London Census 1891 Transcription Blog



Victorian Occupations

A collection of the occupations or job descriptions of the people living in London in the 1890's.  Most of the descriptions are fairly self explanatory, I'll elaborate on the ones that aren't in due course.


Cab Body Builder Someone who built the bodywork for horse drawn cabs.
Cab Driver drove a cab. Also Cab Man, Cabman, Cabbie or Carman
Cab Man, Cab Nasher, or Groom drove a cab
Cab Proprietor Someone who owned a cab.
Cabinet Hawker Someone who sold cabinets.
Cabinet Maker a highly skilled maker of quality furniture
Cabinet Maker Apprentice apprentice to above
Cabinet maker, upholsterer one who specialised in seating
Cabinet Maker's Labourer assisted - obvious really
Cabinet Polisher often a french polisher
Cable Jointer joined cables
Cabman drove a cab. Also Cab Driver, Cab Man, Cabbie or Carman
Cad A person employed to feed and water horses at coach stops.
Caddie A boy who carried messages or who ran errands.
Caddy Butcher butcher that dealt in horse meat
Cadger A beggar
Cafender A carpenter
Caffler rag and bone collector
Cainer made walking sticks
Caird A tinker
Calciner burnt bones to make powdered lime
Calender One who listed documents
Calender Worker, Calenderer or Calenderman A person who operated a machine which pressed cloth and paper using two large rollers (calenders).
Calico Printer dyed and colored calico
Caligraphic Sign Writer Someone who created signs etc.
Cambist An expert in financial exchange, a dealer in bills of exchange.
Cambric Maker A person who made a fine linen or cotton fabric called cambric.
Camerist A lady's maid.
Camister A minister of the cloth
Camlet Merchant A seller of camlet, cloth used to make cloaks & petticoats.
Campaner Bell Maker
Cancellarius Chancellor.
Candle Maker or Candler One who made candles
Candy Man A travelling candy salesman, or a slang name for a bailiff.
Caner or Chair Bottomer made the seats for chairs out of woven cane
Cannaller canal boat worker
Cannister Maker & Japanner Someone who Made and Japanned Canisters.
Canter A religious speaker who uses cant, or a beggar or vagrant.
Canting Caller An auctioneer
Canvaser or Canvasser One who made canvas
Cap Cutter cut cloth to make caps
Cap Machinist machined caps
Cap Maker made caps
Cap Makers Apprentice apprentice to above
Cap Manufacturer owner of a cap making factory or establishment
Cape Maker & Liner Someone who made or lined Capes.
Caper or Capper cap maker
Capillaire Maker A person who made orange flavoured syrup.
Capitalist A person who provided private capital or wealth for the production and distribution of goods.
Capstan, Harb
Capsule Maker
Captain in charge of a ship or a group of soldiers and also a term for an overseer or boss
Carbonic Paper Maker Someone who made Carbonic, or Carbon Paper.
Cardboard Box Maker Someone who made Cardboard Boxes.
Card Edge Gilder Someone who added Gilt edging to greeting cards.
Card Nailer A person who maintained the teeth (nails) on the carding machine used for preparing wool and cotton for weaving.
Carder A person who operated a carding machine used to prepare wool and cotton for weaving by removing the knots and tangles.
Cardmaker A person who made the handheld implement used for carding wool and cotton, or a maker of playing cards.
Cardroomer A person who worked in the carding room of the cotton mills.
Caretaker takes care of another's property
Carman, Carrier or Carter drove a vehicle used to transport goods
Carman Contractor carman contracted to a company
Carman with Mineral Waters carman delivering water
Carman, Railway carman working for the railway
Carman's Assistant assisted - obvious really
Carner A granary keeper
Carnifex A Butcher
Carpentarius A Carpenter
Carpenter & Joiner Skilled woodworker
Carpenter's Labourer assisted - obvious really
Carpet and rug manufacture made carpets and rugs
Carpet Weaver wove carpets
Carriage Painter painted carriages
Carrier A person who drove a vehicle used to transport goods.
Cart Boy junior version of a carman I'd guess
Cart Minder in Market a boy who looked after a stall in a market
Cart Wheeler made cart wheels
Carter A carman, carrier, drayman or wagoner.
Cartographer map maker
Cartomancer A fortune teller who used cards.
Cartridge Maker made cartridges for the firearms industry
Cartwright maker of carts & wagons
Carver, Wood or Ivory Someone who carved items out of wood or ivory.
Case Maker made cases (often packing cases)
Cashier Someone who looked after the cash and often kept the books for a business.
Cashmarie A person who sold fish usually at inland markets.
Caster or Castor A person who made small bottles used for sprinkling salt, pepper, sugar etc.
Castrator A person who castrated farm animals aka a Gelder.
Catagman A cottager
Catchpole or Catchpoll A bailiff or sheriffs officer.
Catechist A teacher of religion.
Cat's Meat Man Someone who supplied meat for feeding domestic cats; usually horse meat.
Cattle Drover drove cattle
Cattle Jobber A person who bought and sold cattle.
Caulker filled up cracks and seams in ships or barrels to make them watertight using tar or oakum-hemp fibre
Causewayer A person who was involved in road repairs.
Cautioner guarantor, one who acts as security for another.
Ceapman See Chapman
Ceiler puts up the ceilings in buildings
Cellar Boy boy who worked in a cellar
Cellarette Maker or Liner Someone who made, or lined Cellarettes. A Cellarette was a case or sideboard for holding bottles of wine or liquor.
Cellarman looked after the beer, wines and spirits in public
houses and warehouses
Cellarman Winestores looked after the beer, wines and spirits in wine stores
Cemmer A person who hand combed the yarn before weaving.
Chaff Cutter made chaff by cutting straw
Chafferer dealer in chaff
Chain Maker made chains
Chair Bodger traveling chair repairman
Chair Maker made chairs
Chaise Driver The driver of a two wheeled, one or two person, light open carriage with a hood that may be let down.
Chaisemaker Carriage maker
Chaloner A dealer in shalloon, a material made in Chalons, or a person who made blankets.
Chamberlain steward to either royalty or nobility, in charge of the household
Chambermaid female servant attending to bedrooms in houses or inns
Chamber Master A shoemaker that worked from home as an outworker or selling direct.
Chandler grocer, dealer or trader; one who makes or sells candles
Chandler Shop Asst assisted - obvious really
Chanty Man or Shanty Man sailor that led the singing of shanties on board ship
Chapeler made and sold hats
Chapman or Copeman itinerant dealer or peddler of goods, or a keeper of a booth or stall in a market
Char, Charwoman, or Char Woman cleaner
Charcoal Burner made charcoal usually in the woods where the trees were cut
Charman See Carrier
Chartmaster A middleman that negotiated mining contracts and supplied the labour.
Charwoman / Char cleaning woman
Chaser An engraver
Chatelaine The mistress of a castle or house.
Chaunter street entertainer who sung ballads
Checker on Railway Ticket Inspector, checked to make sure that passengers had valid tickets.
Cheese Factor or Monger, or Cheeseman dealer in cheeses
Cheesemonger Dealer in cheese and butter.
Chef Someone who cooks food, but more highly skilled and qualified than a Cook.
Chemical Packer Someone who packed chemicals for a Druggist os Chemist.
Chemist Someone who was qualified to dispense drugs on prescription from a Doctor; Pharmacist, Apothecary, Druggist, etc.
Chesterman A guard.
Chest Maker made chests
Chiffonier or Chiffonnier wig maker or ragpicker
Childbed Linen Warehouse Keeper or Dealer A person who hired bedlinen for use at child-birth as most children were born at home in the 19th century.
Children's Boot Maker made boots for children
Children's Milliner Someone who specialised in making hats for Children
Chimney Sweep or Sweep Swept the soot out of chimneys
China & Glass Dealer sold china and glassware
Chinglor A rooftiler who used wooden shingles.
Chintz Glazer A textile mill worker who applied sizing or starch to fabric to give it more body and a smooth surface.
Chip or Chippy shipwright or carpenter
Chipper's Labourer An assistant to a shipwright or ships carpenter.
Chiropodist A person who treats diseases of the feet & hands.
Chirugion or Chirurgeon An apothecary or surgeon.
Chowder fish monger
Chronologist A person who recorded official events of historical importance.
Cigar Box Maker Cutter cut and made cigar boxes
Cigar Box Paperer lined cigar boxes with paper
Cigar Maker made cigars
Cigar Maker's Apprentice apprentice to above
Cigar Sorter & Bundler sorted and bundled cigars
Cigar Stripper tobacco stripper, part of the cigar making process
Cigarette Cutter cut cigarettes
Cigarette Maker made cigarettes
Cinder Wench female who collected cinders from gas works and sold them door to door
Circuit Rider Traveling Preacher
Cissor A tailor.
Civil Servant Anyone who worked in a Government Department position.
Claker A magician or astrologer.
Clapman A man who took a person to prison.
Clark, Clarke or Clericus clerk
Classman An unemployed labourer.
Claviger A Servant
Clay Carrier An assistant to the shot firer in the pits.
Clayman One who worked in the clay pits, preparing the clay for making bricks, or a person who coated the outside of buildings with clay to make them water proof.
Cleaner, Char domestic cleaner
Cleat Maker Someone who made cleats.
Clericus See Clerk
Clerk general clerical work, also can mean clergyman, cleric
Clerk (C.C.) commercial clerk
Clerk in Holy Orders A Clergyman, cleric or priest.
Clerk (Junior) obvious really
Clerk Secretary secretarial clerk
Cleyman See Clayman
Clicker One who made eyelet holes or uppers in boots using a machine which clicked, or a person in charge of the final stage of layout before printing in the print industry, or the servant of a salesman who stood at the door to invite customers in.
Clipper, Clipper on, or Clipper Off One who attached the coal carts to the rope which was used to drag the carts to and from the coal face in the mines.
Clock Maker made clocks
Clod Hopper plowman or ploughman
Clog Dancer street entertainers - Actors
Clogger A clog maker (wooden shoes).
Cloth Cutter cut cloth
Cloth Dyer Someone who dyed cloth.
Clothesman or Clothier A person who made or sold clothes.
Cloth Lapper A person who took the cloth from the carding machine and made it ready for the next process.
Cloth Linter or Picker A person who removed unwanted threads and lint from the finished material.
Clotnman See Clothier
Cloth Presser pressed cloth
Cloth Worster Someone who operated a gilling machine that straightened the fibres in yarn to make worsted cloth.
Clothes Cutter cut clothes
Clothier who made or sold clothes
Clothier's Cutter cut clothes
Clouter A person who made nails. Also another term for a shoemaker.
Clower A person who made nails.
Club Proprietor manager of a club
Coach Maker made coaches
Coach Painter painted coaches
Coachman drove a coach, or acted as a guard, or looked after the horses
Coal Backer A person employed to carry the sacks of coal from the coal barge to the coal wagons.
Coal Burner A person who made charcoal.
Coal Dealer & Greengrocer sold fruit and vegetables as well as coal
Coal Drawer worked in the mines pushing or dragging the coal carts to the bottom of the pit
Coal Heaver A person employed to move coal e.g. from boat to shore or from shore to boat.
Coal Higgler or Coalman A person who sold coal usually from a horse and cart, house to house.
Coal merchant/dealer sold coal
Coalmeter A person who measured the coal.
Coal mine service worked in a coal mine
Coal Miner worked in a coal mine
Coal Porter or Coal Bearer carried and delivered coal
Coalheaver, Coal labourer Similar
Coal Runner A person who attended the coal carts underground.
Coal Whipper One employed to unload coal from ships using baskets attached to a simple form of crane.
Coast Surveyor or Waiter A customs officer who watched over the off-loading of goods on the coast.
Cobbler One who mended shoes and boots.
Cobleman A person who used a flat bottomed boat for fishing.
Cockfeeder A person who looked after fighting cocks.
Cocoa Nut Opener opened cocoa nuts
Cocus A cook
Cod Placer A person who put the fire proof containers which held the pottery for firing into the kiln.
Coffee House Manager managed a coffee house
Coffee House/Shop Keeper kept a coffee house or coffee shop
Coffin Maker made coffins
Coffin Maker, Undertaker made coffins and took care of funeral arrangements
Cohen a priest
Coiner A person who worked at the Mint stamping out coins.
Collar Cutter, Shirt cut collars for shirts
Collar Dresser Shirt fitted collars onto shirts
Collar Ironer ironed collars on shirts
Collar Maker made horse collars or shirt collars
Collier coal miner, a coal merchant or one who worked on the coal barges
Colour Man mixed the dyes in the textile trade and also assistant to a house painter
Colourator or Colorator A person who worked with dyes.
Colporteur Peddler of books, sometimes religious books.
Colt A name for unskilled workers. Used to describe women and children working in the framework knitting trade.
Colver or Culver Someone who kept Doves.
Comb Maker (Bone, Ivory) A person who made combs either for the textile industry for combing wool etc. or the maker of hair combs, often out of Bone or Ivory.
Comber One who operated a combing machine in the mills.
Combere A person who combs wool.
Commercial Agent another name for an agent
Commercial Clerk another name for a clerk
Commercial Traveller another name for a travelling salesman
Commission Agent Another name for an Agent.
Commission Traveller Another name for a Travelling Salesman.
Commissionaire Someone employed as an Attendant, Doorman, Messenger or Light Porter employed in Hotels or Railway Stations.
Compositor, Printer set the type ready for printing
Conder A person on shore who gave directions to fisherman as to the movements of the shoals of fish (usually from the top of cliffs).
Coney Catcher rabbit catcher
Confectioner maker of sweets
Conner An inspector or tester.
Contriver An inventor, or a schemer or plotter.
Conveyor A grantor or seller.
Cook someone who cooks food
Cook, Domestic someone who cooks food domestically
Cooper or Cuper makes or repairs barrels or other vessels made of staves & hoops, such as casks, tubs, vats, etc (See also Tea Cooper, someone who made tea chests)
Copeman dealer in goods, or a dishonest dealer in horses.
Coper A horse dealer. Sometimes a dishonest horse dealer.
Copperbeater or Copperbeter A coppersmith, someone who worked with copper or brass.
Copper miner mined copper ore
Coppersmith Someone who made items out of copper
Coppersmith's Labourer assisted - obvious really
Coppice Keeper A person who looks after a small wood.
Coracle Maker A person who made coracles, small round boats used for inland water fishing.
Cordiner, Cordwainer, or Cordovan A shoemaker; someone who made shoes and other articles from fine soft leather. Also a person who worked with Cordovan, a special soft leather from Cordoba, Spain. (As opposed to a Cobbler, who simply repaired shoes)
Cord Twister, Rope Someone who twisted fibres to make cord or rope.
Cork Cutter A person who worked with cork.
Cork Porter one who carried cork
Corn Chandler sold corn
Corn Cutter A podiatrist.
Cornet The lowest commissioned rank in a cavalry regiment.
Corn Factor A middleman in corn deals.
Corn Meter An official who measured and weighed the corn at market.
Corn Porter carried corn
Correspondent journalist or writer
Corsage Maker Someone who made Corsages, or small flower arrangements to be worn on the shoulder or wrist.
Corset Maker, Bone made corsets
Corver A person who made baskets used in coal mining known as corves.
Corveysera, Corviner or Corviser See Cordiner
Coster peddlar, hawker, seller of goods on the street, sometimes fruit, but not always
Coster Monger or Costermonger fruit seller, or peddler, hawker, seller of goods on the street
Coster Wife female fruit seller
Coteler or Cotyler A person who made and repaired knives.
Cotiler A cutler
Cottager, Cottar, Cotter or cottier An agricultural labourer who lived in a cottage on the landowners farm.
Cotton Feeder A person employed in the cotton mills to feed the cotton into the loom.
Cotton Winder wound cotton
Coucher A person employed in the paper making trade.
Countour A person who collected rates.
Couper A dealer, Buys and sells, usually cattle and horses.
Couple Beggar An itinerant priest who performed marriages without licence or banns.
Coupler A person employed in the coal mines coupling the coal tubs together.
Couranteer A journalist.
Court Factor A person who bought and sold courts (small carts).
Court Roller A person in charge of the court rolls and records.
Court Toolmaker A manufacturer of tools used to produce carts known as courts.
Courtier The owner and driver of a horse and cart known as a court.
Cow Boy, Milk milked cows
Cowherd A person who looked after cows.
Cowkeeper, Cowman or milkseller kept one or more cows and sold the milk from the front door, or from door to door
Cow Leech An animal doctor.
Coxwain ship or boat helmsman, or a member of the crew that gave the steering instructions to the helmsman
Crayman driver of a cart carrying heavy loads.
Creaque Hand
Crier law court officer, auctioneer, town announcer
Crimper A member of navy press gang.
Crocker Potter
Crofter tenant of a small piece of land
Cropper tenant who is paid with a share of the crop, or a skilled worker in the Yorkshire weaving trade who sheared the nap from cloth.
Crowner A Coroner
Cuhreur or Cunreur A currier.
Culler A gelder of male animals.
Curate - Clergy
Curer cures tobacco or pork
Curretter A Broker.
Currier One who dresses the coat of a horse with a curry comb, or one who cures or tans hides
Customer or Customs Officer A customs tax collector.
Cutler knife seller or sharpener
Cutter One who cuts things
Cycle Maker Someone who made Bicycles.