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Canal Workers in The 1871 Census

Sandhole Bridge seen from the north October 2008
Sandhole Bridge seen from the north October 2008

The following references to canal workers come from the 1871 Census return for Linslade. Clearly some canal workers on the Linslade stretch would live elsewhere but these figures show the impact on Linslade.

Grant's Wharf was later known as Brantom's Wharf and lay on the east bank of the canal just south of the road, between Grand Union House and the canal. Whichello's Wharf lay on the west bank just north of Leighton Road, behind Number 24 and on the opposite bank to the modern Tesco supermarket and car park. Linslade Lock lies just off the northernmost point of Bossington Lane.

Bossington Lane

  • Joseph Smith, 33, wharfinger's labourer, Leighton Buzzard

Canal Side, Old Road

  • James Mobley, 42, wharfinger's clerk, Dunstable

Grant's Wharf

  • William James, 51, coal and timber merchant, Weston Underwood [Buckinghamshire]
  • George Hurst, 33, agent for Grand Junction Canal, Woburn
  • George Tring, 31, wharf labourer, Linslade 

Lock House

  • John Samuel Hollyer, 56, clerk on Grand Junction Canal, London

Old Road

  • Robert Rowe, 66, wharfinger's labourer, Linslade
  • William Rowe, 60, boatman (out of employment), Linslade
  • George Honor, 54, boatman on canal, Wing [Buckinghamshire]

Regents Terrace

  • George Fryer, 63, canal labourer, Woolwich [Kent]

Whichellos Wharf


  • Isaac Barnet, 41, canal steerer, Stratford-upon-Avon [Warwickshire]
  • Harriet Barnet, wife, 40, canal steerer, Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Thomas Barnet, son, 18, canal steerer, Stratford-upon-Avon


  • Cyclops - John Kendall, 42, canal steerer, Warwick
  • Cyclops - Ann Kendall, wife, 44, canal steerer, Leamington [Warwickshire]
  • Charles - John Baylis, 56, canal steerer, Honiton [Devon]
  • Charles - Mary Baylis, 60, wife, canal steerer, Warwick
  • Charles - John Baylis, 21, son, canal steerer, Birmingham
  • Badger - Edward Rogers, 23, boatman (captain), Kidderminster [Worcestershire]
  • Badger - William Hollis, 21, engine driver, Birmingham
  • Badger - John Stairs, 21, engine driver, Bramston [Northamptonshire]
  • Badger - Thomas Franks, 22, boatman, Birmingham
  • Cromford - William Harding, 23, boatman (captain), Northampton
  • Cromford - Thomas Painter, 35, boatman, Cosgrove [Northamptonshire]
  • Cromford - Thomas Phipps, 18, boatman, Northampton  

Total: 25  -10 on shore, 15 on boats
8 canal steerers
7 boatmen
3 wharf or wharfinger's labourer
2 drivers
1 agent
1 clerk
1 merchant
1 wharfinger's clerk