Brookmans Park Newsletter
content created by the community for the community


Local history
Local walks
North Mymms News

Cookie policy
Editorial policy
Forum agreement
Privacy policy

North Mymms people in Victorian times
by Peter Kingsford


This book, 'North Mymms People in Victorian Times', is the second in the series of books by Peter Kingsford following on from his first,'A Modern History of Brookmans Park 1700-1950'. Peter's third book is, 'North Mymms Schools and Their Children', and his fourth, 'Victorian Lives in North Mymms'. All have been reproduced in full on this site following permission from Peter Kingsford and the North Mymms Local History Society.

The photographs reproduced by Peter Kingsford in his book, 'North Mymms people in Victorian times'.

The purpose of this book is to tell something of the lives of the people of North Mymms Parish in the 19th century. A parish of some 5000 acres. Peter Kingsford.

Chapter 1: North Mymms Parish in the year of the Great Exhibition
The census of 1851, when farming dominated local lives but 16 paupers were registered as living in the parish. It was a time when only one man in eight and no women had the parliamentary vote.

Chapter 2: Learning their Letters
About half the young men of the parish were virtually illiterate in the 1850s. Young women were given more education and were allowed to stay at school longer than the boys to learn the core curriculum, the three Rs.

Chapter 3: 'Be good sweet maid and let who will be clever'
When tape, needles and thread were key parts of the classroom equipment and the girls made nightdresses, pillow cases, pinafores and towels for the church bazaars.

Chapter 4: The straw plaiters
Although this home industry has a long history, it dropped off sharply in North Mymms following the Great Exhibition. From 30 Plaiters in 1841 there were only eight in 1871 and none ten years later.

Chapter 5:The poor we will have always with us
The poor were the great amjority of the people who lived by their labour. Below them were the destitute, those who had no means at all for earning a living.

Chapter 6: The demon drink
The parish had a flourishing temperance movement for about 40 years between 1876 and 1914 with the working class suffering a drink problem.

Chapter 7: Thrift and philanthropy
These two Victorian virtues flourished against a background of the poor law. It was believed that lack of thrift led to pauperism and consequently paupers were not the proper recipients of philanthropy.

Chapter 8: Nuisances in the parish
Cholera visited England for the third time in 1866 and killed nearly 20,000 people. Typhoid was also a deadly menace. In the same year the Sanitary Act became law.

Chapter9: Getting the vote
Democratic ideas were stirring vigorously in all the parishes of England in 1894 and not least among the fifteen hundred inhabitants of North Mymms.

Chapter 10: A plot of land
The story of how the parish council won allotments for its constituents extends over a period of not less than 18 years from 1895 to 1913.

Chapter 11: The primrose path
The Primrose League, set up after the death of Disraeli to promote his ideals, began to grow as a group in North Mymms, aiming to bridge the gap between the rich and poor, following a meeting at Hawkshead House in 1896.

Chapter 12: Little Heath to the fore
The expansion of Little Heath had a number of consequences, the people who came to live there were different from the traditional community of North Mymms.   They demanded religious worship and eduction..

Chapter 13: The impact of the World War
The impact was heavy for the relatives, women and children, of the men who enlisted during that first month of August 1914. 

Chapter 14: An ancient family
The Marlborough family, one of the oldest established in the parish of North Mymms dates back to the 16th century.

Chapter 15: Laying them to rest
A funeral was an important event in the parish.  In a small community the deceased was likely to be widely known.

Peter Kingsford, 1986

Chapter 1 - North Mymms Parish in the year of the Great Exhibition
Index - North Mymms people in Victorian times
Preface - North Mymms people in Victorian times
Photographs - from the book

Search this site or the rest of the Internet
This site The Internet
Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0