The Fustian trade through the Census Returns
The following section is a snapshot of the lives of the people who worked in the fustian trade in this area during the nineteenth century – where they lived, who they were and what they actually did.
It was obtained from a detailed study of the census returns for the Wadsworth township, which covers most of the area of Hebden Bridge and the western part of Mytholmroyd.
Anyone wishing to obtain similar information about Heptonstall township, which includes that part of Hebden Bridge west of the River Hebden, can do so by consulting some family history websites who offer most census free of charge.
It is worth noting that the interpretation of census returns is not without problems. Enumerators were sometimes inconsistent in their descriptions of occupations, for example, so ' educated guesses' have sometimes had to be made. See E. Higgs (1996) 'A Clearer Sense of the Census' HMSO for further information on interpreting census material.
Wadsworth was divided into 12 Enumeration Districts(ED) for the census. Much of the township was rural, with many engaged in farming. Most of the population was born in Yorkshire – the 1841 census gives no further detail but, as we know from 1851, the majority probably came from Wadsworth or adjoining townships.
Worsted weaving was the predominant textile occupation at the time, with some cotton weaving, and associated trades such as woolcombing or bobbin winding. Although it is rarely stated explicitly it is fair to assume that all those classified as 'weavers' worked on hand looms, in their own homes. There are only 24 power loom weavers listed in the whole of Wadsworth.
It was not unusual for members of the same family to be involved with different textiles, and, occasionally, for a weaver to weave both cotton and worsted – perhaps a response to periodic changes in the market for different cloths.
Those interested in the life of Joseph Greenwood, who was later active in the Co-operative movement and a founder member of the Hebden Bridge Fustian Manufacturing Society, will find him, aged 7, living with his parents and younger brother and sister in Wadsworth Lanes (ED 8).
In 1841 the production of fustian was in its early stages and was taking place in the valley bottom i.e. in Hebden Bridge itself. It will be noted that the association of Machpelah with fustian was already established.
Summary of those involved in Fustian Production 1841
- Total no. of Fustian Cutters: 16
- No. of male Fustian Cutters: 10
- No. of female Fustian Cutters: 6
- Male cutters aged 15 and under: 1
- Female cutters aged 15 and under: 2
- Male cutters 16 – 25: 3
- Male cutters 25 and over: 6
- Female cutters 16 -25: 2
- Female cutters 25 and over: 2
- Other Fustian related occupations:
- Fustian Raisers: 2
- Fustian Dealers: 3 (one of which is also counted as a cutter)
- All born in Yorkshire.
- Information on Fustian occupations by Enumeration District
- Enumeration Districts 1 to 11 – no-one is specifically listed in a fustian related occupation.
- Page 1 (covers part of Wadsworth Lanes, where Joseph Greenwood's family lived)
- There are 2 families called Sutcliffe.
- Thomas Sutcliffe (worsted weaver),20, and his wife Susannah (worsted weaver),25, plus 2 children.
- Henry Sutcliffe (worsted weaver), aged 44 and his wife Grace (worsted weaver), aged 44 plus 6 children . Either of these may be the 'Mrs Sutcliffe' with whom Joseph Greenwood described going to Halifax, in his reminiscences.
- This includes part of Wadsworth Lanes.
- Page 1
- William Greenwood, 30, Worsted Weaver
- Mariah Greenwood, 30, Worsted Weaver,
- Joseph Greenwood, 7
- Mary Greenwood, 5
- Jonathan Greenwood, 4m
- Most of their neighbours, many also Greenwoods, were worsted weavers.
- There is no-one living near the Greenwood family who could be the neighbour who taught Joseph fustian-cutting – he may well not have moved in yet as Joseph refers to him, in his memoir, as a recent arrival in 1842
- Commercial St, Hebden Bridge:
Abraham Ashworth, 30, Fustian Cutter, b. Yorkshire. Lives with his wife(no occupation listed) and 4 young children. Also in the household is Mary Greenwood, 20, Fustian Cutter, b. Yorkshire, presumably a lodger.
- Also in Commercial St (probably next door) is:
John Smith, 25, Fustian Raiser, b. Yorkshire.
- Several households on, but still in Commercial St is:
James Johnson, 35, Fustian Raiser, b. Yorkshire.
- Also Commercial St:
Cockroft Hodgson, 20, Fustian Dealer, b. Yorkshire. Probably the lodger of John and Grace Helliwell, Draper and Grocer.
- Union St, Hebden Bridge:
William Barker,27, Fustian Dealer, b. Yorkshire
- Machpelah, Hebden Bridge:
Louise Ellage, 10, Fustian Cutter, b. Yorkshire, lives in the household of Thomas Greenwood, 75, worsted weaver. No other cutters in household.
John Moss, 30, Fustian Cutter and dealer, b. Yorkshire. Lives with two sisters, Esther,35, is also a Fustian cutter. Ann, 35, may be – difficult to make sense of Census Enumerator's abbreviation – but probably not. See 1851.
- The next household but one, still Machpelah, is headed by Grace Moss, 60, who 'attends the house'. The rest of the household, presumably her off-spring (although possibly not, given the ages, which may be inaccurate) are all Fustian Cutters: Sarah, 25; Stephen, 20; William, 20; Hannah, 20; Eliza,15. All b. Yorkshire.
- Garden St, Hebden Bridge:
Henry Astin, 21, Fustian Cutter, b. Yorkshire. Son of a railway labourer. No other cutters in the family.
William Sutcliffe, 30, Fustian Cutter, b. Yorkshire. Address listed as 'Hebden Bridge' but probably Garden St. In household of (?grandmother) Elizabeth Sutcliffe, 90 and John Longbottom, tea dealer and, presumably, lodger.
- Foster Mill Lane:
Thomas Barret, 15, Fustian Cutter, b. Yorkshire. Eldest child of John Barret, 40, Weaver whose wife and other 6 children are not listed with an occupation. John Barker,15, in the same household, is also a weaver.
- Woodbottom (near Foster Mill Lane):
Henry Greenwood,40, Fustian Cutter, b. Yorkshire.
- Adjacent household:
John Greenwood, 40, Fustian Cutter, b. Yorkshire.
- Wood End:
Henry Varley, 35, Fustian Cutter, b. Yorkshire
By 1851 Wadsworth township had been divided into 10 Enumeration Districts.
The textile industry is still very mixed, with woollen and worsted, cotton and even carpets all being woven in the area. Increasing numbers are working with power.
Now that the census returns were more specific about place of birth we can see early signs of migration from outside the immediate area.
Joseph Greenwood is still living with his parents and working as a Fustian Cutter - the only one on the Wadsworth hillside.
There appears to be a discrepancy between the increased number of Fustian manufacturers and the small number of cutters. It may be that some cutters lived in other townships and also that those involved in manufacture were still very small scale.
Summary of those involved in Fustian Production 1851
- Total no. of Fustian Cutters:
- Male: 10
- Female: 5
- No cutters aged 15 or under
- Males 16-25: 1 (b. Wadsworth) 1(b. Liverpool) Total: 2
- Females 16-25: 1 (b. Wadsworth) Total: 1
- Males 25 & over: 7 (b. Wadsworth) 1(b. Heptonstall) Total: 8
- Females 25 & over: 3 (b. Wadsworth) 1 (b. Manchester) Total: 4
- Other Fustian related occupations:
- 4 Dyers
- 7 Fustian Manufacturers, one of whom employs 6 cutters
- 2 Fustian Manufacturers and dealers
- 1 Fustian Dealer
- 1 Errand boy 'Takes Fustian Pieces to Cutters and Back'
- See text for details of place of birth.
- Information on Fustian occupations by Enumeration District
- In Districts 1a to1h (i.e. the first 8 districts) nobody was engaged in fustian related occupations.
- No fustian but an interesting example of diversification in two families living next door to each other.
- Stephenson House:
Jonas Greenwood, 45, Hand weaver worsted. Also his wife, Mary, 46, hand weaver worsted, John, 13, works worsted factory, James, 11, works cotton factory, Thomas, 8, all b. Wadsworth.
Thomas Sutcliffe, 62, hand loom weaver wool and farmer; Betty, 56, wife; Mary, 35, hand loom weaver worsted; Grace, 29, power weaver cotton; Thomas, 27, hand loom weaver worsted; Henry, 22, shoemaker; Sarah Ann, 18, power loom weaver cotton; Betty, 15, frame tenter cotton; Jane,10, scholar. All b. Wadsworth.
- Wadsworth Lanes:
William Greenwood, 43, hand weaver worsted
Joseph Greenwood, 17, Fustian Cutter
Mary,15, Reeler at factory (cotton)
- There is no trace of the cutter/clogger who taught JG his trade. He may already have moved to 'Nelmires' (see JG's memoirs) which has not been found in Wadsworth.
- Page 40
Addresses listed as 'Mytholmroyd' appear to be on the main road to Hebden Bridge, after 'Swine market' and before Hawksclough. They are included here as still part of Wadsworth and because there seems to be a line of fustian related occupations linking Machpelah, Hawksclough and the western part of Mytholmroyd.
Rachel Grabe, 46, Fustian Cutter, from Manchester. Lives in the household of John Grabe, 49, master tailor, also of Manchester. Either his sister or sister in law, widowed.
Henry Heyhurst, 60, Fustian Dyer, b. Erringden
Thomas Greenwood, 19, son-in-law, Fustian Dyer, b. Wadsworth
Thomas Heyhurst, 28, Fustian Dyer, b. Wadsworth. Possibly nephew of Henry, see above.
Thomas Barker, 64, Fustian Dyer, b. Erringden
James Greenwood, 26, Fustian Cutter, b. Heptonstall
Susez Greenwood, wife, 25, Fustian Cutter, b. Wadsworth
Henry Cunliffe, 60, Retired Fustian Manufacturer, b. Cliviger, Lancs.
- Thomas Cunliffe, 41, Fustian Manufacturer, b. Stansfield.
Possibly son of Henry, see above.
- Thorn Bank:
Henry Cockcroft, 26, Journeyman Fustian Cutter, b. Wadsworth.
James Cockcroft, 42, Fustian Cutter, b. Wadsworth.
- Machpelah (house no. unknown):
Abraham Cockcroft, 36, Fustian manufacturer and dealer, b. Heptonstall
- 17 Machpelah:
Hague Moss, 26, Fustian Cutter, b. Wadsworth.
- 16 Machpelah:
Grace Moss, 69, attends the house.
Sarah Moss, 35, Fustian Cutter
Stephen Moss, 33, Fustian Cutter
Eliza Moss, 27, Dress maker
All b. Wadsworth
- 14 Machpelah:
John Moss, 43, Fustian Cutter employs 6 hands
Esther, sister, 49, Fustian Cutter
Ann Moss, 45, Housekeeper
All b. Wadsworth.
Note discrepancy in ages for both Moss households when compared with 1841. It does clarify, however, that Ann was probably not a cutter in 1841.
- 11 & 12 Machpelah:
William Barker, 37, Fustian Manufacturer employs 6 Fustian Cutters. b. Stansfield.
This is likely to be the same Wm Barker who lived on Union St in 1841, listed then as Fustian Dealer.
- 6 Machpelah:
John Shackleton, 34, Fustian Manufacturer and Dealer in, b. Wadsworth.
- 8 Machpelah:
Sarah Wade, 16, Fustian Cutter, b. Wadsworth.
- 5 Garden St:
Thomas Helliwell, 17, 'Takes Fustian Pieces to Cutters and back'. b. Wadsworth. Son of John Helliwell, 56, 'Jobber about'.
- 7 Windy Bank (near Commercial St and Union St):
James Crabtree, 29, Fustian Cutter, b. Wadsworth.
- 2 Top o'th Hill:
Joseph Crabtree, 19, Fustian Cutter, b. Liverpool (although his mother was from Stansfield).
- Hollings Enclosure, White Lion Inn:
John Ashworth, 73, Fustian Dealer, formerly Fustian Cutter, b. Stansfield and his family.
In 1791 a John Ashworth was apprenticed to Martin Mollineaux of Kings St. to learn fustian cutting. This is the first mention of fustian cutting in Hebden Bridge.
- Foster Mill Lane:
Thomas Barrett, 27, Fustian Cutter, b. Wadsworth.
- Wood Bottom:
John Greenwood, 50, Fustian Manufacturer, b. Heptonstall.
Henry Greenwood, 57, Fustian Manufacturer, b. Heptonstall.
- Wood End:
Thomas Shackleton, 39, Fustian Manufacturer, b. Wadsworth.
James Shackleton, 70, Fustian Manufacturer, b. Heptonstall.
There has been an increase in the numbers involved in fustian and further evidence of people coming from further afield – Warrington was also an area where fustian was important.
Certain areas of Hebden Bridge were becoming strongly associated with fustian – the Foster Lane area, for example, along with Machpelah, and east towards Mytholmroyd.
Some problems of interpretation - 'Fustian Cutter's Wife' is taken to mean that the woman was not economically active since several wives are listed as 'Fustian Cutters'. 'Cord Cutter' and variants have been included as Fustian Cutters.
Where an occupation existed for more than one type of textile (e.g. ending and mending) it is only included if 'fustian' is mentioned or if there are strong grounds for assuming a fustian link, for example, other family members working with fustian.
Joseph Greenwood is now married and living with his wife and two small children in Commercial St.
Summary of those involved in Fustian Production 1861
- Total number of Fustian Cutters: 64 (47 male/17 female)
- Male 15 and under:
9 b. Wadsworth; 1 b. Erringden; 2 b. Warrington; 1 b. Littleborough
- Male 16-25:
13 b. Wadsworth (one of these also a dyer); 2 b. Erringden; 2 b. Manchester.
- Male 25 and over:
6 b. Wadsworth (2 of these are employers); 1 b. Heptonstall; 1 b. Warrington; 4 b. Manchester; 2 b. Ireland; 1 b. Liverpool; 2 b. Lancs, other.
- Female 15 and under:
1 b. Wadsworth; 3 b. Erringden; 1 b. Manchester.
- Female 16-25:
1 b. Wadsworth; 1 b. Stansfield.
- Female 25 and over:
1 b. Wadsworth; 1 b. Warrington; 4 b. Manchester; 3 b. Ireland; 1 b. Cheshire.
- Other Fustian related occupations:
1 Fustian Finisher
2 Cotton Croppers
1 Warehouseman in Fustian Warehouse
1 Fustian Dresser
1 Clerk in Fustian Warehouse
1 Cotton Fustian Dealer
1 Maker up in Fustian Warehouse
1 Fustian Carder
7 Fustian Dyers
7 Fustian Manufacturers
1 Fustian Manufacturer or Merchant
1 Fustian Manufacturer or Dealer
3 Ender and Menders of Fustian
See text for place of birth.
Information on Fustian occupations by Enumeration District
- Foster Lane area:
- 21 Foster Mill Lane:
Luke Patchett,19, Fustian Cutter, b. Wadsworth.
James Carey, 17, Fustian Cutter, b. Manchester.
- 24 Foster Mill Lane:
John Townsend, 22, Fustian Finisher, b. Wadsworth.
- 1 Nutclough:
Jonathan Greenwood, 21, Fustian Cutter and Dyer, b. Wadsworth.
- 3 Nutclough:
Isabella Doyle, 30, Fustian Cutter, b. Manchester.
- 4 Nutclough;
Samuel Broadbent, 55, Fustian Cutter, b. Manchester.
Elizabeth Broadbent, 49, Fustian Cutter, b. Manchester.
Alice Broadbent, 12, Fustian Cutter, b. Manchester.
- Foster Mill Lane (no. unknown):
William Carter, 51, Fustian Cutter, b. Warrington.
Mary Carter, 41, Fustian Cutter, b. Warrington.
Thomas Carter, 14, Fustian Cutter, b. Warrington.
- 2 Foster Mill Lane:
Joseph Connor, 41, Fustian Cutter and East Indian Companion (sic). Pensioner, b. Manchester.
Elizabeth Conner, 44, Fustian Cutter, b. Dublin.
- Foster Mill Lane (no. unclear, possibly 2):
Thos. Rogers, 26, Fustian Cutter, b. Manchester.
Elizabeth Rogers, 25, Fustian Cutter, b. Wales.
- 31 Foster Mill Lane:
Wm. Mitchell, 10, Fustian Cutter, b. Littleborough (his parents and older siblings were from Sowerby, 2 siblings from Littleborough area and 1 b. Manchester, suggesting parents had moved around).
- 32 Foster Mill Lane:
Daniel Drinkwater, 29, Undertaker of Fustian Cutting, b. Manchester.
Kate Drinkwater, 29, Fustian Cutter, b. Dublin.
Charles Milward, 16, nephew, Journeyman Fustian Cutter, b. Manchester.
- 33 Foster Mill Lane:
Wm. Crabtree, 33, Fustian Cutter, b. Wadsworth.
Joseph Crabtree Mitchell, 16, Fustian Cutter, b. Erringden.
Molly Crabtree, 13, Fustian Cutter, b. Erringden.
Mary Ann, 12, Fustian Cutter, b. Erringden.
- 5 Foster Mill Lane:
Thos. Tetlow, 45, Fustian Cutter, b. Thornem(?), Lancs.
Martha Tetlow, 55, Fustian Cutter, b. Lynn, Cheshire.
Samuel Dearden Tetlow, 12, Fustian Cutter, b. Warrington.
- Wood End:
Thomas Shackleton, 49, Fustian Manufacturer, b. Wadsworth.
- 29 Wood End:
Wm Cotton, 41, Cotton Cropper, b. Slaithwaite.
Joseph Cotton, 50, brother, Cotton Cropper, b. Slaithwaite.
- 10 Nutclough:
Edward Greenwood, 16, Cutter (presumed as Fustian Cutter) b. Wadsworth.
Thomas Crook, 19, Warehouseman in a Fustian Warehouse, b. Wadsworth.
Elizabeth Cockcroft, 24, Fustian Cutter Cotton, b. Wadsworth.
Hamlet Cockcroft, 19, Fustian Cutter Cotton, b. Wadsworth.
John Shackleton, 44, Manufacturer or Fustian Merchant, b. Wadsworth.
John Moss, 53, Fustian Cutter, employs 11 men, 1 boy, 6 women,
1 girl. b. Wadsworth.
Ann Moss, sister, 55, Ender and Mender of Fustian, b. Wadsworth.
Abraham Cockcroft, 46, Fustian Manufacturer or Dealer, b. Heptonstall.
Abraham Cockcroft, 16, Warehouseman (Fustian not stated but likely) b. Wadsworth.
John King, 28, Clerk in Fustian Warehouse, b. Todmorden.
Thomas Greenwood, 9, Fustian Cutter Cotton, b. Wadsworth.
Thomas Greenwood, 19, Fustian Cutter Cotton, b. Wadsworth.
- Machpelah, Crossley's Houses, New Rd:
Sally Thomas, 39, Ender and mender of Fustian, b. Warley.
- 8 New Rd, Crossley's Houses:
Sarah Wade, 26, Ender and mender Fustian Cotton, b. Wadsworth.
Edwin, 15, Fustian Cotton Cutter, b. Wadsworth.
- 27 New Road:
Thomas Horsfall, 31, Fustian Manufacturer, b. Heptonstall.
- 5 Hebden Bridge ?Gate (appears to be near Lees Yard):
Joseph Crabtree, 29, Cotton Cord Cutter, b. Liverpool.
- 15 Hebden Bridge Lees Yard:
John William Lord, 12, Fustian Cutter, b. Erringden.
- 7 Hebden Bridge Lees Yard:
Daniel Killeen, 55, Fustian Cutter, b. Dublin.
Sarah Killeen, 49, Fustian Cutter, b. Manchester.
- 11 Hebden Bridge Garden St:
Henry Brierley, 12, Fustian Cutter, b. Wadsworth.
- Hebden Bridge Commercial St:
Joseph Greenwood, 27, Fustian Cutter Cotton, b. Wadsworth.
Sarah Greenwood, 22, Fustian Cutter's wife, b. Wadsworth.
Virgil, 2, son, b. Wadsworth.
William, 1mo., son, b. Wadsworth.
- 33 Hebden Bridge Commercial St:
William Horsfall, 36, Fustian Manufacturer, b. Heptonstall.
Grace Horsfall, 50, initially enumerated as Housewife. This was changed by a different hand to the CE to 'Fustian Dealer's Wife', suggesting that the Census clerks saw no difference between 'Dealer' & 'Manufacturer'
- 35 Hebden Bridge Commercial St:
Thomas Smith, 24, Fustian Manufacturer, b. Keighley.
- 12 Hebden Bridge Commercial St:
Michol Fitspatrick, 55, Fustian Cutter, b. Ireland.
Alice Fitspatrick, 48, Fustian Cutter, b. Ireland.
The beginnings of the ready-made clothing industry are beginning to appear and with them some problems of definition. Tailors or seamstresses have not been included unless there is an additional reference which suggests that they were part of the clothing as opposed to 'cottage' industry.
Similarly, warehousemen are excluded unless it is clear that they were employed in fustian warehouse; also 'dyers' or 'enders' unless it is reasonable to suppose a fustian connection, such as other family members. This may have resulted in a very small under-estimation.
It will be noted that Joseph Greenwood's son, Virgil, is now a part-time cutter.
The family seems to have spent some time in Huddersfield – the birthplace of two of their children.
For the first time Hebden Bridge is mentioned as a place of birth, suggesting that people are beginning to identify with the growing town, rather than the township of Wadsworth.
Summary of those involved in Fustian Production and Wholesale Clothing 1871
- Total no. of Fustian Cutters: 72 (60 males; 12 females)
- 15 and under:
6 (2 b. Wadsworth; 2 b. Hebden Bridge (prob. Wadsworth); 1 b. Lancashire; 1 b. Huddersfield area)
- 16 -25: 25
(10 b. Wadsworth; 3 b. Hebden Bridge (prob. Wadsworth); 3 b. Manchester; 2 b. Huddersfield area; 1 b. Erringden; 1 b. Stansfield; 1 b Leeds; 1 b. Lancashire; 1 b. Mytholmroyd (poss. Wadsworth); 1b. Barnsley;1 b. Sowerby)
- 25 and over:
29 (11 b. Wadsworth; 9 b. Manchester; 3 b. Heptonstall; 3 b. Hebden Bridge (prob. Wadsworth); 2 b. Erringden;1 b. Lancashire)
- 15 and under:
1 b. Hebden Bridge (prob. Wadsworth)
4 (1 b. Wadsworth, also a mender; 2 b. Midgley; 1 b. Erringden
- 25 and over:
7 (1 b. Wadsworth; 1 b. Stansfield; 3 b. Manchester; 2 b. Ireland
- Other Fustian and Wholesale clothing related occupations:
- Fustian Manufacturers: 12 (all male, born in the local area)
- Fustian Merchants: 3 (all male, born locally)
- Fustian Dyers: 9 (all male, all local)
Another four 'dyers' are listed (2 local, 2 from Manchester.) It is impossible to know for sure whether they were fustian dyers or not, although it seems likely that their listing simply as 'dyers' may have been an individual quirk of the Census Enumerator for that District.
- Fustian Finisher/Fustian Cord Finisher/ Cotton Fustian Finisher: 8 (all male, all local except for 1 from Manchester)
- Fustian Warehousemen: 1 (b. Wadsworth). (Also 3 'warehousemen', all local but may not be fustian)
- Fustian Singer ?singe -er: 3, all male, local. There is another 'singer', aged 15, male, b. Wadsworth, but it is not clear whether he worked with Fustian.
- Fustian Stiffener: 1, male, local
- Dresser of Fustians: 1, male, local
- Cotton Cord Stover: 1, male, b. Halifax
- Ender and Mender Fustian: 5 all female, all local except one from Cornwall. 4 of these are not specified as working with fustian but they live in fustian households so it seems reasonable to include them. An additional 2 'Enders and menders' are not included as there is no way of knowing if they were working with fustian.
- Fustian Weaver: 1 , female, local
- Wholesale Clothier: 4, male, local (see text for employee details)