Trade directories were originally compiled to assist businessmen and merchants, and the earliest known is probably a list of London merchants published by Samuel Lee in 1677. However, most directories date from the 19th and 20th Centuries and are a valuable source of information for both the local and family historian. They can be used to find out who was running a particular business at a particular time, or to help identify when somebody left or arrived in the village.
The directory content varies according to the firm producing them and the age, but most contain a list of all the local trades people with their names and occupations. Some, for example White's and Kelly’s, also mention notable residents and include a description of the village.
Commercial Directory of Leicestershire, 1861
E. S. Drake & Co.
Goadby Marwood, a village and parish, in a pleasant valley bounded by the Wolds Hills. 5 miles N.N.E of Melton Mowbray, its Union town; contains 248 inhabitants, and about 1589 acres of land, of a fertile clay and red earth. The living is a rectory, valued at £420, in the patronage of the Rev. Edward Manners M.A. The glebe is 36 acres. The Duke of Rutland is lord of the manor and principal land owner. The Church (St. Denis), is a neat building, with a square embattled tower, crowned with pinnacles. Goadby Hall, the seat of George Norman Esq., is a handsome dwelling, with a small park near the church. The Rev. Edward Manners, M.A. and the Rev. George Pidcock, B.A, have neat houses here. Numerous Roman coins, urns, and human bones, have been discovered at different times; and in 1813, a skull of large size was found at a depth of seven feet below the ground. The Poor’s Land comprises 11A. 3R. 16P. in Harby, purchased in 1702 with £120 left by various donors.
Letters from Melton Mowbray, which is
also the nearest Money Order Office.
Brewin John, stone mason
Brutnell Thomas, carpenter
Carter John, farmer
Chamberlain Matthew, tailor
Cook William, farmer
Ellaby Simpson, farmer
Elson William, farmer
Hackerby Elizabeth and Mary, graziers
Hallam Edward, farmer
Manners Rev. Edward, M.A. rector
Norman George, Esq. Hall
Pidcock Rev. George, B.A.
Rowbotham Mary, farmer
Skellitt Charles, shopkeeper
Stokes Joseph, farmer
Waite Robert, shoemaker
Walker Robert, farmer
Watson Henry, farmer
GM History Group note:
There are some inaccuracies in the above directory entry. Rev. Edward Manners died in December 1856 and the living was subsequently bestowed upon the Rev. Stevenson Gilbert Bellairs, M.A, who was rector from 1857 to 1882.
History, Gazetteer & Directory of Leicestershire & Rutland, 1877
Goadby Marwood, 5 miles N.N.E. of Melton Mowbray, is a picturesque village and parish, in a pleasant vale, bounded by two bold ranges of Wold hills. It is in Framland Hundred and Melton Mowbray Union and County Court District, and in 1871 contained 173 persons, 33 houses, and 1618 acres of land. This return included 20 gypsies who were encamping in the parish at the time of the census. The parish had generally fertile clay, except on the north western hills which separate it from the Vale of Belvoir, where red marl prevails. The Duke of Rutland is lord of the manor and principle owner of the soil, but Gundeby, was successively held by the Mowbray, Maureward, Hastings, Villiers, Lowe, and Wyche families, the latter of whom sold it, in 1765, to the Duke of Rutland. The Hall, a handsome mansion, in a small park, is the seat of George Norman, Esq., J.P. The Church (St. Denis), erected about 1280, consists of nave, north and south aisles, chancel, and south porch. The font and south aisle are Decorated, and date from probably about 1320. They are the most beautiful parts of the church, and are well worth the notice of the lover of architecture. The Rev, Francis Peck, M.A., the historian, is buried in the south aisle; in the north aisle, behind the pulpit, there is a black marble tomb in memory of Edward Manners, Esq., who died in 1811; and a mural tablet in memory of Elizabeth (wife of the Rev. Edward Manners), who died in 1803. In the church are three monuments to various members of the Wyche family. In the windows are several pieces of stained glass. The restoration of the church is in contemplation. The benefice is a rectory, valued in 1535 at £16, and now at £500, in the gift and incumbency of the Rev. Stevenson Gilbert Bellairs, M.A., who has a good residence and 35A. 3R. 20P of glebe. The tithes were commuted in 1843 for £429 18s. per annum. A National School was erected here in 1861, by the rector, at a cost of about £400, and is a great ornament to the village. The Poor’s Land comprises 11A. 3R. 16P., in Harby purchased in 1702 with £120, which had been left to the poor by various donors. It is let for £24 a year, which is distributed in coals and money by churchwardens and overseers.
Post Office at Mr. Chamberlain’s. Letters are received at 7.30 a.m., and dispatched at 5.40 p.m., via Melton Mowbray; but Waltham is the nearest Money Order and Telegraph Office.
Andrews Miss Emma, schoolmistress
Ash Richard, farmer
Bellairs Rev Stevenson Gilbert, M.A.
rector, The Rectory
Brewin Mrs Ann, grazier
Brutnell Mrs Hannah, grocer
Brutnell Joel, joiner and builder
Carter Mrs Eliz. farmer and grazier
Chamberlain Matthew, tailor & postm
Dent James, grazier
Ecob Mrs Elizabeth, grazier
Ellaby Mrs Mary, farmer and grazier
Elson John, farmer and grazier
Hallam Mrs Rebecca and Isaac, far-
mers and grazier’s, Cranyke farm
Huddlestone Zachariah, farm bailiff
Norman Geo. Esq. J.P. Goadby hall
Rowbotham Thomas, farmer and
Waite Robert, parish clerk
Walker Samuel, farmer and grazier
Watson Henry, farmer and grazier
Winterton Joseph, grazier
Wright John, farmer and grazier
Carriers – To Melton, Hubbard &
Goadby Marwood History Group note:
There is an error in the above directory entry. Elizabeth Manners, wife of Rev. Edward Manners, died in 1830 not 1803.