Monday, November 21, 2011


Social Hierarchy
By Eugene
Charles   Catherine Houghton
Let the reeve be all the time with the serfs (peasants) in the lord's fields.....because serfs neglect their work and it is necessary to guard against their fraud......the reeve must oversee all work...........if they (serfs) do not work well, let them be punished.
It was not much of a life for the poor.  They were his property and if they displeased him he could simply have them beaten or killed.  In Scotland, and Ireland thousands of people were forcible driven from their ancestral homes when raising sheep was more convenient or profitable.       
Well, that time has passed, and the “masterless” peasant could now leave the “Lord’s” fields.  But where could an uneducated farmer go.  The industrial revolution was slowly changing the power of the land owner over his serfs.  He no longer owned his farmers and workers, so he had  to pay a reasonable wage to keep them on his estate.   
Charles   Johnny  Bill Houghton
The “Gentle Folk as they liked to be called lived entirely off rental income and management of their land; they never had to work for a living.  Squire John Robert Champion ancestral family owned the Georgian Mansion with its deer park and 600 acres 3/5’s of Heather and the home of Earl Howe.  Champion belonged to the “Gentry” rather than the Nobility, but like the nobility they were privileged not to work for a living.  A bailiff managed the estate, servants to run the household a estate.  He visited, played cards, had dinner parties, hunted and whatever he cared to do, all with other Gentry.  He had little contact with other classes except for the Reverent of the Church who mingled equally with the Land Lords. 
Church was the only place all the classes were gathered together but they were seated separately. 
The middle class were the farmers, craftsmen, school teachers and tradesmen. 
The coalminers and brick workers were near the bottom. 
But as always there were the really poor who were close to starvation.  Unemployment, sickness, death or drunkenness of a breadwinner or old age was the poor-poor.  Debts meant starvation or being sent to a debtor’s prison (workhouse).     
The Gentry cared little for the people or their town.  At night Heather was dark at night, there were no street lights.  No running water, water was carried in buckets to the home from a few wells.  No sewage, just outhouses out back.  No garbage collection, rubbish was burnt or buried in the garden.  Medical treatment was mostly nonexistent.  Typhoid fever and scarlet fever outbreaks were common as well as other diseases.  With the railroad, brick plant and the coalmines it was smoky and noisy.
They did have a national school system but little money ever came to the town.  The children at Heather paid a weekly fee, so the poor were left mostly illiterate.  There was no secondary education school in Heather. Charles and Catherine Burrows Houghton had lost five children living in Heather.  When the Mormon Missionaries promised that they would have more children and they would all live if he came to America.  Charles Arthur, Wilfred and John Thomas were born and lived here in Castle Gate, Utah.

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