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Mathematical Instrument Makers

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Mathematical Instrument Makers

Postby JET » Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:21 pm

Could anyone advise me whether mathematical instrument makers were well paid, relative to other occupations?

I have an ancestor who was employed as one for almost 40 years at the Buckingham Works in York, yet the family seems to have lived in poor areas of the city and he was buried in a pauper's grave.

Thanks to anyone who can help.
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Re: Mathematical Instrument Makers

Postby AdrianB38 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:50 pm

I can't speak about the pay rates of instrument makers - possibly similar to clock makers, etc? Not that I know about those either but it might widen the scope to look at.

But what I did want to say is that there is no such thing (unless anyone knows different) as a pauper's grave. It was quite normal for people to be buried in a cemetery in a grave with lots of other people who had nothing to do with them. If you wanted exclusive use of the plot, you had to pay for it - this purchases the right of burial, it doesn't purchase the plot itself. Many people simply couldn't afford to pay for exclusive use of a plot. I've also seen cases where it looks like the plot was being bought in instalments but the owner couldn't keep up the payments - in that case the plot reverted to council ownership (it being a municipal cemetery) but the only burials were of his family. Even the current cemetery staff referred to this as a pauper's grave - it wasn't - it was, and is, a council owned plot.

There is a pauper's funeral - that's when the council has to pay for the funeral.
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Mathematical Instrument Makers

Postby JET » Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:17 pm

Thanks for the suggestion, and also for the clarification about communal graves.

It seemed a little odd to me that my ancestor's widow went to the trouble and expense of putting an announcement of his death in the local newspaper if money was tight.

I shall have to investigate costs of graves, and adverts in newspapers, as well as clock makers' earnings.
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