Box 1800-1850, by Cyril Turk

Box 1800-1850, by Cyril Turk
Box 1800-1850, by Cyril Turk

Published by the Box Village Society in 1998, 20 pages. A5 size booklet (N5346)

From the introduction: When we retired to Box some twenty years ago, I was immediately interested in the tall upper rooms of our cottage, and also to find that, if the present wood partition were removed, that the room would be 18ft long. A few enquiries suggested that these dimensions meant that the cottage had been built by a hand-loom weaver who needed height and length for his loom. Since I had studied, read and taught history all my professional life, this offered a subject for research.

First, background information. This came from reading the 1830's report on the Condition of Hand-loom Weavers in Gloucestershire. This, with many details, showed the depressed state and near poverty in which many such weavers lived. Since I knew that from the 1790's onwards, Box was a weaving village, then I knew that I could concentrate here. The first need was to get a picture of the village in the first half of the last century. At a parish meeting in the Minchinhampton Vestry Room I saw a large map of the parish, and when this was later transferred to the Gloucestershire Record Office, I was able to get a photocopy. A careful walk through the village comparing this map with the present houses enabled me to place the cottages of 200 years ago, where there now was a modernised and enlarged house. (See centre spread)

The enumerator's returns for the 1850 census came next. Starting at Box Cottage and going through the village he listed everyone living in each cottage - head of the family, wife, children, visitors, lodgers, noting age, place of birth and employment, and, if necessary, whether single or pauper. When a cottage was temporarily empty he came back later so the sequence of cottages in his list begins to differ from the straight run. This could be checked from the Poor Law Valuation Lists of 1804 and 1830 which gives the name of ratepayers with the number of their cottage. These and the Overseers' accounts makes it possible to trace some people through those paying rates, not paying and then receiving relief. Church records gave marriages, births, baptisms, deaths, sometimes with age and type of employment. Finally a dive into the Stroud Court Records provided some interesting stories. All these records have come together in the pages of this study of Box in the first half of the last century...

Condition of the booklet is generally excellent. The cover is clean and tidy, the staple spine is intact and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tightly bound. There is a small price sticker on the rear side cover
Condition New