Town and Country in Victorian Leicestershire: The Role of the Village Carrier

  • Alan Everitt
Part of the Problems in Focus Series book series


When W. H. Hudson wrote A Shepherd’s Life, the story of a Wiltshire shepherd in the late nineteenth century, he included in it an unforgettable description of Salisbury, the capital city of Salisbury Plain. ‘To the dwellers on the Plain,’ he said,

Salisbury itself is an exceedingly important place — the most important in the world… For Salisbury is the capital of the Plain, the head and heart of all those villages, too many to count, scattered far and wide over the surrounding country… To set out betimes and overtake the early carriers’ carts on the road, each with its little cargo of packages and women with baskets and an old man or two, to recognise acquaintances among those who sit in front, and as I go on overtaking and passing carriers and the half-gipsy, little ‘general dealer’ in his dirty, ramshackle, little cart drawn by a rough fast-trotting pony, all of us intent on business and pleasure, bound for Salisbury — the great market and emporium and place of all delights for all the great Plain … the mere sight of it exhilarates like wine. The numbers — the people and the animals! The carriers’ carts drawn up in rows on rows — carriers from a hundred little villages on the Bourne, the Avon, the Wylye, the Nadder, the Ebble, and from all over the Plain, each bringing its little contingent.1


Shopping Centre Market Area Market Town County Town English Historian 
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References and Notes on Text

  1. 2.
    Siegfried Sassoon, Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man (1928), pp. 112–13.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    John Watson (ed.), The Annals of a Quiet Valley (n.d. [c. 1895]), pp. 195–6.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Alan Everitt, R. C. W. Cox, Michael Laithwaite, D. M. Palliser, Alan Rogers, W. B. Stephens, John Whyman 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan Everitt

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