• Big Book - B

    • Backmaker Made "Backs" - vats, tubs - a Cooper
    • Backsmann / Backster / Beck / Becker Baker
    • Back-Boy Kitchen servant - from Back House Boy
    • Back Tenter Employed at the back of the weaving looms, clearing away debris.
    • Back Washer Cleaned wool in worsted manufacture
    • Badger Licensed pauper - wore a badge with "P" on it and was restricted to working a defined area 2) Corn Miller or Dealer 3) Itinerant food trader
    • Badgy Fiddler Military boy trumpeter
    • Bagman Travelling salesman
    • Bagniokeeper Keeper of a bathhouse or brothel.
    • Bailie / Bailie / Baillee / Bailiff Sheriff's Officer, land steward acting for the landowner/landlord. In Scotland, a magistrate of the Burgh - also looked after fishing rights on some rivers
    • Bairman / Bareman Pauper or beggar
    • Bal Maiden Female mine worker employed on the surface (Pit Brow Lass)
    • Balancer Employed in coal mines to operate a system of hauling coal tubs (Balance)
    • Baler 1) Baled hay 2) In the mills, one who baled wool or cotton goods
    • Balister Archer. Most commonly, a crossbowman
    • Ballad Monger Street seller of printed ballad sheets
    • Ballard Master In charge of ballasting vessels
    • Ballast Heaver Loaded ballast in ships - commonly stone. Necessary when ships were not carrying cargo
    • Baller / Baller Up Potter's assistant - measuring out the balls of clay. Also see Cotton Baller
    • Balloon Blower (India) Made rubber balloons - (rubber was known as India rubber)
    • Band Filer Metalworker in gun making
    • Bandster Bound wheat sheaves after harvesting
    • Bang Beggar Parish Officer who controlled how long strangers could stay in the Parish
    • Banker 1) Dug drainage trenches/ditches, banking up the diggings along the edges. 2) General surface worker in coal mining. More Info.
    • Banksman / Bank Manager / Browman In charge of the cages at mine pitheads - sometimes known as a Bank Manager.
    • Banns public announcement of an intended marriage.
    • Baptised.
    • Barber, Barber/Surgeon Cut hair and also a surgeon.
    • Bard Poet or Minstrel
    • Bareman Beggar or Pauper
    • Bargee / Bargeman Owned or worked on canal barges
    • Barilla Manufacturer Made Banilla, obtained from burning saltwort, the resulting sodium salt used in glass & ceramics
    • Barkeeper Tollkeeper - on toll roads
    • Barker / Barkman 1) Tanner of leather using tree bark 2) Fairground cryer
    • Barleyman / Bylawman Manorial Court official who enforced the court orders
    • Barm Brewer Made yeast
    • Barmaster Lead Mine arbiter. In charge of the standard measure for the lead ore
    • Barrel Filer Employed in gun making
    • Barrow Man Pushed barrows of coal from pit face to the shaft
    • Bartoner / Barton In charge of a monastery farm or barton
    • Base-born an illegitimate child.
    • Basil Worker Worked with skins of sheep and goats
    • Basketman 1) Make wicker baskets & furniture 2) Emptied coal baskets into barges
    • Bass / Bast Dresser Dressed fibre for matting
    • Bastard a Bastard is an illegitimate child.
    • Bathing Machine Proprietor Owned and hired out changing huts used by bathers at the seaside
    • Batman Army officers' servant - still current
    • Batt Maker Made the wadding (batts) used in quilt and mattress making
    • Battledore Maker Made the wicker beaters used on clothes & carpets to beat out the dust. Later made the paddles used in early washing machines
    • Bauer A Farmer
    • Baven Maker Made bavens - split and curled wood pieces used for kindling
    • Baxter Baker
    • Bayweaver Wove "Bay"(baize) a fine woollen felt like fabric
    • Bead Piercer Made the holes in bead making
    • Beadle / Bedel / Bedell Town crier and parish officer who kept order
    • Beadman / Beadsman / Bedesman 1) Manorial tenant employed for a specific purpose 2) Inhabitant of a Poorhouse, Almshouse or Hospital 3) Employed to pray for his employer
    • Beamer Drew the warp yarn through and onto the long heavy beam of a loom for weaving textiles
    • Bearer Carried coal to the pit shaft and placed it in containers for lifting to the surface
    • Beater / Fuller Cleaned and thickened cloth by treading it in water with Fuller's Earth
    • Beaterman Managed the Hollander Beater (invented in the 16th century in Holland) in a paper mill. A beater beats and crushes raw material, bruising and driving water inside the fibres
    • Beatster Made or mended drift nets used in fishing
    • Beaver Made felt for hat making
    • Bedman Sexton
    • Bedral Minor Scottish church official
    • Bedwevere Made webbing for bed frames and also wove quilts
    • Beer Seller Sold Beer and Cider in Beerhouses under the 1830 Beerhouse Act.
    • Beeskep Maker Made beehives
    • Beetler Operated the Beetling Machine, used for embossing textiles. The Beetling Machine was also used to give a Shiny effect to cloth as the pressure of the wooden rollers during the squeezing (mangling) of the Cotton Cloth added lustre
    • Belhoste Tavern keeper
    • Bell Hanger Hung bells in church towers
    • Belleyetere / Belter / Billiter Bellfounder - bell maker
    • Bellman 1) Watchman or town crier 2) Worked for the Post Office, collecting mail by walking the streets ringing a bell Coaches then transported the mail
    • Bellpit Bell-shaped shaft dug by miners
    • Bellowfarmer Maintained the church organ (which was bellows operated)
    • Belly Builder Built and fitted piano bellies or interiors
    • Belly Roller Operated a machine which rolled and compacted fibres on the belly of cattle hides
    • Benchman In chairmaking, cut out the seat portion
    • Bender 1) Leather cutter 2) Bent wooden chair parts
    • Bequeath term appearing in a will meaning to leave or give property as specified therein
    • Bercary Sheep farm
    • Berewick Dependent settlement or outlying hamlet contributing to the sustenance of a manor
    • Besom Maker Broom maker, usually of birch twigs
    • Besswarden Appointed by a parish to look after its animals
    • Bibliography list of writings relating to a specific subject, some of which are annotated.
    • Biddy Female servant - usually Irish
    • Billhook Axe-like long-handled tool, used for cleaving sticks for wattle
    • Billier / Billyman Operated a Billy Roller, used to prepare cotton for spinning
    • Bill Poster As today, put up notices, signs and posters
    • Binder Bound books, hats etc.
    • Biography is a book written about a particular individual.
    • Bird Boy Scared away birds from crops
    • Bird Catcher Caught birds for sale
    • Birlyman Scottish ground officer or parish arbiter
    • Birth records contains information about the birth of an individual.
    • Bisshunter A hunter of rabbits for fur
    • BIVRI British Isles Vital Records Index
    • Black Borderer Made black edged funerary stationery
    • Black Tray Maker Made black (Japanned) trays
    • Blacksmith Worked (still does) iron with forge and hammer.
    • Blackworker Embroidered "blackwork" using black silks on, commonly, white fabric
    • Blacking Maker Made boot polish (usually using soot)
    • Bladesmith Made swords, knives etc.
    • Blaxter / Bleacher /Bleacherer Bleached cloth or wood pulp for paper in a "Bleachery"
    • Blemmere Plumber
    • Blentonist Water diviner
    • Blindsman Dealt with incorrectly addressed mail for the Post Office
    • Block Cutter / Blocker 1)Made wooden blocks for hat making 2)Laid the blocks for laying of a ship's keel in shipbuilding 3)Cut designs into wooden blocks for printing fabrics 4)Quarryman, whose job was to cut stone into useable blocks
    • Block Maker 1) Engraved or set up the blocks used in block printing 2)Made pulley blocks
    • Block Printer Printed paper or fabrics by the use of inked and carved or engraved wooden blocks. (Block Printing)
    • Bloodman / Bloodletter Used leeches to let blood, thought to be the cure for many ailments.
    • Bloomer / Bloom Smith Produced iron from iron ore
    • Blower 1) Glass blower; 2) Operated a "blowing machine" to clean and separate textile fibres 3) Operated the blacksmith's bellows
    • Blowfeeder Fed the fibres into a blowing machine
    • Boyds Boyds Marriage Index
    • Blue Dyer/Maker Used/made blue dye for whitening fabrics in manufacture or washing
    • Bluffer Innkeeper or pub landlord
    • BMD Births/Marriages/Deaths
    • Boarder Term used for a Lodger - usually dined with the family, whilst a Lodger did not
    • Boarding Officer Port official who inspects ship's papers on port entry - still exists
    • Boardman 1) Truant officer for checking school attendance 2) Manorial tenant who paid rent by maintaining the manor house table
    • Boardwright Carpenter. Made tables and chairs
    • Boatman 1) Worked on river and canal boats 2) Boat repairer
    • Boatswain Petty officer in charge of the ship's crew, also the ship's rigging and deck maintenance, responsible to the Chief Officer. Still in use today
    • Bobber 1) Metal polisher 2) Unloaded fishing boats
    • Bobbin Carrier Supplied the looms with bobbins in spinning and weaving
    • Bobbin Ligger Placed the spools for spinning
    • Bobbin Turner Made (lathe turned) the wooden bobbins used in the textile mills
    • Bodeys / Body Maker Made the bodices for women's garments
    • Bodger A skilled craftsman who made wooden chair legs and spars using a lathe set up in home made workshops in deep woodlands. His work was often produced for chair factories
    • Boilermaker Industrial metalworker.
    • Boiler Plater Made rolled steel/iron plate for steam engine boilers etc.
    • Boll Power loom attendant
    • Bolter Sifted meal
    • Bondager Bonded female farm worker
    • Bond written, binding agreement to perform as specified.
    • Bondman As for Apprentice - bonded to his Master to learn a skill or trade
    • Bondsman Stood the bond or surety for a bonded person
    • Bone Lace Maker Made pillow lace
    • Bone Mould Turner Made the moulds for button making
    • Bone Picker Rag & Bone Man. Collected rags and bones (originally) later any discarded articles / metals
    • Bonesetter Set broken bones
    • Boniface Innkeeper
    • Book Gilder Gilded book bindings with gold leaf
    • Bookholder Theatre prompter
    • Book Edge Marbler Decorated the edges of pages in bound books
    • Book Keeper As today, looked after business accounts
    • Bookman Student
    • Boonmaster Surveyed, maintained and repaired roads
    • Bootbinder Operated machines in shoemaking, binding uppers to soles
    • Boot Catcher Servant at an Inn who pulled off travellers' boots
    • Boot Closer Stitched the shoe uppers to the soles
    • Boothman Corn Merchant
    • Borler / Boreler Maker of borel - cheap coarse woollen cloth
    • Borough English A custom of inheritance by the youngest son
    • Borsholder Kent regional name for a police constable
    • Botcher Tailor or cobbler
    • Bottiler / Bottler A person who made leather containers for holding liquids eg wine flasks or water bottles. From the turn of the 17c it would more likely refer to a worker in a bottling factory for beer, soft drinks, water etc.
    • Bottle Boy Pharmacist's assistant
    • Bottomer Adzed out the finished seat from the rough shape in wooden chair making
    • Bottom Knocker Sagger Maker's assistant - See Saggar Maker's Bottom Knocker.
    • Bottom Maker Moulded the bottoms for Saggers in the pottery industry
    • Boundary Setters / Layers Employed by the Board of Ordnance (Ordnance Survey) for setting out and plotting important boundaries used in map-making.
    • Bounds pertaining to measuring natural or man-made features on the land.
    • Bounty land land promised as an inducement for enlistment or payment for military services.
    • Bowdler Worked with iron ore
    • Bowker Bleached yarn. Also in parts of Lancashire, a butcher
    • Bowler 1) Maker of bowls and dishes 2) Made the bowls of spoons before casting
    • Bowlman/woman Crockery dealer
    • Bowlminder In charge of vats in which raw wool were washed before processing
    • Bowyer / Bower Made archery bows
    • Bozzler Parish constable
    • Brabener Weaver
    • Brachygrapher Shorthand writer
    • Braider Made cord by twisting cords or leather
    • Brailler Made girdles
    • Brakeman / Brakesman 1) Operated pithead winding gear 2) Operated brakes on trains or trams
    • Brasiater Brewed Ale
    • Brasiler Dyer
    • Bratman Made rough garments
    • Brazier Worked with brass
    • Breakman / Brickman Bricklayer
    • Breech Maker Made the breeches for guns
    • Brewster Brewer
    • Bridewell Keeper In charge of a lock-up or jail
    • Bridgeman / Bridger Toll bridge keeper
    • Brightsmith Metal worker
    • Brimstone Refiner Refined sulphur, one of the components of gunpowder
    • Broadcloth Weaver / Broadweaver Wide(broad)loom operator
    • Broad Cooper Go-between for breweries and innkeepers
    • Brogger Wool merchant
    • Broker Essentially a salesman or middleman to a supplier for arranging sales.
    • Broom Dasher Broom dealer
    • Broom Squire Broom Maker/ itinerant maker of besoms or brooms
    • Brotherer/Broiderer/Broderer/Browderer Embroiderer
    • Brow Girl Female employed at the pithead
    • Brownsmith Worked with copper or brass
    • Brush Drawer Fixed the bristles into the stock or handle of a brush. More Info.
    • Brush Stock / Stale Maker Made the handles for brushes
    • BT's Bishops Transcripts
    • Buckler / Bucklesmith Made belt buckles
    • Buckle Tongue Maker Made the pointed part of a belt buckle
    • Buckram Maker Made buckram - used for stiffening lapels, collars, cloth belts etc.
    • Buck Washer Laundress
    • Buddleboy Used and maintained ore-washing vats in lead and tin mining
    • Buddler Women and children employed washing ore
    • Bullwhacker Oxen driver
    • Bum Bailiff An officer of the court who went to a convicted person's home or business premises and siezed goods in lieu of payment of a fine, in default
    • Bumboat Man Seller of goods and foodstuffs from boats to ships at anchor (Typically Suez Canal)
    • Bummaree Fish market middlemen - between wholesalers and retailers
    • Bummer Army deserter
    • Bunter Female rag & bone collector
    • Bureler Maker of Borel, a rough woolen cloth
    • Burgess Represented a borough official at functions
    • Burgonmaster / Burgomaster Mayor
    • Buried.
    • Burler Clothing quality inspector
    • Burleyman / Byelawman Manorial court official who enforced the court orders
    • Burmaiden Chambermaid or lady in waiting
    • Burneman Carrier of barm or water for brewers
    • Burye Man Grave digger - (bury man)
    • Bushel Maker Cooper
    • Busheler Tailor's helper
    • Busker Hair Dresser
    • Buss Maker Gunsmith
    • Butner Button maker
    • Butter Carver Prepared butter for sale