Category Archives: Communications

Landlords, family and railways

In the eighteenth century, the distinction between a class of landlords and a class of capitalist farmer tenants had been sharpened by the continuing process of agricultural improvement.[1] By 1850, the enclosure movement was all but completed and a third … Continue reading

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Railways and society

The impact of railways on Victorian society was immense.[1]  In 1851, William Johnston, a barrister summed up contemporary attitudes to the railway  …the most important event of the last quarter of a century in English history…this dependence magnitude of the … Continue reading

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Railways: operation and economic impact

Railway traffic, both passenger and freight grew steadily during this period.  Passenger numbers rose from 24.5 million in 1842, to 72.9 m in 1850 to 507 m by 1875, freight tonnage from 5.4 million in 1842 to 38 million in … Continue reading

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Railways: Construction

The railway in the modern sense was very much an innovation of the late 1820s.[1]  The industry was established in the next half-century in a series of promotion ‘manias’ in the late 1830s, mid-1840s and mid-1860s.  By 1870, over 70% … Continue reading

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A horse-drawn society?

The popular image of Victorian England is of a society whose members travelled by train.  While there is little doubt of the impact that railways had on British society, its landscapes and its attitudes, for most people most of the … Continue reading

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