First published in 1975, this volume aims to direct attention at a number of aspects of the lives and occupations of village labourers in the nineteenth-century that have been little examined by historians outside of agriculture. Some of the factors examined include the labourer’s gender, whether they lived in ‘closed’ or ‘open’ villages and what they worked at during the different seasons of the year. The author examines a range of occupations that have previously been ignored as too local to show up in national statistics or too short-lived to rank as occupations at all as well as sources of ‘secondary’ income. The analysis of all of these factors in related to the seasonal cycle of field labour and harvests. The central focus is on the cottage economy and the manifold contrivances by which labouring families attempted to keep themselves afloat.
Table of Contents
Notes on contributors; General editor’s introduction: people’s history; Acknowledgments; Part 1 Village Labour Raphael Samuel; Notes; Part 2 The place of harvesters in nineteenth-century village life David H. Morgan; 1 The crowded fields 2 Harvest earnings 3 The harvest contract 4 Gleaning 5 The coming of the machine Glossary of harvest terms Notes; Part 3 Country work girls in nineteenth-century England Jeannie Kitteringham; 1 The country work girl 2 Farm work 3 Gangs 4 Rural identities 5 Moralities Notes; Part 4 ‘Quarry roughs’: life and labour in Headington Quarry, 1860-1920. An essay in oral history Raphael Samuel; 1 ‘Quarry roughs’ 2 Work 3 Secondary incomes 4 Totting and poaching, woodland and waste 5 Wage labour and capital Notes; Subject index; Index of places