Research Findings - Occupational Structure

By applying the Booth-Armstrong codes to our occupational data between 1851 and 1891 we can show that the local economy was characterised by:

  • The relative and absolute decline of agriculture, mining, quarrying and brickmaking;
  • The relative - but not absolute - decline of manufacturing;
  • The relative stability but absolute growth of building, and industrial services such as banking, insurance and accounts;
  • The relative and absolute growth in the importance of dealing and retailing; domestic service; transport; and public service and professional sectors;
  • Male employment was remarkably balanced with no sector of the local economy employing more than 20% of the male workforce, whereas the female occupational structure was very different and dominated by one sector - domestic service.
  • Click here to view Kingston's occupational structure in 1871

From an economy which, before the coming of the railways, was based on agriculture, a number of local industries including brewing, malting, milling and brickmaking, and on acting as a market for the surrounding area, Kingston was clearly changing into what the most recent historian of the town has described as "...the economic focus of Surrey and its own suburbs....(gaining) that dual function - London commuter town and regional economic centre - which it has maintained ever since." (S.Butters, The Book of Kingston,1995, p.101).

Photograph of Maple Road, Surbiton, 1880 Photograph of Vicarage Road, 1895 Photograph of late 19th Century Kingston streets