View Full Version : Night Watchmen/Watchmen
25-05-2008, 10:54 AM
My ancestor was a 68 year old night watchman in the 1881 census at 9 Portpool Lane, Holborn, London EC1. When one of his daughters married in 1884, she put him down as "Watchman". He had served 25 years in the Army from 1831 to 1856 so was an ideal man for the job.
I read that they were probably parish watchmen, ie, patrolling the streets at night. There was a huge brewery opposite their 1881 residence.
I wonder if I could maybe find any records of his job or something? This was only 1 step down from a policeman.
25-05-2008, 10:58 AM
Just in case you've not come across it before, this is an interesting article: http://www.hrionline.ac.uk/oldbailey/history/crime/policing.html
However, it might be that your chap was a watchman for the brewery opposite where he was living. Have you contacted the brewery archives?
25-05-2008, 11:23 AM
That makes an interesting read, that some were employed from 9pm til sunrise, and some were low paid.
The brewery was Reids Brewery. It is not there now anymore but, yes he could have been. I wonder where I can obtain brewery archives?
25-05-2008, 11:31 AM
Try this link, it is part of the National Archieves. It may be of some help. http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/nra/searches/subjectView.asp?ID=B16833.
25-05-2008, 11:31 AM
Have a read here: http://www.keith.emmerson.btinternet.co.uk/breweryh.html just over two thirds of the way down the page.
Also here: http://www.breweryhistory.com/Defunct/LondonNorth.htm about halfway down.
It looks like your best bet would be to contact The Brewery History Society, whose details are to be found here: http://www.breweryhistory.com/index.htm
25-05-2008, 12:08 PM
That is brilliant that the records are the the LMA. I am off to London next month so will probably have a look if they mention staff records.
Reids Brewery covered quite a large site so it could be that my ancestor worked there. Cheers for the links. Hopefully there might be a mention of the night watchmen there.
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