Literacy Patterns in Chipping Campden 1753-1900
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.