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Directory & Gazetteer of Cumberland 1861
Directory & Gazetteer of Cumberland 1861
A facsimile reprint. In addition to a comprehensive text, it has a section of wonderful advertisements in which the commercial skill and expertise of the local craftsmen is boasted. This will be a delight to any family historian or genealogical researcher
Few people sit down and read the telephone directory, and no-one ever reads it from cover to cover. But if, a hundred and fifty years from now, you were able to read a copy of Yellow Pages from the year 2000, imagine how fascinating the details of trades and businesses would be.
That's exactly what Michael Moon of Whitehaven has just published. As with telephone directories today, the Victorians dispensed with their detailed gazetteers and directories as soon as they were out-of-date. They are now few and far between.
This particular one by Morrison, Harrison and Co of Nottingham for 1861is extremely scarce. I have never seen a copy and Michael Moon claims only to have handled the one copy that he has used for this publication.
As soon as you open its cover, you are in a different world. The first full-page advert is for Tinkler's patent butter churn which 'has fully established its character as the best aid in the dairy.' The farmer's market was obviously the principal market in the agricultural county of Cumberland.
Carlisle is described as 'one of the prettiest cities of its size in the kingdom, viewing it from every approach. The Cathedral, the Castle and the two round towers at the entrance to English street, all form a beautiful and animated picture.' A summary history of the city describes its chief manufactures and main places of interest. Carlisle was long-known for the excellence of its ginghams but it also made woollens, cotton, calico and gingham and in the seventeenth century was noted for its manufacture of whips and fishhooks.
The real interest lies in the lists of inhabitants. They should all be here. If your ancestor lived in old Cumberland he will be listed according to his trade and occupation at the address he once occupied. The listing, of course, is divided into two. The Clergy and Gentry are given precedence. The Rev F J Allnatt heads a list of some 350 of Carlisle's leading citizens. Here are to be found many names, either long known in Border history or still distinguished in the life of the city today There are Armstrongs, Becks, Bells, Bendles, Blamires, Blaylocks, Carrs, Carricks, and Cartmells. We are told that The Very Rev Dean Close lived at the Deanery. Other names are now connected with names still to be found round the city such as Dixon, Ferguson, Mounsey, Nelson and Ridley. There was even a William Wordsworth, esq. living in St Ann's Hill.
The Trades and Professions listing reveals the kaleidoscope of business conducted in the city and the enterprise of some of its citizens. Thomas William Arthur was not only a bookseller, stationer, music and printseller. He was also a printer, bookbinder, newspaper and advertising agent, and agent for the Colonial Life Assurance company, and proprietor of the Public News Room, 34 English Street, 28 Rickerby, and railway bookstall. Thurnams, who are still with us, offered a similar range of activities. Other businesses were equally wide-ranging.. Blacklock and Wilkinson were tobacco and snuff manufacturers, salt merchants, wholesale and retail grocers, tea and coffee dealers. At the same time and from the same premises at 1 English street they also traded in Hodgsons manures, Simpson's cattle food, and were agents for the Caledonian Insurance Company.
Another wholesale and retail grocer, John Irving, again of English Street, was also a tea dealer, tallow chandler, seed merchant and dealer in guano. Edward Jobling worked as an agent for railway and steam navigation but also provided specific support for the wide interest at the time in emigration to America and Australia.
Other people concentrated on one job. Mary Boardman of Drover's Lane was simply a shopkeeper. William Lennox, who was to be found in Union Street, was a cowkeeper and the still remembered William Henry Nutter, artist, lived at 4 Fisher Street.
A classified trades listing follows. Miss Sycamore conducted an academy at 9 Abbey Street and there were another dozen or so schools and academies in the city. They were far out-numbered by the eighty grocers, the forty drapers, the ninety milliners and dressmakers and the twenty hosiers and haberdashers. The most favoured profession was that of hotel or hostelry keeper. Over a hundred and fifty people kept themselves gainfully employed ministering in this way to their fellow citizens. Other, perhaps more individual inhabitants, pursued solitary professions. William Brown of 5 Victoria Place was a Bagatelle Board Maker. Alexander Barker of 56 English Street described himself as a castrator and Mrs Catherine Muncaster of Ferguson's Lane was the city's only shroud maker.
This new directory is history in the raw. A careful reading reveals the lives of people a century and a half ago. The denizens of Cumberland went about their varied daily business in the towns and villages and this book provides the faintest trace of their long-forgotten lives.
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