Friday, 17 October 2014

A population record of Beckenham 1821

In the course of background research about Beckenham Parish in the 1800's to accompany my transcript of Doctor Thomas Ilott's practice prescription ledger I located the account about 1821 of the population record of Reverend Andrew Brandram curate to the parish. Brandram went on to become Rector of Beckenham and produced the following statistics. I think he was probably compiling a requisite report in 1821 as parishes were asked to do so every ten years for early population statistics. Bromley has a surviving return in one volume of its registers.
The population of Beckenham Parish is recorded as 1180 people 558 Males and 622 Females. Of the over 60 population Brandram records that there were 27 males and 39 females aged 60-70;16 males and 16 females aged 70-80 and 4 males and 6 females aged 80-90 years of age.
There were 196 inhabited houses and 15 houses "building" 3 of which were inhabited. The population contained 214 plowmans families 77 persons employed in agriculture and 46 employed in trade manufacture and handicraft the remainder of 91 not in these two categories.
This valuable population information lies behind the population figure for 1821 in published sources and the total figure on the Kent Online Parish Clerks Beckenham Parish page.
Beckenham had been the home of  William Merrick Surgeon who was highly regarded not least by the poor of the parish who mourned at his funeral in 1818.
From 1809 Doctor Thomas Ilott provides medical care to many of the major households and tradespeople of the village as well as being paid by the parish to care for the poor see Parish account transcript As I continue to transcribe household accounts it is evident that Doctor Ilott delivers the children of labourers and gentry alike and was inoculating children.
 Beckenham had from 1811 had many people suffer from typhus and scarlet fever as the burial register reflect.
Unfortunately research of Beckenham Baptisms and Burials prior to 1813 involves a heavily fire and water damaged register which has lost large areas of pages and water damage has washed away ink losing substantial areas  of information. The Ilott ledger records date of delivery of children and it is therefore possible to retrieve some partial entries from the Baptismal information where the date of birth is still visible. In one such example an older child of the family is baptised on the same day.
The Ilott ledger is therefore a significant record for searchers of Beckenham families in the early years of the nineteenth century.