Bath Chair — A rolling light carriage for one person with a folding hood, mounted on three or four wheels and drawn or pushed by hand. Used especially by the disabled person.

Brazier — a person who made or repaired household items made from brass


Cab Driver — Driver of a small two-wheeled horse-drawn carriage with two seats and a folding hood

Capstan — A broad revolving cylinder with a vertical axis used for winding a rope or cable, powered by a motor or pushed round by levers.

Cess (parish cess)– A tax for the Relief of the Poor

Chattels — An item of personal property that is movable.

Choldren -Choldron —  an obsolete spelling of cauldron. A unit of dry capacity and coal was taxed by the chaldron, not by weight.

The chaldron was the legal limit for horse-drawn coal wagons travelling by road as it was considered that heavier loads would cause too much damage to the roadways. Railways had standard “chauldron wagons” which were about 10 ft (3.05 m) and around 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) high. -from wikipedia


Church-rate — The church-rate was a tax levied in parishes for the benefit of the parish church. The money raised from the rates were then used to meet the costs of carrying on divine service, repairing the fabric of the church and paying the salaries of the church officials.

Compositor– A person who arranges type for printing or keys text into a composing machine.


Dissenter– English Dissenters / Separatists were Protestant Christians who separated from the Church of England
e.g. Congregationalist, Methodists, Quakers, Baptists etc.

Downs–  are an area sheltered sea off the east Kent coast, between the North and the South Foreland.



Freeman– Until 1835 only freemen were legally allowed to trade and vote in the borough and parliamentary elections. see pilot.


Guardian of the Parish  — Represented the parish on the Board of Guardians who administered the workhouses. They replaced the parish  ‘overseers of the poor’ who before the Poor Law Act 1834 administered the parish poor relief such as money, food and clothing.


Half-Pay — British Army and Royal Navy term used in the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries to refer to the pay or allowance received by an officer when in retirement or not in actual service


Ironmonger —  a dealer in hardware made of iron




Letters of Marque — A government license authorising the holder known as a privateer to attack and capture enemy vessels. Once sold by the Admiralty the ‘privateer’ and his crew gained a share of the prize money.

Lugger — A small sailing ship with two or three masts and a lugsail on each.


Municipal Reform Act –Councils then had to be elected by ratepayers and each borough had to appoint a salaried town clerk & treasurer who were not members of the council. It also meant that Dissenters of all denominations could now attain office.



Ostler or Hostler — a man employed to look after the horses of people staying at an inn


Pilot– Pilots were hired to guide shipping through the sometimes dangerous coastal routes. The Cinque Ports Pilots held high status and all pilots had to be Freemen and churchgoers. Church services were compulsory but as Pilotage could be required at any time, the pilots paid for their own galleries with a separate entrance so that they could leave without disturbing the congregation.


Penal Servitude — Imprisonment with hard labour.

Pie-powder court — from the Latin curia pedis pulverisate– the Court of the Dusty Foot  A special court that sat in times of public markets or fairs in England, with exclusive jurisdiction over disputes between merchants and consumers and any other dispute arising as a result of the market or fair and on fairgrounds.


Quarter Sessions — a court of limited criminal and civil jurisdiction and of appeal, usually held quarterly in counties or boroughs, and replaced in 1972 by crown courts.


Recorder — “Recorder” is used to denote a barrister who sits as a part-time circuit judge.

Reformatory — an institution to which young offenders are sent as an alternative to prison. Convicted offenders could be granted a pardon if they went to a Certified Reformatory School for 2 to 5 years they first required to spend at least fourteen days in prison.


Sick and Wounded Society — Also known as the Sick and Hurt Board, though fully titled The Commissioners for taking Care of Sick and Wounded Seamen and for the Care and Treatment of Prisoners of War. They were responsible for medical services in the Royal Navy and were a subsidiary body to the Navy Board, supplying surgeons to naval ships, providing them with medicines and equipment, and running shore and ship hospitals; they were also responsible for prisoners of war.

Slopseller — A merchant who sold cheap ready-made clothing or rough working dress. These were known as slops. These would include butchers’ aprons or articles of clothing and bedding issued or sold to sailors.


Tithe — is a one-tenth part of something, paid for the upkeep of the Incumbent of the parish church. Until 1836 tithes were required to be paid for by example agricultural produce. From 1836 they were commuted to a cash payment.




The Watch — an early form of policing by organized groups of men to ‘watch’ for and to deter criminal activity. To provide law enforcement and public safety such as a fire-watch.

Wheelwright — Builds or repairs wooden wheels.

Weighbridge —  A very large set of balance scales used for weighing large vehicles, including horse-drawn carts, lorries and railway wagons. Weighbridges first became popular in England in the 19th century as a method for turnpike trusts to charge road tolls based on the weight of the vehicle using the roads.