Author Topic: Constant house moving  (Read 1538 times)

Offline gpneale

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Constant house moving
« on: Sunday 05 December 21 16:24 GMT (UK) »
What were the reasons behind never stying put in the second half of the 19th century?

Pretty much all of the families in my tree are never at the same address twice between the 1851 and 1901 censuses. They rarely moved very far, sometimes a street away, but what for? Cheaper rent? Moonlight flit? Eviction?  I'm guessing that moving often was largely the norm, but anybody know any reasons why or can signpost me to some content on the subject?

Cheers
Neale, Stapleton, Lowe, Rusgrove, Mann.

Online rosie99

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Re: Constant house moving
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 05 December 21 16:33 GMT (UK) »
Perhaps the accommodation was slightly better  :-\
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Offline purplekat

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Re: Constant house moving
« Reply #2 on: Sunday 05 December 21 16:37 GMT (UK) »
I've noticed the same with my Liverpool ancestors but I don't know why  :)


Offline chris_49

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Re: Constant house moving
« Reply #3 on: Sunday 05 December 21 17:13 GMT (UK) »
We know from the 1911 that some of these houses were tiny. Moving to a slightly bigger one to accommodate a growing family?
Skelcey (Skelsey Skelcy Skeley Shelsey Kelcy Skelcher) - Warks, Yorks, Lancs <br />Hancox - Warks<br />Green - Warks<br />Draper - Warks<br />Lynes - Warks<br />Hudson - Warks<br />Morris - Denbs Mont Salop <br />Davies - Cheshire, North Wales<br />Fellowes - Cheshire, Denbighshire<br />Owens - Cheshire/North Wales<br />Hicks - Cornwall<br />Lloyd and Jones (Mont)<br />Rhys/Rees (Mont)

Offline iluleah

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Re: Constant house moving
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 05 December 21 17:15 GMT (UK) »
Their home was often owned by who they worked for, so if they lost their job/was looking for other or better work/was dismissed it also meant they had to leave their home too and with no work contracts and no employment contracts it was often very quick, as in the same day.
Leicestershire:Chamberlain, Dakin, Wilkinson, Moss, Cook, Welland, Dobson, Roper,Palfreman, Squires, Hames, Goddard, Topliss, Twells,Bacon.
Northamps:Sykes, Harris, Rice,Knowles.
Rutland:Clements, Dalby, Osbourne, Durance, Smith,Christian, Royce, Richardson,Oakham, Dewey,Newbold,Cox,Chamberlaine,Brow, Cooper, Bloodworth,Clarke
Durham/Yorks:Woodend, Watson,Parker, Dowser
Suffolk/Norfolk:Groom, Coleman, Kemp, Barnard, Alden,Blomfield,Smith,Howes,Knight,Kett,Fryston
Lincolnshire:Clements, Woodend

Offline philipsearching

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Re: Constant house moving
« Reply #5 on: Sunday 05 December 21 17:37 GMT (UK) »
In early to mid-Victorian times (long before the days of secure tenancies, public health regulations, and rent control) I would speculate that a landlord could get away with almost anything including neglecting the property, overcrowding, and raising rents at will (certainly before the Artizans’ and Labourers’ Dwellings Improvement Act 1875).  If tenants were evicted they had no legal redress.  My guess is that when the Industrial Revolution was as its peak there was no shortage of potential tenants so those who complained or whose rent was in arrears could easily be replaced.

In late Victorian times and into the 1900s the massive influx of new arrivals to industrial towns and cities slowed, so perhaps tenants had a little more choice over their accommodation.  Moving to better accommodation or to get away from the "neighbour from hell" could have become an option.

NOTE 1 - landlords were not necessarily landowners, they could have quite short leases so their incentive was a rapid profit, not a long-term income.

NOTE 2 - the railways (and to a lesser extent roadbuilding) meant that many houses were demolished so the tenants obviously had to move.  As the Industrial Revolution led to increasing urbanisation the urban population increased and seems to have been highly mobile.

NOTE 3 - In the decades around 1900 the middle classes would begin to expect piped water and gas (later also electricity) in their homes and as time passed these amenities began to be included in working class homes.  When the massive influx to cities slowed down tenants could perhaps be a little more choosy and some would look for more attractive accommodation.

I don't know of any studies into the causes of changing accommodation, but there is literature which will give an insight into the lives of such people in early Victorian times, including:
ENGELS Friedrich: The Condition of the Working Class in England (1845)
MAYHEW Henry: London Labour and the London Poor (1851)


Philip
Please help me to help you by citing sources for information.

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Offline gpneale

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Re: Constant house moving
« Reply #6 on: Sunday 05 December 21 17:41 GMT (UK) »
Many thanks all, especially Philip for that comprehensive response.  Appreciated.
Neale, Stapleton, Lowe, Rusgrove, Mann.

Offline Viktoria

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Re: Constant house moving
« Reply #7 on: Sunday 05 December 21 22:54 GMT (UK) »
Well done Philip , and there was me thinking my lot had not paid the rent!
Well with a growing family yet smaller accommodation ——!

As you say,never far away.
In 19O0’s my grand parents moved to a house which was directly opposite the one we bought when first married ,1956, about fifty years later.
By 1956 both grandparents had died ,I never knew my either of my grandmothers .
An Accrington brick terraced house, two bedrooms,bathroom but still outside loo, vestibule, lounge , dining room and small kitchen .
Then they moved to an identical house five minutes walk away!

There in 1932 ,grandma lived there at the time of her death.
Thanks for the details.
Viktoria.

Offline bluesofa

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Re: Constant house moving
« Reply #8 on: Sunday 05 December 21 23:13 GMT (UK) »
Sharing what I've found, the work of Professor Colin Pooley appears to be relevant
https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/lec/about-us/people/colin-pooley

In particular:

Changing home and workplace in Victorian London : the life of Henry Jaques shirtmaker.
Pooley, C.G., Turnbull, J. 08/1997 In: Urban History. 24, 2, p. 148-178. 31 p.
http://www.research.lancs.ac.uk/portal/en/publications/-(172ee2a2-24ed-494f-9067-81bf09ad55e3).html

which I found fascinating, and supports many of the points already made
  • "For most people in Victorian Britain it was both necessary and convenient to minimize the distance between home and workplace. Most places were 'walking cities.'" For example, "although longer than in other parts of the country, the mean journey to work for those employed in London was only around five kilometres in the nineteenth century".
  • "A short journey to work was required both because many trades were casual, and there was thus a strong imperative to be part of a community which knew when work was available, especially on the docks, and because of the inability of most working people to afford public transport..."
  • there was an "ease of moving between rented property"
  • While people could move to the suburbs, "it was not until after the First World War that the ties between home and workplace were broken, and improved urban transport systems linked to rising real incomes allowed longer-distance commuting for large numbers of people"
  • Stages in life made a difference, "In the nineteenth century many single men and women would have lived and worked in the same place, apprenticed to a master or as a farm or domestic servant." While Marriage would have meant the need for an independent home.

Some Statistics:
  • 1750-1930, 38% of moves occurred within the same metropolis
  • 1840-1899 average number of lifetime moves was 5.3