Dictionary of Old Occupations

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Definitions of jobs Sclater - Seeker of the Dead

Sclater: built and maintained slate tiled roofs.

Scotch Draper: a door to door salesman. Items were paid for by instalments.

Scotchman: another name for a Scotch Draper (door to door salesman).

Scourer: worked in the textile industry, hand-washing wool using soap or urine.

Screener: Screener: worked in the mining industry, removed stones, dirt, slate etc. as coal was passed over iron screens, or who collected small lumps of coal which fell beneath the iron screens as coal was graded.

Scribbler: a derogatory slang term for a writer, journalist, poet or author. See Poetaster.

Scribe: another name for a Clerk.

Scriber: weighed goods on the docks and scribed their weight upon them.

Scribler: worked in the textile industry, operating a machine also called a scribler.

Scrimer: sword fencing master.

Scrivener: a person who could read and write. For a fee they would read letters to illiterate people, or write letters on their behalf. The occupation title may also be spelt ‘scrivenor’, and may also refer to people working in the printing industry.

Scrivener Notary: a Public Notary allowed by law to work within London and its surrounding area. They were appointed to serve the public in some legal matters.

Scrutineer: observed the counting of ballot papers during an election vote.

Scullerman: responsible for steering a boat by sculling. Sculling is an old form of rowing, whereby the boat is steered and propelled by moving a single stern mounted oar from side to side in order to, for example as a ferry across a river or in a port.

Scullery Maid: the lowest ranking female servant in large households, and assistant to the Kitchen Maid. Undertook hard physical work such as scrubbing, cleaning etc.

Scullion: the male equivalent of a Scullery Maid, undertaking hard physical work cleaning, washing, scrubbing etc.

Scutcher: a textile industry worker. Scutching is the process of separating the useful fibres away from the woody parts of flax etc. by the process of beating. The tool used for this purpose is also called a scutcher.

Sea Fencible: belonged to an anti-invasion force in coastal waters known as the Sea Fencibles. They consisted of Naval Officers and volunteer seafaring men. They were created in 1798 in order to counter the threat of invasion by the French, and (according to wikipedia) disbanded in 1810 after it was clear that the threat of invasion by Bonaparte had passed.

Copyright: Jane Hewitt. This dictionary is authorised for use on www.familyresearcher.co.uk only.

Seafarer: a sailor or seaman.

Seal Presser: worked in the glassmaking industry.

Seamstress: Alternate term for a dressmaker, made / sold bespoke clothing for women, or a less skilled factory worker who sewed seams into clothing.

Searcher: a customs officer examining imported goods for contraband.

Secret Springer: worked in the watchmaking industry, made the spring which releases the cover on a hunter watch case.

Seedsman: a seed merchant.

Seeker of the Dead: a job which deservedly gets a mention in Tony Robinson’s 'Worst Jobs in History', the Seeker of the Dead was a woman employed to people infected with the Bubonic Plague (a.k.a. the Black Death) and to find and count corpses.

This dictionary is my own work, and copyright Jane Hewitt. I sometimes find unauthorised (i.e. stolen) copies of my website content appearing on other people's websites. If you should read a group of identical glossary definitions elsewhere on the web, consider whether such sites are reputable or not.

Empire of the Seas - BBC TV Tie-in to Dan Snow's Timewatch series

This book, a tie-in to a major BBC TV series presented by Dan Snow, is written by one of the nation's foremost naval historians, and tells the story of how the Royal Navy shaped the politics, culture and economy of Britain, leaving its imprint on everything from our landscape, to our democracy and even our very identity. At its peak, it became the driving force behind the spread of a system of values which would change the world forever. And then it lost it all.