The total population of Staplehurst in the 1871 census was
Total of Total
Under 1 year old 32 33
1 to 5 years of age 125 119
6 to 12 years of age 132 138
13 to 20 years of age 133 135
21 to 30 years of age 137 128
31 to 40 years of age 95 95
41 to 50 years of age 91 73
51 to 60 years of age 66 61
61 to 70 years of age 45 53
71 to 80 years of age 26 23
Over 80 years of age 4
6 10 0.6%
Total 931 887
Number of married
people 586 33.5%
Number of widows/widowers 100
Single people over 16 years
of which single over 25
years 128 7.3%
( or 16.8%
of people over 25)
Normal marriage age appears to be 25 for women and 28 for
Born in Kent
Born neighbouring villages *
Born rest of Kent
Born rest of Britain
of which Sussex
* (Cranbrook, Marden, Frittenden, Headcorn and
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Where an entry appears on the
enumerator sheets, I have included the comment enclosed in brackets
in the occupation column. There are only 4 entries. One person is
deaf, another partially blind and two recorded as
imbeciles. There are also 5 people classed as invalids.
There are 245 children between the
ages of 3 and 18 classified as ĎScholarsí. This represents 41.1% of
all children in this age range.
The majority of children attend school from 6 to 11 years old and
when these ages alone are examined there are 70.3% of the children
in this age range at school.
It also appears that the
children not attending school in to 6 to 11 year range are generally
from the families living the furthest from the village.
Of the 6 to 11 year olds,
72.3% of boys attend school and 68.5% of girls.
In the 1871 census for Staplehurst,
there are 253 women recorded with an occupation. Of these, 78 are
recorded in terms of the husband or fatherís occupation; for
instance Farmerís daughter or grocerís wife. For many of these
entries, there is no doubt that these are in fact occupations for
women but some are less obviously so for instance an agricultural
labourerís wife probably was the home maker as opposed to working
with her husband. However, I have summarised all entries in the
following table without drawing conclusions on what is or is not a
valid occupation for the woman.
Servant / Maid
/ Seamstress 15
Landowner / Freeholder 7
School teacher 3
Charwomen / Cleaners 7
Independent Means 8
Paupers / relief *** 16
Ag. Lab.'s wife / daughter 36
Farmer's wife / daughter 27
This represents 42.4% of the female population over 12 years of
* The majority of servants or maids are unmarried young women. The
youngest girl shown as working was one 12 year old servant. There
were also three 13 year olds, but 14 seems to be the common age for
young women to hired as servants.
** The term housekeeper is almost always used to define a women
keeping house in a household were there the men are
unmarried or widowed. It is usually a relative such as daughter or
** * All the paupers were women over 55 years of age with the
majority over 65 years of age and all but one were widows.
There are 591 men recorded with an
occupation in the 1871 Staplehurst Census. The youngest are 9 year
old Alfred Fever working as an agricultural labourer and 10 year old
John Gurr, a farm servant. Less than half of the 12 year old
boys are working while 58% of 13 year olds are at work but by age
14, 90% of the lads are at work. Only one boy under the age of 15 is
classed as an apprentice, while many have the title of assistant
which may well imply an apprenticeship.
The oldest male workers are
Samuel Jenner, a miller, and John Hatcher, an agricultural labourer,
both 77 years old. There are 28 men between 70 and 77 years of age
employed. Of the 5 men over 77 year of age, 3 are paupers, 1
independent and 1 a retired policeman.
Agriculture is by far the largest
category of occupation with 350 men employed; 59.2% of the working
Farmerís sons 24
Game Keeper 1
Carter / Waggoner 36
Farm Labourer / Servant 25
Agricultural Labourer 213
Agricultural labourers form the largest number in this category. The
difference between the farm labourer or farm servant and
agricultural labourer appears that the farm labourer or servant is
generally young, unmarried and living within the farmerís household.
The agricultural labourer is living in independent households.
This is the second largest category of
employment and Staplehurst seems to be well served by the trades.
Miller / Malter
Shoemaker / Cordwainer 5
Timber Hewer / Surveyor 3
Then each of the other trades have one representation:
Charcoal Burner, auctioneer, gas manager, plumber, glazier,
photographer, hairdresser, coach builder,
coal merchant, Fly proprietor, collector, and appraiser.
There were 28 men noted as unspecific Ďlabourersí. I tend to think
these are related to the trades as opposed to
The High Street had a number of shops in excess of what you will
find today but most of us would still recognise the High Street. At
the north end of the village was the railway station. On the east
side of the road was the South Eastern Railway Hotel (which
has only recently been converted residential accommodation) and a
grocer, baker and butchers shop. Centrally there was 2 butcher
shops, 3 grocers, a hairdresserís, 2
iron mongers, a bakers, a sweet shop, a tailors, drapers and a post
office. Three inns are present, the Bell, the Lamb and the Crown.
The Royal Oak is referred to as a beer house.
In total these services provided employment for 42 men. In
addition, there were 10 people employed by the postal
service and 15 by the railway.
35 men could be glassed as being Ďin
serviceí. 16 of these are gardeners, 9 are grooms or stable workers
and 10 as servants including a footman, a coachman, a butler and a
I have grouped 14 people under the
heading of professional. This includes the Rector, the Curate, the
Independent Minister, a doctor, a veterinarian, school master,
accountant, banker, police officer, relieving officer and a soldier.
This just leaves 10 people listed as landowners or freeholders, 4
male paupers (very elderly), and 3 with independent means.
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