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Mrs Jenny Burt - 22nd April 1985
J Burt - Thesis - Main Page

This study was undertaken at Bedford College of Higher Education
BA Combined Studies (cnaa) Degree British History Third Year Individual Study

The Relationship between the growth of the Boot and Shoe Industry and Non-conformity in Rushden, 1881-1901.


In this study I propose to look at the link between the boot and shoe industry and non-conformity during the years of Rushden's growth from a village to an Urban District and to see how the churches adapted to a tremendous influx of population, more especially between 1881 and 1901. These twenty years were selected as the 1881 Census return is now available and by 1901, the basis had been laid down for Rushden's development for the twentieth century. After an introduction to the expansion if the village, the industry and the churches, I propose to look in greater depth at the social life of the industry's personnel, the provision of such as made by the churches and the secular alternative. A section will also be devoted to the temperance movement which played a prominent part in the life of the village and to which the majority of the shoe manufacturers subscribed.

With such a wide canvas it is not possible to detail fully every aspect of village life, but with the aid of records which do survive, I hope to paint a picture of the role of the non-conformist churches as the major religious denomination in the development of this industrial village.

Chapter 1 General Survey
Chapter 2 The social life of the shoeworker
Chapter 4 Conclusions

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