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Not Brentford New

Fishermen

In 1845 Thomas Faulkner wrote in The history and antiquities of Brentford, Chiswick & Ealing:
The Fishery, which was formerly carried on here, and in the neighbourhood, is now sadly reduced, and employs but few hands, the daily passage of the steam boats by constantly agitating the river, has driven away the fish higher up the river, where they find a safe retreat and shelter from this annoyance.

Fifty years ago, there appear to have been as many as a hundred families in Brentford, supported solely by fishing: there are now hardly twenty, notwithstanding the great increase in the population of the town since that period. Perhaps another cause of the downfall of the Brentford fishery is the vastly increased amount of impurities poured into the Thames by the sewers of the ever-growing capital, and of the large suburban villages that lie along the river.

Six years after Faulkner wrote, the 1851 census included 3 Thames fisherman who lived on the High Street out of a total of 16 fishermen living in New Brentford and Ealing (which included Old Brentford). Their surnames were: Armatage (Armitage), Carrott, Clarke, Collier, Dear, Heywood, Jenkin, Pearce, Stokes, West and White. No fishermen were recorded in New Brentford or Ealing in the 1891 census.

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Page published May 2015