Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 38
  1. #1

    Default Life of an agricultural labourer

    Has anyone got a good synopsis of the life and work of an agricultural labourer in about 1850?

    I've been googling but not found anything which might sum this up fairly succinctly.

    Many thanks for any help
    Clare

  2. #2
    Rod Neep
    Guest

    Default

    This is a golden opprotunity for me to point you to the very best book on the subject!

    The Village Labourer 1760-1832

    A wonderful history of the poor in in the villages of the period. It deals with subjects such as enclosure, which had a dramatic effect upon village life and also with the Labourers Uprising of 1830. It also describes in great detail the types of jobs carried out by labourers in the countryside.

    An absolutely fascinating read which allows you to understand the hardships and the problems that the ordinary person faced during these times. And that's real family history! Putting yourselves into your ancestors' shoes and understaning all about them and their lifestyles.

    And... it is available on CD from the Archive CD Books
    Last edited by Guest; 10-10-2007 at 1:55 PM.

  3. #3

    Default

    Thanks Rod!

    Yes, I will probably like to buy this CD as I have ag labs in my own family from about this time, and it's a really interesting period.

    But I'm really looking at the moment at the lives of ag labs post 1850 and also, particularly, with respect to later in the century, when agricultural mechanisation pushed so many workers into the towns (where, of course, due to the industrial revolution, there was so much work).

    I'm looking for a sort of synopsis (ie a few paragraphs) of ag labs in the second half of the 19th century, really to flesh out a family history I'm secretly writing for my husband - ie genealogy meets social history, or as I would like to say, the way social history becomes 'real' for most people like me whose forebears don't figure amongst the 'rich and famous'!

  4. #4
    Guy Etchells
    Guest

    Default

    Sorry but I must disagree with you there Rod, I would advise
    The Village Labourer & The Skilled Labourer 1760-1832. The second book gives an idea of the conditions of those in industrial premises.
    At the price they are how can they be refused.
    Cheers
    Guy
    Last edited by Guest; 10-10-2007 at 1:56 PM.

  5. #5

    Default

    Cheers Guy, but do you think these cds are relevant to the condition of the ag lab from about 1850 onwards, which is the period I'm more interested in?

    Many thanks
    Clare

  6. #6
    Guy Etchells
    Guest

    Default

    Yes, but one must remember that agricultural wages rose during the mid to late 19th century due partly to the Crimean War (1853/5) and the Franco-German war of 1872/3. It wasn't until 1902 (apart for short periods) that labourers wages were really hit.

    Having said that agricultural wages were always a sight lower than the wages a labourer could get in town therefore there was a economic driven exodus.
    The average farm labourer's wage rose steadily from around 9 shillings and 6 pence per week in 1824 to around 14 shillings an 5 pence in 1898. In addition they got various allowances such as potato ground beer etc.
    Cheers
    Guy

  7. #7

    Default

    Thanks Guy for the info.

    I'm still on the trail of a really basic 'average life' (if there is such as thing) of an ag lab in the second half of the 19th century.

    Many thanks

    Clare

  8. #8
    Sharron
    Guest

    Default

    Hello Guy,

    As someone who has more ag labs than anything else in their tree (and who doesn't?), I'm curious to know - and forgive my ignorance - why it is that you state that the wages of agricultural labourers were affected by the Crimean and Franco-German wars.

  9. #9
    Guy Etchells
    Guest

    Default

    War is always a profitable time for people who produce items required for fighting. In the crimea horses & oxen were used extensively and had to be fed corn as they could not be left to graze for nourishment. Demand for corn led to higher prices this in turn led to higher wages. War also develops manpower shortages allowing those left the luxury of demanding more wages.
    Think also agricultural labourers were paid about 50% of the wage of an industrial labourer if an industrial labourer left to fight for his country it was likely his place would be filled by an ag. lab.
    There was of course more to it than this but that is a very short explanation.
    Cheers
    Guy

  10. #10
    Loves to help with queries.
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Somerset
    Posts
    136

    Default

    Clare,

    I see you are from Lincolnshire. That too is where I was born and raised for the first 22 years of my life.

    I have been researching the Harker and Gainsborough sides of my family tree for a few months now. They were mainly agricultural workers based in North and East Lincolnshire.

    During my research I found my mother had been born in Keelby and many of the Gainsboroughs are buried there. Keelby WEA have produced some excellent books of the village history. When I contacted them earlier this year (Pam Hay) the only publication that was no longer available was the "Keelby, Parish and People 1831-1881" which covers the period you are looking at.

    I do have the publications that cover 1765-1831 and 1880-1918. I have looked through these and can't really give you any extracts that would help build the brief picture you are looking for. However, it might be worth you making contact with those listed on the above link. I found Pam Hay to be very helpful and in return I was able to give her some names to put to photographs in one of their publications. My great, great, great grandfather farmed at Keelby (Robert Gainsborough) and one of my aunts and two of my uncles attended Keelby school for a while. Photographs of both of these events were in a publication but with no names.

    As Keelby should be fairly close to you I would hope that, if there is information to be had from the group, it will be more appropriate to your area.

    Unfortunately most of my family's memories (father, aunts, uncles) would be of life as an agricultural labourer before and after WWII.
    Last edited by Guest; 10-10-2007 at 1:57 PM.

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Select a file: