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Research

Business Communities of Small Towns in North-East Hertfordshire

Most urban historians would expect small towns in the C19th to have populations of at least 5,000. Despite the four centres of my study (Ashwell, Baldock, Buntingford & Royston) having populations of only around 2000 across the C19th I aim to show that they were indeed thriving towns. The evidence, using data from trade directories and census returns, is based on the breadth of business, retail and professional services available in these centres rather than on their administrative functions.

References: 

Clark, P., 'Small Towns 1700 - 1840', in Clark, P. (ed.), The Cambridge Urban History of Britain, Vol. 2, 1540 - 1840 (Cambridge, 2000), pp. 733 - 73.

Crompton, C.A., 'Changes in Rural Service Occupations During the Nineteenth Century: An Evaluation of Two Sources for Hertfordshire, England', Rural History, 6, 2 (1995), pp. 193 - 203.

Higgs, E., Making Sense of the Census Revisited: Census Records for England and Wales, 1801 - 1901: A Handbook for Historical Researchers (London, 2005).

 

 

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