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The school played an important role in the taking of the 1901 Census.
The headmaster, William J. Wright, acted as a census enumerator for
both the 1891 and 1901 Censuses. The school also gave lessons on the
census, as its logbook (held by Norfolk Record Office) notes. This was
in line with the hopes of the Board of Education that 'in the case of
the older children these lessons might be turned to practical advantage
by promoting the accurate filling-up of the Census Schedules in the
families to which these children belonged'.
||The 1901 Census
returns show how heavily East Tuddenham was dependent on agriculture.
In nearly 80% of its households, the main wage-earner worked on the land
- as farmer, shepherd, teamster, cattleman or ordinary labourer. Basic
wages for the Norfolk agricultural labourer, although still among the
lowest in the country, had risen from about 10s a week in 1895 to between
12s and 13s by 1901. Rowntree and Kendall's 1913 study, How the Labourer
Lives, showed how most of their families were living below the standard
necessary for health and 'efficiency'.
Village shopkeepers throughout the county had also suffered from loss
of trade both during the agricultural depression after 1875 and as urban
rivals developed country rounds. L.M. Springall's study, Labouring
Life in Norfolk Villages 1834-1914, comments that:
The older generation of village tradesmen and artisans carried on
and made both ends meet with the help of some subsidiary employment,
such as cultivating a piece of land, but when they died their sons did
not succeed them, for they had left the parish
In this silent revolution
the village became almost dependent upon Norwich and other large towns
for supplies of common necessities.
Changes we associate with later in the 20th century were already well
On the 1861 census, the population of the ecclesiastical parish of
Honingham St. Andrew with East Tuddenham had been 840; by 1901 it had
fallen to 745. Such rural depopulation was stimulated by the depression,
by the introduction of new machines such as the binder and double-furrow
plough that reduced the demand for casual labour and by better employment
opportunities in the towns. Between 1891 and 1911, the number of agricultural
labourers in Norfolk fell by 10%. However, a more detailed look at available
statistics reveals that this was not a simple, continuous decline. Figures
for the civil parish of East Tuddenham show that its population fell
from 474 in 1891 to 415 in 1901, but rose again to 441 in 1911. In Honingham,
there was also a modest rise.
A rough idea of the scale of population change in East Tuddenham can
be gauged by looking at the disappearance of family surnames in the
village. Of the 96 surnames recorded in the 1891 census, less than 50%
(46) were still present in the village 10 years later. This high degree
of mobility is at odds with a nostalgic picture of unchanging rural
The drift to the towns gave rise to increasing concern around the turn
of the century about whether the physical condition of the English people
as a result of unhealthy urban living conditions. Jack London's The
People of the Abyss, published in 1903, claimed that 'The average
Mrs Thomas Mugridge has been driven into the city, and she is not breeding
very much of anything save an anaemic and sickly progeny which cannot
find enough to eat.'
East Tuddenham and Honingham School has now been closed and converted
into a private residence.
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