The People Who Lived Here - 1840's

1841 Wales Census – Glamorgan – Gelligaer - District 1

JoExtract from Tithe Plan dated 1842hn Jones (50), the publican at The Windsor Arms together with his family is the first listing on this, the first Census for Bute Town. 

There were 229 people living in the village, 136 of whom were males. The average age was 22.7 years, with the oldest resident being Margaret Price aged 80 – she is listed as being Independent.  David and Mary Morgan who were both aged 70, and Mr Morgan is still shown as being a collier.

About a 1/3rd of the population were born in Glamorgan and almost 2/3rd of the workers were engaged in the Iron industry, most of them involved with mining. Others jobs listed include Waterman, Shoemaker, and perhaps most surprising Samuel Peter (56) is listed as being a Book Seller.

At this time there were 39 households surveyed, and 22 empty properties were listed. 

Another really useful resource to examine the lives of those living in Rhymney during 1840's, is the Children's Employment Commission Report of 1842 blue_link_icon.png. There is a section about the Rhymney Ironworks - some of the key findings captured by the Commissioner were:Women colliery workers circa 1870

  • It was estimated that 5000 people were dependent upon the works.
  • Of the 2494 employed, there were 390 young men/boys, and 94 young women/girls.
  • Lewis Redwood, the works Surgeon, considered that "...the physical condition of the children employed in these works to be generally good.." and "...children and adults can, with few exceptions, command good nutritious food." - overall he believed that the young did not suffer when employed in hard labour.
  • George Evans, collier overman, had 30 women working for him, 27 of whom were between 13 and 18 years of age. He said that all women worked above ground. In total there were 52 under 18 years old working on his level, 7 could read English, 14 could read Welsh and only 2 could write.
  • The youngest working boy interviewed was David Powell aged 7. He was working in the forges raising the door, and had only been employed for 2 weeks. He would work from six to six between the heats, and would work at night every other week. David would earn 3s per week (an older boy David Evans would earn 4s 3d per week). Neither boy could read although sometimes they attended Sunday School.
  • Orphan Thomas Williamson aged 12, had come to Rhymney from Hay, where he had attended The National School. Now he worked for his brother-in-law in the mines when wanted and couldn't even attend Sunday School as he has not ".. got clothes that are good enough."

The full report gives a fascinating insight into the lives of young people, and the dangers that they faced each day.


Surface Plan of the Property of Rhymney Iron Company, circa 1838

1841 Census


Bute Town

A community of 48 houses built  along Collins Row, Middle Row and Lower Row in the late 1820's.

© 2011. Can Do Team. Written by Kim Colebrook.