It’s a bumper edition of the Widows of Tounson Almshouses this month. Four censuses to cover. It’s been useful to know that this year is the 150th anniversary of the introduction of the Census. The genealogy magazine Who Do You Think You Are is writing about each census year. The current July edition has reached 1871. Notice how the address of the Almhouses varies in each census and how the women’s status also changes: widow, inmate, pauper.
Background to the age
Joseph Lister developed antiseptic methods for surgery, introducing carbolic acid. First used 1865.
Napoleonic Wars, 1799-1815, Crimea War, 1854-56, Indian Mutiny, 1857-58, American Civil War, 1863-67. President Lincoln assassinated 1865.
Dickens published Bleak House in serial form, 1852 -53, Hard Times, 1854 and Little Dorrit, 1855- 57 and Darwin published The Origin of the Species, 1859. The Great Exhibition was held at the Crystal Palace, 1851. Lewis Carroll published Alice in Wonderland, 1865.
1871 UK population: 31.8 million people living in the UK according to census records.
This year, another column was added asking if a resident of the household was: 1 Deaf and Dumb, 2 Blind, 3 Imbecile or Idiot, or 4, Lunatic. First time that information about health and infirmity was asked. You can check the social historian website for the definitions.
Inmates of Almshouse
11 Eliza Morrell, 79, born Heddington, 1792
12 Betty Roberts, 81, born Calne, 1790
13 Ann Jones, 64, born Turton, Wilts., 1807
14 Sarah Hicks, 83, born Calne, 1788 (former washerwoman 1861
15 Elizabeth Cleverly, 76, born Calne, 1795
15 Jane Gilleford, 28, born Islington, 1834 (laundress ironer)
16 Hannah Holley, 79, born Calne 1792 (widow of Ag Lab – agricultural labourer)
17 Elizabeth Clifford, 77, born Crudwell, 1794
18 Hannah Lane, 75, born Witcomb, Somerset, 1796
8 Rachel Manners, 70, born Monkton, Wilts., 1791 (late house Servant)
Jane Smith, 81, born Plymouth, Devon, 1780 (late washerwoman)
7 Elizabeth Clifford, 69, born Crudwell, Wilts., 1792 (late washerwoman)
Eliza Morrell, 65, born Edington, 1769 (widow of gardener)
6 AH Ann Weston, 66, born Calne, 1795 (widow of Ag Lab)
Mary Brewer, 75, born Calne, 1786 (late upholsterer)
5 Hannah M Little, 77, born Exeter, 1784 (late Bureler * cloth)
4 Anne Izenbell, 86, born Bath, 1775 (late Bureler wool)
Ann Hand, 81, born Calne, 1780 (late Ag. Lab)
3 Kitty Clifford, 76, born Calne, 1785 (late washerwoman)
2 Sarah Bush, 86, born Burbage, 1775 (late washerwoman)
1 Rachel Chivers, 77, born Blackland, 1784 (late weaver)
*Bureler: produced borel, which is a coarse woollen material used to make cheap clothing.
12 widows (+ one)
8 Sarah Cogswell, 91, born Trowbridge, 1760 (widow of Dresser * , a pauper, receiving Parochial relief in Almshouse)
9 Jane Smith, 72, born Plymouth, 1779 (Pauper in Almshouse and widow of an Ag. Labourer)
10 Jane Norrington, 72, born Calne, 1779 (Pauper in Almshouse and widow of a carrier)
11 Elizabeth Davies, 82, born Bradford (on Avon) 1769 Pauper, Almshouse widow of Master Butcher)
12 Susannah Palmer, 78, born Berwick Bassett, 1773 (Pauper, Almshouse, widow of Ag Labourer)
13 Elizabeth Haines, 91, born Calne, 1760 ( Pauper, Almshouse, widow of Ag Labourer) Deaf
** Jane Haines daughter (unmarried) , 61, born Calne, 1789 (Pauper in Almshouse)
14 Ann Isingbell, 76, born Bath, 1775 (Pauper, Almshouse, widow of a Horse Soldier)
15 Elizabeth Jones, 82, born Chippenham, 1769 (Pauper, Almshouse, widow of an Ag Labourer)
16 Hannah Dyke, 69, born Steepleashton,1782 (Pauper, Almshouse, widow of A Plaisterer and Tiler)
17 Sarah Bush, 19, born Burbage, 1832 (Pauper, Almshouse, widow of a Foot Soldier who was a pensioner)
18 Susannah Rogers, 82, born Calne, 1769 ( Pauper, Almshouse, widow of a Carpenter)
*Cloth Dresser: skilled workers in the textile industry who cut woollen cloth with huge shears when it was ready to leave the mill, or sheared the nap from it.
** the unmarried daughter must have been her deaf mother’s carer.
The Family Researcher website is is useful for finding out about occupations in the past.
Question: How on earth did all the women fit in the place? What were living conditions like?
1841 – the first modern census. It recorded the names of every individual in the country on a single night and counted under central control. UK population: 26.7 million
Calne District 2
The Green (Calne)
All paupers (another 12)
Sarah Bush, 59, born Wilts, 1782
Susanna Rogers, 70, born Wilts, 1771
Grace Lane, 80, born Wilts, 1761
Bridget Mable, 81, born Ireland, 1760
Betty Jones, 70 born Wilts, 1771
Elizabeth (Lizzy) Haynes, 80, born Wilts, 1761
Jane Haynes, 50, born Wilts, 1791
Betty Ford, 96, born Wilts, 1745
Eunice Emery, 50, born Wilts, 1791
Jane Norrington, 63, born Calne, 1778/9 (Pauper in Almshouse and widow of a carrier)
Ketty Duak, 80, born Wilts, 1761
Sarah Whabby, 65, born Wilts, 1776