Literacy Patterns in Chipping Campden 1753-1900

Nick Woodward

Infant class with two teachers c.1900
Infant class with two teachers c.1900
Old School Room
Old School Room

Measuring literacy by the proportion that signed the marriage register, the paper (see below) shows that between the mid-eighteenth and the late nineteenth centuries average literacy in Campden was below the national average. It also declined in the late eighteenth-century. Although literacy is influenced by a number of factors, it is evident that the importance of arable farming in the local economy is crucial in explaining these patterns. Amongst non-farmer workers the picture is more optimistic. Non-farm workers had quite high literacy, and women’s literacy rose earlier than that nationally.

 

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