Information on occupations in the early years before the censuses is sparse. From wills there is a landowner, a ship's cook, a tallow chandler, a victualler and a yeoman. From parish registers various trades such as; carpenters, cordwainers, tailors and wool combers.
In the early years, 16thC and 17thC Bendings were relatively affluent as some made wills. Later, perhaps after the civil war, status seems to have declined and from the 1851 census nearly half the men were employed as labourers, most of the rest in the trades mentioned in the parish registers. Rural towns would have been largely self-sufficient and these trades were necessary.
About a third of women (over the age of 17) were wives, a full time occupation, and others were employed in the local industry, lace making, or as servants.
By 1881 the number of male occupations had increased from 15 to 40, and labourers were about a fifth of the total. It is interesting to see that the next most common occupation after labourer was railway worker.
Nearly half of adult women were wives, and about a quarter servants, the number of occupations had risen by half, and lace making all but disappeared.
The range of occupations in the 1901 census is too large to be listed, and to-day's occupations would be even more varied and include company directors, financial services, medical consultants, university professors and lecturers,.
Occupations from the 1851 census
Occupations from the 1881 census
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