Jobs & Occupations



This Foldout collects the entries for some of the Jobs and Occupations which have been recorded in the district


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

FatherRef 298-F23
The word was often used to mean father-in-law. The term father-in-law was often used to mean stepfather

Abraham manRef 298-1977
Aka Abram. A mediæval term for an itinerant beggar who obtained money by pretending to be insane. Their numbers increased after the Dissolution of the Monasteries

AcaterRef 298-A41
Someone who supplied food and provisions. A chandler

AccomptantRef 298-1063
An old name for an accountant

AccoucheurRef 298-A45
Someone who assisted women in childbirth. A midwife

Acre-manRef 298-A47
Aka Ackerman. A ploughman or herdsman

aegyptianusRef 298-2

AffeererRef 298-2133
An officer who assessed the penalties which offenders paid at a manorial court

Ag.LabRef 298-23
Agricultural labour.

The term is widely used in censuses and other records.

Many of these were recorded prior to the Industrial Revolution

Ale-connerRef 298-1815
Aka Ale-founder, Ale-taster. An officer of the Assize of Ale who checked the quantity, taste and quality of ales and beers sold.

In the 12th century, the Warren family were appointed to oversee ale houses.

In 1393, Richard II decreed that ale houses should have a pictorial sign so that the ale-conner could recognise the establishment

Ale-draperRef 298-A12
An innkeeper or someone who sold ale

AlmonerRef 298-1051
Aka Elemosinarius.

Anyone who is responsible for distributing charity to the needy, or someone in charge of petty cash

AlnagerRef 298-A13
Alternative form of ullnager

Amen manRef 298-A30
A parish clerk

AnilepmanRef 298-A25
A tenant of the manor, a smallholder

Annatto-makerRef 298-2532
Someone who made dyes for paint or printing trades.

See Annatto

ApparitorRef 298-2251
The official who summoned people to appear at an ecclesiastical court

AppraiserRef 298-1820
From the early 16th century, a court required to prove a will might require the executor to appoint a small group of local men – the appraisers – to make a true and perfect inventory of the deceased's estate

ArchiatorRef 298-A32
A doctor or physician

Archil-makerRef 298-2565
Someone who made archil, a purple dye produced from lichen

ArmigerRef 298-A44
Anyone who was entitled to a coat of arms.

The adjective is armigerous

ArtificerRef 298-A33
A skilled worker or craftsman. In a naval context, the term refers to engineer officers on board ships

AulnagerRef 298-A39
Alternative form of ullnager

B

Back-tenterRef 298-B11
Someone – often a child – who worked behind the loom clearing away waste and rubbish.

See Tenter

Back-washerRef 298-B12
Someone who cleaned wool in the manufacture of worsted

BadgerRef 298-2712
In the 16th century, paupers were encouraged to supplement their weekly pensions with casual and regular begging to supplement Parish pay.

An Act of 1697 required anyone who received parish relief to wear a badge with the letter P – for pauper – sewn to their clothes. These people were known as badgers, and were licensed by the Quarter Sessions and recorded in Badgers' Recognisances. The badge was a distinguishing mark, and designed to discourage fraudulent beggars as people began to move from the countryside into the towns. Any pauper who refused to wear the badge was liable to be committed to prison for 3 weeks' hard labour. Any parish officer who gave relief to a poor person who was not wearing a badge could be fined 20/-. Badge wearing was compulsory until the law was repealed in 1810.

See Cadger

BadgerRef 298-2809
Aka Higgler, Peddar, Swaler. A local or itinerant dealer in dairy produce, eggs, corn, meal and malt, and later in general produce.

The name was often qualified by adding the name of the product sold: egg badger, potato badger, and so on.

The word is also used as a surname and in place names – often spelled as Bagger – and is recorded around 1300.

See Badger Lane, Brighouse and Cadger

BagniokeeperRef 298-B41
Someone who was in charge of baths or a bath house.

The name was also used for someone who was in charge of a brothel

BairmanRef 298-1136
See Pauper

BandmasterRef 298-968
The resident conductor of a brass band

Bang-beggarRef 298-2615
An officer who determined how long strangers could stay in the parish

BanksmanRef 298-2837
The man responsible for the winding mechanism at a coal mine.

The word is now used for the person who oversees the reversing of vehicles out of building sites

BanksmanRef 298-994
Also Bank Man.

Someone who was in charge of the lift cage in a mine

BarberRef 298-B74
In addition to cutting hair and beards, barbers also performed surgery, until 1745 when surgeons were separately recognised.

The striped red and white barber's pole reminds us of the blood and bandages of the surgical practices.

See Powler

BaremanRef 298-1129
See Pauper

Basil-workerRef 298-B14
Someone who worked with the skins of sheep and goats

BaumerRef 298-B31
A caddy for a player in the game of knur & spell

BeamerRef 298-1243
A textile worker who handles the materials before the weaving stage in cloth production.

See Warper

BlacksmithRef 298-944
Aka Smith.

Someone who makes and repairs iron objects

BlufferRef 298-B75
An inn-keeper or landlord of a pub

Body-snatcherRef 298-1276
Someone who illegally exhumed newly-buried corpses and sold them for dissection and medical research.

See Grave

Boiler-tapperRef 298-B21
Someone who took part in the Plug riots

BondmanRef 298-1509
In mediæval time, this was a man who had little personal freedom and who was tied to the lord of the manor.

Bondmen were not allowed to live outside the manor without licence from the lord. Where permission was given an annual chevage was payable to the lord by the bondman.

A bondman could not take legal action concerning rents or tenure against the lord.

When a bondman died, his property passed to the lord of the manor; the relatives could buy the property on payment of an entry fee to the lord.

The word is also used to mean an apprentice who was bonded to a master for the purpose of learning a skill or trade.

See Slave

BondsmanRef 298-B52
Someone who stood bond – or surety – for another in situations where a bond was required by law.

See Bondman

BoothmanRef 298-2663
A corn-merchant or corn chandler

Borough TreasurerRef 298-2619
The head of finance for the local council.

See Borough Treasurer of Brighouse, Borough Treasurer of Halifax, Borough Treasurer of Rastrick, Borough Treasurer of Todmorden and Town Clerk

BotanistRef 298-48
Someone who studies plants.

In the 19th century, the terms botanist and medical botanist were used for a herbalist.

See Botanists & Mycologists

BrasiaterRef 298-B20
Someone who brewed ale

BrasilerRef 298-2699
A dyer

BrazierRef 298-B64
Someone who works in brass

BrewsterRef 298-B48
In mediæval times, brewing was often carried out by women, the brewsters.

Brewster sessions were a special Quarter Sessions meeting which licensed inn-keepers and keepers of alehouses

BrightsmithRef 298-20
A tinsmith, or a worker or dealer in tin or tinned iron.

See Whitesmith

BroggerRef 298-1384
A wool trader, middle man.

See Halifax Act [1555]

BrotherRef 298-B32
The word was often used to mean brother-in-law.

See Good brother

BrownsmithRef 298-2719
Someone who worked with copper or brass.

See Brogger and Smith

BurlerRef 298-3

C

CadgerRef 298-1885
An itinerant dealer in small wares, or a beggar.

See Badger, Cadge and Cadger Lane, Brighouse

CafenderRef 298-C38
A carpenter

CanvasserRef 298-C1036
A person who worked with canvas (cloth).

Later, the term was used for anyone who carried out research, particularly for use in elections or sales

CarmanRef 298-60
Aka Carter.

Someone who drives a cart & horse(s) to make deliveries of goods

CarterRef 298-61
Aka Carman.

Someone who drives a cart & horse(s) to make deliveries of goods

CatagmanRef 298-C13
Aka Cottar

ChandlerRef 298-2535
Originally, a maker or seller of candles. The term was used for a grocer, and for a man who sold ship's supplies.

Corn chandlers and tallow chandlers are encountered

ChapmanRef 298-1734
A general middleman or merchant, involved in buying and/or selling goods.

See Copeman

Cheese winderRef 298-27
Someone did the work of winding the cotton/woollen yarn onto a cheese

ClickerRef 298-45
Someone who works in the shoe & leather trade – a boot clicker or shoe clicker – see cordwainer.

It can also mean someone who works in the printing industry

CloggerRef 298-4

ClothierRef 298-C78
Another term for a yeoman clothier

CobblerRef 298-974
Someone who makes and/or repairs shoes

CollierRef 298-C51
A coal miner, although the word had a wider meaning and included wood-colliers, and a ship carrying coal

ComberRef 298-46

Cone WinderRef 298-29
Someone did the work of winding the cotton/woollen yarn onto a metal or paper/cardboard cone-shaped core

ConfectionerRef 298-965
Someone who produced medicines sweetened with honey or sugar.

Later, someone who made cakes and sweets.

See Confectionery

ConveyancerRef 298-962
A member of the legal profession who handled documents relating to the transfer of property

CooperRef 298-930
Someone who makes barrels.

See Tranqueter

CoparcenerRef 298-C12
Co-heir who jointly inherits an estate

CopemanRef 298-2543
A general dealer. In the 18th century, the word was used for a receiver of stolen goods.

See Chapman

CordwainerRef 298-1300
Pronounced cord'ner. A shoemaker, or leather-worker.

The word comes from Córdoban, after the leather products of the Spanish city of Córdoba.

See Clicker

Corn chandlerRef 298-1981
A retail dealer in grain.

See Boothman and Chandler

CoronerRef 298-2361
Originally, the guardian of the pleas of the crown. Now, an officer responsible for enquiries – a Coroner's Inquest – into the cause of accidental or suspicious deaths, or deaths believed to have been caused by violence.

Under an Act of 1752, coroners returned abstracts of inquests to the Quarter Sessions in order to claim their expenses. These returns are preserved in the sessions files and include the date of the inquest, the name of the deceased and the verdict of the jury. These are public records and there is a 75 years' closure period on them.

See William Barstow, John Brigg, John Brigg, Coroner's Court, Halifax, J. F. Dearden, Thomas F. Dearden, George Dyson, George, Brighouse, Halifax Town Hall, John Hargreaves, Ernest Hatton Hill, John Richard Ingram, Bernard Williamson Little, Edward Wallace Norris, William Stansfeld, Joseph Wood and Robert Wood

CostermongerRef 298-1888
A dealer in fruit and vegetables. The name comes from costard, a kind of large apple.

See Monger

CottagerRef 298-C89
Aka Cottar

CottarRef 298-1761
Aka Customary Tenant, Catagman, Cottager. A tenant of a cottage with 4 acres of land, or less. This was the lowest level of peasant farmers. He lived in a tied cottage and was obliged to work on the farm of the lord of the manor

CouperRef 298-C53
A dealer in horses and cattle

Couple beggarRef 298-2661
An itinerant priest who performed marriages prior to the Marriage Act [1753]

CropperRef 298-C102

CullerRef 298-1715
Someone who selected and graded animals for killing

Cunning manRef 298-1635
Aka Wizard. A name given to mediæval law-enforcers. He might also dispense medicines, cure ailments, find lost object, and tell fortunes. There were also cunning women

CursitorRef 298-C113
A clerk who draws up wills

D

DelverRef 298-57
A man who quarried stone in a open quarry.

This was distinct from a stone miner who worked underground.

See Master-taker and Stone quarrying

Devil minderRef 298-5

Devil workerRef 298-6

DexterRef 298-24
An occupational surname meaning a dyer.

Compare Textor.

There are currently no entries on the Calderdale Companion for people with the surname Dexter.

DispensatoreRef 298-1049
Aka Dispensator.

A steward or treasurer

DissenterRef 298-2569
Anyone who disagrees with the orthodox view of religious belief, a Nonconformist

To some extent, Dissenters were tradesmen and workers of the lower class.

In the 18th century, Dissenters were excluded from membership of certain bodies, for example, they could not be a student at Oxford & Cambridge, a Magistrate, or a Member of Parliament.

See Baptists, Congregationalists, Methodists and Unitarians

Dog whipperRef 298-2840
Aka Knocknobbler. A man who chased dogs out of the church. He used whips or a pair of tongs to seize and eject the animal.

The dogs might be attracted by the tails of foxes, and other animals – which were killed in order to collect a bounty – and nailed to the church door.

See Lightcliffe Old Church

DroverRef 298-1015
A man who drives cattle or a packhorse team

DrysalterRef 298-1059
Aka Salter.

Someone who makes or deals in dry chemicals, such as dyes and colours for the textile industry

DrysterRef 298-34


Question: Is this the same as a drysalter?

 

DulerRef 298-7

DummererRef 298-2546
A mediæval term for a beggar who obtains money by pretending to be deaf and dumb

DyerRef 298-957
Someone who works in the dyeing industry

E

EaldormanRef 298-77
The chief officer in an Anglo-Saxon district, shire or kingdom. The name means an elder man.

The name continued to be used as alderman

Engine TenterRef 298-2524
An engineer in charge of the steam engine which drives factory machinery.

See Tenter

ExecutorRef 298-1980
A person appointed by a testator to carry out the directions and requests in his/her will, and to dispose of the property according to his/her provisions after his/her death.

An executrix is a female executor.

See Letters Testamentary

F

FacerRef 298-1080

See Flag Facer

FellmongerRef 298-2482
Or Felmonger.

Someone who deals in hides and skins – particularly sheepskins – and other animal products which were used for making glue, and a tradesman who prepares skins for the tanner.

See Monger

FeoffeeRef 298-2019
See Feoffment

FeofforRef 298-2048
See Feoffment

FeronerRef 298-F7
Someone who produced or sold goods made of iron. It was also used for anyone who sold hardware

FettlerRef 298-1146
A worker who carded wool / someone who cleaned a machine in a mill / someone who cleaned or tidied things generally

FinisherRef 298-F6
Someone who performs the final stages in the production of a piece of cloth.

See Cropper

FixerRef 298-1942
Aka Setter. Someone who puts the finished block of stone into position, as distinct from a mason who cuts and carves the stone, and a hewer who dresses the blocks of stone

Flag FacerRef 298-1077
A mason who cleans up and finishes off the individual flagstone

See Stone dresser

FreedmanRef 298-1835
A man or woman who has been freed from bondage or slavery. A lower class of peasant above slaves.

Compare this with freeman

FreeholderRef 298-1613
A wealthy farmer who owned freehold land by fee simple.

See Copyholder, Inholder and Smallholder

Frith manRef 298-2017
Someone who has claimed the right of sanctuary

FullerRef 298-42
Someone whose job was fulling – cleaning, shrinking and thickening woven cloth

G

GarnetRef 298-38
To reduce waste material to its basic fibrous state for reuse.

The work is carried out by a garnetter.

See Shoddy

GarthmanRef 298-G12
A herdsman, yardman, or a man who caught fish

GasserRef 298-8

Gaux collectorRef 298-9

GentlemanRef 298-324
Abbr: Gent. This usually indicated someone who was of independent means and who did not need to work for a living.

The sons of a men titled esquire are titled gentlemen.

See Franklin and Gent

Good brotherRef 298-2851
The word good was used in relationships such as

GoodmanRef 298-1353
The form of address for a husbandman in the 16th/17th centuries.

See Goodwife

GoodwifeRef 298-1354
The form of address for the wife of a husbandman in the 16th/17th century.

See Goodman

Goux collectorRef 298-10

GracerRef 298-G19
A stone-mason who carried out fine, decorative work on stone

GunsmithRef 298-946
Someone who makes guns

GypsyRef 298-919
A member of a group of travellers.

Aka Aegyptianus, Zingarius, and Zingari.

True gypsies speak the Romany language and are believed to originate in South Asia.

See Rev George Bramwell Evens

H

HaberdasherRef 298-H34
Anyone selling small personal items

Hair merchantRef 298-32
Someone who bought / sold hair – of animals or humans – for the manufacture of brushes and/or wigs.

See Brush Makers and Horn merchant

Half-timerRef 298-2852
A child – usually under 13 – who worked half a day in the factory or mill, and half a day at school.

It is recorded that there were 1057 half-timers working in Halifax in 1917.

The practice became illegal in 1922.

See Child Labour and Factory Acts

HawkerRef 298-995
Aka Huckster. A traveller who offered goods for sale. This term was used for someone who used a horse, donkey or cart to carry his goods, as distinct from a pedlar

HellierRef 298-H49
Aka helier, hilier, hillier. A slater or tiler.

This is also a surname in some parts of the country

HenterRef 298-H23
A thief

HerbalistRef 298-47
Someone who used and prescribed plants for their medicinal properties.

In the 19th century, the term botanist might also mean a herbalist.

Some local herbalists were John Anderton, C. W. Bentley, John Bull Herbal Remedy Company, S. Challice, Prof Fairbairn, Samuel Fleming, George Galloway, Greenwood Hanson, Henry Hanson, Mrs Ann Helliwell, Charles Henry Hitchin, A. Lambert, W. Burns Lingard, M. Ringrose and Mrs Mary Ann Vowles

HewerRef 298-1366
Someone who dresses blocks of stone, as distinct from a mason who cuts and carves the stone, and a fixer or setter who puts the finished stone into position

HigglerRef 298-2471
Also Higler. An itinerant dealer who haggles.

See Badger

HighwaymanRef 298-1451
A robber who attacks people on the public way – usually on horseback, as distinct from a footpad

HookerRef 298-255
A mediæval term for a thief who steals with the aid of a hook on a pole.

Later, it was a mill worker who operated a machine which laid out a length of cloth into uniform folds of the required length

Horn merchantRef 298-33
Someone who bought / sold animal horn or hooves for the manufacture of domestic articles, brushes and/or jewellery

See Hair Merchant

HosierRef 298-H35
Someone who makes or sells hosiery, that is socks and stockings and gloves

HostlerRef 298-1598
Aka Ostler. Someone who tends horses at an inn

HucksterRef 298-2513
A woman who sold ale in the street.

It was also a general term for anyone who sold goods from a small shop or a booth

HuggerRef 298-1280
A worker in a quarry who carried blocks of stone to the surface.

Huggers wore a leather saddle to protect themselves.

They used a hugging ladder – a ladder with broad rungs set close together – which made the ascent easier for the worker who could not use his hands to steady himself as he climbed. The task was mechanised during the 1800s, although hugging continued until about 1870.

There were numerous accidents involving huggers and stone workers

See Hurrier and Thruster

HurrierRef 298-1050
Someone – often a young child – who hauled the wagons or baskets of stone / coal in the mines.

See Mines Act [1842] and Thruster

HusbandmanRef 298-1574
A tenant farmer, or any man who worked in cultivating his own land – husbandry – but it also referred to a small-holder who supported himself by working the land of others.

They came below yeomen on the social scale.

See Bordar

Hush-sellerRef 298-2489
Aka Husht seller. Someone who sold and/or brewed illegal beer

Husht SellerRef 298-1864
A Hush-seller.

See Husht

I

ImpropriatorRef 298-I15
A layman who is in possession of a benefice or its revenues

IngomonRef 298-1199
Someone who works on the land and rears cattle &c

InholderRef 298-1213
A freeholder who lived in the property held

InterfactorRef 298-I7
A murderer

IronmasterRef 298-I3
The proprietor of an iron-works

J

JacksmithRef 298-943
Someone who makes jacks or other lifting machinery

JaggerRef 298-2001
An itinerant pedlar, carrier, or the drover of a packhorse team.

It is also an occupational surname mentioned around 1368, and was common in Stainland

The name may be derived from the German Jæger, a type of pony which was used as a packhorse.

See Ailsa O'Fusses

JourneymanRef 298-2335
A worker who was hired for the day – from the French journée.

Typically, he travelled widely and worked away from home, and would have completed his apprenticeship but was not yet a master of his trade.

Journeymen were members of a guild

See Yearman

JousterRef 298-J3
An itinerant saleswoman who sold fish

K

King's archerRef 298-1330
A King's Archer had to be able to hit – 7 times out of 10 – a shield which was laid on the ground at a distance of 1 furlong. About 25% of the archers at Agincourt were King's Archers.

See Archery and John King

KnellerRef 298-K3
Aka Knuller. An itinerant chimney-sweep

Knocker-upRef 298-K10
Someone who was paid to walk around the streets in the early morning, knocking on the bedroom windows of their customers – usually with a long rod or pole – to wake them for work

KnocknobblerRef 298-1795
Aka Dog whipper

L

LaikerRef 298-L23
A player in the game of knur & spell.

See Laik

LamigerRef 298-L30
A lame person

LardnerRef 298-11

LavenderRef 298-L17
A washer-woman

LecturerRef 298-L33
Someone who reads the sermon in a nonconformist chapel. He may also perform other duties

LimiterRef 298-L27
A mediæval friar who had a licence to beg within only a specified, limited district. One of Chaucer's Pilgrims was a limiter

ListerRef 298-315
A dyer.

See Lister

Little MakerRef 298-2293
A term for a small-scale clothier. He wove his own pieces of cloth at home and sold it at market

LorimerRef 298-1206
Someone who makes metal bits, spurs, and fittings for harness straps

M

Machine-breakerRef 298-M40
See Luddite

Mantua makerRef 298-12

Market gardenerRef 298-M44
Someone who grows fruit and vegetables for sale at market.

In the 1830s, representatives from Toronto came to England to recruit stone masons and market gardeners which were in great demand in Canada. Many local workers emigrated about this time.

There were many local people involved in gardening and market gardening – see Local Gardening & Horticulture

MasterRef 298-2800
A skilled craftsman or tradesmen. He and his apprentices were members of a Guild.

See Journeyman

Master-takerRef 298-493
A man who was paid to organise delvers to carry out the extraction of stone from land which was let to him by a land-owner. He was often regarded as unscrupulous by both the land-owner and the delvers.

In several cases, the master-taker was also the local innkeeper, and would pay the wages to his delvers in his own inn, ensuring that a proportion of their earnings was quickly returned to him!

MelderRef 298-M20
A miller. Usually a corn miller

MenderRef 298-276
A worker who repairs faults, cuts and tears in a piece of cloth

MercerRef 298-13

Mercury womanRef 298-M30
An 18th century name for a woman who sold newspapers

MessorRef 298-M19
An official who was responsible for supervising the fields of a manor and for managing the reapers and mowers of the fields

Middle manRef 298-1270
Wool traders who sold wool to the Yeoman clothiers and other dealers.

See Chapman and Halifax Act [1555]

MiddlemanRef 298-765
Aka Chapman. Someone who carried manufactured woollen goods by packhorse from one manufacturer to another, or from the manufacturer to the individual who would finish the goods

MillinerRef 298-M11
A maker of ladies' hats.

The word originally meant someone from Milan, and later it can to mean someone who sold fancy goods from Milan

MilnerRef 298-M16
A local form of miller

MisegathererRef 298-M21
A tax-collector

MongerRef 298-1011
A general term for a trader or dealer, as in fishmonger, costermonger, and fellmonger

N

NavvyRef 298-1449
Abbreviation for a navigator, a worker on the navigations, cuts, canals and – later – railways.

Many navvies were Irish migrants.

See Railway Genealogy

O

Ordinary keeperRef 298-O8
An innkeeper who sold food and drinks at fixed prices. An ordinary was a set-priced meal

OstlerRef 298-O1
See Hostler

OverlookerRef 298-224
A supervisor, foreman or manager of a group of workers in a textile mill.

The name was also used for someone who maintains and tunes the looms.

The name tackler is used in Lancashire.

See Halifax & District Power Loom Overlookers' Society and Powerloom Overlookers' Club, Todmorden

Overseer of the PoorRef 298-1539

P

PalisserRef 298-2541
Aka Palister. Someone who tended the fences of a Norman enclosure or park – such as that at Erringden Park.

The name comes from the French palisse meaning a pale or a fence.

This and associated words are often corrupted to palace

PalliardRef 298-1298
A mediæval term for a beggar who obtains money by showing his sores and deformities

PalmerRef 298-P24
When on a pilgrimage, to the Holy Land, the pilgrim was called a palmer because of the representation of a palm branch which he wore

PardonerRef 298-P57
A person who was licensed to sell papal indulgences. One of Chaucer's Pilgrims was a pardoner

ParkerRef 298-43
The keeper of the king's park.

See Parker Surname

Passive ResisterRef 298-1087
After Balfour's Education Act of 1902, many local nonconformists refused to pay their contribution to the education part of the poor rate because they objected to supporting schools whose standards were inferior to their own.

The National Passive Resistance Movement was formed in 1902 by the Baptist Minister John Clifford.

There was considerable opposition in February 1904, when non-payment resulted in seizure of their goods and possesions to the value of the rate and the costs.

On 23rd June 1905, there was a Passive Resisters' Demonstration in Halifax with a speech by the Rev A. T. Guttery.

In 1906, over 170 passive resisters were imprisoned at Wakefield.

See Joseph Dobson, Rev Roger Briggs, Harold Chapman, Rev William Lawrence and Rev John Wilkinson

PauperRef 298-1138
Aka Bareman, Bairman. A person who needed regular Poor Law relief. These included old widows, young mothers without a man, orphans, those who were too old or too infirm to work. A pauper's goods and property belonged to the parish after their death.

See Overseer of the Poor and Roundsman

PaviorRef 298-P19
A worker who was responsible for the repair of paving stones in a town/village

PaviourRef 298-1057
Originally, an official with responsibility for the upkeep of footpaths.

Later, it was any workman involved in paving paths and roads.

See Setter

PawnbrokerRef 298-P14
Someone who lends money against personal property such as jewellery, clothes. He/she gives money against goods, and then repays the money – less a percentage – when the goods are later redeemed. The symbol of the Italian Lombard merchants – 3 golden balls – was usually hung outside the shop. Popularly known as the pop-shop and uncle

PeelerRef 298-P16
A 19th century name for a policeman. In 1812, Sir Robert Peel established the Irish Police, and in 1828, he reformed the police force in Britain.

See Police

percherRef 298-14

Pew-openerRef 298-2713
Someone who opened the doors to box pews and was tipped for the service

PiecerRef 298-211
Aka Piecener.

A textile worker who joins any broken threads and feeds them into the machines during the processes of slubbing, scribbling, carding and spinning.

The intricate task was often performed by women or child workers

PikemanRef 298-P55
This has several meanings:

PinderRef 298-1958
Aka Pounder, Poundkeeper, Punder. An official who was responsible for rounding up and impounding stray and wandering animals and cattle. The animals were impounded in a pound or pinfold.

See Culler, Hayward, Neatherd and Pinder

PistorRef 298-1047
Anyone who worked with flour, usually a miller or a baker

Plug-drawerRef 298-P48
Someone who took part in the Plug riots

PoultererRef 298-P29
Someone who deals in fowl, including ducks, goose, chicken or turkey

PowlerRef 298-1012
A barber

PreemerRef 298-P25
A worker – usually a boy – who cleaned the tools used by the cloth dresser

PretenderRef 298-P5
Someone who lays claim to the throne without a just title

PriggerRef 298-P12
A mediæval term for a thief who steals horses

ProctorRef 298-P30
An officer of the court who was paid to manage the affairs of others

PuddlerRef 298-36
Someone who works with wrought iron, or with puddle clay

R

Rag & bone manRef 298-R21
A man who travelled around the district collecting rags, bones, and general scrap items. The rags would be made into paper, and the bones made into fertiliser. Traditionally, a balloon, a goldfish or a donkey stone might be given in return. There were also rag & bone shops

ReaverRef 298-R2
Aka Riever. A thief, a robber. Specifically, along the Scottish borders in the mediæval period

RecorderRef 298-R10
A barrister who presides over a court of Quarter Sessions, or who sits as a circuit judge, or as a part-time judge in the crown court. The first recorder of Halifax, Willoughby Jardine, was appointed in December 1923

RectorRef 298-1611
The person in charge – the director – of the religious life of a community or a parish.

He was responsible for the maintenance of the chancel which was his private part of the church.

In his absence, the vicar deputised for the rector. There is now no difference between a vicar and a rector.

A curate is an assistant to the rector

See Rectors of Halifax

ReducerRef 298-40
In 1901, I have a record of someone who is
a reducer in a worsted factory


Question: Does anyone know what the job entailed?

 

Relief innkeeperRef 298-58
If the licence holder of an inn or a pub was away on holiday, then the person taking over was not required to apply for the licence. If the licence holder was away for more than 1 month, then the relief innkeeper would have to apply for the licence

Relieving OfficerRef 298-130
After the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 the post of Overseer of the Poor and the workhouse for each township were abolished and replaced by the Relieving Officer – who was appointed by the Board of Guardians – and the larger Union Workhouse with responsibility for a union (group)  of townships.

See Parish Relief

Remittance manRef 298-1228
Someone whose family paid for him to emigrate to Australia or other British colony

RiddlerRef 298-R14
A woolstapler

RufflerRef 298-2498
A mediæval term for a beggar who obtains money by tales of heroism in the wars

S

Saltpetre manRef 298-S37
In the 17th century, a man who collected urine which was left in buckets outside people's houses, and who dug around cess-pits and animal pounds to collect salts which were produced by the urine, for use in making saltpetre for gunpowder

SawyerRef 298-1029
Someone whose job involves sawing wood

ScavengerRef 298-26
A rubbish collector, street sweeper, night soil collector

ScrivenerRef 298-S60
A professional scribe or copyist

scutcherRef 298-15

ScutigerRef 298-1821
An esquire who was responsible for handling the horses

SerjeantRef 298-S87
A barrister

SetterRef 298-50
A paviour, or someone who lays setts to make a road surface

ShearmanRef 298-2698
Also Sherman. A cloth worker who crops the excess nap from cloth. The local term was usually cropper.

By 1817, 1,170 croppers were out of work in Yorkshire; 1,445 were employed part-time; 763 were employed full-time.

See Shearmen's Company

ShermanRef 298-2587
Aka Shearman, Cropper.

Also a man who sheared sheep

Silk dresserRef 298-51
A worker in the silk industry who boiled the silk to remove gum

Silk mercerRef 298-52
Someone who sold silk fabrics & silk clothing.

See Mercer and Silk industry

Silk throwerRef 298-54
A worker in the silk industry who twists several threads together to produce a thicker thread.

See Silk warper

Silk warperRef 298-53
A worker in the silk industry who gathers the silk threads together to produce a yarn which would be used in weaving.

See Silk thrower

SingerRef 298-1083
Someone who carried out the process of singeing, that is, someone who singes and not someone who sings


Pronunciation: Singer rhymes with ginger
 

SisterRef 298-S31
The word was often used to mean sister-in-law

SkiverRef 298-25
Someone who split sheep skins to produce a thin, soft leather for use in bookbinding

Slop tailorRef 298-941
Someone who makes new clothes from old clothes

SlopsellerRef 298-S88
Someone who deals in cheap or second-hand clothing

SmallholderRef 298-2749
A small farmer who rented land of 10-20 acres from the squire or freeholders

See Copyholder

SmithRef 298-945
Someone who works in metal.

See Blacksmith, Brownsmith, Gunsmith, Jacksmith, Smithy, Sucksmith and Whitesmith

SocmanRef 298-1314
A tenant by socage

SojournerRef 298-S13
Someone who spends or has spent only a short time in a certain place. He/she is distinguished from a permanent resident and a fleeting traveller

SpencerRef 298-S8
Someone who is in charge of a spence, or larder

SpinnerRef 298-16

SquatterRef 298-S34
A poor farmer who farmed and lived on common land. They had no legal rights to the land

Stone DresserRef 298-41
A mason, or someone who cleans/tidies-up the outer face(s) of a stone block or flagstone

See Flag Facer

Stone minerRef 298-56
Someone who worked in an underground stone mine such as those in Rastrick.

This was distinct from a stone delver who worked in a open quarry

StoverRef 298-49
Stoving was a process in the production of cloth, and involved heating of the material in a stove or hot room.

This may simply to dry the material, or, in some cases, to expose it to sulphur fumes, or to produce a special surface effect.

The work was done by a stover

StravaigerRef 298-S23
A vagrant

StrawmanRef 298-S22
Someone who was paid to give false evidence in a legal court

Stuff MerchantRef 298-17

SucksmithRef 298-948
Someone who makes blades for plough shares.

See Smith and Sucksmith surname

SummonerRef 298-S76
The man who called people to appear before an ecclesiastical court. One of Chaucer's Pilgrims was a summoner

SurgeonRef 298-37
Up to the end of the 19th century, the term surgeon referred to a general medical practitioner, rather than someone who performed surgical operations

SutlerRef 298-S67
A trader who follows an army to sell goods to the soldiers

SwalerRef 298-2068
See Badger

T

Tallow chandlerRef 298-2120
A maker or seller of candles. Candles were often made of tallow

See Chandler

TallymanRef 298-T14
Someone who sold goods and collected payment in installments

TeamerRef 298-985
Aka Teamster. Someone who drove a team of horses or cattle. They often worked with the horses of a brewery, or with a horse-driven cab

TenterRef 298-1
Someone who looks after a piece of machinery or other equipment.

See Back-tenter, Engine tenter and Tenter frame

TerritorialRef 298-18

TestatorRef 298-2227
A man who writes a will.

A testatrix is a woman who writes a will

TextorRef 298-1173
Another name for a weaver or a webster.

See Webb and Webster

Thief-takerRef 298-T65
Someone who profited from arresting thieves. He might also arrange the return of stolen goods

ThrowerRef 298-19

ThrusterRef 298-1547
Someone – often a young child – who pushed the wagons or baskets of coal in the mines, or a worker in a quarry who pushed stones to the surface.

See Hugger and Hurrier

ThumperRef 298-T2
An extravagant preacher. They often bumped their head against the headboard of the pulpit as they jumped up and down in their enthusiasm

TickneymanRef 298-T68
An itinerant pedlar selling earthenware

TilloterRef 298-59
/ Tilliter. Someone who wraps textiles in tillot cloth for export

TinkerRef 298-T52
An itinerant who mends pots, pans and other household utensils

TipplerRef 298-T16
An inn-keeper

TithingmanRef 298-35
An old term for a constable

TodhunterRef 298-T67
Someone who was employed by the parish to hunt foxes

Town husbandRef 298-1632
Someone who collected the dues from fathers of illegitimate children of the parish for their upkeep

TrammerRef 298-926
A person who looked after the wagons (trams) which ran on rails, transporting the stone / coal in a mine

TramplerRef 298-T64
A lawyer

TranqueterRef 298-T13
Someone who makes hoops for use in constructing barrels.

See Cooper

TranslatorRef 298-T66
An early term for anyone who repaired and recycled goods such as clothes and shoes

TranterRef 298-T62
An itinerant pedlar

TrenchermanRef 298-21

TroacherRef 298-T61
An itinerant pedlar

TuelerRef 298-31

TulerRef 298-30

TutorRef 298-2567
See Governess

TylerRef 298-762
An officer in the Freemasons.

A Tyler is a Doorkeeper or Guard at the Lodge

U

UllnagerRef 298-80
Aka Alnager. An inspector who – from about 1350 – measured the length of a piece of cloth, and affixed a copper seal to guarantee that it was of the standard width and weight and quality, for which he collected the ullnage.

At one point, the ullnagers increased the tax, and a number of Halifax clothiers – refusing to pay – sold their cloth unsealed; the ullnager attempted to seize the goods, but the clothiers won the subsequent court case.

The records are held as Ullnagers' Accounts or Ullnagers' Rolls.

See Narrow cloth

UsherRef 298-383
An Assistant Master or Second Master at a school.

At Heath Grammar School, the Usher had similar duties to the Headmaster, but received only half the salary.

Thomas Preston was Usher – or Ludimagister – at Heath Grammar School [1671]

V

VagrantRef 298-22

Vat manRef 298-933
Someone who looks after the vats in a brewery, dye works or paper-making factory

VenetorRef 298-V8
Aka Venur. A huntsman

VerdererRef 298-2782
An official who was in charge of the Royal forests and imposed Forest law

VergerRef 298-V12
Someone responsible for taking care of the interior of a church, an attendant, an assistant to the priest or rector

ViewerRef 298-546
An overseer in a coal mine

VintnerRef 298-V6
A wine merchant

W

WalkerRef 298-44
Someone whose job was waulking – cleaning, shrinking and thickening woven cloth

WallerRef 298-W1
A wall-builder. These were often recruited from specialist gangs of itinerant workers as wall-building increased during the 16th and 17th centuries.

See Enclosures

WarperRef 298-1242
A textile worker who places the warp upon the beams

WarrenerRef 298-39
Someone who looks after the lord's warren

See Warner

WebsterRef 298-458
A weaver, usually female.

The male form is Webb.

See Textor and Webster

WharfingerRef 298-1207
Someone who owns or manages a wharf. He took custody of, and was responsible for, goods delivered to the wharf. Typically, he had an office on the wharf or dock, and was responsible for day-to-day activities including slipways, keeping tide tables and resolving disputes.

The etymology is probably Elizabethan-era English.

The final 2 syllables are pronounced as in ginger not as in singer.

See Calder House, Sowerby Bridge and Wharf House, Sowerby Bridge

WhitesmithRef 298-W39
A tinsmith, or a worker or dealer in tinned or white iron.

See Brightsmith and Brownsmith

WhitsterRef 298-936
Someone who works in the bleaching of cloth

WilleyerRef 298-55

WinderRef 298-28
Someone who did the work of winding, in which yarn is transferred from one spool – a bobbin, cone or cheese – to another.

See Cheese winder and Cone winder

WoolchapmanRef 298-W12
A wool trader, middle man.

See Halifax Act [1555]

WoolcomberRef 298-230
Aka Comber.

Anyone who combs the raw wool during the making of cloth.

St Blaise is the patron St of woolcombers.

In 1853, a letter to the Reynold's Newspaper reported that


the woolcombers of Halifax and its district number about 10,000, with their wives and children, making a population of nearly 30,000 dependent in that particular branch of labour. They are in great distress, but the mill owners are making colossal fortunes
 

See Bishop Blaise

WooldriverRef 298-84
Aka Woolstapler. A wool trader, middle man, who bought wool from the farmer and stored it. They were accused of profiteering – by holding stocks of wool until the price rose – thereby raising the price of wool.

Henry VIII abolished the practice.

See Halifax Act [1555] and Woolshops

WoolsorterRef 298-466
Another name for a woolstapler

WoolstaplerRef 298-188
Aka Woolsorter, Riddler, and Wool-driver. Someone who sorts wool, or who deals in wool.

A single fleece comprised many different staples and grades of wool. The staples of wool were sorted according to quality, colour, length and fineness.

See Huntriss family of Halifax, Wooldriving and Woolshops

Workhouse MasterRef 298-1961
The person responsible for running the workhouse. He was assisted by the Workhouse Matron, who was usually his wife.

This was a lowly-paid position, but had considerable responsibility and prestige in the community

Y

YaggerRef 298-934
A pedlar

YardmanRef 298-937
A farm worker or someone who works in a railway yard

YearmanRef 298-2767
A worker who was hired for a year.

See Journeyman

Yeoman clothierRef 298-2295
Also Clothier. An 18th century middle-man – such as Joseph Anderton – who supplied raw wool to the individual handloom weavers within the domestic system, then collected their finished pieces for sale at the cloth hall.

Some clothiers were also weavers and producers of cloth, and some were merchants.

John Royds was one of the wealthiest clothiers in the district.

Under the Weavers' Act [1555], clothiers in country districts were forbidden to keep more than one loom, and woollen weavers were forbidden to keep more than two looms.

Many clothiers became very prosperous, and many were Quakers. As the export trade increased through Hull, many local clothiers moved from Halifax to live at the port. In the 16th century, John Winchcombe – known as Jack of Newbury – was probably the most famous clothier in England.

More recently, the term clothier has been used to refer to a tailor, or a retailer of mechanically produced cloth.

See Little maker and Ullnager


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

FatherRef 298-F23
The word was often used to mean father-in-law. The term father-in-law was often used to mean stepfather

Abraham manRef 298-1977
Aka Abram. A mediæval term for an itinerant beggar who obtained money by pretending to be insane. Their numbers increased after the Dissolution of the Monasteries

AcaterRef 298-A41
Someone who supplied food and provisions. A chandler

AccomptantRef 298-1063
An old name for an accountant

AccoucheurRef 298-A45
Someone who assisted women in childbirth. A midwife

Acre-manRef 298-A47
Aka Ackerman. A ploughman or herdsman

aegyptianusRef 298-2

AffeererRef 298-2133
An officer who assessed the penalties which offenders paid at a manorial court

Ag.LabRef 298-23
Agricultural labour.

The term is widely used in censuses and other records.

Many of these were recorded prior to the Industrial Revolution

Ale-connerRef 298-1815
Aka Ale-founder, Ale-taster. An officer of the Assize of Ale who checked the quantity, taste and quality of ales and beers sold.

In the 12th century, the Warren family were appointed to oversee ale houses.

In 1393, Richard II decreed that ale houses should have a pictorial sign so that the ale-conner could recognise the establishment

Ale-draperRef 298-A12
An innkeeper or someone who sold ale

AlmonerRef 298-1051
Aka Elemosinarius.

Anyone who is responsible for distributing charity to the needy, or someone in charge of petty cash

AlnagerRef 298-A13
Alternative form of ullnager

Amen manRef 298-A30
A parish clerk

AnilepmanRef 298-A25
A tenant of the manor, a smallholder

Annatto-makerRef 298-2532
Someone who made dyes for paint or printing trades.

See Annatto

ApparitorRef 298-2251
The official who summoned people to appear at an ecclesiastical court

AppraiserRef 298-1820
From the early 16th century, a court required to prove a will might require the executor to appoint a small group of local men – the appraisers – to make a true and perfect inventory of the deceased's estate

ArchiatorRef 298-A32
A doctor or physician

Archil-makerRef 298-2565
Someone who made archil, a purple dye produced from lichen

ArmigerRef 298-A44
Anyone who was entitled to a coat of arms.

The adjective is armigerous

ArtificerRef 298-A33
A skilled worker or craftsman. In a naval context, the term refers to engineer officers on board ships

AulnagerRef 298-A39
Alternative form of ullnager

B

Back-tenterRef 298-B11
Someone – often a child – who worked behind the loom clearing away waste and rubbish.

See Tenter

Back-washerRef 298-B12
Someone who cleaned wool in the manufacture of worsted

BadgerRef 298-2712
In the 16th century, paupers were encouraged to supplement their weekly pensions with casual and regular begging to supplement Parish pay.

An Act of 1697 required anyone who received parish relief to wear a badge with the letter P – for pauper – sewn to their clothes. These people were known as badgers, and were licensed by the Quarter Sessions and recorded in Badgers' Recognisances. The badge was a distinguishing mark, and designed to discourage fraudulent beggars as people began to move from the countryside into the towns. Any pauper who refused to wear the badge was liable to be committed to prison for 3 weeks' hard labour. Any parish officer who gave relief to a poor person who was not wearing a badge could be fined 20/-. Badge wearing was compulsory until the law was repealed in 1810.

See Cadger

BadgerRef 298-2809
Aka Higgler, Peddar, Swaler. A local or itinerant dealer in dairy produce, eggs, corn, meal and malt, and later in general produce.

The name was often qualified by adding the name of the product sold: egg badger, potato badger, and so on.

The word is also used as a surname and in place names – often spelled as Bagger – and is recorded around 1300.

See Badger Lane, Brighouse and Cadger

BagniokeeperRef 298-B41
Someone who was in charge of baths or a bath house.

The name was also used for someone who was in charge of a brothel

BairmanRef 298-1136
See Pauper

BandmasterRef 298-968
The resident conductor of a brass band

Bang-beggarRef 298-2615
An officer who determined how long strangers could stay in the parish

BanksmanRef 298-2837
The man responsible for the winding mechanism at a coal mine.

The word is now used for the person who oversees the reversing of vehicles out of building sites

BanksmanRef 298-994
Also Bank Man.

Someone who was in charge of the lift cage in a mine

BarberRef 298-B74
In addition to cutting hair and beards, barbers also performed surgery, until 1745 when surgeons were separately recognised.

The striped red and white barber's pole reminds us of the blood and bandages of the surgical practices.

See Powler

BaremanRef 298-1129
See Pauper

Basil-workerRef 298-B14
Someone who worked with the skins of sheep and goats

BaumerRef 298-B31
A caddy for a player in the game of knur & spell

BeamerRef 298-1243
A textile worker who handles the materials before the weaving stage in cloth production.

See Warper

BlacksmithRef 298-944
Aka Smith.

Someone who makes and repairs iron objects

BlufferRef 298-B75
An inn-keeper or landlord of a pub

Body-snatcherRef 298-1276
Someone who illegally exhumed newly-buried corpses and sold them for dissection and medical research.

See Grave

Boiler-tapperRef 298-B21
Someone who took part in the Plug riots

BondmanRef 298-1509
In mediæval time, this was a man who had little personal freedom and who was tied to the lord of the manor.

Bondmen were not allowed to live outside the manor without licence from the lord. Where permission was given an annual chevage was payable to the lord by the bondman.

A bondman could not take legal action concerning rents or tenure against the lord.

When a bondman died, his property passed to the lord of the manor; the relatives could buy the property on payment of an entry fee to the lord.

The word is also used to mean an apprentice who was bonded to a master for the purpose of learning a skill or trade.

See Slave

BondsmanRef 298-B52
Someone who stood bond – or surety – for another in situations where a bond was required by law.

See Bondman

BoothmanRef 298-2663
A corn-merchant or corn chandler

Borough TreasurerRef 298-2619
The head of finance for the local council.

See Borough Treasurer of Brighouse, Borough Treasurer of Halifax, Borough Treasurer of Rastrick, Borough Treasurer of Todmorden and Town Clerk

BotanistRef 298-48
Someone who studies plants.

In the 19th century, the terms botanist and medical botanist were used for a herbalist.

See Botanists & Mycologists

BrasiaterRef 298-B20
Someone who brewed ale

BrasilerRef 298-2699
A dyer

BrazierRef 298-B64
Someone who works in brass

BrewsterRef 298-B48
In mediæval times, brewing was often carried out by women, the brewsters.

Brewster sessions were a special Quarter Sessions meeting which licensed inn-keepers and keepers of alehouses

BrightsmithRef 298-20
A tinsmith, or a worker or dealer in tin or tinned iron.

See Whitesmith

BroggerRef 298-1384
A wool trader, middle man.

See Halifax Act [1555]

BrotherRef 298-B32
The word was often used to mean brother-in-law.

See Good brother

BrownsmithRef 298-2719
Someone who worked with copper or brass.

See Brogger and Smith

BurlerRef 298-3

C

CadgerRef 298-1885
An itinerant dealer in small wares, or a beggar.

See Badger, Cadge and Cadger Lane, Brighouse

CafenderRef 298-C38
A carpenter

CanvasserRef 298-C1036
A person who worked with canvas (cloth).

Later, the term was used for anyone who carried out research, particularly for use in elections or sales

CarmanRef 298-60
Aka Carter.

Someone who drives a cart & horse(s) to make deliveries of goods

CarterRef 298-61
Aka Carman.

Someone who drives a cart & horse(s) to make deliveries of goods

CatagmanRef 298-C13
Aka Cottar

ChandlerRef 298-2535
Originally, a maker or seller of candles. The term was used for a grocer, and for a man who sold ship's supplies.

Corn chandlers and tallow chandlers are encountered

ChapmanRef 298-1734
A general middleman or merchant, involved in buying and/or selling goods.

See Copeman

Cheese winderRef 298-27
Someone did the work of winding the cotton/woollen yarn onto a cheese

ClickerRef 298-45
Someone who works in the shoe & leather trade – a boot clicker or shoe clicker – see cordwainer.

It can also mean someone who works in the printing industry

CloggerRef 298-4

ClothierRef 298-C78
Another term for a yeoman clothier

CobblerRef 298-974
Someone who makes and/or repairs shoes

CollierRef 298-C51
A coal miner, although the word had a wider meaning and included wood-colliers, and a ship carrying coal

ComberRef 298-46

Cone WinderRef 298-29
Someone did the work of winding the cotton/woollen yarn onto a metal or paper/cardboard cone-shaped core

ConfectionerRef 298-965
Someone who produced medicines sweetened with honey or sugar.

Later, someone who made cakes and sweets.

See Confectionery

ConveyancerRef 298-962
A member of the legal profession who handled documents relating to the transfer of property

CooperRef 298-930
Someone who makes barrels.

See Tranqueter

CoparcenerRef 298-C12
Co-heir who jointly inherits an estate

CopemanRef 298-2543
A general dealer. In the 18th century, the word was used for a receiver of stolen goods.

See Chapman

CordwainerRef 298-1300
Pronounced cord'ner. A shoemaker, or leather-worker.

The word comes from Córdoban, after the leather products of the Spanish city of Córdoba.

See Clicker

Corn chandlerRef 298-1981
A retail dealer in grain.

See Boothman and Chandler

CoronerRef 298-2361
Originally, the guardian of the pleas of the crown. Now, an officer responsible for enquiries – a Coroner's Inquest – into the cause of accidental or suspicious deaths, or deaths believed to have been caused by violence.

Under an Act of 1752, coroners returned abstracts of inquests to the Quarter Sessions in order to claim their expenses. These returns are preserved in the sessions files and include the date of the inquest, the name of the deceased and the verdict of the jury. These are public records and there is a 75 years' closure period on them.

See William Barstow, John Brigg, John Brigg, Coroner's Court, Halifax, J. F. Dearden, Thomas F. Dearden, George Dyson, George, Brighouse, Halifax Town Hall, John Hargreaves, Ernest Hatton Hill, John Richard Ingram, Bernard Williamson Little, Edward Wallace Norris, William Stansfeld, Joseph Wood and Robert Wood

CostermongerRef 298-1888
A dealer in fruit and vegetables. The name comes from costard, a kind of large apple.

See Monger

CottagerRef 298-C89
Aka Cottar

CottarRef 298-1761
Aka Customary Tenant, Catagman, Cottager. A tenant of a cottage with 4 acres of land, or less. This was the lowest level of peasant farmers. He lived in a tied cottage and was obliged to work on the farm of the lord of the manor

CouperRef 298-C53
A dealer in horses and cattle

Couple beggarRef 298-2661
An itinerant priest who performed marriages prior to the Marriage Act [1753]

CropperRef 298-C102

CullerRef 298-1715
Someone who selected and graded animals for killing

Cunning manRef 298-1635
Aka Wizard. A name given to mediæval law-enforcers. He might also dispense medicines, cure ailments, find lost object, and tell fortunes. There were also cunning women

CursitorRef 298-C113
A clerk who draws up wills

D

DelverRef 298-57
A man who quarried stone in a open quarry.

This was distinct from a stone miner who worked underground.

See Master-taker and Stone quarrying

Devil minderRef 298-5

Devil workerRef 298-6

DexterRef 298-24
An occupational surname meaning a dyer.

Compare Textor.

There are currently no entries on the Calderdale Companion for people with the surname Dexter.

DispensatoreRef 298-1049
Aka Dispensator.

A steward or treasurer

DissenterRef 298-2569
Anyone who disagrees with the orthodox view of religious belief, a Nonconformist

To some extent, Dissenters were tradesmen and workers of the lower class.

In the 18th century, Dissenters were excluded from membership of certain bodies, for example, they could not be a student at Oxford & Cambridge, a Magistrate, or a Member of Parliament.

See Baptists, Congregationalists, Methodists and Unitarians

Dog whipperRef 298-2840
Aka Knocknobbler. A man who chased dogs out of the church. He used whips or a pair of tongs to seize and eject the animal.

The dogs might be attracted by the tails of foxes, and other animals – which were killed in order to collect a bounty – and nailed to the church door.

See Lightcliffe Old Church

DroverRef 298-1015
A man who drives cattle or a packhorse team

DrysalterRef 298-1059
Aka Salter.

Someone who makes or deals in dry chemicals, such as dyes and colours for the textile industry

DrysterRef 298-34


Question: Is this the same as a drysalter?

 

DulerRef 298-7

DummererRef 298-2546
A mediæval term for a beggar who obtains money by pretending to be deaf and dumb

DyerRef 298-957
Someone who works in the dyeing industry

E

EaldormanRef 298-77
The chief officer in an Anglo-Saxon district, shire or kingdom. The name means an elder man.

The name continued to be used as alderman

Engine TenterRef 298-2524
An engineer in charge of the steam engine which drives factory machinery.

See Tenter

ExecutorRef 298-1980
A person appointed by a testator to carry out the directions and requests in his/her will, and to dispose of the property according to his/her provisions after his/her death.

An executrix is a female executor.

See Letters Testamentary

F

FacerRef 298-1080

See Flag Facer

FellmongerRef 298-2482
Or Felmonger.

Someone who deals in hides and skins – particularly sheepskins – and other animal products which were used for making glue, and a tradesman who prepares skins for the tanner.

See Monger

FeoffeeRef 298-2019
See Feoffment

FeofforRef 298-2048
See Feoffment

FeronerRef 298-F7
Someone who produced or sold goods made of iron. It was also used for anyone who sold hardware

FettlerRef 298-1146
A worker who carded wool / someone who cleaned a machine in a mill / someone who cleaned or tidied things generally

FinisherRef 298-F6
Someone who performs the final stages in the production of a piece of cloth.

See Cropper

FixerRef 298-1942
Aka Setter. Someone who puts the finished block of stone into position, as distinct from a mason who cuts and carves the stone, and a hewer who dresses the blocks of stone

Flag FacerRef 298-1077
A mason who cleans up and finishes off the individual flagstone

See Stone dresser

FreedmanRef 298-1835
A man or woman who has been freed from bondage or slavery. A lower class of peasant above slaves.

Compare this with freeman

FreeholderRef 298-1613
A wealthy farmer who owned freehold land by fee simple.

See Copyholder, Inholder and Smallholder

Frith manRef 298-2017
Someone who has claimed the right of sanctuary

FullerRef 298-42
Someone whose job was fulling – cleaning, shrinking and thickening woven cloth

G

GarnetRef 298-38
To reduce waste material to its basic fibrous state for reuse.

The work is carried out by a garnetter.

See Shoddy

GarthmanRef 298-G12
A herdsman, yardman, or a man who caught fish

GasserRef 298-8

Gaux collectorRef 298-9

GentlemanRef 298-324
Abbr: Gent. This usually indicated someone who was of independent means and who did not need to work for a living.

The sons of a men titled esquire are titled gentlemen.

See Franklin and Gent

Good brotherRef 298-2851
The word good was used in relationships such as

GoodmanRef 298-1353
The form of address for a husbandman in the 16th/17th centuries.

See Goodwife

GoodwifeRef 298-1354
The form of address for the wife of a husbandman in the 16th/17th century.

See Goodman

Goux collectorRef 298-10

GracerRef 298-G19
A stone-mason who carried out fine, decorative work on stone

GunsmithRef 298-946
Someone who makes guns

GypsyRef 298-919
A member of a group of travellers.

Aka Aegyptianus, Zingarius, and Zingari.

True gypsies speak the Romany language and are believed to originate in South Asia.

See Rev George Bramwell Evens

H

HaberdasherRef 298-H34
Anyone selling small personal items

Hair merchantRef 298-32
Someone who bought / sold hair – of animals or humans – for the manufacture of brushes and/or wigs.

See Brush Makers and Horn merchant

Half-timerRef 298-2852
A child – usually under 13 – who worked half a day in the factory or mill, and half a day at school.

It is recorded that there were 1057 half-timers working in Halifax in 1917.

The practice became illegal in 1922.

See Child Labour and Factory Acts

HawkerRef 298-995
Aka Huckster. A traveller who offered goods for sale. This term was used for someone who used a horse, donkey or cart to carry his goods, as distinct from a pedlar

HellierRef 298-H49
Aka helier, hilier, hillier. A slater or tiler.

This is also a surname in some parts of the country

HenterRef 298-H23
A thief

HerbalistRef 298-47
Someone who used and prescribed plants for their medicinal properties.

In the 19th century, the term botanist might also mean a herbalist.

Some local herbalists were John Anderton, C. W. Bentley, John Bull Herbal Remedy Company, S. Challice, Prof Fairbairn, Samuel Fleming, George Galloway, Greenwood Hanson, Henry Hanson, Mrs Ann Helliwell, Charles Henry Hitchin, A. Lambert, W. Burns Lingard, M. Ringrose and Mrs Mary Ann Vowles

HewerRef 298-1366
Someone who dresses blocks of stone, as distinct from a mason who cuts and carves the stone, and a fixer or setter who puts the finished stone into position

HigglerRef 298-2471
Also Higler. An itinerant dealer who haggles.

See Badger

HighwaymanRef 298-1451
A robber who attacks people on the public way – usually on horseback, as distinct from a footpad

HookerRef 298-255
A mediæval term for a thief who steals with the aid of a hook on a pole.

Later, it was a mill worker who operated a machine which laid out a length of cloth into uniform folds of the required length

Horn merchantRef 298-33
Someone who bought / sold animal horn or hooves for the manufacture of domestic articles, brushes and/or jewellery

See Hair Merchant

HosierRef 298-H35
Someone who makes or sells hosiery, that is socks and stockings and gloves

HostlerRef 298-1598
Aka Ostler. Someone who tends horses at an inn

HucksterRef 298-2513
A woman who sold ale in the street.

It was also a general term for anyone who sold goods from a small shop or a booth

HuggerRef 298-1280
A worker in a quarry who carried blocks of stone to the surface.

Huggers wore a leather saddle to protect themselves.

They used a hugging ladder – a ladder with broad rungs set close together – which made the ascent easier for the worker who could not use his hands to steady himself as he climbed. The task was mechanised during the 1800s, although hugging continued until about 1870.

There were numerous accidents involving huggers and stone workers

See Hurrier and Thruster

HurrierRef 298-1050
Someone – often a young child – who hauled the wagons or baskets of stone / coal in the mines.

See Mines Act [1842] and Thruster

HusbandmanRef 298-1574
A tenant farmer, or any man who worked in cultivating his own land – husbandry – but it also referred to a small-holder who supported himself by working the land of others.

They came below yeomen on the social scale.

See Bordar

Hush-sellerRef 298-2489
Aka Husht seller. Someone who sold and/or brewed illegal beer

Husht SellerRef 298-1864
A Hush-seller.

See Husht

I

ImpropriatorRef 298-I15
A layman who is in possession of a benefice or its revenues

IngomonRef 298-1199
Someone who works on the land and rears cattle &c

InholderRef 298-1213
A freeholder who lived in the property held

InterfactorRef 298-I7
A murderer

IronmasterRef 298-I3
The proprietor of an iron-works

J

JacksmithRef 298-943
Someone who makes jacks or other lifting machinery

JaggerRef 298-2001
An itinerant pedlar, carrier, or the drover of a packhorse team.

It is also an occupational surname mentioned around 1368, and was common in Stainland

The name may be derived from the German Jæger, a type of pony which was used as a packhorse.

See Ailsa O'Fusses

JourneymanRef 298-2335
A worker who was hired for the day – from the French journée.

Typically, he travelled widely and worked away from home, and would have completed his apprenticeship but was not yet a master of his trade.

Journeymen were members of a guild

See Yearman

JousterRef 298-J3
An itinerant saleswoman who sold fish

K

King's archerRef 298-1330
A King's Archer had to be able to hit – 7 times out of 10 – a shield which was laid on the ground at a distance of 1 furlong. About 25% of the archers at Agincourt were King's Archers.

See Archery and John King

KnellerRef 298-K3
Aka Knuller. An itinerant chimney-sweep

Knocker-upRef 298-K10
Someone who was paid to walk around the streets in the early morning, knocking on the bedroom windows of their customers – usually with a long rod or pole – to wake them for work

KnocknobblerRef 298-1795
Aka Dog whipper

L

LaikerRef 298-L23
A player in the game of knur & spell.

See Laik

LamigerRef 298-L30
A lame person

LardnerRef 298-11

LavenderRef 298-L17
A washer-woman

LecturerRef 298-L33
Someone who reads the sermon in a nonconformist chapel. He may also perform other duties

LimiterRef 298-L27
A mediæval friar who had a licence to beg within only a specified, limited district. One of Chaucer's Pilgrims was a limiter

ListerRef 298-315
A dyer.

See Lister

Little MakerRef 298-2293
A term for a small-scale clothier. He wove his own pieces of cloth at home and sold it at market

LorimerRef 298-1206
Someone who makes metal bits, spurs, and fittings for harness straps

M

Machine-breakerRef 298-M40
See Luddite

Mantua makerRef 298-12

Market gardenerRef 298-M44
Someone who grows fruit and vegetables for sale at market.

In the 1830s, representatives from Toronto came to England to recruit stone masons and market gardeners which were in great demand in Canada. Many local workers emigrated about this time.

There were many local people involved in gardening and market gardening – see Local Gardening & Horticulture

MasterRef 298-2800
A skilled craftsman or tradesmen. He and his apprentices were members of a Guild.

See Journeyman

Master-takerRef 298-493
A man who was paid to organise delvers to carry out the extraction of stone from land which was let to him by a land-owner. He was often regarded as unscrupulous by both the land-owner and the delvers.

In several cases, the master-taker was also the local innkeeper, and would pay the wages to his delvers in his own inn, ensuring that a proportion of their earnings was quickly returned to him!

MelderRef 298-M20
A miller. Usually a corn miller

MenderRef 298-276
A worker who repairs faults, cuts and tears in a piece of cloth

MercerRef 298-13

Mercury womanRef 298-M30
An 18th century name for a woman who sold newspapers

MessorRef 298-M19
An official who was responsible for supervising the fields of a manor and for managing the reapers and mowers of the fields

Middle manRef 298-1270
Wool traders who sold wool to the Yeoman clothiers and other dealers.

See Chapman and Halifax Act [1555]

MiddlemanRef 298-765
Aka Chapman. Someone who carried manufactured woollen goods by packhorse from one manufacturer to another, or from the manufacturer to the individual who would finish the goods

MillinerRef 298-M11
A maker of ladies' hats.

The word originally meant someone from Milan, and later it can to mean someone who sold fancy goods from Milan

MilnerRef 298-M16
A local form of miller

MisegathererRef 298-M21
A tax-collector

MongerRef 298-1011
A general term for a trader or dealer, as in fishmonger, costermonger, and fellmonger

N

NavvyRef 298-1449
Abbreviation for a navigator, a worker on the navigations, cuts, canals and – later – railways.

Many navvies were Irish migrants.

See Railway Genealogy

O

Ordinary keeperRef 298-O8
An innkeeper who sold food and drinks at fixed prices. An ordinary was a set-priced meal

OstlerRef 298-O1
See Hostler

OverlookerRef 298-224
A supervisor, foreman or manager of a group of workers in a textile mill.

The name was also used for someone who maintains and tunes the looms.

The name tackler is used in Lancashire.

See Halifax & District Power Loom Overlookers' Society and Powerloom Overlookers' Club, Todmorden

Overseer of the PoorRef 298-1539

P

PalisserRef 298-2541
Aka Palister. Someone who tended the fences of a Norman enclosure or park – such as that at Erringden Park.

The name comes from the French palisse meaning a pale or a fence.

This and associated words are often corrupted to palace

PalliardRef 298-1298
A mediæval term for a beggar who obtains money by showing his sores and deformities

PalmerRef 298-P24
When on a pilgrimage, to the Holy Land, the pilgrim was called a palmer because of the representation of a palm branch which he wore

PardonerRef 298-P57
A person who was licensed to sell papal indulgences. One of Chaucer's Pilgrims was a pardoner

ParkerRef 298-43
The keeper of the king's park.

See Parker Surname

Passive ResisterRef 298-1087
After Balfour's Education Act of 1902, many local nonconformists refused to pay their contribution to the education part of the poor rate because they objected to supporting schools whose standards were inferior to their own.

The National Passive Resistance Movement was formed in 1902 by the Baptist Minister John Clifford.

There was considerable opposition in February 1904, when non-payment resulted in seizure of their goods and possesions to the value of the rate and the costs.

On 23rd June 1905, there was a Passive Resisters' Demonstration in Halifax with a speech by the Rev A. T. Guttery.

In 1906, over 170 passive resisters were imprisoned at Wakefield.

See Joseph Dobson, Rev Roger Briggs, Harold Chapman, Rev William Lawrence and Rev John Wilkinson

PauperRef 298-1138
Aka Bareman, Bairman. A person who needed regular Poor Law relief. These included old widows, young mothers without a man, orphans, those who were too old or too infirm to work. A pauper's goods and property belonged to the parish after their death.

See Overseer of the Poor and Roundsman

PaviorRef 298-P19
A worker who was responsible for the repair of paving stones in a town/village

PaviourRef 298-1057
Originally, an official with responsibility for the upkeep of footpaths.

Later, it was any workman involved in paving paths and roads.

See Setter

PawnbrokerRef 298-P14
Someone who lends money against personal property such as jewellery, clothes. He/she gives money against goods, and then repays the money – less a percentage – when the goods are later redeemed. The symbol of the Italian Lombard merchants – 3 golden balls – was usually hung outside the shop. Popularly known as the pop-shop and uncle

PeelerRef 298-P16
A 19th century name for a policeman. In 1812, Sir Robert Peel established the Irish Police, and in 1828, he reformed the police force in Britain.

See Police

percherRef 298-14

Pew-openerRef 298-2713
Someone who opened the doors to box pews and was tipped for the service

PiecerRef 298-211
Aka Piecener.

A textile worker who joins any broken threads and feeds them into the machines during the processes of slubbing, scribbling, carding and spinning.

The intricate task was often performed by women or child workers

PikemanRef 298-P55
This has several meanings:

PinderRef 298-1958
Aka Pounder, Poundkeeper, Punder. An official who was responsible for rounding up and impounding stray and wandering animals and cattle. The animals were impounded in a pound or pinfold.

See Culler, Hayward, Neatherd and Pinder

PistorRef 298-1047
Anyone who worked with flour, usually a miller or a baker

Plug-drawerRef 298-P48
Someone who took part in the Plug riots

PoultererRef 298-P29
Someone who deals in fowl, including ducks, goose, chicken or turkey

PowlerRef 298-1012
A barber

PreemerRef 298-P25
A worker – usually a boy – who cleaned the tools used by the cloth dresser

PretenderRef 298-P5
Someone who lays claim to the throne without a just title

PriggerRef 298-P12
A mediæval term for a thief who steals horses

ProctorRef 298-P30
An officer of the court who was paid to manage the affairs of others

PuddlerRef 298-36
Someone who works with wrought iron, or with puddle clay

R

Rag & bone manRef 298-R21
A man who travelled around the district collecting rags, bones, and general scrap items. The rags would be made into paper, and the bones made into fertiliser. Traditionally, a balloon, a goldfish or a donkey stone might be given in return. There were also rag & bone shops

ReaverRef 298-R2
Aka Riever. A thief, a robber. Specifically, along the Scottish borders in the mediæval period

RecorderRef 298-R10
A barrister who presides over a court of Quarter Sessions, or who sits as a circuit judge, or as a part-time judge in the crown court. The first recorder of Halifax, Willoughby Jardine, was appointed in December 1923

RectorRef 298-1611
The person in charge – the director – of the religious life of a community or a parish.

He was responsible for the maintenance of the chancel which was his private part of the church.

In his absence, the vicar deputised for the rector. There is now no difference between a vicar and a rector.

A curate is an assistant to the rector

See Rectors of Halifax

ReducerRef 298-40
In 1901, I have a record of someone who is
a reducer in a worsted factory


Question: Does anyone know what the job entailed?

 

Relief innkeeperRef 298-58
If the licence holder of an inn or a pub was away on holiday, then the person taking over was not required to apply for the licence. If the licence holder was away for more than 1 month, then the relief innkeeper would have to apply for the licence

Relieving OfficerRef 298-130
After the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 the post of Overseer of the Poor and the workhouse for each township were abolished and replaced by the Relieving Officer – who was appointed by the Board of Guardians – and the larger Union Workhouse with responsibility for a union (group)  of townships.

See Parish Relief

Remittance manRef 298-1228
Someone whose family paid for him to emigrate to Australia or other British colony

RiddlerRef 298-R14
A woolstapler

RufflerRef 298-2498
A mediæval term for a beggar who obtains money by tales of heroism in the wars

S

Saltpetre manRef 298-S37
In the 17th century, a man who collected urine which was left in buckets outside people's houses, and who dug around cess-pits and animal pounds to collect salts which were produced by the urine, for use in making saltpetre for gunpowder

SawyerRef 298-1029
Someone whose job involves sawing wood

ScavengerRef 298-26
A rubbish collector, street sweeper, night soil collector

ScrivenerRef 298-S60
A professional scribe or copyist

scutcherRef 298-15

ScutigerRef 298-1821
An esquire who was responsible for handling the horses

SerjeantRef 298-S87
A barrister

SetterRef 298-50
A paviour, or someone who lays setts to make a road surface

ShearmanRef 298-2698
Also Sherman. A cloth worker who crops the excess nap from cloth. The local term was usually cropper.

By 1817, 1,170 croppers were out of work in Yorkshire; 1,445 were employed part-time; 763 were employed full-time.

See Shearmen's Company

ShermanRef 298-2587
Aka Shearman, Cropper.

Also a man who sheared sheep

Silk dresserRef 298-51
A worker in the silk industry who boiled the silk to remove gum

Silk mercerRef 298-52
Someone who sold silk fabrics & silk clothing.

See Mercer and Silk industry

Silk throwerRef 298-54
A worker in the silk industry who twists several threads together to produce a thicker thread.

See Silk warper

Silk warperRef 298-53
A worker in the silk industry who gathers the silk threads together to produce a yarn which would be used in weaving.

See Silk thrower

SingerRef 298-1083
Someone who carried out the process of singeing, that is, someone who singes and not someone who sings


Pronunciation: Singer rhymes with ginger
 

SisterRef 298-S31
The word was often used to mean sister-in-law

SkiverRef 298-25
Someone who split sheep skins to produce a thin, soft leather for use in bookbinding

Slop tailorRef 298-941
Someone who makes new clothes from old clothes

SlopsellerRef 298-S88
Someone who deals in cheap or second-hand clothing

SmallholderRef 298-2749
A small farmer who rented land of 10-20 acres from the squire or freeholders

See Copyholder

SmithRef 298-945
Someone who works in metal.

See Blacksmith, Brownsmith, Gunsmith, Jacksmith, Smithy, Sucksmith and Whitesmith

SocmanRef 298-1314
A tenant by socage

SojournerRef 298-S13
Someone who spends or has spent only a short time in a certain place. He/she is distinguished from a permanent resident and a fleeting traveller

SpencerRef 298-S8
Someone who is in charge of a spence, or larder

SpinnerRef 298-16

SquatterRef 298-S34
A poor farmer who farmed and lived on common land. They had no legal rights to the land

Stone DresserRef 298-41
A mason, or someone who cleans/tidies-up the outer face(s) of a stone block or flagstone

See Flag Facer

Stone minerRef 298-56
Someone who worked in an underground stone mine such as those in Rastrick.

This was distinct from a stone delver who worked in a open quarry

StoverRef 298-49
Stoving was a process in the production of cloth, and involved heating of the material in a stove or hot room.

This may simply to dry the material, or, in some cases, to expose it to sulphur fumes, or to produce a special surface effect.

The work was done by a stover

StravaigerRef 298-S23
A vagrant

StrawmanRef 298-S22
Someone who was paid to give false evidence in a legal court

Stuff MerchantRef 298-17

SucksmithRef 298-948
Someone who makes blades for plough shares.

See Smith and Sucksmith surname

SummonerRef 298-S76
The man who called people to appear before an ecclesiastical court. One of Chaucer's Pilgrims was a summoner

SurgeonRef 298-37
Up to the end of the 19th century, the term surgeon referred to a general medical practitioner, rather than someone who performed surgical operations

SutlerRef 298-S67
A trader who follows an army to sell goods to the soldiers

SwalerRef 298-2068
See Badger

T

Tallow chandlerRef 298-2120
A maker or seller of candles. Candles were often made of tallow

See Chandler

TallymanRef 298-T14
Someone who sold goods and collected payment in installments

TeamerRef 298-985
Aka Teamster. Someone who drove a team of horses or cattle. They often worked with the horses of a brewery, or with a horse-driven cab

TenterRef 298-1
Someone who looks after a piece of machinery or other equipment.

See Back-tenter, Engine tenter and Tenter frame

TerritorialRef 298-18

TestatorRef 298-2227
A man who writes a will.

A testatrix is a woman who writes a will

TextorRef 298-1173
Another name for a weaver or a webster.

See Webb and Webster

Thief-takerRef 298-T65
Someone who profited from arresting thieves. He might also arrange the return of stolen goods

ThrowerRef 298-19

ThrusterRef 298-1547
Someone – often a young child – who pushed the wagons or baskets of coal in the mines, or a worker in a quarry who pushed stones to the surface.

See Hugger and Hurrier

ThumperRef 298-T2
An extravagant preacher. They often bumped their head against the headboard of the pulpit as they jumped up and down in their enthusiasm

TickneymanRef 298-T68
An itinerant pedlar selling earthenware

TilloterRef 298-59
/ Tilliter. Someone who wraps textiles in tillot cloth for export

TinkerRef 298-T52
An itinerant who mends pots, pans and other household utensils

TipplerRef 298-T16
An inn-keeper

TithingmanRef 298-35
An old term for a constable

TodhunterRef 298-T67
Someone who was employed by the parish to hunt foxes

Town husbandRef 298-1632
Someone who collected the dues from fathers of illegitimate children of the parish for their upkeep

TrammerRef 298-926
A person who looked after the wagons (trams) which ran on rails, transporting the stone / coal in a mine

TramplerRef 298-T64
A lawyer

TranqueterRef 298-T13
Someone who makes hoops for use in constructing barrels.

See Cooper

TranslatorRef 298-T66
An early term for anyone who repaired and recycled goods such as clothes and shoes

TranterRef 298-T62
An itinerant pedlar

TrenchermanRef 298-21

TroacherRef 298-T61
An itinerant pedlar

TuelerRef 298-31

TulerRef 298-30

TutorRef 298-2567
See Governess

TylerRef 298-762
An officer in the Freemasons.

A Tyler is a Doorkeeper or Guard at the Lodge

U

UllnagerRef 298-80
Aka Alnager. An inspector who – from about 1350 – measured the length of a piece of cloth, and affixed a copper seal to guarantee that it was of the standard width and weight and quality, for which he collected the ullnage.

At one point, the ullnagers increased the tax, and a number of Halifax clothiers – refusing to pay – sold their cloth unsealed; the ullnager attempted to seize the goods, but the clothiers won the subsequent court case.

The records are held as Ullnagers' Accounts or Ullnagers' Rolls.

See Narrow cloth

UsherRef 298-383
An Assistant Master or Second Master at a school.

At Heath Grammar School, the Usher had similar duties to the Headmaster, but received only half the salary.

Thomas Preston was Usher – or Ludimagister – at Heath Grammar School [1671]

V

VagrantRef 298-22

Vat manRef 298-933
Someone who looks after the vats in a brewery, dye works or paper-making factory

VenetorRef 298-V8
Aka Venur. A huntsman

VerdererRef 298-2782
An official who was in charge of the Royal forests and imposed Forest law

VergerRef 298-V12
Someone responsible for taking care of the interior of a church, an attendant, an assistant to the priest or rector

ViewerRef 298-546
An overseer in a coal mine

VintnerRef 298-V6
A wine merchant

W

WalkerRef 298-44
Someone whose job was waulking – cleaning, shrinking and thickening woven cloth

WallerRef 298-W1
A wall-builder. These were often recruited from specialist gangs of itinerant workers as wall-building increased during the 16th and 17th centuries.

See Enclosures

WarperRef 298-1242
A textile worker who places the warp upon the beams

WarrenerRef 298-39
Someone who looks after the lord's warren

See Warner

WebsterRef 298-458
A weaver, usually female.

The male form is Webb.

See Textor and Webster

WharfingerRef 298-1207
Someone who owns or manages a wharf. He took custody of, and was responsible for, goods delivered to the wharf. Typically, he had an office on the wharf or dock, and was responsible for day-to-day activities including slipways, keeping tide tables and resolving disputes.

The etymology is probably Elizabethan-era English.

The final 2 syllables are pronounced as in ginger not as in singer.

See Calder House, Sowerby Bridge and Wharf House, Sowerby Bridge

WhitesmithRef 298-W39
A tinsmith, or a worker or dealer in tinned or white iron.

See Brightsmith and Brownsmith

WhitsterRef 298-936
Someone who works in the bleaching of cloth

WilleyerRef 298-55

WinderRef 298-28
Someone who did the work of winding, in which yarn is transferred from one spool – a bobbin, cone or cheese – to another.

See Cheese winder and Cone winder

WoolchapmanRef 298-W12
A wool trader, middle man.

See Halifax Act [1555]

WoolcomberRef 298-230
Aka Comber.

Anyone who combs the raw wool during the making of cloth.

St Blaise is the patron St of woolcombers.

In 1853, a letter to the Reynold's Newspaper reported that


the woolcombers of Halifax and its district number about 10,000, with their wives and children, making a population of nearly 30,000 dependent in that particular branch of labour. They are in great distress, but the mill owners are making colossal fortunes
 

See Bishop Blaise

WooldriverRef 298-84
Aka Woolstapler. A wool trader, middle man, who bought wool from the farmer and stored it. They were accused of profiteering – by holding stocks of wool until the price rose – thereby raising the price of wool.

Henry VIII abolished the practice.

See Halifax Act [1555] and Woolshops

WoolsorterRef 298-466
Another name for a woolstapler

WoolstaplerRef 298-188
Aka Woolsorter, Riddler, and Wool-driver. Someone who sorts wool, or who deals in wool.

A single fleece comprised many different staples and grades of wool. The staples of wool were sorted according to quality, colour, length and fineness.

See Huntriss family of Halifax, Wooldriving and Woolshops

Workhouse MasterRef 298-1961
The person responsible for running the workhouse. He was assisted by the Workhouse Matron, who was usually his wife.

This was a lowly-paid position, but had considerable responsibility and prestige in the community

Y

YaggerRef 298-934
A pedlar

YardmanRef 298-937
A farm worker or someone who works in a railway yard

YearmanRef 298-2767
A worker who was hired for a year.

See Journeyman

Yeoman clothierRef 298-2295
Also Clothier. An 18th century middle-man – such as Joseph Anderton – who supplied raw wool to the individual handloom weavers within the domestic system, then collected their finished pieces for sale at the cloth hall.

Some clothiers were also weavers and producers of cloth, and some were merchants.

John Royds was one of the wealthiest clothiers in the district.

Under the Weavers' Act [1555], clothiers in country districts were forbidden to keep more than one loom, and woollen weavers were forbidden to keep more than two looms.

Many clothiers became very prosperous, and many were Quakers. As the export trade increased through Hull, many local clothiers moved from Halifax to live at the port. In the 16th century, John Winchcombe – known as Jack of Newbury – was probably the most famous clothier in England.

More recently, the term clothier has been used to refer to a tailor, or a retailer of mechanically produced cloth.

See Little maker and Ullnager



© Malcolm Bull 2019
Revised 10:55 /28th September 2019 / mmj84 / 236336

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