Gazetteers predate any equivalent telephone directories, when various trade publications began following Britain's 19th century industrialisation. A significant population boom swept greater numbers into towns where professional skills emerged or centred between listed companies nearest large markets. Nottingham centralised our counties distribution and commercial importance with city status, so while that retained primary focus from earliest localised publications, its supporting towns and villages soon began achieving greater commercial recognition after James Pigot began compiling his historically informative directories.
Pigot and Co.'s National Commercial Directories spanned several English counties. An engraver based in Manchester, his team of researches collected historic details giving categorised listings first covering major localities. Ancient Manor and ruling court Union with established market town made Mansfield initial focus of attention, progressively identifying its Sutton-in-Ashfield Parish. Listing that towns more localised tradesmen includes simple Hucknall addressing from which to initially reveal some well established traders remotely found within its smaller hamlet named Hucknall-under-Huthwaite.
Offering first brief 1828 glimpse into supporting traders who historically emerged with our developing locality called Hucknall-under-Huthwaite, Pigot set highest standards upon which rival publishers attempted to follow Britain's industrialisation. Various names and subject titles appeared producing informative directories. These could range anywhere between just one major locality to broadest UK coverage when specialised commercial interests spanned much larger county divisions.
William White managed to publish a more detailed account of 19th century Nottinghamshire. His descriptive 1832 introduction fulfils claim covering every town, parish, township, village, hamlet, and manor in the six Hundreds of the forested shire by separately featuring Hucknall-under-Huthwaite. Listing farmers identifies how most lived off the land, until they gradually become outnumbered by greater variety of local shops among new trades supporting industrialised residential expansion. Other publications confirm evidence of early coal mining, but dismiss proudly held beliefs of its importance during transformation of a rural hamlet into an industrialising village, when most dependent workers heavily relied upon hosiery manufacturing.
Significant changes come in latter quarter that century. A Hucknall-under-Huthwaite township is best depicted by Francis White as 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 denote principle types of employment turning from farm work and a cottage industry of home installed framework knitting machines, into an area widely renown for many factories mass manufacturing stockings. Kelly & Co publications follow next progression as Huthwaite builds a promising 20thC mining town around its modern 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.