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.


Packer packs goods such as tobacco, pickles or herring
Packing Case Maker Someone who makes packing cases.
Packman A peddler, someone who travelled around carrying goods for sale in a pack.
Pack Thread Spinner The operator of the machine which made thread or twine.
Pad Maker A person who made small baskets used for measuring things.
Painter Someone who paints things.
Painter & Grainer Someone who paints and applies a grain to imitate a different type of wood.
Painter (Sign) Someone who paints signs.
Paintress A woman employed in the pottery industry to hand paint the finished articles.
Paling Man Someone who sells eels, or a fishmonger.
Palister A Park Keeper, someone who ensured the parks were safe and well kept.
Palmer A pilgrim, someone who had been, or pretended to have been, to the Holy Land
Paneler A saddler.
Pannarius A clothier or draper.
Pannebeter A pan-hammerer, or a clothdriver.
Pannier Man A fish monger
Pannifex A person who worked in the cloth trade.
Pansmith Someone who made pans; a metal worker.
Panter Keeper of the pantry.
Pantler A butler.
Papaya Man Someone who was involved in trade with Papua New Guinea.
Paper Bag Maker Made paper bags.
Paper Colorer Coloured paper.
Paper Cutter Someone who Cut paper.
Paper Dealer Someone who dealt in paper.
Paper Embosser Someone who embossed paper.
Paperer Someone employed in the needlemaking industry to insert the needles into the paper ready for sale.
Paper Hanger A decorator, one who hung wallpaper.
Paper Hanger, Plasterer An interior decorator who hung paper and plastered.
Paper Maker Someone who worked in the paper making industry. See Vatman, Coucher, Layer, Sizer.
Paper manufacture The owner of a paper making factory.
Paper Presser Someone who worked a paper pressing machine.
Paper Sorter Someone who sorted paper.
Paper Stainer A person who coloured paper by hand or machine.
Parcheminer Someone who makes parchment.
Pardoner Someone who is licensed to sell papal indulgences.
Pargeter Someone who applied ornamental plaster to buildings.
Paritor An officer who attended the magistrates and judges at court to execute their orders.
Parker A park caretaker, or type of game warden in a hunting or game park.
Parochus A pastor or rector.
Passage Keeper kept passages and alleys clean.
Passover Cake Baker
Pasteler A pastry chef.
Pastor A shepherd.
Pastry Cook A cook who bakes pastry.
Patler A groom.
Patten or Patton Maker A clog maker, one who made wooden soles or pattens, to fit under shoes to protect them from wet and muddy ground
Pattern Maker A maker of a clog shod with an iron ring. A clog was a wooden pole with a pattern cut into the end
Paver Someone who laid paving stones or paved roads. See Paviour
Paviour or Road Paver Someone who laid paving stones or paved roads.
Pavyler Someone who put up marquees, pavilions or tents etc.
Pawnbroker Someone who lent money with interest against an item of value, and who would later sell the item to recoup their investment unless the lender expressed the wish to buy it back themselves when funds were available.
Pedascule A school master.
Pedlar A street seller who bought and sold goods for cash.
Peeler A policeman, constable or bobby, named after Sir Robert Peel, the founder of the police force.
Peever Someone who sold pepper.
Pelliparius or Peltarius A skinner, one who worked with animal skins.
Pelterer A skinner, one who worked with animal skins.
Perambulator A surveyor.
Pensioner Someone who draws a pension
Perchemear Someone who made parchment.
Peregrinator An itinerant worker or wanderer.
Perfumer Someone who makes or sells perfume.
Periwig Maker Someone who made wigs.
Peruke Maker Someone who made wigs.
Peruker Someone who made wigs.
Pessoner A fishmonger.
Peter Man A fisherman.
Pettifogger A shyster lawyer.
Petty Chapman A pedlar. or an itinerant dealer in small goods. See Chapman.
Pew Opener Someone who was paid to open the doors to private pews in a church.
Philosophical Instrument Maker A skilled craftsman who made scientific instruments.
Phrenologist Someone who claimed to be able to assess a person's character based on the bumps on their head.
Pianist Someone who played the piano.
Pianoforte Maker Someone who made piano's (pianoforte's).
Picker Someone who cast the shuttle on a loom.
Pickler Someone who pickled things, eggs, onions beetroot etc.
Pictor A painter.
Picture Dealer Someone who buys and sells pictures
Picture Frame Gilder Someone who gilds picture frames.
Picture Frame Maker Someone who makes picture frames.
Piece Broker A person who sold material off-cuts or remnants.
Piece Worker Someone who was paid for the number of pieces produced rather than by the hour. This applied to many industries. People who worked from home were usually pieceworkers.
Piece Master Someone who acted as a middleman between employer and employee, and who passed out the piecework.
Piecener See Piecer.
Piecer Someone who worked in a spinning mill, piecing together any threads which broke. Often a child.
Pigmaker Someone who made pig or cast iron, also a pottery worker.
Pigman A crockery dealer, or someone who bred or looked after pigs on the farm.
Pikelet Maker A baker who specialised in making pikelets; small pancakes or crumpets.
Pikeman A millers assistant, or someone who worked at the turnpike.
Piker A vagrant or tramp, someone with no fixed abode.
Pilcher Someone who made pilches.
Pill Box Bottomer Someone who made the bottoms of pill boxes in the pottery industry.
Pill Box Lidder Someone who made the lids of pill boxes in the pottery industry.
Piller A thief, or robber.
Pilot A ship steersman or navigator.
Pinder A dog catcher and pound keeper, or someone in charge of the pinfold.
Piner A labourer.
Pinner A pin maker.
Pinner Up A dressmakers assistant, or someone who sold broadsheets or ballads in the streets.
Pipe Case Maker Someone who made pipe cases.
Piper An innkeeper.
Pipe Maker Someone who made pipes.
Piscarius A fishmonger.
Piscator A fisherman.
Pistor A baker or miller.
Pit Brow Lass A female worker who worked at the pit head of a mine.
Pitman A coal miner
Plaicher A hedge layer.
Plain Worker Someone who performed plain sewing or needlework as opposed to an embroiderer.
Plaisterer A plasterer.
Plaiter Someone who made straw plaits used in making hats etc.
Planker Someone who planks, or kneads the body of the hat during felting.
Plantifene A hay and forage merchant. See Avernator.
Plasher A hedge layer.
Plasterer Someone who plasters walls and ceilings, or someone who worked with roman cement used in stuccoing.
Plaster Ship Maker
Platcher A hedge layer.
Platelayer laid and maintained railway tracks.
Playderer Someone who made plaid.
Pleacher A hedge layer.
Plomer A plumber.
Plowman farmer
Plowwright or Ploughwright maker or repairer of plows
Plumassier Someone who made or sold plumes, or ornamental feathers.
Plumber Someone who worked with lead, for gas and water pipes etc. One who applied sheet lead for roofing and set lead frames for plain or stained glass windows
Plumber & Gas Fitter one who worked with lead piping for gas fittings
Plumbum Worker plumber; literally, worker in lead
Plumer See Plumassier.
Pocket Book Maker Someone who made pocket books.
Podiatrist Another name for a chiropodist.
Pointer Someone who sharpened needles or pins, etc.
Pointmaker Someone who made the tips of laces.
Pointman Someone who made the tips of laces.
Pointsman A person who operated the points to change the railway track on which a train was travelling.
Poldave Worker Someone who made poldave, a coarse fabric.
Pole Lathe Turner A skilled craftsman in wood.
Poleman A surveyor's assistant.
Polentier A poulterer.
Police Sergeant A police officer who had achieved the rank of Sergeant.
Policeman, Railway A person employed by the railway as a policeman to guard the railway assets.
Poller A barber, or men's hairdresser.
Ponderator An inspector of weights and measures.
Pony Driver Someone, often a child, in charge of the pit pony which pulled the coal tubs underground.
Porcher A pig keeper.
Pork Butcher A butcher who specialised in Pork meat.
Portable Soup Maker Someone who converted soup into a dry form for transporting from place to place.
Porter door or gatekeeper, or one who carried things
Porter on Railway A porter who worked for the railways.
Portmanteau Maker Someone who made leather trunks for clothes, etc., which opened into two equal parts.
Post Boy Someone who carried mail from town to town. A guard who travelled on the mail coach. An outrider who travelled with the stagecoach as a postillion.
Poster Someone who worked in the quarries breaking rocks.
Postillion Someone who attached extra horses to wagons & coaches to help pull them up hills, or one who worked on long distance coaches and who's duty it was to change the horses at the stops.
Postman someone who carried letters for the Post Office.
Pot Boy or Man worked in public houses collecting and washing dirty pots and glasses
Pot Burner Someone who placed pots in a furnace to be fired.
Potato Badger Someone who sold potatoes.
Potato Salesman Someone who sold potatoes.
Potter Someone who made or sold pottery.
Potter Carrier A pharmacist or chemist.
Potter Presser A potter who used a mould.
Potter Thrower A potter who used a wheel had to "throw" the clay onto the spinning wheel.
Potman & Barman worked in public houses collecting and washing dirty pots and glasses and serving drinks
Pouch Maker Someone who made pouches or purses.
Poulter or Poulterer A buyer and seller of poultry.
Power Loom Tuner Someone who maintained the loom in a weaving mill.
Powler A barber, or men's hairdresser.
Poynter Someone who makes lace.
Practical Brewer Someone who brews ale or beer.
Preceptress A school mistress.
Prentis Another name for an apprentice
Presser Someone who presses, clothes for example.
Pressmaker Someone who makes presses.
Prick Louise A tailor.
Pricker A pattern maker, or a horseman, or a witch hunter.
Prig Napper A horse thief.
Printer Someone who works at or owns a printing press
Printer's Apprentice Someone who is training to be a printer.
Printer's Boy An assistant to a printer.
Printer's Compositor Someone who sets print type.
Printer's Cutter Someone who cuts paper that has been printed.
Printer's Devil A printer's assistant.
Printer's Factory Lad An assistant to a printer.
Printer's Foreman Someone in charge in a printing shop.
Printer's Labourer Someone who labours for a printer
Printer's Machine Boy An assistant to a printer.
Printing Mark Maker
Proctor An official of a university.
Proffensor of Swing
Prop Bobby Someone who worked in mines checking the pit props.
Protestant Dissenting minister
Prothonary A law clerk.
Provision Curer Someone who cures meat.
Provision Dealer Someone who supplies provisions.
Provision Warehouseman Someone who works in a provisions warehouse.
Publican innkeeper, one who runs a public house, usually licensed
Puddler Someone who worked clay into puddle, or one who worked with puddle to make things watertight e.g. canal walls, or one who worked with puddling iron or wrought iron.
Puggard A thief or robber.
Pugger Someone employed by brick manufacturers to produce clay paste by treading like grapes, often women and children.
Pugilist A prize fighter.
Puller Down
Pulley Maker Someone who made pulleys.
Pump Maker Someone who made mechanical pumps.
Punky A chimney sweep.
Pupil Teacher A schoolteacher.
Pure Gatherer or Picker Someone who roamed the streets, especially in London, gathering dog faeces, often an old woman or child. These were used in the tanning industry for processing hides.
Purser A ship's officer in charge of provisions & accounts
Purveyor of Horse Flesh Someone who sold horse meat.
Putter Someone who worked in the coal mine hauling the mine tubs.
Putter In Someone who was employed to put things in to some type of mechanised process.
Pynner A pin maker.