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1. Unsatisfactory Character of the Data.

In our report on the Census of 1881 (Vol. IV., p. 25) we set forth in detail the causes that prevent any satisfactory classification of the population by their occupations; and, as these causes remain unaltered, it will be unnecessary on the present occasion to deal with them in a more than summary manner.

The main difficulty arises from the extremely inaccurate and inadequate manner in which uneducated, and often, indeed, even educated persons, describe their calling. Clear instructions are printed on each " Householders Schedule" that persons

"should state distinctly not only the general name of the industry in which they are employed but the particular branch of the industry in which they are engaged, and also the material in which they work, if it be not implied in the name, and if such name be common to several industries";

and special examples are given to explain and illustrate what is meant. But these instructions, which probably are never looked at by the large majority of householders, are very largely disregarded. In numerous cases only the general name of the industry is stated and the person is returned as "cotton-hand" "factory-worker," "miner," or the like; while in many others the general name of the industry is omitted, and the person is returned only by the special branch; as "weaver," "spinner," "finisher," "foreman," "manager," &c. This renders it impossible for us to classify the persons engaged in any industry, e.g., in the cotton industry, by the branches of the manufacture and makes it necessary to content ourselves with giving a single total for the whole; and even that total can only be approximative, though in the case of the large industries the approximation is probably very close.

A census, taken on the ordinary method, where the schedule is filled up by the householder himself or some member of his family, who, too commonly neither cares for accuracy nor is capable of it, does not supply data winch are suitable for minute classification, or admit of profitable examination in detail. the most that it is reasonable to expect from data so collected is that they shall give the means of drawing such a picture of the occupational distribution of the people as shall be fairly true in its main lines, though little value can be attached to the detailed features. It is not wise to demand from a material a result for the production of which it is unsuited. While, then, we fully sympathise with those economists who cry out for fuller and more detailed information as to the industrial organisation of the country, we are distinctly of opinion that such information cannot be obtained by the machinery of an ordinary census; and in this judgement we are in agreement with those statisticians who have been engaged in the censuses of foreign countries.

Among other criticisms of the occupational tables in the former English Census volumes the two most important are that distribution has not been kept separate from production, and that masters have not been distinguished from their workmen.

Makers and dealers

As regards the former of these criticisms we would say that, though in economical treatises a broad line is drawn between production and distribution, in actual life the two are by no means so distinct, the maker and the retail seller being very frequently one and the same person; and further that, when the two are distinct persons, they very generally have one and the same occupational title. The man, for instance, who makes bread, and the man who only sells bread, are alike called "baker" and the man who sells shoes calls himself a shoemaker, as much as the man who actually does the cutting and sewing. So also is it with cabinet-makers, cutlers, hosiers, tailors, watchmakers, and numerous other occupational groups. "Wishing, however, as far as possible to meet the views of our critics, we have introduced into the classification fresh headings wherever it seemed probable that dealers might be separated, at any rate to some extent, from makers.

Masters and men

To meet the second criticism, that masters are not distinguished from men, we were directed by the Local Government Board to adopt the following plan. The householder's schedule as used in former censuses had on the back an instruction that masters employing work-people under them should state this fact in the occupation column, and give the number of persons employed; but this instruction was rarely followed. It was thought that, if special columns were placed on the face of the schedule, better results might possibly be obtained, and consequently three new columns were there placed, headed respectively "employer," "employed," and "neither employer nor employed," and an instruction was given that against the name of each person engaged in any industrial occupation a cross should be made in the appropriate column. In numerous instances, however, no cross at all was made; in many others, crosses were made in two or even in all three columns, and, even when only one cross was made, there were often very strong reasons for believing that it had been made in the wrong column.

Oftentimes this use of the wrong column can scarcely have been other than intentional; being dictated by the foolish but very common desire of persons to magnify the importance of their occupational condition. This desire must have led many subordinates to return themselves as employers rather than as employed; for it is only on this supposition that we can account for the otherwise unintelligible fact that, under several headings, there are actually, according to the returns, more employers than employed, more masters than men. This is the case, for instance, under Builders, Provision Dealers, Coal Dealers, Road Contractors, Dealers in Hemp, &c., Dealers in Cane, Rush, &c., and others. We doubt much also, whether, it can be the case, that out of the persons returned as hawkers, costermongers, and street sellers, 1,383 were employers of labour, as appears in the tables.

It is, however, not necessary to suppose that the use of the wrong column was always, or generally, intentional. Those who are conversant with forms and schedules scarcely realise the difficulty which persons, not so conversant, find in filling them up correctly. We have abundant evidence that even educated men often make extra-ordinary mistakes in this apparently simple operation; and consequently it ought not to be a matter of surprise that, to an ordinary working man or labourer, such a schedule as that of the census with its complicated instructions and numerous columns should present insuperable difficulties. It appears to us scarcely reasonable to expect such a man laboriously to spell out the instructions, and, folio wing them duly, to select out of three columns the proper one in which to make his cross.

Although, therefore, we have not considered ourselves justified, after the instructions given to us by the Local Government Board, altogether to discard the statements as to employers and employed from the census volumes, we hold them to be excessively untrustworthy, and shall make no use whatsoever of them in our remarks.

2. The Classification.

Changes since 1881

The introduction of the distinction between masters, men, and those who were neither, but independent workers or dealers, rendered it necessary to diminish to some extent the number of separate occupational headings; as otherwise the sheets, on which the abstraction of the entries had to be made, would have been too lame for the abstractor to manipulate. A list of the changes made on this or other grounds in the classification is given in Appendix B to this report.

Some changes were also made in the age-periods under which the persons en in any occupation were divided. In the 1881 classification, the first age-period w "from five to fifteen years," but there are so few, if any, children under ten years of age in any occupation, owing to the necessities of school attendance, that it was thought better and more precise to change this period to "from ten to fifteen," Nor need it be foared that this change prevents clue comparison between the 1881 and the 1891 occupational figures; for the occupied children between 5 and 15 are practically the same as the occupied children between 10 and 15 years of age. Again, in the occupational tables of 1881, the persons of from 25 to 65 years of age were divided into only two groups, those from 25 to 45, and those from 45 to 65 years of age, As those forty yours constitute the most important period of active employment, it was thought desirable to split thorn up into shorter periods, and this has been done, the whole forty yearn bring divided into four decennial periods.

The 349 headings under which occupations in combination with ages have been abstracted, have been arranged by us in sub-orders, orders, and classes after the same plan an in 1881, The largest groups or classes are six in number, namely, the professional, the domestic, the commercial, the agricultural, the industrial, and the unoccupied classes. The names of these classes must not be interpreted too literally, nor must the lines of demarcation between them be supposed to be very definite. Still, for general purposes, and disregarding minute details, this division into classes is not without use. It will be found, for instance, that if counties or other areas be compared with each other in regard to the percentage of their populations that is included in each of these six classes, a very tolerable idea may be got of their general character. Accordingly, in Table 31 of Appendix A, we have given columns showing these proportions for each county, an well as for the whole country.

The goodness, however, of a classification depends on the purpose to which the classification is to be applied; and as different classifiers may have different aims in view, we have, in addition to the table which gives the classified arrangement for the whole country, and those which give it for each division, county, and large urban sanitary authority, also given an alphabetically arranged list of the headings, with the number of persons, males and females, belonging to them severally; so that every one may have facilities for grouping the occupations in such a way as seems best to him (See Vol. III. Summary Table 6).

General rules for the tabulation

Before proceeding to consider the actual result of the tabulation of occupations, it will be well to state "the general rules laid clown for the guidance of the clerks. These were practically the same as in 1881, and in the main as follows:—

Apprentices, journeymen, assistants and labourers were to be classed under the occupation to which they were apprenticed, or in which they assisted or worked, but messengers, errand boys, porters and watchmen (excepting railway or government), were not to be so classed, but to go to a special heading provided for them, namely, Messenger, Porter, Watchmen (not Railway or Government).

Clerks were not classed under the business in which they worked, but under Commercial Clerks. To this, however, bank clerks, insurance clerks, and railway clerks formed exceptions, going respectively to Bank Officials and Clerks, Insurance Service, and Railway Officials and Clerks.

Persons stated to have retired from business were not classed under their former occupations, but under a special heading "Retired from business." To this rule, however, officers in the Army or Navy, clergymen, and medical men were exceptions.

Patients in lunatic asylums and inmates of workhouses over 60 years of age were not classed by their previous occupations. But paupers under 60, patients in general hospitals, and prisoners were classed by their occupations as being possibly only temporarily debarred from them, and the same rule was applied to persons stated to be " out of employ " from any stated handicraft.

When a person was returned with several occupations, the rules laid down for selection of the one under which he was to be classed were, firstly, that a mechanical handicraft or constructive occupation should invariably be preferred to a shopkeeping occupation; secondly, that, if one of the diverse occupations seemed of more importance than the others, it should be selected; and thirdly, that in default of such apparent difference, the occupation first mentioned should be taken, on the ground that a person would be likely to mention his main business first.

3. Results of the Tabulation.

We now proceed to examine the main results of the tabulation of persons by their ages, sexes, and occupations. In so doing we shall not attempt to deal with all the occupational headings, nor shall we confine ourselves strictly to the order of classification in the tables; but we shall select such headings and group them in such combinations as may seem suitable.


The Professional Class comprises not only those persons who would ordinarily be spoken of as occupied in professional pursuits, but many also of their immediate subordinates. Thus, not only the officers of the Army and Royal Navy are included, but the privates and seamen; not only the lawyers and the doctors, but the lawyers' clerks and the sick nurses, and not only the schoolmasters and teachers, but the students in all branches of knowledge—theological, legal, medical, agricultural, and general—who were over 15 years of age; schoolboys and schoolgirls under this age having been excluded. The class, thus constituted, is the smallest of those under which occupations have been grouped, and contained 920,132 persons—of whom nearly two-thirds were males—or 4.2 per cent. of the total population 10 years or more of age. Owing to (ho inclusion of the Army and Navy, the proportion of this class was much above the average in such counties (see Appendix A, Table 31) as Hampshire and Devonshire, where those forces are strongly represented, but otherwise it was in the great towns and their neighbourhood that the class was most prominent, as in London, with the suburban counties of Middlesex and Surrey.

Army and Navy

At the date of the Census of 1891, the Army was represented in England and "Wales by 91,478, the Royal Navy by 25,453, and the Royal Marines by 9,542 officers and men. From special returns, however, supplied to us from the War Office and the Admiralty, we have been able to construct a separate table (Appendix A, Table 39) showing the number and ages of the members of each of these bodies, whether at home or abroad.

The army comprised 222,859 persons, of whom 10,331 were commissioned officers, while 212,528 were non-commissioned officers and men. This was an increase of 36,431 or 19.5 per cent., upon the number in 1881. Of these 222,859 officers and men, 170,586, or 76.5 per cent., were of English or Welsh birth; 18,146 or 8.1 per cent. were natives of Scotland; 30,870, or 13.9 per cent., were natives of Ireland; while the remaining 3,257 were born out of the United Kingdom. In 1881 the proportions per cent. had been 69.1 English or Welsh, 8.1 Scotch, 21.2 Irish.

The total number of men of all ranks in the Royal Navy, whether at home or abroad, was 52,982, and 19.3 per cent. above the number in 1881, which was 44,400. An examination of the age tables (Appendix A, Table 39) shows that the sailors commence their service at an earlier age and continue it to a later age than is the case with the soldiers. For of the sailors 18.2 per cent. were under 20, but of the soldiers only 15.3; of the former 60.4 were from 20 to 35 years of age, but of the latter 77.5; while the percentage over 35 years was 21.4 for the sailors but only 7.2 for the army.

The Royal Marines enumerated in England and Wales numbered 9,542, but the total force at home or abroad consisted of 13,559 men.


The police numbered 39,921 and were 22-8 per cent. more numerous than in 1881, when they were 32,508. There was one policeman on an average to keep order among 726 of the population, the proportion in 1881 having been one for 799.

Clerical profession

The clergy of the Established Church number 24,232 in the table. But some clergymen who were also schoolmasters were classed with these latter. This, and the fact that names often remain in the clergy list for some time after death, and that some clergymen on the list are serving in foreign parts, will account for the clergymen. in that list numbering nearly 26,000. The increase of the Established Church clergymen, taking the numbers in the tables, was 11.9 per cent. in the decennium; so that they had increased in practically the same proportion as the population.

The Roman Catholic Priests were 2,511 against 2,089 in 1881. and 1,020 in 1871. They had, therefore, grown in much greater ratio than the clergy of the establishment, namely, by 29 per cent. in 1871-81, and by 20.2 per cent. in the next decennium.

The ministers of other religious bodies numbered 10,057, against 9,734 in 1881 and 9,264 in 1871; they had thus increased by 3.3 per cent. in the last decennium and by 5.1 per cent. in the preceding ten years.

Taking the whole of England and Wales there were ten ministers to 24 clergymen of the establishment; but the proportions varied greatly in different parts, and while in Monmouthshire the ministers and established clergymen were, practically equal in numbers, in South Wales there were 14, and in North Wales 12, of the former of the latter.

To the clergy of all denominations may further be added 9,313 missions, scripture readers and itinerant preachers, 4,678 nuns or sisters of charity and 7,851 church, chapel, or cemetery officers and servants making altogether a total of 58,642 persons in or connected with the clerical profession.

Legal profession

The number of barristers and solicitors according to the enumeration was 19,978 or 14.9 per cent. More than in 1881.

According to information supplied to us by the compiler of the official law-list, there were in March 1891, or practically at the date of the enumeration, 15,090 solicitors in actual practice, and, supposing that all those gentlemen returned themselves duly as so engaged would remain a balance of 4,888 gentlemen who returned themselves as barristers. The number of barristers according to the law-list was much in excess of this, but this is probably to be accounted for by the list of barristers being: far less accurate than Unit of solicitor, which in kept accurate by the payment of an annual fee for each practitioner, and by many barristers, who have given up their profession and perhaps adopted some other calling, not returning themselves in their census schedules as barristers though their names still remain in the law-list.

To the 19,978 barristers and solicitors are further to be added 27,540 law-clerks, bringing the total number of persons in the legal profession up to 47,518.

Medical profession

The persons entered as physicians, surgeons, or general practitioners numbered 19,037, showing an increase of nearly 26 per cent. upon the number returned in 1881. We regard, however, these returns with much suspicion, and think it probable that no few unqualified persons return themselves as medical practitioners. Such, certainly, is the case with the dentists, for we found that many lads and girls were so returned, though they were merely employed in the manufacture of false teeth and dental apparatus. Among the 19,037 persons returned as practising medicine were 101 women. "We think it possible that here also there may have been some exaltation of status, and that among the 101 would be found some who were rather students than practitioners. Two women, also, were returned, with 3,191 men, as veterinary surgeons. The main part, however, taken by women in the medical profession, is in the important office of sick nurse, midwife, or invalid attendant. Tinder this heading were returned 53,658 persons, of whom 58,057 were women. Not improbably also there were many other sick-nurses, included, owing to the vagueness of their schedule statement of occupation, among the 15,501 women under Hospital and Institution Service (Order 4, Sub. 2), The very large number of women engaged in nursing the sick causes this sex to predominate in the total medical profession, which numbers in our tables 30,843 men, but 54,892 women.

In this total are not included either the 21,930 chemists and druggists, or the 2,036 makers and sellers of surgical instruments.


As already mentioned, we were unable to separate the dentists from the makers of dental apparatus. We can, however, give approximately the number of the former by means of the dental register. From this it appears that the number of duly registered dentists practising in 1891 in England and Wales was 4,168. Some surgeons, however, who practise as dentists, are not registered as dentists.

Schoolmasters and teachers

The number of persons employed in education of all grades, including schoolmasters and mistresses, professors, tutors, governesses, and pupil teachers, but exclusive of teachers of music, who are classed with musicians, was 195,021, and of these 144,393, or 74 per cent., were women, There were also 5,574 other persons engaged in school service, making with the teachers a total of 200,595.

The increase of teachers in the decennium was 15.5 per cent. and considerably greater than the increase of the population, which was only 11.7 per cent.; but it was small as compared with the increase in the next preceding decennial period, 1871-81, which had been no less than 36 per cent. In the whole 20 years, 1871-91, the increase was 57.0 per cent., while the increase of the population was only 27.7 per cent. Concomitantly with this 20 years' increase of teachers, the proportion of persons who were unable when married to sign their names in the register fell from 194 to 54 per 1,000 for the men, and from 268 to 73 per 1,000 for the women.

In 1871 there was one teacher on an average for every 68 persons of from three to 20 years of age; in 1881, one for every 58, and in 1891, one for every 56.

Civil and mining engineers, &c.

The civil and mining engineers numbered 9,605, or two per cent. more than in 1881, when the total was 9,415. Under the somewhat vague heading of Land, House, Ship Surveyors, there were classed 5,836 males, the number in 1881 having been 5,394.

Architects, artists, &c.

The architects were 7,842, against a previous 6,898, and the persons who returned themselves as artists, whether painters, sculptors, or engravers, numbered 12,282, or 11.1 per cent. more than in 1881. But by far the most numerous among those who minister to our amusement were the musicians. Of these, including all grades down to the street organ grinder, there were 38,606, or 51 per cent. more than in 1881; an increase, moreover, which followed a growth of 88 per cent. in the next preceding decennium 1871-81.


The actors and actresses also increased in far higher proportion than the population. In 1881 they numbered 4,565, or 30 per cent/more than in 1871; and in 1891 they had grown to 7,321, a further increase of no less than 60 per cent.

Performers, showmen, &c.

A humbler group of persons who minister to amusement is that of persons engaged in [...] As professionals in various games. These also rose enormously, [...] in 1881 to 9,095 in 1891, an increase of 80 per cent., which again followed on an increase of 60 per cent. in the previous decennium. [NB the remainder of this paragraph is unreadable in both copies of this report that we have access to]


The same rapid growth occurred among the photographers, with whom are included the dealers in photographic apparatus. These numbered 10,571, against 6,661 in 1881, and 4,715 in 1871; having thus increased 41 per cent. in 1871-81, and another 59 per cent. in 1881-91.

If we make one group of the artists, actors, musicians, performers, and photographers, and further add to them their necessary subordinates, namely the 12,623 makers of musical instruments, the 6,776 makers of apparatus for games, and the 2,493 persons employed in art, music, theatre service, we have a total of 99,767 persons ministering to art and amusement, and this total exceeds that of 1881 by no less than 53 per cent.


The Domestic Class is composed of persons engaged in in-door domestic service or other allied personal offices. It does not, however, include sick-nurses, who are classed under the medical profession, nor such out-door servants as coachmen, grooms, and gardeners. It consisted in 1891 of 1,900,328 persons, or 8.6 per cent. of the whole population of 10 or more years of age. Of the whole class 93 per cent. were of the female sex.


Of all the occupations in the table, the one which employs by far the largest number of persons is domestic service. No fewer than 1,444,694 persons, of whom 58,527 were men and 1,386,167 were women, were returned in 1891 as indoor domestic servants; if the out-door servants, that is the coachmen, grooms, gardeners, gamekeepers, lodge-keepers and the like, and also the servants in inns, clubs, and other institutions, and the temporary servants, or charwomen and caretakers, were included in the account, the total number of persons who in one form or another might be classed as servants would be nearer two millions than a million and a half.

In 1881 the in-door domestic servants numbered 1,286,668, and the 1891 total exceeded this by 12-28 per cent.; the increase being, therefore, slightly greater than that of the general population which was only 117 per cent. While the regular domestic servants increased by 12.28 per cent., the supplemental servants, or charwomen, rose from 92,474 in 1881 to 104,808 in 1891, an increase of 13.34 per cent. or somewhat more than that of the regular servants. There was one in-door servant or charwoman to 18.8 persons in 1881, and one to 18.7 persons in 1891, the proportions being practically identical.

If then the average number of servants be, as it very probably is, a good standard by which to measure the average degree of comfort in which a community is living, there has been no falling off in this respect since 1881.

Domestic service is pre-eminently a female occupation, the in-door women servants outnumbering the men in the proportion of 24 to 1. It is distinguished from most other occupations by the very early age at which it is undertaken, no fewer than 107,167 girls returned as servants having been under 15 years of age, while 449,612 more were under 20. it is this opening for early employment that strips the rural districts of their young girls, and causes, as we have seen elsewhere (p. 32) the lads exceptionally to outnumber the girls in country places between the ages of 10 and 20. Of all females in England and Wales in 1891 that were 10 years of age and upwards, 1 in 8.3 was in domestic service, and limiting ourselves to the age of 15-40, which is the common age of female servants, the proportion was as high as 1 in 3.3.

In addition to the 1,444,694 in-door domestic servants, and the 104,808 charwomen who were mentioned above, there were 90,683 persons, of whom the males were slightly the more numerous, returned as inn or hotel servants, 7,527 as college or club servants 22,453 as engaged in hospital and institution service, 2,715 as lodge or gate keepers, and 192,158, almost exclusively women, employed in washing and bathing service; the whole group of persons engaged in some or other form of domestic offices or services amounting, with the inclusion of a few unclassified attendants, to no less than 1,900,328 persons, of whom 1,759,555 were of the female and 140,773 of the male sex. This total, large as it is, might further be extended to include the 53,658 sick-nurses, midwives! and invalid attendants, almost exclusively women, who have been already dealt with, when we spoke of the medical profession.


In the Commercial Class are included not only the persons directly engaged in commerce, that is to say the merchants, bankers, insurers, &c. with their agents, clerks, and travellers, and the brokers, accountants, and auctioneers, but also the persons engaged in the transport of passengers, goods, and messages, and in [...] class as thus constituted comprised 1,399,735 persons, or 6.3 per [...] over 10 years of age; whereas in 1881 the number, after due [...] for changes in the headings included in the class, was 1,096,391; so that the decennial increase in this class which, in the aggregate, is pretty fairly defined, has been 27.7 per cent., or more than twice as great as that of the population. [NB the remainder of this paragraph is unreadable in both copies of this report that we have access to]

Persons engaged in commerce

Dividing the class into two orders, those more directly engaged in commercial transactions, and those engaged in transport, the increase in the former was from 316,865 to 416,365 or 314 per cent., while the increase in the latter was from 779,526 to 983,370 or 26.1 per cent.

Both these orders are, like the class which they together constitute, fairly definite, and consequently the aggregate figures we have just given for 1881 and 1891 may be compared without risk of serious error; but not so the separate headings in the orders, The line of demarcation between several of them is so vague and uncertain that there is a considerable amount of chance as to the precise heading to which an individual may be assigned by the abstracting clerks, and consequently the figures for such headings are scarcely worth separate examination, or comparison with those of earlier censuses.

The number of persons returned as bankers was 910, whereas in 1881 it had been 1,057. But while the bankers thus apparently declined, the number of bank officials and clerks rose from 14,998 to 19,975. The probable explanation of these opposite movements is to be found in the conversion or absorption of private banks into large banking companies, and the consequent substitution of bank directors and managers for bankers.

The bankers and bank officials and clerks together numbered 20,885, and were 30 per cent. in excess of the number returned in 1881, which was 16,055.

Still greater was the growth under Insurance. The persons returned as so engaged, clerks and all included, numbered 31,437, or twice as many as in 1881, when the number was only 15,068 and nevertheless nearly three times as high as the figure for 1871.

Commercial travellers and commercial clerks

Commercial travellers, also, and commercial clerks, appear to form tolerably definite groups. The former increased in the decennium from 35,478 to 44,055, or 24.2 per cent; while the clerks grew from 181,457 to 247,229 or no less than 36.2 per cent. The increased diffusion of education has apparently flooded the country with candidates for clerkships. This seems, at any rate, a more probable explanation of the frequent complaints of difficulty in getting clerical employment, than the explanation sometimes advanced that it is clue to the competition of foreigners; for of the 247,229 clerks only 4,049. or one in 61, was an European foreigner; while there was one such foreigner in every 27 commercial travellers. The vast majority of the commercial clerks are, of course, of the male sex, which outnumbers the other sex in this occupation by nearly 13 to 1. But it is noticeable that there is an increasing tendency to the employment of female clerks; for, while in 1871 less than 2 per cent. of all the clerks were females, in 1881 the proportion was over 3 per cent., and in 1891 had risen to more than 7 per cent. Very probably many of these female clerks were type-writers.

Transport of passengers and goods

Let us now turn to the persons engaged in the transport of passengers or goods, whether by road, rail, or water, taking these three subdivisions separately. The numbers engaged in road traffic were as follows:—

Livery stable, coach, cab, &c., proprietors   11,371
Coachmen, cabmen, grooms, &c.   176,393
Carriers, carmen, hauliers   170,256
Tramway service   6,9066
Wheelchair, &c., proprietors, attendants   1,275
Engaged in road traffic   366,201

The total number of persons similarly employed in 1881 was 282,391. The increase, therefore, in the 10 years was 29.7 per cent.

Railway traffic

The persons returned as engaged in railway traffic were as follows:—

Railway guards   12,892
Engine-drivers, stokers   40,008
Pointsmen, level-crossing men   8,956
Railway porters, servants   81,576
Railway officials and clerks   43,342
Engaged in railway traffic   186,774

The total number of persons returned as similarly in 1881 was 139,408. The increase, therefore, in the 10 years was 34 per cent.

Water traffic

There remains traffic by water. The numbers engaged in this group were as follows:—

Seamen (merchant service), pilots, boatmen on seas, enumerated   107,834
Seamen (English and Welsh) servicing abroad   67,465
Bargemen, lightermen, watermen   31,496
Harbour, dock, wharf, lighthouse service   8,890
Dock labourers   54,996
Engaged in water traffic   275,908

The total returned in 1881 as similarly engaged was 247,314. The increase, therefore, in this group appears to have been only 11.6 per cent. in the 10 years, and not greater than the increase of the general population. The increase was even much smaller than this among the persons actually employed on the water; for the seamen only increased 3.3 per cent., and the bargemen 4.2 per cent. in the decenuium; while the growth of the navigation service on shore was 11.3 per cent., and that of the harbour, wharf, and dock service, including the dock labourers and mainly consisting of them, was 49.8 per cent.

The 366,201 persons employed on roads, the 186,774 employed on railways, and the 275,908 engaged in traffic on water, together make up a total of 828,883 persons employed in the conveyance of passengers or goods; a number 23.9 per cent. in excess of the 669,113 similarly returned in 1881.

To these 828,883 persons, who in 1891 were more or less directly occupied in transport, we may further add from the industrial class 283,777 others, who were engaged in industries that are indirectly concerned with transport, as supplying the means by which such transport is made possible, Thus there were 3 650 road or railway contractors, 94,050 road or railway labourers, 66,254 carriage makers and wheelwrights, 27,321 saddlers and harness makers, 11,524 bicycle, &c. makers and dealers, 404 turnpike or toll collectors, 62,717 ship and boat builders, 3,448 ship riggers, &c., 3,575 sailmakers, 6,376 anchor and chain makers, 776 ship chandlers, making up with 3,681 others unclassified, the total of 283,777. The total under the corresponding headings in 1881 was 223,839; the increase in the 10 years having therefore been 26.8 per cent. There are, of course, numerous other industries more or less subservient to transport; but the above are all that the classification in the occupation tables allows us to distinguish. We shall, therefore, be well within the mark in saying that there were in. 1891 at least 1,112,660 persons either directly engaged in transport or in various industries subservient to transport.

Closely allied to the transport of goods is the conveyance of messages. Under Telegraph and Telephone Service were classed 14,955 persons, whereas the number 10 years earlier had been only 9,442; and under Messengers, Porters, Watchmen 179,089 persons, showing an increase of 37 per cent. since 1881.


The three classes we have as yet dealt with are much more strongly represented in the urban than in the rural population. We come now to a class in which the opposite is the case; namely, the Agricultural Class, with which is combined the fishing industry, this latter, however, being too small to affect seriously the total of the class. The number of persons included in the class in 1891 was 1,336,945, almost exclusively males, or 6.1 per cent. of the population aged 10 or upwards. The proportion, however, was at least 1.4 per cent. in each of the following counties, which may therefore be looked on as having the most purely agricultural populations:—

  Per cent.     Per cent.
Radnorshire 22.5   Brecknockshire 15.9
Huntingdonshire 23.2   Merionethshire 15.1
Montgomeryshire 21.1   Wiltshire 14.9
Cambridgeshire 19.9   Oxfordshire 14.8
Cardiganshire 19.4   Shropshire 14.6
Anglesey 18.7   Buckinghamshire 14.6
Herefordshire 18.6   Pembrokeshire 14.4
Rutlandshire 18.3   Westmorland 14.3
Lincolnshire 18.1   Dorsetshire 14.2
Suffolk 17.7   Hertfordshire 14.0
Norfolk 16.7   Bedfordshire 14.0


The total number of persons who were returned as farmers in 1881 was 223,943; in 1891 the number was 223,610. This decline is so small that it might be altogether disregarded, as coming within the limits of possible error, were not its reality supported by larger fallings off under other allied headings. Thus the sons or other close male relatives of farmers, living with them in the farmhouse, and who, as they had no other stated occupations, may be regarded as practically engaged in agriculture, fell from 75,197 in 1881 to 67,287 in 1891. This is a decline of over 10 per cent., and appears to indicate unmistakably that the younger generation are not nearly so disposed to adopt agricultural life as was the case at even so recent a date as 1881.

Agricultural labourers

A similar decline occurred among those employed on farms as shepherds, carters, or agricultural labourers. In 1881 the number of males returned as thus employed was 830,452; in 1891 it had fallen to 756,557, while the female agricultural labourers fell in the same period from 40,346 to 24,150. Putting the two sexes together, the figures show, therefore, a decline from 870,798 to 780,707, a fall of 10.3 per cent. The returns, however, under these headings are never very trustworthy. There is no doubt that a considerable number of agricultural labourers return themselves simply as "labourers" without anything to indicate that they are employed on farms, and. these would be classified as general labourers. Similarly there is good reason to believe that many agricultural carters and waggoners, owing to the imperfect way in which they state their occupation, get transferred to the carters, carriers, and hauliers of general traffic.

We may to a certain extent counteract these causes of error by selecting for examination a number of counties in which there are no great manufacturing industries, and in which all the labour and all the carting is, therefore, with insignificant exception, of an agricultural nature. Such counties, for instance, are the following: Bast Riding (less Hull), Lincolnshire, Norfolk (less Norwich), Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Dorsetshire, Devonshire (less Plymouth), Herefordshire, Brecknockshire, and Cardiganshire. The total number of men and women returned in these counties, either as agricultural or general labourers, together with the shepherds, and the carters, carriers, and hauliers of all kinds amounted in 1881 to 380,161, while in 1891 it was only 354,972. The decline, therefore, in agricultural labour, as thus measured, was a fraction less than 7 per cent.

The causes, or main causes, to which this falling off in the number of agricultural labourers is due, appear to be three. Firstly, there is the attraction of towns, where the labourer sees not only a prospect of higher wages, but the certainty of a more varied and interesting life; the comparative monotony of rural existence becoming more and more distasteful with the advance of education, as is indicated by the migration into the towns being, as is stated, highest from districts in which the labourers are best educated.1 Secondly, there is the effort of the farmer to meet the continuous fall of prices of his produce by cutting down his labour bill to the utmost in his power and, thirdly, there is the diminished demand for labour due to the conversion of arable land into permanent pasture. A comparison of the agricultural Returns for 1891 with those for 1881 shows that at the later date there were 1,074,077 fewer acres of arable land in England and Wales than had, been the case 10 years earlier. Moreover, of the arable Land that still remained, an increased proportion was under clover and rotation grasses, and a correspondingly smaller proportion under corn and green crops, a change which also implies diminished demand for labour. It is true that on the other hand, the area classed as under permanent pasture had increased in the 10 years, not merely by the 1,074,077 acres which had previously been reckoned as arable, but by an additional surface of 552,234 acres not previously included in the cultivated area. Part, however, of this addition, as we learn from the Board of Agriculture, was nominal rather than real, and is to be ascribed to the return at the later date, under the category of permanent grass, of certain rough grazing in mountainous districts, which, in previous returns, had not been regarded as technically cultivated. Another part consisted of heath and moor land on the borders or farms which had been more or less reclaimed and enclosed during the decennium; but these additions were individually of small dimensions in relation to the holdings to which they were attached, and could not be considered as entailing any permanent additions to the labour staff of the farm.

It is said that the migration of young men from the country to the towns has left the farmers dependent either upon the very young or the very old for their labour. This may possibly be true in some parts, but a comparison of the age-distributions of the male agricultural labourers over 15 years of age in 1881 and in 1891 shows that it is not true of England and Wales in the aggregate. For, as may be seen in the following table, there has been a greater proportional diminution at the advanced than at the earlier ages.

15 Years of Age in 1881 and 1891. (Per 100,000 living.)

Age. 1881. 1891.
15— 20,513 21,031
20— 13,012 13,237
25— 31,562 32,750
45— 25,460 24,035
65 and over 9,453 8,947
Total 100,000 100,000


In 1881 the total number of persons returned as gardeners, whether market gardeners or in private employ, together with the nurserymen, amounted to 148,285; in 1891 it was 179,336, showing an increase of 20.9 per cent. in the course of the 10 years. Large, however, as this increase is, it is small as compared with that of the area under garden cultivation. The amount of ground used for pleasure or private gardens we have no means of estimating, but the amount used as market gardens or as nursery grounds is given in the agricultural returns, and it appears that, while in 1881 it consisted of 53,083 acres, in 1891 it consisted of 87,71,1, an increase of no less than 65 per cent.


There was also a notable increase in the course of the 10 years under the heading "Woodman." In 1881 the woodmen numbered 8,151, but in 1891 had grown to 9,448, an increase of 15.9 per cent. In this case the increase of the workers was apparently much more considerable than that of the areas on which they were employed, for the acreage of woods and plantations in England and Wales only rose from 1,628,824 in 1881 to 1,788,816, an increase of less than 10 per cent.


Another(group of persons, who, though not included in the occupation tables In the agricultural class, are so closely connected with it that they may be most appropriately dealt within to place, are the corn-millers. Their number fell from 23,462 in 1881 to 22,759 in 1891, a decline less than might have been anticipate, seeing how largely the amount of grain produced at home has diminished, and in what increasing proportions the corn imported comes already ground into flour.

Dealers in corn, flour, &c.

While the millers fell off, the dealers in corn, flour, and seeds, who are unaffected by the above-mentioned causes, became more numerous, their number having risen from 9,966 in 1S81 to 11,647 in 1891.


The fishermen, according to the returns, numbered only 25,255 in 1891, whereas the number in the returns for 1881 is given as 29,696. The figures, however, are not comparable with each other. In 1881 not only all fishermen present in England and "Wales at the (late of the census, but all those who came into port during the succeeding 14 days, were taken into account. This, of course, was open to the objection that it was a departure from the provisions of the Act, which limited the enumeration to persons, whether on land or sea, who were in England or Wales at the actual time of the enumeration. Consequently, in 1891 only those fishermen were counted who were either actually present on the night of the census or came into port the next clay, and who were presumably in English waters on the census night.

According to the estimate made by the Board of Trade, and based on the number and capacity of the registered fishing boats, the number of fishermen regularly employed in 1891 was 33,044, in addition to whom there were 9,011 employed intermittently.


The Industrial Class includes all such persons with specified occupations as were not referred to the professional, domestic, commercial, or agricultural classes, and by itself largely outnumbers all these classes put together. In 1891 it comprised 7,336,3.44. persons, or 33.3 per cent. of the population of 10 or more years of age, and 56.9 per cent. of such persons of those ages as had specified occupations.

Its growth in the decennium was greater than that of the population; for while this latter increased by only 11.7 per cent., the growth of the industrial class was 15.1 per cent. In most of the 15 orders into which this class is subdivided in the tables, the growth was very much greater than this; but the increase of the whole class was reduced to 15.1 per cent. by the exceptionally small growth in two of the largest groups, namely, the building trades and the textile industries.

In dealing with this class we shall not treat of all of these 15 orders, nor shall we adhere strictly to the ordinal classification, but shall make such groupings of the occupations, sometimes taking them from different orders, as may seem convenient.

Industries subservient to literature

A fairly natural group may be made by putting together all those industries, which are mainly subservient to the production or diffusion of literature.

Paper manufacture; steel pen and pencil makers

The physical materials used by the authors, journalists, and others in the professional class are paper, which was derived from 20,043 persons engaged in its manufacture, who in their turn received their materials from 4,070 rag-gatherers and dealers; steel pens, made mostly at Birmingham, by 3,296 persons, of whom 3,000 were women; and pencils, made by 288 persons, mostly in London or at Keswick in Cumberland. These materials were sold by 21,798 stationers, who further employed 2,747 persons, mostly women and mostly in London, to make envelopes.

Printers, &c.; Bookbinders, booksellers, &c.

Then come the printers, numbering 86,486, and supplied with type by 1,369 type cutters and founders; the lithographers and copper or steel plate printers, numbering 8,985, and the map and print colourers and dealers, 706 in number. The matter when printed was dealt with by 25,736 bookbinders, and distributed by 13,596 publishers, booksellers, and librarians; to whom may further be added 9,798 newspaper agents and news-room keepers.

The group thus formed, which is, of course, far from being exhaustive, but contains all those occupations mainly subservient to literature that have distinct places in the tables, consisted in 1891 of 198,918 persons, or 35.4 per cent. more than was the case in 1881, when the number under the corresponding headings was 146,926.

The increase was shared in some measure by all the several occupations that have been included in the group, but shared very unequally. The steel-pen makers rose 21 per cent., the bookbinders 28 per cent., the publishers and booksellers 37 per cent., the printers 41, and the stationers 43 per cent.; while in the paper manufacture the increase per cent. was only 7.6. The registration counties which contributed the largest contingents to the paper makers were Lancashire, 4,902; Kent, 3,182; West Riding, 1,375; London, 1,333; and Durham, 1,055; after which came Middlesex, Devonshire, and Somersetshire, each with from seven to eight hundred.

Makers of machines, tools, and other instruments

The number of persons, almost exclusively men, returned as working or dealing in machines, tools, and instruments of all kinds was 342,231, and 27.7 per cent. Larger than in 1881.

The three chief sub-orders in this group are the engine and machine makers, the tool makers, and the makers of clocks, watches, and philosophical instruments.

Engine and machine makers

The first of these sub-orders includes the engine and machine makers, fitters, and turners, the millwrights, the boiler makers, the spinning and weaving machine makers, the agricultural machine and implement makers, and the small indefinite group of domestic machinery and implement makers. Under these headings were contained 210,974 persons, or 29.8 per cent. More than in 1881; the increase having been higher than in any other very large industrial group, with the exception of the coal miners, to be hereafter dealt with. Moreover, this large increase followed on a previous rise of 28 per cent. In the next preceding decennium, 1871-81.

Cutlers and tool makers

The second sub-order comprises the makers of knives, scissors, and other cutlery; of files, saws, and tools generally; and of pins, needles, steel pens, and pencils. With the makers are also included the dealers in tools and cutlery, who call themselves by the same names as the workers, and cannot be distinguished from, them. Under these headings were classed 51,936 persons, or 11 per cent. more than in 1881; so that this industry, or these, industries, had scarcely advanced pari passu with the population. In next preceding decennium also, the growth had been very small, amounting to scarcely more than 5 per cent.

The main seat of these industries is the West Riding, and especially Sheffield; some small share falling also to Lancashire, Staffordshire, and Warwickshire. Of the 19 992 cutlers and scissors makers, 17,786 were enumerated in the West Riding, and of these 16,355 were in Sheffield. Of the 9,249 file makers, 7,120 were in this Riding, and 5,871 in Sheffield; while Lancashire contributed 924, Staffordshire 445, and Warwickshire 306 to the remainder. Again, of the 2,133 saw makers, 1,310 were in the West Riding, and of these 1,169 in Sheffield. Altogether, of the 43,032 cutlers, scissors makers, file and saw makers, and general tool makers and dealers, 30,008 were enumerated in the West Riding, mainly in Sheffield, 2,539 in Lancashire, 2,200 in Staffordshire, and 3,694 in Warwickshire, leaving 5,125 scattered over the rest of the country, chiefly as sellers.

Of the 3,823 needle makers, 2,078 were enumerated in Warwickshire, 1,255 in Worcestershire, 255 in Leicestershire, 191 in Nottinghamshire, and only 44 in other parts of the country.

Of the 897 pin makers, 457 were in Warwickshire, mostly at Birmingham, 293 in Gloucestershire, in the Stroud district, and 51 in Worcestershire.

Of the 3,296 steel-pen makers, almost exclusively women, 3,120 were enumerated in Birmingham and Aston Manor; while of the 288 makers of wooden pencils, London contributed 142, and Cumberland 121.

Makers of clocks, watches, and scientific instruments

From tools and implements we pass on to instruments of greater delicacy and complexity, such as clocks, watches, optical and scientific instruments. This group contained 44,928 persons, being 40 per cent. more than in 1881.

The chief heading in this group is that of the watch and clock makers; these numbered 23,848, having scarcely increased since 1881, when there were 23,351 of them. The watch makers are, of course, scattered all over the country, but the most notable seat of the manufacture is Coventry, in which town 3,500 were enumerated. The opticians and scientific instrument makers were 4,842, and the makers of weighing and measuring instruments 3,634, having respectively increased by 34.3 and 40.5 per cent. since 1881, But the greatest increase was among the makers of electrical apparatus, who, after being only 428 in 1871, rose to 2,522 in 1881, and finally to 12,604 in 1891, or five times as many as they had been 10 years earlier.

Building trades

The persons employed in the building trades, comprising the builders, masons, and bricklayers, the slaters and tilers, the carpenters and joiners, the plasterers, whitewashers, and paperhangers, and the plumbers, painters, and glaziers, amounted to 680,886. In 1881 they had been 666,738; so that their increase in the 10 years was only 2.1 per cent., whereas in the next preceding decennium it had been as much as 21 per cent.

From the following table, which gives the numbers under the several trades in 1881 and 1891, it appears that while there was a considerable increase) among the builders,

and a very small increase among the bricklayers, there was a considerable decline among the masons, slaters, and tilers, among the carpenters and joiners, and among the plasterers, whitewashes, and paperhangers; the only group, excepting the builders, which showed any notable growth being the painters/plumbers, and glaziers who increased as much as 24.1 per cent.

1881. 1891.
Builders 30,699 37,815
Bricklayers 125,140 130,446
Masons 97,540 84,717
Slaters and tilers 7,483 6,789
Carenters and joiners 235,233 221,009
Plasters, whitewashers, and paperhangers 33,113 29,408
Plumbers, painters, ad Glaziers 137,530 170,702
Total 666,738 680,886

Building materials

This excessively small increase in the building trades was accompanied by an actual decline in the industries that supply the building materials; for the brick and tile makers, the cement and plaster makers, and the slate and stone quarriers and dealers fell from 105,544 in 1881 to 103,926 in 1891, or by 1.5 per cent.

Furnishing industries

If the increase was but small in the building trades, it was not so in the furnishing trades, which we take as including the following industries: upholsterers, cabinet makers, French polishers, furniture dealers, locksmiths, bellhangers, gasfitters, house and shop fittings makers and dealers, wood carvers, carvers and gilders, and carpet and rug manufacturers. The total number of persons returned under these headings rose from 127,463 in 1881 to 148,905 in 1891, an increase of 16.8 per cent. The increase was shared pretty equally by all the several headings comprised in the group, with the exception of the locksmiths, bellhangers, and gasfitters, who scarcely increased, having risen only from 20,261 in 1881 to 20,398 in 1891. Possibly this may be accounted for, at any rate in part, by the substitution of electric bells and electric lighting for ordinary bells and gas.

China, earthenware, manufactures

The china and glass manufactures might fairly be included among the furnishing industries; we have, however, thought it better to deal with them separately.

The earthenware and china manufacture gave occupation to 56,600 persons, or 21.5 per cent. more than in 1881, when the number was 46,596. The giant share in this industry belongs to Staffordshire, in which county 44,550 out of the 56,600 persons engaged were enumerated, or 78.7 per cent. of the whole. After Staffordshire came London with 1,800, West Riding with 1,584, and Derbyshire with 1,257. In no other county did the number reach 900.

Glass manufactures

The growth of the glass manufacture was about the same as that of the china industry. In 1881 there were 21,630 persons employed in it, and in 1891 the number had increased to 26,160, or 20.9 per cent. The registration counties in which the largest numbers were enumerated were Lancashire, 7,705; West Riding, 5,862; London, 3,171; Durham, 2,684; Worcestershire, 2,291. The glass manufacture is almost exclusively a male industry; of the 26,160 persons engaged in it, 24,055 were men, while only 2,105 were women. But not so with the earthenware and china manufacture; in this the men were 34,828 and the women 21,772. From evidence given before the Royal Commission on Labour it appears that the potters complain that the extensive introduction of labour-saving appliances in the last 10 years has increased female labour at the expense of male labour. The successive census returns hardly corroborate this statement, so far, at any rate, as concerns the aggregate of all the processes in the manufacture; for while in 1881 there were 62 women employed to 100 men, the proportion in 1891 had only changed to 63 to 100. There had, it is true, been a greater change in earlier decennia, for the proportion in 1861 was 46, and in 1871 was 55 to 100.

Shipbuilders and coach makers, &c.; Bicycle and tricycle makers

Of the ship and boat builders and riggers we have already spoken when dealing with transport, as also of the harness makers and coach makers. But there is one division of these makers of vehicles that. from its rapid growth requires special mention, namely, the bicycle and tricycle makers and dealers. In 1881 only 1,072 persons returned themselves as so employed; but in 1891. the number rose to 11,524; of whom 4,059 were enumerated in Coventry, and 2,575 in Birmingham or Aston Manor.

Probably the number was considerably understated at each enumeration, many men engaged industry being returned merely as metal workers of various kinds.

Purveyors of food and drink

Passing over sundry less important groups, we come to the purveyors of food. These form a very large class, which consisted in 1891, of 746,811 persona, or 262 per cent. more than in 1881. The bulk of them may be roughly divided into those who supply us with animal food, those who supply us with bread and vegetables, those who supply us with groceries, and those who supply us with spirituous drinks.

The purveyors of animal food, including 98,921 butchers and meat Salesmen, 29,711 fishmongers and poultry dealers, 16,069 provision curers and dealers, 35,639 milksellers, and 5,108 cheesemongers and buttermen, numbered in all 185,448 persons, being 23.7 per cent. more than in 1881. The comparatively Email and somewhat vague group of provision curers and dealers tad slightly declined since 1881, but the butchers had increased 21.1 per cent., the fishmongers and poultrymen 38.2 per cent., the milk dealers 38.1 per cent., and the cheesemongers and buttermen 16.6 per cent.

The purveyors of bread and vegetables included 22,759 millers, 11,647 corn and flour merchants, 84,158 bakers, 46,566 pastrycooks and confectionors, and 40,003 greengrocers and fruiterers, the whole group consisting of 206,093 persons, or 29.1 per cent. more than in 1881.

With the exception of the millers, who, as previously stated (p. 44), slightly declined in number, there was a considerable increase since 1881 tinder each of the headings in the group, the increase per cent. of the corn and flour dealers being 16.9, of the bakers 18.5, of the pastrycooks and confectioners, with whom are included the jam and preserve makers, 82.4, and of the greengrocers and fruiterers 38.3. As the decline among the millers stands in connexion with the diminished cultivation of grain, so does the large increase of greengrocers and fruiterers stand in connexion with the great extension of market gardening already mentioned (p. 44).

The dealers in groceries, including 181,856 grocers and tea dealers, 3,738 sugar refiners, and 2,512 makers and sellers of mustard, vinegar, pickles, and other condiments, numbered 188,101, and exceeded the number in 1881 by no less than 40 per cent.

The purveyors of spirituous drinks cannot be clearly distinguished from other purveyors of food. Are we, for instance, to include hotel-keepers, who provide not only drinks but other food and lodging, and among whom, moreover, are some who keep temperance establishments? And, if we include them, are we also to include coffee-house and eating-house keepers, by many of whom beer, spirits, and wine are sold? On the whole, we think we shall approximate most nearly to the truth by excluding these latter, while we include the hotel-keepers. The group will then consist of 444 hop dealers, 9,088 maltsters, 26,312 brewers, 78,013 inn or hotel keepers and publicans, 17,606 beer, cider, porter dealers, 7,883 wine and spirit merchants, and 9,597 cellarmen, making altogether 148,943 persons, or 10.2 per cent. more than in 1881, when the number was 135,158. The increase, therefore, in this group was less than that of the population. There had, however, in the next preceding decennium, 1871-81, been an actual decline of 5.9 per cent.

If the several headings in the group are examined separately it will be seen that the number of wine and spirit merchants remained practically as it was in 1881, which is consistent with the fact that the amount of wine imported and retained for home consumption had slightly declined, while the amount of foreign spirits, similarly retained, had very slightly risen. The hop merchants also remained without practical alterations, while the maltsters fell off by 4.6 per cent. This decline is probably to be explained by the increasing use of various substitutes for malt, by the saving of labour due to the amalgamation of many small maltings into a few larger establishments, and by a larger proportion of the malt required being made by the brewers themselves. At any rate, it was not due to diminished consumption of beer, for not only had the brewers increased 7.1 per cent., the innkeepers and publicans 11.3 per cent., and the beersellers 6.2 per cent., but the British beer retained for home use had risen, in round numbers, from 27 million barrels in 1881 to 31 million barrels in 1891, an increase of 17 per cent.

To the above-mentioned purveyors of food, we must further add 11,535 keepers of coffee-houses and eating-houses, and 6,691 makers and sellers of mineral waters; making up with the rest the total of 746,811 persons given above as suppliers of solid or liquid food, against 591,965 in 1881.

Lodging keepers

A large proportion of the innkeepers and publicans in the foregoing group provide not only food but lodging; and in this latter aspect may be classed with the 51,178 lodging-house keepers, making with them a group of 129,191 persons who provide house accommodation; a number 20 per cent. higher than in 1881.

Tobacco industry

Many, again, of those included in the food group also deal in tobacco. But the T number of persons returned as specially so engaged, or in the manufacture of cigars, in cigarettes, &o, was 28,970, or no less than 46.8 per cent. more than in 1881, when the number was 19,784.

Of the 28,970 under this heading in 1891, 15,880, or more than half, were females; whereas only 8,575 of the 19,734 in 1881 were of that sex; and, as the main part played by girls and women in the industry is the making of cigarettes and the rolling of cigars, we may infer that it is in this branch of the industry that the greatest increase has occurred. The total amount of unmanufactured tobacco imported into the United Kingdom and retained for home consumption rose, in round numbers, from 48,000,000 lbs. in 1881 to 50,000,000 lbs. in 1891.

To the tobacco manufacturers and sellers may further be added 2,171 persons engaged in making or selling pipes and other smoking appliances; a somewhat smaller number than in 1881, when it was 2,441.

The textile industries

The total number of persona engaged in the textile industries, omitting, so far as possible, mere dealers, and including the shawl and the hosiery manufactures, which are classed in the Occupation Tables with dress, because they turn out not merely the material but the finished article of attire, was 1,060,492, and only 6.1 per cent. in excess of the number returned under the same headings in 1881, when, however, the dealers were somewhat lean completely separated from the makers than in 1891. The difference, however, thus caused may be disregarded as too slight to affect the comparison.

Cotton and linen manufacture

Of these textile industries, by far the most important is the manufacture of cotton goods, with which it will be convenient here to include the flax and linen manufactures, because there are some products, as tape, thread, and lace, which may be made of either material.

The group thus formed consisted of 633,370 persons, and exceeded the total of the similar group in 1881 by 8.7 per cent. It was made up as follows:—

1881. 1891. Increase or Decrease
per Cent.
Cotton manufacture 487,777 546,015 +11.9
Cotton dyers, printers 26,682 31,108 +16.6
Fustian manufacturers 8,187 8,182 -0.1
Tape manufacture 1,891 2,485 +31.4
Thread manufacture 2,170 2,668 +22.9
Lace manufacture 44,144 34,746 -21.3
Flax, linen manufacture 12,065 8,166 -32.3
Total 582,916 633,370 +8.7

Cotton manufacture

The increase under the first and main heading, the cotton manufacture, was 11.9 per cent., which tallies pretty closely with the growth of the genera] population, so that this industry, judging from the number of hands employed, has fairly held its own. Judging, however, from the material used, it has grown more rapidly than the population, for the imports of raw cotton rose from 14,991682 cwts. in 1881 to 17,811,476 cwts. in 1891, an increase of nearly 19 per cent. Of the 546,015 persons engaged in this manufacture, 459,974 were enumerated in Lancashire 23 844 in Cheshire, 39,546 in the West Riding, and 13,621 in Derbyshire, leaving only 9,030 in all other parts of the country.

Cotton printers and dyers

The growth in the cotton manufacture was naturally accompanied by a simultaneous growth of the cotton printers and dyers, who rose from 26,682 to 31,108, an increase of 16.6 per cent.

Fustian manufacture

Of the 8182 persons engaged in fustian manufacture, 4,020 were enumerated in Lancashire, 2,682 in Cheshire, and 1,195 in the West Riding. The total remained almost exactly as it was in 1881.


The persons returned as engaged in the manufacture of tape and in that of thread had increased considerably, the numbers, however, so returned being very small. To the 2,485 tape makers, Staffordshire contributed 990, Lancashire 720, Derbyshire 413, and Warwickshire 219.

Lace manufacture

The lace industry showed a very large falling off, the persons engaged declined from 44,144 in 1881 to 34,746 in 1891, or by 21.3 per cent.; they had, moreover, previously declined in 1871-81 by 8.8 per cent. The decline was presumably due in. part to the increased importation of foreign lace, for while the declared value of the lace imported was 527,403 l. sterling in 1881, in 1891 it had risen to 963,132 l.; but the chief cause was the increasing supersession of pillow-made or bone lace by bobbin-net, first made by hand machines, but more recently by water-power or steam-power. This explanation of the matter is confirmed by the fact that the decline, has been in those counties which are, or were, the seats of hand-made lace industry namely Bedfordshire, Devonshire, Buckinghamshire, and Northamptonshire, while in Nottinghamshire and the adjoining parts of Derbyshire, where lace is made by machinery, there has been an increase at each of the last two enumerations.

The following are the figures for these several counties at each of the last four censuses, those for 1861 and 1871 being probably somewhat overstated:—

County. 1861. 1871. 1881. 1891.
Buckinghamshire 8,501 8,106 4,456 1,113
Northamptonshire 8,221 6,404 3,232 731
Bedfordshire 6,728 6,077 4,792 1,532
Devonshire 5,263 4,658 3,428 1,644
Nottinghamshire 16,712 16,620 22,228 24,112
Derbyshire 1,977 1,725 2,233 3,386

The substitution of machine-made for hand-made lace explains how it comes about that while the proportion of women to men has been increasing among the hands employed in most textile industries, the contrary has been the case in the lace manufacture; the women to 100 men having been 508 in 1861, 476 in 1871. 289 in 1881, and 167 in 1891; this continuous decline being due to the fact that hand lace is made exclusively by girls and women, while machine lace is made equally well by the other sex.

It is this same substitution of machine for hand work that explains the diminished proportion borne by children of from 10 to ir> years of age to the total hands employed; for hand-lace making was formerly taught to children while very young their fingers soon becoming too stiff to lend themselves readily to the requisite training and it is indeed to the inability to train children, since school attendance became obligatory, that the decay in the hand-lace industry is partly attributable. In 1871 considerable proportion of the lace-makers were under 10 years of age, and 12 per cent. were from 10 to 15, whereas in 1891 the proportion at this latter age had fallen to less than 7 per cent.

Flax, linen manufacture

The linen manufacture is also a declining industry in this country In 1871 the number of persons to whom it gave employment was 17,772; in 1881 the number had fallen to 12,065, and in 1891 it had sunk to 8,166; the decline having been 32.3 per cent. in the last decennium, and 54 per cent. in the whole period of 20 years. The main seats of such remnants of this industry as still exist are the West Riding and Lancashire, which registration counties respectively contributed 4,561 and 1,930 to the total 8,166.

Wool and worsted industries

Next in importance among the textile industries, after the cotton manufacture, come those which deal with wool and worsted. These industries gave occupation, omitting mere dealers, to 250,353 persons, or 10 per cent. More than in 1881, when the total was 227,643.

The totals were made up as follows:—

Industry. 1861. 1891.
Woollen cloth 115,808 122,893
Worsted, stuff 99,237 110,111
Flannel, blanket 3,813 3,341
Woolstaplers, fullers, &c. 5,987 5,734
Woollen goods, printers, dyers 2,798 6,271

Woollen cloth manufacture

The woolen cloth manufacture occupied 122,893 persons, or 6.1 per cent. More than in 1881. In 1871 the females employed in it were largely outnumbered by the males, there being only 79 of the former to 100 of the latter. But in 1881 female labour had taken the place ot male labour to such an extent that the males were slightly outnumbered, the proportion having become 102 females to 100 males No further advance, however, in such substitution appears to have occurred in the next decennium; for in 1891 the two sexes were practically equally represented in the industry, the men having, indeed, slightly gained ground, for they were 61,568, while the women were 61,325.

The Registration Counties in which the highest numbers of persons in this manufacture were enumerated, and the figures for each in 1881 and 1891, were as follows. It will be noticed that the increase was confined to the West Riding, each of the four other counties showing a decline:—

Registration County. 1881. 1891.
West Riding 85,962 95,473
Lancashire 11,317 9,808
Gloucestershire 4,403 3,616
Wiltshire 3,886 3,375
Somersetshire 1,881 1,666

Worsted industry

The worsted and stuff manufactures occupied 110,111 persons, or 11 per cent. more than in 1881, having, therefore, grown pretty nearly pari gradu with the population. This industry differs from the woollen cloth industry in employing a much larger proportion of women. The sexes, as we have just seen, were almost equally represented in this latter manufacture, but in the worsted stuff manufacture the women outnumbered the men in the proportion of 172 to 100. The same fact, however, of arrest in the previously increased substitution of female for male labour, which we have noted in the woollen cloth manufacture, presented itself also in this industry. For the proportion of female to 100 male hands, which in 1861 had been 161, and had risen successively in 1871 and 1881 to 178 and 180, had, in 1891, fallen again to 172. This manufacture is almost exclusively confined to the West Riding, where 107,938 of the total 110,111 were enumerated.

Blanket and flannel manufactures

The number of persons returned as engaged in the blanket and flannel manufactures was 5,344, and 40 per cent. more than in 1881. The numbers, however, are so small that a very slight actual increase gives a large proportional growth. In these two industries, taken together, the female hands considerably outnumbered the males, there being 2,1)01) of the former and 2.375 of the latter sex, or 125 to 100; whereas in 1881 the males were slightly the more numerous, the numbers having been respectively 1,969 and 1,844; so that here the substitution of female for male labour has been considerable.

Of the 5,344 persons engaged in these manufactures, 3,664 were enumerated in the West Riding, 3S6 in Lancashire., 332 in Oxfordshire, and 302 in Montgomeryshire.

Silk manufacture

The persons employed in the manufacture of silk, satin, velvet, ribbon, crape, and gauze numbered 48,797, and were fewer by 11,798, or 24.2 per cent., than the number returned in 1881, which again was much smaller than the number recorded 10 years earlier, so that this industry appears to have long been in a state of progressive decay. While the actual makers of silk goods thus fell off, the silk dyers and printers slightly increased, rising from 1,680 in 1881 to 1,750 in 1891; and it is curious that a similar increase among the dyers and printers accompanied the decline among the makers in 1881.

The silk manufacture employs twice as many women as men; but here also, as in.the woollen and worsted industries, there appears to have been in the last decennium an arrest in the progressive substitution of female for male labour; the proportion, of women employed to 100 men having risen from 180 in 1861 to 208 and 221 in 1871 and 1881, and then fallen to 198 in 1891.

The counties which were the chief seats of the silk manufacture including also crape and gauze, and the number persons employed in each of them in 1881 and 1891 were as follows:—

Registration County. 1881. 1891.
Cheshire 14,206 12,078
Lancashire 10,317 4,719
Warwickshire 9,109 5,590
West Riding 5,387 9,851
London 3,877 2,223
Staffordshire 3,789 3,905
Essex 2,803 2,602
Norfolk 2,623 1,785
Derbyshire 2,323 1,346
Nottinghamshire 1,250 787
Other counties 4,911 3,911

It appears from this table that, while the numbers employed in 1891 fell off from the previous record in all the other counties, there was a slight increase in Staffordshire, and a very large increase in the West Riding, and it may be noted that this Riding had shown a similarly exceptional increase in 1881, as compared with 1871.

Workers in hemp, &c.

The workers in hemp, jute, and other coarse fibrous materials, including some few dealers, numbered 22,416, or almost exactly the same as in 1881, when the number was 22,471. In some of the occupations that form this group the women predominated over the men; this was the case in, the hemp, jute, cocoa fibre manufacture, and among the net makers, and in the manufacture of canvas, sacking, &c. Under these three headings the women outnumbered the men in the proportion of 224 to 100. But the opposite was the case with the rope, twine, and cord makers, as also with, the mat makers; here the men numbered 10,566, and were more than three times as numerous as the women, who amounted only to 2,917.

Carpet manufacture

The persons engaged in the carpet and rug manufacture were 16,607, and 18.7 per cent. more than in 1881; the number in that year, moreover, having been 23 per cent. higher than in 1871. This industry, differs from most textile industries in giving employment to more men than women. The women appear, however, to be rapidly gaining on the men; for the proportion borne by them to 100 men was only 24 in 1861, then rose in 1871 to 47, then in 1881 to 59, and, finally, in 1891 reached 80.

Of the 16,607 persons in this industry, 7,371 were enumerated in Worcestershire, and 6,329 in the West Riding, leaving 2,907 enumerated in other counties.

Hosiery manufacture

The hosiery manufacture occupied 49,087 persons, an increase of 21.6 per cent. upon the number returned in 1881, which was 40,372. The main seats of this industry are Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, and the adjoining parts of Derbyshire, and the numbers returned in each of these counties in 1881 and 1891 were as follows:—

County. 1881. 1891.
Leicestershire 21,594 25,176
Nottinghamshire 14,155 15,377
Derbyshire 2,275 2,138

The hosiery manufacture employs very many more women than men, and the proportion borne by the former to the latter has largely increased in the last two decennia. In 1861, indeed, and in 1871, the male hands were the more numerous, there being at each of these dates only 88 females to 100 males; but in 1881 they became 114 to the 100, and in 1891 as many as 170; the male hands employed having actually declined during the decennium, while the female hands had gone up 44 per cent.

Persons working or dealing in dress

In dealing with the great group of persons engaged in the making or selling of articles of dress, we shall depart somewhat from the classification in the table of occupations, omitting the hairdressers and wig-makers, and including the drapers and mercers, who to a large extent have now become makers and sellers of actual dress, and not only of the materials for its fabrication. We shall also include those women who were returned as machinists, and who doubtless were in most cases sewing-machine workers.

The group thus constituted consisted of 1,202,992 persons, or 13.9 per cent. more than in 1881. It was made up as follows:—

Occupation. 1881. 1891. Increase or
per Cent.
Drapers, mercers 32,362 107,018 29.9
Tailors 160,648 208,720 29.9
Milliners, &c. 360,932 420,431 16.5
Shirtmakers, seamstresses 83,244 55,096 -15.6
Machinists (Female) 7,524 21,478 -15.6
Shawl manufacture 40,372 49,087 21.6
Hosiery manufacture 616 881 43
Hatters 22,689 28,948 27.6
Straw hat, bonnet, plait manufacture 30,984 18,384 -40.7
Haberdashers, hosiers 9,565 12,481 30.5
Glovers 15,524 11,955 -23
Button manufacture 6,407 5,056 -21.1
Shoe, boot, &c. makers 224,059 248,789 11
Umbrella, &c. makers 8,230 9,877 20
Others 2,902 4,791 65.1
Total 1,056,058 1,202,992 13.9

Under all the headings comprised in the group, with four exceptions, there was an increase, and line increase was in every case much greater than that of the general population, with the single exception of the shoemakers, whose growth was only 11.0 per cent., while that of the general population was fractionally higher.


This growth, though smaller than in the other trades of the list, is nevertheless notable, for the number of shoemakers (including clog and patten makers), had fallen successively in each of the two preceding decennia. That fall was doubtlessly attributable to the substitution of machinery for hand-work in the boot trade, and continued while that change was being effected. The substitution once made, the number of hands employed would naturally again begin to rise, with the growth of the population; and this not improbably is the explanation of the increase in 1891. The chief seats of the manufacture of machine-made boots are Northamptonshire and Leicestershire; in these two counties the makers increased no less than 62.2 per cent. in the decenmum, having, moreover, increase 34 per cent. in the interval between 1861 and 1871, and 41 per cent. in the interval between 1871 and 1881.

The making of boots and shoes by hand-work is pre-eminently a male industry; but in their fabrication by machine women have a much larger part. Thus, taking the whole of England and Wales, there were only 23 women employed in bootmaking to 100 men, but in Leicestershire and Northamptonshire the proportion was 40 to 100.

Seamstresses and machinists

The shirt-makers and seamstresses fell off very largely, having declined from 83,244 in 1881 to 55,096 in 1891. But, simultaneously with this decline, there was an enormous increase in the number of women returned as machinists, most of whom were doubtlessly seamstresses. There has clearly been a great extension in the use of the sewing machine at the expense of hand-sewing. But even when the seamstresses and the machinists are put together, there is found to have been a decline among them of over 17 per cent. The natural and probable explanation is that one sewing machinist can replace several hand-sewers.

Straw-plait manufacture

Another occupation under which the table shows a very large falling-off is the straw-plait manufacture. This industry has long shown signs of decay. There was no increase in it in the interval between 1861 and 1871, and in the next decennium there was a decline of no less than 35 per cent., to be followed in 1881-91 by a further decline of 40.7 per cent. The decline is attributed to the competition of plait made abroad. The industry, which is monopolised by women, is confined to a few counties; for of the 18,384 persons employed in it, 13,076 were enumerated in Bedfordshire, 3,416 in Hertfordshire, and 542 in Buckinghamshire.


Glove-making is another industry that appears to be gradually undergoing decay. Those engaged in it, including dealers, were 23.0 per cent. fewer than in 1881, and, moreover, 31 per cent. fewer in 1881 than they had been in 1871. Probably the displacement of hand labour by machinery had some part in producing this result; but it must also be noted that the number of pairs of leather gloves imported into the United Kingdom rose from 15 millions in 1881 to over 21 millions in 1891. The county with the largest number of glovers was Somersetshire, where 4,080 were enumerated; after this came Worcestershire with 2,573, Oxfordshire with 1,325, Dorsetshire 966, and Devonshire with 841. This manufacture employs more women than men, but it is curious, as being an exception to what has happened in most industries, that the proportion of women to men has largely declined. In 1871 there were 745 female to 100 male glovers; in 1881 there were 586; and in 1891 only 334 The substitution of the sewing-machine for handwork has apparently diminished the demand in this industry for female labour.

Workers in skins, hair, &c.

Among the persons working and dealing in skins, hair, feathers and other animal substances were 10,348 tanners and fellmongers, being only 100 more fen in 1881. Consistently with this stationary condition of the industry, the quantity of hides imported, raw, dry and wet, remained practically unchanged. On the other hand, the leather imported rose in round numbers from 66 million pounds in 1881 to 109 millions in 1891, and in the same time the curriers and makers of leather articles rose from 20,921 to 25,503, or by 21.9 per cent. The furriers and skinners, 10,012 in number, also showed an increase of 22.9 per cent. The workers in hair and bristles, of whom the main part are brush and broom makers, were 15,852, and only 2 per cent. more numerous than in 1881. Both sexes are employed in this industry, but the men outnumbered the women in the proportion of 157 to 100. In 1881 the proportion was much the same, 162 to 100. On the other hand, feather dressing is almost exclusively a female occupation, for of the 2,828 feather dressers and dealers, 2,868 were of the female and only 460 of the male sex.

These feather dressers and dealers had only increased by 12.3 percent. since 1881, while the importation of ornamental feathers had more than doubled in the interval.

Mining industries

The number of persons returned as miners, exclusive of 6,020 engaged in various services connected with mines, was 555,617, and exceeded the number returned in 1881 by 117,947 or 26.9 per cent. The increase, as the following table shows, was entirely among the coal miners, the miners of ironstone, copper, tin, and lead, all showing decline, and in most cases a very large decline.

Miners of. 1881. 1891. Increase or
per Cent.
Coal 381,763 517,110 +35.5
Ironstone 26,110 18,231 -30.2
Copper 4,067 1,148 -71.8
Tin 12,402 10,949 -11.7
Lead 11,226 5,750 -48.8
Other or undefined minerals 2,102 2,429 +15.6
Total 437,670 555,617 +26.9

Coal miners

The coal miners numbered more than half a million, and had increased no less than 35.5 per cent. since 1881. This increase, moreover, followed on a growth of at least 20 per cent. in the preceding decennium.

The increase of the coal miners in the past, decennium appears to have been much greater than that of the output, for while the miners increased, as we have seen, by 35.5 per cent., the quantity of coal produced in England and Wales only rose by 20.0 per cent., namely, from 133 million tons in 1881 to 160 millions in 1891.

Coal mining is carried on in a considerable number of counties, and the number of persons thus employed in each county in 1881 and 1891 was as follows:—

County. 1881. 1891. County. 1881. 1891.
Somersetshire 5,079 5,934 West Riding 55,818 76,023
Gloucestershire 3,912 4,399 Durham 65,515 80,652
Shropshire 4,239 3,876 Northumberland 20,752 27,180
Staffordshire 37,514 45,485 Cumberland 5,393 7,363
Worcestershire 1,988 2,249 Monmouthshire 14,936 24,569
Warwickshire 2,975 4,206 Glamorganshire 44,864 77,247
Leicestershire 3,700 5,025 Carmarthenshire 2,666 3,811
Nottinghamshire 18,959 29,854 Brecknockshire 2,139 2,844
Derbyshire 17,424 21,973 Flintshire 2,276 2,457
Cheshire 3,923 3,989 Denbighshire 5,416 7,013
Lancashire 60,801 79,546 Elsewhere 1,474 1,415

It will be observed that in every one of the counties in the list, with the insignificant exception of Shropshire, there was more or less increase, but the most notable growths were in Glamorganshire, Monmouthshire and Nottinghamshire, in which counties the coal miners increased respectively by 72.2, 6.5, and 57.5 per cent. in the decennium It is to this that is to be ascribed the fact that, putting aside the immediate neighbourhood of London, it was in Glamorganshire and Monmouthshire that (see p 7) the growth of the population was largest in 1881-91, while Nottinghamshire also was a county in which the growth far exceeded the average.

Ironstone miners

The miners of iron ore numbered 18,231, having declined by 3O2 per cent since 1881, when their number was 26,110. This decline in the number of miners was naturally accompanied by a falling off in the amount of ore produced, which fell from 14,645,473 tons in 1881 to 11,925,061 in 1891, or by 18.6 per cent.

The Registration Counties in which the largest numbers of iron miners were enumerated, and the numbers in each in 1881 and 1891, were as follows:—

Registration County. 1881. 1891. Registration County. 1881. 1891.
Northamptonshire 1,437 1,054 Lincolnshire 589 765
Gloucestershire 324 187 West Riding 791 280
Shropshire 967 357 North Riding 7,406 5,552
Staffordshire 3,059 1,206 Cumberland 5,491 4,613
Leicestershire 115 404 Monmouthshire 398 202

Copper miners

Still greater was the decline among the copper miners. These numbered only 1,148, having declined no less than 71.8 per cent. since 1881, when they were 4,067. The production of copper ore fell simultaneously and in even greater proportion, declining from 48,825 to 8,792 tons, or by 82 per cent. Such copper mining as remains is earned on almost exclusively in Devonshire and Cornwall, in which counties 719 and 242 respectively of the 1,148 miners were enumerated. The rest were in Lancashire. Glamorganshire, Carnarvonshire, Merionethshire, and Anglesey.

Lead miners

Scarcely less was the decline among the lead miners, who were 5,750, or 48.8 per cent. fewer than in 1881, when they numbered 11,226. The ore produced also fell, though in not quite so high a proportion, namely, from 53,409 tons in 1881 to 33,078 in 1891; a decline of 38 per cent.

The distribution of the lead miners in 1881 and 1891 was as follows, and it will be seen that the decline was general:—

Registration County. 1881. 1891. Registration County. 1881. 1891.
Shropshire 302 124 Cardiganshire 1,824 781
Derbyshire 872 396 Montgomeryshire 1,222 388
West Riding 261 85 Flintshire 1,008 706
North Riding 746 269 Denbighshire 1,072 645
Durham 1,448 895 Carnarvonshire 231 132
Northumberland 644 385 Other counties 951 427
Cumberland 645 517      

Tin miners

The decline among the tin miners was not so great, probably because they had already declined enormously in the next preceding decennium, having then fallen off by about 34 per cent. In 1881 they numbered 12,402, but were reduced to 10,949 in 1891, or by 11-7 per cent. The production of the metal appears, however, not to have declined with the miners; for, according to the Statistical Abstract, the white tin. produced from British ores amounted to 9,353 tons in 1891, while in 1881 it was only 8,615.

Tin mining is confined entirely to Cornwall, with a small adjoining part of Devonshire. It is to its continuous decline that the progressive diminution of the population of Cornwall in the last 30 years is mainly attributable.

Coal, iron, copper, and lead mining are practically confined to men, some few women only being employed in surface operations; but in tin mining the women form a considerable proportion of the hands employed, 1,279 out of the 10,949 returned in 1891 having been of that sex.


Allied to the miners are the quarriers of stone and slate. The stone quarriers, cutters, and dressers numbered 36,813, while the corresponding workers in slate were 13 763 There were also 2,115 dealers in stone and slate, making, with the workers, a total of 52,691. In 1881 the dealers were not separated from the workers and therefore to make due comparison, we must apportion the 2115 dealers of 1891 to the workers in stone and the workers in. slate, in proportion to their respective manners This gives us 38,353 workers and dealers in stone, against 35,717 in 1881, an increase of 7.4 per cent., while the workers and dealers in slate come to 14,338, against 16,072 at the earlier date, thus showing a decline of 11.0 per cent. in the decennium.

Slate quarrying is almost confined to Carnarvonshire and Merionethshire, 11,620 of the 13,763 engaged in this industry having been enumerated in those two counties; and the decline in this industry explains how it is that in each parish round Llanberis and Festiniog, which are the centres of the quarries, the population fell off between 1881 and 1891 (see Vol. 2, pp. 1098-9).

Metal workers

We pass on from the miners by a natural transition to the workers in metal, including under this general heading those who smelt the ore, as well as those who deal with the metal when extracted. The rough workers in metal unfortunately return their occupations in so vague and inadequate a manner that it is impossible to make any satisfactory classification of them. Smelters cannot be distinguished from founders, tin-plate workers from tinmen and tinkers, nor generally can any distinction be drawn between the various industries, excepting so far as concerns the difference of the metals with which they severally deal. We can only therefore treat of these groups in a very summary manner.

Goldsmiths, &c.

The goldsmiths, silversmiths and jewellers, including gold boaters, were 23,988 in number and had slightly declined since 1881, when they amounted to 25,876.

Iron and steel industries

The makers of machines, boilers, and tools have already been considered. Of the other workers in iron and steel we can separate more or less completely the blacksmiths and whitesmiths, the nail makers, and the chain and anchor makers, but all the rest, whether smelters, founders, or makers of the coarser forms of iron goods, can only be given in an undifferentiated mass.


The blacksmiths and whitesmiths numbered 140,024 and were 15.9 per cent. in excess of the number in 1881, which had been 120,776.

Anchor and chain makers

The anchor and chain makers were 6,376, the figure for 1881 having been 5,029.

Nail makers

The nail makers, on the other hand, showed a very remarkable decline, having fallen from 18,741 to 9,943, or 47 per cent. This large falling off follower), moreover, on a previous decline of 18 per cent. in the interval between 1871 and 1881. It is to be explained by the substitution of machinery for hand-work, and the increased use of wire and other foreign-made nails. In most of the metal industries the proportion of women employed is very small, but it is high in the nail manufacture, 4,816, or 48.4 per cent., of the 9,943 nail makers being of the female sex.

Other iron and steel industries

The remaining and differentiated mass of smelters, founders and workers in iron and steel, excluding the machine, boilers and tool makers, and the iron shipwrights, numbered 202,406, and were not quite 1 per cent. more numerous than in 1881.

Copper, tin, zinc, lead manufacture

The workers in copper numbered 8,538, in tin 46,240, in zinc 3,548, and in lead 2,431, and with the exception of the lead workers, whose number remained practically unaltered, there was a considerable increase in each group since 1881.

Workers in mixed or unspecified metals

The makers of bolts, nuts, rivets and screws numbered 10,052, having increased from 8,017 in 1881, or by 25.4 per cent. The workers in brass and bronze, with whom may be classed also the makers of lamps, candlesticks, and chandeliers, together numbered 40,656, or 31.5 per cent. more than in 1881, when, moreover, the number was 36 per cent. higher than in 1871. The persons engaged in the white metal, electro-plate, and plated ware manufactures, together with the pewterers, numbered 6,779, having increase from 5,629 in 1881, and from not more than 3,407 in 1871. Lastly, the wire drawers and workers numbered 11,175, an increase of 21 per cent. since 1881.


It has already (p. 36) been explained that dealers and makers are so intermingled, and are so often designated by the same occupational title, that they cannot be thoroughly separated from each other. It is impossible, therefore, to give a total of the shop-keeping class. We can, however, select from the headings in the table those Which are distinctly contined to shop-keeping, and comparing the figures under these selected headings with those under the corresponding headings in 1881, form a fair judgement from the sample whether the great shop-keeping class has increased or decreased since 1881, and in what proportion. Omitting some insignificant headings, our sample will contain the following list:—

Trade. 1881. 1891. Increase or
Decrease per Cent.
Chemists 19,000 21,930 15.4
Booksellers 9,910 13,596 37.2
Stationers 15,241 21,798 43
Drappers 82,362 107,018 29.9
Haberdashers 9,565 12,481 30.5
Grocers 129,818 181,856 40.1
Poulterers and fishmongers 21,497 29,711 38.2
Greengrocers, fruiterers 29,614 40,963 38.3
Cheesemongers, buttermen 4,379 5,108 16.6
Butchers 81,702 28,921 21.1
Coal dealers 20,401 23,799 16.7
Ironmongers 16,122 21,444 33
General shopkeepers 54,860 53,608 2.3
Total of sample 494,471 632,233 27.9

Judging from this very large, sample of the class, the shopkeepers increased enormously in the interval between 1881 and 1891; the increase amounting for the aggregate group to no less than 27.9 per cent. Moreover, not only was there this large increase in the aggregate but it was shared by each separate trade included in the list, with the single exception of the general shopkeepers, where there was a slight decline, which may be conjecturally explained by the closure of numerous village shops in agricultural districts, and the absorption of their business in the larger establishments of the market towns.


Neither can we give a full account of the labourers; because those labourers who are sufficiently specialised to be attached to any definite manufacture have been reckoned therewith. With this exception, the great body of general or scarcely differentiated labourers can be separated with sufficient approximation, as follows:—

Heading. 1881. 1891.
Dock, wharf, labourers 42,643 54,996
Agricultural labourers 847,954 733,433
Road labourers, paviors 15,097 21,444
Railway labourers, platelayers 58,847 72,606
Coalheavers, porters 13,723 18,482
General labourers 559,769 596,075
Total 1,538,033 1,497,036

The figures for the two years are not quite strictly comparable, for in 1881 with the dock-labourers were included sundry other persons connected with the docks, besides the labourers. They show, however, with sufficient distinctness that there was a considerable increase between 1881 and 1891 in all classes of labourers, with the exception of those engaged in agriculture.

Female as compared with male occupations

On examining the occupational tables it will be seen that sometimes women are returned as following occupations that are practically confined to the stronger sex. Thus no fewer than 500 women are returned as blacksmiths or whitesmiths. This arises in part from the not uncommon incident that a woman carries on the business of her defunct husband or father, employing men for work she cannot herself perform. But this can scarcely be the whole explanation; for, were it so, all the women returned under these masculine occupations would be returned as "employers," whereas many of them appear as "employed" This was the case, for instance, with 94 of the female blacksmiths and whitesmiths. The explanation is to be found in the fact that women not infrequently return themselves by their husbands vocation; and, indeed, an instruction put by order of the Local Government Board upon the householder's schedule, that wives assisting their husbands in their trade should be returned as employed by them, has given some sanction to this practice, for "assisting a husband in his occupation" is capable of a very wide interpretation, and may be understood to cover keeping his petty accounts, taking orders, or receiving payments for him.

The total number of males, 10 years or more of age, returned as engaged in some definite occupation was 8,883,254; being 83.9 per cent. of all the enumerated males of those ages The total number of females similarly returned was 4,016,230, or only 35 per cent. of all persons of that sex over 10 years of age. The most important, however, of all female occupations, and that which employs the largest number is altogether omitted from the.reckoning, namely, the rearing of children and the management of domestic life. To make the comparison with the other sex at all a fair one, we should take into account the existence of the 4,916,649 wives,2 and, were we to do so, the proportion of occupied women would probably not fall far short of that of occupied men.

Occupations that require great muscular strength, as also many professions, are practically confined to men, and even in most others which are less strictly confined to one sex, the men, as a rule, predominate. There are, however, some occupations in which the opposite is the case, and which are either exclusively or preferentially the domain of women. The following is a list of the headings in the occupational tables, in which the female sex outnumbers the male.

Females. Males. Females. Males.
Nun, sister of charity 4,678 Lace manufacture 21,716 13,030
Sick nurse, midwife, invalid attendent 53,057 601 Fustian manufacture 4,962 3,220
Schoolmaster, teacher, professor, lecturer 144,393 50,628 Tape manufacture 1,542 943
Actor 3,696 3,625 Thread manufacture 2,053 615
Domestic - indoor servant 1,386,167 58,527 Hemp, jute, cocoa fibre, manufacture 2,333 1,198
Office keeper, caretaker (not Government) 10,223 7,196 Net maker 1,392 235
Cook (not domestic) 9,222 4,910 Canvas, sailcloth, sacking, manufacture 1,752 1,015
Charwoman 104,808 Weaver (undefined) 1,323 768
Washing and bathing service 185,246 6,912 Factory hand textile (undefined) 4,365 2,879
Hospital and institution service 15,501 6,952 Fancy goods (textile)-manufacture- worker, dealer 7,714 2,476
Bookbinder 14,249 11,487 Trimming maker, embroiderer 7,659 1,281
Pin maker 605 292 Straw - hat, bonnet, plait, manufacture 14,959 3,425
Steel pen maker 3,000 296 Milliner, dressmaker, staymaker 415,961 4,470
Artifical flower maker 4,436 722 Shawl manufacture 654 227
Fusee, fireworks, explosive article manufacture 3,313 1,748 Shirt maker, seamstress 52,943 2,153
Tobacco manufacturer; tabacconist 15,880 13,090 Machinist, machine worker (undefined) 21,478 8,769
Lodging, boarding house - keeper 45,174 6,004 Hosiery manufacture 30,887 18,200
Confectioner, pastrycook 28,875 17,691 Hosier, haberdasher 6,804 5,677
Worsted, stuff, manufacture 69,629 40,482 Glover, glove maker 9,199 2,756
Flannel, blanket, manufacture 2,969 2,375 Button maker 3,107 1,949
Silk, satin, velvet, ribbon, manufacture 31,811 16,071 Quill, feather - dresser, dealer 2,368 460
Crape, gauze, manufacture 751 164 Japanner 1,685 1,146
Cotton, cotton goods, manufacture 332,784 213,231 Envelope maker 2,458 289
Flax, linen, manufacture 5,592 2,574 Paper box, paper bag - maker 17,178 2,121
      Ticket, label-writer 1,306 1,110

Besides these occupations in which the women actually outnumber the men, there are others in which the two sexes are almost on an equality. This is the case with the musicians, for instance, and in the woollen cloth manufacture.

It is often stated that women are, owing to the smaller wages they will accept, gradually ousting their male competitors from their occupations, and there can be no doubt that in some industries such a substitution of female for male labour has occurred in the course of the last 30 years.

The following table, however, shows that the change has been by no means universal, and that there are even some industries, such as the lace manufacture and glove-making, in which the alteration has been in the opposite direction, and male labour has encroached upon female labour. It shows also that in no few industries, and these some of the most important, such as the woollen cloth, the worsted, the silk, and the cotton industries, where the proportion of female to male labour had largely advanced in previous decennia, the process was arrested in the decennium ending with 1891. and that there was even a slight recoil.

The table gives for four successive censuses, the proportion of females to 100 males employed in various selected occupations.

Occupation. Women to 100 men.
1861. 1871. 1881. 1891.
Commercial clerk 0.5 2 3 8
Bookbinder 82 95 111 124
Woollen cloth manufacture 60 79 102 100
Worsted, stuff, manufacturers 161 178 180 172
Flannel, blanket, manufactures 38 48 94 125
Silk, crape, gauze, manufactures 180 208 224 201
Cotton manufacture 131 149 163 156
Flax, linen, manufactures 137 144 186 217
Lace manufacture 508 476 289 167
Hemp, jute, cocoa fibre, manufactures 27 67 194 195
Felt manufacture 4 7 10 16
Carpet, rug, manufactures 24 47 59 80
Hosiery manufacture 88 88 114 170
Glover, glove maker 636 745 586 334
Shoe, boot, clog maker 18 13 20 23
Paper manufacture 72 65 80 67
China, earthenware, manufactures 46 55 62 63
Tobacconist, tobacco manufacture 28 42 77 121

Another question on which discussions are not infrequent is the extent to which married women are employed in the textile and other factories. This is a matter as to which we can give but limited information. We have, however, extracted from the enumeration books fair samples of the women over 20 years of age employed in several industries, with their condition as regards marriage. The results were as shown in the following table, which gives the actual numbers in the samples, and the same reduced to proportions in 1,000:—

Industry. Women in Sample. Proportion in 1,000.
Single. Married. Widows. Single. Married. Widows.
Cotton (Lancashire) 1,610 1,255 186 528 411 61
Lace (Nottingham) 335 291 82 473 411 116
Carpet (Kidderminster) 331 180 53 587 319 94
Woollen cloth (Huddersfield) 429 185 63 634 273 93
Worsted (Bradford) 714 249 59 698 244 58
Boots (Northampton) 266 222 32 512 427 61
Glass (Prescot, &c.) 167 39 30 708 165 127
Pottery (Staffordshire) 208 298 55 371 531 98

Employment of children

A few words may also be said as to the employment of children. Formerly a large number of children under ten years of age were employed both in factories and in field labour, as may be seen on looking at the occupation tables for 1871. But compulsory attendance at school has practically put an end to this, and, in preparing the tables of the present census, it has not been thought worth while to take account of the few children of this early age who may possibly be engaged in work. What, however, has been the case as regards children of from ten to fifteen? Is their employment increasing or diminishing? To answer this question we have made comparison between the returns for 1871 and 1891, and have calculated for each of those two years, the proportion of children in this stage of life to the total persons, of all ages employed in a certain number of selected industries.

The results, as given below, show that in almost every industry examined there was a considerable reduction between 1871 and 1891 on the proportion of children of from 10 to 15 years of age to the total number of persons employed.

Industry. Total Persons Employed (over 10 years of Age). Children between 10 and 15 Years of Age Employed.
1871. 1891.
1871. 1891. Number. Proportion
Per cent
to Total
over 10.
Number. Proportion
Per cent
to Total
over 10.
Woollen Cloth 127,905 122,893 13,760 10.8 10,876 8.8
Worsted, stuff 91,276 110,111 21,932 24.0 24,705 22.4
Flannel, blanket 3,001 5,344 114 3.8 244 4.6
Silk, satin, velvet, ribbon 78,031 47,882 10,903 14.0 5,521 11.5
Cotton, cotton goods 463,371 546,015 74,284 16.0 85,406 15.6
Flax, linen 17,896 8,166 2,456 13.7 690 8.4
Lace 48,718 34,746 5,908 12.1 2,280 6.6
Straw, hat, bonnet, plait 46,812 18,384 5,776 12.3 861 4.7
Hosiery 41,843 49,087 3,155 7.5 3,953 8.1
Glover, glove maker 22,964 11,955 1,892 8.2 588 4.9
Shoe, boot, patten, clog, maker 224,455 248,789 8,719 3.9 13,917 5.6
Artifical flower maker 4,878 5,158 610 12.5 524 10.2
Nail-maker 23,171 9,943 2,252 9.7 378 3.8

1 Mr. Fox's Report to the Royal Commission on Labour, p. 25.

2 Many of these wives will, of course, have had specified occupations of their own; so that, to add all wives to the 4,016,230 with specified occupations, would be to count many of them twice over.

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