The 1851 CENSUS

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THE PEAK OF TITTLESHALL’S VICTORIAN VILLAGE?

In the Census of 1851 Tittleshall-cum-Godwick in the Mitford hundred boasted 615 souls in 134 households which including several visitors on the night of the count.  In contrast 160 laters in the 2011 the census shows a population of 406 with 161 households, which with the application of some simple arithmetic, makes life back in 1851 rather more very cramped!

In Back Street lived a 60 year old Mr George Sizeland, a pensioner who fought at Waterloo aged 22, being born in 1791.  Six more of the Sizeland family also lived in Wrights Folly where among its 58 residents was perhaps the reason for its name Samuel Wright, a shepherd and his wife Sarah and their son Isaac Charles aged 1.  Six more Sizelands lived at The Gravel Pit, (now Tittleshall Allotments). 

The eldest Sizeland was James Sizeland aged 71 a lodger in the High St, with six of the Melton family who numbered 29, the largest family in Tittleshall.  John Sizeland was a hurdlemaker.  A Master Carpenter, Thomas Woods, 46, from Terrington lived in the Folly with wife Matilda and two daughters who were dressmakers. 

A midwife, Elizabeth Barrett, 50, also lived in the Folly with Richard, 53.  He was an agricultural Labourer. 

There were 58 souls living in the Folly off the High St where 184 people lived.  The Meltons  families were also  to be found in Back St, and Fakenham Rd. 

Living on the Fakenham Rd, was a Baptist Minister Robert Pyne and his wife Mary with their 6 children originally from the West Country. 

Elizabeth Bacon living in the High St was the head of the family and the Innkeeper of the Griffin Inn.  Her son Benjamin  aged 32, a jour Blacksmith, and his wife Susan, 34 with two sons.  Esther Tenant, 17, recorded as servant of all work.  A farmer and Innkeeper on the High St was John Franklin, 25, on 85 acres with 3 labourers.  They had 4 servants. 

Other tradesmen included Robert Goddard, 24 a Grocer and Draper had a servant Mary Chapman.  His family lived on the High St. 

In the Folly John Moore originally from Beeston was a Baker.  John his son, 20 was a jour Baker; Henry, Baker`s Assistant 15; daughter Mary 21, a dressmaker and Samuel, 17 apprentice wheelwright.  Two Shepherds John, 40 and and Anthony Body his son, 20 and 6 other children and a lodger William Parson, 74. 

In Litcham Road Agriculturalists Bodham Butler, aged 78 living with his sister Maria Moulton, 66 a nephew Alfred Hopson, farmer, and two servants, Ann Haws, 22, dairy maid and Henry Webster, 16 , stable boy. 

Next door to Bodham was Thomas T Cooper, 36, a Miller.  They also had two servants, Charles Neve, 20 jour Miller; Caroline Howard, 18, housemaid. 

Along Fakenham Rd  lived William Rix, 34 recorded as a Yeoman, his wife Anna, 38 and his six children. 

Registered as a crow keeper, 9 year old John Ives whose mother Sarah, 44, was a charlady and widow must have kept the spirits up of the other 5 siblings aged 19-4, all living on Fakenham Rd. 

Another Grocer Draper  was John Bear, a widower, he was also a schoolmaster living in the High St with Elizabeth Watling, 22, his housemaid with Thomas Neal, 15 his Shop Lad. 

Still living today in our Village is Robin Roberson whose family have a rich history including those living on the High St in 1851, John Roberson aged 34 and a butcher.  His wife Hannah, born in Lexham, had William5;Jane 3;Alfred 5.  76 year old William Roberson was a lodger, and a Shepherd. 

The Parish Clerk, John Riches, 48, lived in the High St with wife Sarah and two sons.  A lodger, Emily Sydell, 23 is recorded as a school mistress.  A probable relative of his was farmer Isaac Riches who employed a Farm Boy and 6 labourers, one of whom, Richard Belcham, 28, was also a live in servant. 

Living in Grienston House Elizabeth, 60 and Martha Riches, 26, her daughter are recorded as Landed Proprietor and dressmaker. 

Robert Gunton, 25, originally from Weasenham was a Wheelwright Master.  His brother George, 20, was a trainee wheelwright. 

Poor Susan Dearnes, 72 born in Tittleshall is shown as a pauper.  Two other paupers living in Back St were Christmas, 78, and Elizabeth Youngs, 76.  Their daughter, Eliza, 41 must have found it hard working in the fields as she did to support them. 

At the age of 61, Samuel Waters is shown as a pauper Blacksmith.  His daughter Elizabeth, 27, was a washerwoman and son, George, 17, Blacksmiths Apprentice.  The Franklin family all born in Tittleshall had Frans as father, a brickmaker aged 41, his six children and a niece Mary Webster, 16 a visitor. 

John Everitt, 54, a Master Bricklayer lived in Back St, employed 6 men, one labourer and 5 boys.  He and his wife Alice, 53 also farmed 24 acres.  John, ( a Thatcher) and Pleasance Goodbody lived near him. 

John Balls, 45, born in Rougham was a High St shoemaker and his wife  Sarah, 22 was housekeeper.  John Ramm of Back St is recorded as a fisherman aged 28.  A fishery is recorded in the Domesday Book. 

Another farmer was Thomas Rix, 64 had 483 acres;14 men and 5 boys on the land.  He had three servants.  At Wicken Lodge George Belcham ran his farm of 140 acres with 3 workers 2 children and one servant. 

W.  W.  Branford , also a farmer had 560 acres employed 7 workers.  He had 4 children, 4 servants and a visiting Governess, Martha Ringer, 21 from Shipdham. 

At Godwick farmer John Forby, 60 had one servant;6 children and one servant Anne Craske, 19.  John farmed 230 acres employing 7 labourers.  Ann Forby, 75, a retired farmer lived with 1 servant in the High St, all her children and she Tittleshall born and bred. 

Mary Betts of Clay Hill ran a farm of 360 acres with her 4 sons and 2 servants.  George Belcham, widower, farmed 140 acres with three workers.  The three oldest residents were John Calaby, 82 Fakenham Rd;William Smith, 83, High St;and William Emms Withers, a widower aged 84 “infirm”or disabled?

Tittleshall`s Rector Kenelm H Digby, 39 and his family are probably one of the best remembered in St Mary`s Church.  His wife Caroline (Sheppard) was born in Bath, Somerset, where my family have some connection.  They had four sons and three daughters.  They had seven servants including a Butler, William Hillyar, 43 from Dorset. 

Also thought to be at the Rectory was St Mary`s Curate Samuel W Bowine, 25, born in Antigua, West Indies.  He had two servants Hannah Mann, 31 and John Munnings, 15, a footman.  Rich or poor many families had many children as young as 5 registered as field workers.  By 1883 census John Hooks is shown as Innkeeper of the Ostrich, a Blacksmith and Insurance Agent.  The 1891 census shows only 70 households with a population of 145.  The Industrial Revolution had transformed most Villagers` lives in 40 years. 

David Sheppard, Litcham Historical Society Jan 2017