Hebden Township Historical Data

Hebden Census 1871 - Age Profiles

The following chart shows the percentage of the population over a given age. It gives an indication of mortality rates and life expectancy. The indication from these figures is that 57% of the population were now living beyond their teens, with 50% surviving until 23. The average age was 25.

Hebden Census 1871 - Surnames

A number of family names dominate the census, but less so than in previous years, with six surnames being shared by a quarter of the population. The following surnames occur ten or more times in the census. This table can be sorted by clicking on a column heading.

Surname Number
Bains 21
Beck 10
Bell 10
Birch 13
Hawley 10
Hodgson 12
Hudson 10
Joy 12
Rothwell 13
Wiggan 16
Worsley 16

Hebden Census 1871 - Employment

As with the previous census, an attempt has been made to record the occupation for the whole population. Some people record more than one occupation, especially the farmers with small holdings. If a farmer works in the lead mining industry, for example, both his employments will be included in the statistics below, but this will not have a significant effect on the figures.

People with no recorded occupation

159 people, or 44% of the population, are recorded as having no paid occupation or are scholars. All those without such occupation are children, wives, a few young daughters, a few retirees, and a pauper.

Occupation Number
No occupation recorded 166
Scholars 37

The main industries

The main occupations recorded relate to the textile industry, the lead mining industry, and farming. The following figures indicate the occupations that can be definitively assigned to an industry - the stonemasons and carpenters, for example, could also have been working at the mines.

Industry Number
Farming 30
Lead mining 69
Textiles 18
Others 44


The textile mill powered by water was built in 1791, and was a three-storey building built alongside the corn mill at the bottom end of the village. It housed 54 spinning frames and was productive until 1870 when it was driven out of business by the more efficient stream-driven machinery of the industrial revolution. It handled both cotton and worsted. In 1851, 75 of the Hebden township were employed by the mill, about a third of the working population. In 1861 this had reduced to 28, and in 1871, just 18. The mill was supposed to have closed in 1870, so either it was still staggering on at the time of the census, or the textile workers were working in the Linton mill.

Lead mining industry

67 people, about 42% of the working population, were employed in the lead mining industry, of whom four also indicated they had other occupations, and so were probably part time. Since the last census, output from the mines in the Hebden Royalty had peaked in 1867, and by 1871 it was declining rapidly. Nevertheless, it was probably continuing to give work to most of the miners recorded as living in the village. It is interesting to note that four of the miners were Cornish - they had probably moved into the village during the period of boom.

Occupation Number Inc. part time Description
Lead ore miners 59 4 Underground workers
Lead ore dressers 1 0 Sorted excavated material into non-ore rocks, ore-bearing rocks, and ore
Lead ore smelters 3 0 Smelted pellets of galena (lead ore) into lead by heating
Attendant to wheels and pumps 1 0 Lived up Hebden Gill close to the mines
Engine tender 1 0
Lead Mining agent 1 0 William Hawley was Agent for the Craven Moor mine on Greenhow Hill


30 people, about 19% of the working population, were employed in the farming industry, much the same as in 1851. The 19 farm holdings varied between 13 acres and 500 acres, with a total of 2412 acres, an average of 134 acres, and a median of 65 acres. However, these figures may not be comparable with those of the 1861 census as two people who declared themselves as farmers do not seem to be associated with a declared a holding. Five of the 29 farmers had other occupations three of which was in the lead mining industry. In several cases the occupation of a younger member of a family was 'Farmer's son'. It is assumed that this indicated that they were working on the farm unless under 10 years old. Females with occupation of 'Farmer's wife' are not included.

Occupation Number
Farmers 24
Farm labourers 4
Farmer's sons 2

The Children

Most, but not all, of the children four years and over went to school, with the occupation of 37 of them being given as 'Scholars', with 28 children between 4 and 10 years old not being recorded as being 'Scholars'. There is one 'School master' recorded.

Most children had left school by the age of 10 and were in employment, but a few stayed in education with Agness Hawley being described as a scholar at the age of 15. The youngest child recorded as being in employment is Thomas Hudson, who is described as a cotton spinner. The youngest child working in the lead mining industry was 9-year old Thomas Wiggan who worked as a lead miner.

Where people were born

The following chart depicts the 'localness' of the population in terms of where they were born. Region 1 is Hebden and the surrounding villages Appletreewick, Burnsall, Cracoe, Grassington, Greenhow Hill, Hartlington, Linton, Thorpe and Threshfield. Region 2 encompasses the area within an easy day's travel and the Skipton hinterland, and includes Pateley Bridge. Region 3 includes the neighbouring large towns such as Leeds, Bradford, and Burnley and Dales villages slightly further afield, and Region 4 covers anything further afield.