Preliminary papers, reports and dissertations produced so far
Reports and papers
In some cases full versions of the unpublished papers can be downloaded. In others preliminary reports with tables, figures, maps and short texts may be downloaded.
Listed most recent first.
25. Mistresses and marriage: or, a short history of the Mrs
Amy Louise Erickson
The ubiquitous forms of address for women 'Mrs'and 'Miss' are both abbreviations of 'mistress'. Although mistress is a term with a multiplicity of meanings, in early modern England the mistress most commonly designated the female equivalent of master - that is, a person with capital who directed servants or apprentices. Prior to the mid-eighteenth century, there was only Mrs (or Mris, Ms, or other forms of abbreviation), applied to any adult woman who merited the social distinction, without any marital connotation. Miss was reserved for young girls until then. Even when adult single women started to use Miss, Mrs still designated a social or business standing, and not the status of being married, until at least the mid-nineteenth century. This article demonstrates the changes in nomenclature over time, explains why Mrs was never used to accord older single women the same status as a married woman, and argues that the distinctions are important to economic and social historians.
24. Marital status and economic activity: interpreting spinsters, wives, and widows in pre-census population listings
Amy Louise Erickson
This paper addresses the confusions between marital and occupational status in female descriptors, arguing that in order to calculate female labour force participation rates, we have to be able to read sources like population listings and early censuses in a much more careful way than has been done to date. I show that 'spinster' was used as an occupational descriptor alongside its connotation of an unmarried woman until at least 1801; that 'Mrs' implied business ownership, not marriage; that the general lack of occupational descriptors for married women did not necessarily mean they were unemployed, rather that enumerators omitted wives' occupations by convention; and that 'widow' was used only irregularly in an as yet unidentified pattern. Occupations missing from population listings are identified by different means. The conclusions about how to read population listings also have implications for the interpretation of later census returns.
23. The occupational structure of England and Wales c.1817-1881
Leigh Shaw-Taylor, E.A. Wrigley, Peter Kitson, Ros Davies, Gill Newton and Max Satchell
This paper examines the male occupational structure of England and Wales between c.1817 and 1881. The creation of a new quasi-census of male occupational data for c.1817 from parish register data makes it possible, for the first time, to examine reliably the changing male occupational structure over the whole of this period and to do so both in the aggregate and at fine spatial resolution and in sectoral detail. One key result is to show that the secondary sectors' share of adult male employment grew very little over this period. The basic feature of structural change was a relative shift from agricultural to service sector employment. The secondary sector was much larger at the beginning of the nineteenth century than has been thought hitherto. One implication is that the productivity growth of the secondary sector grew much more rapidly between c.1817 and 1841 than has been suggested hitherto. One likely consequence is that new technology made a much bigger impact on the secondary sector at the aggregate level, than the national accounts literature suggests at present. Moreover, striking tertiary sector growth was a feature of all regions of England and Wales, suggesting that the Industrial Revolution affected all parts of the country and cannot be viewed merely as a regional phenomenon, as has sometimes been argued.
22. The occupational structure of England c.1710-c.1871
Leigh Shaw-Taylor, E.A. Wrigley, Peter Kitson, Ros Davies, Gill Newton and Max Satchell
This paper presents new evidence on the male occupational structure of England c.1710 deriving from c.1000 baptism registers and provides a preliminary analysis of the implications of the data. The key finding is that the secondary sector was perhaps twice as large, in terms of male employment, at the beginning of the eighteenth century as historians have been suggested in recent years. One implication of this is that most of the growth in the relative importance of secondary sector employment, normally associated with the post 1750 period, in fact preceded the eighteenth century. A further implication is that the increase in the productivity of the secondary sector was much larger than has been argued in the national accounts literature. The paper also explores regional differences and documents the scale of de-industrialisation in southern England over the eighteenth century. It also provides a more speculative discussion of likely trends in female employment.
21. The creation of a 'census' of adult male employment for England and Wales for 1817
Peter Kitson, Leigh Shaw-Taylor, E.A. Wrigley, Ros Davies, Gill Newton, and Max Satchell.
This paper presents new estimates of the adult male occupational structure of England and Wales in 1817, over twenty years before the availability of the first reliable returns based upon the census of 1841. The system of baptismal registration introduced by parliament for the Church of England in 1813 required the occupation of the father to be recorded. By collecting this data from every parish register in England and Wales from this year until 1820, it is possible to generate estimates of occupational structure. Comparison of these estimates with other sources suggests that they are very reliable. Through the use of (1) a population weighting system using the returns from early nineteenth centuries censuses; (2) the PST system of occupational coding; and (3) a method for attributing the considerable numbers of men described as 'labourer' between the different sectors of employment, the total number of men engaged in each sector of the economy for 1817 can then be estimated.
This paper is no longer available here. A revised version is available at http://www.econsoc.hist.cam.ac.uk/working_papers.html
20. The PST system of classifying occupations
The aim of the paper is to outline the problems facing all occupational classifications systems, to discuss the considerations which lay behind the design of PST, to describe its prime characteristics, and to compare it with alternative systems, especially HISCO. The range of topics treated is suggested by the internal headings of the paper. They are as follows: Problems in the interpretation of occupational information, Census data and sources relating to individuals, The PST system and the study of the industrial revolution, Some features of the PST system, The processing of occupational data, More complex systems of classification, PST and other occupational systems, HISCO.
19. The occupational structure of England and Wales c.1750 to 1911
This paper is a slightly revised version of a paper given to the INCHOS workshop held in Cambridge July 29th-31st 2009. It is an early draft of a chapter, for a book: Saito, O and Shaw-Taylor, L., (eds.) Occupational structure and industrialization in a comparative perspective. The paper shows that most of rise in the relative importance of secondary sector employment, associated with British industrialisation, took place before the onset of continuous technological change and modern economic growth in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. During the nineteenth century structural change in employment consisted primarily of a shift from agriculture to services.
18. Prospects and preliminary work on female occupational structure in England from 1500 to the national census
By Jacob Field and Amy Erickson
We present here a review of the twelve classes of sources examined to date (July 2009), giving examples of what they might tell us. The sources include early quasi-census material, national tax returns, savings bank depositor records, trade directories, religious 'censuses', court records, ecclesiastical and parochial records, listings of the poor, apprenticeship records, school accounts, hospital accounts, and estate and household accounts. Where particular examples of these sources do not use occupational descriptors for women, we explore how it is possible to use different means of identifying women's work by comparing a body of the same source over time and place.
17. Service, gender and wages in England, 1700-1850
This paper examines changes in wages and occupations in the service sector in England in the period from 1700 to 1850. Particular attention will be paid to the gender differences in the sector. Using a national sample of household and estate accounts and hiring agreements drawn from across England, as part of the Occupational Structure of Britain c.1379-1911 Project, this paper will show how wages and roles in service may have changed from the early eighteenth century to the mid nineteenth.
This paper has now been published online early in the Economic History Review as 'Domestic service, gender, and wages in rural England, c.1700-1860'.
16. Clockmakers, milliners and mistresses: women trading in the City of London companies 1700-1750
A sample of the London gilds' corporate records reveals that women were a small but significant proportion of their members. Some of these worked in the trade of the company, but many were in millinery (i.e. dressmaking) and other luxury clothing trades. Millinery apprenticeships commanded high premiums and opening a shop required substantial capital, so this was the preserve of the daughters of gentlemen, clergy, and wealthy businessmen. As a result of such substantial investment, milliners maintained their business during marriage, taking apprentices through their husbands' companies as they were entitled to do. There were more women and more elite women in this trade, located in the wealthiest streets of the City, than has been imagined.
15. The nature and scale of the cottage economy
This paper is a chapter from an as yet unfinished book on the impact of parliamentary enclosure on rural artisans and labourers. It examines probate inventory evidence from early eighteenth century Northamptonshire. Whilst its primary focus is on other matters it has a twofold relevance to occupational structure. Firstly that it deals with the question of how reliable occupational descriptors are. Secondly it considers the importance and nature by-employments and argues that existing studies have probably exaggerated the importance of by-employments, certainly in southern England.
14. The recording of occupations in the Anglican baptism registers of England and Wales, 1690-1799
This essay reports the results of searches for periods where the occupation of the father at baptism was systematically recorded in approximately 11,000 English and Welsh parish registers between 1690 and 1799. In southern England and Wales, occupational recording was most common in the aftermath of the Marriage Duty Acts of the 1690s, but then becomes comparatively rare after 1710. Conversely, occupational recording was comparatively rare in northern England and north Wales before 1710. A series of ecclesiastical initiatives after this period ensured that occupational recording was very common in these regions for the rest of the eighteenth century.
13. Identifying women's occupations in early modern London
This paper is a preliminary survey of three sources for women's occupations in eighteenth-century London: apprenticeships in the city livery companies; the registers of Christ's Hospital showing apprenticeships; and the records of testimony in the Old Bailey. There is currently only one article in print on the female occupational geography of London in this period (P. Earle, 1989), based on testimony in church court records. In the sources examined here, women worked largely in public, trading and production occupations. This profile is substantially different from the preponderance of domestic service and making/mending textiles which appears in the church court records.
12. Diverse experiences: The geography of adult female employment in England and the 1851 census
The published nineteenth century censuses contain a vast body of data on female occupations. This material has largely been neglected due to widespread doubts about its accuracy. This paper argues that these doubts are overdone and should not stop historians making full use these invaluable data. This is followed by a preliminary exploration and mapping of the patterns of adult female employment in 1851.
Click here for a fuller downloadable report. A revised and extended version of this paper has been published in Goose, N., (ed.) Women's work in Industrial England: Regional and local perspectives (2007).
11. The male occupational structure of Bedfordshire c.1698-1881
Around 40 per cent of Bedfordshire's parish registers containing good runs of occupational data at the turn of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Male occupational data have already been collected from baptism registers for all of Bedfordshire for the period 1813-20 and from all registers which contain occupational data between 1695 and 1800. A preliminary analysis will be available in the near future.
10. The male occupational structure of Lancashire c.1750-1881
We are in the process of collecting adult male occupational data for every parish and chapelry in Lancashire for the period 1813-20 together with from the second half of the eighteenth century where it is available (in about 40 per cent of cases). These data will be used together with data from the censuses of 1831 through to 1881 to reconstruct the evolution of the county's male occupation structure. Data collection should be completed during July. A paper will follow soon afterwards.
Downloadable paper/report not yet available
9. English county populations in the later eighteenth century
Because of the provisions of Hardwicke's Act, from 1754 onwards the registration of marriages was virtually complete, though there was a large and varying shortfall between the number of births and deaths occurring and the totals of Anglican baptisms and burials. It is possible to make use of the marriage data, which are available for all English counties and hundreds, to generate new and more accurate estimates of county populations at ten-year intervals from 1761 to 1801. They show vast differences in growth rates. The highest was Lancashire which grew by more than 130 per cent; the lowest Wiltshire which grew by only 2 per cent.
Click here for a downloadable copy of the paper. A revised version of this paper has been published as 'English county populations in the later eighteenth century', Economic History Review, 60 (2007), pp. 35-69.
8. Family farms and capitalist farms in mid-nineteenth century England.
Data on farm size and employment levels published in the 1851 census have been dismissed as unreliable. This paper shows that the data are in fact reliable and can be used to document the geography of farm size and employment patterns at county level. These data are used to investigate the relative importance of agrarian capitalism and family farming and their geography. Agrarian capitalism was more important than family farming everywhere. Large-scale agrarian capitalism was dominant in the south and east. A substantial family farm sector survived only in the far south-west and north of England by 1851.
A revised version of this paper has been published in the Agricultural History Review
7. The rise of agrarian capitalism and the decline of family farming in England.
Historians have documented rising farm sizes throughout the period 1450-1850. Existing studies have revealed much about the mechanisms underlying the development of agrarian capitalism. However, we currently lack any consensus as to when the critical developments occurred. This is largely due to the absence of sufficiently large and geographically wide-ranging datasets but is also attributable to conceptual weaknesses in much of the literature. This paper develops a new approach to the problem and argues that agrarian capitalism was dominant in southern and eastern England by 1700 but that in northern England the critical developments came later.
Click here for a downloadable copy of the paper. A revised version of this paper has now been published in the Economic History Review.
6. The emergence of a mineral-based energy economy: the male occupational structure of Northumberland, 1762-1871.
The industrial revolution in Northumberland witnessed a steady growth in the secondary sector, while the tertiary sector, already sizeable by 1800, also grew. Meanwhile, the primary sector waned through the relative decline of agriculture, which was not offset by the growth of coal mining. However, aggregate statistics mask the rapidity of change around Newcastle and Tynemouth. Rapid demographic growth, coupled with the swift development of the iron making, engineering and iron shipbuilding sectors drove county-level growth in the secondary sector. In contrast rural de-industrialization in the rest of the county was only partially compensated by the gradual shift of coal mining away from Tyneside.
5. The male occupational structure of Northamptonshire 1777-1881:
A case of partial de-industrialization?
Leigh Shaw-Taylor and Amanda Jones
Northamptonshire had two notable concentrations of proto-industry in the late eighteenth century. The Worsted cloth industry collapsed almost completely when the West Riding industry began to mechanise and flooded the agricultural labour market with ex-weavers for many years. The shoe-making industry grew steadily but not rapidly enough to compensate for the collapse of weaving. As a result secondary sector employment fell over the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and only regained its 1777 level after 1861 as steam-powered factory production spread to the shoe-making industry. However, the tertiary sector grew rapidly from the late eighteenth century.
4. Male occupational structure in Hertfordshire c 1758-1881:
An example of relative occupational stability.
Hertfordshire was a heavily agricultural county in which agriculture accounted for 60 per cent of male employment in the mid-eighteenth century. This figure began to decline slowly only in the early nineteenth century. The secondary sector lacked any particular concentrations of specialist manufacturing and was both diverse and stable accounting for around 35 per cent of adult male employment from the mid eighteenth through to the early nineteenth century when it began to grow slowly. However tertiary sector employment grew rapidly from the late eighteenth century. Transport and the professions were the most dynamic sectors.
Downloadable paper/report available shortly
3. A hidden contribution to industrialization?
The male occupational structure of London c. 1817-1871.
London was the largest manufacturing town in Britain in the nineteenth century but it was the share of adult male employment in the tertiary sector that was the really distinctive feature of London's economy. New data on male occupations show that from the early nineteenth century the tertiary sector was growing rapidly and the secondary sector was declining as a proportion of adult male employment. However, London's increasing share of the national population between 1750 and 1871 meant that despite this, London contributed to the growth of both the secondary and tertiary sectors at the national level.
2. An industrializing region?
The West Riding of Yorkshire c. 1755 - 1871.
Leigh Shaw-Taylor and Amanda Jones
It is normally supposed that the industrial districts experienced a radical increase in secondary sector employment during the classic industrial revolution period. However, the secondary sector's share of adult male employment in the West Riding was above 65 per cent as early as 1755 and declined slowly until 1871. While agriculture declined in importance the tertiary sector tripled in size, from a low base between 1755 and 1871. The West Riding's contribution to the national growth of secondary sector employment was made, not through a radical change in its occupational structure, but through relatively rapid population growth driven by migration.
1. The Occupational Structure of England c.1750-1871
A Preliminary Report
L. Shaw-Taylor and E.A. Wrigley
It is widely supposed that the industrializing regions of north-west England (Lancashire and the West Riding) experienced a rapid increase in the relative importance of secondary sector employment between 1760 and 1830. However a large-scale analysis of occupational data for the period 1750-1871 shows that in fact the rise in the relative importance of secondary sector employment in the north-west took place during the early modern period and actually declined slightly over the classic 'industrial revolution' period. After 1815, some other parts of the country experienced the rapid increase in secondary sector employment usually assumed to have characterised the industrial districts between 1760 and 1830. In contrast, the growth of service sector employment (especially transport) was dramatic and continuous in all regions of England from the late eighteenth century onwards. Nationally there was more growth in the secondary sector between 1500 and 1750 than there was between 1750 and 1850. These findings necessitate some rethinking of the first industrial revolution, its causes and its consequences. Not least, these findings finally resolve the long-standing controversy as to whether the first industrial revolution was a relatively short dramatic event or a more protracted process. The evidence in favour of the latter view is now overwhelming.
Click here for a fuller downloadable report. This paper provides the full context for the project but see papers 22 and 23 below for more recent findings.
4. The Occupational and Organizational Structures of the Northamptonshire
Worsted and Shoemaking Trades, circa 1750-1821
De-industrialization and industrialization processes have been studied through an occupational analysis of the worsted and shoemaking trades in Northamptonshire, circa 1750-1821. Using a number of primary sources, the timing of the collapse of the local worsted trade has been pinpointed. Decline began well before the introduction of mechanization. Worsted parishes depopulated. Marriage records were found to be of particular value as a proxy of economic change and a useful tool to study those parishes for which occupational data was not available.
3. The economic development of Sussex c.1700-1881
2. The male occupational geography of Middlesex in the nineteenth century
1. The Economic Development of a County Town during the Industrial Revolution: Aylesbury, 1700 - c.1850