O is for occupiers and occupations

One of the aims of a one-place study is to research the lives and relationships of the people who lived there. The ideal would be everybody who ever lived in that place...

But that in itself begs other questions. What does it mean to ‘live’ in a place? How long counts as ‘living’ there? As my place includes a house which once acted as a Nursing Home, does that include the residents of the home? A mortgage lender once asked for the names and dob of every adult living in the property and was told curtly that as the house was a Nursing Home that was an inappropriate question. And do temporary residents for respite care count?

For pragmatic reasons I’ve gone with the owners and occupiers but not every resident of the NH. For Springhill House I’ve pretty much managed it but that is only 170 years old. For others which date back to 1642 then its nowhere near complete.

Yet knowing who lived there is only half the story. Why did they choose to live there and what were they doing there? A look at the occupations of the residents over time gives some interesting clues...

(for heads of households only)

Occupations from the 1841 census are inferred as the enumerator didn’t give precise addresses but are probably:

servant, stone mason, weaver, farmer, wool sorter, wool weaver, coal merchant, merchant, manufacturer, wool comber

The servant may have been employed by one of the merchant/manufacturers. The others were engaged in local trades at the time.
The coal merchant is Ashworth of ‘A is for...’

Gardener/domestic servant, farm bailiff, warehouseman, coachman, cotton manufacturer, farm servant, retired civil service, laundress

Newspaper articles and the like suggest that all of these expect the cotton manufacturer were employed by the retired civil servant (Patrick of ‘F is for...’). They all seem to have lived where they worked, quite possibly in tied cottages.

Slipper maker, farmer, gas meter inspector, cotton cloth presser, weaving overlooker, farm labourer, cashier woollen mill, director felt and woollen works, housekeeper

Again the housekeeper worked for the miill director and the farm servant for the farmer, the farm having been sold off by this time. Gas meter inspectors were unknown in 1841!

Mid 1970s (from memory)
?, company secretary, butcher, engineer, nightclub manager, retired, company buyer, ?, farmer, nursing home proprietor, retired teacher

Of these only the butcher, farmer and NH proprietor worked in the area.

Over time it seems to have moved from being a place to live and work to being a place to live but largely working elsewhere. The mix of occupations in such a small area is also interesting.

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