Cookshill. This remained fairly consistent throughout the censuses. The average family size for both Caverswall and Cookshill was 4.25, slightly smaller than the average family size of 4.4 for Hanley 1851[16]. This may have been because of less regular employment and income which would have influenced the number of children that people were having.

 

No households of over 10 existed in Caverswall until the last two censuses. The average household size for Caverswall was roughly 4.6, the same as for Cookshill. This was slightly smaller than the average household size of five for both Hanley and Etruria in 1851, although closer to the average household size of England and Wales as a whole, which ranged from 4.5 to 4.8 from 1851 to 1891[17]. Caverswall’s rise and then decline in household size mirrors the population statistics, while Cookshill’s household size continues to increase slightly.

 

Extended Families

 

Grandchildren were the largest group of extended family members (a total of 60 for both Caverswall and Cookshill in the censuses 1851 – 1891), followed closely by brothers and sisters (52 - including brothers and sisters-in-law). The next largest groups were nephews and nieces (31), parents, including in-laws (15), and stepchildren (11). There were small numbers of sons/daughters-in-law (5), cousins (5), uncles/aunts (3), adopted children (3), grandparents (2), son of nephew/niece (2), two people termed nurse-child and one monthly-nurse. These last ambiguous terms could cover a child sleeping in a house for one night, or a case of adoption, while the monthly-nurse looked after the infant immediately after birth. Extended family members accounted for around 10% of the total population of Caverswall, compared to 7% for Cookshill[18]. Despite fluctuations these figures remained fairly stable. Although less than half of what the figure was for Hanley, Caverswall and Cookshill had a much wider range of extended family members (although to be fair the Hanley sample was based on one census, not five). The order in which they appear still remained the same with the exception of a higher number of grandchildren for Caverswall and Cookshill.

 

Extended Family Members

Census

1851

1861

1871

1881

1891

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

Caverswall

23

10

26

9.92

36

11.46

23

8.04

31

11.15

Cookshill

6

4.91

9

11.39

6

4.31

16

6.92

15

6.84

 

In Caverswall almost all of those aged 60 and over lived with kin. The exceptions were three married couples, two with sisters (the sisters themselves both being over 60), three with boarders (one boarder himself being over 60), and one lived with a servant. Only two of those aged over 60 lived alone. Similar results were found for Cookshill, where nearly all lived with kin, the exceptions being two married couples, and one who lived with a sister (herself over 60). Only four lived alone[19].

 

Caverswall had a total of 80 widows and widowers, 69 of which lived with kin. There were two pairs of head – lodger, one lived with a servant, one was a servant, and one was a boarder. Only four lived alone. In Cookshill of a total of 34 widows 28 lived with kin, with one example of a head and son, both widowers, living together, two were servants and one was a lodger. Only three lived alone.

 

Households with Non-Family Members

 

Non-Family members within Households

Census

1851

1861

1871

1881

1891

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

Caverswall

17

7.39

21

8.01

22

7

24

8.39

21

7.19

Cookshill

13

10.65

8

10.12

9

6.47

21

9.09

7

3.19

 

 

Servants formed the largest group of non-family members within households and counted for an average of 5% of the total population of Caverswall, and 6% in Cookshill, which was double that found in Etruria[20]. Although servants were mainly employed at larger houses it did not necessarily follow that larger families had a higher number of servants. Most households employed one servant. Of the total of 61 households of Caverswall and Cookshill which employed servants 1851 – 1891 only six employed two servants, and only the vicarage employed three servants (1871 and 1881 only), along with one other house.

 

Lodgers formed the next largest group, representing 2% of the population of Caverswall, while only two returns for Cookshill included lodgers[21]. Lodgers have been combined with boarders to form one group. The definition supposedly was that a boarder ate at the table of the household along with the family, whereas a lodger ate separately and had his own distinct living space. The dividing line however must have been very thin, even possibly one which the household head was unsure of. Therefore because of this, and their relatively small numbers, they have been counted together.

 

Lodgers and boarders appear as part of the main household (as in the majority of censuses elsewhere), although they were meant to be counted separately, more so in the case of lodgers who were meant to constitute a different household. When a solitary lodger was treated as a separate household he was still described as lodger in the relationship to head column (until 1891 from whereon they were supposed to be classed as head). Throughout all six censuses there were only five lodgers listed separately, of which four were members with the preceding household, confirmed by the number of schedules against the number of houses at the bottom of each page of the CEB.

 

The returns for Caverswall and Cookshill from 1851 to 1891 contain a total of 32 lodgers and boarders living with 26 different heads. Twenty-four of those were male and eight were female. Females ranged in age from 19 to 34, along with a 65-year-old widow, while males had a broader age band from 20 to 70, the exception being two very young boarders aged 2 and 4 respectively, who appear to have been brothers. Twenty-two were single, four were widowed (three male and one female), along with two married couples and a further two married people.

 

Occupations of lodgers included agricultural and general labourers, wheelwrights, teachers, a police constable, carter, dressmaker, draper, commercial traveller and a molecatcher. In Cookshill 1881 there was one lodger described as a miner, while by 1891 four of the five male lodgers were recorded as miners (the other employed in pottery). It was surprising to see that the two largest employment areas did not show a higher number of lodgers, suggesting that there was little shortage of housing in either Caverswall or Cookshill.

 

Lodgers tended to be local migrants although some did originate from further away such as Shrewsbury, Liverpool and Nottingham. It is interesting that 11 of the lodgers were born in Caverswall which suggests kin residing with kin, especially where the surnames of lodgers were the same as the heads of households, or where traceable from earlier returns their appears to be a link. This may also apply to the two married couples who possibly would not have had the opportunity to marry, especially of the younger couple (a 20-year-old husband and his 19-year-old wife).

 

Heads of households usually only took in one lodger, only six heads had two. Fifteen of those heads were married couples, with a further seven female heads and four male heads. Married couples ranged in age from their late 20s through to their 60s, although the largest majority were in their 30s with either one or two children. All four male heads were over 60 years of age (three widowed and one single), only one of which had no kin living with him. Of those seven female heads three were widows and four were single, and of those four three lived alone and one lived with her brother.

 

Those lodging with married couples would no doubt have supplemented the family income. Couples in their middle age or later may have taken in lodgers to provide an income and fill up empty beds when grown children had left home and when possibly the husband’s ability to earn good wages had declined, which is applicable to the four male heads who were all above 60 and may well have been their sole means of support. For the seven female heads it may have been either sole support or a way of supplementing other casual work.

 

Visitors were included because it was impossible to say just how long they were visiting for – a night, a week, a month or more. They represented just over 1% of the total population of Caverswall (with none in 1871), while Cookshill had only two returns containing visitors, 3 and 5 respectively.

 

Non-family members counted for an average of 7.5% of the population of Caverswall which remained fairly stable throughout. Cookshill’s figure gradually declines (despite an anomaly in 1881 due to its 5 visitors) from just over 10% to just over 3%.

 

Marital Condition

 

In Caverswall married people outnumbered single people (except in 1881, from whereon the gap was relatively close), and both far outnumbered those that were widowed. There were more single than married men, except in 1861 and 1871 when this trend was reversed to the otherwise stable figure. Married females outnumbered single. Widows outnumbered widowers, although in 1871 the figures are almost identical.

 

Caverswall – Marital Condition of adult population

Census

1851

1861

1871

1881

1891

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

Married

64

45.07

86

52.43

100

51.81

79

43.64

83

45.6

Single

61

42.95

63

38.41

80

41.45

85

46.95

79

43.4

Widowed

17

11.97

15

9.14

13

6.73

17

9.39

20

10.98

 

 

Cookshill – Marital Condition of adult population

Census

1851

1861

1871

1881

1891

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

Married

37

59.67

21

41.17

52

65.82

78

56.52

79

57.24

Single

22

35.48

22

43.13

21

36.58

53

38.4

50

36.23

Widowed

3

4.83

8

15.68

6

7.59

7

5.07

9

6.52

 

In Cookshill married people outnumbered single, except in 1861 and both outnumbered the widowed. There were more married men than single (which was the opposite of Caverswall) except in 1861, with an otherwise fairly stable figure. Married females outnumbered single. There is not a great gap between widows and widowers, whose figures are the same for 1861 and 1871, with widows then slightly outnumbering widowers. The characteristics of married people outnumbering single, and both far outnumbering widows, with more married than single men and more married than single women was also true of both Hanley and Longton in 1851[22].

 

Expressed as percentages, apart from 1861 Cookshill had more married people than Caverswall, who had the higher percentage of single. There were more single males in Caverswall and more married males in Cookshill (except 1861). Cookshill had a higher proportion of married females (except in 1861, where the trend was reversed). Caverswall had the higher percentage of single females in 1851 and 1871, and although Cookshill along with having a higher percentage of married women, also had the higher percentage of single females in the last two censuses, an anomaly caused by a larger percentage of widows and widowers in Caverswall during those years.

 

Of the married people recorded in the censuses for both Caverswall and Cookshill 1851 – 1891, 62% of husbands were older than their wives, with 9% of that figure representing a difference of between 10 – 20 years, and 1.8% representing a difference of more than 20 years. 29% of wives were older than their husbands, with 0.6% of that figure representing a difference of between 10 – 20 years, and 0.3% representing a difference of more than 20 years. 9% of married people were the same age. The age difference in the potteries was five years or less between 78% of husbands and wives[23]. The youngest married couple was a 20-year-old husband with his 19-year-old wife. Only a handful of people in their early 20s married, and using the CEB only as a guide to age of marriage the figures indicate that people married from their mid-20s onwards, slightly later than other examples[24]. Economics may have played a part, possibly young couples may have had to wait until a vacant property became available before they were able to marry, which may have been another factor influencing migration.

 

Examining the birthplaces of married couples in both Caverswall and Cookshill throughout the censuses shows that the largest percentage of individuals came from Caverswall. Of those marriages where either the head or spouse was born in Caverswall, it was unusual to find that they had married a partner from more than 10 miles away. Of those where both the head and spouse were born in separate villages outside Caverswall most were within 10 miles of Caverswall with those villages being relatively close to each other, usually less than 10 miles. Distances between those couples where neither had been born in Caverswall increased slightly throughout the censuses, not only in terms of distance from Caverswall itself, but also in distance from each other (i.e. Limerick and Bristol). Most were rural communities of similar size, with the exceptions of towns such as Cheadle, Uttoxeter and Stafford. Throughout the censuses there was also an increase in either the head or spouse born in urban rather than rural communities, notably the nearby pottery towns of Longton, Stoke, Burslem and Hanley. An almost identical pattern emerges for Cookshill[25].

 

Birthplaces

 

A large proportion of the population of both Caverswall and Cookshill were born there and did not migrate, which potentially had significance for family relationships. Those born in Caverswall between 1851 – 1891 steadily fell from 72.6% to 57.55%. Those born in Cookshill for the same period ranged from 50.64% to 65.82%. Even though these figures were declining they were still higher than the nearby towns[26]. The relatively high proportion of locally born inhabitants suggests that individuals would be more likely to have kin in the area with which to reside, hence the number of nephews and nieces, uncles and aunts, and other extended family members.

 

Caverswall – Birthplaces of Residents

Where Born

1851

1861

1871

1881

1891

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

Caverswall

167

72.6

164

62.59

190

60.5

171

59.79

160

57.55

1 – 5 Miles

32

13.91

33

12.59

43

13.69

50

17.48

48

17.26

6 – 10 Miles

17

7.39

45

17.17

27

8.59

21

7.34

31

11.15

11 – 20 Miles

6

2.6

12

4.58

17

5.41

12

4.19

10

3.59

21 – 50 Miles

7

3.04

4

1.52

15

4.77

10

3.49

6

2.15

51 – 100 Miles

1

0.43

0

 

2

0.63

5

1.74

5

1.78

100 + Miles

0

 

3

1.14

17

5.41

11

3.84

11

3.95

N.K./Illegible

0

 

0

 

3

0.95

4

1.39

2

0.71

 

Cookshill – Birthplaces of Residents

Where Born

1851

1861

1871

1881

1891

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

Caverswall

63

51.63

52

65.82

90

64.79

117

50.64

132

60.27

1 – 5 Miles

20

26.66

13

16.45

16

11.51

54

23.37

49

23.37

6 – 10 Miles

27

22.13

8

10.12

13

9.35

27

11.68

12

5.47

11 – 20 Miles

7

5.73

2

2.53

6

4.31

8

3.46

10

4.56

21 – 50 Miles

0

 

1

1.26

11

7.91

15

6.49

6

2.73

51 – 100 Miles

3

2.45

1

1.26

0

 

1

0.43

4

1.82

100 + Miles

1

0.81

2

2.53

3

2.15

4

3.03

5

2.28

N.K./Illegible

1

0.81

0

 

0

 

1

0.43

1

0.45

 

The majority of immigrants in Caverswall came from within a 5-mile radius, most of whom came from similar-sized communities. The second largest group was that of the 6-10 mile radius. Similar figures also apply to Cookshill[27]. Caverswall female immigrants outnumbered the male immigrants by normally a third, although in the 1851 census this figure is nearer half, with the gap closing in the last census. Cookshill male immigrants outnumbered female ones in 1851 and 1871 (and in 1861 females only outnumber males by one), but for the last two censuses the figures are similar to those of Caverswall[28].

 

Of those that could be followed through consecutive censuses only a minority changed their place of birth[29] Occasionally the grasp of British geography shown by householders and enumerators was not strong, with Birmingham placed in three different midland counties. There was also a tendency to record the place of residence, or the earliest one remembered as the place of birth. In order to obtain poor relief in ones place of residence it was necessary to prove settlement in the parish by either claiming birth there or through living there for a set period[30]. Most changes were ‘local’, where people moved to and from neighbouring places rather than to Caverswall, such as Wolstanton to Tunstall, or Moddershall to Stone. This may have been caused by place of birth being misunderstood for parish of birth, although not all places can testify to this theory. For the number who did change their birthplace to Caverswall the same number also changed their birthplace from Caverswall. Changes also occurred when individuals listed themselves for the first time. A head recording his son with one birthplace would not necessarily be the same birthplace that the son would give himself when later filling out his own schedule. A few had up to three different places of birth. As already stated the majority were local to a particular area (ie. Marchington – Fole – Uttoxeter), although one person was recorded in three consecutive censuses as Bakewell (Derbyshire), Macclesfield (Cheshire), and Frith (Derbyshire). Mispronunciation may have been responsible for one person from Mere, which later became Mear, two similar sounding placenames. Other examples of changes include a husband and wife swapping birthplaces, and a widow who gave her birthplace as that of her late husband. It must be remembered that the census only records the place of birth and the place of residence on census night. It does not indicate any movements between these two dates, although birthplaces of children can help to build a picture of whether a person had travelled widely or not.

 

Heads of Households by Gender

 

An average of 83% of the heads of households in Caverswall were male, with 17% female. 70% of those heads (male and female) were married, and 10% were single, with males far outnumbering females in these two groups. 20% of heads were widowed with females outnumbering males. In Cookshill an average of 87% of the heads of households were male, with 13% female. Here 78% were married (with no married female recorded after 1851), and 6% were single, although two of the returns showed no single people, male or female. Again males predominated in these two groups. An average of 16% of the heads were widowed, with females outnumbering males. These figures were almost identical to the study of Hanley in 1851[31]. The five married female heads raised the question of where were their husbands. Possibly some widows still regarded themselves as married, some husbands may have been working away from home, in the armed forces, or even serving imprisonment.

 

Both Caverswall and Cookshill showed a high proportion of male heads born locally, which from 1871 stabilised to just over 40% on average for both, with an average of 20% for the 1- 5 mile group for Caverswall and 27% for the same for Cookshill. By comparison central Longton only had 28% of the male heads of households born there, with 43% being immigrants from within 5 miles of Longton[32]. These figures suggest that both Caverswall and Cookshill were more settled than nearby Longton, and obviously with a smaller influx of people due to less employment. A trend, particularly noticeable for Cookshill, is the figure of those from more than 10 miles away steadily increases. These figures contrast markedly with Bagnall which had a much lower rate of heads born outside Bagnall [33].

 

Occupational Analysis

 

Occupation during the 19th century was thought of as an individual’s vocation. Until 1891 householders were asked to give their ‘rank, profession or occupation’, which could be taken to imply personal social status, rather than a description of economic activity. If that person happened to be unemployed on census night it was quite likely that he would still have listed himself by his trade, rather than revealing his current circumstances. Therefore the list of occupations is no guarantee that that person was in employment. By 1871 the term ‘unemployed’ was used for the first time for those of a trade who were normally employed but out of work on census night, which was dropped in 1891 with the introduction of a column in the CEB for employment status. Where individuals listed two occupations the assumption was that the first one had precedence and therefore only the first was recorded in the following occupational analysis. From 1851 masters of trades were required to prefix their occupation with the word ‘master’, and to include the number of workers (if any) that they employed. The same principle was to be applied to journeymen and apprentices. Because of inconsistencies in these terms of employment status they have been discarded on

the basis that an apprentice was working in a particular trade, regardless of ability.

 

Caverswall

Caverswall – Occupational Analysis

Group

1841

1851

1861

1871

1881

1891

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

1A

5

3.28

7

4.92

6

3.65

7

3.62

12

6.62

8

4.34

1B

25

16.44

32

22.53

26

15.85

27

13.98

27

14.91

25

13.58

2

4

2.63

6

4.22

11

6.7

5

2.6

13

7.18

22

11.95

3

 

 

1

0.7

4

2.43

11

5.72

 

 

4

2.17

4

3

1.97

7

4.92

14

8.53

14

7.25

13

7.18

8

4.34

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6

8

5.26

5

3.52

8

4.87

7

3.62

6

3.31

9

4.89

7

8

5.26

11

7.74

12

7.31

14

7.25

11

6.07

8

4.34

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

0.51

 

 

 

 

9

2

1.31

2

1.4

3

1.82

4

2.07

5

2.76

4

2.17

10

2

1.31

 

 

 

 

1

0.51

3

1.65

2

1.08

11

2

1.31

2

1.4

2

1.21

3

1.55

3

1.65

3

1.63

12

4

2.63

9

6.33

11

6.7

11

5.72

10

5.52

13

7.06

13

17

11.18

12

8.45

10

6.09

20

10.36

8

4.41

15

8.15

14

4

2.63

3

2.11

1

0.6

1

0.51

4

2.2

5

2.71

NO

68

44.73

11

7.74

48

29.26

43

22.27

53

29.28

56

30.43

U

 

 

1

0.7

1

0.6

4

2.07

1

0.55

 

 

P

 

 

6

4.22

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

0.54

H

 

 

23

16.19

2

1.21

14

7.25

2

1.1

1

0.54

R

 

 

 

 

3

1.82

4

2.07

 

 

 

 

C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CS

 

 

4

2.81

2

1.21

2

1.03

6

3.31

 

 

I

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

1.1

 

 

?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

1.1

 

 

1A     Agricultural – Farmers

1B     Agricultural – Labourers, Farm Servant, Farmer’s Son, Farmer’s Daughter, Cowman, Cattle Drover, Plough Boy, Dairy Maid

2                   Miners

3                   Pottery Workers, including Earthenware

4                   Skilled Non-Industrial Artisans – Blacksmith, Carpenter, Bricklayer, Stonemason, Wheelwright, Cooper, Basket-Maker, Crate-Maker, Cordwainer, Builder, Ironmonger’s Apprentice

5                   Skilled Industrial

6                   Retail – Shopkeeper, Shop Assistant, Publican,  Butcher, Grocer, Provisions Dealer, Butter Dealer, Milk Seller, Miller, Coal Dealer, Maltster, Hay & Straw Dealer, Cattle Dealer, Brewer’s Labourer

7                   Manufacturers – Shoemaker, Tailor, Dressmaker, Seamstress, Draper, Needleworker

8                   Upper Professional – Attorney at Law

9                   Lower Professional – Schoolmaster, Schoolmistress, Teacher, Auctioneer, Assurance Agent

10             Clerical Non-Supervisory – Clerk, Post-Woman, Commercial Traveller

11             Supervisory – Policeman, Vicar, Curate

12             Labour Workers Non-Agricultural – Sawyer, Gardener, Carter, Waggoner, Boiler Labourer, Platelayer, Stonebreaker, Engine Worker, Molecatcher, Charwoman, Washerwoman, Laundress, Tinker

13             Servants – General Male & Female Servants, Housekeeper, Housemaid, Cook, Coachman, Groom, Nurse, Employed at Home, Errand Boy

14             Private Income Recipients – Annuitants

N.O.  No Occupation.     U     Listed with a specific occupation but recorded as out of work

P          Pauper                   H     Housewife – ie Ag-lab wife, Butcher’s wife, etc

R          Retired                   C.S. Those aged 14 & over still classed as scholars

C          Cripple                   I        Idiot, Imbecile

?            Illegible

 

The largest group in the analysis of occupations was those listed with no occupation. This however was mainly made up of women and the great debate is did they really have no employment, or did the wording in the census simply exclude people who were not in full-time paid employment. Women sometimes worked on a casual part-time basis that went unrecorded as an occupation, even working from home, which was common in the 19th century, the home being a place of production of articles or services[34]. In the case of farms, wives and daughters would have probably contributed labour. Very few married women were employed (including those classed as simply wives of their husband’s occupation i.e. Blacksmith’s wife). Three of the Caverswall returns had five women in each listed with an occupation independent to that of their husband, while each of the others only had one or two. Cookshill only had one or two, and for two of the censuses none were recorded. Those few with an occupation were laundress/washerwoman (8), dressmaker/seamstress (5), grocer/shop assistant (2), along with a cook, a dairymaid, a schoolmistress, a nurse, a postwoman, a shoemaker, and most unusual of all, a colliery banksman[35]. The family comprising of an independent male breadwinner with dependant wife and children was an ideal to which only certain sections of the population could aspire. The wages of men were often irregular, and illness and death could cause acute crises for working-class families[36], few families being able to save to meet temporary losses of income. Because Caverswall and Cookshill may both be described as familistic communities, it is possible to assume that the high numbers of kin could have been a source of assistance in times of hardship.

 

The figure for those with no occupation in 1841 is inflated as the census excluded

unpaid family workers such as wives, sons and daughters. From 1851 onwards some family workers, such as farmers’ wives were included, but others, such as the wives of professional men were not[37]. Agricultural Labourers constituted the largest group of workers and was predominantly male, with the exception of farmers’ daughters and dairymaids listed in later censuses. Servants formed the second largest group. This, like the group for no occupation is slightly ambiguous. This group contained all those listed as servant (with the exception of farm servants) which does not say whether they were employed in the household in which they resided, or whether they went out to work as a servant. However, domestic servants still formed a large proportion of labour in Caverswall, with females far outnumbering males.

 

Manufacturing was the next largest group that began as a predominately male occupation, steadily rising to equal figures for men and women by 1891. This was followed by skilled non-industrial artisans, which consisted of males only, although females were recorded in this group in 1851. The next group was that of non-agricultural labour. In 1841 the figures for male and female was equal, with females overtaking males in 1851, from whereon males predominated.

 

The fastest expanding group was miners, and for the first three censuses potters also grew rapidly[38]. Group 3 of the occupation analysis reveals the rise of those employed within the pottery and earthenware industries. Neither Caverswall nor Cookshill have any residents listed in this group in 1841, but between 1851 and 1871 Caverswall increased from 0.7% to 5.72% of the adult population. Yet this figure only reveals those who still resided in the village, who were largely the adult sons and daughters,

unmarried and still living at home, whose father’s occupations included farm labourers and miners. However, considering Caverswall’s close proximity to the potteries this figure was surprisingly low. It also seemed strange that, apart from one female in 1891, this occupation was exclusively male.

 

Farmers and retail then followed. Farmers again were exclusively male except for two females in 1881. There was a rise in the lower professional class, but nowhere near enough to suggest that the community was becoming affluent. It is interesting to note that females in this group were either equal to, or greater than males. A minimal number of supervisory and clerical non-supervisory occupations also existed, as well as one person recorded as upper professional. Female annuitants, although not surprisingly, outnumber males, however it was impossible to distinguish those who were in receipt of an annual allowance or an investment producing an annual return and those who were in receipt of alms.

 

Caverswall – Age Sex Structure of Adult Labour

Census

1841

1851

1861

1871

1881

1891

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

Male

67

44.07

72

50.7

84

51.21

87

45.07

87

48.06

99

53.8

Female

13

8.55

22

15.49

23

14.02

38

19.68

24

14.91

22

11.95

Total

80

52.63

94

66.19

107

65.24

125

64.76

111

61.32

121

65.76

 

Cookshill – Age Sex Structure of Adult Labour

Census

1841

1851

1861

1871

1881

1891

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

Male

23

54.34

30

48.38

27

52.94

43

54.43

62

44.92

69

50.73

Female

3

6.52

6

14.51

9

17.64

7

0.08

15

10.86

20

14.7

Total

26

56.52

36

62.9

36

70.58

50

63.29

77

55.79

89

65.44

 

Disregarding the 1841 census for which the figures were notably lower an average of 94% of all male adults were employed (representing 49% of the total adult population) in Caverswall. In Cookshill 95% of all adult males (50% of the total adult population) were employed. An average of 32% of all adult females were employed in Caverswall (15% of the total adult population), with 31% (14% of the total adult population) for Cookshill[39].

 

Cookshill

Cookshill – Occupational Analysis

Group

1841

1851

1861

1871

1881

1891

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

1A

5

10.86

5

8.06

7

13.72

3

3.79

9

6.52

7

5.14

1B

5

10.86

10

16.12

10

19.6

8

10.12

16

11.59

6

4.41

2

2

4.34

7

11.29

2

3.92

10

12.65

11

7.97

29

21.32

3

 

 

4

6.45

 

 

4

5.06

3

2.17

8

5.88

4

3

6.52

2

3.22

3

5.88

5

6.32

9

6.52

6

4.41

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6

4

8.69

3

4.83

7

13.72

8

10.12

6

4.34

8

5.88

7

 

 

 

 

1

1.96

1

1.26

2

1.44

6

4.41

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9

1

2.17

 

 

1

1.96

 

 

 

 

1

0.73

10

 

 

 

 

1

1.96

1

1.26

1

0.72

1

0.73

11

 

 

1

1.61

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12

 

 

1

1.61

3

5.88

6

7.59

10

7.24

8

5.88

13

6

13.04

6

9.67

1

1.96

4

5.06

11

7.97

7

5.14

14

 

 

1

1.61

 

 

1

1.26

2

1.44

5

3.67

NO

19

41.3

6

9.67

7

13.72

22

27.84

52

37.68

40

29.41

U

 

 

1

1.61

 

 

1

1.26

 

 

 

 

P

 

 

1

1.61

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

0.73

H

 

 

12

19.35

6

11.76

4

5.06

1

0.72

 

 

R

 

 

1

1.61

2

3.92

 

 

4

2.89

1

0.73

C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CS

1

2.17

1

1.61

 

 

1

1.26

1

0.72

 

 

I

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

0.72

 

 

?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cookshill’s largest group was also that listed with no occupation, for the same reason as Caverswall. The figure falls dramatically in 1851, but rises steeply again, mirroring the growth in population from 1871 onwards.

 

The figures for occupational analysis reveal that between 1841 and 1891 Cookshill changed from an agricultural to a mining community. The number of agricultural labourers falls (except for a small anomaly in 1881), while miners progressively increase (except for a slight drop in 1861), and more than doubles between 1881 and 1891 by which time more people were employed in mining than agriculture.

 

Farmers and retailers made up the next two groups (their figures being equal), farmers being exclusively male except in 1871. Servants made up the next group. In 1841 the figures for male and female were equal, from whereon they became exclusively female, with the exception of one male in 1881. Again the same caution must apply here as to whether they were employed within the household they resided in, or whether they were employed elsewhere. Proportionally Cookshill had fewer servants than Caverswall (where it appeared as the 3rd largest group, here appearing 5th). Skilled non-industrial artisans, which was exclusively male, and non-agricultural labour followed, both accounting for the same amount of people.

 

Potters formed the next group, although there were no entries for this group in 1841 and 1861. Manufacturing followed and was exclusively male. Cookshill also had a minimal amount of clerical non-supervisory, lower professional, and one person recorded as supervisory. Annuitants were exclusively female, apart from one male in 1891, although no persons of either sex were recorded in this group in 1841 and 1861[40].

 

Examining all the returns in which an individual spans a minimum of three censuses it is possible to build a picture of the number of sons who follow their fathers original trade. The sample showed that 49 children followed their father’s occupation, while 44 did not. Coal miners were the largest group to have sons following fathers (12), but they were also the largest group to show sons following different occupations as well (10), three of those finding employment within the pottery industry, and two becoming agricultural labourers. Farmers showed eleven sons following their father’s occupation, while nine did not. These however were not large farms and may not have supported more than one son. Of those that did not stay on the farms, three had associated trades with two becoming grocers and one a butcher. Agricultural labourers were the third largest group with seven sons following their fathers, but with eight who did not, five of whom became miners, reflecting the change from agriculture to mining. The fourth largest group, wheelwrights, reveal all eight sons diversifying into different occupations, indicating a dying occupation. Taking the figures as a whole the pottery industry and mining were the two largest employers for those who did not follow in their father’s trade.

 

Dual Occupations

 

Of the total of 35 persons listed throughout the six censuses with more than one occupation 21 had farmer listed as one of their trades. There were 12 with butcher listed as one of their trades, 9 with publican, 6 with grocer, 4 with cattle dealer, 3 with draper, 3 with auctioneer/auctioneer’s clerk, and 2 with either boot/shoemaker, miller, or gardener. William Sargant in 1871 had four occupations – grocer and provisions dealer, draper, postmaster and Wesleyan local preacher, a fact he had also included on the preceding census. Of the nine publicans, the most likeliest group to have a second occupation, seven of these combined inn-keeping with farming, while two gave their other occupation as butcher. Butchers were the most likely to give farming as their second occupation, along with cattle dealer. Farmers who gave farming as their first occupation were most likely to give butcher as a second. Similarities also occur in Bagnall where all the second occupations given were farming - 3 ‘publican and farmer’, 2 ‘butcher and farmer’, 3 ‘coal miner and farmer’, and one ‘blacksmith and farmer’[41].

 

Farmers

 

Caverswall – Farms & Acreages

Census

1851

1861

1871

1881

Under 20 Acres

2

3

1

6

21 – 50 acres

3

3

5

6

51 –100 Acres

1

1

0

0

100 Acres & Over

2

1

1

1

Total Farms

8

8

7

13

Total Acreage

410

321

304.25

320.75

 

Taking information from the 1851 census returns the total acreage farmed in Caverswall was 410, with eight heads of households describing themselves as farmers. The largest of these was Bank House Farm with 144 acres, farmed by William Bradbury, who employed a waggoner, a ploughboy, and a dairymaid, all living in, along with his wife, his 18-year-old son listed as being employed on the farm, and a house servant. The second largest was Dove House Farm with 102 acres, farmed by William Turner Burgess and his family, who employed a cowman, a waggoner, and a ploughboy, along with two house servants. Of the four other substantial farms (i.e. those over 20 acres) only one employed outside labour, the remainder relying upon family or living-in kin for support with labour. Two of these gave farming as their second occupation (gamekeeper and farmer, and proprietor and farmer). Samuel Bullock of The Red House listed himself simply as farmer employing one man (although in White’s Directory of 1851 he is listed only as a victualler), possibly his wife undertaking the majority of the work in the pub, even though being listed with no occupation. The two smaller farms, 9 and 6 acres, the latter being The Green Man, where Thomas Lakin was described as publican and butcher (rather than farmer). These small acreages would most likely be used for keeping hens, pigs, and one or two cows, producing eggs, milk and cheese for the expanding potteries. Farms under 20 acres would usually only provide a living if supplemented with other work.

 

By 1861 the total acreage farmed in Caverswall had dropped by almost a quarter to 321 acres.  There were still eight farmers, five of which were recorded on the previous census. William Bradbury of Bank House Farm was no longer the largest as his acreage had now reduced to 81, employing a cowman and farm servant, along with a son still employed on the farm. William Turner Burgess of Dove House Farm was now the largest, still with 102 acres. Along with his wife and five children he also employed a waggoner, a farm servant and a house servant. Of the other three substantial farms the two larger ones employed outside labour, one of which was The Red House. Samuel Bullock had died, and his widow Ann was now left with running both the pub and farming 34 acres of land, for which she employed two farm servants and one general servant. No doubt her two sons aged 7 and 10 would also have helped. The other farm of 43 acres employed one boy. The three smallest farms were 20, 10 and 9 acres, the latter being The Green Man, now farmed by John Phillips who had acquired 3 acres more than Thomas Lakin in 1851, and who gave his occupation as publican and farmer.

 

By 1871 the total acreage farmed had fallen slightly to 3041/2, and the number of farmers had decreased by one to seven. William Bradbury at Bank House Farm was now the largest farmer (as in 1851) with 156 acres, almost double that of what he was farming in the previous census. He now employed four labourers along with his son. Five other substantial farms ranged in size from 231/4 to 40 acres, none of which employed outside labour, relying upon children and living-in kin for support. The Red House was now in possession of William Whilock, described as farmer and publican, as was James Hughes of The Green Man. The smallest was his brother, John Hughes, of The Stone House, listed as butcher and farmer of 10 acres.

 

By 1881 the total acreage farmed had risen back to what it had been in 1861, and the number of farmers had almost doubled to thirteen. William Bradbury of Bank House Farm was still the largest with 123 acres employing two labourers and two boys. The next six, all substantial farms of between 23 and 40 acres, of which three employed one boy each, two relied upon family and living-in kin, and one farmed solely by a widower. Two, William Whilock of The Red House and James Hughes of The Green Man, were both listed as farmer and publican. The main increase had been the number of small farmers, six, of which ranged in size from 13 to as little as 3 acres, yet only one of these had another occupation, John Hughes, butcher and farmer with 91/2 acres. It is likely that these were market gardeners rather than farmers in the true sense.

 

Cookshill – Farms & Acreages

Census

1851

1861

1871

1881

Under 20 Acres

0

1

0

1

21 – 50 acres

3

3

3

4

51 –100 Acres

0

2

1

1

100 Acres & Over

1

1

1

3

Total Farms

4

7

5

9

Total Acreage

266

391

351

710

 

The total acreage farmed in Cookshill rises throughout the censuses, except for a drop in 1871, yet by 1881 the figure had doubled again. This is mirrored in the number of those listed as farmer for the four censuses of 1851 – 1881, being 4,7,5 and 9 respectively, and although more farmers lived in Caverswall it is interesting to note that Cookshill actually farmed more acreage (with the exception of 1851). Of the four farmers listed in 1851 farming a total of 2661/2 acres, the largest was Robert Heath who farmed 170 acres at Cookshill Hall, employing one indoor and one outdoor labourer. Although listed as only employing two labourers, the return for Cookshill Hall shows Robert and his wife with two farm servants living in, plus a waggoner, a house servant and a general servant, both female. The three other  farms ranged in size from 25 to 39 acres. James Nicklin at Holehouse farmed 39 acres and employed one labourer and one boy, along with a grandson listed as employed on the farm. Thomas Barlow farmed 321/2 acres and employed one outdoor labourer, while the smallest, Peter Burgess, farmed 25 acres and did not employ labour, although did have a son listed as an agricultural labourer.

 

By 1861 the total acreage farmed was 391. Robert Heath at Cookshill Hall was still the largest with 160 acres employing two labourers and two boys. The next was Walter Blurton who farmed 64 acres and employed four labourers and one boy, none of who lived in. Ann Mosley from Cookshill Mill was recorded as farmer and miller with 60 acres, employing three labourers, none of who lived in. Although widowed she did have three ‘farmer’s’ daughters aged 16, 19 and 22, as well as five younger children all listed as scholars. There were three sizeable farms of between 24 and 40 acres, two of which had children listed as being employed on the farm, while the other employed one labourer and one boy. Rupert Abberley who lived alone held the remaining farm of 18 acres.

 

1871 saw a total of 351 acres farmed in Cookshill. Robert Heath had died and his widow Sarah, who along with the four labourers she employed, farmed 180 acres at Cookshill Hall. Ann Mosley of Cookshill Mill was still listed as miller and farmer of 61 acres, but now employing no labour, relying upon one son listed as miller, another listed with no occupation, and two ‘farmer’s’ daughters. The other three farms ranged from 25 to 45 acres, two of which employed labour, the other relying upon the help of children, although at this particular farm there were two apprentice butchers recorded as living in.

 

By 1881 the amount of acreage farmed had doubled to 710. There were two enormous farms, one of 250 acres of Daniel Inskip employing four men, and one of 209 acres employing two men and one boy. George Sargant who was recorded as farmer and butcher farmed this latter one. Living with him was his brother, also listed as farmer and butcher, with ‘partner’ added after. The third largest farm of William Lucas was of 105 acres which employed one labourer and a son. There were five farms of substantial size ranging from 24 to 52 acres, three of which employed one boy apiece, the other two relying upon children for help with agricultural tasks. There was one small farmer of 31/2 acres recorded as auctioneer’s clerk and farmer. Only two farmers, William Bradbury and Thomas Fielding, both of Caverswall, spanned all four censuses[42].

 

Male Agricultural Workers Aged 14 and Over

 

Adult Male Agricultural Labourers

Census

1841

1851

1861

1871

1881

1891

Caverswall

25

30

24

21

23

25

Cookshill

5

9

5

8

15

6

 

 

It was not surprising to find that by far the largest number of those employed as agricultural labourers in Caverswall were also born there, with little difference between those from 1-5 miles and 6-10 miles, from whereon the figures were so small as to bear little relevance. Cookshill’s figures reflect those of Caverswall although on a smaller scale. The few that were born more than 20 miles away do not begin arriving in Caverswall until 1861, and 1871 in Cookshill. Taking just the figure of those agricultural labourers which were born in Caverswall 1851 – 1891 reveals a general decrease, with the numbers falling by almost half between 1851 and 1861. Cookshill’s decline was sharper falling by 75%.

 

The greater numbers of agricultural labourers in Caverswall were the younger. Large numbers, although decreasing, appeared until the age of 40, and from thereon the decrease was only gradual. Cookshill’s figure contrasted with this with a large drop in those over the age of 20, with a fairly stable figure until 45, from whereon only one or two people remained employed. In Caverswall the figure of those employed as agricultural labourers between the ages of 14 and 19 rose steadily throughout the censuses (despite an anomaly in 1851), while Cookshill’s figure for this age group fluctuated.

 

Caverswall – Birthplace of Adult Male Agricultural Labourers

Census

1851

1861

1871

1881

1891

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

Caverswall

24

31.57

16

18.18

15

15.78

17

18.27

16

15.68

1 – 5 Miles

3

3.94

3

3.4

2

2.1

4

4.3

3

2.94

6 – 10 Miles

2

2.63

4

4.54

2

2.1

2

2.15

4

3.92

11 – 20 Miles

1

1.31

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

21 – 50 Miles

 

 

1

1.13

1

1.05

 

 

1

0.98

N.K./Illegible

 

 

 

 

1

1.05

 

 

1

0.98

 

Cookshill – Birthplace of Adult Male Agricultural Labourers

Census

1851

1861

1871

1881

1891

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

Caverswall

7

21.21

5

17.85

5

11.36

7

10.6

4

5.55

1 – 5 Miles

1

3.03

 

 

 

 

6

9.09

1

1.38

6 – 10 Miles

2

6.06

 

 

1

2.27

1

1.51

 

 

11 – 20 Miles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

21 – 50 Miles

 

 

 

 

2

4.54

1

1.51

1

1.38

N.K./Illegible

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comparing agricultural labourers to miners it was surprising to see that of all the miners in Caverswall only nine were born outside the village. It was predominantly a young persons occupation, with people as low as 14 being employed, the average age of miners being 35, which was the same for Cookshill. Of the miners in Cookshill the majority were born in the village, although with more immigrants than Caverswall, the majority coming from neighbouring Dilhorne, and almost all from within five miles, with a few between 6 – 10 miles. The one exception was one person from Wolverhampton.

 

Religious Attendance

 

The returns for the 1851 religious census record those who attended St. Peter’s (Anglican) church and the Wesleyan Methodist chapel on Sunday March 31st 1851. St. Filumena’s chapel was not erected until 1863 when the catholic Radcliffe family was in residence at the castle. Prior to this the Reverend William Jones had provided Catholic services in the castle, which until 1853 was held by a community of Benedictine nuns as a convent and school.

 

A total of 160 attended St. Peter’s, which could accommodate 320, comprising of a general congregation of 70, along with 90 Sunday scholars, spread across a morning and afternoon service. This represented 45.45% of the population[43]. Curate Francis Leigh conducted services for the absent Anglican priest Reverend Alexander Goode. He attempted to justify the numbers saying that his church was in the south eastern extremity of the parish, stating “there have also been built within a few years three churches in the adjoining parishes, one being a mile distant, another 11/2 miles from Caverswall church”[44]. The Wesleyan Methodists had erected their chapel in 1809, which could hold 130. Steward William Sargant recorded that 63 people attended – 45 general congregation and 18 Sunday scholars – between an afternoon and an evening service, which represented 17.89% (applying the same caution as used for the Anglican returns) of the population.

 

Children

 

The returns for 1851 – 1891 show an average of 60.6% of all those aged 14 and under in Caverswall recorded as scholars, with 58.6% in Cookshill. Caverswall had an average of 30.8% of all females 14 and under recorded as scholars, and 19.8 for males. The equivalent figures for Cookshill were 31% and 28% respectively, and although these figures suggest that more females attended school than males, by 1871 Cookshill’s figures were equal from whereon more males were recorded at school[45]. The term scholar could cover a wide spectrum, from those attending school daily, to those whose only education was Sunday school. Most scholars ranged in age from 5 to 13, with occasionally 3 and 4, and 15-year-olds listed as such. One 16-year-old, and two sisters, aged 17 and 20 were also listed as scholars.

 

Of all the children recorded as being at home, the average figure for Caverswall was 36.6%, with 37.4% for Cookshill[46]. In Caverswall more females than males were recorded at home except for 1851 and 1861 when this was reversed. Cookshill’s figure was similar for males and females in 1851, then males outnumbered females until this trend was reversed in the last two censuses. Expressed as percentages the figures between Caverswall and Cookshill do not differ greatly. Both had more children listed as scholars than at home except for Cookshill in 1871.

 

Very few children were classed as having an occupation. Where one sex outnumbered another it would only be minimal, with instances of the figures being equal, or where even no children of either sex were recorded as having an occupation[47]. It can generally be said that male children, although the numbers were few, did outnumber females. Of all the children recorded as having an occupation there was an average of 2% for Caverswall and 4% for Cookshill[48].

 

The youngest males with occupations were aged 11, and included an earthenware

labourer, a farm servant and a brickmaker. Other occupations of male children included agricultural labourers (12 if including farmers’ sons recorded as such who would have been old enough to help), 3 potters, 2 errand boys, 2 miners, a butcher, a brickmaker’s labourer, a blacksmith’s apprentice, a fireman’s assistant, and a coal carrier. One 14-year-old was listed as ‘imbecile’. The youngest female in employment was an 11-year-old house servant, which made up the largest category of female employment for those aged 14 and under. Other female occupations included two  nurses, a farm servant, an earthenware paintress and a dressmaker. There was one 13-year-old female listed as neither scholar or employed. The underestimation of child labour is likely to be due to the omission of those not in full-time, paid employment, which was the same problem encountered for adult females. Some, including some listed as scholars, would have had casual or part-time work such as running errands. With Caverswall and Cookshill being predominately rural, children may have been employed on farms leading horses, bird-scaring, weeding, and (in late summer) harvest work. The school log book for St. Peter’s Anglican school records that the school was closed at the end of August 1869 to allow pupils to assist with the harvest[49]

 

Conclusion

 

Caverswall’s gradual population growth was characteristic of other rural communities in North Staffordshire, growing slower than nearby towns. A combination of push-pull factors influenced those who migrated – pushed because there was not enough employment within the community, and pulled by the prospect of available housing, plus a steady wage through regular employment in the growing industries of the potteries, rather than casual farm work. Changes in farming practice had reduced the amount of labour required although it was still the largest employer of the community, producing for the ready markets of the expanding towns. Although the total acreage farmed in Caverswall between 1851 and 1881 fell by almost a quarter, the number of farmers almost doubled, due largely to the rise of those with smaller acreages.

 

Cookshill’s growth was far more rapid, although like Caverswall there was a slight decrease in population by 1891. The most likely reason for the expansion was availability of land. Caverswall’s High Street was already well established leaving little space for further development. Due to the topography, including that most of the surrounding land was wet and marshy, Cookshill offered more space, and therefore increased threefold from 1841. Cookshill’s total acreage farmed steadily increased, except for a drop in 1871, but doubled again a decade later, actually farming more land than Caverswall. This occurred largely because of three huge farms that brought land under cultivation, rather than an increase in the number of small farms. The figure for agricultural labourers almost doubles to cope with the new demand, but drops sharply again in the following census. None of the three farmers could be traced through to the 1891 census, and it appears that this large-scale farming was short-lived. During the second half on the 19th century the main occupation changed and Cookshill shifted from an agricultural to a mining community. Cookshill Mill also changed from grinding corn to bone for the pottery industry.

 

Both Caverswall and Cookshill had higher percentages of those born in Caverswall and Cookshill, as well as a high number of children when compared to the nearby pottery towns, suggesting that these two communities were more settled. The age-sex structures suggest migration, particularly in the young, but a middle-age swell also suggests immigration into the village that rarely happens in urban communities for this age group. There were higher numbers of immigrants from within a 10-mile radius, but with lower numbers for those from further away when compared to nearby towns. This was largely due to the predominant employment being agriculture. Most agricultural labourers were born in the village, with only a small number from outside, and nearly all from under 10 miles. The same also applies to miners who were steadily increasing.

 

10% of the population of Caverswall and 7% of the population of Cookshill consisted of extended family members, a figure that was usually less than half of the neighbouring urban communities. Families, although containing extended members, were more nuclear than those in the nearby towns, with family size and household size being slightly smaller. Most of the elderly lived with kin, and a higher number of those over the age of 65 reflect that a rural rather than an urban environment was healthier. Both also had a higher number of servants when compared to urban communities, although there were fewer lodgers, which shows when taken with the number of unoccupied houses, that housing did not appear to be a problem.

 

It becomes apparent that these two rural communities of smaller, more nucleated families were heavily influenced by the close proximity of the pottery towns. Rather than being self-sufficient it becomes obvious that they changed to serve the growing demands of the potteries. Yet this was a two-way system of supply and demand. The lack of commerce in Caverswall and Cookshill meant that most people would have shopped in one of the market towns, as the only shop serving the needs of both communities was the grocery shop in the square. Caverswall changed from large to relatively small farms, no doubt supplying these markets. Cookshill changed from being predominately agricultural to mining. Coal was a commodity in its own right, as well as being used for the firing process of pottery. This change was echoed further by the way that Cookshill Mill changed from grinding corn to grinding bone for the pottery industry. The growth of the potteries may have reduced the agricultural dominance of these two rural setlements, but without them it is impossible to say how much longer they would have existed without change.

 

 

 



[1] Caverswall tithe award and map 1842. Lichfield Joint County Record Office B/A/15.

[2] Fred Dennis Caverswall Past and Present. Stoke on Trent City Archives, Hanley. SP.724.9. Only the last two pages of this six-page document survive which appear to have been typed as a prompt for a talk given by the author. None of the claims made within the piece were referenced.

[3] Mike Rogers Caverswall in Old Picture Postcards Zaltbommel/Netherlands 1994. p3.

[4] Edward Higgs Making Sense of The Census, 1988. PRO. p63.

[5] Edward Higgs Making Sense of The Census, 1988. PRO. p57.

[6] Copy of  the faculty or licence authorising certain alterations to the church 1879, reprinted in full in Mike Rogers The Spirit of the Place 2000. Three Counties Publishing  p212.

[7] Several of the older inhabitants of Caverswall recall four almshouses being here in their childhood.

[8] Nor was it listed in Kelly’s Directory of 1891.

[9] Actually there were two public houses in Caverswall at this time, The Red House and The Old Green Man, although the latter was not recorded. The Old Green Man exists in William White’s Directories of  Staffordshire for 1834 and 1851, but there is no mention of it in the 1841 census or the 1842 tithe award. Only one publican is mentioned in Caverswall in the 1841 census – at the Red House – so it is possible that The Old Green Man had temporarily ceased trading.

[10] This also occurred in Consall, yet no explanation was given for it. Robert Millner (ed) Cheddleton : A Village History 1983 p75. Cheddleton Historical Society.

[11] Age-sex pyramids for Bagnall (Robert Speake (ed) Bagnall : On The fringe of The Moorlands 1990 Bagnall Local History Group p101), Longton (Margaret Breeze Central Longton in 1851 1976 The Workers Educational Association, North Staffordshire District p14) and Burslem (D.G. Stuart Central Burslem in the 1851 Population Census 1971 Dept of Adult Education, University of Keele p10).

[12] Longton (Breeze p13) and Burslem (Stuart p8).

[13] Bagnall (Speake p98) and  Longton (Breeze p13).

[14] Bagnall (Speake p98) and Longton (David Gatley Hanley in 1851 1989 Occasional Paper no 11 Dept of Sociology, Staffordshire Polytechnic p4).

15 Breeze p15.

 

[16] Gatley p8

[17] Hanley (Gatley p7), Etruria  (Marguerite Dupree Family Structure in The Staffordshire Potteries 1840 – 1880 1995 Clarendon Press p101), England and Wales (Population and Household size in England and Wales : Source Census 1801 –1981 VCH Staffs; 329. XIV 39).

[18] In Hanley 1851 brothers and sisters (including in-laws) made up the largest portion of extended family members (6.5%), followed by grandchildren (5.7%), nephews and nieces (4.4%). Parents (including in-laws 3.6%), sons and daughters-in-law (2.3%), and uncles and aunts (0.5%), totalling 23% of the population sample (Gatley p9).

[19] This was similar to Etruria 1861 where 78% of those aged over 65 had one or more kin living in the same household, and only 7% lived on their own. Dupree p328.

[20] In Etruria servants counted for 3% of the sample population (of which 94% were female). One household had six servants, another had four, and the remaining households had three or less

[21] By contrast in Hanley 1851 lodgers were the largest group of non-family members at 14.7%. There were also visitors (9.6%), servants (9.4%), and those classed as ‘other employees’ (1.9%) (Gatley p8)

[22] Hanley (Gatley p6) and Longton (Breeze p15).

[23] Dupree p123.

[24] Longton (Breeze p16), Etruria and Bagnall also had a lack of teenage marriages. In Etruria the youngest married male was 19, and the youngest married female 16, but the next was 18. (Dupree p123). The returns for Bagnall 1851-1871 show only three wives under the age of 20 (and no husbands). (Speake p102).

[25] Over 2/3 of the husbands in and residing in various potteries towns in 1861 were married to a woman from the same town. Dupree p129.

[26] Longton in 1851 had 48.04% of its inhabitants born there (Breeze p18), while the same figure for Hanley was 53.5% (Gatley p11).

[27] This was similar for urban communities such as Longton (Breeze p18) and Burslem (Stuart p14) in 1851 although statistically their percentages were lower, but with higher percentages from further away.

[28] In Hanley 1851 women appeared to be slightly less migratory than men (Gatley p11).

[29] Studies undertaken by the Cambridge group reveal that 15.7% of male heads changed their place of birth at one or more census between 1851 – 1881. The equivalent figure for females was 6% (Edward Higgs Making Sense of The Census, 1988 PRO. p72.).

[30] Edward Higgs Making Sense of The Census, 1988 PRO. p73.

[31] In Hanley 1851 85.3% of the household heads were men and 14.7% women. Most female heads were widows. Eight women were recorded as being married whose husbands appear to be absent on census night. 78.6% of heads (male and female) were married, males far outnumbering females. 16.5% were widows (male and female), and 4.9% were single – females predominant in these last two groups. (Gatley p9).

[32] Breeze p27.

 

[33] Speake p106.

[34] Edward Higgs Making Sense of The Census 1988 PRO p81.

[35] For women who worked in the potteries the largest single occupation was domestic service. There was also a significant number of milliners, dressmakers and seamstresses, charwoman/washerwoman/laundress (Dupree p72).

[36] Edward Higgs Making Sense of The Census 1988 PRO p83.

[37] Catherine Hakim Census reports as Documentary Evidence in ‘The Sociological Review’ vol.28, no.3, 1980. University of Keele.

[38] Percentages for miners in Longton was suprisingly low (6.07%) considering that the pottery industry depended upon coal for the firing process. Pottery workers were a moderate 33.41% so possibly the sample of central Longton was not truly representative of Longton as a whole (Breeze p33).

[39] These figures were slightly below the national average of England and Wales as a whole where 95.5% of men and 38.8% of women were shown as having an occupation (Gatley p19). The age-sex structure of Longton 1851 shows that the proportion of total employment taken by men was 61.08%, with 29.25% for women and 9.67% for children (Breeze p36).

[40] Occupations for Bagnall 1851 reveal that farmers and agricultural labourers together were the largest occupational group by far (90). This was followed by servants (32), and then a group comprising roughly of skilled non-industrial artisans, retail, clerical supervisory and non-supervisory (21). Due to Bagnall’s location there were stone and coal workers (11), boatmen (6), and potters (6) (Speake p103). The main occupational groups for central Longton 1851 were potters (33.41%), shopkeekers (18.11%), skilled artisans (15.41%),  servants (10.69%), potters (6.07%) and labourers (5.51%) (Breeze p33).

[41] Speake p95.

[42] By comparison Bagnall’s number of farms rises quite dramatically between 1851 – 1891 from 11 to 47. Although the number of farms over 50 acres remains unchanged there is a notable increase in those between 20 – 50 acres, and those under 20 acres (Speake p95).

[43] This actual figure may have been considerably lower as the attendance figure was divided by the total population for both Caverswall and Cookshill only, and does not take into account that some of those may have attended from outside the village.

[44] 1851 Religious Census. Lichfield Joint County Record Office. Ex mf/6.

[45] The total number of children at school in 1851 in Penkhull was 47.92% (Breeze Longton p46), with 30.8% in Burslem (Stuart p29) and 29.15% in Longton (Breeze p46). Central Longton 1851 had more females classed as scholars than males, 32.79% and 25.60% respectively (Breeze p46). This was also true for Burslem (Stuart p29), but Penkhull had equal numbers of those listed as scholars (Breeze Longton p46).

[46] Central Burslem had 54.8% of children recorded as being at home (Stuart p29), Longton in 1851 had 53.44% (Breeze p46), and Penkhull had 36.7% (Breeze Longton p46).

[47] This is different to central Longton (Breeze p36) and Burslem (D. G. Stuart ed. The Population of Central Burslem 1851 and 1861 1973 Dept of Adult Education Keele University p43).where almost twice as man boys were employed than girls.

[48] The number of children listed with occupations in central Longton in 1851 was 17.41% (Breeze p46), central Burslem had 14.4% (Stuart p29), and Penkhull had 15.37% (Breeze Longton p46).

[49] Rogers p251.