Callington Population as Evidenced by the 1851 Census

By: Callington Heritage Centre
Added: 15 April 2016

Among the books on the shelves is a "Transcript & Index" of the Cornwall 1851 Census for the parishes of Callington, South Hill, St Neot, St Pinnock, Linkinhorne & St Ive., prepared by Ray Woodbine.

Looking at the section for Callington it is interesting to note that on the occasion of the census, only eight people were known to be away from home. Four persons were in barns, one in a tent and three "Irish vagrants" were in the lock up.

The word "pauper" is occasionally found against such as farm labourer, widow, washerwoman and the disabled but there appear to be comparatively few of these.

The records confirm that which we hear from visitors, many of the inhabitants at this time were not born in Callington. Of the 2,142 inhabitants perhaps as many as fifty percent were incomers. Among these were a lodger from Barbados and a silver smith from Poland, an "Engine Man" from Marazion whose first three children were born in Wales and the last two listed in Callington. Their ages giving a clue to the family's movements over several years.

The majority of the miners recorded came from West Cornwall, although some Callington men and some from Devon are also to be found in this occupation. It would seem that as local men became miners they were replaced by incomers. 

The occupations listed give a picture of a settlement that had all the skills it required close to hand. Though we are not sure what a "whitesmith" was!  We think the only errand boy (that we have identified) must have been run off his feet!! There is a mining girl aged fourteen years and a "delver in marine" from Chichester aged twenty two years of age. 

The Lodging houise belonging to Ann Giddy was housing people from as far afield as Italy.

The Magistrate, William Horndon can be seen to have been born in Callington while the wine merchant Mr Golding came from Oxfordshire. 

All in all an interesting snap shot of those resident in the town at the time.

Latest news