Ancestors lost in the crowd?
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Census 1841 - 1911
Birth, Death and Marriage Registration
The London Gazette
Health and wealth in Victorian Kelvedon Hatch.
The health of the villager in the 1870s was often directly affected by their wealth.
The agricultural labourer and journeyman were subject to irregular work, poor housing conditions, and were in constant fear of bad health; for, if he was the only breadwinner, it would result in malnutrition, or the workhouse for the entire family.
In 1834 responsibility for the poor of the parish passed from the individual parish to the local Poor Law Unions which were liable for the poor of several parishes. However, each parish was still responsible for the collection of the rates. Kelvedon Hatch was part of the Ongar Poor Law Union and a workhouse was built at Little End, near Ongar.
The Old Ongar Workhouse, Stanford Rivers.
For more information on the workhouses in Essex see our article Information on the Ongar Union Workhouse.
Outdoor relief was still supplied to Kelvedon Hatch residents and it was only in desperation would they turn to to the workhouse for help. Often these residents would be elderly widows and widowers without the support of a family, or young widows with young children who were unable to find a partner to support them.
Kelvedon Hatch had a parish charity known as 'Poor's Estate'. In 1871, the charity owned four cottages and surrounding land (poor's land) which was rented out. The resulting income was distributed yearly to the labouring poor, except single men and women over the age of 15, and those of bad character.
There was an additional area which was made over to 'spade husbandry' to give labourers a chance to grow their own crops. A small rent was charged for this. It appears to have been originally granted by the Lord of the Manor.
News from the past:
The Times Tuesday, Oct 18, 1831; pg. 3;
ALLOTMENTS OF LAND TO LABOURERS
- So late as the month of April, the Lord of the manor of Kelvedon Hatch, Essex, at the solicitations of the respectable inhabitants of that parish, most liberally appropriated a piece of the common to be allotted to be allotted to the poor labourers, which they hired in 20 rod parcels, at the rate of 234s. per acre. The result has proved most advantageous to the occupiers. Most of them have been accustomed to purchase 20 bushels of potatoes for their families, but they now have 20 bushels to sell. The produce of this piece of land itself is sufficient to convince the Government of the good policy of encouraging the cultivation of the waste land in this kingdom. Without any manure whatever the crop has been estimated to average between six and eight tons per acre. The labourers have realized a profit upon every 20 rods, including their labour, of 34s., taking the produce at 40 bushels, the value at 1s. per bushel; after deducting 3s. for rent, and 3s. for the sets. Independently of this profit, the land is now in a fine state, part planted with cabbages,&,.
Another charity was 'Dame Luther's Charity' from which distributions of bread were made to the poor.
Deaths recorded between 1870 - 1875 in
the registers of St Nicholas' Church
Age Under 5: 18
The registers also reveal the a great family tragedy. In 1860 the Burgess family who were agricultural labourers, lost four of their children in one month.
Emma aged 18
Charlotte aged 16
William aged 4
and George aged 10.
Living in Kelvedon Hatch were people from both ends of the social and economic scale.
In Kelvedon Hall at the time of the 1871 census there were a cook, head housemaid, under housemaid, laundress, kitchen maid, dairy maid, butler, underarm, footman, groom and ladies maid. At the same time, Brizes had 13 servants.
While at the other end of the social scale.
News from the past: DEATH FROM FALLING DOWNSTAIRS
On Tuesday night last a cripple named Henry Adams, aged 31, who lodged with a labouring man named William Bull, in a dilapidated hovel, met with an unfortunate accident which resulted in his death(…)an inquest heard (…). The coroner and several of the jurors made some severe remarks upon the state of the house, which was considered unfit for a pig to live in.
Essex Times 11/10/1877
Back to 1871 Tour.