chapter  One
21 Pages

The Economic and Social Environment in England, 1829-1866

It is not surprising that the house of Novello entered a phase of rapid development during the late 1820s, for the period from 1821 to 1836 is often recognized by historians as having offered an ideal climate for economic growth and expansion. This chapter provides a brief survey of the socio-economic state of England during the period of Alfred Novello's management, focusing on three areas of change: economic developments; ecclesiastical and social reform; and the musical environment. In the United Kingdom in 1851 the percentage of the population involved in agriculture was 20.9 per cent, compared to 32.7 per cent in manufacture. By 1861 the gap had widened with more of the population in manufacturing, 33 per cent, than in agrarian-related work, 18 per cent. A picture of the general wage-earning environment in England during the nineteenth century can be found in the article by Lindert and Williamson from which some information is taken.