Chapter Eleven Part III
By the 1851 Census there was a broadening of social patterns in the village. Maltby had 80 farm labourers and 18 farmers. “Housewife” figured in the Census returns. A new entry is washerwoman – Maltby had nine! They were obviously employed by the new rich – the Squire, the Parson, the Surgeon, the Schoolmaster and the people in the grand houses. The Census lists “8 daughters at home”. There were 12 dressmakers – these too would be for the service of the affluent, as would be the 29 servants listed.
There were 11 masons – an increased from the 3 listed at the beginning of the century. There were 10 apprentices of various trades. Other occupations listed include blacksmiths, limestone workers, butchers, carpenters, cordwainers, millwrights, millers, road labourers. Inevitably there were 10 widows. But no baker is listed! Maltby housewives must have made their own bread, as some of the men-folk would brew their own beer and maintain an “alehouse”.
The Census gives a picture of a more varied life in the village. The development of communications, the post, the establishment of the local press at Rotherham and Doncaster, the coming of the railway to Rotherham and Doncaster all made for a more social life in the village. Both the villagers and the affluent families responded and contributed in a simple way. The Rotherham Advertiser in 1879 notes that the poor in Maltby and Sandbeck were not forgotten. The Countess of Scarbrough gave blankets to the poor and contributed £2 to the village coal club. There was also a clothing club for the poor.
1880 was a year in which social activities and care seem to have flourished. A lending library was established. Subscriptions per annum were 1/- for labourers, 1/6d for artisans and 2/6d for others. It was at this time that coal and clothing clubs were formed. In 1881 the local Press reported that Lord Scarbrough “with his usual generosity” presented all his Estate workers with a piece of beef for Christmas. There were also gifts for the Estate children, which might include a new suit. Part of the price to be paid was that if the children met the Countess in the Park they might be asked to recite the Prayer Book Collect for the week!
In addition to the Library there was established a reading room and a coffee room. The Church magazine for 1880 reports that they were well used. The “Seven men of Preston” at the Temperance Rally must have had some effect! There was still a Church Temperance Society in 1880.
The Maltby Reading Room was established and open every Friday from 5-10 p.m. The announcement of the opening declared that fathers with large families end small means could spend a quiet evening at no expense. Nothing was said their wives! Perhaps they were assumed to be illiterate. Children under 14 were not admitted. But it was a beginning!
There is a note for 1862 that letters arrived (presumably from Rotherham) at Maltby at 6 a.m. The postmaster acted as Parish Clerk in the village. Local government was in the hands of the Vicar, Churchwardens and two overseers of the poor! The village now had one doctor, five shoemakers, five wheelwrights, four saddlers, three masons, two blacksmiths, two butchers, two tailors, one corn dealer, one rope maker, and four shopkeepers. The Agricultural revolution had reached Maltby.
Threshing machines and other farm implements were made in the village. There was one school master, George Bennett. The scattered parish had 21 farmers. There was a coach from Rotherham to Tickhill and Bawtry four times a week. It passed through Maltby en route for Tickhill and Bawtry. It did the return journey in the afternoon.
As in the previous two centuries the birth and death records in the Registers provide evidence for the state of the village. The average age of death between 1806 and 1893 varied over the years from 29 to 63. Mostly the average age at death was in the 30s and 40s. From 1800 to 1820 Maltby had 388 births of which 40 were illegitimate. The infant deaths numbered 24. From 1880 to 1900 there were 326 births of which 22 were illegitimate and 35 died in infancy. The developments in education and agriculture were not matched in health.
Maltby was still a poor village as these statistics show. But the rigours of the Industrial Revolution were far removed from it. In 1872 George Rolleston’s brother, a Vicar in Warrington, wrote a letter appealing for financial help for the destitute mill workers in his parish. Boxes were fixed to the Church door for donations from the Maltbeians, poor though they might be.