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1871 - Dr Livingstone, I presume?



The 1871 Census of Brompton-on-Swale is now available on the Census page (we now have 1841, 1851. 1861 and 1871 transcriptions ... and yes the idea is the rest will follow ... 1881, 1891, 1901 and 1911 ... so keep an eye out).


Its interesting to see some statistics and trends emerging - see the table below. The population continued to decline in 1871 - probably due to what is called the "Second Industrial Revolution" - which saw a population shift from agriculture to manufacturing in towns and cities. The growth of the British Empire and the coming of the railways helped stoke demand for goods and enable people to become more mobile.




1871 was the 34th year of Queen Victoria's reign and Gladstone was Prime Minister. The Royal Albert Hall was opened. Victoria had been a widow for 10 years by this point but her self-imposed mourning still continued, which lead to considerable republican sentiment at the time. In August and September 1871, she was seriously ill with an abscess in her arm, which Joseph Lister successfully lanced and treated with his new antiseptic (carbolic acid) spray.


In marked contrast to the Queen's unchanging black, fashionable women's clothing was becoming increasingly complex, colourful and restrictive (bodices and bustles). Rugby Football was formerly established, Parliament introduced the first ever Bank Holidays (4 of them, 5 for Scotland), Trade unions were legalised for the first time by the Trade Unions Act and Welsh-born journalist Henry Morton Stanley finally located missing Scottish explorer and missionary, Doctor David Livingstone near Lake Tanganyika, famously greeting him by saying "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?". The rest of the world would only find out months later.


In Europe, France was at war with Germany (the Franco-Prussian War) - a war the German's won in 1871 (capturing French Emperor Napoleon III, holding a victory parade in Paris and inflicting huge war reparations and a peace settlement that saw Germany annex parts of Alsace and Lorraine). This lead to a great deal of introspection in France and further intensified a deep seated rivalry with Germany, which has just become the unified nation of "Imperial Germany" under Emperor Wilhelm I. This period was known as the German Second Reich as it attempted to rival the British and French Empires.


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