Author Topic: Coachmen - any info?  (Read 3685 times)

Offline Newt

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 25
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.natio
    • View Profile
Coachmen - any info?
« on: Saturday 03 June 06 21:42 BST (UK) »
Hi all,

I have a couple of direct ancestors who were coachmen in or around London 1830 to 1870ish.  Documents (Census and BMD) have them moving between north and south of the river (Piccadilly, Fulham, Lambeth, Morden).

Has anyone got sound knowledge of the type of lifestyle they were likely to lead?

Would they be 'intercity' operators or would they be 'cabmen' in London (is there a seperate classification such as cabman?).

Are there any documents or records that list the operators and/or coachmen in service?

Looking forward to your thoughts and tips.

Regards, Neal  :D
Turner, Middlesex, Surrey, Torquay, Woodbury Salterton.
Tavener, Middlesex, Surrey
Garner, Berkswell, Coventry
Harris, Coventry, Birmingham
Hardware, Coventry

Offline Biker

  • RootsChat Honorary
  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 4,621
    • View Profile
Re: Coachmen - any info?
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 04 June 06 08:43 BST (UK) »
Hi newt

It's quite difficult to tell what kind of coachman a particular individual was from documentation (censuses/certificates).  I have no sound knowledge but as you infer cabmen were generally around town, coachmen were I think either inter-city or if they were attached to a wealthier family transported the family wherever.  I have a few cabmen in my lot and they tended to live near major railway stations but that's just my experience.  But, like all trades, there were probably great degrees of difference in the type of occupation.

There's quite a bit of info on the internet, Google it, but here are a few to be getting on with ...

http://www.londonancestor.com/leighs/hackney.htm
http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~awoodley/carriage/gentlemen.html

Hope that helps
Biker


Census information is Crown Copyright http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline coombs

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 6,169
  • Research the dead....forget the living.
    • View Profile
Re: Coachmen - any info?
« Reply #2 on: Sunday 04 June 06 16:15 BST (UK) »
Just the thread I am interested in.

My ancestor was a coachman 1810s-1830s and lived in the Holborn, Marylebone and Soho areas of London.

Having studied maps of London, I found there was a horse and carriage repository near his addresses in Soho, and I know virtually every road had its mews in Marylebone, and I think there was a coach and horses station down Grays Inn Lane which is where in Holborn my forebear lived.

On his childrens, baptism certs it gives just "coachman" whereas as one of his children was born in Marylebone he was described as "serv" probably meaning domestic coachman.

With all that I am under the impression he switched from domestic coachman to public coachman. I wonder how much a week coachmen earned.

Ben
Researching:

LONDON, Coombs, Roberts, Auber, Helsdon, Fradine, Morin, Goodacre
DORSET Coombs, Munday
NORFOLK Helsdon, Riches, Harbord, Budery
KENT Roberts, Goodacre
SUSSEX Walder, Boniface, Dinnage, Standen, Lee, Botten, Wickham, Jupp
SUFFOLK Titshall, Frost, Fairweather, Mayhew, Archer, Eade, Scarfe
DURHAM Stewart, Musgrave, Wilson, Forster
SCOTLAND Stewart in Selkirk
USA Musgrave, Saix
ESSEX Cornwell, Stock, Quilter, Lawrence, Whale, Clift
OXON Edgington, Smith, Inkpen, Snell, Batten, Brain


Offline Biker

  • RootsChat Honorary
  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 4,621
    • View Profile
Re: Coachmen - any info?
« Reply #3 on: Sunday 04 June 06 16:38 BST (UK) »
Hi Ben

As far as your last question is concerned, I have some data on wages for 1867 which gives the average wage for coachmen, cabmen and carriers as 21s to 23s a week.  To put it in context, this very roughly speaking puts them in the middle of the table of working class earners of the period (also on this wage were occupations like miners, millers, railway workers).

Hope that helps.

Regards
Biker
Census information is Crown Copyright http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline coombs

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 6,169
  • Research the dead....forget the living.
    • View Profile
Re: Coachmen - any info?
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 04 June 06 17:45 BST (UK) »
Hi Biker

That is very interesting. I know that the adresses where my ancestor lived were tenement addresses but with his wages they could probably afford a modest room rather than a rat infested slum.

I have reason to believe he died in the 1830s, and having been unable to find a burial for him, that has lead me to believe that he might of died outside London, while on the job as a coachman. Its just as his body wouldnt of been bought back to London for burial, its going to be hard proving where he died.

Ben
Researching:

LONDON, Coombs, Roberts, Auber, Helsdon, Fradine, Morin, Goodacre
DORSET Coombs, Munday
NORFOLK Helsdon, Riches, Harbord, Budery
KENT Roberts, Goodacre
SUSSEX Walder, Boniface, Dinnage, Standen, Lee, Botten, Wickham, Jupp
SUFFOLK Titshall, Frost, Fairweather, Mayhew, Archer, Eade, Scarfe
DURHAM Stewart, Musgrave, Wilson, Forster
SCOTLAND Stewart in Selkirk
USA Musgrave, Saix
ESSEX Cornwell, Stock, Quilter, Lawrence, Whale, Clift
OXON Edgington, Smith, Inkpen, Snell, Batten, Brain

Offline Dmorr

  • RootsChat Pioneer
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Coachmen - any info?
« Reply #5 on: Saturday 25 April 20 15:27 BST (UK) »
One thing I have learnt is that there were different types of Coachmen.  The ones that rode the Omnibus type carriages who hauled the common man,  and those who were a private/gentlemen's coachmen.    The former quite often drank,swore & spent the night in the night in the back of their carriages, whereas a private or gentlemen's coachmen was employed by a wealthy family, who was given a uniform and more often than not, given private lodgings in a mews house near the stable.    They wanted their staff to look after the horses and be on beckon call when they wanted a carriage to take them out.       

A private coachmen was considered quite a catch by young ladies as they knew that they could get lodgings.

In the 1860s, a private coachman could expect to earn between 35 & 80 pounds a year, depending on the social standing of his employer. Tips would further pad their wages.   They were considered to have quite an elevated position in the household staff.   

Quite often, the mews houses would be in the more salubrious parts of London,  but the fact remains that they were still amongst the stables, therefore they were living under a constant smell of horse manure.   

The work for a private coachman could come and go.  Employers would engage staff whilst they dwelt in the capital,  as often they were only there for a season or two, before returning back to their country estates or had other properties in other cities.   This meant that the coachman was always looking for his next job and new address.      An ideal situation was to have an employer who resided in London full time.   

See "The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper”, by Hallie Rubenhold. Victim Annie Chapman was married to a coachman. The book gives an excellent description of coachmen lives.