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Leisure Time

Victorian Glossary

Apothecary - A person who prepared and sold medicines. They had no medical training and often made up herbal remedies and designed their own 'patent cures'. Such cures could be dangerous to take or have no curing effect at all.

 Apprentice - A person who learned a skill or trade by being an assistant for an agreed period. Apprentices usually earned low wages but some worked for no money at all or even paid their master to be able to work under them.

Cab Driver - A horse-drawn taxi-cab driver. Also known as a Cabbie or a Cabman. 

Census - An official count or survey of a population taken every 10 years.

Charwoman - A cleaning lady.

Coach Painter - A person who painted advertisements or business logos on the sides of horse-drawn carriages.

Druggist - A person who made and sold medicines. Also known as an Apothecary.

Hawker - A person who sold goods in an aggressive manner such as by calling out to people in the street. A travelling salesman can also be known as a hawker.

Hawker of Green-groceries - A person who sold fruit and vegetables on a market or door-to-door.

Journeyman - A fully qualified tradesman who had served as an apprentice of any trade. He was hired and paid for the day, unlike a 'master' who would have his own business and could employ others.

Journeyman Fishmonger - A person who was hired and paid by the day to sell fish in a shop or market.

Nightsoil Man - A worker who emptied dry toilets in the days before modern plumbing.

Ostler - Someone who took care of horses. The same as a Hostler.

Scavenger - A rubbish collector or nightsoil man.

Trade Directory - A book listing types of businesses and their location and/or names and addresses of private residents.

Tramper - A vagabond, tramp or homeless person. Also could be an out of work wool-comber in search of work at other factories.

Tramping Musician - A musician who travelled in search of work.

Waggoner - A horse and wagon (or cart) operator.

Washerwoman - A person who washed other people's dirty clothes in her own home for money. A person who washed other people's dirty clothes in a shop or laundry was called a laundry woman.

Workhouse - The place the parish sent the poverty stricken and homeless, such as unwanted orphans, unmarried mothers, widows and those too old or sick to work.