Researched and written by Susan Morris

On Monday April 1st 1901 two ‘enumerators’ squared up to the job now before them, of visiting every mansion, cottage, farm, pub and even outbuilding in the whole parish of Effingham, to collect back in the now-completed census forms they had delivered a few days previously. The forms should list every person who had been in each household on the night of Sunday March 31st , whether that person lived there normally or not. The enumerators then transcribed the information from the forms onto master sheets in official enumeration books and then sent these books to the Census Office in London. Having been copied, the individual sheets were in almost all cases destroyed, but the books themselves were preserved as national records and these are what we can see today.

You can view Effingham’s 1901 Census records on this page.

The enumerators

In a pleasing symmetry the two enumerators for Effingham were both Clerks of the Parish: Andrew Bonsey, Clerk to the Parochial (church) Council, who covered more or less the eastern side, and Arthur Killick, Clerk to the civil (local government) Parish Council, who covered the west.

Andrew Bonsey was 58 and lived at Effingham Common. One of six children, he had been baptised in September 1842 at St Lawrence and had lived in the village all his life. In the Census he gave his job as ‘Parish Clerk’ as his father William had been before him, but his father had also been a fruiterer. William died in 1855 when Andrew was still young. By 1861 Andrew had begun employment as a servant at the Vicarage. By 1871 he had taken up his father’s former post as Parish Clerk.

Arthur John Killick was 48, a farmer. The Killick name had been associated with the village from as far back as the mid-1500s although Arthur personally had not: he took over his uncle John’s farm here in 1883. He had become the first Parish Clerk for Effingham Parish Council when it was first instituted in 1894. The dairy farm, Killick’s Farm on Orestan Lane or West Lane Farm as he listed it in the Census, had been a feature of Effingham for many years. One wonders if Killick relished entering his own family’s details as the first household in his section!

As one would expect, the data collected by Bonsey and Killick can provide a detailed insight into Effingham at that time. The sections which follow examine different aspects via information and statistics that can be drawn from these records. They include for instance the number of Effingham’s individuals and households, their ages, the sizes of their households, their jobs – even evidence of social behaviour of the time. There are also one or two comparisons with Effingham a century later, as revealed by data from the 2001 census.

Trusting the information

Census information is not necessarily ‘true’ just because it was recorded. We ‘know’ only what people chose to tell about themselves. Copying out or filling in the sheets, the enumerators would often have had to deal with unfamiliar handwriting, and with people who may have had normally little occasion to write. The people providing the data might have been themselves misinformed or forgetful, or perhaps they preferred deliberately to mislead, for all sorts of reasons.

A possible instance of the latter is connected with statements of ‘Age last birthday’. As shown on the graph below, there is a big peak in the number of Effingham people of both sexes who said they were 22 (i.e. over 21). This phenomenon is seen nationally. Twenty-one was a critical age: for moving out of apprenticeship, or being able to marry without parental consent (and have legitimate children), and so on. It is understandable that people might want or need to fudge the age of their actual birthday at about this time.

Data analysis and graph by Mark Eller.

Nevertheless, it is probable that most people were broadly truthful and accurate, at least to within a year or two, and a few small instances of blurring the facts are unlikely to affect the general overview much. It is likely that these small inaccuracies increase with age, when exact ages no longer matter so much and people, perhaps, genuinely do not remember.

England in 1901

A brief summary of the national picture within which Effingham found itself on March 31st 1901 would reveal that:

Queen Victoria had died aged 81 only a few weeks previously, on January 22nd 1901; her son Edward VII was king, but his coronation did not take place until August 1902, to give him time to recover from one of the first emergency operations to remove an appendix ever attempted;

Britain was at war; the Second Boer War was well underway having broken out on October 11th 1899, to be concluded with the defeat of the Boers on May 31st 1902; various Effingham men and at least one Effingham horse were overseas fighting in this conflict.

A recent general election (September to October 1900) had led to a victory by the Conservatives led by Lord Salisbury, over the Liberals led by Henry Campbell-Bannerman. The Conservatives had gained a majority of 130 seats, even though they had only 5.6% more votes than the Liberals. Salisbury had formed a coalition government with the Liberal Unionists under Joseph Chamberlain, and the two parties were later to merge in 1902. Winston Churchill had been elected to the House of Commons for the first time, and so had the first two Labour MPs. Effingham was in the Epsom parliamentary constituency. Since 1899 its MP had been William Keswick, Conservative, a businessman with extensive global interests who lived locally at Eastwick Park, Great Bookham. Administratively, Effingham was part of Dorking Rural District – not Guildford Borough, as now.

Forty percent of men over the age of 21, and all women, still did not have the right to vote. Since 1899, education up to the age of 12 had been compulsory for all children. The state was responsible for providing free elementary (primary) education, but it would not take on responsibility for providing secondary education for all until 1902.

Care for the poor was the responsibility of each parish; it raised the money for Poor Relief through the rates, and elected Overseers to supervise expenditure on deserving cases. Some joint facilities for the district were provided by the Union, for instance a workhouse, and Effingham’s poor would find themselves directed to the Dorking Union. Otherwise health care had to be purchased from local doctors by individuals or was provided by various religious and charitable bodies – it was not a responsibility of the state. Public health, however, was, and the authorities were increasingly intervening in matters of compulsory vaccination, provision and protection of water supply and sanitation, but the impact of these fell very much more on urban areas than rural villages. Many houses in Effingham still drew their water from wells.

Wage levels for different activities varied dramatically, as always. Below is a table showing nominal annual earnings for adult males (ie not apprentices) in various occupations in England and Wales in 1901. These are shown converted into the metric £ sterling equivalent.

Agricultural Labours
Police, Guards, Watchmen
General Labourers
Government low-wage
Skilled in Shipbuilding
Skilled in Printing Trades
Skilled in Textiles
Messengers and Porters (excl. Govt.)
Skilled in Building Trades
Skilled in Engineering
Government high-wage
Surgeons, Medical Officers
Clerks (excl. Govt.)
Engineers, Surveyors
Solicitors and Barristers

Annual £

From The Structure of Pay in Britain, 1710-
1911, Williamson, J. G.
, Research in Economic History, Vol 7, 1982.

The average weekly cash wage for an ordinary agricultural labourer in 1901 was 14s 11d (this excludes extra payments for piecework, hay and corn harvests, overtime, and the value of allowances in kind.)

British Labour Statistics: Historical Abstracts, 1886-1968, Department of Employment and Productivity, 1981;
Wages and Employment in Agriculture: England and Wales, 1960-80, Lund et al, 
Government Economics Services Working Paper No. 52, March 1982.

In southern England, building craftsmen earned about 80d (ie 240d to the £) for 10 hours work and building labourers about 50d.

Seven Centuries of Building Wages, Brown and Hopkins, Economica, Vol. 22, 1955.

The Effingham census data

A difficulty of using the 1901 census is that the addresses given for the various households are often very abbreviated and do not clearly tell us which dwelling or property relates to specific people. Several households, for instance, all give their address as just ‘Effingham Common’, or ‘Church Street’, and we cannot always pin down who exactly was where.

It is clear however that the distribution of population was rather different from now. There were three identifiably distinct centres of population in the parish, plus a couple of other hamlets.

The main concentration was obviously the grouping of houses in the historic centre: along The Street, Church Street, Chapel Hill and Crossways; some along Lower Road, Orestan Lane, and on Guildford Road. But the following residential roads just did not exist and these areas were still parkland or fields: Barnes Wallis Close, Norwood Road and Close, Strathcona Avenue, Yew Tree Close, Leewood Road, Orchard Gardens, Linden Close, Mount Pleasant, The Crossroads and Beech Close. Dirtham Lane and Salmon’s Road existed as tracks, but were not inhabited. Calvert Road was an uninhabited little track which did not yet join up with Orestan Lane. Chester Road was an un-named uninhabited track. Effingham Common Road ran past only three or four properties, mostly farms, north of the junction with Lower Road. Beech Avenue was a relatively recently established route with its young beech trees planted only 30 or so years previously, and had only one house on it: a lodge associated with the estate around Effingham House (now the Golf Club).

In the north of the parish, there was a separate little community around and even on Effingham Common. There were many more people, and they were living in many more separate dwellings, than today – in farms, agricultural workers’ and gamekeepers’ cottages, and railway cottages. Five cottages in the middle of the Common near the entrance from East Horsley in 1901 have subsequently been demolished.

In the south of the parish on the way to Ranmore, the Lord of Effingham East Court Manor’s estate between Beech Avenue and High Barn Road was more populated than now with working farms, cottages and staff accommodation. Still further south there was a tiny hamlet of agricultural and estate workers’ households at Dog Kennel Green, and another little grouping associated with Dunley Hill House and Dunley Hill Farm.

Number of ‘households’

In the terminology of the census, the number of ‘households’ does not necessarily mean buildings as in the number of individual houses or cottages – it means groupings of people. These groupings might be nuclear families, or families with relatives, or workers who shared, but in some way they were a group of people who saw themselves collectively as a relatively stable unit. In urban areas where there were large tenement buildings in multiple occupancy, the number of households compared to the number of properties could be very different (eg 10 families crammed in one building) but in Effingham in 1901 the numbers were the same – every household recorded had a separate property for itself.

Thus there were 131 separate households for Bonsey and Killick to visit. Someone doing the same for the 2001 census would have had a much bigger task because by then there were 993 households. (However, in 2001 the population was expected to be literate so each household had to complete its own form, and these were handled by post). By November 2010 the number of Effingham households had gone up to 1,062, as recorded for rating purposes by Guildford Borough Council.

This comparison is not strictly valid however because:

a) between 1901 and 2001 there were some changes to the civil parish boundary – see the explanatory note at the end of this article;
    the resulting discrepancy is however small;

b) Mr Bonsey, enumerator of the eastern area, was tasked with counting two properties which lay (and still lie)
     outside both Effingham parishes, the civil and the ecclesiastical.

The two properties just mentioned are not within any civil parish: no parish council for that area was ever established. They lie within the ecclesiastical parish of St Barnabas, Ranmore whose Gothic-style church was built on the Denbies estate by Sir George Cubitt MP in 1859. The parish is quite large but sparsely populated.

Conceivably an Effingham enumerator was commissioned to collect this data because the properties in question were so remote from anywhere else. They are two cottages at Stony Rock. In 1901 these two households comprised 14 people: two married couples with 10 children. There was a decision to be made about whether to exclude them mathematically from the study. In the end for better or worse they are included. The number is so small as to be virtually insignificant and for various reasons they are quite interesting families. More importantly it was easier not to have to remember to check whether they needed to be excluded from every calculation.

The location of Stony Rock is indicated in the map above by a very small circle linked to the Bonsey label.

The enumerators had to record the number of households living in more than, or fewer than, five rooms. On Bonsey’s route there were 37 of the former and 23 of the latter, including the four residents of the almshouses in Church Street recorded as living in one room each. He also recorded one dwelling occupied but uninhabited on that night (‘Family out’), two cottages both unoccupied and uninhabited, and two cottages ‘in building’, although it is not clear where these were.

On Killick’s route there were 42 households living in more than 5 rooms and 19 living in fewer. He also noted 2 dwellings in West Street (Orestan Lane) occupied but empty of residents on that particular night, and 3 dwellings right down in the south of the parish neither occupied nor inhabited on the relevant night.

Males and Females

In 1901 the enumerators listed 279 males and 260 females, which seems eminently reasonable and in line with a normal male-female birth rate in times as yet undisturbed by the effects of major war. Thus the total population was 539. A hundred years later the 2001 census recorded 1,198 males and 1,358 females, making 2,556 residents. This is interesting, because it means that while the number of people had gone up by 474%, the number of households had gone up considerably more, by 568%. Averaged out across the parish therefore, the number of people per household is lower nowadays than then. Again, this is hardly a surprise or an out-of-the-ordinary trend.

Oldest and Youngest

The oldest person found by the enumerators was widow Rebecca Doughty aged 89, living at a residence somewhere on ‘Lower Street’, which at that time meant the northern length of The Street between Home Farm House and Orestan Lane. Rebecca had been born in Betchworth. At the time of the census she was on Parish Relief. She was listed as Head of the household, and at the same address with her was Charlotte Lane, a widow aged 60, described as Rebecca’s servant – specifically, her ‘Housekeeper, Domestic’. Rebecca went on to live to the age of 92.

The oldest male was 81 year old John Curvin. In an earlier census he was listed as a Farm Bailiff but by 1901 he was ‘Living on small Means’ on Church Street in a property somewhere between ‘Chapel Street’ and the Vicarage. His wife Keziah was still alive and with him, aged 80. John had been born in ‘Caple’ and Keziah in Abinger. John lived to be 82. Keziah made it onto the 1911 census; she died aged 91.

The youngest baby boy to be counted was 1 month old Kenneth Sydney Carter Challis, living at The Blücher Inn (today, the house called Crosslands near the traffic lights) along with: his sister Phyllis, aged 1, who had been born in Stoke Newington, London; his father Sidney age 28 (a Victualler, born in Manchester); and his mother Ada, 31, born in West Grinstead, Sussex. Although no-one could have known it at that time, assuming he survived infancy, fortunate Sidney would be just too young to be conscripted for World War I. However, he enlisted anyway in August 1917, joined the Royal Flying Corps then the RAF as a telegraphist, and eventually emigrated to Canada with his Canadian wife. 

The youngest baby girl recorded was Edith Butcher, 3 months old.  Edith lived on Church Street next door to (south of) a pub, now vanished, called the Blacksmith’s Arms. Her father William, aged 38, was a ‘Carpenter and Subpostmaster’, born in Epsom. Edith had 3 older brothers. As the first daughter she had been named after her mother, also Edith, who was 29 and had been born in Cuddington near Ewell. There is more about Edith and her family including a picture of her on this page.

Place of birth

Sidney and Edith were the two newest of 152 people who told the enumerators they had been born in Effingham (55 females and 97 males). This means that 28% of the recorded residents were Effingham-born. There were only 5 households where every single person listed was Effingham-born. These households were:

the 5 members of the family of Thomas Payne ‘Stockman on farm’ residing in Church Street;

the family of 6 headed by gamekeeper Robert Tyrrell at Common Gate (this was a pair of cottages – now demolished – on the west side of Effingham Common Road, roughly where Tollgate Cottage is now);

the 5-person household of Richard Sims, woodcutter, on The Common;

and two single-person households, widows living next door to each other in the Church Street almshouses: laundress Maria Merrit (or Merrett) aged 65, and charwoman Ann Barnett aged 70.

However, a large number of residents said they had been born in surrounding villages or somewhere within Surrey. If we count these, in 1901 the Surrey-born population of Effingham (including Effingham births) was 284, which is 53% of the whole. The number of London-born individuals was 29 (‘London’ means what we know as central London, not the Greater London of today).

Born outside England but within the UK were:

One born in Isle of Wight, St. Lawrence:

Sidney E. Trowbridge aged 23, a gardener at The Lodge.

Five born in Wales:

Jestyn Griffiths aged 51, the schoolmaster, born in Neath, Glamorgan;

3 of Jestyn’s 6 children who were all born at Penclawdd, near Swansea, Glamorgan;

Herbert Smith aged 30 from Penmaenmawr near Caernarvon, North Wales, living on his own means together with his wife and three children under 4 at a house in The Street between The Laurels (butchers) and Westmead (the Richards’ bakery).

Seven born in Scotland:

Annie Burns, a cook (!) at The Lodge, aged 40, a Scot born in Townhead (in Glasgow?);

Susan Muir Mackenzie aged 60, born at Capputh, Perthshire, living on her own means at The Hermitage (now the house called High Barn Farm), with 3 domestic staff;

James Aitchison Ross, a widower aged 50, living at The Villa (now Grove House);

John Mill and his wife Christine, both aged 59, living at Crocknorth Farm; with them were their son aged 25, daughter aged 32 and 5 female boarders aged between 20 and 22; two of these boarders, Elma Muirhead aged 22 and Elsie Rate aged 21 were also born in Scotland.

Three born in Ireland:

Sarah E Fisher aged 22, a cook from Ireland, in barrister Ernest Fletcher’s household in Church Street;

Kate Miller aged 65, living at Workhouse Plat in the far south of the parish with her 75 year old husband Martin and 67 year old widow Ellen Ives, a boarder, the latter also born in Ireland.

Born further afield outside the UK were:

Margert (sic) Edwards aged 41 who had been born in Warder, northern Germany near Kiel and the border with Denmark, living with her bricklayer husband Frank aged 38, four children under 14 and her 71 year old father-in-law, on Effingham Common;

Mildred Smith aged 10, niece of her uncle Arthur Killick (one of the enumerators) and enumerated with his family at West Lane Farm – Mildred had been born in Meerut, India. Whether she was there long term or, for instance, just happened to be there on the relevant night while on holiday from boarding school in England, we can only speculate;  

William Lampard aged 22 born in Australia, living in the household of Thomas P West at Yew Tree House as a ‘Baker assistant’;

Charles N Young aged 1, living with his parents and 6 year old sister at a house in ‘High Street’; he had been born in Stourport, America.

The birthplaces of three males: a 13 year old scholar, a 26 year old gardener/domestic worker, and a 58 year old farm labourer, were recorded as ‘N. K.’ ie Not Known. If there had been any Gypsies and/or Travellers within the parish on that night they should officially have been counted, so presumably there were not.

Size of household

Note, this is not the same as the size of families, which the census does not fully reveal. In a large family with numerous children born over several years, some of the elder ones may well have left home and be living in other households on census night.

The surname which appears most frequently is Ranger. The Ranger surname was held by 24 people, spread between 6 different households. The next most frequent is Tyrrell. Eighteen Tyrrells are listed, again in 6 different households.

The two largest households recorded each had 9 family members together that night. One of these is a Ranger household. Frederick Ranger aged 51, a general labourer, and his wife Ann aged 47 had with them 5 sons and 2 daughters aged between 24 and 8. They had a further 3 living elsewhere: Henry, a lodger at High Barn; Arthur, a lodger with one of the Sims families on the Common, and Florence in Kingston, possibly in service. The other family of 9 was the Martell family at one of the Stony Rock cottages in the parish of St Barnabas: Arthur Martell, shepherd, aged 33 with his wife Emily aged 33 and their 7 children between 13 and 1.

Five Effingham families were only slightly smaller than this and recorded 8 members in the household on that night. The Brittens at Keepers Cottage (now Outdowns Lodge on Guildford Road) were headed by gamekeeper James Britten aged 40, his wife Naomi with their four daughters and two sons. This household was extended even further because living with the Brittens were two boarders, also gamekeepers: 21 year old Robert Hampton born in Brightwell, Oxfordshire and 16 year old Percy Best born in London. The Sims household on the Common, headed by farm labourer John Sims aged 73, included his wife Harriet aged 64, five sons aged between 43 and 17 – and one daughter in law. The Aldermans at Dog Kennel Green were headed by Alfred Alderman, 50, a head gardener (and Parish Councillor), and his wife Amelia aged 43. They had four daughters and two sons between 18 and 5. Only the eldest, 18 year old Lizzie, was recorded to be employed, as a housemaid.

This brings us to a small exploration of where, in these large families, we can see children helping in the ‘family business’. The fourth of these families of 8, the Whittington family in West Street (Orestan Lane), was headed by 46 year old widow Ellen Whittington. Ellen ran a laundry, and, usefully, five of her 7 children were daughters, perhaps able to help. However only the eldest, 18 year old Millie is listed as a laundrymaid (but there is a ‘servant’, 24 year old Celia Botting, who is also a laundrymaid). At the fifth household of eight, the Griffiths household of the Welsh schoolmaster Jestyn Griffiths, his wife Lizzie aged 42 is ‘in charge of the home of the above’ the above being her husband as schoolmaster. The eldest of the Griffiths’s four daughters and two sons, Gwendolyn aged 18, is a Pupil Teacher – what we would call a teacher trainee. They also have a boarder called Gwendoline Keys aged 24 who is an Assistant Mistress.

It is interesting to see how on that night very few households presented more than two generations, although of course other generations would be in properties elsewhere. In fact, there are only 5 households with members from three generations. At the south end of the parish at Effingham Hill Farm, farm bailiff Henry Adams aged 44 had his wife and 11 year-old daughter with him, and also his widowed mother aged 72. The other four households are all on The Common, where lots of the families are very inter-related: that of George Burton aged 46 which includes his grandson George Tyrell [Tyrrell] aged 2; that of Ashley Kemp aged 49, which includes his grandson Frederick aged 3; that of Daniel Tyrell [Tyrrell] aged 64 which includes his grandson Charles aged 8; and the household of Frank Edwards age 38 which includes his wife and 4 children and his widowed father aged 71.

Only one household records four generations – also on the Common. The household of James Tyrrell aged 76 comprised (on that night) his unmarried daughter Harriett aged 52, his widowed son-in-law Thomas Lawrence aged 53, a married grand-daughter Harriett Goodchild aged 29, and Harriett’s own two (pleasantly rhyming) children Florence aged 7 and Lawrence aged 1.

Non-family members of households

The census shows that in Effingham live-in domestic staff were to be found not only in the bigger mansions but also in the more substantial houses. Given their size, these properties seem surprisingly empty at the time of the census, with the majority of the occupants being the domestic staff. It could have been that residents normally there just happened to be elsewhere that night, but actually four of these large houses belonged to unmarried ladies and one to an unmarried man. One concludes that the complement of regular live-in inhabitants was more modest in numbers than one might expect from the rather imposing sizes of the houses.

For instance, at The Red House on Lower Road, there was a very small contingent: only Helen (or Ellen) Lightfoot aged 42, head of the household, ‘Lives on own means’, with her house parlourmaid Annie Hopcroft, also 42, and the ‘cook, domestic’, Fanny Pople, aged 31. The Red House had been designed and built by Lutyens for Miss Susan Muir Mackenzie only a few years previously, but aged 60 Susan was now living at The Hermitage (subsequently renamed High Barn Farm) on High Barn Road. With her were just 3 people: Hannah Gates a widowed cook, Florance [sic] Openshaw a parlourmaid aged 22 and Frederick L. Chapman also aged 22, a gardener. At Slater’s Oak there was just one lady in residence, widow Caroline Richardson aged 55; she was the housekeeper. Where the owner, Miss Florence Ann Leven or Levien, was, has not been securely established but she may have been the lady aged 44 staying with her elder sister Mary E Leviene [sic] in Teddington, and described as ‘artist – sculp[tor]. At The Hollies, Harriet Ely, single, 45, ‘living on own means’, had with her Norman Spencer who was an 11 year old boy ‘visitor’ and 26 year old Edward Thorndell, groom and gardener. Yew Tree House on The Street was at that time lived in by bachelor Thomas West aged 26, with his sister Mary aged 31, also single, and two ‘servants’ William Smith and the previously-mentioned Australian-born William Lampard – but these in fact were both shop assistants rather than domestics. A household on the Street, likely to be Rose Cottage, has only cook Ada Surridge aged 22 and housemaid Lizzie Krecheler aged 26 in residence.

In the above houses, apart from 11 year old Norman Spencer, there were no children or young people. By comparison, at another large house, The Villa on Guildford Road (today The Grove, the former St Teresa’s preparatory school), the census found widowed ‘Dealer London Stock broker Exchange’ [sic] Mr James Ross with three daughters between 19 and 7. Looking after them, living in the main house were a cook, a parlourmaid, a nurse, 2 housemaids and a kitchenmaid. Nearby in the Stables were a coachman and his wife.

Less wealthy families in Effingham in 1901 can be identified because they don’t themselves have domestic servants – just the parents and the children. Some of these are middle-class tradesmen such as the Richards family who owned the baker’s shop, and the Post Office-and-carpentry Butchers already mentioned above. Some of these households have elderly or other relatives living with them, but also 34 paying guests, or ‘boarders’ were recorded in households right across the district. By ‘boarders’ the census was aiming to identify people who had separate accommodation somewhere within the establishment even if only a single room. A boarder would pay for this, and for their food. Most of the boarders are single young men in their early twenties, for instance William E Wiles, an ‘electrical engine driver’ aged 21 boarding with ‘gardener domestic’ James Batty and his wife and child in the Gardener’s Lodge at The Lodge. Three ‘lodgers’ are also recorded, also single men, but it is not easy to understand how lodgers differed from boarders.

Be that as it may, boarders and lodgers were different again from ‘visitors’. ‘Visitors’ meant people who spent their time in the property within and as part of the main household, such as a friend or a visiting relative would do. Visitors might be passing through on a short stay, but they could also be there more or less permanently (such as a spinster or bachelor friend); either way, they were not on a paying basis. Doubtless to the annoyance of today’s genealogists, there were 5 visitors in Effingham on that night including James Richer, retired schoolmaster aged 46, staying with Rev. Bayly at the Vicarage; 11 year old Norman Spencer staying with Harriet Ely at The Hollies, and 33 year old Jennie Mills, dressmaker, staying with gardener Mr Thomas Lampard, his wife and son at Dog Kennel Green.

Farms and Land Work

As one would expect, the number of working farms was higher than now. Nine men list themselves as farmers: Arthur Killick at West Lane Farm (Orestan Lane), Uriah Loxley at Home Farm, John Mill at Crocknorth Farm, Edward Jefferies at Warren Farm, Edward Setchell at Norwood Farm, Edward Davis at Lower Farm (all on his own on that night!), Frank Hills at Indian Farm, and young Ernest Brown at Manor Farm.

Including these farmers, 70 males were listed as having an agricultural occupation of some sort. There are 7 shepherds, 9 ‘stockman on farm’ some of which seem to be related to horses and some to cattle, 27 farm/agricultural labourers, 12 men described as ‘carter on farm’, 1 harness maker, 1 farm bailiff, and 3 farmer’s sons. Taking an overview, these 70 men recorded in agricultural occupations account for 13% of the whole recorded population.

Moving away from farming, it must also be noted that several Effingham properties had significant parks, grounds and/or gardens. Setting aside whether they were living in tied cottages on the estates or not (and many were), 29 men and boys throughout the parish mentioned ‘gardening’ in the description of their occupation (such as head gardener, gardener, under-gardener or garden boy). Another said he was a garden labourer, and one an ‘estate labourer’. Next we must not forget the 7 gamekeepers and the one ‘game boy’ also working on the land presumably with estates in the area, and the 12 men and boys working with horses as grooms and stable boys. Approximately 120 of the 219 males aged 15 and over were working on the land in some capacity or other.

However, many more residents of the parish would be expected to turn out for some agricultural work, such as at harvest time or perhaps helping on a pocket-money or a ‘payment in kind’ basis. This would often be the case with children, for instance, who had to be listed as ‘scholars’ because they were within the age group for compulsory schooling. Thus by a straight count of listed occupations the census does not return a full view of agricultural activity in the parish.

Of the 8 people who constituted the (civil) Parish Council and its Clerk in 1901 (newly minted by election just previously that same month on 4 March), 6 worked on the land: in farming, gardening or timber. The two who did not were the Chairman, Mr Lambert (a tobacco dealer), and Mr Richards (the owner of the village bakery).

Domestic Service

‘Research carried out by in partnership with the [National] Trust reveals that almost a fifth of British people have family links to people who worked in domestic service’.

In other words, this was once a very big sector of the workforce. In Effingham the census recorded 50 people in 23 households listed specifically as ‘servants’ – 34 women and 16 men. Two of the women were housekeepers, 8 were cooks, 11 women and girls were housemaids, 4 were parlourmaids, 2 were kitchenmaids, 3 were general domestics, 1 was a nurse. Male ‘indoor’ staff included one butler and one footman, both at The Lodge. The remaining male ‘servants’ had outdoor duties: 5 gardeners, 3 stablemen and 1 groom. There is only one married couple with husband and wife both in service, servants to the Freeman family at High Barn Cottage, comprising George Woods aged 39, a general agricultural labourer, and his wife Ellen aged 38, a general servant.

However things are a little more complicated than they look. On the one hand, this number is too high. We would probably assess 7 of these 50 people recorded as ‘servants’ to be employees of the household’s business rather than domestic staff as such. They were servants in the sense of people who ‘served’ in pubs and shops, such as the ‘potman’ and the ‘barmaid’ at The Blacksmith’s Arms, the ‘ostler’ at The Blücher Inn and the ‘stableman’ at The Plough, a ‘grocer’s assistant’ and a ‘housekeeper and clerk’ at Yew Tree House, where the West family ran a business of some complexity.

On the other hand, the figure of 50 is also perhaps misleadingly low, if we want to understand the scale of domestic service. People who were not actually listed under the word ‘servants’ but should perhaps be thought of at least as ‘staff’ were in accommodation in and around some of the big residences working as coachmen, grooms, gardeners and under-gardeners etc. Several were married men with families such as ‘Coachman’ Edward Young with his wife and 3 children living at The Stables of The Lodge, and ‘groom’ Worthy [sic] Davis living with his wife Sarahann [sic] and 3 children at The Stables of Effingham Hill, or ‘coachman’ Joseph Thurlby living with his wife Clementina at the Stables of The Villa. Gardeners’ Cottage, Laundry Cottage, the Bothy, ‘outbuildings’, and so on were tied ‘addresses’ of other households associated with the bigger houses and mansions. Effingham Hill seems to have had at least 17 smaller properties associated with it: 4 lodges, and various other cottages in and around Dog Kennel Green. In these are listed amongst others a groom, head and under gardeners, a gamekeeper, and even George A. Duck, a 26 year old ‘engineer electrical’ boarding with one of the larger households at Dog Kennel Green. (An aside: very nearby, at Hound’s Gate Lodge, Dog Kennel Green, is another engineer/mechanic: 19 year old Bernard Tanner, living with his parents, who is a ‘stoker stationary engine’.)

This is still not the end of the story of ‘staff’ or people serving bigger estates or establishments, because many people who themselves lived in modest homes around the parish but not on the estates may also have been employed and gone out from there to this sort of daily work. For instance Mr Collister age 36 of Water Lane was a ‘gardener domestic’. James Crow, aged 63, living on Effingham Common, said he was an estate labourer. Eight gamekeepers are listed in various dwellings not obviously sited on specific estates. Several laundrymaids are likely to have taken in washing for the big houses. There are seven women calling themselves housemaids, general domestic servants and even a ‘dressmaker and Lodge keeper’ who were doing domestic work, but in the household where they lived they did not trigger the designation ‘servants’.

Non-agricultural, non-domestic occupations

It is of interest to see what other occupations were being followed in the village, and having mentioned laundrymaids and such we can turn to the question of women’s occupations. Out of a total number of 241 females aged 15 and over, only 70 actually listed an occupation. But of course many more than this were at work, not only doing domestic work as mothers and housewives (which included making and repairing clothes as well as cleaning them), but also helping out with gardening, agricultural, and other seasonal work. Of the 70, we have seen that over half were in domestic service roles. Of the rest, three said they were charwomen, one said she was a housewife, and Mrs Griffiths said she was running the home of her husband. Amongst the occupations listed, ‘laundress’ and ‘laundrymaid’ are the most prevalent (7). We have already seen that there were 2 teaching staff and a barmaid. Other occupations were:

Dressmaker (this was a visitor that night)
Post Office assistant

And that is all.

Amongst men, in addition to the jobs listed in the sections on agricultural work and estate work, the following occupations are listed:

General labourer – 6
Domestic gardener
Fruit grower
Woodmen/Woodcutters – 3
Woodcutter labourers – 6
Carter of coals
Carman (coals and wood)
Bricklayer – 2
Bricklayer labourer
Railway plate layers – 4
Railway porter

Engineering smith
Painter (house)
Jobbing carpenter
Apprentice carpenter
Rough carpenter
Carpenter and sub postmaster
Messenger Post Office
Grocer, baker, draper
Grocer’s assistant
Messenger grocery stores

Shop assistant
Journey butcher
Beer retailer
Victualler pub
Police Constable
Able seaman
Schoolmaster National
Parish clerk (ecclesiastical)
Clergyman Church of England
Dealer London Stock Exchange
Barrister at law

What do we not have?

There is no-one describing themselves as doctor, JP, midwife, fishmonger, barber, cobbler, childminder, undertaker.

People recorded as not at work

In the column recording occupation, 4 males and 6 females are recorded as ‘living on own means’ – in other words, sufficiently well provided for that they did not need to work (but not necessarily wealthy). Only 3 older males and 2 females are recorded as ‘retired’. Two females are recorded as ‘past work’! However, in the days before the universal state pension for all elderly, realistically retirement or ceasing to work was a condition available only to the comfortably off. In poorer families the elderly did not retire, they continued to do what they could. As explained above, no occupation is recorded for the vast majority of female residents, but this also did not mean they were not working. One lady is on Parish Relief, in one of the almshouses.

One elderly lady is listed as ‘invalid’. In the column where enumerators had to record persons who were ‘deaf and dumb, blind, lunatic, or imbecile, feebleminded’, they recorded one 30 year old, and one 77 year old, female as ‘feebleminded’.

The well-to-do

In 1901 within the parish of Effingham there were no seriously grand residences inhabited by members of the peerage. Lord Lovelace’s estate stretched into the parish, but he did not live here. There was no minor aristocracy in the parish either: no residences at all belonging to titled people. But Effingham did have two Lords of the Manor, and was certainly not without a few gracious properties owned or rented by extremely rich families most of whom had created their wealth rather than inherited it.

The lordship of the Manor of Effingham was held in 1901 by the Parratt family. Since about 1884 Evelyn Latimer Parratt had leased Effingham House (now Effingham Golf Course clubhouse) to the fabulously wealth tobacco magnate Charles Edward Lambert for a term extending up to 1965. The lease was sold after the death of Lambert’s widow in 1917.

The Lordship of the other manor, Effingham East Court, had been since about 1886 in the hands of another seriously wealthy City merchant: the sugar magnate Julius Caesar Czarnikow. His manor house was Effingham Hill House (now St Teresa’s School). Elsewhere, the wealthy railway engineer and contractor George Craig Saunders Pauling had been owner of The Lodge (today, the big house in Effingham Place) since 1897. Perhaps the nearest to inherited wealth was in the Maxse family. From 1869 to 1886 the Maxses had been Lords of Effingham East Court Manor before Czarnikow and had lived originally at Effingham Hill House. In 1901 they were based at Dunley Hill House (now Ranmore Manor) built by Admiral Maxse for himself in 1887. All these gentlemen had substantial fortunes.

What does the census tell us about these wealthy families on that day?

It tells us they were elsewhere. On that particular Sunday night in March, three of these four grand residences were effectively empty, and one was completely deserted.

Having (probably) spent Christmas in Effingham, at least two of the families, the Lamberts and Czarnikows, were back at their London addresses, in sight of the beginning of ‘the season’ which ran roughly from the beginning of April to the Glorious Twelfth in August. In Effingham their houses were each in the care of a skeleton staff, the rooms most likely under dust-sheets. At Effingham Hill ‘Mansion’ (Czarnikows), there were only 2 housemaids in the house – but for this lucky pair, there was a barrow-full of excitement just next door: three young male gardeners all either 21 or 22 are recorded in an estate cottage or hut called ‘The Bothy’, and an interesting variety of other estate staff were in nearby cottages around Dog Kennel Green. Czarnikow and his wife Louisa were at 103 Eaton Square in Belgravia, with a ward, a grandson, a visitor, and 12 servants. Meanwhile Charles Lambert was enumerated a couple of houses away from the Czarnikows at 93 Eaton Square, with his wife, 5 unmarried daughters between the ages of 31 and 24 (but his 22 year old son was not at home), and 16 servants. In Effingham House itself were recorded just 2 housemaids.

At The Lodge, Mr and Mrs Pauling were also not in residence, but here at least there was a bit more than a skeleton staff: a cook, 3 housemaids, a kitchenmaid, a butler and a footman were in the main house; a coachman with his wife and 4 children plus 3 stablemen were living in The Stables; a gardener, his wife, and 2 other young gardeners boarding with them were living in Gardener’s Cottage. Where Pauling and his second wife Edith Kate née Halliwell themselves were on this specific night is not exactly known, but a guess can be attempted from information in Pauling’s autobiography Chronicles of a Contractor. After the Boer War broke out in 1899 Pauling says he avoided visiting his several railway engineering projects in South Africa as far as possible. In November 1900 he set off via the United States to Jesselton in Borneo to visit and organise some work there, arriving “early in 1901”. From Jesselton “I got a tramp steamer to Singapore via Labuan, wheren, in conjunction with a Chinaman named Wang Li, I formed a syndicate to make ice. This was very necessary for our Borneo work, and … regular supplies were sent there. Thence I obtained passage by a German steamer for Genoa, and arrived in England about April 1901”. Perhaps his imminent arrival explains the number of the staff at the house. Pauling was in Effingham for about 2 years before setting off again in 1903, to South Africa.

Dunley Hill House was completely empty but, unlike the others, it was both uninhabited and unoccupied, not just temporarily vacant. Admiral Frederick Augustus Maxse, described by the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography as ‘Emotional, impulsive and idealistic’, had died in Knightsbridge a few months previously on 25 June 1900 aged about 67. He had four grown-up children but had been separated from his wife for over twenty years before his death. In May 1900 Maxse had returned from South Africa where he had been visiting his son Ivor, and his daughter Violet and her husband Edward Cecil son of the Prime Minister, both of these men on campaign in the Boer War. Unbeknownst to everyone, he had caught typhoid before he left South Africa and this proved fatal. At the time of the census, therefore, the Dunley Hill was presumably in probate. The family sadly dismissed the staff, removed all their possessions, and put it up for rent.

And finally …

At two houses, the residents were not at home when the enumerator seems to have first called and he had to return subsequently. There were others to be safely counted in. It was important to capture figures for itinerant workers or tramps on the road as well. This is why the censuses were usually taken at the end of March or early April, because at this time of year the amount of movement of agricultural workers was at its lowest compared to the summer and harvest months. At the very end of their lists the enumerators recorded people not living in recognised dwellings. Staying in an ‘outbuilding’ (location not stated) Mr Bonsey found ‘stranger’ James Taylor aged 39, a farm labourer, and his wife Elizabeth aged 38.

In another ‘outbuilding’ the very last person Mr Bonsey listed was another ‘stranger’: Henry Stovell, 58, who said he had been born in Effingham, and indeed he was. The family tree of himself and his half-brother Arthur Archibald Stovell who was nearly 40 years younger than Henry and who became Effingham’s blacksmith, can be seen at this page.

Henry Stovell first appears aged 8 among the children of Thomas and Elizabeth Stovell in the 1851 Census, a child of Thomas’s first marriage. By 1861 aged 18 Henry was an apprentice butcher in Sydenham. In 1871 he is not currently visible. In 1881, aged 37 unmarried and still a butcher, he was a ‘visitor’ with the Willmore family in Camberwell. In 1891 he is not currently findable. In 1901, he told Mr Bonsey that he worked as a ‘colt breaker’. With him in the same outbuilding was also a James Edmonds aged 34, an agricultural labourer. James is strangely categorised as a ‘servant’. What this could mean is very unclear, unless it indicates some sort of companion or carer, for Henry had not long to live. On 10 August 1901, he was buried in St Lawrence Churchyard having been brought there from the Dorking Union (workhouse).

Elsewhere in a ‘barn’ was ‘stranger’ George Thompson, 58, who said he was a farm labourer. George was one of those who did not know, or could not say, where he had been born. To us today, he represents one of the extraordinary dimensions of historical research. Would George – elderly, undoubtedly poor, possibly lonely, maybe physically worn out, living in a shed – ever have believed that over a hundred years later, a person in a room with a computer could know of him and be trying to understand his life.


Thanks are due to ELHG members Mark Eller, Christopher Hogger and Bryan Sherwood for their contributions to the compilation of this article.

Some explanatory remarks

Below is a transcription of the official text describing the two districts to be covered, starting with No. 14.

Enumeration District No. 14
Name of Enumerator
Mr Andrew Bonsey

Description of Enumeration District

Civil Parish of Effingham, part of
Eccl[esiastical] parish of St Lawrence, part of
Eccl parish of St Barnabas, part of

Boundary of Enumeration District

All that part of the parish in the East Side from Oriston [sic] Lane to Effingham Junction

Contents of Enumeration District

(Note – this is not a route taken by an enumerator, it is the extent of the area.)

All that part of the parish of Effingham which lies to the west of the boundary separating Great Bookham and Effingham starting at a point on the High Road leading from Great Bookham to Guildford to the Prince Blücher Inn taking the north side of the said Road thence northward from the Prince Blücher down Effingham Street taking the East side to the Lane leading to Horsley [Forest Road] thence along the said Lane to the Western boundary of the parish taking the north side of the said Lane.

This description is not crystal clear but from the properties covered, it is roughly a long narrow slice of the parish, almost but not quite everything east of the north/south line defined by Effingham Common Road, The Street and High Barn Road.

The properties listed in order for this district are:

Banks Common
Norwood Farm
Slaters Oak
Gales Cottage (Flower Cottage)
Lower Farm
Indian Farm
Lower Street (Lower Road east side)
Yew Tree Cottages
School House
Red House
Water Lane
Gardeners Lodge (Little Lodge?)
The Lodge
The Stables
Gardeners Cottage (corner of Lower Road and Church Street)
Blacksmiths Arms
Church Street – 7 households
The Steps (on The Street, east side) – 3 households
Church Street – 1 more household
Chapel Street
Church Street – 2 more households
The Vicarage
Church Street
Olders House
Church Street – 4 more households
Manor Farm (Browns)
High Street (southern stretch of The Street) (The Hollies) – 1 property
Blücher Inn
Manor House Stables (belonging to Effingham House on the south eastern corner of the crossroads)
The Bothy, Manor House
High Barn cottages – 2 households
The Hermitage, High Barn Road (now High Barn Farm)

Enter parish of St Barnabas

Stony Rock Cottages – 2 households

Re-enter St Lawrence parish

Hill Farm (Effingham Hill Farm)
The Laundry cottage
Laundry Farm cottage
The Stables
Mansion Effingham Hill (St Teresas’s)
Dog Kennel Green – 7 households
Hounds Gate Lodge
Dingle Dale (where East Court now is)
Park Cottage
Upper Lodge
Middle Lodge
Avenue Lodge (Beech Lodge)
Outbuildings – 2 households

Here is a transcription of the official text describing the second district, No. 13.

Enumeration District No. 13
Name of Enumerator
Mr Arthur J Killick

Description of Enumeration District

Civil Parish of Effingham, part of
Eccl[esiastical] parish of St Lawrence, part of

Boundary of Enumeration District

All the remainder of the Parish not included in No.14 on the West side, from Oriston [sic] Lane to Effingham Junction

Contents of Enumeration District

All the remainder of the Parish of Effingham not included in the No.14 District comprising all that portion from the Lane leading to Horsley [Forest Road] to the Northward.

Again the description is unclear but the area is indicated by the properties covered, which are:

West Street, both sides (Orestan Lane)
Lower Street, the west side (the northern part of The Street, from the crossroads to Yew Tree House)
High Street (the southern part of The Street, from Yew Tree House to the junction with Guildford Road)
The Villa (on Guildford Road)
The Manor House (Effingham House)
Dunley House (on Ranmore Common Road)
Crocknorth Farm
Workhouse Plat
Malthouse Meadow
Warren Farm
Malthouse Plat
Keepers Cottage (Outdowns Lodge)
Lodge Gate (Effingham Lodge, corner of Dirtham Lane)
The Pit
North Lodge
Orestan Farm
Common Gate (former cottages on Effingham Common Road where Turnpike Cottage is now)
Common – 18 properties
Keeper House Lee Woods
West Street

A note on boundary movements since 1901

The civil parish of Effingham had come into being into 1894. The ecclesiastical parish was much older. The enumerators were tasked with collecting data from residents in parts of both (and even a third one: St Barnabas as explained above). At that time, the civil and ecclesiastical boundaries were largely contiguous. However, the effect of subsequent local government boundary reviews is that the boundary of the civil parish has subsequently been moved in various places. It is no longer in line with the ecclesiastical parish, and it is now also smaller.

For instance, an area at the far south of the original civil parish has been transferred to Wootton parish (although for these purposes it makes little difference because it had no residents). The eastern side of Woodlands Road was transferred into Mole Valley in a boundary review of 1994. On the west side of Effingham Common where the boundary with East Horsley follows the route of an old stream no longer very visible, new building development which is actually inside the civil parish of Effingham merges more with the built-up area of East Horsley and a realignment of the boundary here will come into effect in 2023.

All the above is a long-winded way of saying that comparisons between 1901 and 2001 cannot be completely aligned. Nowadays, the census count is done within the civil parish boundary and no other.

In 1958 the ecclesiastical benefice of St Lawrence Effingham was merged on paper with that of All Saints Little Bookham in 1958. In 2019 this was realised and made effective, so that the parish is now that of Effingham with Little Bookham.