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Cavenham Population C19th-C20th

The population of Cavenham appears to have turned full circle since 1086 with the population around the 120 mark, doubling to 283 inhabitants in 1851.

Marital figures between 1800 & 1837 reflect the immobility of Cavenham life (of the 116 marrying , 102 were Cavenham inhabitants) but by 1850 both men and women were leaving the village.

The dramatic decrease in the total population during the 1850's is, according to the census compilers, attributed to ... Cavenham, Tuddenham and Barton Mills emigration and...migration to Durham and other parts. The industrialising north particularly the mining community of Durham offered working opportunities not available to the workforce of Cavenham which appears to have suffered the greatest loss.

The gradual decline in the population since the 1860's was the result of the increased mechanisation of agricultural machinery. In 1841 there were 57 men employed in agricultural, this had dropped to 31 by the end of the 19th Century. In February 2000, after another round of redunduncies, there were only 9 working in agriculture with only 4 of those working directly for the estate.

The next dramatic fall occured at the turn of the century when the estate changed hands 5 times in 8 years; Henry Waddington - Trustees - Spencer Waddington - Mr. Davies - Trustees and finely to Adolphe Goldsmith.

Over the same period the figures changed from predominantly female to predominantly male, yet the birth rate shows remarkable equality between the sexes with, for example, 36 boys - 34 girls in Cavenham during the census of 1891.

At this time the estate was consolidated and all available land was bought. The middle class farmers who had previously employed females as servants cooks and laundresses moved on leaving fewer job opportunities: 1841;24 servants, 1891;18 servants.

The estate changed hands again in 1946 and for the next 30 years the population appears remarkably stable. To compensate for the decline in agricultural employees many estate properties were sold in the early 1980's. Newcomers account for the rise in the population since. Source; Relevant census returns, Marriage & Birth Records from the County Records Office & Parish Electral Roll.

see also Occupancy
2000 Sarah Brownie

A Forest Heath District Council (Suffolk) Project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of the Millennium Festival 2000 Designed by ArtAtac