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1801 Census

Basic facts about the 1801 census

Censuses are taken every ten years in England, with the first taking place on 10th March 1801. At first, the population of each location was recorded but not the names of all of the inhabitants, which was only started in 1841.

The Census Act 1800, also known as the Population Act 1800, was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain which enabled the first Census of England, Scotland and Wales to be undertaken.  Details recorded for each parish, township, or place were:

  • Number of inhabited houses, occupied by how many families
  • Number of uninhabited houses
  • How many persons, how many male, how many female
  • How many persons are chiefly employed in agriculture; how many in trade, manufactures, or handicraft; and how many in neither
  • How many baptisms and burials in the years 1700 to 1800, distinguishing males from females
  • How many marriages in each year from 1754 to the end of 1800

Details of individuals and their names were not recorded in the official Census returns.

The act laid down that "written Answers are to be returned by the Rector, Vicar, Curate, or Officiating Minister, and Overseers of the Poor, or (in Default thereof) by some substantial Householder, of every Parish, Township, and Place in England.

Daniel Jones was Curate at Badsey and Wickhamford for a 20-year period from 1788-1808 during the tenure of the absentee Vicar, the Reverend George William Auriol Hay Drummond. He would have been responsible for gathering the information for the census.

As with most locations, these details no longer survive for Badsey, Aldington and Wickhamford.

Wickhamford Census

In 1801, the population of Wickhamford was recorded as 125 people.  The record of the number of households has not survived, but the population was almost identical in 1841 at 127 and these were in 27 households.  It would not be unreasonable to suppose that a similar number of households were in Wickhamford in 1801.

By examining the Parish Birth, Marriage and Burial Registers it is possible to identify some of the families living in Wickhamford for 1801 census and produce a list of likely inhabitants at that time.  This is purely an academic exercise and should be treated as such.   Families probably living in the village in 1801 are listed below, but in most cases the location of their homes cannot be found.   The twenty families listed below total 86 people who are thought to have been living in Wickhamford for the 1801 census, around two-thirds of the population.  It also means that most of the households are likely to have been identified.  Exact ages are given for children, as their date of baptism is known.  All of the population would have been involved in farming and its associated trades.

BARNES FAMILY (4 members)

  • Thomas Barnes 
  • Mary Barnes (ca 48) – (died in 1830, aged 77)
  • John Barnes (13)
  • Nancy Barnes (10) – (she married James Phipps in the village in 1809)

CLARKE FAMILY (3 members)

  • Richard Clarke (ca 57) – (died in 1815, aged 72)
  • Mary Clarke (ca 49) – (died in 1823, aged 72)
  • Hannah Clarke (14) – (she was due to marry Joseph Steward in the village in 1826, but this was forbidden, as the groom was an imbecile)

COOKE FAMILY (3 members) – a daughter was born in May 1801, just after the census.

  • Joseph Cooke 
  • Elizabeth Cooke
  • George Cooke (2)

EVANS FAMILY (3 members) – another daughter was born in late 1801.

  • John Evans (ca 31) – (died in 1846, aged 76)
  • Sarah Evans (ca 29) – (died in 1807, aged 35)
  • Elizabeth Evans (1)

FAIRFAX FAMILY (4 members) – another daughter was born in June 1801.

  • Thomas Fairfax
  • Hannah Fairfax
  • Elizabeth Fairfax (5)
  • Jane Fairfax (1)

GIBBS FAMILY (6 members) – last child baptised in Wickhamford in 1794.

  • John Gibbs – (died 1828, aged 82, buried in Badsey)
  • Ann Gibbs
  • William Gibbs (16)
  • Thomas Gibbs (13)
  • Ann Gibbs (10)
  • Janes Gibbs (7)

HALFORD FAMILY (4 members) – another son was born in 1802.

  • Thomas Halford (ca 32) – (died in Badsey, aged 82, in 1851)
  • Alice Halford (ca 29) – (died in Badsey, aged 70, in 1841)
  • George Halford (2)
  • William Halford (1)

HOLLAND FAMILY (8 members) – They are known to have been tenants of Wickhamford Manor. There would have been a number of residential servants at the Manor.

  • Francis Holland (ca. 38) - (died in 1848, aged 85)
  • Ann Holland (ca 39) - (died in 1802, aged 40)
  • Marie-Corbett Holland (11)
  • Mary Ann Holland (9)
  • Corbett Holland (8)
  • Elizabeth Holland (6)
  • Francis Holland (4)
  • Susan Holland (2)

HORSLEY FAMILY (7 members)

  • William Horsley
  • Sarah Horsley (ca 38) - (died in 1810, aged 47)
  • William Horsley (13)
  • Ann Horsley (11)
  • Mary Horsley (9)
  • Sarah Horsley (5)
  • Jane Horsley (2)
  • Hannah Horsley (2 months)

HUBAND (3 members) – James Huband m. Temperance Clark in village in 1799.

  • James Huband
  • Temperance Huband
  • Elizabeth Huband (1)

HUNT FAMILY (4 members)

  • Thomas Hunt (ca 49) – (died in Bretforton, buried in Wickhamford in 1847, aged 95)
  • Ann Hunt (ca 50) – (died in 1827, aged 77)
  • Anne Hunt (25) – (she married Samuel Harris in the village in 1806)
  • Thomas Hunt (17)

MOYSEY FAMILY (4 members)

  • John Moysey
  • Sarah Moysey (ca 54) – (died in 1806, aged 60)
  • Martha Moysey (ca 20?) – (married Benjamin Wheeler in the village in 1803)
  • Samuel Moysey (15)

NEALE FAMILY (3 members) – two more children born after census, in 1803 and 1807.

  • John Neale
  • Elizabeth Neale
  • Betty Neale (12)

ROGERS FAMILY (3 members)

  • Thomas Rogers (ca 32) - (died in 1848 aged 79) - other children born in village from June 1801 onwards.
  • Ann Rogers
  • Ann Rogers (1)

SEARS (SEERS) FAMILY (4 members) – a daughter born in 1802.

  • Thomas Sears
  • Elizabeth Sears (ca 34) – (‘Betty’ Sears died in village in 1849, aged 82)
  • John Sears (4)
  • William Sears (1) – (still living in village at 1851 census)

SHARP FAMILY (4 members) – No local records after 1798; may have left village before census.

  • John Sharp
  • Idy Sharp
  • Ann Sharp (4)
  • Thomas Sharp (2)

SMITH FAMILY (5 members) – another daughter was born in 1802; a daughter also died just before the census.  A son, Samuel, was born in 1809 and was the occupier of Wickhamford Mill in 1851.  It is likely that this family were running the mill in 1801.

  • Anthony Smith (ca 30?) – (died in 1814, age unknown)
  • “Catharine” Smith (ca 28) – (died in 1838, as Catharine Robbins, after remarriage in 1817)
  • Elizabeth Smith (8)
  • Mary-Ann Smith (6)
  • Benjamin Smith (3)

STANTON FAMILY (5 members) – Another child baptised in 1804. Henry and Mary Ryland married in 1788, so both would probably be in their 30s at the census.

  • Henry Stanton (ca 30s?)
  • Mary Stanton (ca 30s?)
  • Richard Stanton (11)
  • Thomas Stanton (10)
  • John Stanton (3)

STINTON FAMILY (3 members) – Three other children, born in the 1790s died as infants.

  • John Stinton 
  • Phoebe Stinton (ca 42) - (died in 1841 aged 83)
  • Thomas Stinton (8)

VINER FAMILY (6 members) 

  • John Viner (ca 53) - (died in 1829 aged 53)
  • Sarah Viner (ca 54) - (died in 1812, aged 63)
  • Hannah Viner (21) – probably living at home, she married Charles Hall, in Wickhamford, in 1802; in village for 1851 census
  • John Viner (13)
  • Thomas Viner (12)
  • Mary Viner (8)
  • James Viner (4)

Other potential inhabitants at the census

In addition to those mentioned above, a number of adult burials took place in Wickhamford in the years following the 1801 census and these nine people may have been in the village for that census.

  • Richard Richardson, aged 82, buried October 1802
  • Susannah Stanley, aged 40, buried December 1802
  • Sarah Widows, aged 35, buried June 1805
  • Susannah Gladding, aged 46, buried January 1807
  • Francis Widows, aged 65, buried April 1807
  • Sarah Evans, aged 35, buried June 1807
  • Edward Clarke, aged 64, buried September 1807
  • Thomas White, aged 52, buried December 1807
  • Thomas Oldaker, aged 82, buried October 1814, had been born in Wickhamford in 1732.

Two other Wickhamford residents in 1801 were married couple Elizabeth and Francis Evans, whose Wills were proved on 16 May 1801 and 2 October 1802 respectively. She may have died just before the census in March.  Neither were buried in Wickhamford, but would have lived at a substantial property, such as “The Elms” in the village street.

The Will of Benjamin Brookes, of Wickhamford, was proved in 1808, so he was probably a resident in 1801, again living in a reasonably-sized property. He was not buried in the village.

The Will of Sarah Gibbs of Wickhamford was proved in 1829.  She was possibly the mother of John Gibbs, whose family are mentioned above, but was not buried in the village.


In total, this speculative research may have identified over 90 of the village population of 125 in 1801.  Those unaccounted for would include farm workers who lived only in Wickhamford for a few years around the time of the census and surviving grandparents of the children in the households mentioned.  The Manor, and perhaps other properties such as “The Elms”, would have had a number of live-in domestic servants who originated outside of Wickhamford.  Such people would account for the remaining 35 or so inhabitants.

Apart from those living at the Manor and Mill, the houses of the other inhabitants are not known.  In 1801, there were a group of houses located at the junction of the turnpike road and the village street; these were demolished in the late 19th century.  There was a farmhouse at the present Field Farm, but otherwise the rest of the houses would have been located along the village street, now Manor Road.  Some of these still exist, with modern names, such as Elm Farm, Wickham House (then Pitchers Hill farm), Grey Gables, Old Vicarage, Weathervane Cottage, Robin Cottage, Brookfield and Corner Cottage.  Others have been replaced by more recent buildings, including the Memorial Hall.

Tom Locke – August 2020