Victorian Professions


Located on the south-east coast of England, Brighton is a seaside town dating back to the fourteenth century. It has long held importance as a fishing centre and was the largest town in Sussex by the seventeenth century. The town's fishing industry declined in the late seventeenth century. However, from the 1730s onwards Brighton developed into a centre for entertainment, health care and frivolity. The agreeable weather and easy access to the sea led to eminent London physician Dr Richard Russell advocating Brighton as a place for the wealthy to come and recuperate from illness by taking the sea air and total immersion in the sea, known as 'dipping'. The most notable of these new visitors attracted to the growing resort was the Prince Regent.

Between 1780 and 1822 George IV set about transforming his farmhouse into the Marine Pavilion, an extravagant and lavish Chinese style building furnished with the most luxurious fashions. This royal patronage propelled Brighton to the forefront of high society and it rapidly became the place to be seen with upwards of 2,000 people visiting the town every week to copy the Royal family and take advantage of the health properties of the sea-water. The town became even more accessible following the arrival of the railways in 1840, allowing even the working classes to travel to the coast with their families. The increasing importance of Brighton as a centre for health care and tourism as well as its continued role as a fishing port is reflected in the population of the town which increased substantially over the course of the nineteenth century, rising from 7,339 in 1801, to 65,569 in 1851 before eventually reaching 123,478 in 1901.

These are the people in Brighton we are interested in: