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A history of Loughborough between c.1810 and c.1870: a study of urban changes in a period of demographic growth and stagnation

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posted on 02.12.2010, 12:18 authored by W. Humphrey
This thesis is a study of urban change during an unusual period in the demographic history of Loughborough. Part, A is concerned with the theme in relation to the local economy. Chapter 1 deals with the introduction of a machine-made lace industry to the town, the rapid growth in population which followed and its subsequent decline. Demographic stagnation then developed and this is associated in chapter 2 with a cottagebased hosiery industry which had remained as the principal industry when the centre of the lace trade moved to Nottingham. Chapter 3 provides an intensive study of the occupational structure of the town at this period; it is based on, an analysis by computer of the 1851 census. At this time the economy was flat but the first signs of change in the industrial structure were beginning to appear. In Chapter 4 the theme is pursued as innovation rejuvenated the hosiery trade and demographic growth was resumed. Chapter 5 surveys the whole period for which reasonably detailed censuses exist, that is, from 1841, to 1881, and the themes of the earlier chapters are put into a wider perspective of the occupational flow of the town. In Chapter 6a specific factor is given attention; this was the status of Loughborough as a market town, which offered employment and income throughout the period, during industrial recession as well as expansion. Part B is concerned with the social aspects of the events narrated above. Chapter 7 offers an analysis of social patterns in the town in 1851 based, like Chapter 3, on the census of that year. The next chapter deals with some social responses to growth and stagnationt the chief of which were Luddism and Chartism, although the local education service and enviromental amelioration are also discussed. Chapter 9 concludes this section with an examination of the urban geography of Loughborough in relation to social class; an original system for the identification of social class from census and other material is propounded. The Appendices provide additional information which could not be conveniently placed within the main body of the thesis. Appendix 1 offers more historical background and Appendix 2 discusses in detail the methods used in the 1851 census analysis upon which chapters 31, 7 and 9 are based. Appendices 3,4,5 and 6 provide additional data for Chapters 3 and 9. Since much of the thesis is devoted to a discussion on the influence, of textile manufacture in Loughborough, the final Appendix consists of notes on the basic characteristics of the three principal machines.



  • Business and Economics


  • Economics


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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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