Pentney at the time of the 1881 Census

In spite of the railway, which had given ordinary people the ability  to travel longer distances, in 1881 the Census shows that the villagers of Pentney were still, nearly all born in Norfolk, most of them in Pentney itself or one of the nearby villages.

However, James Chapple Smith, the Station Master, and his wife, were both born in Cornwall.  The world was starting to shrink!

The Census also shows that the railway had brought several jobs to the area. Charles Fawkes was an engine driver, Charles High an Engine Smith and John Coggles, a plate layer.

To see that people were really beginning to move about, we can look at the family of William Jenkinson, an agricultural labourer, living in one of Bailey's Cottages.  He was born in Pentney, as was his first son, but then he had two children who had been born in "Middlesborough, Yorkshire", before returning to Pentney by the time his fourth child was born in 1880.

Most local occupations were still the traditional ones connected with agriculture, farm bailiffs, millers, shepherds, field workers, agricultural labourers; these last in abundance!

Inns and Public Houses in Pentney 1881

Other Occupations in Pentney 1881

Robert Jenkinson, born in Hindolveston, Suffolk,  was a "Coprolite Grinder"

There were not many families which could afford to employ servants.  However, there were one or two bigger houses like that of John Lewis Marriott, Malsterer and Merchant, living at Pentney Hall, whose household could boast a governess and cook. 
John James Coulton, a Solicitor and Farmer, born in Kings Lynn, had a cook and a Housemaid.  He had one son who was himself a Solicitor and one who was a B.A. Cambridge Classical Teacher.
One or two of the farmers, like Thomas Paul,  also employed a General Servant, as did the Vicar, John Samuel Broad.

The ones that Got Away - People born in Pentney, residing in other parts of the Country, in the 1881 Census

Note - You may see a list of all the surnames of people in the 1891 Census at Pentney, here.  Please use your back button to return to this site.

Rita Sheridan,

Email: rasheridan@lineone.net