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Data sets of women's work

Data sets of women's work

The following data sets are those created through 2011. All take the form of spreadsheets.

Census data sets 1831-1911

See the Nineteenth-century Britain page for census data sets.

Savings bank registers

Held in the Lloyds' Bank archive, the most complete early depositors' ledgers record name, address, and occupation or status. The first volume in each series has been sampled, for:

Beverley: East Riding Savings Bank, 1818-24 (550)

Launceston, Cornwall, 1818-41 (100)

Whitchurch, Shropshire, 1818-23 (500)

South Shields & District Friendly Bank for Savings, 1817- (643)

Ellesmere Savings Bank Ledger, 1818- (160)

Returns of papists

1767 Nationwide survey of catholics, conducted by parish clerks at the order of Parliament. Local compliance with instructions varied but some clerks recorded occupations, as well as age and length of time resident. The following parishes are derived from the published versions in Worrall, ed., Returns of Papists 1767, vol. 1 (1980) and vol. 2 (1989), Catholic Record Society occasional publications: Bristol, Leigh, Lidiate, London, Maghull, Winchester, Winwick.

The London returns (6970 individuals) have also been extracted from the originals now held in Lambeth Palace Library. This version is more detailed than the House of Lords copy that was used for the Catholic Record Society edition, and supersedes the published version.

1689 For Westminster only (206 adults) from the original in the London Metropolitan Archives, recording name, age, address and occupation.

Population listings

These are parish listings, usually made for tax purposes but also including individual returns for the early nineteenth-century censuses, which include male and female occupations. There are some 15 listings in this category which remain to be made machine readable, but the following are now available (except where noted, all are derived from photocopies of the originals now in the library of the Group for the History of Population and Social Structure):

1836 Chilvers Coton, Warks (518 householders)

1807 Bocking, Essex (553 householders)

1801 Smalley, Derbys (115 householders)

1801 Winwick, Lancs (537 individuals)

1801 Sturminster Newton, Dorset

1801 Melbury Osmond, Dorset

1795 Worcester St Andrew (411 householders)

1793 Bocking, Essex (634 householders)

1792 Barlborough, Derbys (142 householders)

1787 Westmorland Census (2375 individuals) from L. Ashcroft edn (Curwen Archive Texts, 1992)

1745 Denham, Bucks (166 householders)

1695 St Mary le Bow, London (672 adults)

1692-8 Bristol parishes (380 householders)

1635 Salisbury Survey of the Poor (228 individuals)

1597 Ipswich Census of the Poor (191 adults)

1570 Norwich Census of the Poor (822 household heads)

Apprenticeship registers or indentures

1700-1750 Leatherseller's Company Archives: Apprenticeship Register and Quarterage Books yield 139 women working in the Company in the period, with apprenticeship, name of master/mistress, father's occupation, address, and length of membership.

1687-1750 Christ's Hospital Admission-Discharge Registers, listing children (girls and boys) apprenticed, including age, name and parish of master/mistress, trade, and term of years. Sample years 1687-91 (705 children), 1695-1705 (758 children), 1721 (63), 1725-6 (225), 1748-51 (689), or 2440 in total, from microfilm of originals in London Guildhall Library.

1612-1830 Essex parish apprenticeships (800), listing child's name, age and parentage (both boys and girls), name, trade and parish of master/mistress, term of years, and payment, from originals in Essex Record Office.


1767-1826 Playden Overseers of the Poor accounts (1690 entries) from the originals in West Sussex Record Office.

Court records

1695-1725 list of women testifying in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, used by P. Earle for his 1989 Economic History Review article on women's work in London, contributed by J. Styles in 2009. Comprises 600 women with residence in or near London, their occupation, maintenance, marital status, and husband's occupation.


1686, 1756, 1780 Inns and Ale-houses: Returns of Accommodation for Men and Horses, listing number of guest beds and stables by parish. These give an indication of the number of men required as ostlers and the number of women required as maidservants, cooks and tapsters. Sample of 1250 parishes from originals in The National Archive.