Prostitution in 1911

14 October 2013

soft-serve-150x150Continuing my entertaining searches in the 1911 census, I marvelled today at the number of ice cream manufacturers/sellers born in Italy. But, I moved on quickly. Some masons, transcribed as ‘moron’ made my giggle, followed by a few ‘tramps’ who clearly weren’t. But what capped it all was the list of prostitutes, 85 in all. Beginning with Rev. B. Salt (or Reverend B. Balt as Ancestry transcribers have decided), who was a prostitute methodist minister! Or even a PRIMITIVE METHODIST MINISTER. Oh, how we laughed!

And the best thing is, that is only the start. There are an enormous number of alleged male prostitutes but I have not managed to find one who is actually genuine. A porter at machine prostitute, Frederick William Beeston…. or to add insult to injury, Ferderick on Ancestry …. who should have been ‘porter at MECHANICS INSTITUTE’ and also, Joseph Lonsdale who, rather than being a prostitute was a caretaker for the Miners Institute. Dorothy Belle Davis Edmonds, daughter of William John Edmonds, a picture frame maker, is said to be ‘assisting in the prostitute’ but actually, is assisting in the BUSINESS! The list goes on….

At the grand old age of 72 and married for 52 years, William Hartley North, born near Bradford, Yorkshire apparently turned to being a ‘prostitute mecanic [sic]’. Surprisingly not, actually – his occupation is recorded as ‘None’ with an addition of ‘private means’ in pencil. And let’s not forget Arthur George Ellis Phillips – a librarian in private library near Wigan, or in a prostitute lapidary….. And the oldest of the ladies, Eleanor Carr aged 70, was an aged pensioner, not an aged prostitute.

Ladies and gentleman of the night, or maybe not….

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