Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Stuff you always wanted to know

By 1850 the population of London was approx 3 million.

According to Peter Cunningham’s “Handbook of London" ( printed in1850) the workforce included:

168701 Domestic servants
29780 Dressmakers and Milliners
28574 Boot and shoe makers
21517 Tailors and breechesmakers
20417 Commercial Clerks
18321 Carpenters and joiners
16220 Laundrykeepers, washers and manglers
13103 Private messengers and errand boys
11507 Painters, plumbers and glaziers
9110 Bakers
7973 Cabinet makers and upholsters
7151 Silk manufacturers
7002 Seamen
6741 Bricklayers
6716 Blacksmiths
6618 Printers
6450 Butchers
5499 Booksellers, book binders and publishers
4980 Grocers and tea dealers
4961 Tavern keepers, publicans and victuallers
4920 Clock and watch makers


That’s clearly not an exhaustive list. For instance, it does not include civil and public servants, (or day labourers in the London docks).

But it gives an indication of London as the growing hub of a vast commercial empire, but not as a centre of industry. London has never been a great manufacturing town.

Great Britain’s Industrial strength was then rooted in the coal mines of South Wales, Yorkshire and Lancashire, in the manufacturing towns and cities of the West Midlands and the Black Country, in the cotton and woollen mills in Lancashire and Yorkshire, and in the shipbuilding areas of Tyneside and Clydesdale.

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