Fisherford in the 1851 census

 

fisherford black burn

Fisherford - Black Burn

© Copyright Iain Macaulay and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

 

In the 1851 census, the properties at Fisherford are preceded by a number  described as being ‘over Fisherford’. There are a few more properties in the village itself by this time, and these are numbered, as follows:

20.

Robert Hall, 35, Grocer and Clothier

Barbara Hall, 27, Merchant’s wife

Mary Franklin (?), 67, House servant

21.

George Robb, 45, Farming 20 acres and Innkeeper

Elizabeth Robb, 34, Farmer’s wife

Ellen Robb, 19, daughter

Alexr Robb, 13, son

Charles Robb, 9, son

Barbara Robb, 5, daughter

William Robb, 3, son

Mary Robb, 1, daughter

22.

Alexr Milton, 24, Tailor Master

23.

James Robb, 80, Farming 9 acres

Elizabeth Robb, 67, Farmer’s wife

Elizabeth Morrison, 22, Houseservant

Mary Boddie, 3, Boarder

24.

James Cruickshank, 41, Agricultural labourer

Christian Cruickshank, 20, Agricultural labourer’s wife

Mary Cruickshank, 4, daughter

25.

Charles Booth, 57, Farming 103 acres, employing 10 labourers and 1 boy

Margaret Booth, 57, Farmer’s wife

Charles Booth, 36, son

Helen Booth, 25, daughter

James Booth, 23, son

Mary Booth, 20, daughter

George Booth, 15, son

Margaret Hall, 2, granddaughter

James Angus, 26, servant/agricultural labourer

John Robb, 16, agricultural labourer

Ann Livingston , 22, House servant

The households in Fisherford are followed by others in Redhill.

These records tell us that by 1851 there were 6 separate households in Fisherford, compared to the four or five ten years earlier. One significant change is that two properties are now occupied by non-agricultural workers: a tailor and a grocer / clothier. Another development is that there are now three, rather than two farming properties – and that two of these are in the hands of members of the Robb family.

Because of the random ordering of properties in the census, mentioned in the last post, it’s impossible to match the farms in the 1851 census with those listed in 1841. However, it seems safe to assume that Charles Booth, and probably James Robb, were occupying the same properties as they were ten years before. And that George Robb’s farm was attached or close to the inn, which we know was on the west side of the main north-south road running through the village, just north of the bridge over the burn, and across the road from the Fisherford crofts (see map in this post). We don’t know how George came by his property, whether he took over any land from his ageing father James, or how he progressed from slater to innkeeper and farmer.

We can see that Charles Booth is, by a long way, the most significant tenant (property-owner?) in the village. However, as the only other farming tenants, George and James Robb are by no means insignificant, and we can assume that they must have been key figures in the local community. Note that James and Elizabeth Robb were able to employ a house servant. Note also that one of Charles Booth’s employees (and boarder) was George Robb’s son John. Apparently it was common for the sons of farmers to serve an ‘apprenticeship’ of this kind at neighbouring farms.

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