Published by Stokesley Local History Study Group


In 1793 the Universal British Directory of Trade, Commerce and Manufacture was the first comprehensive national directory of England and Wales to be published. The sole right of printing and publishing the work was conferred on Peter Barfoot and John Wilkes by Royal Patent of 28 August 1789. The directory is the major printed primary source for researching family names and occupations throughout England and Wales in the late eighteenth century. The facsimile edition was published in five volumes with the kind permission of Norfolk County Library & Information Service in 1994 by Michael Winton of King’s Lynn, Norfolk. Stokesley features in Volume 4.

In the 1800s onwards several different publishers produced directories listing the nobility, gentry and clergy, followed by residents, and then the classified trades people. These directories also give historical accounts of Stokesley which provide a wealth of information. Three (short) examples can be read here :- 1823 1867 1901.

The Directories used are listed here.

The entries from the original directories have been transcribed exactly as printed including abbreviations. Therefore, what appear to be spelling mistakes are from the original sources. Where surnames are known to be incorrect the correct surname has been put in square brackets, e.g. 1793 Rev. George Markhane [Markham], and Thomas and John Meale [Mease] erected a mill in 1823.

Where a person held many positions the surname has been repeated in order to reduce the width of the occupation column, eg Sowerby, Watson.

Family historians will appreciate the value of directories for finding names of ancestors with their trades and addresses. Search “Directories by Surname”.

Local historians will be able to discover which trades were prevalent in the town over a 200 year period in Stokesley’s history. Search “Directories by Year”.

This project was undertaken by Beryl Turner and Chris Stuart, who are both keen family and local historians. Thanks are also due to Tom Quinn for his technical advice.

We hope that you find these directories as fascinating and informative as we have done during the compilation.

The information contained in these Directories is the copyright of Stokesley Local History Study Group.

The information may not be sold, or incorporated into other publications, which are then sold for profit.

Organisations wishing to use the information for commercial purposes may contact the owner to discuss terms. Action will be taken against unauthorised use.