The infamous 1086 Doomsday Book can often provide earliest reference for historical researchers when identifying majority of established UK localities. With descriptive details it helps assert antiquity of other townships, although primary purpose was aimed at collective rewards directly gained through their ruling manors. Reason why numerous small remoter rural farm settlements could miss individual naming. For taxation purposes they could be simply grouped inside recognisable overruling parish or manorial borders.
Although etymology strongly suggests a Huthwaite settlement was founded far earlier, it holds no recorded significance until emerging among the UK's rapid 19th century industrial population growth. Predating any modern equivalent telephone directories, various gazetteer trader publications began following Britain's industrialisation as it swept greater numbers into towns where professional skills emerged or centred between listed companies nearest large markets. Building city status, Nottingham centralised our counties distribution and commercial importance, apparent from its earlier locally published trade directories. Nationally however many supporting towns and villages soon also gained productive sizeable and historic recognition after James Pigot began compiling his informative directories.
Pigot and Co.'s National Commercial Directories span several English counties. An engraver based in Manchester, his team of collectors offered historic researched detailing under categorised listings first covering major localities. Under our ancient Manor and ruling court Union with established market town, Mansfield held initial attention. Progressively then Sutton-in-Ashfield Parish gained historic detailing. Finding names included by simple addressing at Hucknall began revealing some well established traders remotely found among this smaller hamlet named Hucknall-under-Huthwaite.
Offering first brief glimpse into supporting traders who historically emerged with our developing locality called Hucknall-under-Huthwaite, Pigot set highest standards by which rival publishers attempted to follow during Britain's rising industrialisation. Various names and subject titles appeared producing directory listings. These could range between just one major locality to broadest coverage in some specialised commercial interest spanning much larger divisions. Perhaps Wrights Midlands directories may still yet reveal additional village material.
Covering Nottinghamshire by mid 19th century, it was a Francis White who next appears publishing very informative gazetteers, and separately featuring Hucknall-under-Huthwaite from year 1832. His authoritative naming of village farmers, who must have long been out numbering any local shops or new trades then appearing to offer residential support. Coal mining now clearly held importance, but White's directories provide strong basis for showing how slow rural developments began suffering under rapid population growth. Huthwaite's influential land owners found increasing difficulties affording to keep all poorest families labouring on their farmlands. But majority of highly dependent workers could soon learn how to tirelessly operate framework knitting machines upon which regional majority did become heavily reliant.
By latter quarter that industrious century our township Hucknall-under-Huthwaite is depicted by Whites to become a large flourishing village. While separately emerging closely tied within Sutton parish borders, number and variety of its own commercial businesses certainly continues rapidly expanding. Final decades witness principle types of employment turning from farm work and well established coal mining toward stocking manufacturing. But as that cottage industry builds hosiery factories supporting mass majority, superior coverage among Kellys publications best follows Huthwaite's individual prosperity, building into a modern 20th century mining town community after the opening of its New Hucknall Colliery.
Titled Chief Inspector of Inland Letter Carriers, Frederick Kelly was based in London. There his Post Office association greatly helped start rival business in compiling trade directories. Based upon Pigots earliest successful engraved publications, Kelly broadened coverage from the capital firstly across South of England. Producing greatly detailed information for each locality, his unofficial use of Post Office employees for collating such data did arouse much criticism. That work had however already gathered wider acclaim by 1850s, before fuller National dominance became assured buying out the then major competitive partnership of Pigot and Slaters business.
Written 31 Aug 06 Revised 12 Oct 12 © by Gary Elliott