The aim of the project is to provide a better understanding of the development of the British economy between c.1820 and 1911. From 1841 onwards the published census provides very detailed data on the occupational structure of Britain at a multiplicity of geographical levels. All of these data will be digitised in a consistent format for the period 1841-1911 together with population data for the same spatial units. This will be extended by archival work to create an equivalent dataset of male occupations for England and Wales c.1820. 

These resource will be used to resolve a series of contentious issues in nineteenth century British and global economic history including: the structural nature, timing and geography of the first industrial revolution and the subsequent drive to maturity, their impact on women, the role of service sector growth, the importance of transport developments, especially railways, and how Britain’s experience compared with that of other countries. 

This project will be undertaken by a team of researchers led by Leigh Shaw-Taylor and Tony Wrigley based at the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure in the Department of Geography at the University of Cambridge. 

Start date
01 March 2006
End date
30 August 2009
Grant holder
Dr Leigh Shaw-Taylor
Professor Tony Wrigley
Grant amount
Grant reference
Economic & Social History
Economic and Social History
Grant type