Norfolk Occupations

  • General Resources
  • Lists and Descriptions
  • Individual Occupations

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Copyright © Pat Newby.
February 2013

General Resources

  • The Genuki England Occupations page.
  • Occupational Mailing Lists
  • Family tree and family history magazines often have articles about occupations.
  • This publication contains a series of articles about Norfolk. Some of them refer to occupations:
    Wade-Martins, Peter (Editor)
    An Historical Atlas of Norfolk.
    [ISBN 0903101602, Norwich, Norfolk Museums Service in association with the Federation of Norfolk Historical and Archaeological Organisations, 1994]

Lists and Descriptions of Occupations

There are many sites that have lists of occupations and a selection is shown below. You can also check in a dictionary or encyclopaedia but remember, for example, that a present-day American description may not describe the occupation as it was in Norfolk in earlier centuries.


Individual Occupations

Banks and Banking

Mottram, R.H.
Bowler hat: a last glance at the old country banking.
[London, Hutchinson, 1940]
Preston, Harold
Early East Anglian Banks and Bankers (1750-1900).
[ISBN 0952360306, Thetford, 1995]


Norfolk Blacksmiths
Names, sources, and brief details.


Davison, Andrew P.
Justly celebrated ales: a directory of Norfolk Brewers 1850-1990.
[ISBN 1873966016, New Ash Green, Brewery History Society, 1991]
See also Publicans and Public Houses

Broom and Brush Making

Jones, Mervyn Gordon
The story of brushmaking: a Norfolk craft.
[ISBN 0950432202, Norwich, Briton Chadwick Ltd, 1974]
Names of Brushmakers, 1883
From Kelly's Directories.

Chemists and Pharmacists

Coleman, W.L.B.
The chemists and pharmacists of Norwich and district: from circa 1800 to 1975.
[ISBN 0950562300, Norwich, 1977]


Names in Kelly's Directory of Norfolk, 1900.
Names in Kelly's Directory of Norfolk, 1900.
Sextons and Vergers
Names in Kelly's Directory of Norfolk, 1900.

Clock and Watch Makers

Noel-Hill, Robert; Bird, Yvonne and Bird, Cliff
Norfolk and Norwich clocks and clockmakers.
[ISBN 1860770282, Chichester, Phillimore, 1996]


Field, Moira
The Lamplit Stage: The Fisher Theatre Circuit, 1792-1844.
[ISBN 0946600023, Norwich, Running Angel Press, 1985]
Entertainers on the 1851 Census CD for Devon, Norfolk and Warwickshire
Actors, comedians, theatre managers, etc.
Entertainers on the 1881 Census CD for East Anglia
Actors, comedians, theatre managers, etc.

Farming and Gardening

(No author)
The practical Norfolk farmer: describing the management of a farm throughout the year, with observations founded on experience.
[Norwich, Stevenson, Matchett and Stevenson, 1809]
Haggard, Sir Henry Rider
A farmer's year.
See Norfolk People and Families.
Norfolk Record Society
Farming and gardening in late medieval Norfolk:
Moreton, Charles and Rutledge, Paul
- Skayman's book, 1516-1518 (journal of an estate manager)
Noble, Claire
- Norwich Cathedral Priory gardeners' accounts, 1329-1530.
[ISBN 0951160079, Norfolk Record Society vol 61, 1996]

Fishermen and Fishing

Butcher, David
The Ocean's Gift: Fishing in Lowestoft during the Pre-Industrial Era, 1550-1750.
[ISBN 090621940x, Norwich, University of East Anglia, 1995]
Kent, K.W.
Herring heydays: a portrait of the East Anglian fishing industry.
[ISBN 1857700090, Market Drayton, S.B. Publications, 1992]
Midgley, Patricia W.
The Northenders: A disappeared community: An account of the fisherfolk of King's Lynn 1185-1940.
[ISBN 0951215108, 1987]
Stibbons, Peter; Lee, Katherine and Warren, Martin
Crabs and Shannocks - The longshore fishermen of North Norfolk.
(Crab - native of Cromer; Shannock - native of Sheringham).
[ISBN 0946148023, Poppyland Publishing, 1983]

Furniture Makers

Stabler, John (edited by David Jones)
Norfolk Furniture Makers 1700-1840.
(When and where makers were in business, apprentices, etc)
[ISBN 0954348496, Regional Furniture Society, 2006]
No author
The cabinet and chair makers' book of prices, containing the piece-prices of all the newest cabinet and chair work ever yet published.
[Norwich, printed by J. Payne, 1801]


Names of Gamekeepers, 1883
From Kelly's Directory for Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk, 1883.
Cringle, Mike
The Gamekeeper's Boy: the story of a boy growing up on the North Norfolk coast a century ago.
[Larks Press, 2001]
Day, James Wentworth
The Modern Shooter.
[East Ardsley, EP Publishing, 1974]
Downing, Graham
The Fields in Winter.
[Newton Abbot, David and Charles, 1990]
Edmonds, Jenifer
Norfolk Gamekeepers, 1711-1718.
From Quarter Sessions records.
Hopkins, Harry
The Long Affray: the poaching wars 1760-1914.
[London, Secker and Warburg, 1985]
Johnson, Derek Ernest
Victorian Shooting Days: East Anglia 1810-1910.
[Woodbridge, Boydell Press, 1981]
Jones, David S.D.
Mr Grass the Gamekeeper.
[Birmingham, 1984]
Jones, David S.D.
Tales of the Grass Gamekeepers.
Last, Jack
Life and Thoughts of a Countryman.
Skipper, Keith
Fabulous Fritton Lake, the story of Walter Mussett, Norfolk gamekeeper extraordinary, and his love for one of East Anglia's greatest beauty spots.
[Norwich, Tagman, 2003]
Tapper, Stephen
Game Heritage: An ecological review from shooting and gamekeeping records.
[Game Conservancy, Joint Nature Conservation Committee, 1992]
Turner, Edward
Memories of a Gamekeeper's Son. (Elvedon, Suffolk).
[Ipswich, Malthouse Press, 1997]
Turner, Thomas William
Memories of a Gamekeeper. (Elveden, Suffolk, 1868-1953).
[London, Geoffrey Bles, 1954]
Upcher, Henry Morris
Sheringham Hall: Game Book.
[Unpublished manuscript in Norwich Local Studies Library, 1921]
Virgoe, Norma; and Yaxley, Susan (editors)
The Banville Diaries, Journals of a Norfolk Gamekeeper (Larry Banville), 1822-44.
[ISBN 0002176343, London, Collins, 1986]
See also Poachers and Wildfowling

Glass Painting and Staining

Haward, Birkin
Nineteenth century Norfolk stained glass; gazetteer and directory; an account of Norfolk stained glass painters.
[ISBN 0860941523, Norwich, University of East Anglia, Centre of East Anglican Studies, 1984]


Springall, L. Marion
Labouring life in Norfolk Villages 1834-1914.
[George Allen and Unwin Ltd., London, 1936]
Hammond, J.L. and Hammond, Barbara
The Village Labourer: 1760-1832.
A Study in the Government of England before the Reform Bill.
[Originally published 1911, New Edition, 1920]

Lighthouse Keepers

Long, Neville
Lights of East Anglia (Trinity House lighthouses).
[Terence Dalton Ltd, 1983]

Members of Parliament

Members of Parliament
Names of MPs, from Norfolk directories.

Millers and Mills

Norfolk Windmills Trust
A charity for the preservation of windmills, watermills and drainage mills, and their machinery, buildings and sites.
Norfolk Mills
Descriptions, history and pictures.
Names of Millers, 1883
From Kelly's Directory for Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk, 1883.
Norfolk Millwrights
Names, dates, companies, etc.
Windmill World
Windmills and Watermills: Pictures, history, etc.
[Make a search for "Norfolk"]
Apling, Harry
Norfolk corn and other industrial windmills.
[ISBN 0950979309, Norwich, Norfolk Windmills Trust, 1984]
Messent, Claude John Wilson
The old water mills of Norfolk.
[Norwich, Fletcher and Son Ltd, 1939]
Miller, Philippa Ruth
In search of [Norfolk] watermills.
[ISBN 0950072206, 1969]
Pluck, Douglas F.
The River Waveney, its watermills and navigation.
[ISBN 0948903139, Bungay, Morrow and Co., 1994]
Scott, Martin and Harris, Mel
The restoration of windmills and windpumps in Norfolk.
[Norwich, Norfolk Windmills Trust, 1977]
Smith, Arthur C.
Corn windmills in Norfolk: a contemporary survey.
[ISBN 0950423971, Stevenage Museum, 1982]
Smith, Arthur C.
Drainage windmills of the Norfolk marshes.
[ISBN 0951576607, Stevenage, 1990]

Nature Reserve Wardens

Eales, Ted
Countryman's Memoirs: a warden's life on Blakeney Point.
[ISBN 094889900X, Fakenham, Jim Baldwin Publishing, c1986]


Norfolk Photographers
Surname search, dating photographs, other counties, etc.


Carter, Michael J
Peasants and poachers: a study in rural disorder in Norfolk (1816-1862).
[ISBN 0851151299, Bygones books 1, Woodbridge, Boydell Press, 1980]
Haggard, Lilias Rider
I walked by night, being the life and history of the King of the Norfolk poachers.
[ISBN 0192813110, Oxford University Press, 1982]
[Originally published: London, Nicholson and Watson, 1935]
See also Gamekeepers and Wildfowling

Postal Workers

Names of Postmasters and Postmistresses
Names from Pigot's Directory of Norfolk, 1830.
Names of Postmasters and Postmistresses
Names from Kelly's Directory of Norfolk, 1900.

Publicans and Public Houses

Names of Gt Yarmouth Publicans, Public Houses and Locations
Names from Pigot's Directory of Norfolk, 1830.
Names of Public Houses, Publicans and Locations
Names from Kelly's Directory for Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk, 1883.
Norfolk Public Houses
Locations, licencees, breweries, pictures, etc.
Pub History Society
Description, projects, etc.
The Inn Sign Society
Description, pictures, etc.
See also Brewers

Railway Workers and Railways

Railway Workers and Railways
Books, links, etc.
Including stationmasters in 1900, railways in 1845 and 1883, railways in various parts of the county, LNER, etc.

Shopkeepers and Shops

Priestly, Ursula and Fenner, Alayne
Shops and shopkeepers in Norwich 1660-1730.
[ISBN 0906219191, Norwich, University of East Anglia, Centre of East Anglian Studies, 1985]


Smuggling in Norfolk and Lincolnshire
From Smugglers' Britain by Richard Platt.
History, famous smugglers, etc, region by region.
Hipper, Kenneth
Smugglers All: Centuries of Norfolk Smuggling.
[ISBN 1904006027, Dereham, Larks Press, 2001]
Jarvis, Stanley
Smuggling in East Anglia, 1700-1840.
[Countryside, 1987]
See also Wildfowling


Allison, Keith John
The wool supply and the worsted cloth industry in Norfolk in the 16th and 17th centuries.
[ISBN 0900592583, University of Leeds Thesis, 1956]
Chamberlain, R. G. D.
The Norwich Worsted Industry, 1700-1850.
[University of Birmingham Thesis, 1957]
Evans, Nesta R.
The East Anglian Linen Industry: Rural industry and local economy, 1500-1850.
[ISBN 0566008475, Pasold studies in textile history; 5, 1985]
Evans, Nesta R.
Worsted and Linen Weavers.
(In "An Historical Atlas of Norfolk").
Fawcett, Trevor C.
Retailing Norwich textiles at Bath, 1750-1800.
[Norfolk Archaeology, v41:1, 1990]
Holderness, Brian A.
The reception and distribution of the new draperies in England.
[In "The New Draperies in the Low Countries and England, 1300-1800", edited by N.B. Harte. Oxford University Press, Pasold studies in textile history, 10, 1997]
Martin, Luc
The rise of the new draperies in Norwich, 1550-1622.
[In "The New Draperies in the Low Countries and England, 1300-1800", edited by N.B. Harte. Oxford University Press, Pasold studies in textile history, 10, 1997]
Priestley, Ursula
The Fabric of Stuffs: the Norwich textile industry from 1565.
[ISBN 0906219299, Norwich, University of East Anglia, Centre of East Anglian Studies, 1990]
Sutton, Anne F.
The early linen and worsted industry of Norfolk and the evolution of the London Mercers' Company.
[Norfolk Archaeology, v40:3, 1989]


Boardman, H.C.
Reed thatching in Norfolk.
[Architects' Journal, v77, 1933]
Reeve, Bert S.
Memoirs of a thatching family 1860-1968.
[ISBN 0948400269, Larks Press, 1995]


Day, James Wentworth
Marshland Adventure, on Norfolk Broads and rivers, of wildfowlers, poachers, and ghosts, of birds, boats, and fish, of Essex isles and smugglers.
[London, George G. Harrap, 1950]
Day, James Wentworth
Rum Owd Boys, on poachers, wildfowlers, longshore pirates, cut-throat islanders, smugglers and 'Fen-tigers'.
[Ipswich, East Anglian Magazine, 1970s]
Patterson, Arthur Henry and Jackson, Tony
Wild-fowlers and poachers: fifty years on the East Coast. (c1870-c1925).
[ISBN 1852530219, Southampton, Ashford, 1988]
See also Gamekeepers, Poachers and Smugglers