Today the Butchery in Barton upon Humber is a place in danger of being forgotten by the younger generation of Barton, especially as it is not much more than a short cut between the Market Place, George Street and Priestgate. All it contains now is a bit of tarmac, the old Queen Inn pub (now the Barton Evangelical Church), an odd looking building and the back yards of some of the properties on George Street, but if you check the Lincolnshire Census of 1851 you will see it was a very different place.
It is difficult to imaging now, but in 1851 there were nine dwellings recorded in the Butchery (which was actually two less than in the census for 1841 and 1861) and they were all occupied. It must have been bursting with life as it is only a small area, one which must have seemed even smaller with the extra properties and people it contained. Unlike today there would have been buildings along both the east side stretching from top to bottom and the west side, and also two very odd looking properties between. One of these odd looking buildings would have stood at the southern end of the Butchery and the other at the northern end (called Lincoln House). They both looked like they originally belonged to a row of houses that may have stretched from north to south along the full length of the Butchery. There is still a building at the northern end of the Butchery today which has, at the bottom half, bricks which are very thin (around 2.25 inches) and are irregular shaped. An Act of Parliament of 1725 set the minimum brick size standard to 2.5 inches so these bricks are likely to be earlier than this, probably early 18th century. There are also two door scars which are surrounded by early 18th century bricks but have been filled in by larger more modern bricks. The top half of this building has larger more modern bricks in places. There is a strong possibility that the bottom half of this building is the surviving bottom half of Lincoln House. It is roughly the right shape, it is in the right place and the bricks are probably earlier than 1851. If it is it goes to show just how small and cramped these houses were because it cannot be much more than ten feet square.
The enumerator who covered the Butchery in the Census of 1851 took the route from the Market Place north towards Priestage.
The first person he would have met was 30 year old James Walker who was the victualler (landlord) of the Queen Inn, his 24 year old wife Fanny, his two year old daughter Sylvia and his 19 year old servant Maria Wilson from Thornton Curtis. James Walker was born in Alkborough and his wife and daughter were born in Barton. The Queen Inn is still easily visible next to the bank and was reportedly the site of an old Moot Hall which was where the Saxon courts were held for the manor or district. The bank was probably responsible for the demise of two further properties on the south west corner of the Butchery when it was built.
In the next property lived 53 year old John Fussey who was a boot and shoe maker from Yorkshire, along with his 48 year old wife Mary from Glanford Brigg (or Brigg as it is now more commonly known). This is probably the property next to the Queen Inn which is now also part of the Barton Evangelical Church.
The next property along housed 44 year old Sarah Hardy from Altringham and her 17 year old son James, who was a solicitors writing clerk born in Cleetham. This property is probably the last one currently occupied by the Barton Evangelical Church. From here on the properties have either gone or it is difficult to pin down their location exactly.
In the next property was 51 year old Thomas Hill, a watchmaker who was born in Hull, his 44 year old wife Mary who was born in Notts, his 17 year old son John, who was also a watchmaker and was born in Barton, and his two daughters aged seven and nine who were scholars and were also born in Barton. It is possible that a scar on the side wall of the last property of the Barton Evangelical Church is the only remains of their dwelling or they may have lived on the east side which has now totally gone.
Samuel Oglesby, a 60 year old butcher born in Barrow, was listed in the next property along with his 27 year old son James who was born in Barton. James was obviously going to carry on the family tradition of butchery as he too was recorded as a butcher.
In the next property resided 46 year old John Hall, a farm labourer born in Barton, along with his 46 year old wife Sarah who was born in Saxby and his 24 year old daughter Ann, who was a dressmaker and was born in Barton. Visiting them on the night of the census was three year old William Forester who was born in Glanford Brigg.
The next property housed 36 year old Thomas Franklin, an agricultural labourer born in Riby, along with his 30 year old wife Mary who was born in East Halton, his ten year old son Edward who was born in Barrowby, his three daughters Mary (seven years old), Sylvia (six years old) and Francis (four years old), and his two month old son William. Also living with William and his family were his two son-in-laws Thomas and John Garton, who were ten and five years old respectively, and his daughter-in-law Hannah Garton, who was eight. Thomas Garton was recorded as an errand boy.
The next person the enumerator met was Ann Thompson, a 61 year old washer woman born in Saxby along with her 20 year old daughter Sarah, a dressmaker born in Barton.
The final property the enumerator visited housed Robert Hopper who was a 47 year old Tallow Chandler born in Hull, along with his 55 year old wife Elizabeth who was born in Brandesburton, his 24 year old son Robert who was also a Tallow Chandler born in Barton, and his 81 year old mother in law Ann Wilkinson who, like her daughter, had been born in Brandesburton. Robert Hopper junior was the father of Fred Hopper.
By 1861 almost all the families living in the Butchery in 1851 had moved on to be replaced by new families. There were only a few exceptions. James Walker was still the victualler of the Queen Inn. By now James was 41 and he had a new wife called Rachel. Rachel was 37 years old and was born in Barton. They both still lived with Jamesís daughter Sylvia who was now 12 years old. Jane Barrow from Killingholme was their servant now. Thomas Franklin was also still living in the Butchery. By now he was recorded as a Groom (someone who took care of horses). Thomas was still living with his wife Mary, his son William and his son-in-law John. Ann Thompson was also still living in the Butchery, but by now was know as Ann Bradley. She was aged 70 and living alone.
In its time the Butchery must have been a thriving community, the closeness of the properties and families would inevitably mean people would know each other well and probably interact closely with one other. It had its own pub, a watchmaker, a butcher, a washer woman and a Tallow Chandler amongst others. It most probably declined from the second half of the 19th century onwards as the trade directories of the time have many entries for the Butchery prior to and including 1851 but from 1861 onwards there are less and less until by 1918 there was nothing recorded (with the exception of the odd entry in later years). Eventually the majority of the houses were demolished because they were deemed uninhabitable, the pub closed and life in the Butchery would never be the same.
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