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Occupations - AllOccupations - MaleOccupations - Female

Occupations of Females in Beeston, Nottinghamshire, April 1861

Industry GroupOccupation GroupFemales Analysed by Age
All AgesUnder 66-1011-1516-2021-3031-5051-70>70
.Land Services000000000
ManufactureManufacturing/Wholesale - Food/drink000000000
.Manufacturing/Wholesale - Other210100000
.Labour - General000000000
MiningQuarry, etc100000010
.Gloves, etc000000000
.Other textile000000000
TradeRetail - food/drink1000010252
.Retail - other600001032
.Total Employed6564141151301811307111
.Own Means900010242
.At School240681343440000
.Not Employed79021842222412221312029
.Overall Total169529019017115930334519542

The above table sets out our analysis of the female population of Beeston in April 1861, by industry/occupation and by age band. A similar table for the male population can be seen by clicking here. Each of these tables have been prepared based on the principles described in connection with the overall population table which can be seen here.

The table can be used to observe and quantify certain characteristics and trends within the population and, in particular, within the working population:
The employment rate amongst the over 15 female population is just over 50%, a reduction from almost 58% employed in 1851. This significant movement appears to arise largely from a marked increase in both the number and proportion of married women in the population. An increase of 17% in the number of wives (462 in 1851, 542 in 1861) meant that the proportion of women over 15 who were married has risen from 47% in 1851 to 54% in 1861.

The average age of all female workers is 29.0 years - virtually unchanged since 1851; however, this apparent stability masks significant movement in various occupational and other sectors:

Female employment in the textile sector showed signs of a noticeable decline and an aging of its female workforce :
The average age of a female lace industry worker is 30.3 years - up from 27.2 in 1851 with the number employed declining by 13.3%
The average age of a female hosiery worker is 45.9 years - up from 43.6 in 1851. The number employed has declined dramatically by 68.6%
The average age of a female silk worker is 20.5 years - up from 18.4 in 1851. Here, the decline in numbers is limited to 7.0%
In the younger age groups, there are signs that the equal need for education for girls was receiving attention:
36% of girls under 16 are recorded as receiving education, a significant increase from 26% in 1851
- this proportion was now, perhaps for the first time, essentially in line with the level for boys
As a consequence, a total of 157 girls in education in 1851 had grown to 236 in 1861, an increase of 50.3%.
For other children, the part-time education facilities provided by the silk mill may have been an attractive alternative to full-time education - although there are signs that the numbers are declining:.
43.8% of all girls in the 11-15 age group worked at the silk mill - down from 48.1%
- but only 4.7% of all girls in the 6-10 age group are working there - down significantly from 13.1% in 1851.
Of course, this provision enabled the mill to continue to operate with very young workers and, consequently, low levels of pay.
61% of all female silk workers in the village were under 20 years of age
91% of them were under 30 years of age
Similar patterns are found in male workers in the industry.
In these circumstances, it seems unlikely that this industry would have provided little beyond secondary contributions to household incomes in most cases.

Click to view our analysis of the Male Population by Age and Occupational Groupings
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© David Hallam - 2008