View Full Version : Coachsmith

Merry Monty Montgomery
11-03-09, 21:03
Your opinions needed on what a "coachsmith" living in Mile End in 1881 might have done in his employment. He was 29 years of age. I can't find him (too many to choose from) on the previous census and he had died by the following one.

I have read other answers on Rootschat etc, but wondered what we think here!

Anne in Carlisle
11-03-09, 21:12
Something to do with making coach bodywork?


Jill on the A272
11-03-09, 21:13
I'm sure there were plenty of hansom cabs etc that needed making and maintaining.

11-03-09, 21:57
My understanding of it - I have a few Coachsmith and Coachmakers.

Is a job making and maintaining carriages on a train.

The railway was a booming bussines after 1840 and then came the network in London itself the London Underground tube network - it just went on and on. So it was a good job to have at that time, it just kept expanding.

Edit to say: A couple of mine come from Mile End and Whitechapel.

11-03-09, 22:14
Made and maintained coaches for horses?

11-03-09, 23:21
On the Gazette archives there are a lot of references to 'coachsmith and wheelwright', 'coachsmith and spring maker', 'coachsmith and axletree maker' so something with axles, wheels and springs would suggest a stage coach. So I'd conclude a coachsmith made / maintained metal parts of stage coaches / horse drawn cabs.

Anne in Carlisle
11-03-09, 23:43
Of course! I think Maggie has it - the railways would have been a massive industry/employer in London in 1881.


Olde Crone Holden
12-03-09, 00:38
Ah, but my Busbys were coachsmiths and eventually started a fleet of coaches, then diversified into buses, trams and other kinds of public transport, but nothing to do with trains (as far as I know).

They were coachsmiths and "coachwrights"(huhn?) back in the late 1700s.


12-03-09, 08:06
There were cartrights and coachwrights and wheelwrights the names speak for them selves.

I expect before the mid to late 1880s it probably meant carriages, coaches for horses a coachsmith would probably be axle building etc. But I think you have to look at the era and time. There were many on the census around 1881, 1891 in the East End of London I don't think they were all building coaches for horses!

That type of travel was dying out quick and it was only travel for the wealthy in London except for long haul travel so not a big industry but the trains were big business after 1841.

Edit to say - don't forget the trams too they emerged from trolley buses pulled by horses I think

Wor canny Lass
12-03-09, 11:18
Railway coaches were originally like the road coaches, so those who made road coaches - private for the gentry, and public for the cabs - could diversify


Merry Monty Montgomery
12-03-09, 11:27
I was hoping I might be able to find this chap in 1881 when he should have been about 19. At that age you would expect him to be either in the same job or a related one such as blacksmith or in an apprenticeship.

Trouble is, he won't be found!! I would need his marriage cert first :(