Rutland or Rutlandshire, an inland county, the smallest in England, bounded on the N and the NE by Lincolnshire; on the SE and the S by Northamptonshire; on the SW, the W, and the NW, by Leicestershire. Its outline is irregular, and its boundary with Northamptonshire is traced by the river Welland, and with part of Leicestershire by the river Eye. Its greatest length, south-south-westward, is 17 1/2 miles, its greatest breadth is 14 1/2 miles, its circuit is about 33 miles, and its area 97,273 statute acres. The surface is finely diversified, exhibits gentle swells and depressions, and has elevations extending E and W, and divided by pleasant vales. One range runs to the NE of Oakham, other ranges flank the Welland and the Eye, and the rich vale of Catmos is in the NW. The chief streams besides the Welland and the Eye are the Gwash and the Chater. Lias and lower lolite rocks occupy the whole area, the former chiefly in the W, the latter chiefly in the E. Limestone is plentiful, and both it and freestone are quarried for building. Mineral springs are at Normanton, Martinsthorpe, Hambledon, Lyndon, and Luffendon.
Little of the land is waste, nearly 300 acres are under wood, and a larger aggregate, proportionally to the entire area, is disposed in parks and lawns than in almost any other county in England. The soils are various but generally fertile. Those in the E and the SE are mostly shallow clay, on limestone rock, and those elsewhere are chiefly strong red loam on blue clay. Estates are of various sizes, farms run from 15 acres upwards, and agriculture is principally of the same kind as in Norfolk. Wheat and barley are heavy crops and yield fine seed, turnips are extensively grown, sheep are fed, and Stilton cheese is made.
Manufactures make very little figure. There are extensive woods from which much timber is cut, and there are quarries for limestone and freestone. According to the census returns issued in 1893, the chief occupations of the people of the county were:Professional, 654 males and 279 females; domestic, 179 males and 1856 females; commercial, 760 males and 10 females; agricultural, 3071 males and 73 females; industrial, 2425 males and 627 females; and "unoccupied," including retired business men, pensioners, those living on their own means, and others not specified, 1452 males and 5787 females; or a total in the county of 8541 males and 8632 females. The number of men employed in the leading industries was as follows: Agricultural labourers, 1887; farmers, 487; general labourers, 398, and boot and shoe makers, 189. The chief occupations of women were;Domestic service, with a total of 1566; millinery and dressmaking, 272. There were also in the county 22 blind persons, 15 deaf, 6 deaf and dumb, and 21 mentally deranged.
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Archives and Libraries
The Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester & Rutland
Telephone: 0116 257 1080
Fax: 0116 257 1120
For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.
List of Registration Districts in Rutland from 1837 to 1974.
Directories & Gazetteers
Description of Rutland from Pigot & Co's. Directory of Rutlandshire, 1828-9
We have Kelly's Directory of Leicestershire & Rutland, 1928 available to browse.
We have Pigot & Co.'s Directory of Leicestershire & Rutland, 1835 available to browse.
Land and Property
A searchable transcript of the Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Rutland is online.
Old map of Rutland circa 1848 (Samuel Lewis)
Old map of Leicestershire and Rutland circa 1895 (Gazetteer of England and Wales)
Parishes and places
The towns and parishes have now been moved to a separate page.
The population of Rutland was in 1801, 16,300; in 1821, 18,487; in 1831, 19,385; in 1841, 21,302; in 1851, 22,983; in 1861, 21,861; in 1871, 22,073; in 1881, 21,434; in 1891, 20,659 and in 1901, 19,709, of whom 9,849 were males and 9,860 females. The population in 1911 was 20,347; viz.: males, 10,315; females, 10,032.
The Visitation of Rutland, 1618-19 and The Visitation of Rutland 1681-2 are available to browse on the Heraldry page.