Census 1851

by Alan Miller

In your census you've asked me to tell, my name and dependents as well
In addition the work that we've done, in this year of 1851.
Well my eldest lass Helen's here still, she's a power loom weaver at mill
She's 21 and she rises at 4, never late at the factory door.

Name, William Gill, residing at Linton Mill,
Position, the family head, occupation, a miner for lead.
Age, near fifty-five, children, six still alive,
Wife, four years passed on, in this year, eighteen fifty-one.

Then at 19 there's George, my first son, and 2 years behind here there's John,
At Grassington Mines they'll be found , like the dead in the cold underground,
Then there's Sarah she's only 13, she's a woman and keeps the house clean,
She feeds us and keeps us alive and she looks after Margaret whose 5.


Then the last one's my own name of Bill, and already he works at mill
But in the morning he still goes to school, for a 10 year old isn't life cruel?
Now all that I've said here is true, we've all got our own jobs to do,
In your census we seem pretty small, we're a small Wharfedale family that's all.


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